Morgana Muses is a force of nature. She’s the creative director of feminist production company Permission 4 Pleasure, a company that creates beautiful documents of sexual exploration through short film, documentary and experimental formats. Born in Australia to Slovanian parents, Morgana felt herself confined to many unwritten rules of womanhood, where your sole purpose can seem to be being a good wife, a descent woman, and a mother. At the age of 47, two years after leaving her marriage, Morgana embarked on a journey of sexual exploration and learning. Morgana shows us that it’s ok to break those oppressive invisible rules. We talked to Morgana Muses about her journey, staying true to herself, the power of sexual awakening, and the notion of being a “good woman.”
What are your main influences now, when thinking of a new film?
My main influences when thinking of a new film idea has always been to ask myself the following questions: what is it that intrigues or fascinates me? What do I wish to explore? What message do I want to make? What taboo or myth would I like to dispel or redefine? How can I achieve this on film in a new, interesting and visually beautiful way?
Your twitter description says “there should be no expiration date on our sexual pleasure and journey.” We couldn’t agree more. Can you elaborate on that? Where do you think the idea of being “too old for sex” comes from?
My age-positive stance comes from my lived experience. Up until the age of 45 I was a well-known and highly regarded member of a large rural city’s community (in New South Wales, Australia) as the wife of a successful professional and the mother of his two daughters. It was only when I asked for a divorce that I discovered much to my surprise and great disappointment, that the expectation was for me to quietly ‘disappear’ into the background. Meaning I felt I was expected to behave in a ‘respectable’ manner and create no gossip or scandal because of ‘the children’. My social circle mainly consisted of married couples with children, and as a newly single woman, social invitations became noticeably fewer almost immediately, until they ceased altogether over time. This troubling experience gave me the catalyst to reclaim my sexuality and begin working to dispel the myth of ever being ‘too old for sex’
“As crude as this may sound, the best part of ageing, and not only when it comes to sexuality…is simply no longer giving a fuck!”
How was it to grow up with a strong focus on being a “good woman”? Were you ever a “good woman” in the sense of what that expression means?
I am a first generation Australian, born to Slovenian parents. I was raised to believe that as a female my ‘duty’ was to marry, have children and not to create any shame to the family name. In the sense of the expression, up until my divorce I can say that I was considered a “good woman”. However, being a ‘good woman’ meant that many of my personal goals, needs and pleasures were considered secondary (or not all), if they did not benefit the ‘greater good’ of being a wife and mother first and foremost.
How was the beginning of your journey of sexual exploration? What made you take this turn in life?
My almost 20 year marriage had left me with no self confidence or self worth as an individual, particularly as pertains to my identity as a woman. The beginning my journey of sexual exploration was filled with trepidation and uncertainty. Ultimately, it was because of my age and not wanting to arrive at my ‘deathbed’ with too many regrets that I took the plunge and haven’t looked back since.
— Erika Lust (@erikalust) February 11, 2016
Morgana and I during the screening of XConfessons in Berlin, 2016.
What is the best part of aging when it comes to sexuality?
As crude as this may sound, the best part of ageing, and not only when it comes to sexuality…is simply no longer giving a fuck! You can begin to make choices and decisions that are best for you and your needs, without worrying and considering firstly what others may think or expect of you.
How do you feel when working with performers younger than you?
Ideally my preference would be to work with a similar aged (or older) performers, but as long as I form some sort of connection with the performer, age is really not that great an issue for me. I have always believed that each generation has something to offer, and that there is always something that we can learn from each other.
Do you have a favorite film of your own production? Why?
“Having My Cake” would have to be my personal favourite to date, as it depicts much of what I have always enjoyed in my life, and still do… travel, fine food, culture, the arts, having fun and a mischievous sense of humour.
What are your plans for 2016?
Firstly I am incredibly excited to be working with Lust cinema, I hugely admire the space Erika and other feminist pornographers like her are carving out. As for the rest of 2016, working together with the other half of Permission4Pleasure, Josie Hess (cinematographer and editor) we are looking to expand the P4P brand. We have 3 more films in post-production and we are currently working on how to make P4P a more financially viable business model.
We have so many great film project ideas and would love to continue making films beyond 2016. I’m currently based in Berlin and Josie in Melbourne and we are planning to attend the BerlinPorn Film Festival end of October. We will also shoot a couple of more films, network and take some time out to enjoy our friendship… by indulging in cultural pleasures that we both share.
You can buy Permission4Pleasure’s fabulous films in my Store!