Erika Lust hails from Sweden, a country famous for meatballs and furniture that comes in a box. Sweden is also known for being very open sexually, something that might have to do with those long winters and the over consumption of caribou meat. True to her home country’s openness to sexuality, Erika is a pioneer of feminist pornography, a term that was once considered an oxymoron on par with “military intelligence, but now emerging as a new mainstay in a world once completely dominated by overweight men with bad ponytails and limited budgets. Since 2004, Erika has been shaking up the world of erotic cinema by making and releasing X-rated fare that is not only sexually charged but also geared towards women and couples.
In her Bio, Erika states that “Women cannot just ignore porn”. Porn is simply way too prevalent in the modern world to be simply ignored by over half the world’s population. Instead, Erika believes that women need to participate in the genre and make their voices and desires known, and the best way to do this is to make porn that speaks for them. Instead of depicting women as cookie cutter cock starved characters straight out of a male dominated fantasy that mainstream porn generally like to portray women as, she believes that porn needs to be made that reflects the lifestyle, values and sexuality of modern woman.
Blazing Cinematic Trails
This is what Erika decided to do after graduating from the University of Lund in 2000. She moved to Barcelona and began working for production houses and taking classes on directing, learning all the ins and outs of adult filmmaking. Wanting to do it “her way”, she started her own company “Lust Films” and set about becoming a writer, director and producer of a new type of adult cinema. Her first film, “The Good Girl” debuted in 2004 and was a big internet smash, being downloaded 2 million times in the first few months of being released for free on the internet. It went on to win the NINFA prize for best short film at the 2005 International Erotic Film Festival in Barcelona.
After “The Good Girl”, Erika followed it up with a bigger project titled “Five Hot Stories for Her”, a compilation of five short stories (including “the Good Girl”) that took the world by storm in 2007 winning awards and international acclaim. “Five Hot Stories” was then quickly followed up by the “Barcelona Sex Project”, an experimental documentary that explores the sex lives and orgasms of six modern day Barcelonans. Afterwards, “Life, Love, Lust” a follow up to the “Five Hot Stories” project was released to critical and commercial acclaim further cementing Ms. Lust’s role as a pioneer in the medium of feminist porn.
Taking Porn Literally
On top of blazing cinematic trails, Erika Lust also decided to tackle the feminist porn culture on the literary front, publishing three different books on the subject: “Good Porn”, “The Erotic Bible of Europe” and “Love Me Like You Hate Me”. In “Good Porn” Erika opens up the discourse on how a women can consider be a feminist yet still enjoy porn. She tosses out the idea that porn was invented strictly for men and examines how porn can also be used to help heighten a woman’s sexual appetite. She sees porn as a “tool for excitement, education and pleasure” and calls for more female centric porn that focuses on the holistic nature of the female libido using “details, situations, fantasies, hints, and scenarios” in order to peak women’s arousal.
As the Internet continues to raise our children, they are being exposed to explicit content at younger and younger ages. Instead of letting the ideals of sexuality, femininity and masculinity be interpreted by the male dominated mainstream porn industry, Erika strives to create content that frees women from playing the limited roles that the mainstream porn purveyors deem as sexually attractive (the school girl, the nurse, the french maid for example) and allows them to discover what constitutes arousal and sexuality on their own terms.
Erika’s latest film is “Cabaret Desire” which was released in the fall of 2011. It is set in Barcelona’s “Poetry Brothel” and it is considered Erika’s biggest and “most personal” project to date. Like her other projects, it is a compilation of short porn vignettes that focus on story, scene, music and even wardrobe just as much as is it focuses on raw sensuality. You can find this new project along with Erika’s other films at lustcinema.com