Bishop Black (GBR), Performer and Porn Actor, Berlin

“I always knew I wanted to be tattooed. I got the first one on the back of my neck: a representation of my star sign. Then the other tattoos followed and they became more like landmarks. Obviously, tattoos tell a story about the person wearing them, whether you like it or not. On me, they just pinpoint different phases throughout my life. Seeing them helps people build an idea or an impression of who I am. They have this narrative function, they’re part of the mixture that is me.

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Bishop Black is my stage name. There are a lot of things I do under that name, but the most prominent are stage performances and pornography. On stage I do a minimalistic burlesque-inspired routine, which allows me to channel this completely different side of me. When working in pornography, I mainly focus on the more artistic forms of porn. I do the mainstream stuff too, but not so much.

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Before, when I watched porn myself, it never felt that convincing to me. It’s like it’s made for a straight male gaze, while there’s a lot of demand for different views as well. The women we see in mainstream porn are only there in function of the men; they don’t seem to do it for themselves. Nowadays there’s a lot of work coming out that’s completely different, like a celebration of feminine sexuality where they explore the spectrum of sex and enjoy themselves. For me personally, when I see people enjoying themselves on camera, it arouses me more. It’s important how actors convey that feeling onto the screen. I believe the new wave of feminist porn directors is one of the main reasons for that evolution.

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There are many different ways to see sex, and in some ways, vulgarity makes out a great part of it. On screen, it mainly depends on how it is depicted, how the actors are feeling it. If they don’t feel comfortable, that’ll be showing and be awkward. But when they’re comfortable and enjoying what they’re doing, it can change something that’s naturally perverse into something naturally beautiful. Because there’s beauty in everything, and at the same time, there’s vulgarity to be found in anything. It’s how you conceive that vulgarity that transforms it into something beautiful. Just look at how people see tattoos nowadays. Symbols of vulgarity years ago, completely understood and accepted today.”

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