Erika Lust Films

It's time for porn to change.

Sunday 11 June 2017, by Arnau Balot Vadis

1 inspired

A. The main facts about the activities of the company.

Erika Lust is the creator and CEO of Erika Lust Films, a firm created in 2005 with the objective of producing ethical porn differentiating their films from traditional male chauvinist/focused porn. The main activities of Erika Lust Films is to produce erotic porn, trying to make it equally likely both for men and women, without humiliating any actor or actress. LustCinema was created in 2010 as an erotic online webpage from the firm, where consumers can subscribe and have available some of the films and videos of the parent firm.

There’s an online shop too where one can buy different kind of erotic products. Their books address topics like feminism, eroticism, the impact of porn in our society, etc. In addition, a blog is updated quite often with new articles regarding interesting and important topics related to sexuality and pornography.

Moreover, the firm also approaches different projects. The last project they are involved in is XConfessions that tries to combine the erotic confessions of anonymous users with the production capacities and experience of Erika Lust. This combination results in a wide variety of films that anyone can make them own because the idea comes from another consumer, instead of the director’s imagination.

B. The Ethical challenges this company is addressing.

The main ethical challenge the company is addressing is the porn industry, that it has been unethical since its beginning. This industry has always been a men-directed industry both because the majority of consumers are men and because it has usually been a taboo for women watching porn. Being men-directed, the usual porn videos and films show the woman as an object, always being submissive for the men.

Another issue of the society regarding the sexual aspect is that in general, at least in Spain, there is a lack of sexual education in schools. This creates the situation in which teenagers, curious about this topic and wanting to learn about it, watch and rely on the mainstream pornography and start thinking that sex is the way is shown on the videos. This aggravates the problems of the values that mainstream porn uses to show, enhancing the believes that what it has to be done while having sex is always what the men wants.

These two problems explained in the previous paragraphs create an image for people who consume these products that can be dangerous for the society, as it does not help in the progress of reaching gender equality.
In relation to this, ⅓ of the mainstream porn videos contain sexual or physical aggression, to which 94% of them are done to women. However in Erika Lust Films videos, the director never asks a performer to do something they have not agreed or expected to do, looking always for the comfortability of the actors while recording. Another issue that mainstream porn creates is that it mythicizes sex and human bodies, creating unrealistic expectations of sex to the consumers. In order to address this problem, Erika Lust Films tries to make their films to look more natural so the viewer can feel the situation closer to him or herself.

Furthermore, another ethical or moral issue that the firm is trying to improve is the consumption of porn in the female sector. This topic has always been an issue as females watching porn were and yet aren’t well seen in the society. This is why the company tries to make their films not men-directed, not just looking for positions and angles that are liked by men. One of their main objective is to increase the consumption of porn in the female sector, that is why the company involves in campaigns and projects that try to promote it.

C. What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it?

Before exactly explaining what really makes us believe that Erika Lust Films is ethical we want to mention that we share the concept of ethics that Erika and its company defend. We want to clarify this because we think that what is considered ethical or unethical may vary across countries due to cultural differences (education, religion, etc.).

Firstly, there are some values that we consider essential for ethic to be present in their company. These values are: transparency, clarity and passion.
It is very common in mainstream porn sites to hide the names of the owners, producers and directors of the company. This fact lets us consider that these companies have something to hide and that they may not be proud of their work. However, Erika Lust Films has always been transparent with all the workforce identity.
Clarity is present in the company too. It is very easy to find information about Erika Lust Films values and ideals, Erika’s speeches and interviews transmit very clearly what are their opinions and goals.
Porn industry follows the same values stream. Erika Lust Films’ identity is the opposite of the mainstream porn industry, which causes them going against the tide. Thanks to the passion they put on their work and their fight against unethical porn they’ve succeed in their job and, for the moment, they’re being loyal to their values.

Another aspect to believe that it is an ethical company is the lack of advertisement in their website. Mainstream porn websites are full of advertisement. The problem is not the advertisement itself but the content it has. It is very common to find ads with poor moral code, this can be seen in the images or sentences they include.

Moreover, we’ve seen interviews with actors and actresses. This has helped us to restate that ethics aren’t set aside in everyday activities of the company. Moreover, the interviewed show their feelings and thoughts towards this kind of porn. They are all satisfied with the manners of Erika Lust Films, they feel very comfortable and they enjoy more their sexual relations. They feel more human and less objectified.
We’ve checked some productions of Erika Lust Films and we’ve experimented completely different feelings and sensations than the times we’ve consumed mainstream porn. We understand that the feelings one has when is consuming porn differ around consumers. Nevertheless, we share some thoughts: it is less offensive (considering both actors and actresses expressions, and their behavior), the atrezzo is much more warmer and detailed, it isn’t focused on male pleasure only and we felt we were watching more real sex, not industrialized sex.

In the company benefits are distributed more fairly than in the common porn companies, where interns are paid much more than performers. In Erika Lust Films, everybody is paid fairly, from interns to performers.

D.The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

On the one hand, nine out of ten internet porn users only access to free material and, since 2007, Global porn revenues have declined 50% due to the amount of free porn online. Hence, it’s clear that Erika Lust Films will have to face this upward trend of free porn. The ability of the firm to reinvent porn is admirable and it has demonstrated that there is a market niche that wants to pay for this kind of porn. Although, it can be reduced for the upward trend commented before which could suppose the end of Erika Lust Films if they do not know how to adapt themselves to the future without giving the back to their values. This, is related with the next problem that the company may face, which is to be honest with their values in its future trajectory. As we have seen at class, the bigger the company, the bigger the problems with values, ethics and sustainability. For this reason, in the case that Erika Lust Films triumphs in the porn industry it will probably be hard to keep aligned to its ideals when growing. For this reason, we think that this company has to grow slowly, maintaining its values to each level, and not letting the shareholders manage the real direction of the business. If Erika and her team, decides to give power to (regular) shareholders we think that they could harm the business because their objective, strictly monetary, could deviate Erika’s team from their path, which has as priorities to respect their values and then do profits. So, in the case that they want to grow fast and open their business to shareholders, they should follow a hard recruiting method to hire those shareholders.

Finally, we could not have much information about the finances of the company so we do not know if the firm has problems in this way. Actually, what we know is that there is no complaint made public against Erika Lust and her business. Nevertheless, we think that this company faces many temptations in all the meaning of the word, and it’s used to these. So the deviation of money from Barcelona (Spain) to a tax haven may not suppose a risk now, and maybe not in the future, but stranger things have happened, so we take it in consideration as a possible problem that could be faced by the company.

Bibliography

"About Erika Lust." ErikaLust. Accessed May 25, 2017. http://erikalust.com/about/.

LustCinema. "About Lust Cinema." LustCinema. Accessed May 25, 2017. https://www.lustcinema.com/about.

Domínguez, Yolanda. "Entrevista a Erika Lust: "Necesitamos más mujeres detrás de la cámara"." El Huffington Post. October 09, 2016. Accessed May 26, 2017. http://www.huffingtonpost.es/yolanda-dominguez/entrevista-a-erika-lust-n_b_12385370.html.

Cuatro.com. "Charla completa con Erika Lust." Cuatro. March 10, 2017. Accessed May 26, 2017. http://www.cuatro.com/chesterinlove/Charla-completa-Erika-Lust_2_2315805095.html.

"Erika Lust." Wikipedia. Accessed June 1, 2017. https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erika_Lust.

20Minutos. "Así se rueda el porno de Erika Lust." 20minutos.es - Últimas Noticias. Accessed June 5, 2017. http://www.20minutos.es/videos/cine/xCHIRW49-asi-se-rueda-el-porno-de-erika-lust/.

"Covenant Eyes." Porn Stats | Covenant Eyes. Accessed June 5, 2017. http://www.covenanteyes.com/pornstats/.

Location: Barcelona (Spain)

Sector: Education, Arts, entertainment and recreation

Official website: http://erikalust.com/films/

Nbr. visits: 150

Nbr. inspires: 1