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Meet The Female Porn Director Looking To Redefine How We View Pregnancy And Sex

'It’s like pregnant women are saints, people don't see them as women anymore but as mothers-to-be, and forget that they have sexual desires'

‘I remember being pregnant and looking for positive images of a pregnant woman in erotic situations and it was really difficult’ says Erika Lust, award-winning erotic film director, ‘it was all so disgusting, instead of being beautiful and about that special time in your life, about intimacy and the power you feel as a pregnant woman with life inside of your body, it was all perverted.’

Erika, who has made three feature films, four short films and a series of short compilations called XConfessions, is currently in the post-production period of her most recent "sex documentary" as she calls it. It's a film featuring pornstar, Tiffany Doll and her husband Bruno, having sex while Tiffany is pregnant, and Erika aims to end the stigma around pregnancy sex, and re-imagine the world of pregnancy porn.

Perverted is the first word that comes to mind when we think of the phrase pregnancy porn, in fact even discussing pregnancy sex can provoke adverse reactions from some. Yet, of course, the reality of sex when you're pregnant is anything but perverted. It may be different, and your sex life may need some practical changes once pregnant, but it’s certainly not abnormal or unacceptable.

‘It’s a big taboo,’ says Tiffany Doll, an adult film actor, ‘When I read things about the sexual life of pregnant women it's all "is it safe to have sex while you're pregnant?" or "the Kamasutra during pregnancy". It’s like pregnant women are saints, people don't see them as women anymore but as mothers-to-be, and forget that they have sexual desires.’

But it’s not just that people don’t think pregnant women are sexual beings, it’s that they’re not allowed to be. ‘In society we think when you are young, you are pretty and sexual,’ says Erika, ‘and then when you become pregnant you become a mother in so many peoples’ eyes and you are not allowed to have an erotic life any longer.’

We know that women’s sex drives increase during pregnancy, not just thanks to hormonal fluctuations but also because of physical changes in your body. With more blood flowing towards the vulva, it’s likely to become more sensitive and in turn make sex more enjoyable. With women’s bodies more sensitive than ever during pregnancy, it’s no wonder sex drives increase. So, if we know that pregnant women are if anything more sexual than the rest of us, why aren’t they allowed to express that? More so, why aren’t there accompanying entertainment that caters to their increased needs?

The fact is, there is porn that shows pregnant women having sex, but as we discovered earlier, it’s far from what many women want when they’re searching for positive material they can relate to and enjoy. Searching for titles of porn videos, you’ll be met with terms like ‘slutwife’, ‘up the duff bitches’ and ‘pregnant milfs’, and that’s just the PG versions we can repeat here. ‘It’s always our bodies being “exposed” all the time,’ says Erika, ‘I see language that I don’t agree with, many of it is misogynistic and racist, it’s not about pleasure it’s something completely different.’

And why is it that way? The answer is simple: the majority of porn is made using the straight male gaze. ‘Porn has been made by men for men,’ says Erika, ‘if they are the ones creating erotic and pornographic images we will only experience sexuality through their eyes’.

In 2008, _Psychology of Women Quarterly_ found that only 4-5% of porn directors were women, despite women being behind the adult film camera since the 1980s. While we can expect that number has increased in the last two years, the increase of free porn sites online means that there are more people than ever creating porn for mass consumption, and according to Erika, that means pushing limits.

‘I don’t only want to show people having sex, I want to make you as a viewer to feel what it feels like having sex, that is my ultimate mission when I make a movie,’ she says, ‘I try not to focus on body parts, I try to focus on the presence of the people. I want to show they’re connection and intimacy and the way they relate to each other and the way they both are giving and receiving pleasure.’

‘For this film [with Tiffany Doll] I don’t only want to show you what it looks like having sex as a pregnant woman, I want you to be able to listen to her words, how she feels, this is more what I call a sex-documentary, it’s not just a porn clip, you hear her story and her experiences.’

In fact, Tiffany and her husband Bruno are interviewed before their sex scene, talking about how they feel and helping the viewer get to know them. Then, there is also a scene with Tiffany and Madison Young, a fellow adult film actor and director, who has recently had two children, where the women discuss between themselves how your sexuality changes during pregnancy. ‘They are talking as girlfriends really, intimate details that we never talk about,’ says Erika, ‘how you somehow become unpredictable from what you are used to being sexually, how you have to take the time to listen to your own body and get to know this new person, and how this whole process of becoming a mother changes our erotic being.’

It’s these open and honest conversations, as well as providing sexual entertainment for us, that Erika hopes will change the stigma around pregnancy sex and porn by encouraging conversation with our own sexual partners. ‘People have all of these fears and aren’t really talking about it,’ she says, ‘that’s’ what creates the gap between what she feels and what he thinks she feels, it gets bigger and bigger and in the end it’s all about our fears and our shame when it comes to sex.’

And it goes beyond just pregnancy sex, but into our entire culture of shame around sex in general. ‘Everyone thinks they're strange, or different, or perverts,’ she continues, ‘and suddenly when you start talking to another person and say “hey, I’ve been thinking of this idea about BDSM or foot fetishes or spanking”, different sexual ideas, you tell that to another person and that person is interested in listening why suddenly a relationship can become so much better and more truthful and you can find something together.’

Hearing Erika talk about her mission with adult filmmaking, it takes everything we know about porn and turns it on its head. Can you imagine a world where all porn was made with this direction? Where women could embrace their sexuality and enjoy porn that doesn’t intrinsically hate them? Where you didn’t have to slam your laptop shut as soon as someone opens a door in the house? Without the male gaze dominating the industry, that could just be a reality.