Intervewing Erika Lust

You’ve elaborated an illustrative guide explaining how to create better home-made sex tapes. You refer several times throughout that porn needs to change. This book and your X-Confessions project are great examples of that. In what way they can help commercial porn change and in what way can it give new points of view about porn and sexuality?

I think we need to see more accurate descriptions of real people’s desires and fantasies and sex lives! It doesn’t make sense that so much of a cultural genre is only catered to very small, niched part of the world’s population. That’s why it’s so important to create our own alternatives. There are so many bad associations with porn because the industry has largely stood for something actually sex-negative and shameful. Porn really holds the power to educate as well as to arouse, so I think it’s massively important that we have adult films that are built on sex-positive values too, that strive to show the beauty and fun of sex and seduction!

Apart from your movies that differ from common porn movies (where the woman is just a playtoy for the man, whereas in your movies that doesn’t happen), you also have X-Confessions project that emphasizes what you’ve been developing: the body, the scenes around beautiful sexuality, imagination… That said, to you, what is the importance of creating this movies and having the participation of readers and fans with the X-Confessions? Do you think that having a special corner for readers to express their own fantasies was the missing puzzle piece?

Yes exactly! I felt there was a huge missing piece in the puzzle of adult films, where the actual desires and fantasies of real people were never heard. That’s why I love the project so much – the stories I tell in XConfessions come from the hearts and brains and sexy imaginations of real people! Some might think that real people’s fantasies would make things boring but it’s the opposite – people are so imaginative and dirty! And many of the stories are modern and relatable like the Couch Surfer short films, or I found your Mother on Tinder…or even one called I Fucking Love Ikea, which is about a girl who gets turned on by her boyfriend putting together Ikea-furniture. Haha! They have building blocks that people today can relate to and find exciting, which is something that is largely absent from mainstream films. They can also be very funny, which I think many can relate to. Often real sexual encounters are filled with a lot of excitement and joy, giggles and laughs, not just super serious hard fucking!

Using porn and modern eroticism, do you think it’s possible that everybody’s minds open a bit more and they’ll start to wonder and question more about self-pleasure, body, to believe that porn and eroticism in general can definitely change for better and that Erika and all the producers are working for that goal, so woman can stop being seen as a sexual object, so that fake bodies and fake orgasms get eradicated?

I don’t believe in cencorship but I do hope we will see more diversity and better values in adult film making! I don’t want to shame anyone who likes mainstream adult films, but I do want people to know that there are many amazing alternatives to those films. And I hope we will see a lot more women behind the camera in the future, making their desires heard and working in active decision-making roles telling tales that excite them too! Of course, making a man come can be fun and feel satisfying but surely there’s a lot more fun to be had with sex than that! There is a whole world of seduction out there….

How can we “kill” the image of the housewife, that is just there¸ for male purposes…a sexual object? In what way can this concept be harmful for women? Women’s desires, their sexuality, body etc, can continually be likely ignored because of this situation?

Yes, I think it can be harmful to women and men, especially younger people! If they are over and over again presented with sexual imagery where the woman is just a passive object and the man is the active dominant participant – what does that tell them about men and women, about the roles we play, about power, about sex? Just to be clear, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with wanting to be passive or submissive sexually -that’s a totally different thing! But when there’s so much of these chauvinistic images being produced, it’s like it’s not about sex and pleasure anymore! It’s about power, and it says something about our society and its views on women. We can reduce these images by creating our own films with good values, to create the films we want to see ourselves. And it’s hugely important that we educate our children about pornography. There’s no use hiding such a HUGE cultural genre under a rug. It’s a big part of our culture and we need to talk about it!

UK has implemented many prohibitions. In what way has this situation harmed
pornography, its progress, in order to show everybody that sex, sexuality, eroticism and porn aren’t bad and that they should be seen as something beneficial?

What’s so annoying about the U.K prohibitions is that it attacks sexual acts that women enjoy and that have nothing to do with violence, like female ejaculation and facesitting. Seriously! It just shows how out of touch some of these politicians are with even addressing sexuality and pornography – they don’t even know what they are prohibiting! The prohibition is not just prudish but also alarmingly sexist.

As a Women’s Rights’ defender, what’s your opinion about Worldwide home violence, which is growing each day? What should we do to make it stop?

Women still have a long way to go, and we need the men and women of the world to further the progress of equal rights, and to end violence. We have to have conversations, not just in universities and within academia, but in public forums, about the severe problems in the world today. We are so used to seeing women get murdered and raped that it’s almost like we don’t react anymore – and we have to be pissed off about it! Also for the men who suffer violence and sexual abuse, we have to challenge our gender roles in order for more of them to be able to speak out and get help. Many male victims feel they can’t speak out because it’s not seen as manly. And we have to change these fake, harmful illusions of masculine and feminine to see real progress. I don’t mean that men and women can’t be different, everyone should be as they wish as long as they don’t hurt anyone else. But to say violence is ok and that macho is natural is just not true, or that it’s weak to cry or to show feelings – we have to work on making those oppressive ideas disappear!

Your first movie for women was released 10 years ago. In your perspectibe, what has changed in pornography and eroticism ever since?

During my decade as a filmmaker I’ve seen a huge increase in female directors, which is great! It has worked both ways. As mainstream pornography has become more and more extreme, a lot of people have felt their need to make their own desires heard and known! So we have also seen an increase in alternative erotica and erotic projects. People dare to express themselves artistically and erotically without feeling shame about it. I applaud that and hope this shift will continue inspiring people to make great erotica!

You’ve been creating movies “Girl on Girl” in a more realistic way than the common “macho” porn. What’s your point of view? In what way can we promote women’s sexuality without making them look like a playtoy, as it happens in “macho” porn?

As a woman and a sexual being I listen to my own desires and use that in my art. As a female film maker and director, I care that the performers, both men and women, experience real pleasure and feel chemistry! By speaking up and listening to women we can promote a different side of female sexuality, one that doesn’t just serve as a passive playtoy…but of course sometimes it can be fun to be a playtoy too, haha!

You’ve mentioned that you were very unpleased by the first porn movie you’ve seen. In Portugal sexuality isn’t spoken as free as in Sweden, where you’re from. How can someone help deconstruct this idea of commercial porn and watch alternatives like your works, or Madison Young, Lilyanne Bloom and Chloe Morgane?

You’d be surprised, but Sweden can actually be quite conservative when it comes to talking about sex! Sweden’s very good at talking about safe sex and contraceptives but get very confused when confronted with work like mine! So stigma about adult movies exists everywhere. What we need is education, education, education! Make talking about porn part of the sex education in schools. We have to teach young people to think critically about the genre, and also to let them know that if they are interested, there are many alternatives to the violent internet porn that takes up much of the porn sites!

Thank you so much for your time!

Project For The Pleasure Genesis

Interview: Pedro Marques
Translation and Correction: Mariana Dias

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