The New Feminist Wave… of Pornography

Erika Lust is an adult cinema director and writer out of Barcelona, Spain.

She entered the film industry to kick misogynistic, hyper-masculine, heteronormative ass, and she’s doing just that.

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What are she, her films, and her brand known for?

  • Representation of body types, races, genders, and other demographics
  • Sex for female pleasure, from the female gaze
    • And more recently, focus on films for queer viewers
  • High quality storylines, acting, and cinematography
  • Equitable treatment of her workers, and support for all other sex workers
  • Realistic sexual encounters/fantasies
  • Sex-positive sex education
  • Pornography in the media
  • Rewriting what pornography can be.

I first stumbled across Erika Lust in watching the Netflix series, “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On.” Although I found some of the series to be problematic at moments, it’s definitely still worth the watch, especially her featured episode. She gives such eye-opening perspective, and completely changed my thoughts on porn and adult films.

Lust has a background in Women & Gender Studies, and was raised in Sweden. These things were strong influences on her cultivation of feminism within herself. She was almost always in a sex-positive mindset because of her comprehensive, inclusive sex education in Sweden, one of the only countries that provides an education that not only includes conversations of the importance of pleasure, but also one of the most inclusive approaches to sexual health. Lust realized her first year of college, while watching porn with her boyfriend at the time, that porn was not representative in so many ways.

She spoke about it in her TEDX talk and that resonated with me. As someone who first experienced pornography by accident, I was left with a terrible taste in my mouth from the degrading way in which the woman was treated. I hadn’t anticipated that, and I was really displeased with the thought that the men in my life were viewing things like that. (Dude – I was a thoughtful little teen! Wow!) I remember being angry with a friend of mine because he told me that it was normal. There is nothing normal about “Fuck me like you hate me II: How every woman secretly thinks,” “Hot student fucks teacher,” “Milf cums hard and gets huge creampie,” “Step daddy needs to fuck her now.”

That is normal? Well, those are the top four titles right now on one of the top free streaming sites: PornHub. This brings up an important point, though… Most porn that young people access is free (completely free.. zero dollars… zero centsScreen Shot 2018-05-01 at 1.36.56 PM.png…) So how are these sex workers making a sustainable wage? Typically, they are not. Erika Lust wants to change that. Her films are about the same price as a movie you’d see in theaters, typically ranging between $10 and $20. She emphasizes treating each employee with respect: respect for boundaries, for owning their own bodies, and for only doing things they are comfortable with. You can see it in their eyes in the films. They are acting, yes, but they are authentic and organic.

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Lust’s films also highlight the female gaze, my favorite part about her mission. As most films and pornographic content is shot by men, for men, at the expense of women, Erika wants to flip this. Especially in her earlier films, she directed her crew to shoot for the female gaze and pleasure. She has now branched out to do more queer films, but the intent is still the same: no film will profit at the expense of someone. This doesn’t dull the fantasies or content – she still generates films for the kinky, BDSM loving, and experimental folks. How does she do it? She includes the consent-gaining/giving in her films, without missing a beat.

Finally… sex films that represent real, good sex.

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As she mentions in her featured episode on Netflix, in most of the films, men don’t orgasm first, if even at all. This feel like a completely different world of sexual cinema.

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Is this something you’re into, too?

Check her films out at

Check her out on Instagram @ erikalust

Check out the Lust brand and the shop at

What do you think about representative porn? Does it change your mind on adult cinema?

All images taken from Erika Lust’s Instagram and website.

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