There's been more awareness about women watching porn in the last few years, including detailed stats on how many women watch to what they watch and even when they watch — but that doesn't stop the myths about women working in the industry from being believed, like the common misconception that females are only featured in front of the camera. To tackle this, YouPorn launched the Female Director Series, a collection of adult videos all directed by women will be featured on its homepage to help change the perception of females in the adult industry, celebrate their successes, and help empower women in porn. It's all part of YouPorn's ongoing initiative to feature female-driven content.
In honor of International Women’s Day, the series launches today and will include curated videos as well as exclusive, behind-the-scenes interviews with some of the creators.
"More and more, we are seeing that the videos that do best on the site happen to have female directors. In fact, five of the 15 nominees for best director at this year’s adult video awards (AVNs) were women," Brad Burns, Vice President of YouPorn said in a press release. “That speaks volumes to how far the industry has come in the past year alone. Imagine what the future holds.”
Check out the SFW trailer for the series below:
I spoke with Billie Miller, CEO of Yanks.com, one of the female creators featured in the series, who says working in the industry is "just as fun for the girls as it is for the guys."
Yanks is 100 percent female produced — and it has been since it was founded in 2002. "We live and breathe being female-directed every day." Miller tells Bustle. "It is in our DNA and we want to see more and more people enjoying companies like Yanks that have gone through a lot of pushback to keep alive the dream of equal opportunity, healthy, sex-positive porn. It is important to have female-centric porn and we have always tried to do it the right way."
Here's what else Miller told me about being a woman creator in the adult industry:
1. The Biggest Misconception About Women In The Industry
What's the biggest myth about women who work in the adult industry? Miller says it's the assumption that women are forced into the industry. "This goes for all levels of involvement; models, company reps, execs, or owners," she says. The false idea that she's working in the adult industry because of direct (or indirect) male pressure is one she encounters in both her personal and professional life.
"It is not true for me and it is not true for most women in this business. Professionally, I still feel this daily," she says.
2. The Biggest Misconception About Women Who Watch Porn
Similarly, women who watch porn are faced with a similar misunderstanding about why they do so. "The main misconception about women who watch porn is that they don’t like it independent of a male presence. Porn can be used to “Spice-up your sex life with your man!” or his spending time watching porn is something you laugh about while watching Don Jon. However, it is never something a "good girl" does and actually likes on her own right? This is simply not true and never has been."
So how do they change this perception? "At Yanks we have a very high female viewership simple because we shoot an organic female-centric style of porn that women can relate to physically in the sense that they emphasis with the models. However, as women watching porn becomes more discussed it will become more and more accepted."
3. What To Expect From The Female Director Series
Miller wants viewers who watch the Female Director Series to think about the word “Director.” "An extremely high percentage of adult films up to this point have been directed by men." she says. "Many have been great, however across porn two sexes are tangoing and 50 percent of the dancing is done by women who simply like different flavors of stimulation, both on the production and consumption side of the equation."
She wants people to walk away from the series with the notion of a shifting sexual focus. "From what men like to see, from initiation to money shot, and what women like to see, from initiation to money shot, as well as the possibility of all polarities in between male centric and female centric focused content. And how hot is that? This initiative will showcase women wanting to share their true sexual expressions on both sides of the camera, their poles if you will."
4. How Porn Fits Into Feminism
"The goal of feminism is to empower women to be equal to men," she says. "However it is never to empower a specific flavor of women to be equal to men. You can be hyper girlie-girl and be empowered, you can be a CEO and be empowered, you can be a stay at home mom and be empowered or you can be a Porn Starlet, Porn SEO consultant, or Porn website owner and be just as empowered. Feminism is allowing women to do what they want to do. Many women want to do work in adult and that want should be protected by the concept of feminism."
5. The Adult Industry Versus Hollywood
Miller says that talent- and marketing-wise, women are more valued than men in porn. "While in some regards this is sexist in itself, it does allow for a different power balance then you see in Hollywood." she says. "Female models have more power than men. The adult space has always needed to embrace technology more quickly and secure a beachhead within any given tech as the politics never favor us. Quite simply, the deck is always stacked against us and we need to solve the problem with technical and political innovation versus access to mainstream channels. It has also always, via niches, embraced the Body Positivity movement. No matter what you look like there is always an audience waiting for you in porn."
6. What The Future Of Porn Looks Like
So what's next for porn? "With VR on the horizon, I expect the online adult industry to return to the bleeding edge of tech innovation," Miller says. "A more intimate and interactive style of porn will become the norm very quickly. At Yanks, we have already started producing our a level of content I couldn’t of dreamed about a few years ago. Immersion into your adult content will be the norm in a very short time. Get ready!"
And if you're a woman who's new to watching porn? "Don’t let expectations define you," Miller says. "Find what turns you on and watch it. Sites like YouPorn give you the ability to explore so many niches and lets you test drive them all for free! Take advantage and let it help you find who you are sexually, than support the sites and producers who make it all possible.
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Images: YouPorn/Vimeo; Giphy