'Menstruation is almost never portrayed': Porn director Erika Lust on period sex

Period sex. You might have experienced an internal or visceral reaction to those two words.

Grossed out, turned on, or somewhere in between?

Still today, despite all of our sexual progression, getting it on while you’re on is divisive.

Rarely is it thought of in a positive light – it’s far more common for any sexual activity to be written off in the event of a period arriving, and that comes with shame and stigma.

Feminist erotic film director, Erika Lust, is working to change this.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, she says: ‘People don’t talk about periods, less about enjoying period sex.

‘It’s like sex and (female) nudity, constantly censored and shamed in our popular culture. Just look at gendered censorship on social media; when photos of period blood are taken down, a natural body process is turned into a source of shame.

‘And when something is not allowed online, it translates into something that is not accepted in society. Periods are probably the most taboo of sex-related subjects.

‘When did we start to believe that we must hide them?,’ she asks.

In her work, she strives to portray sex in a ‘realistic and positive’ light that challenges the messages often derived from mainstream porn.

This played out in her recent film Three, in which actress Gia Green has sex while on her period and even plays with her blood while masturbating.

It’s something that Erika says ‘turned out to be one of the most beautiful and empowering moments I’ve ever shot’.

Gia found herself in this scene unexpectedly. Period sex was not originally part of the script but in the lead up to filming, she knew it was due to come soon.

Proposing the idea of letting her menstrual blood be a part of the scene to Erika, she explained on set there was ‘space to negotiate’ and discuss any concerns.

‘[Typically] when you’re on your period they give you sponges to put inside the vagina so nobody will see the blood’, Gia says.

Gia hates using sponges and when she was initially offered one by the production team, she asked to go without, which the other performer in the scene was comfortable with.

Calling the experience of filming and showcasing period sex ‘liberating’, she says: ‘The scene is not about the period, just that periods are organically part of it.’

Often when taboo things are addressed in porn, they’re made the core of the scene to play it up. Erika and Gia’s work here serves to show that period sex doesn’t have to be a big deal, it’s just part of a bigger story.

Gia grew up ‘hiding’ tampons and having periods ‘silently’, so found this scene to be revolutionary in some ways as it isn’t the kind of porn she’s seen before.

In the future, she’s keen to avoid using sponges so long as other actors are comfortable shooting in this way.

‘What happens in porn, whether in the content or behind the scenes, is a just a mirror of what happens in society.

‘People think that porn is like something special and apart from us due to the stigma on porn and the people who do it, people feel the need to keep a safe distance from it because porn is something dirty,’ she says.

As much as mainstream porn is criticised for showing sex in an unrealistic, sexist, racist, and often damaging way, Gia believes it exists because it’s part of our collective consciousness – that in itself reveals how much closer we are to it than perhaps we’d care to admit.

Erika is of a similar view, adding: ‘Due to its stigma, menstruation is almost never portrayed in free porn and when it is, period sex is normally fetishised (which is called menophilia).

‘We are used to porn movies made by white cishet men for other white cishet men who clearly have no interest in representing nor watching periods (unless they have a fetish for them).’

There is still a long way to go to normalise periods in all facets of society, but Erika’s film Three takes a big first step in the way of pornography.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

Source: Read Full Article