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Tobi Hill-Meyer’s new kind of porn

Defying the triple-X industry’s mainstream, unrealistic expectations

Tobi Hill-Meyer and Brin in a film featured in the Doing It Online series. Credit: Tobi Hill-Meyer

Tobi Hill-Meyer’s stint in mainstream porn was brief. She’s a transgender woman, and on her first porn shoot the production company expected something that she just couldn’t give. “In [mainstream] porn, being able to ejaculate is an absolute job requirement,” she says. “For a lot of trans women, that’s just not possible, and that’s the case for me.”

Not understanding, the company brought her in for a second attempt, still expecting the impossible. “I think they thought I was just too nervous and that maybe if they got me to try it again it would work,” she says. “They weren’t listening. No, my body doesn’t do that.”

So, Hill-Meyer decided to make her own porn. Not only because of the mainstream porn industry’s unrealistic expectations, but because she wanted more control over her scenes — “I wanted to do things I’d feel sexy doing or that my lovers would see as sexy,” she says — and she wanted to create more representations of transgender women for the feminist porn genre.

Feminist porn seeks to showcase those not often represented in mainstream porn, such as people who are transgender, disabled or not white. “I looked for trans women in feminist porn and found next to nothing,” she says. “I wanted to see more, to see myself reflected there.”

Her first film was called Doing It Ourselves: The Trans Women Porn Project, for which transgender women designed their own scenes. Eventually, she created Money Shot Blues and How to Fake Ejaculation, which recreate her brief experiences in mainstream porn.

One of her more recent films will be screened at Re-Framing Porn: Radical Representation in Film. The University of Toronto Sexual Education Centre and the sex store Good for Her are partnering to screen some of the best submissions to the Feminist porn Awards (FPAs) from the last decade. Each year, the FPAs honour those involved in the creation of more diverse porn. So far, Hill-Meyer has won three. 

The event will screen a film from Hill-Meyer’s Doing It Online series, on the topic of relationships that are both polyamorous and long-distance. “One of the powerful things about [this film] is the complex emotions involved. Most porn just draws on lust and maybe humour,” she says. “I showed it at a conference, and when the clip finished and the lights went back on, a lot of people were crying, and that was really meaningful for me.”