With only one day to go till the release of the Sex Issue, here is our final teaser before the big reveal. Petra Joy champions the female gaze in her films, taking us 'Beyond the Cum Shot' and into the world of feminist pornography.
The hardcore porn boom of the 70s and 80s initially turned Petra away from pornography and it took 25 years for her to transfer her energy from fighting sexist commercial porn, to creating alternatives to it. She made her first film Sexual Sushi in 2004, an experimental film featuring a real-life couple. It was one of the first in a wave of unconventional pornos that paved the way for further ‘authentic’ forms – like the hit site Beautiful Agony (also launched in 2004), where individuals upload videos of themselves orgasming filmed only from the shoulders up, and, more recently, MakeLoveNotPorn (launched in 2012 by Cindy Gallop), showcasing homemade porn. Since her first film Petra has made five more feature length films. She believes there has always been a desire for feminist porn, but nothing on the market that catered to it.
“The truth is that most of us are flexible and fluid and are interested not just in playing with different genders depending on the situation, but also playing with power. Maybe sometimes we want to be submissive, maybe sometimes dominant. All of that should be available to us at all times. We can choose to do it or not to do it, but the more often we see it, feminist porn might empower a woman to think, ‘I’m NOT weird or ‘perverted’ if I fuck a guy with a strap-on.’ That’s why pornography is so important and so political, and why I don’t understand feminists who exclude porn from their agenda.”
Petra’s work is inherently political. By denying the representation of certain desires, we implicitly condemn the individuals who have them. Society as a whole suffers, as a large part of it is deemed unhealthy, perverted or wrong. We need open and frank discussions about sexuality in order to defuse years of accumulated sexual repression and personal distress. This comes back to the ‘humanist’ aspect of Petra’s porn: “It’s about all genders learning from each other – all of us having more and better communication and ultimately more and better sex.”