If there's one thing we hear most often about pornography, it's that it's a man's world out there. And it's true. The vast majority of pornography isn't made with female viewers in mind. As a result, it's typically low on the kind of sex that really turns women on. You know, the kind that involves foreplay.
If you're a woman who can squirt in 30 seconds flat, more power to you, but if you can't, the wham, bam, thank you ma'am flavor of most mainstream porn is likely to leave you more bemused than aroused. So, what's a sexually-charged woman to do on her down time? The good news is, an increasing number of pornographers are women, and they're making a new kind of porn. One in which empowered women engage in sexual acts they enjoy. One in which the sex - and the orgasms - are real. One in which female pleasure - both for performers and viewers - takes center stage.
Want to learn more about this new wave of pornography? We talked to pornographer Lucie Blush of We Love Good Sex about the porn industry, feminist pornography and how women can tap into sexual content made just for them.
Kinkly: We Love Good Sex states that you're on a mission to make good porn. Why is that your mission - and what, in your mind, is good porn?
Lucie Blush: Good porn is porn that respects the actors and the audience by making movies that feature real passion and real pleasure. People who have fun, basically - and that's what's missing from mainstream porn. Why is it my mission? It's been a long process. I wanted to find videos that stimulated me. I found a lot of inspiring content, but nothing that really corresponded to what I wanted to see. So I said, OK, let's make a porn film.
Kinkly: What kinds of stories are you trying to tell with your films?
Lucie Blush: I based everything on my own experiences and fantasies. I don't try to anticipate what people wan; I basically do something that looks like me, feels like me, is the result of a personal exploration. I like to work with people who I'm attracted to, people that I would like to sleep with. People who are natural, healthy and happy in their own bodies. They don't need to correspond to the standards of beauty in our society.
Kinkly: What made you decide to venture into creating porn? Is sexual openness and exploration something you grew up with?
Lucie Blush: I grew up in an environment that was filled with body shaming. I was very self conscious. I had no clue about my own sexuality. I was never taught that my body was there to please myself. I was taught that I was there to please men. That started to hit me around 22 or 23 and I started to think about female sexuality and sexual relationships. It's something I kind of forced myself into because I knew there was something missing. I knew that sex had to be better than this. I was never really satisfied. That's when I discovered a whole new world of feminist porn. It really made me realize all the potential of sex and porn. I realized that porn could be really useful for people to get more pleasure out of sex and to have more ideas.
Kinkly: You make what you describe as "feminist porn." That's a term people are becoming more familiar with, but maybe explain how feminist porn differs from the more mainstream pornography people may be familiar with.
Lucie Blush: Feminist porn is porn that respects the values of feminism and applies them to the making of the movie. It makes sure that the performers are comfortable, that they're paid well and receive good working conditions. The movies should also have sexual equality, and feature women who are proud of their own bodies and not sexually passive, or "dick machines" - people who have personality, who have souls. Feminist porn is about not showing women who are used for sex, but women who want sex and who like it, like we do in our lives. It's ethical porn, basically. (Check out this cute video that shows the difference between porn sex and real-life sex - using food.)
Kinkly: What about sex-positive porn? What elements make pornography sex positive?
Lucie Blush: It's about removing all the shame that we have around sex and porn. It's about making porn and having women who say, yeah, I like fisting. It's about removing all these clouds, pollution, taboos around sex and showing what it's really like and how fun it can be. It's about respecting everyone's sexuality, nudity, bodies. This is what we don't see in mainstream porn, which reduces sex to something mechanical, something like robots. Sex can be so much greater. When you see great porn, it turns you on for a few days and triggers real feelings in you, and you think of it days later and it still turns you on. I think there needs to be a wider choice in porn.
Kinkly: Statistics show that more than half of women watch pornography now. What type of pornography do you think women respond to and how does that differ from pornography for men?
Lucie Blush: I don't know what women are looking for. I don't think there's a porn for women or porn for men. I think men and women are looking for good porn. Women want to see porn where women are not degraded. They want to see something they can identify with. Same as men. They want to see something they could experience themselves or fantasize about. That makes them feel good about their own bodies. I think women, just like men, want to see sex that is intense, that is passionate that is hot and that you can only achieve when actors have equality and are having fun.
Kinkly: You appear in some of your films. What's being an actor like?
Lucie Blush: It's pretty exhilarating. I had no idea how would I react. I was really nervous, but in the end it was really fun. When the time came to take my clothes off, it felt good, I felt adrenaline because people were watching. It was like OK, it's me. I can't lie. It's my body, it's me, this is what you get. It's a good way to learn to accept yourself. And then having sex, you kind of forget about being self conscious. You're like, well, you're on camera, you're having sex, you may as well have fun. I like showing myself vulnerable like that, which makes me strong.
Kinkly: Your videos feel very personal and real. Where do you usually shoot?
Lucie Blush: I lived in Barcelona for six years and most were shot in Barcelona. Then I moved to Berlin a couple months ago and shot in Berlin. No matter where I shoot, finding actors is the most difficult part of the job. I use every tool that I have at my disposal, Craigslist, friends, word of mouth, professionals or amateurs. There's big pre-production work with actors. You never know what's going to happen on set, if there's going to be chemistry or not, so there's big research work in finding actors and actresses who will get along. I try to ask them what they like, don't like and what they might want to try to try to make everything work great on set. Some amateurs chicken out at the last minute. That's something I've learned to be able to see.
Kinkly: For readers who are maybe looking for pornography that'll suit their tastes, what resources can you recommend?
Lucie Blush: It's really hard. That's kind of why I run We Love Good Sex - because I couldn't find anything that helped me find the porn I wanted. Of course, you can spend hours online and find something, but it's hard to get a grasp on the alternative porn and find places to browse. It's all very isolated, so it's kind of hard to find on the Internet. That's the problem. It's really hard. That's why people like the blog; I spend hours looking for good stuff. You can also check out a few names that are getting big in the alternative porn world, or look up alternative porn festivals. That's a great source of information and a way to discover a lot of cool things.
My approach is personal. Everyone can bring their own vision to porn. We have the Internet to thank for that. People can just put their stuff online. I think more and more people will discover more feminist porn in the future.