My name is Erika Lust and I am a film director. I make explicit films.
I was born in Sweden and before taking the choice of specializing in erotica I studied political sciences, feminism and sexuality at the University of Lund. There I came across the 1989 book Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the Frenzy of the Visible by Linda Williams. This book was hugely influential on the modern discourse of pornography, and on my personal impression of the genre as well. Sweden has a strong culture of sexual liberalism, and there, as elsewhere, feminists were dividing themselves on the issue.
Me? I am a sex-positive feminist. I think women should enjoy sex as much as men. I’ve always considered myself free and open-minded towards pornography. Yet, during my first furtive experiences watching porn (either at a pajama party with my pre-adolescent friends or at college with my boyfriend) I couldn’t help but feel disgust. It was tacky, it was ugly, the women did not look like they were enjoying themselves, and the sexual situations were totally ridiculous.
On the other hand, I was a cinephile. Whenever I watched a feature film with erotic content I felt aroused and delighted. I especially recall watching Jean Jacques Annaud’s The Lover. It was clever, it was artistic, it was HOT! So I wondered: isn’t it possible to shoot real sex with such care for details, with more complex characters, and with situations we can actually relate to?
In 2013, I put into practice my most ambitious idea to date: XCONFESSIONS. It would be the first crowd-sourced project in the history of adult cinema. I opened the site xconfessions.com and started receiving anonymous accounts from people all around the world. My plan was to pick two confessions each month and turn them into explicit short films, shot with the most exigent filmmaking standards in my career. It was a tremendous challenge, firstly because I had to engage the audience to make it work, but also because the production output would be extremely demanding.
With its expanding catalogue, XConfessions is my best project so far, because it’s inspired by the passions, the sex, and the ideas of my fans and followers. It’s adult cinema by and for them entirely! It might sound presumptuous, but I also believe it is among the most creative, most high quality erotica being produced nowadays. That has to do with the amazing crew that collaborates with me: young film creatives who are proud of taking part in this sex adventure. A great part of them are women!