Adorn becomes first ever porn film to win Sexology’s “Sex And Media Prize”

Posted on December 2, 2019

By Jennifer Lyon Bell

In a surprising victory, the Dutch sexology industry honors Adorn as the most "innovative, interesting, and informative" film changing attitudes around sexuality.

Adorn wins sexology’s 2019 Sex And Media Prize, Jennifer Lyon Bell accepts on behalf of the Adorn cast & crew

 

Adorn’s collaborators with director/producer Jennifer Lyon Bell: Julia ter Horst (assistant director, camera assistant, gaffer, continuity) and Jonathan Massey (Director of Photography, editor, sound recordist, color grading)

 

Adorn wins the Seks & Mediaprijs 2019

 

Amazingly, Adorn has become the first ever porn film to win the prestigious sexology award The Sex And Media Prize (Seks & Mediaprijs). This award is given by the Dutch sexology community to honor a media piece (article, TV show, book) that positively impacts the public dialogue on sexuality in the Netherlands. The NVVS Dutch Scientific Institute For Sexology (Nederlandse Wetenschappelijke Vereniging voor Seksuologie) nominated our film, Adorn, with these words:

 

“Adorn is appealing and conveys just the right kind of realism about sex. In this porn film, sex is about more than just penetration — it’s about the importance of touching each other and of sexy playfulness. It’s innovative in a fulfilling, interesting, informative, and arousing way. In comparison to many other porn directors, director Jennifer Lyon Bell lets the actors lead via their own desires and boundaries, and as a result they sincerely enjoy their sexual experience together. Where others may discuss or write about what’s important when it comes to enjoyable sex, Bell shows it.”

 

Honestly, we never expected Adorn to win.  A previous film of mine, Silver Shoes, was nominated as a Sex and Media Prize finalist in 2015 — but the winner was a Dutch sex education series.  Silver Shoes was the first erotic/porn movie  in history to be chosen as a NVVS Seks & Mediaprijs finalist, and that was quite an honor in itself.

 

The awards ceremony took place this year at the semiannual NVVS conference on Friday, November 28.

 

 

NVVS Conference & awards ceremony finalists

 

On Friday November 28, 2019, the NVVS held their semiannual conference. At noon, they brought the finalists onstage.

 

  1. “Adorn”
  2. “Nooit Te Oud (Never Too Old)” Episode 1. A Volkskrant short film portrait by Kim Faber and Iris Frankenhuizen about Valerie, an elderly woman sharing her feelings about sex and her online dating life.
  3. “Knaap ”. A short documentary by and about Daan Wielens, in which he explores how his status as a 25-year old virgin intersects with his sense of masculinity.

 

The jury consisted of Andrea Bijen , Mahmoed Chamany Zadeh, Maarten Dallinga (last year’s winner), Linda Duits, and Hans Peter Gramberg. After introducing the three projects, the jury gave their statement:

 

“This film is a sexual dance between two people between whom there is so much more going on than just penetration.  In comparison to many other porn directors, director Jennifer Lyon Bell lets the actors lead via their own desires and boundaries, and as a result they sincerely enjoy their sexual experience together. We felt Adorn was innovative, interesting, and informative, with just the right dose of realistic messaging about sex. The key elements that most of this year’s submissions hoped to convey are right here in the winning film: The importance of touch, and that sex is so much more than just arousing the genitals. Adorn was not only the best submission, but also the most arousing.” (* Dutch original text below)

 

We are so grateful for this win!

 

I must admit that I wondered if the audience of sexologists would be surprised, or possibly even dubious, that the award was going to a porn film. Since I had prepared a short speech on the unlikely chance of winning, I decided to use my speech to address that issue directly so that the sexologists would know I took their concerns seriously. It was spectacular that I actually got to deliver the speech. I delivered it in Dutch, but here is an English translation:

 

Jennifer’s award acceptance speech (English)

 

Thank you. I am so honored to accept this award.

 

I am eternally grateful to our stars Sadie Lune and Parker Marx, who enthusiastically accepted this funny proposal of mine and were willing to improvise and be vulnerable with each other. This game experiment turned out better than I ever could have anticipated.

 

And thank you to our small and wonderful crew, who helped keep Sadie and Parker safe and comfortable, and whose jobs with the camera and lights and sound and editing were extra-challenging because of the freedom of improvisation we gave the performers. Thank you for taking on extra work to make their freedom possible.

 

 And for those of you who are perhaps perplexed as to why a porn film is winning this sexology prize, I completely understand. Porn has a terrible reputation.  But I hope that hearing about Adorn, and about our team at Blue Artichoke Films today, can show us that there are MANY different kinds of porn, all made with different goals and styles and and on-set practices. It is possible to make an arousing, entertaining film that is ethically made. It is possible to incorporate realistic sex practices – not necessarily as purposeful “sex education”, but because it can be fun to watch. There is no single pornography. There are many. 

 

There will never be a substitute for what I know many of you are working towards: A thorough and useful sexual education for not just young people, but people of all ages. That is extremely important. It is wrong and unfair that the entertainment we call porn should be forced to fill that role by itself.  But while we are working on creating that better world of sex education, I hope that we can create a better cultural dialogue around understanding porn, by allowing that looking at sex via film can be pleasurable for people, and that pleasure can be fundamentally good.  Maybe we call it porn, maybe we call it erotic film, maybe it is mixed with art — or maybe it is not. But let us critique based on the facts and the realities, not on labels and prejudice.

 

I hope that Adorn continues to intrigue viewers and give them pleasure, and I thank you all tremendously for the honor of this prize today.

 

[For the Dutch version of this speech as delivered, see below.]

 

 

Thanks to Adorn’s cast and crew

 

As I hope I emphasized in my acceptance speech, Adorn was completely made possible only by the dedicated work of our talented cast and crew.

 

I’m grateful that Sadie Lune and Parker Marx took a risk on us and on this unusual little idea for a film. They really listened to one another, they engaged in sexual acts I have honestly never seen before, and the trust between them created more emotion than I could have anticipated. It’s funny and rough and loving. I am very proud of what we made out of their experience.

 

Our crew was also spectacular. Julia ter Horst and Jonathan Massey were part of Adorn from the second it was born, right up until the end — adding their own insight and creative solutions at every stage along the way. I never could have done this without them. Thanks so much to Julia and Johnny! (Photo of us below.)

 

And the rest of the crew that we added blended in seamlessly with us to create a safe, creative, and fun experience. If you’ve seen the film, it’s easy to see what a huge contribution each of them made.

 

  • Zoe Boekbinder – Music
  • Yvette Luhrs – On-set sound mixer, production assistant
  • Lotte van Nijverdal – Costume design
  • Robin van der Linde – Hairstyling
  • S.W.A. – Postproduction sound design
  • Zoe D’Amaro – Behind the scenes
  • Brand Berghouwer – Still photography
  • Mark Bakker – Graphic design
  • www.kracht.legal – Legal

If you want to see our little crew actually creating Adorn, you can also watch Zoe D’Amaro’s freestanding award-winning documentary “What’s Your Policy On Orgasms?” which she shot on the set of Adorn before and after our actual erotic shooting. I can’t link to it here because it’s not officially available yet, but it screens at films festivals – just check our Events page to see if it’s screening near you.

 

Thanks to the organization of NVVS sexologists, the NVVS committee and jury, and to the Adorn team for such a wonderful day.

 

Trailer of our winning film Adorn! (spicy NSFW version)

 

 

 

*****************************************************************************************************************

 

Dutch – Nomination statement by the NVVS

 

“Adorn is aantrekkelijk om te zien en komt met precies de goede dosering realistische boodschappen over seks. In deze pornofilm gaat seks om meer dan penetratie, namelijk over het belang van aanraken, en speelsheid in seksueel handelen. Dat is vernieuwend op een adequate, interessante, informatieve én opwindende manier. In tegenstelling tot heel veel andere pornoregisseurs laat Jennifer Lyon Bell zich leiden door de wensen en grenzen van de acteurs die daardoor oprecht genieten van het seksuele contact. Waar anderen praten of schrijven over wat belangrijk is voor plezierige seks, laat Lyon Bell dit zien.”

 

 

Dutch – winning Jury statement by the NVVS

“De film is een seksuele dans tussen twee mensen waarbij het om zoveel meer gaat dan penetratie. Anders dan veel andere pornoregisseurs laat Jennifer Lyon Bell zich leiden door de wensen en grenzen van de acteurs die daardoor oprecht genieten van het seksuele contact. Wij vonden de film vernieuwend, interessant + informatief met precies de goede dosering realistische boodschappen over seks. De elementen die de meeste inzendingen wilden overbrengen komen terug in de winnaar: het belang van aanraking, hoe seks is meer dan is genitaliën opwinden. ‘Adorn’ was bovendien niet alleen de beste inzending, maar ook de geilste.”

 

Dutch – Jennifer Lyon Bell’s acceptance speech (original)

 

Heel erg bedankt! Het is een eer deze prijs te mogen ontvangen.

Ik ben onze sterren Sadie Lune en Parker Marx eeuwig dankbaar, die dit grappige voorstel van mij enthousiast hebben aanvaard en bereid waren te improviseren en zich kwetsbaar op durfden te stellen naar elkaar. Dit spel experiment werkte beter dan ik ooit had kunnen dromen. 

En dank ook voor onze geweldige crew. Die hielpen Sadie en Parker veilig en comfortabel te houden, en wiens taken met de camera, licht, geluid en editing extra uitdagend waren vanwege de vrijheid van improvisatie die we de performers gaven. Bedankt voor het extra werk dat jullie hebben gedaan om hun vrijheid mogelijk te maken. 

En voor diegene die misschien verbaasd zijn dat een porno film een seksuologie prijs wint, dat is begrijpelijk. Porno heeft een slechte reputatie. Maar ik hoop dat door het zien van Adorn, en door het verhaal van Blue Artichoke Films, jullie zien dat er véél verschillende soorten porno zijn. Allemaal gemaakt met verschillende doelen en stijlen en met een eigen werkwijze op de set. Het is mogelijk om een opwindende film te maken die entertaint én ethisch is gemaakt. Het is mogelijk om realistische seksuele handelingen te laten zien – niet noodzakelijk als “seks educatie”, maar gewoon omdat het leuk is om naar te kijken. Er is niet een soort pornografie, er zijn er velen. 

Er zal nooit een vervanging zijn voor dat waarvan ik weet dat velen van jullie nastreven: een uitgebreide en nuttige seksuele voorlichting. Niet alleen voor jonge mensen, maar voor mensen van alle leeftijden. Het is verkeerd en oneerlijk dat de entertainment die we porno noemen in die rol geforceerd wordt. Maar terwijl wij eraan werken om die wereld, gevuld met betere seksuele voorlichting te creëren, hoop ik dat we een betere culturele dialoog rondom porno kunnen hebben. Door toe te staan dat naar seks kijken via film een plezierige ervaring is voor mensen, en dat genot kan fundamenteel goed zijn. Misschien noemen we het porno, misschien erotische film, of is het een gemengde kunstvorm – en misschien ook niet. Maar laten we onze kritiek baseren op de feiten en de realiteit en niet op labels en vooroordelen.

Ik hoop dat Adorn de kijkers blijft intrigeren en genot geeft, en ik dank jullie allemaal enorm voor de eer van deze prijs vandaag. 

 

Press – more information

 

If you’d like to write about Adorn, you’ll find most of what you want in the presskit here.  Need more? Feel free to write to info [at] blueartichokefilms.com with whatever you need.

 

  1. Full information about Adorn, with pictures and NSFW trailer
  2. Mission of Blue Artichoke Films
  3. Where to watch Adorn instantly? Both streaming rentals and permanent downloads available here
  4. Presskit Adorn with high-res photos and synopsis
  5. Press release December 2, 2019 – will be posted here shortly
  6. SFW “modest” trailer – coming soon!

 

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