You are invited to participate in the study if:

a) you produce pornography (explicit sexual material) in any format (film, photography, print or other); AND
b) your material is for sale; AND
c) your work is Australian (run from Australia, by an Australian resident, established in Australia OR using Australian models); AND
d) you identify you and/or your work as queer, feminist, alternative OR kinky.

I am a PhD Student at the University of New South Wales under the supervision of Dr Kath Albury (School of Arts and Media) and co-supervision of Dr Daniel Joyce (Faculty of Law).

My research is entitled Fisting is Not Permitted: Criminal Intimacies, Queer Sexualities and Feminist Porn in the Australian Legal Context. The project examines the legal regulation of pornography in Australia, including the criminalisation of the production, sale, screening and possession of pornographic material.

In particular, the project focuses on the prohibition of non-normative sexual practices from representation in Australia’s X18+ classification category (including fetish, bondage, fisting, golden showers and other practices common in queer, kink and sex work communities) and the subsequent implications for stigma, discrimination and human rights of people engaging in those sexual practices.

This is a peer-led project (I am a current porn performer and member of the queer community) that seeks meaningful engagement with communities affected by these laws. I have designed research questions in consultation with representatives from the Australian feminist porn community, Eros Association, and Scarlet Alliance Australian Sex Workers Association.

Part of the research explores queer, kink and sex work community standards in determining how pornography should be regulated and classified. It examines the role that pornography can and does play in sex education, health promotion, community building, and role-modelling consent, safety and negotiation of desire. It seeks to illustrate that practices misunderstood by law as violent (such as BDSM) are often about intimacy, trust and communication. At a broad level, it examines how these prohibitions affect people’s access to sexual representation, affirmation of desires, access to services and participation in public sphere.

The research is being conducted through a review of legal and human rights frameworks and qualitative interviews with people who produce pornography in Australia and identify their work as queer, feminist, kinky or alternative. Relevant academics, community organisations and Classification Board representativeswill also be interviewed. It seeks to expose legal and structural barriers and make policy recommendations for law reform.

Interviews will take 60-90 minutes and can be arranged at a location and time convenient to you. You can participate anonymously, under a pseudonym, under your business name or under your legal name. You will be paid $150 for your time. Please find attached a Participation Information and Consent form, with an interview question guide for your reference.

Many thanks for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you to discuss your eligibility in this study.

Kind regards,
Zahra

Zahra Stardust
z.stardust@unsw.edu.au
Postgraduate Teaching Fellow l PhD Candidate l Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences l UNSW Australia