I got into porn about a year ago. I would not say it was an accident, but it was something I did not expect to happen when I was studying to be a film director. I worked on several short films, tried different jobs, and always had projects in my hands. One day, I was contacted by some colleagues from the industry that proposed we create a porn production company that would combine great stories with our artistic skills as cinema directors. We would use fake names to sign our pieces of erotica and each of us would continue with our careers outside of this microcosmos.
At first, I won’t deny it: I thought it was a ridiculous idea, even insulting. But then I remembered an evening I spent with my now ex-boyfriend when I was in college. He had brought a porn movie to watch with me (just for the fun!) and although I found it exciting and felt quite horny about it, I couldn’t help but find it a little bit disturbing and even nauseating; the actors were clearly faking it, the angle shots were ridiculously unnatural, and the explicitness was nearly that of a master’s class in gynecology (I am sure you know what I mean). Then, I thought that doing something different could be interesting and an enriching experience, although a very weird one.
Of course I did not tell anyone about it. In the beginning I thought that it was because I felt ashamed, but once I had some short films behind me I figured out that it was because this job is rarely taken seriously outside the industry. The reason is simple: Most of the porn directors and producers are not professional. They may not even have the slightest idea about how to hold a camera, prepare good cinematography or give proper indications to performers. This seems to be fine with them. When I am shooting, I personally like to have a small crew around me (like any professional director would have on a nude scene in conventional cinema) and I like to treat performers as I would do with conventional actors and avoid filming them as if they were animals in a documentary. Sex is physical but emotions are very important and I think that a lot of people prefer a high-quality and story-driven porn which they can relate to, instead of a five minute shot of a penis entering a vagina.
The cast and the crew are usually very normal people. The crew acts as professionally and diligently as they would do in any other audio-visual project; performers are often very warm and friendly, are always prepared, receive indications patiently, and usually come up with very interesting ideas. I have to admit that my idea of how adult film performers were was very obsolete, though from the beginning I chose only to work with natural-looking actors
If I think about it, I come to the conclusion that what I am doing is just conventional cinema with explicit sex in it and that is why I sometimes feel uncomfortable about being classified as a porn director, not for the word itself, but because I can’t help relating it to that sexist material that populates porn tubes. I am sure I am not the only one though. I am not into porn only for myself. There are a lot of people out there (men and women) that still consider porn a scourge because they cannot relate to it, they find it too negative, dull, disgusting, old-fashioned, with that tacky music, silicone everywhere, and violent language (“Suck it harder, bitch!”). If sex is positive and natural, why does porn have to be so artificial and scary? Why are visual and cultural aspects so outdated? And the most remarkable issue: Why aren’t women well represented in pornography?
It seems women only accomplish one function in those films. They represent the role of femme fatales. They can be either dominant rubberized queens or young nymphs in school uniforms but they generally have one reason to exist: Being a fantasy, serving as an image for the pleasure of lots of horny guys. I am a woman. Even if I can make an effort to understand how the mind of a male works, by no means I am willing to accept those clichés and use them in my films. As a tiny part of the new wave of cinematic porn, I want to offer realistic situations, characters with a minimum of complexity, expectations, fears and joy. A slice of life, far from stereotypes and degradation.
Obviously, the existing conventional porn community (both producers and consumers) are far from accepting these new trends that a lot of brave artists are helping to arise. They use the word “feminist” as an insult and deprecate us for being “cheesy” or “too classy” or whatever. It is curious, because when I started the company with my colleagues (we are two women and two men), no one ever talked about feminism. It was implicit in the message of a high-quality erotica that could be pleasant and exciting to anyone. Feminism is about equality and we all agreed that this positive point of view had to be taken for granted in this modern world we live in.
After all these explanations, some of you may wonder how pornographic material can help with sexuality, how it contributes to your sexual life both individually and with your partner. Nowadays, in our millennial cyber society, our sexual education comes from very diverse sources and the democratization of porn makes huge amounts of unfiltered explicit material online accessible to very young audiences. I personally think that it can be positive to have access to porn in order to experiment with yourself and/or with your partner, exploring new things or just feeling amused and aroused. However, porn is also a source of ideas that are too often a translation of a culture of arrogant sexism, apathy, lack of empathy, violence, stigmatization of certain ethnic groups and body types, the degeneration of intellectual values, etc.
In summary, I would say that porn tends to be retrograde in a world that tries to be more egalitarian and plural. Erotica reflects in a certain way the society that we live in but it also has a cultural relevance that nobody can deny. Given that, it has to be exciting, entertaining, hot, and arousing, but always respecting equality, especially in terms of gender. Of course, as a girl you are free to be attracted to submission, humiliation and all kinds of role plays, and I personally enjoy shooting films that explore our darkest desires and thoughts, but they cannot be used as a weapon and as a justification for women’s deprecation, only caused by ignorance and a terrible lack of education, even within women.
If only the films that my feminist colleagues around the world and I could contribute to create porn from a new and fresh perspective and reach a big audience, maybe the idea that most people have about it would change, along with the way they enjoy their sexuality. Let’s fight for it. 😉
Check out the work of Lucía and her colleagues at VersoCinema.com!
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