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Amber Goodwyn: The Rockstar of Lickety Split Smut Zine

March 12th, 2009     by Desirée O     Comments

Every Thursday I profile a new incredible woman, each from a different walk of life. Different professions, causes, backgrounds, ethnicities, orientations, and anything/everything else!

So without further delay, let me introduce the incredible Amber Goodwyn…

Amber Goodwyn is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Montreal. She is the editor of the smut zine Lickety Split. Amber holds a BFA in Film Production (with Distinction) from Concordia University, creates short films and is a member of the Double Negative Collective. She also plays in the rock band Nightwood. Currently, Amber is working on her band’s first full-length album and co-organizes Slowdance Night. She loves blogging, vintage dresses and stay-in-bed days! She also loves her dayjob at the amazing youth org, Head & Hands.

What drives you to do what you do?

GLORY! When I was 17 years old my friend Jess and I made a pact to profoundly change the occidental world within our lifetimes by making meaningful media. Since then I’ve had different experiences that affirmed to me that I should just pour my energy into what moves and inspires me, whether that be womens’ health, experimental film, rock ‘n’ roll, zine culture or indie smut.

I think it’s fun to keep moving and to start up new projects whenever boredom creeps in. Most of the time I am inspired by my friends (some examples are my bandmate Erin Ross and the video and art curator Astria Suparak). I am also motivated by group energy. As a member of a few different collectives, I have been lucky to discover the thrill of successful collaboration. There’s nothing like meeting up with a bunch of other folks with a variety of skill sets and personalities who work together towards a common goal like a film screening or the launch party for a zine. Nothing! It feels like being part of a tribe of fun superhero/ines.

The other side to all that is more quiet and introspective. Basically, by indulging my curiosities and interests I find that I usually end up making stuff that feels worthwhile. For example, I recently got really wrapped up in sea monster lore and pursued that theme in a nerdily hungry way until I completed a 16mm film loop installation for a show that my film collective was doing. I’m pretty proud of it.

Also, political issues provoke and challenge me to action, especially the following: sex-positive and queer-positive sexual expression, sexual health and justice for folks who are racially profiled by cops and an oftentimes-xenophobic Western culture.

A quote by Susie Bright I often drop when discussing the creation of indie smut is the following : “If you don’t like what you see out your window, the most subversive thing you can do is make your own vision. If criticizing sex is so important, then where are our role models? Who do you think is going to make erotic expression meaningful to you if not yourself?”

How does being a woman empower / challenge you?

I guess that I like being a woman because I can blindside a lot of peoples’ expectations! I publish a smut zine called Lickety Split that is sex-positive and pansexual and lots of folks are surprised when they meet me in person… I often wonder, “Who were they expecting me to be?” The challenging elements of being a woman are the usual - overt and subtle sexism in all areas of life and folks pretending that sexism doesn’t exist anymore. That stuff sucks. Gender-based violence is gross. I think we all need to be more weary, get educated and check our assumptions at the door. I think that everyone should explore and consider gender more critically.

What advice would you give to young women who want to follow in your footsteps?

I would suggest doing your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask for help when you need it and dream big! An empowering lesson that came from producing zine launches and a radio show (Audio Smut) was that you’ll never know unless you try, especially when it comes to inviting people to be a part of something you love. A well written email has opened up amazing opportunities for me (for example, interviewing Annie Sprinkle!). So be hopeful and persistent!

If someone wanted to try their hand at producing some indie smut, I would suggest establishing your personal boundaries when it comes to what you’re interested and not interested in participating in (we have some ideas written on Lickety Split’s site about this). Also, it’s important to examine hierarchy in this situation - the person in the photos/videos/whatev’ you take should (in our opinion) have as much say as the director/photographer/editor. We believe in a collaborative and harm reductive process that makes an experience fun and meaningful for everyone! If someone is interested in zines, I have some resources listed on the links page of my website.

Name one person, place, or thing every young woman should know about?

Person: Marnie Stern! Guitar heroine! Place: Head & Hands Thing: I suggest that folks discover their cervix. It shouldn’t be privileged information - anyone who wants to see their cervix should be able to. The cervix is a passageway between the vagina and the uterus; it’s actually the part of the uterus that joins with the vagina. If you wanted to feel your cervix, you could try squatting or taking the position most comfortable to you when inserting a tampon/DivaCup/whatever into your vagina. Then insert one or two fingers into your vagina, reaching deeply and sort of in the direction of your back or anus. When you feel a firm, smooth rounded tissue (sort of like the tip of your nose) you’ve found it! If you have a flashlight and a speculum, you could even take a look. Check out this page for more info on how to have a look at your own cervix!

What is the most important thing we can do in order to change the world?

Get informed! It’s important to arm oneself with the information and the tools necessary to live happier and healthier lives. We can gather the goods through active research (for example getting informed about safer sex - check out the Canadian Federation of Sexual Health!) or by listening to one another in order to better understand each others experiences. Hopefully by taking an active and critical interest in how we live our own lives, we can positively impact the lives of others.

Congratulations to Amber and the Lickety Split #7 team for their recent Best English Zine win at the Expozine Awards!

Tags: shameless women

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