Thirteen years ago, Erika Lust, a political science graduate who specialized in gender studies, decided to start making porn films. Frustrated by the tacky, chauvinistic content of mainstream porn, she wanted to see if it was possible to make a different kind of adult film — one that focused on story, characters, and the female gaze. Since then, she has since gone on to create over 100 highly crafted, ethically produced porn films, a host of which have won awards.

Her latest project is a continuation of her engagement with dominant porn culture — but from a decidedly different angle. Inspired by her role as a mother, and her desire to give something back in her area of expertise, she and her husband Pablo Dobner launched The Porn Conversation, a nonprofit initiative that aims to help parents talk to their children about porn. The website offers age-specific guides, starting with kids under 11 years old, that were put together in consultation with parents, sexologists, and psychologists, as well as other tools and resources for parents and educators.

I interviewed Erika in Berlin, where she recently spoke about The Porn Conversation at Tech Open Air, an interdisciplinary festival that brings together technology, arts, and culture.

Madhvi Ramani: Why is it important for parents to have “the porn conversation” with their children?

Erika Lust: Porn is part of the reality we live in. It has grown enormously in the last 10 years, because of the internet and the proliferation of porn tubes [free porn sites that do not require registration], which are the biggest part of pornography today. The kind of content available on these porn tubes is highly racist, misogynistic, and chauvinistic. It is something that parents can’t ignore because children, at a very early age, are coming across this content online. They are going to find it, and look at it, and it’s going to influence their perceptions about sexuality and gender roles. So, if parents talk to their children before or during this time of discovery, they can help them think more analytically and critically about the images they are seeing.

 

Read the full article:

Yes, You Need to Talk to Your Children About Porn by Madhvi Ramani

January 9, 2018