• Lavande Magazine

The First Publicly Funded Porn

Updated: 2 days ago


Bridie Adams interviews the filmmaker who's created the first porn of its kind


Image: Lustery

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Lustery is not your average porn site. In fact, its founder Paulita Pappel recently made the news for creating the first porn film of its kind funded by public service broadcasting. I was lucky enough to speak to Pappel about Lustery, and what it was like to create an adult film for a public service broadcaster.


Pappel has been in the sex work industry for over ten years: "I started as a performer, with really DIY, super queer, feminist stuff, and then I started to go towards mainstream. I used to fit in the category of ‘girl next door,’ so I did a lot of so-called amateur porn. In my experience, it's staged and I had to portray a personality that wasn’t really authentic to me. I actually wanted to go more mainstream, but at the time, ten years ago, it was completely different. If you wanted to go mainstream you had to be completely shaved - no hairs on you other than on your head. It’s really silly, but this was one of the main reasons that I didn’t go fully into mainstream porn." After a stint as a performer, Pappel started producing and directing in Berlin: "Not many people were ready to deal with the logistics of shooting, so I organically started taking over more responsibilities behind the camera. Then I became a producer, and then a director.”


The creator-centred porn platform Lustery was founded in 2016, but the team has grown fast since then: “It started with two people; I started with my co-founder, and we were doing everything in the beginning. By now, we’re almost 12 people. It feels like we are a serious company and I’m just so happy that it is going well and that we can grow. We had a vision and a dream, and it seems like other people share this.”



Video: Lustery

 

Image: Lustery

Lustery is a platform and community where couples all over the world share their sex videos. But it doesn't just contain videos - it also features an online magazine called POV (Point of View), which Pappel describes as "the safe for work, informational part of Lustery." She says, “We want to have as many points of view, as many perspectives, as possible so we are creating that platform in the hopes to create space for different voices and different realities and different truths all around the topics of sex, sexuality and relationships.”


Image: Lustery

All of Lustery's content is well-received by its audience, but the most popular category of videos is home sex. Pappel says, "We call ourselves “the home of homemade porn.” All of our home sex tapes start with an introduction so the couple introduce themselves and their relationship. That’s what makes the experience what it is, and it feels more personal." Pappel compares her site to Pornhub, where "you're going through hundreds of millions of different videos and different bodies, which are just presented as that - bodies." For Lustery, however, the difference is "you’re really getting to see people having sex and you kind of get a feeling for who these people are and what their relationship is like, and that’s a different layer that not so often gets offered in porn.”


Image: Lustery

You’re probably wondering how Lustery sources real, homemade porn from real couples sharing real moments. As Lustery is a community dedicated to the sex lives of real life, loving couples from around the world, anyone can submit videos sharing hot and intimate sexual experiences, all in the comfort of their own home. Lustery is a space for people to explore and expand on their sexualities.


Recently, Pappel made the headlines when she collaborated with a German public service broadcaster to make a feminist porn film, with the aim of combatting sexist stereotypes. Pappel explains how the porn was funded: “The programme that did it is public service broadcasting. Like the BBC, kind of. It’s not state funding and it’s not tax money, but it is money that is going directly to fund this public service broadcaster.” Although the reaction has been mixed, Pappel says people have responded surprisingly positively.


She said: "I thought there was going to be more negativity and more folks maybe having a problem with it, but a lot of folks are saying, “Finally! My money is being put to a good cause and to something that I actually support.” I have got positive feedback on my own personal social media channels, and what is amazing is the reach it has had. For me, one of the most important things is that it has reached people who otherwise wouldn’t have had access to this.”


Pappel highlights how although porn can get a bad rap in the media, she hopes that her film will demonstrate that not all porn is damaging to its viewers. Porn that shows safe sex, communication, different bodies, and consensual, enthusiastic acts tends to get a more positive reaction, which is exactly what Pappel has experienced in relation to the publicly funded video.


Watch Pappel's interview with ZDF Magazin Royale (in German).

 

Pappel's film is the first publicly funded porn film in Germany, but, to her knowledge, it is also the first of its kind in the world. She does, however, shout out Dirty Diaries, a Swedish project that was funded by the Swedish Film Institute. Most of the films are artistic in nature, and one of them is even an animation. Pappel knows one of the filmmakers involved in the project very well, and describes the Swedish reaction as "uproar," explaining that "Sweden is very anti-porn, so this was like a big scandal." She says that Dirty Diaries is the only project she knows of that could be compared to her publicly funded film.


Although Pappel has got comfortable behind the camera, with plenty of titles in her filmography, she says she’s considering getting back into performing herself: “I might have a late comeback or something. I personally really like big sets. I like makeup, costumes, nice sets and so on. I was shooting for Erika Lust, for example, which is really fun to shoot. She says she's "more into glam porn as a performer," so probably wouldn't be contributing to her own site Lustery. However, she is always looking for new couples to join and submit their own videos.


Image: Lustery

If you’re interested in sharing your sex tapes, you're in luck, as Pappel says it’s “simple.” She explains, “We try to have it as easy as possible. You can put in your username you’d like to have and the names you’re going to use, and we’ll get back to you. Basically, the process is quite simple, so we want folks who have never shot, and who have no technical skills." Couples can even shoot on their phone (as Pappel says, "Nowadays, who doesn't have a phone, right?") and don't have to navigate editing; all they have to do is send over the material, and Lustery will edit it in house.


Due to the homemade nature of the site, Lustery will only accept couples who have real relationships in their private lives: "Sometimes we have performers applying. Every sex worker is a real person and they can shoot home videos with their partners, but if two performers want to shoot together pretending they’re a couple, we just say, “No, sorry.” We genuinely want to have real couples." Pappel also stresses that “There are absolutely no rules on what kind of sex there should be or there shouldn’t’ be, so we really put absolutely no borders or constrictions on what the sex should be like."


Video: Lustery

 

Of course, payment varies, but it’s not based on views: “Once the video has been submitted, we do a review, and we do have a few minimal standards. Depending on the category of video, there’s different fees, and if the video is accepted, we pay that money. It doesn’t matter how many clicks, or likes.”


Whether you’re interested in creating and sharing your own homemade porn or you want to support and enjoy amateur content, Pappel explains why Lustery should be on your short list of premium porn subscriptions: “We only accept people that have an ongoing relationship with each other in their private lives. If that’s what you want to see, you’re in the right place with us. We have a lot of different videos, a lot of different profiles. Every film is very unique and very intimate. Plus, we have a growing library and we have one update a day, so every day there’s new content."


You can also be reassured that the porn on Lustery is ethical: "Everyone there has willingly and enthusiastically shared their videos, and you will not find a video where anyone has not agreed in advance to have their video published, so you can be sure and safe that what you’re consuming is being done and distributed in an ethical way.”


Want to discover more? You can purchase a Lustery subscription on their website, and if you'd like to share your sex tape with Lustrey's community, you can head to Lustery.com/apply.

 

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