lifestyle

Inside the making of porn that women actually enjoy.

“I don’t want to get women out of porn. I want to get them into porn.”

Sex isn’t always pretty. It can be clumsy, sloppy and filled with awkward, giggly moments as you struggle to kick off your shoes and untangle yourself from your bra.

This is what real sex looks like, but it’s not what we’re used to seeing — and adult filmmaker Erika Lust wants to change that.

Self-described feminist Lust is working on revolutionising the way we look at porn. Lust wants to be a force for sex-positive thinking; her aim is to add more realistic, fun sex to erotic film making, taking porn away from the dark, seedy corners of the internet and showcasing a shared experience for both men and women.

The Feminist Pornographer, Erika Lust.

Lust, 37,  first decided to start making female-friendly porn as a Gender Studies student back in Sweden, when her then-boyfriend suggested they watch a porno together.

“[T]he feminist me felt cheated, the activist me felt mad, the sexual me felt aroused,” Erika says of that initial experience.

But while she was turned on by what she saw, she didn’t really like that fact — and her unease prompted her interest in studying the links between feminism and porn.

“When I started making erotic films a decade ago, female voices were pretty much nonexistent in porn,” she tells me in an email exchange (she’s previously decried the limitation of those roles as “fuck bunnies, horny housewives, secretaries.”)

“[W]omen are still vastly under-represented when it comes to our fantasies, pleasures and desires in erotic films. That’s why female driven erotica is important: our narratives need to have a voice as well. We need more diversity, more real pleasure,” Lust adds.

Related content: How they make the sound effects in porn. Oh my.

Another thing Lust wants to change about porn: “It’s never really about our experience”.

Think about it: How can we tell when a porno is over? When the man finishes, of course. It’s not often that we will see a female orgasm in pornography, that is unless it’s used as a sexual stimulus for the male gaze (you know, the ‘squirter’.)

Some of Erika’s work (post continues after gallery):

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Men have ruled the pornography industry for far too long and it’s time for things to change.

In order to do this, Lust believes that more women need to follow in her footsteps and get behind the camera in the adult film making industry.

“I don’t want to get women out of porn, I want to get women into porn,” Lust says in her recent Ted Talk ‘It’s time for porn to change’.

This isn’t to say that Erika has an issue with the male perspective. In fact, she works with men on her set and incorporates their experience into her films too. It’s not about creating porn that only caters to female desires, it’s about producing erotica that can bring pleasure to both men and women.

Volume 1. Xconfessions.com

Lust’s latest project, xconfessions, invites her viewers to submit their deepest, darkest sexual fantasies to the site, with Lust and her team hand-picking the best of the best to be created into a short film.

Related post: Porn is not what is used to be.

“All the fantasies are completely crowdsourced, written by real people from all over the world – it’s a really inclusive project! This is miles away from just showing one type of sex on a loop, like a lot of “regular” porn does,” Lust says. “The entries at XConfessions are so sexy, dirty, saucy and imaginative! XConfessions. Vol.5 is just about to come out and it’s hotter than ever.”

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Image: Chio Lunaire. Volume 4. Xconfessions.

There are people out there who firmly believe that all forms of pornography are sexist, chauvinistic and vulgar.

But Lust has identified as a feminist from a young age, being from Sweden, a country in which feminism is ingrained within the national conscience. She was inspired by feminist literature like Frenzy of the Visible’ by Linda Williams, and says that it opened her eyes to seeing porn as a discourse about sexuality and a tool for sexual liberation.

Volume 1. Xconessfions.com

Of those who disagree with the feminist credentials of her work, though, Lust says she doesn’t feel that she needs to justify her work and that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

“I work with an almost entire team of women who are hard-working, professional and creative in their approach to sex and portraying it through film,” she said.

“That way every film has sexual liberation and equality at its roots to liberate and educate those who do want to watch my films as an alternative to mainstream films.”

You can visit Erika’s website here and download her book Let’s Make a Porno for free here.

Want to read more?

Why we shouldn’t be censoring porn.

Is porn warping our ideas about real life sex?

Tara Moss talks porn and words. Why we need better porn.

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