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Updated 23 October 2015

Why women should make porn

South African women are not shy to watch porn, and film director, Erika Lust, says it can be more pleasurable if women play an active role in the adult entertainment industry.

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Feminist porn producer, Erika Lust, is breaking the boundaries of the masculine pornography industry, which has been heavily criticised for objectifying women.

She spoke to News24Live in a Skype interview from Barcelona where she called for more women to play an active role in the adult entertainment industry to help shed off the stereotypical roles portrayed by women.

Read: South Africans’ secret porn viewing habits

"A lot of women out there, when they watch traditional mainstream pornography, instead of being turned on ... they feel turned off because it is many times horrible, it's awful, it's ugly and it is quite violent and aggressive towards women."

In pornographic movies women are often seen as mere penis receptacles; and in agony while men are in a trance of sweaty passion.

What about female pleasure?

"I was like many young women, looking at porn, and I did not like at all what I was seeing. I didn't feel comfortable about how they were portraying women or female pleasure and I didn't like the story telling, the ridiculous situations and the horrible cinemagraphic style of it."

Hoping to change this, Lust started making porn movies 10 years ago with the aim of producing adult films that are aesthetically pleasing, have sound storylines and more importantly where men and women are sexual equals.

"I think that it is very important to understand that pornography is so much more than just pornography. It is actually a discourse, a discourse about sexuality, femininity and masculinity and the roles we play when we actually have sex. It is the only genre showing real sex," she said.

Lust added that men in the business felt threatened that a woman like her would take away their business.

"I feel that porn has been a very masculine genre," she said. "From the beginning it was made by men and it was for men. Women were there just to give pleasure to men and not get pleasure for themselves. I thought there is something wrong here ... why can't pornography also be for women? I felt like there must be a way where I can do this kind of films and actually like it at the same time."

Lust said her movies place a big focus on female characters and female pleasure. "In my films I try to describe situations that have to do with women and their erotic stories."

However, she was also quick to point out that it is a combination of factors that make her movies vastly different to the mainstream porn films.

The magic touch

"It is also about the whole production process, it is taking care of every detail, it is taking care of my actors, making a very careful casting process, getting to know them and to find the right people for the right characters.

"Then I think it is also about the cinematographic style of it. I love cinema, I want to make movies so I do make movies. I have a whole crew working with me and we do everything from the scriptwriting to the casting process to the art direction and to the make-up and the wardrobe department."

Read: What sex scientists say about pornography

Lust noted that the response from women has been overwhelmingly positive.

"I have a lot of reactions from women writing to me and telling me that it has been one of the first times that they actually felt that they could watch a movie containing explicit sex and feel great about themselves."

Change must go on

To continue this change, Lust called on women to play a prominent role in the adult entertainment industry.

"I think it is very important that we get more women into this industry, that we get more women in powerful positions like directors, script writers, producers and telling their stories from their point of view."

She said that pornography is way too important to leave it only to a small group of men that are supposed to tell stories about sexuality because it has to do with all of us.

"I think that pornography has been kind of bad in expressing a diversity of different sexualities and I think that what we really need is new people to dare to get involved with this and to start telling their sexual stories, their erotic stories.

"That is when we are actually going to see a mainstream change because it is true that in this last 10 years a lot has been done but still there are a very few women in this job, we have very few directors out there.

"I would definitely want to tell everyone who feels that they would like to do something about it, to do it and to give their version of eroticism."

SA women watch porn too

According to the world’s biggest porn website, Pornhub, women in South Africa accounts for a 32% of the Pornhub viewership in the country.

At the time Cape Town-based sexologist Marelize Swart, who is also Health24's resident sexologist, told us she welcomed this finding.

"The fact that SA women make up a third of Pornhub viewership tells me that SA women are starting to explore their sexual freedom in a big way and that is a good thing.

"Women need to empower themselves sexually and in that way actively challenge the 'double sexual standard' where women are still being judged more harshly than men who behave the same", she said.

Also read:

When does watching porn become an addiction?

Porn may reduce your brain size

Porn actors must wear condoms, court rules

Image: Sexy couple from Shutterstock

 

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