Live drawing at Peaches’ AV show at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein.

Performance artists at Peaches event at NBK Aug 12 2018 by Suzanne ForbesI made these drawings a year ago, but I didn’t have anywhere to post them til now!

Last August Berlin fave Peaches had an experimental sound and performance installation at venerable art institution Neuer Berliner Kunstverein. I went to this show with fellow artist Suzanne Wegh and ran into other cool folx we know there (drawings here!). Lots of creative performance artists from Berlin’s burlesque and dance scenes were involved with the show, in interesting flesh-colored bodysuits and bespoke pussy hoods.

The vulva heads in multiple flesh tones were made by Anna Marina Fidler, aka Miss Poppy Cox.

Movement performers at Peaches event at NBK July 14 2019 by Suzanne ForbesChanges in US law led to changes this past year in the TOS of the crowdfunding platform for my documentary artwork, Patreon. It is no longer permitted to show (or create with Patreon funding) drawings with nudity or “implied nudity”.

That includes pasties, and the flesh-colored pasties and beautiful handmade pussy headpieces on these performers certainly imply nudity!

Noeline la Bouche at Peaches Art Performance Aug 18 2018 by Suzanne ForbesIt’s hard to imagine there was a first time I drew Noéline la Bouche, because I’ve drawn her so happily so many times now.

But this was the first time, when I didn’t yet know her. I was immediately struck by her beauty and character, and as I sketched her I was confident I could create a good likeness. Noéline has since become one of my real Berlin muses, someone I know I’ll get a great drawing from. This was the first one!

Mad Kate performs at Peaches event at NBK July 14 2019 by Suzanne ForbesHere is Mad Kate being carried through the crowd!

It was great to draw Mad Kate again. The last time I drew them performing, I made the plastic wrap around their torso reflective, so it appeared opaque. That meant I could post the drawing on chipinhead and get money for it. It made me sick to censor their performance, though.

Valentina Demonia performs at Peaches event at NBK Aug 12 2018 by Suzanne ForbesValentina Demonia is always amazing.

She is another absolute banger of a muse, someone who is tremendously exciting to draw.

Performers at Peaches Art Performance Aug 18 2018 by Suzanne ForbesIt was warm and very crowded in the galleries as we worked our way through the crowd.

I was sketching the performers as they moved, yet knowing I wasn’t going to be able to get paid for making the drawings because I couldn’t post them on my Patreon. So most of the drawings languished unfinished, and all of them were unreleased, for a year.

It was a synecdoche for all that’s wrong with censoring the naked human form.

I couldn’t post these drawings of people in flesh colored bodysuits and silicon pasties because they could appear to be nude, possibly triggering a shut down of my funding.

I decided that I needed to get my art out there, even though I haven’t resolved crowdfunding for my sexuality art yet.

I’m a fat queer chronically ill disabled artist, and I don’t believe in working for free.

More, I don’t work for free – money genuinely motivates me to make art. So I need your help to create and release this free art. Keep your eyes peeled for my crowdfunding launch, and meanwhile, you can hand me a Euro if you see me around town. My Amazon.de art supply wish list is here!

 

Portraits of Suzanne Forbes by Libby Bulloff, June 2009.

Suzanne Forbes photographed without glasses by Libby Bulloff Seattle June 2019Ten years ago I posed for photographic portraits by Libby Bulloff at Starfish Studios in Seattle.

Libby is an incredible artist who I met and drew through the Steampunk “Contraptors Lounge” at Maker Faire in 2008. Her photographs of the early days of Steampunk are exquisite; she defined the look of the movement. She has always been genderfluid and gender-affirming, and has extraordinary personal style.

Suzanne Forbes by Libby Bulloff June 2009In June of 2009 a portrait client flew me to Seattle to paint him with his mother, and I stayed with Libby for a few days too.

We did one of the many art trades that have enriched my life.

Suzanne Forbes by Libby Bulloff June 2009

She photographed me, and I painted her, and it was lovely.

It was important to me to have images made of my beautiful breasts, as I was 42 and knew they wouldn’t last forever. (They’re holding up great though!) Libby was kind enough to oblige even though like me, she prefers her subjects with clothes.

I had had my breasts cast by a Burning Man artist at 34, and I had been posing nude since I was a girl. I first posed for nude photos for my lover Q, who went to Art & Design, when I was fourteen. Those photos of me nude, dancing to the Grateful Dead with a rose in my teeth, were shown in the hallways at Art and Design in 1981. Nudity is a historic part of artmaking.

Suzanne Forbes by Libby Bulloff black and white June 2009I had such a safe and happy time posing for Libby. I knew I could trust her completely.

I absolutely believe it is 200% good to pose nude if you want to. For love, for money, for fun, for art. Nudity is beautiful when a being freely chooses to be naked. So is having sex on film, for fun, for art, (or for money, or all three!) freely chosen. I had sex on film when I was nineteen for a RISD student’s art project, but the film was destroyed in an act of censorship by the lab, sadly.

Subtexture Suzanne Forbes by Libby Bulloff June 2009Libby called this one “Subtexture”.

My batwing coutil corset was custom made by Shaerie Mead of Lovely Creatures Corsetry and SEW LA, as part of another art trade.

All Rights Are Reserved on these photos, which belong to Libby; she holds the copyright and you may not download them to print as you can my own art on this site*. Libby still lives and works in Seattle, and is still making portrait art.

You can enjoy Henrietta’s Eye, an extraordinary collaborative art project by Libby Bulloff and Stephen Robinson, here.

They make breathtaking wet plate collodion & alternative process photography images of individuals, couples, and groups. Their work is diverse, inclusive, and deeply moving. In or visiting Seattle? You can book your own portrait session. Buy prints from Libby and Stephen here! Or just give her a tip to help them keep making small-business, one-of-a-kind, bespoke art on antique equipment.

Here’s the portrait I painted of Libby in 2009!

Portrait of Libby Bulloff by Suzanne Forbes June 2009

*It’s much easier to control the print quality of a line drawing than a photograph. I’m confident you can print a nice quality print of my drawings on your home printer and I’m happy for you to do that to hang it up in your home or put on a t-shirt.

However, getting a high-quality print of a photograph is actually part of the photographer’s art, and it’s a complex process most photographers prefer to administer themselves.

That’s why buying photographic prints from a photographer is a great investment, and I don’t sell prints of my drawings. Also, I hate shipping things much more than most people because OCD.

If you want to see my tits while I’m out drawing, ask politely and give me a Euro (for the trouble of undoing my bra/corset/whatever). They’re tits! They’re nice! I live in Europe, tits are tits!

Resources for sexy content creators who are being censored.

Liliana Velasquez at Violet Variete Benefit for Berlin Bruisers by Suzanne Forbes April 10 2019
Liliana Velasquez at Violet Variete Benefit for Berlin Bruisers by Suzanne Forbes April 10 2019

This page at Onlinecensorship.org tells you how to appeal if you’ve been censored or shut down on Facebook, Insta, etc.

EFF has a new project called TOSsed Out. It shines a light on cases of people deplatformed for so-called Terms of Service violations. The basics on it.

Ms. Naughty’s excellent breakdown of Alternatives to Patreon for Porn Creators. also includes how to build your own paysite!

And her good piece on how SESTA/FOSTA is the Pornocalypse. Includes great info on exact changes in Facebook TOS.

Alternatives to OnlyFans, from before OnlyFans was bought by MyFreeCams. As of today, June 22 2019, you CAN put adult content on OnlyFans. You must check a box stating you intend to upload pornography. Along with your legal name, country of residence and bank account.

A good, detailed XBiz explainer on Instagram and The War On Porn. Covers Instagram/Facebook “Community Standards” in their current state of wildly evasive doublespeak.

The Adult Performers Actors Guild is working to help adult performers restore suspended accounts, among many other important things. Xbiz writer Gustavo Turner is reporting his ass off on platform censorship and platform shadowbans.

Adult performers picketed Instagram to protest content policy. This piece includes the story of famous fine artist Betty Tompkins being kicked off Insta.

Them magazine on how sexuality in online spaces has become whiter, straighter and thinner. Good breakdown of how corporate platforms self-censor and governments become more repressive. Includes the UK Digital Economy Act, which affects porn in a range of ways, including an age-verification system. Although that has now been delayed til 2020.

Liberapay, a payment donation platform, which doesn’t exactly allow porn, but doesn’t exactly not, and is based in France.

The NYT reveals the creepy dudes who run OnlyFans, and also talks about the benefits it offers to adult performers.

For the latest on censorship and the fight, I follow young sw Liara Roux. She has a SFW twitter, an XXX twitter, a Patreon (for now,until Patreon shuts down all adult accounts) and of course, her own platform.

I just joined Mastodon, the federated social media thing, on Switter – which is the sex-worker-friendly instance! Find me here: @suzanneforbes@switter.at

Here’s my screed on the value of owning your own platform:

Own Your Platform, Own Your Fans. 

platform is a piece of technology (software + servers) that lets you publish content to the internet. 

Platforms can be owned by corporations (they pay server costs, your content/data is their product) or by you. 

In order to Own Your Platform, you must: 

Own your domain name and know what nation it is registered in. 

Pay for your own hosting of your website on servers, and know what nation the service you buy hosting from is headquartered in.  

To Own Your Fans, you need to be able to connect with your fans outside of a platform owned by corporations. Corporations can and will always throttle your access to your fans. A mailing list is your biggest asset. But your newsletters must comply with the TOS of the mailservice you use, and the laws of the nations your fans are in. 

 Using a corporate platform like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter is like renting a shop on a busy street in a busy part of town. The corporation can cover the front of your shop with a dropcloth and set up a barricade to redirect your fans away from your street whenever they want. They can even evict you with no notice whatsoever. 

Owning your own domain and paying your own hosting is like owning a piece of land in outer space, light-years from your fans. Except, the mailman comes and goes ten million times a day, and mailing is free, and your fans can visit you in milliseconds. You can build whatever kind of house you want on your land. 

When you own your domain, you have a permanent address where your fans can always find you. As an artist I will always link to creators’ own domains first, then add social platforms. That way anyone who wants to reach the creator from my page will click first on the site the creator has the most control over. And if the social links go dead when an account is deleted, the creator’s website is still there. 

Cherish your mailing list. 

If you lose your social platform, your own domain or your hosting, temporarily or longterm, an email to fans to let them know can be extremely reassuring. You can let them know where to find you again. 

 

 

My erotic art has a new home.

Jean Bardot and Steffy the Rubber Doll at Montreal Fetish Weekend by Suzanne Forbes September 2008
Jean Bardot and Steffy the Rubber Doll at Montreal Fetish Weekend by Suzanne Forbes September 2008

And we moved my domains, and secured my site!

Thanks to my amazing hub, suzanneforbes.com was transferred to a European domain registry and both suzanneforbes.com and my SFW site chipinhead.com are now secure domains, registered and hosted in Europe, baby!! Wooohooo!

With the changes happening in the US because of SESTA/FOSTA, a person like me, who makes erotic art, should not have a digital footprint Stateside.

During the initial burst of shock and horror around the implementation of SESTA and FOSTA, I learned that my longtime host, Bluehost, DOES NOT ALLOW NUDITY. What the fucking fuck, you fucking puritan assholes!

Here Bluehost, have a drawing of a lady with a penis fucking a girl while she sucks off a man with a strap-on!

It’s called “Consenting trans adults enjoy each other!”. I think it’s a beautiful moment of sexual connection in a safe space.

Upper Floor 2011 Danni TomCat and Chloe
Upper Floor 2011. Danni, TomCat and Chloe

My new host is Leaseweb. They allow porn. In honor of that freedom, please enjoy this selection of drawings made during the years my husband and I were going to events at Femina Potens, The Center for Sex and Culture and the Upper Floor at Kink.com.

Maxine Holloway and Bella Rossi at Thin Line Feb 2010
Maxine Holloway and Bella Rossi at Thin Line Feb 2010

During the last ten years I was in the Bay Area I went to so many sex-positive events, parties, porn shoots and venues.

I met my husband at one of them, and after that we went together. We met and made friends with so many amazing people who are or were sex workers.

Art of Restraint and Armory Afterparty 3 27 2010 Maggie Mayhem by Suzanne Forbes
Art of Restraint and Armory Afterparty 3 27 2010 Maggie Mayhem by Suzanne Forbes

Porn performers, erotic artists, bondage artists, pro doms, escorts, rubber fetishists, directors of queer indie porn, feminist art gallery owners, activists and educators.

2010 Armory feature shoot Sept 3 Mistress Liliane and pets
2010 Armory feature shoot Sept 3 Mistress Liliane and pets
Art Unveiled party at Armory 4 16 2010 Bella Rossi and Jessie Cox
Art Unveiled party at Armory 4 16 2010 Bella Rossi and Jessie Cox

These wonderful people brought their passion, intelligence, authenticity and courage into our lives.

Many of them are deeply political, activists and protesters and change-makers, who work hard to reduce the shame and stigma around sexuality in the US.

Many of them live poor and risk everything to make art about sex, educate people about sexuality, and be true to their own gender identities, sexual preferences and desires.

At a lot of the events I documented, sex workers were donating their time and energy to raise funds for sex-positive art, education or sex workers resources. I have never seen a community give so much.

We saw, and I documented, people showing desire, affection and often love in public sex spaces.

There was laughter and deep intimacy and pleasure. It wasn’t perfect, the heyday of San Francisco sex-positive culture, indie porn and the Kink Castle, but it was an experiment as brave and important as the original Summer of Love. It was queer and fierce and strange, and I love the sex workers we came to know and I honor their work.

Suzanne Forbes drawing at the Upper Floor with Madison Young and Princess Donna
Suzanne Forbes drawing at the Upper Floor with Madison Young and Princess Donna

Sex is natural, sex is good, not everybody does it and not everybody should, but everybody should be allowed the sexual and gender expression and choices that are true and safe for them.

Maxine with the fucking machine Thin Line feb 2010
Maxine with the fucking machine Thin Line feb 2010
Art Unveiled party at Armory 4 16 2010 Jack Hammer and Minxxgirl by Suzanne Forbes
Art Unveiled party at Armory 4 16 2010 Jack Hammer and Minxxgirl by Suzanne Forbes
2010 Armory feature shoot Sept 3 banquet table by Suzanne Forbes

2010 Armory feature shoot Sept 3 banquet table by Suzanne Forbes

I hope you will be inspired to learn more about the chilling effect  caused by SESTA and FOSTA, such as the closing of Craigslist Personals, and the immediate harm to sex workers.

I continue to make erotic art and document diverse, queer, kinky sexuality in Berlin.

And now that my sexy art has a home, I will be posting it ALL THE TIME if you fund me.

I’m working on the crowd-funding setup for this site.