The feminist filmmaker creating ethical porn

Swedish filmmaker Erika Lust felt like most pornography had been made by men with "the emotional intelligence of a teenage boy". So she started to make her own.

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards NewsMavens, Sweden
The feminist filmmaker creating ethical porn - NewsMavens
Erika Lust. WIkicommons

Why this story matters:

Through her films, Erika promotes a sex-positive feminism by highlighting female pleasure and autonomy as well as male, and reflecting different tastes as much as possible. She also aims to ensure that they are created in an ethical way, prioritizing safety and a culture of consent on set.

She doesn't see a causal link between pornography and rape culture, but notes that like all art, porn is a product and reflection of the society it's made in. "We have always lived in a culture of toxic masculinity that allows and encourages men to perpetrate acts of violence and disrespect towards women," she says, and adds that a lot of existing pornography reflects this.

Her experience as a Swede living in Spain has also given her a chance to compare attitudes in each society to sex work and consent. For example, she argues that Swedes are reluctant to engage in debate about decriminalizing sex work, but has been impressed by the recent women's rights movements in Spain.

In this interview, she talks about why she thinks porn is important, and the conversations she hopes her work can spark across the world.

Details from the story:

  • Erika's first film, The Good Girl, was downloaded by millions in just a few weeks.
  • She has also created films based on submissions from the public, to reflect broad tastes in erotica.
  • Sex education has been compulsory in Swedish schools for over 50 years, but this is not the case in Spain, where the filmmaker now lives.
  • She has financed more than 25 guest-directed films, with an investment of more than 250,000 euros.

inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
SUPPORTED BY:

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
CORE TEAM
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy
System.Threading.Tasks.Task`1[System.Threading.Tasks.VoidTaskResult];