Huffpost Women
Poorna Bell Headshot

Porn Film Director: 'The Revolution For Women Is Happening Right Now'

Posted: Updated:

Porn is not female-friendly, fact. But that doesn't mean women don't like porn - we just don't like mainstream porn which often subjugates the woman and makes her nothing more than a plaything for the men involved.

One woman trying to change all that is director Petra Joy, whose film A Taste Of Joy (Hey, it could have been way more punny - Joyrider, anyone?) just won a Porna award 2013 from Dusk!, the only adult TV channel for a female audience.

We took the opportunity to ask her about feminism, women in porn and why she got into the business:

petra joy

Petra on set at A Taste Of Joy

Why do you think your films are popular with women?

I think because they are what makes porn good for a woman – which is, the woman is the centre of attention and I use authentic, genuine people rather than actors. Some of them are real-life lovers, and we see a lot of the guy – his beautiful hands and body – and he pleasures her. That’s what lots of us would like to see.

Is mainstream porn sexist?

Yes, most of it is done by men for men so when women say they don’t like it, that’s because it almost never shows the guy. A worrying tendency in the porn industry that it gets more extreme – forced fellatio, that’s a worrying trend.

A lot of it does degrade women, we need to change that. As a feminist it is important because why should we leave one genre of film in male hands?

It’s also very worrying for younger adults – I feel responsible because I want to show variety, people who treat other people with respect, and who respect boundaries.

We need alternative porn films. There is a flood of images that don’t show any of that. The way forward is sex education and imagery – having safer sex, kissing as well as the fucking.

Why do you not use actors?

Until now I have not used porn stars because what women don’t like about mainstream porn is the deadness in the eyes, the fakeness. We need to feel something authentic is happening there for us to like it. If you do it as a full-time paid job, the danger is that you will inevitably be going through the motions.

Yes there are interesting porn stars who can bring passion to the job but a lot of people do stuff they don’t enjoy and the audience aren’t stupid. They clock when people are bored, in pain or uncomfortable.

For me, it’s important that the sex develops on set. My job is to be unobtrusive – it has to be free flowing. I don’t say cut, I don’t have a ‘pussy light’ attached to my camera and I don’t get right in there and do close ups. I love to be surprised, and sometimes the people in my films do things I don’t expect , and then it is hot.

petra joy

So you do use real life couples?

Often I’ve shot with couples who may be lovers, not necessarily in a relationship.

They have shared my vision to reclaim the magic and sensuality of sex, to empower women, and let men experience what it’s like to be the object of desire. These people aren’t exhibitionists who think: ‘oh my god, it would be so hot to have sex in front of the camera’, it’s more like: “I think what you’re doing is great, can I be a part of this?”

All the women in the film are politically motivated, and feminists. The whole reason I’m doing this is for other women.

The time has come now where women need to take the camera in hand, whether that it directing, producing or writing.

How did you get into porn in the first place?

I go back to the 80s – I studied film in Cologne and became part of the anti-porn movement.

I rented 70 porn films and watched them over two weekends and I was so disappointed. I wasn’t turned on and the images were terrible– women were spat at, slapped at, it was very misogynistic.

MORE ON HUFFPOST UK:

Men Dating Porn Stars: Bad For Them, Bad For Women

Everything You Need To Know About Sexting

One film was almost like a snuff movie, where women were being chased in the woods and it was shot on grainy film, they were being abused and men were torturing them with barbed wire.

So I decided to create my first film called Smash The Chains – I was in my 20s and a young feminist. I then gave workshops about porn – we looked at how the language and editing of these films degraded women. I then proceeded to shoot films about sex for TV – these were documentaries.

Then I set up my own company Strawberry Seductress – which were erotic photo shoots for women and couples. My clients asked me what films I could recommend – and these were men who were sick of mainstream porn and women who wanted something for themselves. But I couldn’t really think of any films to recommend because there wasn’t really anything the catered to women or to couples watching it together.

I had my own camera kit – I just thought, why don’t I do it myself? My first porn film was Sexual Sushi – I shot it over a few weekends with a couple who were my friends. One of my customers paid for the production because she supported the idea of what I was doing.

How did the porn industry react to it?

They rejected it – they said, there are no male cum shots over female, no porn stars. But - against all odds the film sold. People don’t want the same junk food, it was fresh – and that’s how it happened.

How is porn different for women than it is for men?
In effect, what we want is like a reverse image of what men want. The sexuality of a hetero woman is the opposite of male hetero – women have a lot in common with gay men – which is why women watch gay porn.

So for instance, one of my trademarks shows male solo masturbation for women voyeurs – as a straight woman I want to see a guy pleasuring himself.

For me, object of desire is the male. I shoot the guy, his muscles, his buttocks. In normal porn you see his cock and his behind, I want to see him. In mainstream porn you see two men and one woman; in my film the women are the heroine and the focus is all about her orgasm.

Are things changing?

The revolution is happening right now in porn, and it is female led – we are unstoppable. Across the world, young directors are taking charge – both Dutch and Australian.

My dream is that one day, because we make up more than 50% of humankind, I want more than 50% of porn produced for women.

Only one woman director has ever won an Oscar, only 6% of women in Hollywood are actually directors. Women need to pick up a camera and express their sexuality to the world. Then we get a balanced perspective otherwise we are being brainwashed.

The whole revolution that is happening is not motivated by financial gain. When you said porn all these negative connotations came up – coercion, being on drugs, and the new approach is driven by choice and freedom.

What has the response been? Won’t some women always hate porn?

If you don’t want to watch to porn, that’s fine. But at least now if you want to, there is something there for women. A lot of women email me, such as ‘you actually inspired me to try a threesome and now I know how to’ which is great.

Related on HuffPost:

Porn Stars Without Makeup
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Porn For Women - Tasteful, Erotic Sexy Time For Girls - Refinery29

Porn for Women - The Best Female Porn - Cosmopolitan

Porn for Women - Female Friendly Porn Websites - Marie Claire

High tea and sex anyone? Meet the women redefining porn ...

'Women watching porn and masturbating are still taboo subjects ...

Porn made for women, by women | Life and style | theguardian.com

High tea and sex anyone? Meet the women redefining porn

James Deen Shares His Thoughts On 'Porn For Women'

Why Do Women Go Into Porn?

James Deen Has Some Thoughts on So-Called Lady Porn

Woman must get help for codependency