Navigating adult entertainment as a gender diverse individual, either online or offline, can be a pretty dehumanizing and disheartening experience much of the time. While I can find a lot of content featuring trans women performers with ease, unfortunately, practically ALL of it is laced in blatantly transphobic and transmisogynistic terminology. Go to any major porn site, or any adult video store, and the vast majority of adult videos or films market their trans performers as “shemales”, “ladyboys”, “trannys”, “he/she”, etc.
In her XO Jane piece entitled “I Am A Porn Star Asking the Porn Industry To Stop Using the Term ‘Shemale’“, Chelsea Poe explains why use of these terms in pornography are harmful to trans performers, producers, viewers, and gender diverse individuals in general:
For most of us it’s our first exposure to what trans-ness is. The terms that accompany our first exposure to trans women’s bodies are terms like “Shemale,” “Tranny” or “TS,” terms to pointedly shame those who have these bodies and those who are attracted to these bodies.
(…) The same terms that are used by these companies to depict our sexualities are the same slurs many trans women hear when they are being attacked.
Enter: Crash Pad Series, a trans-inclusive adult entertainment website from Pink & White Productions that doesn’t market itself through the harmful and degrading methods utilized by mainstream pornography sources.
Well known for its reputation as an ethical porn company, Pink & White Productions prides itself on creating sexy and exciting content that reflects today’s gender diversity and sexual fluidity. It comes as no surprise then that Crash Pad Series is widely considered the gold standard for queer-sex cinema with its collection of over 200 films featuring transgender, cisgender, and non-binary performers of various races, appearances, sexualities, and (dis)abilities.
This past April I was afforded the opportunity to explore the site for a full month in exchange for a written review. Now that some time has passed I can confidently say that I have never seen pornography like this. Now that my trial subscription has lapsed… I miss it. I miss all of it.
Going back to the plethora of free tube sites chock full of stolen private videos and illegally uploaded professional porn scenes just highlights how incredibly important sites like Crash Pad Series are. Especially for gender and sexual diverse performers, producers, directors, and viewers who must otherwise navigate an overwhelmingly abusive, degrading, transphobic, homophobic, and cissexist industry and marketplace.
These conditions contribute to toxicity on numerous levels that I, for one, certainly still feel the effects of today.
As a non-binary trans and pansexual individual, I have LONG struggled with enjoying my sexuality. In fact, I struggle with even seeing myself as a sexual being at all. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy sex, or that I haven’t had great sex and many really exciting sexual experiences over the years, because I definitely have. However, I still have a lot of trouble fully embracing myself in the bedroom be it while masturbating or engaging in intercourse with others.
As each item of clothing comes off I tend to feel less and less femme, less and less myself, and, ultimately, less and less attractive. I see my dress, bra, bra inserts, leggings, and panties on the floor and I am forced to face this body that I feel so unhappy and disconnected from. The body hair, the flat chest, the broad shoulders, the square jawline and stubble on my face; all of it just becomes so apparent when I am naked and it can sometimes be difficult to fully involve myself in sex when I am so hyper-aware of these things.
At the best of times, I’m uncertain of what to do with my body and I still harbor a lot of shame about my sexual interests. Anal play, pet play, cum play, bondage, and rough sex are all activities that I desire yet a lifetimes worth of internalized transphobia, homophobia, and sex shame continues to keep me from embracing any of these interests.
It is those very internalized feelings of self-hatred that pornography generally has a tendency to feed into, rather than challenge. How can one be expected to see themselves as desirable to others, as worthy of pleasure, or as a sexual being when their only exposure to gender diversity in sexual situations is through “tranny” porn; which treats trans women like bizarre fetishes for cis men to enjoy as a novelty fuck?
Spending a month exploring Crash Pad Series proved to be the opportunity that I needed to FINALLY challenge some of those negative perspectives that I had of myself and to begin unpacking some of my baggage; which has been overflowing with sexual shame and anxiety for far too long.
It also allowed me the opportunity to discover brand new ways that I could have sex with my partner, that I could explore my body, and discover pleasures. So many of the episodes and films on Crash Pad Series feature a diverse range of sex acts, from fisting to a myriad of types of BDSM play, that I rarely see presented as passionately and playfully as seen here.
I do wish that there were more category options for the videos though as currently there are just six: ejaculation, rough, fisting, anal, strap-on, and BDSM. Ones for oral and masturbation, for example, would be nice.
In fact, I would love to see more solo masturbation videos in general on the site. Especially, given how outstanding the couple I did watch were. [Solo vids featuring the likes of Joey Minx, Carson, and Jessica Creepshow, would be incredible… just saying.]
For me, masturbation videos are more than pornography. In many ways they are actually masturbatory aids for me as I find it profoundly affirming and exciting to see individuals with a similar body as mine exploring themselves. Through masturbation videos I have discovered new ways to use my hands, learned about new toys to utilize in creative ways, and new positions to expand the pleasures available to me. So more of that content would be awesome!
Additionally, I was a little disappointed that with a blog section on the site there weren’t a lot of articles on there. It would be really cool to read advice posts on, like, taking sexy photos of your partner(s), or nude selfies for your lover(s), or even pointers from the stars on producing your own sex videos. Maybe even some performer spotlight pieces, product reviews and recommendations from performers, and just some general personal pieces from some of the performers willing to share about their kinks or experiences.
There were the odd posts similar to that in the blog section but they seemed pretty infrequent and I wish there were more shared perspectives of queer-sex from those involved with this outstanding site.
But overall, these few criticisms do not substantially take away from how amazing Crash Pad Series is.
Going back to Chelsea Poe’s XO Jane piece:
To write porn off as a fantasy that has no real life impact is extremely wrong because it is de-facto trans education for both trans women and the people who are attracted to trans bodies.
And that is EXACTLY what Crash Pad Series does so beautifully episode after episode after episode. It educates. It is exciting and sexy, all while also being incredibly informative and affirming.
At no point during my time exploring the site did I ever feel uncomfortable or unappreciated as a trans and queer viewer; which is more than I can say of literally any free site out there.
So, while $119.88 for a year’s subscription may feel a little steep for some, believe me when I say that it is worth it. Especially for any gender and/or sexually diverse readers out there looking for great porn that’s also genuinely queer-positive.
I’ll be renewing my subscription ASAP.
NOTE: Thursday updates will be re-posts from mxnillin.wordpress.com, which was permanently suspended by WordPress for due to their anti-porn and anti-sex work policies. This post was originally published on June 6, 2016. Read the full story here!