There are few subjects that elicit such strong reactions as those related to pornography. The stigmatisation of sex workers and sex work in general permeates through our society, a society that consumes more porn than anything else. And it’s not just men. Some statistics say that up to a third of women watch porn regularly – and those are just the women willing to admit it. Porn, as pervasive as it is in our culture, is ironically one of the last taboos. We watch it – but we don’t ever want to talk about it.
There is a growing movement in adult cinema – that of ethical, female-produced, arthouse and feminist filmmaking. Films made with passion, intimacy, creativity and care. Films that represent female sexuality in the way we as women experience it, and not just as a male fantasy. Films that don’t centre on stereotypes, on racism, homophobia, or heteronormative ideas of beauty. Not all porn is made equal – just like any industry, there’s good stuff and bad stuff.
But why should you care? Well, visual stimulation is important for your sex drive. If you’ve found yourself feeling less horny than normal, or you struggle to get aroused, watching adult cinema that features real pleasure, desire and consent can be a delicious and very enjoyable solution. We’ve rounded up five projects that provide unusual work – representative, intersectional, feminist and queer – so that everyone can find something they like.
For more information from trusted sources on sex work, feminist porn and why we should pay for our porn, you can check out the links at the end of the article.
(Parker Marx & Lupa Vaux in Idolotry – image courtesy of Four Chambers Vimeo)
A Four Chambered Heart
Vex Ashley makes (in my opinion) the best adult cinema in the world. Creative, imaginative, arousing for both your body and your mind, A Four Chambered Heart (or Four Chambers) features all films that are written, produced, directed, edited and distributed by Vex herself. You can sign up to her patreon to get access, and watch the more vanilla trailers for the films on her Vimeo (which are breathtaking in their own right).
(Stoya in Hysterical Literature)
This series isn’t so new, but it never gets old. 20 women are asked to read aloud from their favourite book as, unseen under the table, their partner brings them to orgasm. All you can see are their expressions, but watching them attempt to concentrate and keep reading whilst the pleasure builds is unforgettable.
(Anne DeWinter and Bishop Black in Second Date by Artichoke Films)
Blue Artichoke Films
Blue Artichoke films dedicate themselves to portraying sex and sexuality in a real, emotional way. The best part about their films is how real everything feels, from the shy giggles, to struggling with more complex positions, it always feels like an experience that is close to something you’ve had in real life – which makes it all the more arousing. Award-winning, unmissable erotic cinema.
(Image courtesy of Aorta Films, from the film “W/hole”)
Queer, intersectional, inclusive, sex-positive and all-round brilliant, Aorta Films is a site where you can find people with all kinds of genders, sexualities, bodies, desires and experiences. Beautifully shot, you can see how much these performers really like each other – so much so that it feels almost voyeurisitc!
(Kali Sudhra & Jean Jumel in Spit It Up by Adriana Eskenazi. Image courtesy of Erika Lust Films)
Turning your sexual confessions into a reality for over a decade, Erika Lust, the Swedish indie adult filmmaker, has been making waves across the world with her XConfessions series. Making award-winning short films with high production values and beautiful performers and settings, XConfessions is by far the most popular indie adult cinema platform in the world. Lust also produces films by Guest Directors all over the globe, all of which are available on the site, including work from Bruce LaBruce, Poppy Sanchez and Sadie Lune.
So, do any catch your eye? Can you recommend some other feminist, empowering, ethical adult cinema? Leave us a comment below! And most importantly, emjoy…
Extra reading for sex nerds: