Petra Joy — Why Ethical Porn?

Article by · March 19, 2017 ·

By Petra Joy

On ethical porn in general

Ethical porn to me is porn that is created in a way that respects all people involved in the production – in front of and behind the camera. It is created in a  “fair-trade” way, meaning nobody taking part in this production was taken advantage of and everyone was treated fairly, having their (sexual) boundaries respected, being given choices, receiving fair payment and enjoying pleasant work conditions. The welfare and happiness of the performers matter to an ethnical porn producer and performers are encouraged to have an input into their scenes.

My motto has always been “feeling it, not faking it” and I value authenticity in porn. Apart from the production process, content is also relevant when it comes to ethical porn. Ethical porn to me also is porn that does not perpetuate sexist, racist and homophobic stereotypes. In this sense it is humanist – treating all performers based on their equal rights of humans, no matter what their gender, race or sexual orientation. So for example, ethical porn would not produce content labelled “interracial” where men of colour are reduced to their big cocks taking advantage of the “white” woman. If an ethical porn shoot was creating a scene with performers from different ethnic backgrounds this would be because the two people had a great chemistry and wanted to play with each other and it would not classify this scene as “interracial” as it is irrelevant what the ethnic backgrounds of the performers are.

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On content produced and directed by Petra Joy

I am an independent filmmaker and do not consider myself part of the porn “industry.” I make films that are meaningful to me and my audience regardless of whether this content will sell or not. I believe that porn is political. Porn can either perpetuate existing gender and race stereotypes or it can be radical and inspirational, showing sexuality beyond the clichés that are stifling us. My porn is not so much a “product” to me but a vehicle to empower people to live out their fantasies beyond the blow jobs, vaginal, anal and the money shot. I do not manufacture content assembly-line style but only shoot a film occasionally when the right people come into my life and I feel there is something important about gender roles and sexuality that I would like to share with my audience. Together with my mostly non-pro performers we create meaningful films that we enjoy making in an organic way. There is a lot of laughter on set and we often stay up, talking all night and drinking bubbly after a shoot. I spend a long time on the casting process as well as taking all the time I need to shoot and edit my films.

Whereas many companies shoot three scenes in one day, I shoot a maximum of one scene and in a day and sometimes I even take two days to shoot it. Because I produce and self-finance my films, I have the luxury to do this – I take my time to create, without an eye on the profit margins. This is of course risky as time equals money and on some productions I have lost money. They were a labour of love. I have had many opportunities to become part of the industry and work for bigger companies who wanted to hire me and finance my shoots, but ultimately I always chose my artistic freedom over financial security and have remained independent. Some of my best, most ground-breaking content — that was, for example, shown at the British Film Institute — was censored by the porn industry and rejected by some distributors. This clearly showed me that in order to shoot fresh content that pushes boundaries and rejects stereotypes, I must be in full control of all aspects of production. I do believe that as soon as you see porn just as a product and are focused on the maximum profit it is impossible to produce in an ethical and fair-trade way. The temptation to fit in ‘one more’ scene into a very long day ‘because it saves money’, will be there – even if it means making performers who have reached their limits perform again, even though they don’t really want to.

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About Petra Joy

Petra Joy is an independent filmmaker with two decades of experience in directing documentaries for Television. She is one of Europe’s leading alternative porn producers and has been directing and producing feminist porn since 2004. Many of her films such as “Female Fantasies”, “(S)he Comes” and “Come Together” have won multiple awards world-wide. Petra is also a curator of porn from a female perspective and has successfully published the “Her Porn” series, now in its sixth edition.  In 2009 Petra launched the Petra Joy Awards (http://joyawards.co.uk/) to discover and nurture new female erotica directors.  The winners received price money and were published on the Her Porn series. Morgana Muses and Ms Naughty – two previous winners of this prestigious award are now well-established and very successful porn directors in their own right.

As a published author, Petra authored two books: “Adult Movie Making for Couples” (Harper Collins) and “Female Fantasies – my revolution of lust” (Random House). Petra recently launched Cinema Joy (www.cinemajoy.com), a streaming service featuring her own films as well as handpicked films by other directors (such as Shine Louise Houston, Maria Beatty, Morgana Muses) whose inspirational work Petra admires. Petra is about to publish her eighth feature film “Aphrodisiacs” shortly.

See more of Petra Joy‘s works at www.cinemajoy.com and www.petrajoy.com.


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