Dear Sluts, if you’re not familiar with Erika Lust, you should be, because she’s one of the pioneers of modern feminist porn, duh. Erika is an erotic filmmaker, writer and producer. While in college she noticed the lack of women’s voices in the male-driven, mainstream porn industry, and set out to change things. She eventually set up her own company, Lust Films, and has been making extremely sexy indie pornos ever since.
Erika (who was born in Sweden and now lives in Barcelona) also founded the online movie theater, Lust Cinema, where she curates a selection of her favorite indie adult films. So basically she gathers together all the best new, aesthetically appealing, innovative porn movies and makes them available to stream or download from her site. And it’s all (obviously) very sex positive, creative, and female friendly. So basc if you’re bored of Redtube and are looking for something a bit more… well, alt, you should def check it out!
I found out about Erika when I saw her incredibly sexy and sensual feature film Cabaret Desire. (I now own it on DVD–one of just three videos in my movie collection, which also includes The Dreamers and Mean Girls.) I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Erika about the world of porn, which you can read below.
P.S. Because Erika is awesome and loves the readers of Slutever, if you follow THIS LINK you can sign up as a member of Lust Cinema with a 50% discount :)
Slutever: What inspired you to make erotica aimed at women?
Erika Lust: You can find the answer to that in your video DON’T FEEL BAD, for Purple magazine. Basically, I’m tired of the guy behind the camera deciding what is sexy, how to behave, and how to fuck! I want to see women deciding how porn will represent us. I want to see women being women—women like you and me, women with feelings, jobs and educations, women who are mothers, married, divorced, single, young and old, thin and curvy–all enjoying their sexuality. Because the expression of female sexuality is powerful, and maybe that bothers some men.
So despite the abundance of female porn stars, porn is still a very male dominated industry, right?
Totally. Our society has a tendency to dismiss porn as marginal and insignificant, and to believe that it doesn’t impinge on other areas of life. But it does. Porn isn’t just porn. It’s a discourse, a way of talking about sex. It’s a way of seeing and understanding masculinity and femininity. But this discourse and the theory behind it are almost 100% male, and often sexist as well. There are almost no women’s voices in the universe of porn, just as there were no women’s voices in the worlds of politics and big business until recently.
I believe that women have the right to enjoy adult films, and so I think we have to participate in the discourse. We have to be creators—screenwriters, producers and directors. The mainstream porn industry has its own fundamental, deeply rooted beliefs about female sexuality. Women have to step up and reevaluate those beliefs ourselves, because the industry certainly won’t do it for us.
What do you feel is lacking in mainstream adult entertainment?
screen grab taken from Lust Cinema
Mainstream porn lacks class, passion, taste, humor, intelligence, beauty, sexual intelligence, and respect for women. As a matter of fact, I think that the right question would be, “What positive values does it provide for our society, if any?” They are just crappy filmmakers, and most of them have really poor sex lives.
Two of my favorite porn sites at the moment are Kink.com and X-Art.com. Kink gets me off when I’m in a BDSM/bound gangbang mood, and I go to X-Art when I want to see people “making love” or whatever. Also, I know there are many sex-positive feminists working at Kink (including two of my faves, Bobbi Starr and Dylan Ryan, both of whom I interviewed on the VICE Slutever show). What are your thoughts on these sites?
They are both very different, but both have one thing in common: they are male oriented (made by men for men). Of course many women can enjoy them, I do not doubt that, but it’s just not my thing. But if I had to choose to go to a desert island with one, of course I would choose X-Art.
Are you familiar with Cindy Gallop, who I interviewed on Slutever last week? She started makelovenotporn.com and is now about to launch makelovenotporn.tv, which is a porn site which aims to depict real-world sex, so basically real couples having passionate, awkward, hot, funny sex. No professionals and no performances for the camera. The point is to teach the world that what happens in hardcore porn is not real life, and also to get people off in the process :) What do you think of her, and do you think her porn site will be successful, or do you think people just want to see sensational, beautiful, “porno” sex when they masturbate?
Cindy and I are actually friends. When I went to New York last Spring, to show my movie Cabaret Desire in The Museum of Sex, she invited me to her crazy/amazing/sexy/all-black apartment–seriously, Google it! I love the woman and her ideas. Regarding the site, I hope people dare to make real sex videos and show them to the world, and if they achieve that objective, it will succeed.
What turns you on?
Many Tumblrs [for example: http://www.erikalust.com/tumblr-treats/ and http://reveriesdenuit.tumblr.com and http://geekypornygirl.com/ ], my partner Pablo, red wine, champagne, my job! I’m a lucky girl!
Is there anyone working in the world of porn at the moment who you admire, or whose work you appreciate?
I admire certain performers like James Deen and Stoya, but not many directors. And I like what you are doing, I like fresh stuff like yours!
Thanks! What do your parents think about what you do, and how does it affect your work? I ask this because I’ve had issues with my parents, but they eventually agreed to stop reading Slutever, for the sake of our relationship (which was pretty cool of them, actually).
Well, my case is different than yours, in that I do not undress :) But yes, my parents were initially disappointed! They didn’t understand why, from all the professions in the world, I would choose to shoot explicit movies. They were expecting me to work for the UN, since I studied political science. But now they follow me on Twitter, FB and my blog, and all is OK. They are Swedish, which probably makes them more progressive than the average 65 year old American mom though…
Do you have a default thing that you think about when you masturbate?
When I find time, Alexander Skarsgård tends to be on my mind. And also some BDSM fantasies :)
What are your plans for the future?
I’m finishing an erotic novel that will be published in Spain in February 2013, and also preparing my new film, The Circle of Lust, to be released next September.