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This French Web Designer Couldn’t Find Porn Worth Watching, So She Made Some Herself
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Lucie Blush’s history starts like a bad coming-of-age movie. Girl grows up in a conservative, uncompromising household. Girl endures a slew of unremarkable relationships, sullied by unremarkable sex. Girl becomes a porn star.

Blush is no cliche, though. When I spoke to her on Skype recently, the 28-year-old feminist porn director, actor and writer said she was drawn to the industry for pragmatic reasons. After years of self doubt, amplified by the vapid misogyny of her ex-boyfriends’ porn folders, Blush resolved to make pornography she actually wanted to watch. Three years later, her videos have placated the incognito browsing of many a porn-lovin’ lady. And she’s just getting started.

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People tend to overcomplicate the idea behind feminist porn, but it’s really simple: women, in production and on camera, are treated like human beings, and not blow up dolls. Taste-wise, fem porn means different things to different people, but it usually involves a more equitable cunnilingus-to-cumshot ratio, and a narrative that goes beyond a horny pizza boy with a XXX BiG sAuSaGe XXX. There’s pubic hair, and freckles. In the end, everyone...wins.

“Women so far have been totally ignored in porn, we usually don’t get to see their pleasure,” Blush told me. Feminist porn is different.

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As work from feminist directors like Erika Lust and Petra Joy penetrate (HA!) mainstream porn channels, the genre is slowly making strides in the digital realm. Blush’s sites, Lucie Makes Porn and We Love Good Sex, are an important piece of the puzzle. Her videos, shot in Barcelona and Berlin, are honest and raw — aside from a loose backstory, they’re unscripted. If there’s a central theme to Blush’s films, it’s of unabashed confidence; her actors are beautiful, but she doesn’t skip over the cellulite, love handles and makeup smears that sometimes make an appearance when Real People have sex.  “The idea isn’t to condemn mainstream porn, it’s to give other viewpoints,” she said. “My films show real moments between people.”

In some ways, Blush’s porn is a study in the curiosities of a sexual late bloomer. Born in Lyons, France, Blush was raised by helicopter parents who, despite good intentions, imprinted long-lasting body issues on their only child, she said. As she grew older, deep scrutiny came with every new outfit, hairstyle and weight fluctuation, leaving Blush with the impression that women aren’t allowed to feel comfortable in their own skin. Her parents never directly spoke about sex, but backhanded comments beget clear implications: pleasure is a man’s world, and women just live in it.

“I experienced sex as something I had to give a man,” she told me. “I had to be available, pretty, perfectly-shaven. I never wondered about my own pleasure.”

At 22, Blush moved to Barcelona, where she experienced something of sexual revolution. A long-term relationship had just fizzled, and Blush felt free to sexually experiment for the first time, she said. Like any good millennial, she flaunted it — blogging daily about her newfound sexual exploits. Writing was cathartic, and the more Blush explored, the more she wanted to document it. “I wanted to share with people what I was learning,” she said.

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In 2011, Blush landed a job as a web designer at Erika Lust’s Barcelona-based production company, Lust Cinemas. Blush had only a cursory relationship to porn at the time (the '70s mega hit Debbie Does Dallas and Paris Hilton’s One Night in Paris were the only videos she’d seen), so Lust’s films were an introduction to the idea that sex on camera can be more than just kitschy farce and night vision blow jobs. After a year and a half, Blush left Lust Cinemas with an idea for her own brand of feminist porn — the under-stylized vignettes that fill her sites today. The goal was never “to get people to jerk off,” she said, but to create porn that viewers, particularly women, feel good about watching. Today, her 20-plus films are go-tos for sex-positive folks around the world — all of whom, we can safely assume, feel really good about what they’re watching.

In 2014, Blush performed in one of her films for the first time — a lesbian scene called “Naked.” Since then, she’s appeared in a handful of others. Shooting porn, both behind the camera and in front of it, has helped Blush grow into the tenacious, confident person she always wanted to be, she told me.

“It’s been a long journey, but I finally feel good in my own skin,” Blush said. “I’ve realized I’m entitled to my own sexuality.”

Watching her films, it’s hard not to feel the same way.

This post was originally published June 24, 2016

Photos via Facebook/Lucie Blush

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Kristen Bahler is a Brooklyn-based journalist who covers the unexplored crevices of business and finance. Follow her at www.kristen-bahler.com

 

 

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