So, how do you feel about porn?

Updated: May 19

A couple months ago I was contacted by a couple who covers photography and video for weddings. They had beautiful work and happened to be entering a new industry: erotic film. When they contacted me offering me work as the stills, BTS and film cover photographer, I was excited. In terms of the content, I was intrigued.


I've been working on a project called #CueroNuestro for a while where I photograph couples in the nude as a way to explore vulnerability. I always felt comfortable with naked bodies and loved capturing intimacy - something that looks very different for each relationship. I'd been playing with the idea of photographing couples making love for a while, but the opportunity never showed up. Until this job offer came.


Photographing a real couple (not a pair of actors) having sex but in a film crew scenario? Well, that made things more comfortable for me as a way to start documenting sexual moments between two people. How two people interact between the sheets is interesting to me and I'm not sure I can explain why that is. I'm not really necessarily turned on by it. I'm just really curious about what people are like during their most vulnerable and intimate moments.


So that's what I did last week. We went to a beautiful location out in the wilderness between trees and forestry and photographed this couple making love. The theme for this erotic film was chocolate... very sexy. I unfortunately cannot show photographs yet until the project is out but I will as soon as that the film is premiered.


But I'm not here to talk about the experience per se... I want to talk about what I learned about this couple, going on two years in their relationship and with that, shooting their second erotic film together.


I'm not going to lie. At first, I suspected he was using her for money. I didn't think their connection could be all that real but instead a superficial one based on her body, the money made from her OnlyFans account and his fun in all of it. I felt uncomfortable with his being comfortable with her posting videos giving him blow jobs. But mostly, I thought this whole scenario just encouraged women in Venezuela to base their value off of their body and sexuality before anything else.


But I knew these were all of my own impressions and judgements. I knew I could be wrong. And as I always try to do, I questioned my feelings and thoughts about their situation. So when filming was over, I did what I love to do with people I'm curious about: ask questions!


"I've been into nude photographs since I was underage. I just like it. I like how it makes me feel. To me, this is art. This is my art. And the moment I had my first nude photoshoot with a serious photographer, I quit dentistry school and opened my Only Fans account. I don't know what my family thinks about it, I never gave them the opportunity to give me their opinions. I just did what I wanted to do. And I'm happy. This is what makes me happy", she said with pride in her voice, a cigarette between her fingers, and a huge smile on her face.


This was her way of expressing herself... her art. This was her way of feeling empowered. Who am I to judge what makes her happy? Then I talked to her boyfriend. I had already seen them together during the two days of filming. I could tell he actually loved her by the way he took care of her, how they hung out together alone and enjoyed as much as they could of the beautiful location we were in, by the way he communicated with her. I could see the love and respect they had for each other.


"When I met her, she had her OnlyFans account set up already. She'd say things like, 'If you don't like it, you can leave'. She'd have boyfriends who weren't comfortable and didn't let her post certain photos but I knew that if I wanted to be with her, I had to accept her for who she was. I respect her confidence. I like that she doesn't care what others think.", he said, with her standing next to him.


I wondered whether having sex for work affected their sexual life negatively by selling their "intimacy". Surprise. Their answer was: "Not all. This nurtures our sexual life. We're always looking for new things to do. It excites us to film ourselves", she says. To which he added, "I'm turned on by the idea of someone jacking off to us. We don't do this for the money, we do it because we enjoy ourselves. The money is just a nice cherry on top."


They told me they'd been judged by friends and some of his family for having "no values". This was a judgement that came across my mind as well. And that's when I thought about that word... values. In Venezuela, a conservative and religious culture, you hear a lot about people having or not having values. Which is funny because it's basically saying that if your set of values is not the same as society's then you don't have any. So this word "values" aren't really values, they're rules. And if you don't follow them, you're judged as someone who has no morals.


So how do I feel about porn? Well, I respect those who do what makes them happy regardless of what others think or how they're viewed by society. I feel bad for those who do this kind of work because of economic necessity but feel like shit doing it. I'm no longer uncomfortable or threatened by this line of work - having met this couple and their views. In fact, I'm even more attracted to it now.


What I saw is that this made them feel empowered and confident as a couple and as individuals - and I could see they were proud of their sexual chemistry. The energy they give off is contagious. I found myself spending the last day bathing naked by a waterfall (private property so I didn't have to worry about others seeing me) and taking photographs of myself. I felt attractive, despite not having the "perfect body" she had. I felt hot. And I must say... I've underestimated the feeling of feeling attractive, confident and sexy.


So if erotic films do that for couples who decide to be in them, stepping outside of our "moral comfort zone" and learning from their experience may inspire us to walk outside the limiting box we build for ourselves and try something new and different. Whatever that may be for you.


If you want to check out the website we filmed the project for:


xconfessions.com







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