The 7th of September 2015 was a very sad day for many women, feminists and erotic artists around the world. As the news spread that Candida Royalle died at her New York home, her Facebook page has been transformed into a colourful kaleidoscope of an amazing life. Every few minutes someone new leaves a tribute for this truly exceptional woman that paved the way for porn from a female perspective and opened doors to the many feminist pornographers – myself included – that followed in her footsteps. All the pictures posted show a radiant woman with a smile that said “I love live, will live it to the full, let’s go and have an adventure!”
I have been an independent filmmaker all my working life and have produced and directed erotic films over a decade now. Looking back, I feel that I have a wealth of experiences – most of them good, some bad – but all worthwhile as they taught me lessons and made me the person and filmmaker I am today.
I think it is wonderful that more and more (female) independent erotic film directors are emerging all the time, adding their voice and visions to the multi-faceted genre that porn is evolving into right now.
Maybe some of you would find it useful if I shared with you my top ten tips on how I produce my films and found my way as an independent director.
I just received my proof copy of the German magazine “Der Spiegel” which ran their cover story on female sexuality. The article is based on a brand-new study of female sexuality as well as expert interviews (and I am proud I was one of them).
The study by the Institute of Sexuality at the University of Hamburg, questioning 2100 students, has unearthed lots of exciting and encouraging facts:
In 1996 only 11% of German women apparently used a vibrator or dildo, now it is 38% of women who pleasure themselves with a toy. It is not just toys that can be a huge turn on however: my thesis has always been that women are voyeurs too and can get turned on by porn, especially porn that features female fantasies and focuses on female pleasure. The statistics show that indeed more and more women enjoy porn and are not ashamed to admit this:
23% of women had watched porn in the last 4 weeks and 44% of couples now watch porn together. In 1996 only 29% of couples enjoyed porn together.
Believe it or not, there are still members’ clubs that are reserved for men only. It is not just a lot of golf clubs… until a few years ago the porn industry was also an almost exclusively men-only affair, at least behind the camera.
When I tried to get my first-ever erotic film “Sexual Sushi” into the shops 10 years ago, I hit a wall of male resistance. I went to Europe’s biggest adult trade show, the Venus in Berlin, with my Palm Pilot in my pocket and every single business meeting I had was with a smug guy in a suit laughing at my concept of “art-core” porn. They did not get it: a porn film without major porn stars or money shots? An alternative porn that featured abstract, arty scenes as well as plenty of authentic sex between a couple that were clearly very much in love and blissfully unaware of the camera? They looked at me as if I was an alien before their eyes wandered off to the topless waitress serving us or one of the many live sex shows that surrounded us. I walked away empty-handed – no production or distribution deal. No further interest. They ticked me off as a curiosity.
Cora Emens is a well known Dutch sex educator who was 57 years old when she decided to live out her sexuality without fear, guilt or shame in front of Petra’s camera. Petra and Cora created together the sensual scene “And the winner is…” for Petra’s feature “(S)he Comes“, which is being screened this week as the opening film at the “Holy Fuck“ film festival in the cinema Film Huis Cavia in Amsterdam. Here is an interview with Cora about the prejudices that surround older women’s sexuality, porn clichés and why she decided to have sex on camera in a feminist porn film directed by Petra.
Recently, I found out by chance that a Dutch TV station had screened content from my film “(S)he Comes” without my knowledge or consent to license this footage. I was livid. I have worked for 20 years in TV myself and know that any visual content has to be licensed and paid for unless it is a “quotation”. This would be a very brief shot of a few seconds taken, for example, in a cinema showing not just the footage on screen but also clearly the cinema surroundings. But this was not the case – there were almost 30 seconds of my footage that filled the TV screen and in a piece that is only just over three minutes long that meant a significant part of their documentary on sex over fifty was illustrated with my footage.
I contacted a copyright solicitor and they confirmed that yes, indeed “(S)he Comes” was my “intellectual property” and to screen it without my permission was a severe breach of copyright. The TV station should have firstly asked for my permission and secondly set up a licensing agreement that clearly defines the terms of this license and of course they should have paid me for my footage. As it was, they never even bothered to send me an email to enquire about a license. I can only imagine that this means that they assumed that I would never find out and that different rules apply to porn than any other footage. Clearly with sites like YouPorn and PornHub blooming, porn is now widely considered as “free for all”.
I am on the train heading back from the Ladybeard launch in London last night and am still buzzing. Can’t wipe the smile off my face.
I had a bit of a nightmare journey heading up to London from the south coast in a 4 hour odyssey but all was quickly forgotten and is was so worth it as the night turned out to be one of the best events I have ever attended.
Ladybeard is a new magazine and their first issue is dedicated to “sexuality”. The launch was a fundraiser to get this fab magazine printed. There was a panel featuring some of the magazine’s first issue interviewees, discussing myths and taboos surrounding sex.
I have recently been sent information from an Adult Pay TV channel regarding their programming criteria. It is a fascinating read that makes clear just how sexist the porn industry still is and how reluctant it is to embrace innovative content.
So, Fifty Shades hits the cinemas this weekend. I am not sure what all the fuss is about – as if there are not loads of other genuinely erotic, exciting and kinky films out there. Some of them hard-core porn, some of them are classified as soft erotica. Who cares as long as they turn you on? It has not always been as easy as it is now to find a huge variety of kinky, creative films. In 2004 I started shooting my own porn because I could hardly find any porn that featured female fantasies that turned me on. When someone asks me today which films I find hot or can recommend, I am spoilt for choice – the list of films is getting longer all the time. These are some of my all time favourites, some classic and some current films that I enjoy watching over and over again or that just recently left a big impression on me. This is not a descending list – I love all of these films equally in different ways, depending on which mood I am in.
We are proud to present the latest volume of the exciting Her Porn series – curated with love and lust by Petra. Her Porn volume 6 features eight gems of high-end indie porn by some of the most innovative, creative and hot porn directors in the world. From enjoying a quickie with the mechanic; to a gender-bending love fest involving a strap-on and two pairs of fishnet stockings – all of the exciting erotic scenarios featured on Her Porn vol 6 are based on a female fantasies.
- Maria Beatty
- Lucie Blush
- Anna Brownfield
- Jiz Lee
- Morgana Muses
- Pornographic Love
- Shine Louise Houston
- Toytool Comiteé
- Tristan Taormino
Buy this film at OpenErotik.