Meet the Glasgow student who set up a porn society

It’s to prompt discussion about pornography


Glasgow School of Art’s Porn Society has been making waves on social media recently after one of their events went public.

It was set up in October 2014 by Dylan Meade, and the society’s main aim is to prompt discussion on what can be classed as pornography in our society. Their discussions centre on “looking at it, talking about it, using it and making it.”

The Tab Glasgow met Dylan at the Centre for Contemporary Arts to discuss the ideas and concerns behind such a unique society.

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What inspired you to start the society?

“For me, the inspiration was going to some of the Queer Soc events. I really liked them but I had a specific agenda as I was thinking about setting up Porn Soc. I didn’t want to override their society or take their event and make it porny.

“Porn is a specific but broad area of interest and I felt it would be great to have a growing community of people who are interested in the topic whether they are making work or just curious about it.

“There are no classes or academic structures that will engage with it. It exists in the world and yet, there’s no way of entering it other than going and doing it yourself. But there are plenty of courses for designing teapots.”

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What does an average meeting at the society consist of?

“There isn’t one which is kind of funny.

“We tend to introduce people to some of the ideas we talk about like the laws and politics surrounding porn and we discuss their implications. For example, two years ago the Government brought in laws for the production of porn in the UK which contains standard regulations but also laws that disallow the inclusion of female ejaculation.

“There are rules that seem misogynistic and very anti-fetish. They seem to condemn those things which are deemed peculiar.”

What sort of events do you organise?

“We have shown a range of things from “KINK” by Christina Voros to gay porn shot in the 70s.

“We had “Sticky Honey” last year which was an event we held at the Wave Particle Laurieston Arches. We took film submissions and set up cinema seating and a big screen and projected some of the films.”

A piece from the current exhibition at CCA on pornography.

A piece from the current exhibition at CCA on pornography.

Has interest increased since the society was first set up?

“I think with the society being established for a while people are getting the idea of what we do and they are excited by it.

Those entering the university this year seem interested by it. So it’s going well.”

Do you generally attract students or do members of the public come along?

“Most are from the Art School but it’s open to anyone. Usually those who are in the community who help to run events come along. We’ve also had photographers that work around the city join us too, as well as friends of friends etc.

“We once had a playwright approach us about making a porn film. We borrowed some equipment from GSA and shot a film at the Arches, Argyle Street. We made a hardcore piece together. There was two people starring in it and it was like wow we just made a porno. That was nice.

“It hasn’t been released yet as it needs a lot more work but it was nice to come together as a group of strangers that wanted to make something to do with porn.”

Was it difficult to get GSA to consent to the society being set up?

“It’s difficult to get the school to engage with us but GSA student association are great and were very supportive. They are very helpful with getting things together and guiding you through how and why.”

Do you feel people misinterpret the term “porn”, especially those from a “non-art” background?

“I think they forget that porn has a history in our society and I think a lot of people’s vision of porn is like that of PornHub.

“They have this idea of vivid videos from LA Studios and that’s it. But there are the Kama Sutra temples in India and many examples across the world. There’s also fine artists that are working now and that’s all porn too. I think people have a skewed vision that triggers a particular reaction.

“Sex education shouldn’t just be about not getting STDs it should be more about sexuality being part of the human experience. Just like healthy eating, have a healthy sex life. That doesn’t mean have sex, it means having good relationships.

“I do think it is important to spread sex positive thinking and is something that it is lacking.”

Why should people join your society?

“They should join it if they are curious or passionate about it. If it’s something that interests you or something you want to learn more about. It is not a commitment, if you want to come along and check it out then do so.

“If you’re curious about it and are open minded in some way then why not learn more?”

For Anyone interested in learning more about Porn Soc, Dylan is hosting a Meet4Meet event Tuesday at 6pm in The Art School.