Grooby’s Kristel Penn to Speak at UC Santa Barbara

LOS ANGELESGrooby’s longtime Creative and Editorial Director, Kristel Penn, will be speaking this Thursday at famed University of California Santa Barbara class, “Teaching Porn in a Pandemic 2.0.” The Pornographic Cultures course is taught by Professor Constance Penley, who is considered to be one of the founders of the academic field of porn studies. 

“My students and I are delighted that Kristel Penn has accepted our invitation to visit my UC Santa Barbara class on Pornographic Cultures, now retitled as ‘Teaching Porn in a Pandemic 2.0,’” said Professor Constance Penley. “Over its 28 years (!), the course has featured an extraordinary range of creatives and other experts from the adult industry. As the Creative and Editorial Director of Grooby, an activist, humanitarian, and entrepreneur, Kristel will generously share her knowledge gained as an industry pioneer in trans erotica and as a prominent advocate for visibility and empowerment through sex-positivity.”

“This has been a longtime professional dream of mine to speak in Professor Penley’s class,” said Penn. “I sincerely admire the work Professor Penley does to elevate the discussion of sex work and the adult industry in a way that holds the complexities of our community. Professor Penley’s class gives the outside world a really valuable opportunity to learn about an industry that is often villainized and oversimplified in mainstream media. I’m honored by the opportunity to speak to the UCSB students about my career at Grooby and how it has given me a unique platform to speak on topics that are personally important to me, such as destigmatizing porn and its consumption, LGBTQ representation, and changing the narrative of mental health and wellness.”

“The students especially want to hear from Kristel about her work on destigmatizing the industry and porn consumption,” added Penley. “They also want to learn more about her commitment to creating sex-worker affirming mental health services for the adult industry. My students feel they have much to learn from the adult industry about unashamedly realizing their desires for creative freedom and political expression. None could speak to those desires better than Kristel.” 

Penley is a Professor of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara. Now considered one of the founders of the academic field of porn studies, she co-edited “The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure” with Tristan Taormino, Mirelle Miller-Young, and Celine Parreñas Shimizu.