MxNillin’s Crash Pad Series Site Review

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.

Episode 167, starring Chelsea Poe and Sugar Blair.
Episode 167, starring Chelsea Poe and Sugar Blair.

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.

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Episode 137, starring Jade Phillips and James Darling.

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.

Episode 20: Sweet Tea's Solo
Episode 20: Sweet Tea’s Solo

 

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!

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Dear, Canadian Blood Services: Your Donor Policies are Transphobic, Homophobic, and Inhumane

I am impure. I am tainted. I am dangerous.

At least according to Canadian Blood Services, I am. Over the course of this past week, they have excitedly announced “groundbreaking” changes to their intake of blood from gay men; which now requires them to only abstain from any sex with other men for at least 1 year (down from 5-years). While this remains a thoroughly homophobic and blatantly discriminatory policy, I recently discovered that the “changes” are also systematically transphobic as well.

How, you ask?

In a statement made to Buzzfeed Canada, Canadian Blood Services pulled no punches at all when they acknowledged that they have every intention to knowingly, and methodically, misgender ALL trans people living in Canada based upon the sex that they were assigned-at-birth.  The statement says: “Trans* donors who have not had gender-affirming genital surgery will be screened by their assigned birth sex. We recognize their assigned birth sex may be different than the gender with which they identify.”

So, hey, they recognize that trans people identify as a different gender than the one that society decided they should have. They just don’t really care. To them, you are your assigned birth sex, and that’s that.

That’s transphobia 101, folks.

Additionally, should a trans individual have a penis and find themselves in a relationship with somebody else who happens to have a penis, even if said trans person is a women then they are subject to the “men who have sex with men” clause. UNLESS they have had, or soon get, gender confirmation surgery AND they wait an obligatory 1-year period after said surgery.

Presumably, because Canadian Blood Services believes that trans blood belonging to somebody who has a penis will somehow magically meets their discriminatory criteria for acceptance only after their genitalia has been removed and it has been exactly 1-year since that surgery. Because… logic? I guess. This includes “all transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming identities.”

On his blog, Journey to James, advocate and author James Gardner explains what he had learned of the policy back in 2015:

“The edict, titled Credit Criteria, Procedure Number: CS01200v begins by categorizing transgender and transsexual donors separately.  Transgender donors are described as, “identifying as opposite of birth gender, have not had gender reassignment surgery, and present documents that may reflect opposite gender.”  Transsexual donors are those who have had “gender reassignment surgery (GRS)—genitalia consistent with gender they identify with.” They also must present documents that reflect gender reassignment.”

Canadian Blood Services Discriminates Against Trans Canadians

WTF seriously

Under this edict, “transsexual” donors can give blood so long as they have all of the proper  documentation proving that they have medically, surgically, and legally transitioned from one binary gender to the other. Because, again, apparently gender confirmation surgery is what makes your blood low-risk and desirable. Transgender donors… that’s a whole other game for Canadian Blood Services.

To summarize here, because this is so mind-numbingly awful that I’ve had to break it down over and over again: Canadian Blood Services is flat-out going to actively misgender you based upon your sex-assigned-at-birth and surgical status. I’m sure that all trans men, and gender diverse individuals assigned female-at-birth, will also be subjected to this crap. But, if you happen to be a trans woman, or a gender diverse individual, who has/had a penis and is in, or has been in, a relationship with somebody else who has/had a penis, then Canadian Blood Services is not only going to misgender you… they are also going to explicitly assume that you are actually a gay man who is obviously having sex with men.

“Wait, hold on, Nillin! I changed the sex designation on my government issued ID,” I hear you say.

Congratulations!

Doesn’t matter, though.

Even if you are one of the lucky ones to live in a province that now allows you to change the sex designation on your photo ID without being required to undergo gender confirmation surgery, if a Canadian Blood Services worker suspects that you are transgender (ie; the sex on your ID and health cards don’t match) then you’re hooped. “Get out. We don’t want your blood.” Plain and simple: on top of all the ID changes, you HAVE to have the paperwork showing you have had gender confirmation surgery.

According to the National Press, Dr. Mindy Goldman insists that “for trans people who only have female partners, it will likely be a moot point.” That is to say, that if you are only with people who have vaginas then, apparently, you’re good.

But I call bullshit. We’ve all been down this road many, many times before. The whole gender policing thing has been going on for generations and right now it’s at its most dangerous and violent with all the trans panic in public washrooms.

I mean, lets be honest here… Canadian Blood Services essentially utilizes the Bathroom Bill equivalent of blood donor policies. Do you really think that staff isn’t going to make wildly subjective assumptions based upon how they perceive your sex? Because I’m positive that they will. In fact, I have heard/read countless experiences of them already doing so.

This makes me FURIOUS and it should make you feel furious too.

This is illogical, this is ignorant, this is discriminatory, this is stereotyping, this is homophobic, this is transphobic, and, frankly, this is inhumane.

I condemn this policy, completely.

There is nothing to celebrate here and with the Federal Liberal government fast tracking long overdue basic human rights and protections for trans Canadians, I expect… no, I DEMAND that Canadian Blood Services totally removes ALL discriminatory policies toward gender and sexually diverse donors.

I am tired of our involvement with society and our everyday lives coming with ignorant, prejudiced, disparaging, fear-based conditions, policies, and “rules”.

I am tired of being treated as impure, as tainted, as immoral, as less than everyone else.

We are NOT these things.

We are NOT inherently dangerous.

We deserve wayyyyyy better than this.

 

P.S. Don’t think that I don’t see you too, Health Canada. Educate yourselves and get your shit together.

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Bathrooms and Being Non-Binary

Here I am on an average Monday. My hair is all messy, pulled back into pigtails, and I have visible stubble on my face because I haven’t shaved for 2-days.

I am well aware that I do not “pass”. Even I acknowledge that while I am quite femme in how I dress, I by no means meet the standards or expectations that cis people have of how trans people “should” look.

For those who know me very well, this isn’t surprising because unlike the trans individuals that are regularly featured in bathroom selfies, in trans activism graphics, or throughout news and social media in general, I am non-binary.

If you don’t know what that means, it’s okay. Society is largely fed gender, as well as trans visibility, through a binary lens of striclty “feminine” and “masculine”, “woman” and “man”, or “female” and “male”. Non-binary, genderqueer, or gender diverse individuals, on the other hand, live their lives with gender identities and/or gender expressions that are not exclusively masculine or feminine. They exist somewhere between, or even completely outside of, the gender binary and cisnormativity (the social, political, and institutionally reinforced assumption that all human beings are cisgender, or, wanting to be perceived as cisgender).

Honestly, I have no desire to pass at all. My transition has largely been social up to this point but it will soon include some combination of HRT (hormone replacement therapy), laser hair removal, and/or breast augmentation.

Overall, how I identify and express my gender will continue to be non-binary even as I make the changes to my body that I need in order for me to be happy and healthy in it. It really is that simple.

So, to summarize: while I am rather femme, and my body WILL physically change to have breasts and less body hair, I am not a “woman” or a “man” and I will not identify, or seek to pass, as either of those identities.

I know that all of this is very hard for many cisgender, and even many binary trans people, to understand. But the truth is that I don’t need you to understand. What I need is for you to acknowledge the simple fact that everybody is built differently.

You don’t have to get it. Just respect that I know my body and gender better than you do… and I need to poop.

 

In fact, everybody needs to poop… except for maybe Kim Jong-Un, who is said not to poop… and who supposedly also talks to dolphins.

But everybody else does and that includes two-spirit, non-binary, genderqueer, bigender, gender fluid, agender, and gender nonconforming people.

Problem is that as cis people loose their collective minds about trans people in public washrooms, trans advocates and activists almost exclusively rely on images of cis-passing binary trans folk as their playing card to (A) convince cis people that trans people are just like them, and (B) convince cis people that trans people are not scary or dangerous.

Meanwhile, non-cis-passing trans people, as well as everybody who identifies between or outside of the gender binary, continue to face profound amounts of harassment and violence in public washrooms. Further, they usually find themselves at the center of the struggle as cis people use them as a reason to keep all trans people out of bathrooms, while advocates and activists seem more concerned with asserting that “trans women are women” rather than showing actual support or solidarity for those who don’t fit the binary.

So, while I don’t speak for all  two-spirit, non-binary, genderqueer, bigender, gender fluid, agender, and gender nonconforming people, here are some things that I need from fellow trans advocates and activists:

 

1. I need trans advocacy and activism to stop ignoring (and making excuses for ignoring) the existence of two-spirit, non-binary, genderqueer, bigender, gender fluid, agender, and gender nonconforming people.

Aria Ehren wrote: “If visibility is indeed the path to acceptance, then we need visibility that improves the lives of all transgender people. What we’re getting right now falls far short of the mark. The ‘tipping point’ won’t truly have been reached until that occurs.”

If years from now when, perhaps, public discourse has shifted from its current state of outrage to one of acceptance for trans people in public washrooms… but only binary gendered, passing individuals are being accepted by the cisgender and heterosexual majority… than what good has that really done for the trans community as a whole.

Which leads to…

 

 

2. I need trans advocacy and activism to be intersectional, and to stop reinforcing harmful gender norms and cisnormativity through almost exclusively presenting white, cisgender “passing” trans women and trans men as the standard for gender diversity; or, as the single most at risk individuals in public washrooms.

Ashe McGovern wrote: “For trans people of color, who are generally overpoliced and surveilled, as well as feminine-presenting people who don’t “pass” as men or women, racist, femme-phobic, and sexist acts of violence can feel like an inevitable risk with every trip to the bathroom — or elsewhere.”

In summation: placing white, able-bodied, binary, cis-passing trans men and trans women at the center of advocacy and activism against anti-trans bathroom bills is an immense disservice to gender diverse people experiencing racism, ableism, or more, in addition to transphobia.

We should be universally condemning gender policing under all circumstances, not framing acceptance as white, passing, and binary. Which leads to…

 

3. I need bathroom activism selfies to stop reinforcing the notion that trans people only deserve respect and privacy in binary gendered public washrooms when they visually “pass” as cis enough to be deemed worthy of “belonging in there”.

Ashe McGovern said of bathroom politics selfies: “… these visual tactics reinforce the idea that one can determine by looking at a person in which bathroom that individual ‘belongs.’ This places masculine-presenting women, feminine-presenting men, and nonpassing, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming people who, like all humans, need to use the bathroom, at even greater risk.”

And that’s a big problem. Rather than saying: “gender policing is wrong and dangerous for everybody,” bathroom politics selfies almost exclusively frame debate around how gender policing legislation is problematic because it affects white, binary cis-passing trans people who are being forced into the “wrong” bathroom. It’s far too narrow a perspective.

The next time somebody brings up a non-passing person as justification for anti-trans bathroom policies or bills, rather than circumventing discussion of that individual take the time to acknowledge that they deserve to safely use the washroom that best aligns with their identity too. No passing required.

 

 

4. Most importantly, I need to be able to use the washroom without being relentlessly insulted, harassed, intimidated, or threatened; all because I don’t pass enough to take a dump in any gendered washrooms.

If all of this is starting to sound a little repetitive, good. Please read it again, and again, and again, because I cannot stress enough how important all of this is.

The methods employed so far by most trans activists and advocates are simply falling way short.

 


 

 

 

 

This post was featured on Schmutzie.com’s Five Star Mixtape for May 4, 2016.

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