About the author: Allison Leigh is a pornographer, producer, polyamorist, and professional kinkster. When sexuality is business, business is fun!
More women are directing and producing porn than ever before. From late night “Skinemax” stars to direct-to-DVD dilettantes, adult cinema has rested largely on the backs – and breasts – of women. Women’s bodies are unquestionably the star breadwinners of the adult industry; and more and more frequently, the women themselves are getting to take charge of what that means.
Historically, most adult filmmakers have been men, and most adult films are geared at male audiences. Though a few female directors such as Candida Royalle paved the way, on average women have accounted for less than 20 percent of the nominated directors over the past decade. However, with the advent of internet porn and the resulting free market, not only has the proportion of porn made for women increased, but so has the proportion of porn made by women. Eight out of fifteen of the prestigious XBIZ Award nominations for Best Director – Feature were women this year, as were close to half of those nominated for Best Director by AVN. Women are taking over – and finally starting to reap the rewards of their work.
The availability of home recording technology has played a huge factor in this shift, with more performers producing their own content than has ever been possible in the past. Once surreptitiously produced in locked hotel rooms, porn production has moved into the hands of the multitudes, and it’s possible for talent to build their own following and career without the oversight of big-budget video production companies. However, it’s not just webcamming that has seen a change. Far from the old-school “guy with a camera” stereotypes, many performers are making the jump to behind the lens, lending a fresh feminine take on a traditionally masculine industry.
Though women in any masculine-dominated field face significant obstacles, the adult world is adjusting. This year’s industry-only XBIZ Show in Los Angeles, essentially a networking and trade show for porn, hosted multiple events that highlighted the struggles and successes of women working in pornography – but one only needed to look around to see that women in the business are thriving, and that adult entertainment is growing with them. Other panels covered traditionally feminist topics as well, such as consent on set, “Porn with a Purpose,” and a session entitled “Earning Through Empowerment.”
Clearly, femme filmmakers are forging ahead and changing the face of adult entertainment for the better. For many, films produced by women feel better, too – in an article for The Daily Beast, director Mike Quasar is quoted as saying, “Pornography directed by stereotypical horny males, there’s a lot of that, and a lot of it’s not that good. To bring in a female perspective, even if it’s an incredibly perverse female perspective… I find it far less creepy than if it were similar content by male directors.”
Women have always been the workhorse that carries adult entertainment, and it is truly heartening to see the changes firsthand. Here at the MetArt Network, we’re proud to have such talented female artists creating work for us on both sides of the camera. Notably, we have legendary MetArt-model-turned-producer Ariel Piper Fawn playing a key role at SexArt, and director Sandra Shine taking the helm at Viv Thomas; as well as highly respected artists including Cassandra Keyes, Flora, Natasha Schon, Koenart, Tora Ness, and Red Fox. With more women benefitting from the fruits of their labors and stepping into the roles of director and producer, it is inevitable that more varied, creative, and ethical content is sure to follow.
This post first appeared on MyErotica.com
Snow, A. (2014, July 05). Defining Feminist Porn: Is That XXX Flick Organic? https://www.thedailybeast.com/defining-feminist-porn-is-that-xxx-flick-organic
Snow, A. (2018, November 24). How Porn’s Female Directors Are Putting Hollywood to Shame. https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-porns-female-directors-are-putting-hollywood-to-shame?ref=scroll
XBIZShowâ—âJAN 14–18 2019 // LOS ANGELES. (n.d.). http://www.xbizshow.com/schedule.php