The Feminist Sexpert Interviews Erika Lust

From the Erika Lust film Wanderlust, credit goes to Kristy

A true pioneer and creative leader in the world of feminist porn, director Erika Lust released her first film in 2004 and hasn’t slowed down since–directing a vast series of creative, ethically produced XXX features that also happen to be smoking hot. She has won more than 50 industry awards for her artistic interpretations of the female gaze, and expanded her empire to include room for four content sites and ample creative opportunities for people of all genders, colors and sexualities to express their message and vision. And now, Erika Lust brings us something Else.

Else Cinema is a pioneering softcore channel that showcases romance and sensuality in a highly artistic filmed forum.

The Feminist Sexpert is honored to interview one of her greatest inspirations and role models: Erika Lust.

Erika Lust_Portrait_Credits_Monica Figueras.

FS: Erika Lust, in your auspicious career as an erotic film director, you’ve covered a great deal of territory in terms of film types and genres–and now, you’re exploring the softcore realm with Else. What inspired you to host a special channel specifically for softcore films?

EL: “Not everyone wants to, or needs to see the more explicit sex scenes. Some people are very visual and others prefer to use their own imagination. There are many different ways to be sexual and it doesn’t always include intercourse, some don’t need any visual stimulation at all! Else Cinema is for the many fans of my work who want to experience sex and sexuality from a different perspective. It’s about engaging all your senses, and more about how sex feels rather than how it looks.

On this same line, I am about to launch my brand new audio erotica content at Else Cinema! Created hand by hand with BLAZE, I wanted for each and every story of the Else Cinema Audio Erotica to be sex positive, safe, consensual, and inclusive – just as much as the films. I see audio erotica as a conscious, empowering, and above all personal way to consume erotica and I hoped to bring the high standards of our audiovisual storytelling to the world of audio sex stories. Else Cinema Audio Erotica will be available starting from August and will be for free for premium subscribers.”

FS: As a softcore fan myself, I love the genre because it tends to feature more tenderness and more of a story than hardcore. What challenges does this pose to you as a filmmaker? And do you feel that softcore can be more romantic and respectful in content, for both performers and viewers?

EL: “I’ve always paid attention to make sure to capture tenderness and romance and, in general, chemistry. Real connection is sexy! But, being sex positive also means understanding that not everyone is turned on by the same thing and that, above all, there are no better sexual experiences than others, as long as they are based on consent.

I personally don’t believe that hardcore porn is necessarily less respectful or has less of a story than softcore. We can have consensual and respectful sexual relationships whether they are romantic, kinky, or anything in between! This is what I strive to show through all my sites XConfessions, Lust Cinema, and Else Cinema; that no matter what the type of sex, what really matters is equal pleasure, honest communication, and mutual consent.”

FS: Else also features films from other directors, an auspicious list of feminist directors that are widely known. How did you select the films?

EL: “It’s important for me to work only with directors who have the same values and create ethical content across all my platforms. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing directors over the years so it’s easy to find new work within this indie erotica community. With the help of my team, I personally handpick each month new films to license which are coming from a growing movement of directors who are changing the industry from within, by positively portraying human sexuality and shaping a relevant change in gender perceptions.”

FS: How did you plan the categories of Else films, as I know that the themes are diverse.

EL: “When deciding on the categories we were thinking of how people search for movies and also what are the most popular fantasies. The categories are representative of the variety of content Else Cinema provides.”

FS: Erika, we have to have a word about your kilt movie. For more years than I can count, I myself have purchased the men in kilts calendar each and every year. Thank you for this movie–what inspired it?

EL: “As all of the films on XConfessions it was inspired by a confession sent in by a fan. I had such a good time filming this movie on a hot summer day! It’s always interesting to read the confessions people send in because you realize that almost anything can be sexy or a creative inspiration. I think many of us have wondered what is under those kilts… I love playing with those fantasies and making them come to life.”

FS: Would you like to give updates on your other lines, like XConfessions and Lust Cinema?

EL: “I recently released my first South Asian inspired short film for XConfessions, The Saree Shop, which I co-directed with none other than acclaimed performer and sex educator Kali Sudhra! It was an amazing experience making this and I learnt a lot about the saree and South Asian traditions from Kali and Kajal, which I’m forever grateful for. I urge you to watch the behind the scenes video and Kajal’s interview video to hear more about their own experiences.

As for Lust Cinema, we just released the first episode of season 2 of Primary – an original series directed by our Lust Cinema exclusive contract director Casey Calvert. Following the success of the first season, Primary 2 continues to develop the stories of two non-monogamous couples’ journeys of love and lust. It’s a beautifully shot inside look at the highs and lows of modern day relationships through the lens of polyamorous millennials.

Finally, I would also encourage you to check out my Lust Zine as well. The zine is uncensored, meaning that guest writers and myself cover everything related to sex, kink, sexuality, intimacy, filmmaking, feminism and the adult industry… totally uncensored.”

FS: No question here–I just want to thank you for being a pioneer and a continuing inspiration for women in the erotic film industry–and for always being so supportive of other women in the industry, myself included. I know we’ll talk again soon.:)

EL: “Thank you for reaching out and for watching my films!”


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