“Porn is a huge part of the culture we’re living in. We cannot just ignore porn, we have to participate and discuss this very influential genre”
Erika Lust is an independent filmmaker, author, and founder of Erika Lust Films. After graduating from Lund University with a degree in Political Science with a focus on Feminism, Erika moved to Barcelona, where her production company was established in 2005. She has directed four award-winning erotic films – Five Hot Stories for Her, Barcelona Sex Project, Life Love Lust, and Cabaret Desire, as well as several shorts. Her new project, XCONFESSIONS, combines Erika’s groundbreaking cinematic style with the public’s own sex stories to create a new genre of adult film. Her written works include Good Porn: a Woman’s Guide, The Erotic Bible to Europe, Love Me Like You Hate Me, La Canción de Nora, and Let’s Make a Porno: a Practical Guide to Filming Sex.
“I pledge to create new waves in adult cinema, to show all of the passion, intimacy, love and lust in sex: where the feminine viewpoint is vital, the aesthetic is a pleasure to all of the senses and those seeking an alternative to porn can find a home.”
Erika was born in 1977 in Stockholm, Sweden – a country with a strong culture of sexual liberalism, during a time when pornography was beginning to verge on the mainstream and feminists were dividing themselves on the issue.
While in university studying political sciences, feminism and sexuality, Erika came across the 1989 book “Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the ‘Frenzy of the Visible’” by Linda Williams; A book that was hugely influential on the modern discourse of pornography, and on Erika’s personal impression of the genre as well.
“At the University of Lund, even though I was studying, thinking and reading about porn, I didn’t actually like any of the porn that I saw,” she remembers. “The first time I saw a porn film, I had the same reaction that many women have – while I was aroused by some of the images, for the most part I found it unsatisfying. The audiovisual quality was awful. I didn’t identify with anything that I saw. The women did not look like they were enjoying themselves, and the sexual situations were totally ridiculous. We’re modern women! Not slutty Sharons, horny teens, desperate housewives, hot nurses, and nymphomaniac hookers, always looking to service pimps, multi-millionaires or macho sex machines. Not always looking to please rather than be pleased. I wanted to know: where was my lifestyle, my values, my sexuality?”
In 2000, Erika moved to Barcelona and began working in production houses, where she was inspired to take filmmaking classes. The incredible void for women’s voices in a male-driven mainstream porn industry was never far from her mind, so when the opportunity arose in 2004 to make a short film, Erika knew exactly what she would do. She would turn her ideas into something real. Into something for the holistic viewer who was aroused by details, situations, fantasies, hints, and scenarios. The casting, the decoration, the clothes, the styling, the music, the script, the photography: all would be key elements in this first work, as in the following.
That first film, The Good Girl, was distributed for free on the Internet and downloaded 2,000,000 times in the first few months after its release. It would go on to win the NINFA prize for the Best Short Film at the International Erotic Film Festival Barcelona (FICEB). With such a huge response to her first attempt, Erika was inspired to establish her own production company, Erika Lust Films. Since then, Erika has found even more success in bigger projects, attracted a wide audience, and challenged the adult industry to rethink how it presents sexuality and eroticism.