Three porn bloggers tell Dorothy Black what it takes to create your own erotica
Compiled by Tracy Ramsden
SWEETHONEY AND CINNAMON: Always careful to protect their anonymity, SweetHoney-N-Cinnamon have published personal erotica on Tumblr for about a year. ‘Sex, erotica and pornography still have a stigma we would like to avoid,’ says Cinnamon. ‘It’s silly that almost everyone engages in some form of sexual activity, yet publicly associating with it is widely regarded as unacceptable.’
Their popular site, sweethoneyncinnamon. tumblr.com, plays with glamour-type photos of SweetHoney, pretty nudes, videos and gifs of them having sex. The two, in their late twenties and early thirties, have been together four years and were in a long-distance relationship when they started the blog. It was Cinnamon’s idea. ‘I was hoping to just capture some of our sensual moments to share with Tumblr,’ he says. But there was another reason for dipping their toe into the erotic collective. ‘I noticed the lack of people of colour within the erotic Tumblr blogosphere,’ says Cinnamon. ‘I followed quite a few couples’ blogs and none of them reflected my relationship. I wanted to create something that showed a couple I felt were underrepresented on Tumblr.’
Cinnamon talks about the democratisation of porn, a term often used in reference to social media and open platforms like Tumblr. ‘People want to find something that’s real and that they can relate to. We’re in an era where people want [pornography] they can imagine themselves in.’
HOLDEN AND CAMILLE: Now in their late forties, Holden and Camille have been in a relationship for ten years and been shooting porn together for five. ‘Every happily married couple has a thing they share,’ says Holden. ‘This is what we collaborate on.’
The couple ventured down the road of Tumblr erotica in 2011 after taking profile photos for a swingers’ site. The swinging life wasn’t for them, but they were hooked on taking photos and signed up to Tumblr. They’ve since moved to their own site, holden-and-camille.com, and while their pseudonyms remain intact, the camera reveals more of the couple these days. Parts of their faces, tattoos and house are now visible in their photos – titbits most newbies are warned against revealing if they’d like to preserve their anonymity.
‘It was a huge deal when we started, because it felt so sneaky and subversive,’ explains Holden. ‘But the more people you come across who are doing the same things you are, the more comfortable it becomes.’
‘It’ is a range of stylish images of the couple, together or individually. Ejaculation, oral and penetration (from a distance) are regular features. Although the photos are retouched, the
real people remain. It’s raw, but there’s nothing gritty about it. It expresses things that conventional porn can’t – intimacy, trust and enjoyment. ‘One of the compliments we get the most often is that it’s just real,’ says Holden. ‘The love we share gets conveyed in these photos.’
Holden insists it only works because the couple trust one another. ‘I would be really hesitant for new hook-ups to go into this because we see those cases all the time with revenge porn,’ he says. But with Tumblr, the power is in your hands. ‘If something is off limits to you, don’t do it.’
The couple take up to 100 photos every three weeks or so, of which maybe 20 will make it to their site. With more than 3,000 images, Holden says the process of taking the photos is the sexiest thing they do. ‘We still get turned on by it. She still pretends to be a model and I still pretend to be a photographer. There’s not a single photo session that doesn’t end with us in bed.’
TANYA DAKIN: ‘Everyone knows what I do,’ says erotic model and photographer Tanya Dakin. ‘If you’ve found my erotic photography, it’s because I put it out there.’
In 2012, Dakin started a couple’s erotic blog, called Tanya’s Daddy. At the time, Tumblr went nuts for it, and the site had 8,000 followers within a year. Dakin curated every aspect of the retro erotica-style site, coming up with ‘different kinds of themes, looks and feels, moods and lighting, and pulling together wardrobes depending on the place we were going to be or rent – essentially creating a set.’ It was very romantic, the way it played out, she says. ‘I know what women want, and what men want to see.’
When the relationship came to an end, so did Tanya’s Daddy. Letting strangers into your sex life online comes with its own set of problems. Like the time someone stole a picture from her site and posted it to Facebook, where someone recognised ‘Daddy’s’ hand tattoo – and tagged him with his real name. Then there are the people who fixate on you.
Dakin now has a private Tumblr account. ‘My new boyfriend is not on social media and I respect his privacy. Our Tumblr account is for us to post our nude photos, our doggie pictures, our videos, love letters, but it’s just between us.’ You form a bond when you’re creating erotic content together, says Dakin. ‘When you sit back and look at yourself in that way and know that you did it because you wanted to do it, it’s very powerful. And it’s contagious.’