“That’s What I Like” – Creating Porn for Women

Ms. Naughty (1973) is the former librarian turned webmistress behind the largest domain network of porn aimed at women. Her work stands out for the consistent quality of her writing and the informed sex-positive feminist commitment she displays in both her texts and films, despite, or perhaps further provoked by, Australia’s strict regulation of porn under which she’s working. Not only is it illegal to maintain porn sites on Australian servers; the production of porn film is either illegal or strictly regulated, depending on the state, and it is illegal to sell or rent out “objectionable films.

In 1999, while working as a freelance journalist and writing an article about online porn for women, Ms. Naughty found such sites to be practically non-existent. For the article she had contacted the woman who ran Purve.com (“gurls purve too)\’the first women’s porn site, launched only the year before\’and was later convinced by her to get into the business. In 2000, Ms. Naughty launched her sex column Grandma Scrotum’s Sex Tips; her Ms. Naughty blog covering news about sex, censorship, erotica, and porn has been active since 2004; and by 2006 she owned 120 domains, including her pay-to-subscribe ezine For the Girls that features articles, reviews, erotic stories, pictures, and videos. Ms. Naughty also runs several websites where she sells selected porn films for a female audience, and in 2008 she established Indigo Lush Media and began making porn under the name Louise Lush.

Ms. Naughty makes it clear on her sites that her content is directed to a mainstream heterosexual female audience. As she explains:

When I first started out, the customer I had in mind was “hetero women. Over the years I’ve discovered that Ms. Hetero Woman does not necessarily exist. I’m aware that most of my sites cater to Ms. Hetero Suburban White Woman with Fairly Vanilla Tastes. That’s who I am, so I know my market.

This is also the case for the porn she makes, as she explains on her Indigo Lush website:

While Indigo Lush is accepting of all forms of sexuality including queer identities and kink, we’re also very keen on presenting “vanilla eroticism without all the usual porn clichés. This is because this idea of sex is still rarely explored by filmmakers “ even among the new wave of “indie porn producers. Vanilla is often dismissed as too boring or mainstream to explore and yet it’s the way the majority of people make love. We want to create films where “ordinary sex is honored as the sensual, intimate and powerful thing we all know it to be.

Objecting to sexual double standards, Ms. Naughty is committed to encouraging women to take charge of their sexuality and be active about communicating their sexual preferences. In her first film, the ten-minute short That’s What I Like (2009), she implicitly instructs women on how to do so. The film crosscuts between an interview with the female porn performer Mia about her sexual preferences and a scene featuring Mia having her choice of sex, with the action matching her descriptions. In an expanded version, Mia’s sexual partner Andy is also interviewed about his sexual preferences.

In line with Indigo Lush’s vanilla focus, Mia expresses fairly traditional preferences such as missionary position (“because then I don’t need to do anything, she grins) though she also likes variation. She likes to be on top; to use sex toys, both alone and with a partner; and to finish in “doggy because then she can more easily help stimulate her clitoris with her own fingers. But she actually prefers to come when someone is giving her oral sex, because that feels more intense to her.

Mia and Andy, who know each other from previous jobs, have a good connection and chemistry. He smiles warmly to her when giving her oral sex, and when in turn she is giving him oral sex. The camera zooms in on her hand reaching for his as he licks her, then she pulls him up to where they kiss and embrace. The film does not include a money shot to “prove his climax; only from their facial expressions, sighs, and moans do we get that they come “ he in the doggy style that she likes, she while receiving oral sex afterwards.

True to Mia’s expressed preferences, we see her mostly lying on her back. But Mia does go down on Andy and rides him too. The sexiest scene is when Andy uses a vibrator to stimulate Mia: the close-ups of him applying lubrication on her pussy; caressing and tickling her open labia; then fingering her, before stimulating and penetrating her with the vibrator. The expanded version shows that it is in fact Mia who pulls out the vibrator, asking Andy to use it on her “ explicitly expressing her sexual preference to him.

That’s What I Like is a small budget production made with attention to stylistic details. It won first prize at the women oriented Petra Joy Awards in 2009 (presented in conjunction with Berlin Porn Film Festival) for its focus on female pleasure.

Ms. Naughty’s latest porn vignette, the three-minute short Fucking Is The Only Prayer (2011), is a sensual look at the spiritual side of sex, featuring an actual married couple with no former experience in porn. The film uses close-up images of sex combined with religious music to invoke a spiritual atmosphere devoted to the idea that the body is our temple. It screened at CineKink NYC (2011) and was nominated for a Feminist Porn Award (2011).

(This post is an excerpt from my book After Pornified: How Women Are Transforming Pornography & Why It Really Matters, forthcoming fall 2012.)

Quizzical Mama

Quizzical mama, aka Anne G. Sabo, PhD, is a former academic turned public educator, author, speaker, freelance writer, and mama- and sex blogger. Her book After Pornified: How Women Are Transforming Pornography & Why It Really Matters (Zer0 Books, October 2012) has been called “a goldmine for all sex-positive women and men,” and a “candid, well-informed personal story of how a good girl became involved in porn." She writes mores about progressive porn and sex-positivity in her New porn by women blog and at her resource site Love, Sex, and Family, and she muses about life and parenting in her Quizzical mama blog. She lives in Northfield, Minnesota, a small college town just south of the Twin Cities, with her spouse and their preschooler daughter. You can follow her on Facebook or on Twitter @quizzicalmama.

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