Celebrating Five Years of Pornceptual
Co-founders Raquel and Chris on the highlights of their journey so far
In the past five years Pornceptual have meteorically risen to establish themselves as cutting-edge new pornographers and transglobal party planners.
They have thrown 47 club nights in Berlin; taken the party to far flung places such as Helsinki, Istanbul, Belo Horizonte, New York, Sao Paulo, Stockholm and more; curated exhibitions and movie screenings; published three print magazines and numerous digital editorials and launched a dedicated queer-focussed electronic music festival. To say their work rate is intense is an understatement.
Pornceptual isn’t just about hosting the hottest queer kink parties, or about creating diverse and inclusive porn that is artistic as well as erotic, it’s also about helping people to express their sexuality in ways that are empowering, explorative and accepting. It challenges norms and promotes openness and sexual freedom as important parts of life.
To celebrate this fifth birthday, we spoke with founders Raquel Fedato and Chris Phillips to learn what their five personal highlights of the past five years have been, including the political power of the work, the pleasure of self-discovery and the joy of finding love.
Pornceptual in Brazil
Hosting Pornceptual in Brazil for four years in a row had not only a personal but also a political meaning. With the rise of extreme right and religious politicians, Brazil is being dragged backward by decades. So bringing Pornceptual to cities such as Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, and Brasilia is a highlight in the midst of Brazil’s current political situation.
Pornceptual Magazine #3
For this edition of the magazine, we managed to bring together a fantastic group of visual artists from across the globe to ask ourselves if pornography can be a weapon of social justice. From iconic filmmakers such as Erika Lust Films to emerging queer artists, the artists explored the theme Guerrilla in different ways. It was fantastic to work with so many talented photographers, writers, designers, and videographers. This reaffirmed that Pornceptual can be used as a platform to communicate and spread different body ideals and sexualities.
Pornceptual x Unter
In May last year, we hosted a night with NY-based party Unter, and it was a night to remember. The city has many legal restrictions when it comes to clubbing, but somehow we managed to recreate the perfect Pornceptual night in a warehouse in Brooklyn.
WHOLE | United Queer Festival
Since 2014, Chris and I discussed many times the idea of having an electronic music festival that is a safe space for the queer community. Back then, we didn’t have the means to do it, but through Pornceptual we managed to concretize this dream and hosted our first festival last year in August. The next edition will take place at Ferropolis on the 24th of August.
Pornceptual shaped the way I deal with my sexuality and the relationship I have with my body. For sure the main reason is the fact that we work in a very open-minded field and this is very unusual in the country I grew up. People tend to think Brazil has an open-minded body culture, but it is quite the opposite. So working with Pornceptual in Berlin made me feel secure to explore different aspects of my sexuality without having to worry about my safety or about being judged in my professional and personal life. It made me feel empowered and realize that we can use our bodies as an expression medium to fight conservatism.
WHOLE | United Queer Festival
I love festivals because they offer a way more immersive experience than a club night. But as much as I had great fun in other festivals, I’ve never felt that I’ve truly belong to them as a queer person. Also, welcoming other queer collectives to create something with us is really a dream come true and it’s inspiring to see so many different parties coming together.
Pornceptual Magazine #3
Pornceptual wasn’t created as a political organisation, but we realised that being political wasn’t a choice anymore. While facing the global spread of extreme right politics and ultra-conservative views, we became aware that we have to fight for sexual freedom before it’s too late. This magazine edition was an important invite for artists to use porn as a way of making people more conscious of social changes.
Finding a Voice
I’m very shy. In those past 5 years, Pornceptual became a way for me to communicate and exhibit my most intimate thoughts. It has made me very open about my fantasies, allowing me to express my ideas without being so afraid of it. Also then to realize that it has also been a platform for other people to do exactly the same. We are growing in order to be a community of creative people sharing different visions about sex.
Pornceptual x Uranus (Stockholm)
We had already 3 nights in collaboration with our friends from Uranus, but I especially love our first one that was hosted in an abandoned slaughterhouse in the center of Stockholm. The venue was really unusual and I almost fell from the roof while trying to find a good photo spot, but surprisingly a really good fit for a porn party.
Meeting/Collaborating with so many different people
The best feedback that I receive is when people write me telling me about their experiences at the parties and how they became more open towards nudity and sex. But Pornceptual has also been a very intense journey for me and I feel lucky that I’ve met so many different people because of it, from amazing artists that I’ve collaborated with to really supportive friends. It also helped my find love because I’ve met my beautiful partner at one of the parties.