In Memoriam: Candida Royalle

ca. 1988 --- Candida Royalle --- Image by © Deborah Feingold/Corbis
ca. 1988 — Candida Royalle — Image by © Deborah Feingold/Corbis

Candida Royalle, director/producer/performer, sex educator, feminist, and XRCO and AVN Hall of Fame member has died of ovarian cancer at age 64. Leaving behind a legacy of female liberation and free expression that has clearly informed today’s new generation of feminist pornographers, Royalle will be sorely missed by her peers, fans, and students alike, many of whom have taken to social media to share their remembrances of one of porn’s bravest and most compelling individuals, and the first director to envision a ‘couples’ market.

Born in 1950 in New York City, the future dancer and filmmaker was abandoned by her biological mother at 18 months, a subject that would consume much of her recent time as she worked on a documentary film about the search for the woman that birthed her. While You Were Gone remains unfinished at the time of Royalle’s passing. Though a private detective had located the woman at Royalle’s request, it was not before she had died from ovarian cancer, unknowingly preceding her daughter. The future of the film remains uncertain, though an except can be viewed below.

Entering adult entertainment in 1975, Royalle appeared in roughly 25 pictures before retiring five years later, penning the script to her final film as just a performer. Royalle founded Femme Productions in ’84, producing erotic films based on the notions of female desire and believably passionate couplings, going to great effort to avoid the usual male-centric porn cliches. A published author, public speaker and lecturer, Royalle’s influence on female porn professionals and viewers is almost unparalleled.

Candida Royale
Photo by Daniel Nicoletta


Naked in the Forbidden City

forbidden city

As one of Beijing’s most visited attractions and the geographical center of one of the world’s most populous cities, the Forbidden City is of incredible importance to China and its people. The home of the Chinese imperial palace and the center of government for five centuries, the Forbidden City remains under tight security and supervision even though, practically speaking, it now functions as little more than a museum and cultural and historical exhibit. So how then did a photographer and a nude model manage to shoot erotic pictures at the flagship site of the notoriously porn-unfriendly country’s cultural treasures? ‘Cause they did, bless ’em.


Photographer Wang Dong – no, I’m not making this up – when confronted by outraged users of Chinese social media site Weibo that his work, softcore nude photos of a female model claimed “I was only doing my work and did not affect anyone.” That’s not an opinion shared by palace authorities who issued a statement this week calling the photos disrespectful to the historical significance of the site and that Dong and his model breached moral and ethical boundaries with their unapproved shoot. Security cameras captured Dong and his unnamed cohorts rushing into the palace grounds to beat early visitors and it is believed staff tried to stop the photos being taken but were apparently unsuccessful.

Various pundits have spoken out and condemned the photographer and his work. Li Chunhua of Zhejiang University of Media and Communications chastised thusly “Nude photos should be taken in proper places… Sitting on relics is improper behavior and it sets a bad example.” Dong, who posts on Weibo as WANIMAL seems accepting of his new role as artistic outcast, revealing nothing more of his position than one cryptic statement: “It is the destiny of the expresser to be misunderstood.”

photo credit – PixelFlake

But, really… Look at this breathtaking vista! Tell me you wouldn’t want to get naked, shoot porn, or fondle your lady behind a stone lion here!

Bonnie Rotten: EXPOSED

bonnie rotten

You’d think everyone would be used to seeing a woman’s breasts by now. With rampant displays of cleavage and total toplessness at an all time high according to the National Department of Boobolgical Statistics, and with public disgust at such displays at an all time low, you wouldn’t expect a topless woman in the most sinful, decadent, and indulgent city in the country to turn heads, let alone lead thousands of men to the kind of slack-jawed gawking not seen since the days when Janet Jackson’s infamous hand-bra album cover graced billboards and distracted male drivers the nation over. Yet, here we have intrepid exhibitor of naked flesh, Ms. Bonnie Rotten, swanning around Manhattan and just, like, fucking blowing everyone away with her tits, or something.

bonnie rotten topless in ny

Telling a TMZ cameraman she doesn’t “give a fuck” about being seen naked (No shit?), Rotten traipses through Central Park and cites demonstration of a New York law that allows toplessness as her motivation. The looks of outrage and repulsion as Rotten bounds (and bounces) around TMZ crew members and the occasional actual New Yorker are mind boggling. In this day and age, a woman’s breasts causing grown men to skip girlishly down a path, calmly give directions when asked, and even smile politely when confronted with the, uh, confronting image of the AVN winner’s spider-web breast tattoos – it’s just about unheard of, an almost complete non-reaction and clearly not the one Rotten or TMZ were looking for.

bonnie rotten topless in ny subway

Before boarding a subway train and garnering even less attention for her hardly shocking behavior, Rotten tells the camera she’s starting to feel a little nervous. “I’ve heard they have crabs on the train,” she explains. I mean, fuck, folks – the jokes write themselves with this one! “They’re very real,” she tells a table of men in Times Square ogling her famous, award-wining, million-Google-Image-Search-hit-returning mammaries, basically refuting the claims made by an investigative YouTube journalist in late 2013, as seen here:

Well, TMZ and their controversial pornstar du jour have certainly shown us that… what, women can go topless in New York without garnering much attention from Johnny Law, The Man, or ultra-conservative eunuchs. Cool. It’s a pity Scott Weiner ruined San Francisco for nudists or perhaps Bonnie Rotten would have shot a stroll down Market Street naked from head-to-toe.