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A Guide to Feminist Porn in 15 Short Films

If you are curious about what feminist porn exactly is and how it works but you have no idea where to start, here is a small guide in 15 short films

“The answer to bad porn isn’t no porn – it’s to try and make better porn,” Annie Sprinkle said. Even better if it’s feminist porn, which is to seek beauty, realism and sex positivity in porn and to care about the performer’s welfare.

There are so many women who struggle with the idea of porn and feminist porn. The reason is that the constructed fantasies in mainstream pornography create problematic representations of women as passive objects in sex and desire and toxic ideas on masculinity and misogyny.

Feminist porn film-makers subvert the established archetype of what sexuality should be and truly push the boundaries of erotic film-making. They promote a sex-positive sphere for women to reclaim the narrative around female sexuality. In their films, women take control of their own pleasure to fight against the dominant narrative of sex.

The expressions of desire are manifold, and feminist porn proposes to finally show them freely in all their forms. According to Madison Young, as she told in an interview with Telegraph, feminist porn “takes a cultural form that has historically been seen as the purview of men and reworks sexual images and conventions to explore new and more diverse kinds of desires. Being able to talk about what you desire and your real life kinks, that’s what matters to me. In the same way that some films could give a negative view sex, porn also has the power to make us feel great and teach consent and communication.”

Madison Young

As we can read in some points of the Mia Engberg’s Dirty Diaries manifesto (a collection of 12 shorts directed by young female artists, directors and feminists to create “12 propositions to rethink pornography”), “deep self-hatred keeps a lot of women’s energy and creativity sapped. The energy that could be focused into exploring our own sexuality and power is being drained off into diets and cosmetics. Don’t let the commercial powers control your needs and desires”.

“Male sexuality is seen as a force of nature that has to be satisfied at all costs while women’s sexuality is accepted only if it adapts to men’s needs.” So “the porn industry is sexist because we live in a patriarchal capitalist society. It makes profit out of people’s needs for sex and erotica and women get exploited in the process. To fight sexist porn you have to smash capitalism and patriarchy.”

You won’t find any free sites for feminist porn. Sex work is work, and it should be paid for, so you know these performers are being treated and appropriately compensated. We’ve got you covered with a list of 15 porn short films that focus on pleasure and empowerment.

Erika Lust
German director Elisabeth Rupp dedicated this short-doc (produced for the ZDFkultur TV program Der Marker) to the sex-positive director who unblocks the clichés of traditional porn cinema to model them on a post-feminist vision. To deepen your understanding, you can visit XConfessions (Erika picks the anonymous fantasies shared by her followers and turns them into explicit short films) and Lust Cinema, a web space for “those seeking an alternative to mainstream porn: where the feminine viewpoint is vital, the aesthetic is a pleasure to all of the senses, and eroticism and innovation are celebrated.” In 2018, Maike Mia Höhne dedicated to Erika the Berlinale’s talk “Reinventing Porn: Erika’s Ethics,” which analyzed “the androcentric space of porn and mass media and its representation of sex, sexuality and women built by the male gaze and its ideals.”

Aftermath
The best anti-hangover therapy? Sex! This simple and joyful short film is directed by Meow Meow, the Berlin-based psychedelic erotica, BDSM, and sex-positive feminism collective. Starring Gray & Sage.

Since You Asked So Nicely
Ms Naughty is a reference point for feminist porn. Her official site Bright Desire is dedicated to “smart porn:” she aims to “move beyond the old clichés, boundaries and negativity of standard, old-style pornography and to offer something fresh, inclusive and intelligent.”

> Click on the image to watch the film

The Crucible (One of the Ways We Get By)
A music video for indie rock band Rogue Pharmacist turns into a gorgeous and weird sex hymn. It is directed by Four Chambers , a collective which explores “the aesthetic and conceptual potential of pornography as a medium for ideas.”

Le penetrazioni impossibili (Impossible Penetrations)
This short-doc is from behind the scenes (and facesitting) of Queen Kong by Monica Stambrini, a horror-porn short about castrated libido and denied pleasure, starring Valentina Nappi, Luca Lionello and Janina Rudenska. This is part of Le ragazze del porno (Girls of Porn) project, a collection of author porn short films directed by Italian women filmmakers, writers, actresses and artists as Stambrini, Lidia Ravviso, Regina Orioli, Titta Cosetta Raccagni, Slavina, Tiziana Lo Porto, and others. Good riddance, if you ask us about Italian cinema.

Campos de Castilla
Elena Urko and Karmen Tep face postporn and transfeminism with “an homage to all the non-normative identities and sexualities that have lived and continue to resist in the depths of the countryside.” A geni(t)al short film to fight against the all-powerful heteronormative representation in which “signs and bodies have been violently marked in terms of class, race, gender, sex and sexuality,” as Spanish writer and philosopher Paul B. Preciado said.

Juice Porn: Women Redefine Sexy
Director Julia Patey and actress Lucie Aron make a porn film without porn neither explicit nude scenes. Just extreme close ups of tongues, teeth, skin, and fruit – of course. Julia Patey is a Canadian director based in Berlin. Her work “aims to create a sensual experience for the viewer by focusing on and amplifying moods and feelings.”

Hand Jobs
It’s Ms Naughty again, this time with a short film “that explores the way we use our hands to sexually connect with others – and to bring pleasure.” This is part of the Indigo Lush project, “smart, feminist erotic films for women, for men, for everyone. Depicting sex and sexuality in a more holistic way without porn clichés.”

> Click on the image to watch the film

Dawn
Barcelona-based filmmaker Lucie Blush directs the performer Magena Yama in “a psychedelically erotic video and audio experience about a woman exploring her psyche and sexuality.” Part of Common Sensual , a collection of short films in which Lucie “want to truly explore sex, without the bullshit. We experiment, we laugh, we reconnect. We dive deep into our own darkness, only to climax even harder.”

Intercourse
This isn’t about feminist porn. But this short film by Jonatan Etzler raises very interesting questions. A couple wakes up in bed together. He wants to make sex, but she’s not in the mood as she’s on her period. When he offers to pay her for sex, what initiates as a seemingly playful joke turns into a more complex and pretty awkward situation. Who’s wrong? Who’s right? A smart and provocative glimpse into the power dynamics within a relationship. “I wanted to show that even intimacy can become a commodity,” stated Etzler.

Primavera
It’s Four Chambers again, this time with Botticelli-sque Kiff, Blath and Vex Ashley. This is to be watched together with Persephone , starring Cam Damage and Owen Gray and dedicated to the Goddess of fertility and the queen of the Underworld. Two sensual and intense dark porn short films.

Le Clitoris
Canadian animation film director Lori Malépart-Traversy made this humorous and instructive documentary to narrate female orgasm and its history. A bright and proper analyze of the scientific, social and psychological aspects that have so corrupted the truth about clitoral and vaginal orgasms.

Pix
Do gay online behavior and pornography help for better communication or do they isolate homosexuals from “normality” gay men have been trying to achieve all these years? Experimental filmmaker Antonio Da Silva brings together “a series of flickering images (faceless-selfies) of 2500 gay men building a three minutes animation portraying what is happening in the ‘marketplace of desire’. Thousands of male bodies in typical male poses are put together creating the mosaic of one body.”

> Click on the image to watch the film

1st Orgasm
How do you remember your first orgasm? It probably wasn’t as good or bad as you remember. Filmmaker, writer and digital artist Missy Jubilee is the subject of a sex life experimental documentary film project, analyzed and reflected on in 250 short films, created over 12 years – using only the naked body, words, music and pop culture vignettes to tell the story. In 1st Orgasm, she re-created “the ground zero for my sluttiness.”

Three in the Morning
Directed by mysterious filmmaker Westland Armitage, a dreamlike porn short about “sex, airplanes, and an inexplicable flow of electricity.” Armitage’s works are available on Vimeo private channel Cataleptic Canvas .

Alessandro Zoppo

Alessandro Zoppo

Editor-in-Chief @ Good Short Films

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