Filmmaker Erika Lust Explains How You Can Support Ethical Adult Films

05.09.18 5 months ago 27 Comments
erika lust ethical porn

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As much as it sometimes feels that way, pornos aren’t a given in everyone’s life. Some of us are totally into them, but others feel lukewarm or even ice cold about the whole idea. There are many, many reasons for that. Some people aren’t into the body types or storylines used in films coming out of mainstream studios. If it’s not getting you off, what’s the point? But, others have more principled objections that stop them from logging on to Pornhub and rubbing one out to a naughty milf and her well-hung stepson. You don’t have to agree with these concerns, but you do have to understand them.

Luckily, these issuess are being addressed in a genre of adult cinema referred to as “ethical” or “feminist porn.” Erika Lust –one of the luminaries of this growing, indie adult film scene — has made her name offering an alternative to traditional pornography with artistic, imaginative erotic films that feature sex-positive narratives with a reverence for female pleasure. She’s a strong voice for feminism in a world that has often been associated with the aggressive degradation of women, the female orgasm, and even consent.

Born in Sweden, Lust moved to Barcelona in 2000. She took classes in film directing before she made her mark in the adult film industry in 2004, with a short film titled The Good Girl — a twist on the pizza delivery boy trope. The accolades she received motivated her to continue with a career in the field, and she has gone on to spearhead four multi-award-winning features while authoring five books.

In 2013, she launched xConfessions — a website where users share anonymous sexual fantasies. Once these fantasies are uploaded, Lust chooses a designated number per month for herself or another talented adult director to turn into short explicit films. Over one hundred have been produced so far, and all of them are the product of the ethical process Lust advocates.

The director made her principles of advocacy explicit when she presented her talk “Time for Porn to Change” at TedxVienna. She promoted a shift in the industry that would lead to greater focus on making women’s pleasure matter; having cinematic values in adult cinema; using a greater diversity of body types, ages, and races; and using an ethical production process.

While we love her ideals, we also know that terms like “feminist pornography” and “ethical adult independent cinema” can be a little confusing. So we connected with Erika Lust to learn more about what she believes and how she puts her values into action.

This genre of filmmaking goes by a couple names. What do you call it?

I refer to it as adult cinema, but also ethical adult cinema, and sometimes even feminist porn. It depends a little on the context, what people are talking to, and who they are. What I’m doing has so much to do with the cinema, really. The only thing that is different from in the cinema is that my main goal is to show sexuality. I do show sexuality in an explicit way. So, it’s adult. Right?

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