Category Archives: Events

We are the future!

Petra Joy and crew

I just got back from Erotica in London – the UK’s busiest and biggest adult life style show. It has been an amazing experience and I am so glad that I was invited to take part giving my seminars “How to shoot your lover! Erotic film making for couples”.

From the opening on Friday at noon until closing time Sunday at 8 pm the show was buzzing with people and a really happy, playful, sensual vibe. An unbelievable 100,000 people came through the doors of Olympia in three days. There were at least as many women as men visiting the show and loads of couples browsing. Somehow our tiny velvet clad booth became a magnet attracting literally thousands of people to stop by and chat about my concept of art-core porn.

It was such a pleasure and buzz to meet so many women and men who are hungry for erotic delicatessen such as my first film “Sexual Sushi”. Most of the people who came to chat with us never liked or had enough of mainstream porn and were looking for something more creative, arty and sensual. Having only dealt with wholesale buyers in the past I am used to be told that my films are only for a insignificant niche market, difficult to promote and hard to sell. Erotica told a different story: the buyers wanted the films and they were chuffed to meet me and two of my most amazing performers who have worked with me from the start: Emilia Ren and Violetta Storm. I have never done so many signatures in my life like in the past three days: Emilia, Violetta and me seemed to constantly sign one of our DVD’s and it was an honour to do this for so many nice people.

Erotica

I have said for quiet some time now that the future of the adult industry will be to celebrate a return to sensuality, rather than just promoting hard and fast sex; to create erotic films that are upmarket artistic and creative rather than just showing assembly line fucking. The future buyers for adult products are liberated women and couples who had not enough choices of sensual toys and films in the past.

The women and couples who are ready to enjoy a new kind of porn are not a niche market – they are a force to be reckoned with and tired of being patronised by an male dominated industry that refuses to change and grow.

One afternoon we had an interesting visitor at our booth. A large lady wearing a bight pink T-shirt with the slogan “Jesus loves porn stars” – Violetta though it was a joke, but it wasn’t. They were there to save the fallen girls who got into the porn industry and to rescue victims of porn addiction. The Jesus lady left soon enough when she realised her stereotypes of women being victims in the adult industry and all porn producers exploiting human beings did not fit our mission: we empower women who choose to be and see our films, have not made a profit with our films and generally encourage people not to just copy what they see in porn but to make their own and have sex in their unique individual ways. But she would not leave without firmly pressing a bible into Violetta’s hand. She could not believe her eyes and nor could I when I went onto the company’s website where they sell “online recovery courses” for porn victims at $180 a go.

Erotica

Violetta decided (no surprises here) not to spend her hard earned cash on the recovery course but on three brand new pairs of high heeled shoes. She loved them so much that she broke them in at night when we were lying on our hotel beds trying to relax after 12 buzzing hours on the show. I invested into three new masks for my dressing up box and treated myself to an amazing black corset that is encrusted with crystals, created by the designer who did create the outfits for Moulin Rouge.

I am very happy right now. It has been a great few days that were worth all the time and energy we whole heartedly put into it.

After a long year of hard work with no (financial) profit so far, this was just what I needed – the feedback of the people who want sensual porn that they can enjoy together without being alienated by fakeness and extreme sexual stunts. The future of porn is in sensuality, art and creativeness. We are the future ! I would like this opportunity to thank everyone who came to my workshops and the booth to encourage me to keep up what I am doing ! Thank you for chatting to us, sharing your erotic ideas, come to be cast for a shoot and supporting us buy buying our films. Thank you o the Erotica organisers to put on such an amazing events with many new attractions such as the sumptuous VIP lounge, sexy men in hot tubs and a huge variety of seminars that enable people to explore their sexuality even further.

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The final countdown

Petra Joy

It is the night before Erotica. My flat looks like a warehouse that has been hit by a hurricane and my mind is buzzing. The phone has been ringing non-stop today and my inbox is overflowing following our being featured today in the Metro newspaper. It is my first big piece of publicity in the UK and it is great that finally Violetta’s and my mission to liberate and empower women to make their own adult films is being heard and seen. I spent the last 3 weeks preparing for this huge show and have worked day and night to make it all happen.

I am exhibiting with the support of six gorgeous friends and we all will be there to meet women and talk about female fantasies and porn for women. I will be teaching two workshops a day (twice as many as last year). One will be on how to make your own creative porn and the other on the female perspective on porn.

Night after night I have viewed literally hundreds of porn films to find creative clippings for the presentations, packed 200 goodie bags for all the women (thank you to my sponsors Pjur lubes and Lovehoney), and I have written ten page hand-outs. Phew! Now there not much more that I can do except hope that I will get a good night’s sleep before packing up the van bright and early to head up to London to set up the stall and the be a guest at the UK porn awards.

I am sure I will have wild dreams tonight – in anticipation of Erotica and of course the awards. Thanks if you voted for me and supported me.

In my mind I am writing and rewriting my list of things to bring over and over again:

DVD spinner… passes… car pass… Horizontal Banner… 2 X Vertical banners… Table… 3 chairs… pillows… Suitcase with materials… Table displays: acrylics + Deco… Awards… red columns… DVDs (4 titles)… Posters/Frames for table… 2 laptops… discs clips !!!!… Notes presentations (DOUBLES !!!)… projector… projector screen… goodie bags… VOD vouchers… guild book… playing cards… still camera… video camera… clothes suitcase… material suitcase… food and drinks… Fridge…

I am sure I have forgotten something. There must be something. And I will probably only realise it when I am in London. But we will manage somehow.

Sometimes (always, actually!) I wish I could clone myself, so that one of me could be on the Erotica stand whilst the other one teaches a workshop and the thirds watches the Erotica shows sipping champagne. My boyfriend tells me he would like me cloned too. But it is not possible, so I will have to run on turbo-power to sparkle through the next few days.

If you are heading to Erotica come along and say ‘Hi!’ to Violetta, me and the team. We are at booth H4 and the times of my free presentations are available in my diary and at the Erotica website.

See you in London!

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Once more with feeling!

Petra Joy

The third pornfilmfest has been and gone and for me it was the best so far. It was an honour to be invited to all three festivals and show my films to a large audience in a proper cinema. Unfortunately the last two festivals passed me by because of a whirlwind of media commitments, I finally had time this year to really enjoy the festival.

Juergen Bruening, the curator and his team put on such a fantastic event: three cinemas with a total of six screens, showing erotic films, porn and documentaries about sex for five days nonstop. The screenings were backed up with a huge variety of presentations, workshops and fantastic all night parties.

The Wintergarten Cafe in the Movimento cinema in Berlin Kreuzberg became a hub of creative activity with filmmakers and performers from all over the world exchanging ideas, contacts and dreams. I never spent a single minute alone there, as thanks to the previous porn film festivals the family of filmmakers has grown so much and I am part of it for good.

It was great to meet Karen, all the way from Australia where she runs a website with film reviews and further info on porn for women (www.forthegirls.com). We have been in touch many times by email and she has always been really supportive so it was great to say “Thank you” in person. I enjoyed meeting Maria Llopis from Barcelona again, a radiant experimental erotic filmmaker. I spend many hours in the cinema watching films that have no distribution in Europe and can usually just not be found and seen. There were real diamonds to be found in the short film competition. I adored an Indonesian film called “Hula-hoop Soundings“, featuring a girl with a hula hoop talking dirty, an American film called “The Window” featuring three hot men leaving their inhibitions behind and playing in the windows in full view of the neighbours and an Argentinean animation with the title “The blindness of the woods” done in the style of 70’s Scandinavian porn.

Petra Joy

It was a pleasure to watch a lot of hot porn and if you know me, I guess you will not be surprised if I tell you that most of the films that I loved and that tuned me on were gay films. I really liked “Too hot in Tel Aviv” from Roy Raz – three short stories shot in a very refreshing way all with handheld camera and focusing on the gorgeous men involved rather than just their cocks and asses. It was also great to meet Todd Verow who produces mainstream porn but also expresses himself with autobiographic experimental films that always surprise in their unique look and feel. His new film “Where your heart should be” premiered at the pornfilmfest. (www.bangorfilms.com)

It was so exciting to meet other filmmakers after their films were shown and be able to chat to them in the cinema and then later at the night bar until the early hours. The night bar happened every night at the Tek Mer, an ex-Turkish supermarket that was still open for business a few weeks back. During the pornfilmfest it became a centre of alternative erotic culture. And what a tonic the nights at the night bar were, especially after the blunt boredom of the Venus. In true Berlin style I had the pleasure to be part of a lot of unforgettable party nights. My favourite night at the night bar was the Thursday when everyone in the bar seemed to be an erotic performer or filmmaker. There was a bed next to the dance floor and it did not take long until two guys got it on and then they became three and ultimately four guys. It was so hot and sexy to watch them giving each other pleasure live, because in swinger clubs or fetish parties man-on-man action is always taboo which really annoys me. I loved the fact that the guys did not do a performance on stage but just enjoyed playing even though people were watching. It’s not often a straight woman gets to watch a posse of hot men making out just inches away from me and I loved it!!!!

Petra Joy

Sunday night was a highlight too. At first I invited Belle and Mia Magic – both performers in my current release “Feeling it!” – to dinner, followed by our film showing on the largest screen of the Movimento cinema. The cinema was sold out and I was really happy and excited that 150 people had paid €7 to see my film on the big screen. Those are the moments me and my team work for. The magic moments money can’t buy. To be seen and heard and understood. To inspire the viewers and get immediate feedback so we can grow and develop. After the screening we had a glass of champagne and stayed on for some very interesting Q&A’s and then joined the pornfilmfest team at the night bar. It was my night again as the very hot Brent and Skunk put on a gay show and we ended up chatting all night about male sex objects for women. They both would love to model and perform for me and are flattered to turn women on. Brent just wrote in a follow up email to me:

“It seems to be taboo for a woman to say that she enjoys watching two guys making out and this is made worse with the fact most porn is made by straight men for straight men. I think Women see things different to men and this should be reflected in the Porn for Women…”

Wise words indeed and I look forward to future co-operations with Brent and his playmates.

It was also pleasure to meet the fabulous Lazlo Pearlman – a man with a hunky tattooed body, a gorgeous face and a – wait for it – pussy! Lazlo is an FTM (female to male transsexual) and is proud to be enjoying the best of both worlds… I greatly admire gender pirates like Lazlo who do not conform to gender and role stereotypes and choose to be whoever they want to be and in the process break all moulds.

Petra Joy

This is what the pornfilmfest is all about: challenging stereotypes, breaking taboos and ultimately broadening our horizons. I am signed up for that mission too and together we will continue to change the world – even if it does not pay.

More info on the festival can be found here: www.pornfilmfestivalberlin.de

I just hope that the festival will continue as no-one can afford to work for nothing; or worse – pay to work. So I wish the teams lots of (financial) support, so that their ground breaking worr may continue for many more years.

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The final frontier

Guy Candy

I had it all planned out: A ‘women only’ event. Women getting together to talk about ‘porn for women’. I wanted two male butlers in the buff serving strawberries and champagne. The butlers being the “eye candy” for the girls – showing off their biceps, pecs and bums, serving the women in a polite manner. Women first. Women on top.

Little did I know that the bar where I was to run my event was a bar where men normally have a post-wank beer after they have enjoyed some solo play time in the sex cinema. A venue that clearly caters for men and their desires with larger than life photographs of female porn stars on the walls and no indication of male sex objects on display whatsoever. It took all afternoon to transform the venue and make it more attractive and comfortable for women. We covered the slot machines and swapped the beer pads with rose petals and feathers. Eventually the butler arrived (my hosts supplied me with one rather than two eye candies). Whilst I was briefing him on how to treat the ladies and kitted him out with a short black waiter’s apron, cuffs and a bowtie I was in for a nasty surprise.

The butlers in the buff are about showing off the best features of a well toned guy in a cheeky yet non-offensive way. They go down a storm at many events all over the UK and I had one in my orgy scene in “Feeling it!” I had sent the organiser the pictures displaying the best features if the butler – covered at the front with a black apron put displaying his naked, sexy peach bum at the back. However to my surprise the hosts of the vents did not share my enthusiasm. They demanded that the sexy butler would wear a cheap and cheerful pair of boxer shorts to cover up his best bits, as they considered his bum to be “rude, dirty and offensive”. I was gobsmacked. In this very venue female porn stars regularly display themselves more or less in full frontal nudity and only 15 meters away hardcore porn was playing in the sex cinema to entertain the male crowds suddenly a double standard was applied: naked women being considered as “normal and sexy”, semi nude men being considered as “dirty and vulgar”.

I tried my best to stand my ground and give the girls the eye candy that they deserve but even though the event was based entirely on my concept, I was told by the organisers that in their venue they called all the shots and so the butler ended up looking mediocre in a rather unsexy pair of baggy boxer pants.

This is not the first time I encountered this double standard – two years back a big distributor cut my male bisexual scene that they considered “dirty”. This very scene won this year “best bi scene” at the feminist porn award at Toronto. And many women including me really enjoy watching men make out – just like most straight guys enjoy girl-girl action.

The other day I met a TV producer in Cologne and told him about the growing trend in Germany of young women editing alternative erotic magazines featuring nude men. The ‘Jungsheft’ is an art-core publication from Cologne and has become a cult publication cult all over Germany. It is edited by two women and features photographs of ordinary nude men, some with erections. The comment of the male TV producer says it all. Without batting an eyelid he said: “It is obvious that this magazine is read mainly by gay men”. I was speechless.

I can’t believe that this prejudice still prevails. Let me spell it out loud and clear: women are voyeurs too. And straight or bisexual women enjoy looking at nude hunky men as much as men have been enjoying seeing topless girls in their daily paper for decades now.

What does it take until female fantasies and desires will be taking seriously? How much longer until an erotic photo of a well toned guy is just seen as that – a photo of an attractive man to be enjoyed by whoever- rather than being labelled “gay”?

Sometimes I feel we still have a very long way to go…

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I am a porn star…

 



Petra Joy - Porn Star!

I did not enjoy visiting this year’s Venus adult trade show in Berlin. It felt like being catapulted through a time warp into the 80′s with its outdated representation of women and sexuality. Even on the trade and press day the halls were filled with middle-aged men, equipped with telescopic cameras and plastic steps in order to get a better look or shot of the women that happened to be stripping on various stages. Whereas Erotica at London promotes a more sophisticated style of eroticism with headliners like Dita van Teese attracting a 60% female crowd, the Venus in Berlin still displays Pamela Anderson clones that masturbate in the shows pretty much nonstop whilst looking increasingly fed up. None of this is shocking or new – just hopelessly outdated and boring. I was wondering – why is there not a greater variety of women performing on stage, where is the guy candy and why is there not an area somewhere aimed at women? This year they had for the first time a ‘fetish zone’ and a small ‘gay area’ but there was nowhere for the female (trade) visitors and press to meet, network, shop and be entertained. When I bumped into the female sex shop owners, toy designers or journalists, we all agreed to meet at a networking event outside of the Venus. Somewhere where we could breathe and just be rather than having to be bombarded with siliconed clone bodies and the entourage of the flash light popping press pack that always follows.

In this context I felt uneasy with the idea that I could do an autograph session at one of the event lounges. But I thought its worthwhile to give it a shot to help putting female porn directors firmly on the map – even within a mainstream, male-oriented event. But my idealistic spirit was quickly dampened: At the venue I was to do a signing, there were sex shows on nonstop in front of a packed room and my presence was not promoted in any shape or form. I was neither announced on the Venus website not on the venue’s daily time sheet – so I wondered how people are going to find me or even know that I was there. What I would have loved is if there had been a women’s lounge – one area where the erotic entrepreneurs could have met to network and interested women from the public could have met us to exchange ideas. An area with male staff, a complimentary glass of bubbly and a chocolate fountain. An area that was not tucked away at the back somewhere but that was clearly visible and promoted very well. An island for women who are revolutionising the sex industry. One day we will be able to mix and mingle with the mainstream male adult industry but for now an island amongst the sea of male oriented mainstream sex products would be progress.

I ended up standing next to plastic bar table with a little spotlight on me in a room full of men that had come to see women masturbate. When I was eventually announced by the compere, he came out with the unforgettable and highly symbolic phrase: “We have got a young woman here today. Her name is Petra Joy. And how could it be any other way – she is a porn performer and you can get her autograph here”. My mouth just dropped. The crowds of men turned around to look at me. They had no clue who I was or what I stood for and I really did not want to give autographs to them because they thought I was an up-and-coming porn star.

What shocked me most of this announcement was the arrogant and patronising way in which the bloke made it clear that even in the 21st Century most men firmly believe that there is only one role for women in the adult industry – in front of the camera as performers. With one sentence all the woman that work their asses off as dildo designers, sex shop owners, magazine editors, photographers and filmmakers were made invisible. As if I and we simply did not and will never exist.

To these representatives of an ancient adult industry, female erotic entrepreneurs are not just a new and emerging face of an increasingly erotic culture, but a weird phenomenon not to be talent seriously. These patriarchs of porn, hinder the industry to develop, grow and embrace female talent that dares to do anything else but fuck on film.

The remark was also an insult for the porn stars that currently are or will be in the future active behind the cameras writing scripts or directing. It’s all about possibilities and choices. If the possibilities are not offered there are no choices for women. And maybe this is the reason why it has taken so long for women to emerge and make their mark on the industry with their vision of erotica and sex. It is not by chance but through necessity that these women are independent entrepreneurs who put their money where their mouth is. Within the Jurassic sex empires that still reduce women to their bodies alone, there is no room for freethinking female spirits.

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If you can dream it, you can do it!

Petra Joy

Sometimes the reality is better than the dream. To stand up on stage with all the other winners of this year’s Venus Adult Industry Award, holding my big, fat heavy trophy high and my head even higher, singing along to “We are the champions!” is such a perfect moment frozen in time. It meant the world to me to be recognised by the progressive and open-minded elements of the adult industry with an award – even though or maybe because my films break all the mainstream rules. I was honoured for my work as a director by the Special Jury Prize for “Pioneering Achievements in Porn for Women” – a category that was created especially for me.

For five years I have been creating porn from a female perspective and fought long and hard to get distribution and make sure that female fantasies will be seen and understood. Walt Disney once said “If you can dream it, you can do it!”. And he was right. You can and must make your dreams come true – even if it feels like banging your head against a brick wall. It can feel like shedding a skin to follow a dream and I am glad to have progressed from being against any porn to creating alternative porn.

Petra and Belle

I want to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful women and men that support and inspire me and my work. I am thinking of my performers who have all become close friends, especially Violetta and Belle (who was in Berlin with me when we received the award). Without the fearless performers – the liberated women and supportive men who dare to explore erotic pleasures beyond the usual porn stereotypes – my films would not exist. I am also thinking of my babe, Tony who is tirelessly working behind the scenes, shooting the behind the scenes footage, building my websites and picking me up when I am down. A heartfelt ‘thank you’ also to Cynthia, a wonderful woman who I have never met in person but who supports and inspires me with frequent emails and calls. A very warm ‘danke’ and ‘thank you’ also to the wonderful Laura Meritt from Sexklusiviateten in Berlin – she was one of the first female sex shop owners to sell my films. I want to share my award with all the wonderful women and men who have supported me by purchasing my film and putting their money where their mouth is. A big ‘cheers’ to all the wonderful creatures that have shared their fantasies with me and honoured me with their trust.

When Belle and I danced together through the Brandenburger Gate at 4 a.m., we were thinking of you!

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The Big “M”

Petra and Belle

The vibe was amazing. For two hours we waited and watched the lighting change around two giant ‘M’s that were erected around the stage. Every time the spotlight hit the giant clock, the crowd cheered. We were here to see Madonna rise and shine in the giant open air Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

My dear friend and cover girl of “Feeling it!”, Belle, is about half my age so she is a new Madonna fan, whereas I have been a fan for two decades now. I still have the original “Sex” book that Madonna brought out ahead of her time – a picture book of erotica for women. I like strong women who do their own thing and allow themselves to change and grow. My favourite part of the show was when Madonna sang “She is not me” a song about copycats and began dismantling representations of her former self on stage. No more “like a virgin” or “material girl” Madonna. Only the Madonna of now, highly energetic skipping in work-out gear or soft and feminine, a gipsy heroine, exists in the presence.

Big M

To me there is nothing worse than being labelled as one type of person and expected to be the same forever. No reinventions possible. It is stifling. The press always sees the fact that I was active in the anti-porn movement in the eighties as a contradiction to producing twenty years later porn form a female perspective. In reality what I do these day has organically from what I did in the eighties. Offering positive alternatives, rather than just being against something is what I want to do right now. Knowing what exactly you want comes with maturity. I know more what I want and feel more empowered to achieve it in my forties, than when I was in my twenties. But then we are expected to calm down with age and disappear into the background – but it’s not going to happen. More and more “middle-aged” women make sure that they are heard and seen.

This is what has annoyed me most about the press Madonna received in the last few months: 90% was negative, suggesting that having just turned 50, she should “retire gracefully”. She was called an “obscene cradle snatcher” just for dancing with Justin Timberlake. Sexual charisma and chemistry for women over 40 seems to be a big taboo and Madonna is trying to break it by dancing, singing and not giving a shit. Good for her.

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Headlines from Amsterdam

Petra Joy at Mail and Female

I have just returned form the most exciting weekend in Amsterdam. I had been invited by the team of “Mail and Female”, an excellent female-run sex shop to do a presentation on how to make your own creative porn. The workshop was for ‘women only’ and was fully booked within a few days. 45 women came to be inspired and empowered and I am glad to be able to pass on my knowledge as a film-maker as well as my personal experience as a female director in a still hugely male-dominated industry. There are tips and insights you don’t learn at film school and I gladly support other women who are just setting out to produce their vision of female erotica. Only when 50% of (adult) films are made by women we will head towards a more balanced representation of male and female desires. We have a long way to go yet.

I want to thank the team from “Mail and Female” for inviting me and all the women who came and shared their thoughts and ideas. I hope that some exciting short films will be created as a result of my workshop and the aspiring director’s creativity.

There was a massive media frenzy that surrounded my visit. I cannot remember how many interviews I gave exactly but it was a real buzz to go to the newsagent on Monday and pick up the newspapers. The lovely team from “Mail and Female” and I were featured on the front page and in a huge full colour spread in two leading newspapers. We were also featured on various TV channels. It is great that the message that many women do like explicit erotic films is finally heard and seen.

Petra in the Press

What surprises me about the press is that they tend to portray all female pornographers as the same. But the truth is that even though some of us share a similar vision or visual style, we are all completely different and unique.: There are female directors out there who break the porn rules and focus on female pleasure and find new ways to show orgasms. Others produce porn that follows the mainstream rules – including the obligatory money shot at the end of every scene.

It is almost as if the media tries to keep us in check by putting us in a box labelled “female pornographers” and we are supposed to all like and do the same things. But in reality we are individuals with varying tastes and styles. I welcome the great variety that women currently produce and would appreciate if journalist took the time to actually view the films of directors they write about. This would enable them to understand and appreciate how different our visions of erotica are and that the gender of the director will not necessarily produce a certain style. There are many different women out there with varying erotic tastes. It is about time that they all can find food for thought.

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Flamenco and fun in the sun

Petra Joy and Violetta Storm

In the last two weeks my feet have barely touched the ground. I am on the plane right now on my way back from Madrid where I spent the last 5 days attending the FICEB award, buying outfits and props and networking.

We arrived in Madrid last Wednesday and had only an hour or so to get ready to go to the gala night. Due to the extreme heat (38 degrees in the shade at 9 pm) I ditched the idea of wearing my long satin evening gown with matching gloves and opted for a short summery number instead. The awards party was held in a seventies style restaurant in the beautiful Retiro Park. All the big players of the Spanish porn industry were there and quite a few European porn celebrities as well. It was so nice to be able to share this event with Violetta who has become a dear friend to me as well as being my muse and one of the stars of my films. What we create is a labour of love and true teamwork so it seems wrong when I turn up at awards parties all by myself. It would have been nice to walk away on the night with one or even the two awards we were nominated for. It would have meant the world to me and a lot to Violetta who has supported me for 2 years now and had to take off three days from work so she could travel to be there with me. But it was not to be. ‘Best film’ and ‘best director ‘ went to “Casino” – a big budget film created by Marc Dorcel productions. Congratulations to them ! I have not seen the film yet but am interested to see what they created. I must get hold of a copy and put it on my “to view” list.

I am not disappointed as I never thought that I had a realistic chance of winning as an independent producer next to all the big production companies with massive budgets. We enjoyed the night and sharing our table with the marketing guys from Daring media who produce big, lavish porn films in Barcelona. It was great to chat to them as they, to our surprise share our opinion that porn must open up to new consumers, styles and content in order to survive.

There is a reason why porn DVD sales are falling and it is not just the growing popularity of video on demand (downloads). I also think that even hardened porn fans are getting bored with repetitive content. The film titles and names of performers change yet the sex acts and order they are shown in remain the same. It is like porn by numbers and the lack of creativity and innovation bores many viewers. With time the industry will change and for us, a small independent label doing porn in a unique way, to be nominated for the two big awards is an indication that the industry is getting ready to embrace creative innovation.

FICEB action

The morning after the award party I went for a day to the Ficeb show but it was not what I expected. The opening hours were from 6 pm until 5am and the show was held in a massive rave venue. Girls were stripping and couples were fucking live on various stages to the beat of techno and trance whilst hordes of middle aged men tried to video or photograph the action on their mobile phones. There were only a few stalls selling gimmicks and none of the big exhibitors were there. So I could not make any deals. As a business trip this did not work out well but as a girly weekend it was fun.

One night we went to see an excellent Flamenco show with some male dancers. It was HOT: their bodies heaving and dripping with sweat their faces contorted in almost orgasmic ecstasy. What a turn on to watch them dance as if they had sex with an imaginary lover. It just showed that sexiness has to do with personality and energy rather than full frontal nudity and explicit acts.

Some other nights Violetta and me spent watching a selection of alternative porn that I have found recently. We analyse the films, laugh about clichés and celebrate anything that done in a creative way or puts women on top. We were particularly interested with “The gift”, a Spanish film that won many awards at the Ficeb in 2006 and also “Constance”, a Danish film that is ten years old and was one of the first European porn films catering for a female audience. Apart from one rough and slightly disturbing scene (a kind of rape scenario) I liked all the other scenes in “The Gift” – it was shot really well with lots of steadycam work which I would love to use in the future and even featured a roof top sex scene with shots taken from a helicopter. The sex was hot and varied and many clichés were broken. So thumbs up from Violetta and me for this unusual film. “Constance” impressed us because it featured a lot of women reciving oral, showed some pubic hair and also integrated the use of condoms. I like it when porn promotes safe sex rather than risking the health of the performers or pretending that condoms are not sexy. It’s a shame that all sex scenes ended in a visible cum shot though – it would have been nice to see the orgasms just in the odd scene in people’s faces or whole body spasms. “The Gift” and “Constance” were created by male directors. The films are proof to me that the gender of the director is less important than their artistic talent and willingness to break porn rules when it comes to the creation of alternative porn.

Petra, Violetta and Maya

A highlight of our trip was meeting the fantastic corset designer Maya Hanson. Violetta needed some new outfits for her burlesque performances and we also hoped to find a look that could work well for a future shoot. Maya works in a wonderful loft filled with mirrors and stunning outfits. We did not know where to look or what to try on first – there was so much choice. Whilst most shops just sell red, white or black corsets off the peg, Maya hand-tailors all her corsets in a huge variety of materials and patterns. Violetta went for a purple corset with matching bloomers, called “polollos” and also an ivory/baby blue outfit with build-in suspenders. They both look a million dollars. I splashed out on an under bust corset that I can wear with my beloved black jeans and vest tops as well as over a dress. I hope to get it tailored in a strawberry print and if that is not available will go for the Hawaiian beauties instead.

I am happy but also worn out and glad to be back home at last. It gets tiring to live out of a suitcase and it is also beyond my limited means to pay for all these trips on my credit card. I love to network and to be part of all the different film festivals and trade shows but now the time has come to concentrate on spending my time to actually making some money – be it with writing, photography or filming.

I look forward to put the skills I learnt in a Final Cut Pro editing course into practise and start the postproduction of my “women on top” documentary.

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Red lights and orgasmic breath

Petra Joy and Annie Sprinkle

Violetta (who stars in my films and has become one of my best friends) and I were invited to Amsterdam support the female run sex shop “Mail and Female” at the “Pinched festival”. Violetta was modelling their new range of underwear whilst I was photographing people in a tiny photo booth. It was a pleasure to meet the wonderful Annie Sprinkle again who headlined the event. I had a chance to interview Annie for my documentary on women and porn. She is such a wise woman who has experiences with the porn industry from many different angles. An ex porn star she is now a director, performance artist and Tantra teacher spreading her credo: “Love is the new sex!”. I admire her for bring much needed sensuality and spirituality into the world of porn, the sex industry and our lives. Annie also gave a workshop on orgasmic breath – the power of breath is amazing. It teaches you to focus on being in the moment. Breath allows you to focus on different parts of your body, switch of your mind and become more alive. When I started doing yoga 20 years ago it changed my (sex) life. I learnt to breathe consciously and it truly helped to get me out of my head and into my body. Using the conscious breathing during sex opened up a whole new world of sensations I would never want to do without again. So any breathing workshops and especially Annie’s come highly recommended.

Violetta and I ventured out into the red light district one night. It was amazing to see how sex was for sale openly in a well regulated and non intimidating way, rather than hidden and tucked away in badly lit dark and dangerous alleys. Most women were displaying themselves in the red lit windows but a few of them had ventured outside in front to their shops. We decided to chat to them to find out what the sex industry had to offer to female customers. We were told that a blow job costs 50 Euros but to give a woman head costs four times as much – 200 Euros. There was not a single amn in any of the windows. Even though they do exist. Male escorts for men and women still are invisible. It seems that in prostitution just as much as in porn women as customers are still discriminated against. The whole sex industry is geared towards men.

We ventured into the famous live sex show at Casa Rosso and it was so disappointing. The men were really unattractive and I could barely bring myself to view the action. There were no sounds coming from the stage and no signs of ectasy in anybody’s faces. Silent and highly choreographed sex not more but rather less erotic than a sports routine. After one hour the whole performance started again with the same performers going through exactly the same motions – silently. Give me a aubtle burlesque show anytime over this dull and boring gyrating boredom. One night in the red light district was more than enough for me.

I used my time in Amsterdam well to work more on my documentary “Women on top” – female porn directors and was excited to have a chance to interview Maria Llopis from Spain (formerly one part of the well known director’s duo “girlswholikeporno”) and Jennifer Lyon Bell. Maria creates really fun subversive sex clips that play with gender and empower women. Jennifer has created a short film called “head shot” that was shown on quite a few film festivals. It shows a guys face and only his face during a blow job he receives. The clip stands in the tradition of the famous film “Orgasm -faces of ecstasy” and the “Beautiful Agony” website – showing faces rather than body parts during orgasm – a revolutionary act within the porn industry. The interviews were delightful and insightful and I can’t wait to share them with you soon when my film comes out and also as a special treat in my soon to be created member’s area on this site

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