Women's Lib: Peach Fuzz Talks Feminist Pornography
Freed nipples are happy nipples.
“You’ve never been naked under the Texas sun?” asks Peach Fuzz co-founder Kelly Dugan, incredulous that I’d never stripped during the summer months. Simultaneously, Dugan and co-founder Laura McNairy respond, Dugan with a, “It feels like being a kid again,” while McNairy yells, “It feels like sex is licking you from head to toe!” The two women dissolve into laughter at each other’s answers and begin the kind of rapid-fire verbal jabbing that can only be shared between close friends.
Dugan and McNairy represent the two sides of Peach Fuzz: Unbridled sexuality and adventurous creativity. Dugan says that she’d been mulling over the idea of Peach Fuzz for a while before bringing the idea up to McNairy during a road trip to Telluride, Colorado.
The topic consumed both women over the 15-hour car ride. With a host of friends standing in as models and photographers, Peach Fuzz debuted three years ago and has been steadily gaining attention for its sharp artistic edge and “stay naked” attitude.
The magazine straddles the line between “nudie mag” and arts zine, with a variety of contributions from photographers, writers, and illustrators. Peach Fuzz embraces a sex-positive approach and, though both women are apprehensive to define their work exclusively as pornography, its issues joyfully celebrate nudity and sex in a female-centric light. It’s currently on its third volume release with wider distribution to come in 2016.
Feminist pornography has been met with both criticism and supporters over the years, but Peach Fuzz unabashedly pursues images that portray sex honestly and with female pleasure as priority, two attributes pop pornography often lacks. Each issue contains an editorial spread of lovers photographing one another, titled the X by X series. The portraits span from kind to humorous, revealing the minute details that our partners seem to latch onto. Dugan volunteers that the series is her favorite for the magazine and adds with a smile that she’s received enough volunteers to participate in the series for X by X to continue for “the next 10 years.”
As Dugan explains more about Peach Fuzz’s aims for the New Year, McNairy speaks to the shooting process. She admits that she’s the first to get naked on set, in an effort to help the models feel at ease. Exploitation is the enemy—sexual celebration is the end goal.
When asked about modeling in the first few Peach Fuzz issues, Dugan and McNairy laugh. “We had to put our money where our mouth was. If we were going to ask our friends to strip down, we had better do the same!” says McNairy.
McNairy feels equally as comfortable in front of the camera as she does behind it, but views her role as more tied to the magazine’s written content. She contributes an article each issue (titled The McNasty) and helps coordinate the other essays and poems that line Peach Fuzz’s pages. Dugan, a photographer, sources the visual creative talent and taught herself InDesign in order to have control over the editorial vision. Both ladies are quick to say Peach Fuzz has required them to push beyond their personal talents and skill set to make a successful issue.
Between the two women, Peach Fuzz has blossomed—and it’s only a matter of time before the magazine explodes. Peach Fuzz laces erotic photography with smart essays on the state of hook-up culture; positions a ranking of orgasms against sensual recipes; and explores the Great Outdoors through the lens of sexual adventurers. It anchors itself to feminism, gender fluidity, and inclusivity—and for that, it encapsulates this singular, beautiful moment in our contemporary sexual revolution.
Each week "Women's Lib" checks in with amazing ladies and we make them fill out a feminist Mad Lib.