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Lights, Camera, Ass-Play: Watching Porn in a Packed Theater

Last week, I found myself in a situation that had even me stepping out of my comfort zone – I was invited to watch a porn film in a packed theater. But this wasn't just any theater; it was the stunning EYE theater in the heart of Amsterdam. And this wasn't your typical, male-centric porno; it was Erika Lust's latest feature-length, game-changing, inclusive erotic film.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch porn in a theater filled with strangers? Let me take you with me!



Sex on the Big Screen

For those unfamiliar with Erika Lust, she's a renowned ethical and feminist porn director. Her films boldly transform the industry from male-centric, seedy, and demeaning into something high-value, showcasing equal pleasure between all genders and the playfulness that can accompany sex.


So there I was, sitting in a dimly lit theater, flanked by strangers waiting for the movie to begin. I couldn't help but feel a little out of my depths. I mean, what is the proper hand position to have when watching porn in public? Hands crossed around the chest, in your lap? At least these were the random thoughts that went through my mind as the lights dimmed.


But I was immediately drawn into the plot, and any nerves I had went away as the sex scenes started to unfold before me. There were five in total, and in one memorable moment, the groom's best man gave the groom what could only be described as one of the sexiest under-the-table blow jobs I've ever seen.


Q&A with the cast

Following the film, there was a candid interview with Erika and two of the film’s stars. The discussion delved into the lack of female representation in pornography, how to ensure you always show consent, even if it's non-verbal, and how it felt to work on such a high-production value erotic film. The cast shared what it was like on set, with a massive cast, acting coaches, and intimacy coordinators working together to create a safe and respectful environment.



A burning question I was dying to know

One of the questions that crossed my mind as I sat in that packed theater was, "Who is the larger audience for this kind of content?" It's a question that has been on my mind for a while, given my own line of work as a cartoonist who draws about sex. I've noticed that a significant portion of my followers (82%) are women, although more and more men come to my account every day, and I've always assumed the same might hold true for feminist and ethical porn. However, as I delved deeper into the world of Lust's work, I discovered that the reality is a bit more complex.


When speaking with Erika, she mentioned that the gender breakdown on her platform is about 50/50, while it started with more men. So, what's going on here? Why does it seem like men were the early adopters of this genre of porn?


Unpacking the Gendered Stereotypes of Porn

Upon reflection, it’s obvious. Even though Erika Lust's brand of erotica is geared towards inclusivity and empowerment for women, the social acceptance for watching porn, exploring porn, and searching for porn remains at the helm of men.


I just hope that the men watching Lust's films are also drawn to the quality, the respect for consent, and the celebration of female pleasure that her work embodies.


Women and Porn

When it comes to women, it takes a long time to challenge society's ingrained perception that it is shameful for us to watch porn. However, as we continue to challenge these norms and explore diverse representations of sexuality, we can hope to see more women confidently engaging with it.


Erika Lust's films are not just about catering to one gender or another; they are about dismantling the existing conventions and creating a space where everyone can explore their desires free from judgment. They offer an alternative, a glimpse into a world where sexual expression is celebrated, consent is paramount, and pleasure is the focus.


Another ethical, safe & inclusive platform I can recommend is CHEEX.


The Future

In a world where sexual empowerment and agency are still too often stifled by outdated norms and judgments, this experience was a very cool testament to the potential for change. While in the beginning, it was a bit odd to watch porn amongst a sea of strangers, the more you got into the narrative of the film, the more natural it became. And afterwards, you discussed the film like you would any other with the people around you.


It challenged preconceived notions, encouraged dialogue, and opened the door to a more inclusive and liberated conversation about porn.

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