What can gay porn learn from feminist porn?

Feminists filmmakers have started revolutionizing porn many years ago and have come very far. Here is what we can learn from them.

As many of you know, the first porn film I worked on was a straight feminist film. I got a job as an editor for Erika Lust, the Swedish adult filmmaker who, along with her husband and her entirely female-slash-queer crew, started making adult films that didn’t look like the cheap porn films people used to watch.

The four years I spent working with her were like an immersion in a parallel reality. Yes, we were making porn – that is, hiring porn actors, setting up room sets, dealing with contracts and medical exams, and finally pointing a camera to people while they were fucking. But we weren’t doing only that. We were also sitting around a desk and chatting about why those characters were together, what did they have in common, if it was sunny or rainy, if they were happy or sad (or just horny, why not?). We were actually trying to create the story that was behind the making woopies.

This may seem like an obvious system, but it wasn’t really. A few years ago, almost every straight porn film you’d see was limited to a white sofa (or bed) where a guy would fuck one or multiple women. No whys, no emotions, no story. Happily enough, and that’s surely thanks to the work of feminists, this sort of plots are now more ridiculed than endorsed.

While I watched all that happen in feminist porn, I took a long look at the gay porn adult films. Of course chauvinist porn was never a reality for us: gay porn was already born with an inherent element of equality that traditional heterosexual porn lacks, which puts it already way up front in the race for quality.

However, that didn’t stop me from noticing how little creativity was being put in gay films. Aesthetically and narratively speaking, the majority of the gay porn films are still unlovely, unfashionable, impersonal and outdated – despite its huge appeal among a smart and sensitive audience all over the world (even girls like it better!).

So what’s lacking here? Why are we were still so reluctant in doing something different?

Feminist porn has taught us that is perfectly possible to rethink our concepts of eroticism, and it taught us that we can and should explore lust and libido through our own points of view.

That’s what I was thinking when I packed my bags and decided to explore gay porn filmmaking. I had this obsessed idea that a gay adult film could be beautiful, emotional, and portray a lot more than sex. So I grabbed my camera and started shooting stories of relationships, memories, fears and emotions, everything I considered interesting and erotic. And guess what? A lot of people were just waiting for something like that.

Feminist porn and gay porn are not the same thing – in fact they’re far from being even similar. But they do have one thing in common: a must need to break free from stereotyped scripts, so that a new type of filmmaking – more artistic, intelligent, human and diverse – can flourish.

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