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SPOTLIGHT: new queer porn company The Lust Garden focuses on performers

The Lust Garden

Introducing the newest addition to debut on PinkLabel.tv, The Lust Garden! We interviewed Rococo Royalle to see what drives the new collaborative-minded studio. 

 

How did Lust Garden come to be? What is its mission and who are the people behind it? Who are its performers?

The Lust Garden was born out of a lot of frustration being a non-binary performer in mainstream and even feminist porn. I quickly got tired of being told what was marketable, what my sexuality was supposed to look like, and who got to take up space, even with companies that labeled themselves ‘authentic’ and ‘body-positive’. I was reading a lot of queer and feminist porn lit at the time and decided I would try and contribute by making my own. It’s worked out pretty well so far, and I’ve definitely been learning a lot along the way!

The idea behind The Lust Garden is to make content that sidelines the ideas of marketability/ target audiences/ gross revenue/ etc. and, instead, highlights performer-driven content. We make content that performers want to make, and that meets a certain aesthetic standard; like, it’s really that simple! I think about all the ways I’ve been disillusioned or mistreated on sets and try to create spaces that validate and support performers instead. We want to create safe and exciting spaces that folx can really thrive in, and content that performers can be totally proud of at the end.

I use ‘we’ a lot when talking about The Lust Garden, but I’m the only ‘full-time’ person on the project. I use this sort of language because I really think about it as a collaboration first, and because when the project becomes more financially stable I’d like to bring on other filmmakers to participate as well, more like a collective. I have no interest in the project being about me, or ‘mine,’ I just really want this space to exist and have been doing what I can to see it grow!

My performers are the best! I like to think that we all have this sort of shared philosophy, and that’s what brings us together. We are all people who’ve been pushed out of spaces for one reason or another. We come together (pun intended) because we want porn with people of all sizes, races, ages, abilities, genders, sexual orientations, and kinks being represented they way those individuals want to be seen. We want to see porn that exists to get people off, to validate them, and to educate them all at once. We’re really trying to challenge what porn can be and it’s value in the world. I feel truly blessed to have been able to meet so many amazingly impressive, raw, challenging, and kind people through The Lust Garden as I have. Sex workers are the best people, I swear.

 

What inspires your films? What do you hope The Lust Garden will add to the industry?

I’m an art nerd, so I’m pretty inspired by existing art from various periods and movements. I think it’s interesting to bridge the unnecessary divide between art and porn by appropriating aesthetics from the former. Fine art can be as exclusive, if not more, than porn, so I really value the process of placing individuals and their bodies in contexts that they haven’t been allowed to exist; finding out what that looks like, and what it means. A lot of ideas come from mainstream media and conversations with peers about how it the said show or porno could be so great, ‘if just this one thing were different,’ that thing usually being a toxic character or issue with representation. So we try to create the things we want to see.

Our shoots are very open. I talk to the performers about their interests over coffee or tea and we come up with a general theme based on aesthetic, plot, sex acts, or location. Most of the time, they do their thing and I record it. I don’t come up with intricate themes or lines unless the performers feel more comfortable having that sort of structure. I hope that the smut we create shows people that it is possible to create truly inclusive and ethical porn. I would love for more people to bring their unique insights and sexy ideas to the table and create even more indie smut for us all to enjoy!

 

Here’s a teaser from the film Mirror, Mirror, starring Cruel Valentine.

 

 

 

What has been your favorite part of making films? What are some of the challenges (and how do you combat them)?

Ah! I work with a lot of people who have never performed before, or have never worked with someone that they felt truly seen by. There is this moment on some shoots where the air is electric, and I’m behind that camera with this shit-eating grin across my face, and trying not to laugh or cry with excitement or joy. I feel so grateful to have been able to bring these people together and witness their moment in the flesh. That’s definitely my favorite part; being on set can be so incredibly moving.

There are a lot of challenges being the director and producer and being a person with a handful of privileges to be conscious of. I think more than anything being aware of my Gaze and how I’m working with and representing people who are marginalized in ways that I am not is really important. I try to keep things open and have a lot of dialogue with folx, and have gotten some amazing feedback about how I can improve, but it is a constant conversation that needs to be had. I also think facilitating conversations between performers about their boundaries, needs, and intentions is really important and challenging. Performing, especially when you are an amateur, is such a vulnerable and delicate state and I never want someone to leave a set feeling unheard, violated, or disempowered. I was unaware when I started this project of how important my role as a director and producer would be, because performers are putting a lot of trust into you, and you have to manage these subtle interpersonal relationships with a lot of care to create a safe environment.

 

We’re so glad to have you on PinkLabel.tv! What attracted you to the site? What excites you about The Lust Garden being a part of the film collection here?

Oh!!! PinkLabel.tv is one of the only places that I’ve been able to peruse without constant critique, and that is so absolutely valuable! I see so many amazing people being featured on your site that are all so beautiful in so many different ways, and it makes my heart so happy! It never feels tokenizing or exploitative, and I’ve heard amazing things about the working conditions with [another Pink and White Productions’ web project] CrashPadSeries.com, so I have a lot of faith in PinkLabel.TV as well. It’s very validating to have our films be chosen for a site that I look up to with such high regard, and to which is a total inspiration. PinkLabel.TV is one of the first places I send my friends when they ask for ethical porn recommendations and I’m really honored that they’ll be able to see my work there next to all these other breathtaking films.

 

 What’s on your horizon? Film Festivals? New movies or collaborations? Future goals?  

We’ve got lots of fun shoots and new performers planned for The Lust Garden. We were featured at TEMPT Fest in LA, the Bodies on Display show in Atlanta, PornFilmFestival Berlin, and Porny Days in Zurich this year, and couldn’t be more honored. I’m hoping to get more supporters on our Patreon platform so that we can begin paying performers more and more often. I’ve also been dreaming up some sexy porn road trips to fun locations across the globe, but we’ve got to break even on cost before we do that, haha! I’ve also just begun a project with a local therapist centered around an educational consent-first porno, which is really exciting for me because I really believe in the potential for porn as a tool for education. We’ll see what comes of it all, but I’m very excited for another year of smut!

 

How can new fans support your work and where can we follow you online? If The Lust Garden welcomes new collaborators, how can they reach you?

The Lust Garden is on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. We also have a Patreon account, which is a measly $8/film subscription, and includes our entire photo and video archive! For those who want a film here or there, we also have a ManyVids account, and do sliding scale direct sale for PoC, sex workers, QTF/GNC folx, LGBQP folx, and folx with different abilities to those who reach out to us via email at thelustgardenxxx@gmail.com.

We’re always looking for performers for paid or content trade/share photo and video work, and currently prioritize PoC, Trans performers, and people with different abilities. We do tour occasionally, and if we’re not in your town, feel free to give us a shout out and we’ll keep you in mind for when our paths cross. We’re also looking for people to make paid soundtracks for our films, in various music genres. You can also send us an email with questions at thelustgardenxxx@gmail.com.  

 

Thanks Rococo for sharing about The Lust Garden. We’ll look forward to see what you do next.

Posted November 14, 2017

One response to “SPOTLIGHT: new queer porn company The Lust Garden focuses on performers”

  1. […] qu’on m’explique ce qui faisait vendre, ce que ma sexualité était censée être » explique-t-elle.  Son studio est donc une gueulante adressée au porno mainstream. Mais pas seulement : […]

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