FEED Issue 15


for it, especially in a stigmatised industry like porn where people don’t tend to take pride in what they are consuming. I do not work with the tube sites, so they do not work as a vehicle for promotion for me. They repeatedly steal my films and host them on their sites for free – often renaming them with racist or sexist titles. Just two weeks ago one of my guest- directed films by the wonderful Bruce La Bruce, Valentin, Pierre & Catalina , was uploaded on to Pornhub with the new title “Interracial Threesome”. That is not the name of the film, we would never give it these labels, and it should be behind our paywall because it took a lot of time and money to make. The tube sites have created the idea that all porn is free, which leads to the assumption that sex work is not real work and doesn’t deserve to be paid for. This reluctance to pay for porn, due to widespread pirating, has lead to massive budget cuts across the industry. This has inevitably lead to a decrease in quality but also often means that there is less money going to performers. When Pornhub launched in the 2000s performers’ wages dropped massively. Most of them now also do web-camming, live erotic performances or other activities to create further cash flow in order to create a brand around their name, gain fans and become well known. This is the way for performers to gain financial security. When a performer has many different income revenues and treats their career as a business that has to be handled professionally and responsibly, then they can save for the future. It’s really hard work. IN VR, BODY LANGUAGE IS EVENMORE IMPORTANT AND SMALL THINGS SUCH AS THE RIGHT LEVEL OF EYE CONTACT CAN HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON THE VIEWER

ERIKA LUST “I am not targeting the average porn consumer who is looking for infinite amounts of free porn”

is still very small and there isn’t much room for indie pornographers who want to show a different view or way of using the VR format. This is mainly because it’s really expensive to film with VR. When you have to invest a lot of money into something, it’s hard to go against the grain and take a leap on making something that you’re not certain people will want to watch. So we’re mostly left with the same big, male-centric companies controlling the VR mainstream market, making content for heterosexual male viewers. I decided I wanted to give the technology a go and try to make something different, with my own style. It’s completely new to me, so it took a lot of planning beforehand and the post- production has taken us a long time too. I hope people will see that I have tried to do something different; I wanted to use VR to create a very immersive and emotive experience for the viewer. I wanted the viewer to feel like they are in the room with the performers, able to walk around and get close to the action. It’s a more interactive experience than a single point of view looking out from a performer’s static eyeline. In my film the viewer can look around the room and see different scenes happening all around them with the same performers – so you might see two performers to your left having sex, then simultaneously both of them involved in a foursome to your right and then behind you just one of them masturbating. It’s the ultimate voyeur’s fantasy! FEED: What was the learning curve like in shooting VR? ERIKA LUST: This is my first VR experience. It’s not an area I’m looking to

I have loyal customers who understand the importance of paying for porn. I’m not targeting the average porn consumer who is looking for infinite amounts of free porn. FEED: You’ve just completed your first VR project. How did that come about? ERIKA LUST: I had been wanting to try VR for a while after seeing how it was being used in the mainstream industry. The majority of the VR available online is shot from a single point of view (POV) – the man’s, of course – and follows the stereotypical themes of mainstream porn. To make this type of POV VR the camera rig is placed over the male performer’s head, so they can’t move properly and it’s impossible for the performers to look at each other, kiss, or really portray any passion. The result is that these films tend to feel quite cold and detached, which is the opposite effect that VR should have! A lot of the content out there right now doesn’t seem to be using the VR medium to do anything new. The VR adult industry

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