Women love Porn, Even More When It’s Made For Them.

0
722

Words || Erin Christie

Ms Naughty is an award-winning feminist porn filmmaker based in Australia. Since 2000 she has been creating smart, sexy porn for women, and her website BrightDesire.com was recently nominated for prestigious XBIZ and AVN awards. She also has an active blog presence, frequently sharing her thoughts on the porn industry, sex, and women’s rights.

You’ve been doing this since 2000, right? What kind of changes have you observed within the porn industry since then?

I’ve seen a huge change in online porn since 2000. We used to work on dial up and put up little tiny photos, and in 2006 I remember saying to someone, “This YouTube thing, do you think it’s going to go anywhere?” and they said no. So I’ve seen the technology expand. We’ve gone from very simple technology to 4k video resolution and virtual reality. I’ve also seen people’s attitudes to porn broaden and become far more accepting. Obviously, the anti-porn feminists and the politicians haven’t changed their views but in the general public acceptance of porn has become almost ubiquitous, especially amongst young people – they don’t even bat an eyelid. When I tell them I make porn they just go, “meh”. In 2000 it was still taboo for women to look at porn. I was told I was wasting my time and that no one would ever buy it because people thought very few women watched it.

Do you think mainstream porn is becoming more ethical?

I don’t know, it’s a yes and no question because I’ve seen mainstream porn become much more – I don’t like the word extreme – it’s become full on. It’s become quite extreme in terms of what it’s depicting. It’s all very diverse, and a lot of things that were once considered extreme and hard core are now almost standard within mainstream porn. The anti-porn feminists get upset about that. I think it’s a problem but it’s also that people are more accepting and more open minded with what the they want to see in porn. It can depend on the intent of the filmmaker. At the same time, the ability for ordinary people to make their own porn with their iPhones and stuff has opened up perspectives. Since 2006 there’s been a growth in feminist porn and that’s been fantastic.

Do these changes apply to the Australian market as well, or is it more global?

I would speak globally because it’s only just in the last few years that the Australian porn industry has really been a thing. Our restrictive laws have helped dampen any enterprise in this area, although the internet again has helped expand things like that. So there are very few people making porn in Australia. However, what is interesting is that we have a huge feminist porn group so you could probably argue that Australia has more feminist porn than anywhere.

On your blog you’ve denounced the blanket ‘all porn objectifies women’ argument, even stating that objectification is not always negative or dehumanising. Can you explain that a bit more?

People enjoy looking and I don’t think you can say it’s either a male or a female thing. People enjoy admiring one another – it’s a sexual compulsion to admire – and to automatically assume that it equals objectification, or that you’re looking at someone in a negative way, seems extremely simplistic to me. It feels like the argument that “porn objectifies women and therefore porn is wrong” is constantly trotted out and it’s so simplistic. Porn can include gay porn which doesn’t even have women in it. It ignores the extremely multifaceted nature of porn. It assumes that there’s only one way of thinking and only one way of looking. There’s certainly ways of filming women for example that will reduce her down to just body parts. You can have porn that will objectify. I think what we need to talk more about is how porn is filmed, how it’s described, how the performers are described, and what are the ethics of the creation of it? Are people presented as full human beings?

You’ve spoken a lot about making ethical porn and trying to film the female gaze, do you think there’s a place for the male gaze in ethical porn?

I think so. I typically argue for the female gaze because it still remains extremely rare, almost non-existent. Of course mainstream porn, especially the stuff that you see on all the free sites, has a certain way of being filmed, a certain way of looking that focuses on the woman and cuts the guy out of the frame. All those sort of things, they give priority to the male point of view and the male audience. I don’t think the male perspective is necessarily a bad thing, but it does exclude other viewpoints. I’ve met men who are making very interesting, ethical porn particularly Paul Deeb and Tony Comstock.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

I have to add in a caveat and say I’ve been doing this for seven years and it gets really boring. After a while you look at so many people having sex that it just becomes witheringly mundane. As a filmmaker, though, I often find the best part is when I’m filming people having sex and there is a moment when I see them look at each other and you see the connection and you see people having a beautiful time. We recently shot a bisexual male/male/female scene and the woman had an orgasm that made her cry afterwards because it was so intense. It’s a privilege to be able to see that kind of human experience. Because sex is so personal you don’t usually get to see those human interactions and for all of my jadedness in having to take all this footage back and edit it, there are moments where I can see that human interaction and it makes it worthwhile.

For any newcomers to your work, what film would you recommend for introductory viewing?

Oh my goodness, I have to try and remember them. My award-winning stuff like ‘Dear Jizz’ is one of the films that I’m very proud of because it’s about being genderqueer, being different and accepting people. It’s had such a huge impact on people. At the same time, it’s not necessarily indicative of a lot of the stuff I’ve done because I originally set out to try and film straight sex differently. Also, my film called ‘Handjob’ which won the cinematography award – I’m very proud of that.


Ms Naughty’s award-winning films can be found at BrightDesire.com and you can read more about her opinions on porn on her blog msnaughty.com