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The Erotic Philosopher: Democratizing Porn, Profit, Power, and Pleasure with Shine Louise Houston

The Erotic Philosopher - Shine Louise Houston

Cyndi Darnell hosts The Erotic Philosopher, a podcast that examines sex and relationships through social, personal, cultural, scientific, political, and other lenses. Cyndi unpacks and explores your erotic quandaries with the world’s wisest erotic philosophers.The newest episode of The Erotic Philosopher: Democratizing Porn, Profit, Power, and Pleasure, Cyndi spoke with Pink & White Productions founder and director Shine Louise Houston. Here’s the video and an edited transcript of their conversation.

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The Erotic Philosopher: Cyndi Darnell Interviews Shine Louise Houston

As the founding producer and director of Pink & White Productions (CrashPadSeries.com and PinkLabel.TV), Shine Louise Houston has always has a unique vision. Graduating from San Francisco Art Institute with a Bachelor’s in Fine Art Film, her works have become the new gold standard of adult cinema. During a five-year position at the women-owned sex toy purveyor Good Vibrations Shine recognized an underserved demand for an alternative to mainstream pornography and began to create well-crafted queer-made porn. Shine’s films have been recognized among the next big wave of women-produced porn and have been internationally screened from Amsterdam to New Zealand. Enjoy today’s discussion with Shine Louise Houston.

Cyndi Darnell: Shine Louise Houston! It’s an absolute pleasure. Welcome to The Erotic Philosopher.

Shine Louise Houston: Awesome. Glad to be here.

Cyndi: I’ve known of your work and I’ve been following your work for many, many years now. For folks who are familiar with my work, certainly my clinical work, I wrote a paper several years ago about using porn within therapy and I referenced CrashPadSeries in particular. I’ve also just finished writing a book where I talk about CrashPad because it really is my go-to porn site, education site, erotica site — whatever you want to call it — for people who who really need to see your work.

So, for people who are listening to this podcast, who perhaps have never met you and have never encountered anything about you and your fabulousness, what would you like them to know about you? How would you introduce yourself?

Shine: (Laughing) That’s so hard! I’m not great at talking about myself. The basic story is, I graduated with a film degree. Worked at Good Vibrations for a number of years. And then, kind of combined the two and created the company, which is Pink & White. In 2005 we shot the original movie, The Crash Pad and that kind of became like an instant cult classic.

Cyndi: Certainly in queer and alternative spaces, it is the ultimate in queer porn, alt porn, feminist porn — all of the extra labels one would put on it to distinguish it, I guess, from “regular” porn. So let’s start there, in fact. Traditional porn versus your porn. What do you reckon about even splitting them up? Are they all porns? How does it work?

 

The Crash Pad
Image: Shine Louise Houston’s cameo in The Crash Pad (2005)

 

Shine: My opinions and attitudes about the industry as a whole have obviously changed over the last nearly 20 years, working within it and around it. There were certain conventions that I didn’t really know about. I just didn’t adhere to certain conventions and that kind of already put me “outside the box or outside the norm” — you can say that.

I’m specifically thinking about the first film that we shot, which was The Crash Pad. There were some things that I just wasn’t even really aware of, that we didn’t do. Which put us outside the box and my focus at that time was to feature folks who were more queer looking in the way that I was familiar with queers looking. I mean, there were a few titles… a lot of them were from the 80’s! (Laughs) You know, it was like Nina Hartley and butchly dykes and all that kind of stuff. There was some stuff from the 90’s, like San Francisco Lesbians. That series and stuff. That was out. It featured real butches, real queers. That was more of my focus. See butches. See brown people. See more folks from my community. Not just “Big Boobs 27″…. But I still don’t understand CrashPad’s popularity because there were so many people who were doing something very, very similar to what I was doing, before I was doing it!

Why THIS caught on like wildfire? At that time? I honestly still don’t really understand what happened, like what was the combination. There was even Early to Bed, doing something very, very similar.

The Crash Pad was the very first movie that I did and when I look at it now, I’m like “Fuck!” I kind of cringe at it. Because we hadn’t perfected our shooting style, I fell into a trap. I see a lot of young adult filmmakers fall into this trap too. Especially if you have a film background. Everything before the sex has proper film language, right? It’s got good grammar. And then once they get to the actual sex scene, it’s like everybody loses their mind. (laughs)

Cyndi: All the etiquette goes out the window?

Shine: Yeah, because you’re trying to catch everything all the same time. That’s the trap that I fell into. We’re crossing the eye-line constantly and there’s zooms and this and that. Every time I look at them I’m just like, God, what were we doing? You kind of lose your mind because you’re trying to catch everything.

At that point, I was directing a little bit more than I do now. I’d ask performers, “Can we do this, and can we do that?” …and it kind of happened for a second but they wound up doing their own thing anyway. And we’d scramble to catch up with them.

Over the years, we refined the way that we shot. And now we have a definite look. We have a definite style, and it is very, very different from mainstream. I’m not saying that it’s better. It’s just different. I want a particular grammar when I shoot. It makes it far easier to edit when you’re dealing with shots that have good grammar. Everything stitches together well. And for the end user, for the audience, it’s a more seamless experience.

What pulls me out of scenes when I’m looking at somebody else’s work, is if I notice the camera work too much. Then I’m not really getting pulled into the scene. I notice it and I’m just like, meh… Good scene, but it could have been shot better. Good idea, but slightly poor execution. Anyway, those are important things for me.

Cyndi: Is that combination of your attention to detail, attention to aesthetics your own sort of look? Your work is especially unique in the field and it does distinguish itself from, I guess what used to be mainstream. Would you say that porn is a little more egalitarian across the board, or democratic than it was when you first ventured into the field?

Shine: Yes and no. The accessibility of technology; once video hit in the 80’s, it was economically more accessible. Suddenly you had more filmmakers, you had more voices. But even then you can’t call the industry a monolith, because it’s not and it’s never been. From a historical standpoint and from what I see like now, contemporarily, it’s far more factioned. It’s got far more sub-genres than people realize. I think there’s a norm in looks in a norm in this and that, but that’s thinking about just one slice of the industry and then we’re not talking about like all the sub-genres underneath.

The only thing, you know, I wouldn’t call porn a monolith but what still bugs me, is that it is unbelievably segregated. That’s my issue.

Cyndi: Say more about this kind of segregation that you’re talking about. Is it along racial lines and along gender lines?

Shine: Around gender lines, around racial lines, around sexuality, and how all that stuff plays out as far as who gets paid what and who gets hired. There’s some internal nuances that are just like, “Oh? People are still doing that? It’s 2022 and you’re not getting hired? You’re not paid the same?”

That’s something that was really important for us. No matter whether you’re pro or amateur, you’re getting paid the same. Whether you’re doing “everything” or keeping your clothes on, you get paid the same. Equal pay was really important for me also because I don’t want someone to be in a situation like “Oh, for $200 more would you do this?” and you’re not ready or prepared for that. I don’t want to be in that  type of situation with performers, so it’s just like “Here’s the fee. Do what you feel is appropriate for this talent fee.” That’s essentially how we work.

Cyndi: So you’ve never been big on directing the scene and influencing how the talent move or what they do and how they do it?

Shine: No… My direction is primarily with the cameras. It’s not with the talent. This is particularly with CrashPadSeries because features have different scene parameters because it has to fit within a narrative. I ask talent “Hey, what are you going to do today? What are your ideas? What can I expect?” And after they share, I’m like “Great, you can be in this area. If you’re in that area, you’ll be out of the light…” Pretty much, my job is to follow the talent and make a coherent story. This is coming back to my pitfall in the beginning, where I was just like “Ah! I have to get everything!”

At this point now, when we tell talent, “You can do whatever,” we can handle it because of the way we shoot. I’m not trying to get everything. What I’m trying to get it is a shot that I know will connect with the next shot. I’m editing in my head.

Cyndi: Ahha, yeah. So you’re watching these people fucking, I guess, in front of you and you’re thinking “how am I going to make this edit? There’s part of you that’s there, and there’s part of you just looking at it through a whole other lens.

Shine: Right. And it’s funny because me and my partner used to look at the rushes and what I’m looking at it is: “God, I wasn’t paying attention to my edges in that shot,” or “Oh, look at that shadow or the highlight that I got over here.” I’m not thinking about what’s happening-happening.

Cyndi: Right. (Laughs) So that’s the real artist’s eye, isn’t it? You’re looking at the aesthetics and everyone else is looking at the hot sex.

Shine: It’s like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time. And juggling! Because I am. I’m thinking about my camera, my frame, I’m looking at the other camera, and since I know my set up pretty well, I can pretty much eyeball what their shot is. So in my head I’m editing those two pictures together, and if I think that they’re not matching then I’m adjusting their camera and my camera, and then also, you have to keep track of what’s going on with the talent, not only because I want to be ready to move – because you can feel it when they’re about to move or switch – but because I’m also trying to ping people where they’re at emotionally.

Cyndi: Say more about that. Because I think that is such an important ingredient in your work especially. That palpable, passionate connection that the performance have. I don’t know if they know each other off set, maybe they do a little bit but to the degree that it’s this extraordinary connection you don’t see that in a lot of porn. But in yours it really, comes through.

Shine: Yeah, part of that is editing. (Laughs)

Cyndi: So, say more about that though, because it creates a really rich experience that I think people who find traditional, hetero style porn to be very… ho-hum. People find this to be incredibly invigorating and intoxicating, and inspiring, quite frankly.

Shine: Well I think the first point was clocking people emotionally. Is somebody getting too tired? Did somebody get a little weird or nervous? Not often but there have been times, when I’m like, “Hey, let’s hold on. Everything still good?” A lot of times, right as I’m thinking, “Oh, I think I need to call hold. Something’s happening.” they’ll call hold themselves. They’ll say, “I really need to adjust this,” “I need to do this,” or “I need more that.”

So I do pay a lot of attention to what’s emotionally happening. Just to make sure everybody’s still cool. It’s very rare that I’ve killed a shoot. There was one time where I actually just was like, “We’re just not shooting because I’m sensing that you’re WAY too nervous and not really into this. Here’s a kill fee. It’s okay.”

I know a lot of people think, “It’s so intimate” but I’m like, “Yeah, cause that’s the way we shoot!” That’s what I’m talking about by having film grammar. Essentially what we’re doing is we’re shooting everything like it’s dialogue. You got the eye-lines. You’ve got one person talking to the other person. And the person is reacting. Let’s see what they’re reacting to. And we see “Oh, this is the thing,” and then cut back to this other person’s reaction… Just as in dialogue, they talk about “throwing the ball”.

You have a little ball of energy. That’s like your line, right? You toss the ball to your character. Your character tosses it back. It’s the same principle. Where is the ball going? The ball just went to this character, now the ball is going back to the action. The action ball is now going back to this other character. And it just goes “bing-bing-bing-bing…” And that’s just, you know, cutting dialogue. That’s just the way it rolls.

Cyndi: I suspect that you probably didn’t set out for your films to have an educational element to them, but that they are that for some people. How do you see the role of porn and education intersecting, especially now as it is more than just sex education but it’s also about social justice and liberation across-the-board. How do you feel about being somebody involved at that level in all these things?

Shine: (Makes nervous sound and laughs)

Cyndi: I know, that’s a big fat question isn’t it?

Shine: I specifically am actively NOT taking on that mantle. That’s not my main focus, and if it was, I think I would fail miserably. Just a note that porn is like graduate-level studies of sexuality. It’s not entry level. And, if we’re talking about sex education, we got to go back to comprehensive sex, education in schools. Let’s talk about consent. Let’s talk about bodies. Certain schools put boys and girls together when they talk about sex. “What is menstruation? What is an erection?” I’m like “Yeah! Both should know this shit!”

Cyndi: Yeah, yeah. Everybody needs to know this.

Shine: It starts there. And in my opinion, porn shouldn’t replace that type of education. It should not be where younger people go to get that kind of education. Adult entertainment is for people who are like “Hey, I’ve had some experiences, what else is there to know?” It’s for people who are looking for something. Looking for validation. A lot of people who find CrashPad are looking for validation for their own sexuality and are going to see possibilities for what their sexuality can be. In that sense, we create kind of like a portal of possibilities, or we are reflecting — we’re a mirror for what’s going on in the community right now. And it’s really interesting, kind of like a sociological project. If you look at what the trends and the styles were like in 2007, compared to what people are doing now. Yeah it’s an interesting study.

Cyndi: Can I ask what some of your observations have been? In that 20 year or 15 year period?

Shine: The people who self-select has changed a bit. We get way more trans women now. We got a lot of trans guys in the beginning and it was quite evident that it was like, hm, no trans women are applying. But then we worked with Julie. She came back a few times. And I was so happy that she came back! She was the first trans woman we worked with. After that we’d get slowly get more applicants. It was like “Oh! This person was on the site so now I can apply.” And that’s kind of how it happens. How people self-select. It’s like, “This person is like me,” or, “I would like to be like that person.” And then, things kind of change.

I still feel like we haven’t totally gotten the ball rolling with older talent. But we have had quite a number of scenes with all older talent, in their 50’s and 60’s. I’m super happy about that. But where are the rest of you?

Cyndi: Yeah. How do you put the call out for people who want to be in your films?

Shine: At this point we get so many applicants. We don’t really have to do much outreach anymore cuz we just get tons of people.

Cyndi: That must feel good. It must feel good that you’ve got tons of people knocking your door down going, “Pick me! Pick me!”

Shine:  The first year, we had so many no-shows. It was so horrible! We’d be like, “Hey, do you want to shoot?” and then the day of, they’d be like “We can’t make it…” They’d get cold feet. But now people are just like, “Yeah, cool! This company is totally legit.”

Cyndi: Right. And maybe because porn and erotic film has become a bit more mainstream. Do you find that it’s become less stigmatized and less taboo? Sometimes I’m a bit out of touch because I orbit around people who talk about sex all the time, so sometimes I don’t know, what’s going on.

Shine:  There is still a lot of stigma. There’s a lot of financial ghettoizing of the industry. I can’t get my own merchant account because it’s considered high risk. If if anything looks weird, I could lose my bank account in a second. There’s a lot of things like that.

I still don’t go around telling everybody what I do. It is not the first topic of conversation.

Cyndi: What do you tell people? I used to tell people I was a kindergarten teacher and they’d be like eh…

Shine:  Yeah, I tell them I do video. I’ll tell them I do corporate video, and that shuts them up. Cuz corporate video is so boring.

Cyndi: It was the same with the kindergarten teacher, people’d be like, meh okay.

Shine: I wouldn’t say it’s not appropriate, but it seems like not always anybody’s business. Do you know what I mean?

Cyndi: Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

Shine: If I’m going to be friends with you, if I’m going to know you, sure. Everybody who knows me, knows me and pretty much knows what I do. I’m pretty private. Although, several times, because I’ll be in an article in like The New York Times or something like that, somebody will come up to me and say “Hey, I saw you in the paper.” I’m like, fuck!

Cyndi: Busted! Just like that.

Shine: It’s usually been pretty positive, but I do like to be private. People have really strong opinions

Cyndi: Especially about sex.

Shine: Yeah. So I let people get to know me-me first, before they find out what I do. And that’s what I mean, there’s still a lot of stigma. Honestly, the worst is with other filmmakers. I will tell other filmmakers that I do documentary. When you tell another filmmaker that you do adult, they just think you’re scum.

Cyndi: Wow! How do you deal with that?

Because to me,  you’re, you know, “top of the pile” in terms of the feminist, queer, alt porn world. To my mind. When I think about that world, I think of you, frankly. So for your contemporaries to think that you are scum… I’m just, I’m offended on your behalf and if I was there I would defend you without a shadow of a doubt. How do you deal with still in 2022?

And after the culture that you’ve created around your films and the legacy that you have built for yourself, that there is still going to be some of your contemporaries who look down their nose at you?

Shine: It’s just… that’s just the way it is. I don’t know how that’s particularly going to change. People’s understanding of what porn is and what it can be, I think needs to be broadened.

In 2010, I went for the first time to the PornFilmFestival Berlin. And I was completely blown away by everything that I saw there. I was like, “Oh my God, you’re my people!” Here are other filmmakers dealing with sex on screen in a very deliberate and thoughtful way. My mind was like (makes explosion sound)

And, I was like “I need more of this, and more people need to see this!” That’s what prompted us to make PinkLabel.TV, which is basically our distribution. It’s for other people because like when I saw this work, I was like, “Oh my God, this is amazing.” If you talk about film that is pushing a genre, THIS is pushing a genre. But I was like, “Nobody’s ever going to see these films” cause some were making it just for the festival. It’s a one-off, or it’s not like something that’s going  to be on AEBN or like, HotMovies or GameLink. It’s not that type of material. It’s one of the things like, some of the stuff, when you look at it, makes you ask, “Was that porn? I don’t know what that was!”

There’s some really interesting stuff. That’s why we started distributing a lot of the stuff we saw at festivals because, I think there’s a lot more possibilities of what the genre can be.

There are really intense stories to be told about sexuality and particular experiences, and I can’t tell all those stories. It’s not my experience. I’m just one voice. I really really wanted to give a platform to all these alternative experiences.

And then fast-forward to when 2020 hit. We were about to launch our first film festival, the San Francisco PornFilmFestival, and it was going to be our first — the first ever — and we lost our venue of course because of COVID.

And we were like, okay let’s go online. We had live streaming capabilities, but we hadn’t really been using it. I realized there were all these other festivals, adult festivals, who were also tough shit out of luck. So what we did in 2020 was, we were like, “Hey, you can use our platform to stream your festival for free,” cuz I know everybody is strapped for cash. Everybody’s freaking out. Nobody has a venue. I was like “Here, just stream with us!” It was a win-win situation for me cuz I got to look at all these other films and cut my teeth on broadcasting. We’ve gotten a lot better since then. We’re doing good.  We’ve got repeat customers.

Cyndi: So you’re hosting another online festival?

Shine: We’ve hosted several. Quite a few now. But that first year was like, “First time’s free!” We let everybody. It was like “Dude, use our platform.” Because I’m so afraid of losing small festivals. If you’re gone for a year, you’re out of people’s minds, you know what I mean? I think it’s really important to show this type of work and just show the possibilities of what this genre is. To kind of like to break those stigmas.

To jump backwards a bit, one time I was moving our studio and the mover was a film student and I said that we’re adult and something about like, “Oh yeah, the kinos are over here.”

He was like, “You know what kinos are?”

I’m like, “Uh… yeah!”

Yep, we use kinos. And he’s like, “Oh I thought, you just slap up one light,” and this and that. I was like, “No…”

I also think, to tangent for a second… in the 70s, you know that golden age of porn around the 70’s, or late 60’s to late 70’s, it was called “The Shadow Industry” because it was totally normal that everybody in Hollywood, when they weren’t doing the Hollywood film, they were on the set of an adult film. They were using different names and stuff, but those skills, those professional skills were the same.

Cyndi: So the production crew, not the actors. Wow, I did not know that.

Shine: It was pretty common that you worked in Hollywood, but you also would work possibly in the shadow industry, which was the other Hollywood. You’re still working with the same gaffers, same lighting, same equipment. Do you know what I mean?

And it’s just like, why did the 70’s look so good? I’m not talking about the 8 mm reels and all that kind of stuff, but the actual erotic features, that they were doing. Because they were set up by the same people!

Cyndi: Oh, that is really interesting. Maybe other people know that, but I did not know that.

Shine: Just crazy that people think like, “Oh, you obviously don’t know of anything about film if you’re working in the industry,” because the industry used to be tangential to Hollywood.

Cyndi: Right. And then over the years and increasingly kind of separated and went more underground.

Shine: I would definitely say that’s because of video. The way people consumed was different. The way people produced was different once video hit. Once again, it went to an extreme in that point. Once you had online content and everybody could be a producer because everybody had a phone and a camera. You know what I mean? So now it’s like really really different, in that sense.

Cyndi: There are things like OnlyFans and people taking taking the images, literally into their own hands.

Shine: Which I think is great for talent. Or, it can be. I think you really have to hustle to make money, but you are kind of in control of how you’re presented, which sometimes you are not in control of how you are represented in ads and that kind of stuff when you’re dealing with other producers and studios.

Cyndi: What do you love most about the works that you do?

Shine: Oh, man… that’s a hard question right now. Well, I guess I’ll answer it this way. Right now, that’s a complicated question. Right before COVID, we had finished Chemistry Eases the Pain. I had kind of been chasing something for a long time. From about the third movie, when we did Champion. I realized I was editing to a formula that didn’t really fit my work.

The pacing of Champion, I would joke, was like: Plot-Plot-Seeeeeex-Plot-Plot-Seeeeex… And it felt wrong. There’s a standard where a scene should be a certain amount of time. 20 minutes or whatever. I was like, this is not working. I tried different things, and then finally once we got to Chemistry Eases the Pain, I was like “Ah! I got it!” It felt like I finally got it. This is how long the scene should be. It feels right. It feels like everything kind of flowed into the next thing. My idea is that the plot doesn’t lead to the sex; the sex leads to the plot. I had to turn my head a little bit. And so I felt like I’d finally gotten it, and it after I got it, I was like, “Great! I’m free to do other shit.” I finally felt like I had this freedom.

Right after that, I did a short called Camera and I. I had previously done this little poetic film called Birthday that was a very, very structured piece. Like a haiku. I really enjoyed that, but Camera and I was different. It was like I had taken off all the restraints. I now feel like I can be free with the camera. I can just play with the camera. Film structure was kind of just naturally inherent. I didn’t have to, I wasn’t trying to think about it.

Camera and I was a little bit more free and intuitive, even the editing process. I come from a painting background, and felt the same intuitive fun that I used to have with painting. The editing was like this wonderful conversation. I had fun with it and, and I was like, “Alright, let’s keep going with this.” I had some ideas about what I wanted to do, and I wanted to take that wave of inspiration and just go forward with it.

And then, COVID hit and it was like (makes a crashing sound).

Everything freaking crashed, and all of the projects that have been in my head for the last couple years are still in my head.

 

Camera and I
Image: Shine Louise Houston and performer Jasko Fide film Camera and I (2020)

Cyndi: So what does the future hold for you then, if we err towards the sign of optimism and think maybe we’re going to get through this pandemic, maybe in a year from now. Everybody’s just going to get an annual booster and we can go back to something that resembles a life. You know, a consistent external life. What does the future hold for you in this new world?

Shine: You know, at the moment all my energy is going towards the broadcasting of other people’s festivals and supporting that. But if we’re talking creatively… I was just telling my partner, “I need to start off small,” and she was like, “You should do this scene with miniatures!” (Laughs) It’s maybe not a bad idea!

I’ve got some ideas, but it’s really, really hard to get the machinery going when there’s a big wall in the way. You know? And it’s hard to get people back together and get the momentum of a production.

So I don’t know. I don’t see myself doing any real production this year. Obviously CrashPad is still going.

I’m seriously considering doing the miniature thing, though. It would just be me, with a tiny models’ set. it would be kind of funny, like weird.

Cyndi: It would be really curious! (Laughs)

Shine: Mostly I’m trying to figure out how to get the mojo back. ‘Cause it really messed me up.

Cyndi: It sounds like it really took the wind out of your sails. Especially when you were about to launch your in-person festival. Of course obviously you have to shut that thing down, but do you feel like you might try revive it again maybe next year?

Shine: We actually did a hybrid in-person and online festival. Just this past year in 2021, and we’re going to do it again in 2022. And we’re still helping out like a bunch of festivals this year again, even some civilian festivals.

Cyndi: So you’re kind of branching out a little bit. Leaving the sex world behind. Who are some of your favorite pornographers?

Shine: That’s gotta be Radley Metzger. I’m a big Metzger fan. Even when he was Henry Paris, you know when he did The Opening of Misty Beethoven. I also had a big film crush on Maria Beatty, and I still love her work. The Black Glove is probably still one of my favorites and Converted to Tickling. The black box. Those are some of my favorites I always like the weird stuff.

Cyndi: Yeah. Do you get tired of looking at porn? Because as a sex therapist, I do get tired of talking about sex. At work, I’m fine. But in my private life, I actually tend to not talk about sex that much cuz I do it so much for a living that on my days off. I just want to talk about gardening or dogs or whatever. Is it the same when you’re a pornographer, that you just didn’t want to watch porn on your days off?

Shine: Honestly, I was never a big porn watcher. If I think we’ve picked up something really fun on PinkLabel.TV, I’ll be like, with my partner “Hey did you see this? Check this out!” and we’ll watch stuff together. Mostly we talk a lot about film. I can talk about film for days.

Cyndi: So that love is still there.

Shine: That’s real. I guess I don’t get sick of it. I don’t know what… It depends what it is. But I do watch a lot of cat videos and on Instagram I only post pictures of my cats. And I watch a lot of really geeky science videos on YouTube at night.

Cyndi: So do I!

Shine: Do you really?

Cyndi: I watch all kinds stuff, just random science, documentary, obscure little things. I go down these rabbit holes and I find more entertaining than anything that’s on Netflix or any of the big platforms that I’m like, meh… I’m not the target audience, but the weird shit that you find on YouTube, I’m definitely the target audience.

I really appreciate you taking a chunk out of your day to talk to me about sex and porn and film and those kinds of things. And as we start to wrap up our conversation, I want to ask: How can people support you? What do you need? From me, and from the people listening to this podcast to, to help you individually specifically, and your company, and then broadly, people like you who are making queer,  alternative, inclusive porn. What can we do to make sure that you are not just surviving, but you thriving?

Shine: One, of course, always pay for your porn. Two, tweet about us! Send us some love every once and a while. Sometimes we get an email that’s like “Ah, this is so amazing!”But I kind of work in a vacuum. I don’t meet the audience face-to-face, so it’s easy to forget… it’s like, “Is it still good? Is anybody out there?”

Cyndi: “Is this thing on?” (laughing)

Shine: “Are we still relevant? Are people still watching?”

Cyndi: Seems to be you’ve got people clamoring to be in your films so I would take that as a pretty positive sign that you’re more than relevant.

Shine: Yeah, just publicly send us some love. Share about us with your friends and all that kind of stuff. What’s really helped us survive and grow and get healthy, is people who like us talking about us, you know? Like “This is kind of cool. You should check this out!”

Cyndi: Yes. For us folks who are on this side of the fence, the sex side of the fence, we don’t have the privileges and the access to various platforms and promotional avenues that more mainstream businesses have. It’s so important that people talk about us and refer to us and do these kinds of things. In my profession I can kind of dance around it a little bit because we can call it “science” and people will start to take it seriously. (laughs)

But it’s a tough sell, trying to convince the powers that be, that what you’re doing is valuable to people and it matters, and that’s why I have tried, since I’ve had a little bit of clout, to support you and Pink & White Productions. I think what you’re doing is phenomenal and any way that I can encourage more people over to your platform, I do it. I will do it. I will continue to do it. I have done it and that’s the way it rolls.

Thank you so so much. I’m going to put links in the show notes, people can track you down and find all the things about you and I would love to chat with you again sometime.

Shine: Yeah! Excellent. This was great.

Cyndi: Thank you so much.

Shine: You’re welcome.

Cyndi: Thank you.

I hope you enjoyed today’s discussion with Shine Louise Houston. Find out more about Shine’s work with CrashPad and PinkLabel.TV. Check the links in the show notes for ways to follow her work. It’s really important with these independent filmmakers and pornographers to offer support as you can. Speaking of support, if you love The Erotic Philosopher, consider supporting us. You can follow us on social media @TheEroticPhilos on Instagram and Twitter.

We would also absolutely love it if you would rate and review us on iTunes. You can find the link for that on my website, CyndiDarnell.com. Select the podcast app from the menu where you will find links to all of the previous episodes of The Erotic Philosopher, plus a link to iTunes where you can rate and review your experience of The Erotic Philosopher. You’ll also find a link there to leave questions for future erotic philosophers to ponder. While you’re on my website, check out my services. I offer counseling and coaching to individuals, couples, and beyond Online via zoom all over the world, helping people transform fear into freedom and create a life worth loving.

And most of all, I encourage you to consider purchasing and pre-ordering my book, “Sex When You Don’t Feel Like It: the truth about mismatched libido and rediscovering desire” on my website. Select the book tab and choose your platform for pre-ordering and purchase. It’s a wonderful way to get the knowledge you seek about creating a sex life that is as interesting as it is satisfying.

Thank you so much for joining us on this episode today and I look forward to joining you again soon. Take care.

Posted with permission June 22nd, 2022.

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