Wednesday, August 10, 2011

kira's erotic fantasies: keep or not?

I like the idea of keeping my section on Stella Film Productions in my book as an example of what not to do when attempting to re-vision porn into something truly good. The below section on Kira's erotic fantasies could also be included as a cautionary example -- or not. What do you think?

I first checked out “Kira’s erotic fantasies” (2005) by nude model Kira Eggers (1974) because it came to me highly recommended by the woman-run sex shop Lust. Before making “Kira’s erotic fantasies,” Kira worked as a mainstream porn actress. She quit to launch her own online erotic business featuring nude pictures of herself and other women. And to make her own “erotic fantasies” films. – A second volume featuring more “erotic fantasies” was released in 2006, and a third in 2007.

The packaging of Kira’s erotic fantasies is certainly “softer” and “glossier” than what you’d find in mainstream porn, but other than that, the content remains much the same. And I have issues with the film’s styling too. Though the film features attractive actors, costumes, and sets. And though the close-ups of genitals are sexy and beautiful; not gynecological and sterile. Kira has also invested in a melodious musical soundtrack, and the sighing and moaning are discreet.

However all of the styling errs on the nauseating side of burlesque boudoir. And the film’s extreme dwelling on nostalgic romance with lacy underwear, corsets, heavy red curtains, shimmering satin sheets and fluffy pillows; and a dimmed red-pink lighting, adding a lot of soft filters to attain a glossy look, perpetuate the stereotype that women want soft old-fashioned romance.

The musical soundtrack, moreover—a sensual, but tiresomely monotonous beat—fails to even begin to suggest a crescendoing development of desire and pleasure between the characters. Same goes for the actors’ performance: they just appear on the screen and have sex. Only the titles (in English) attempt to provide an explanation for why they have sex in each of the four episodes: “Does your best friend turn you on?,” “Lap dance for his eyes only”, “Tell him what you like and surrender” and “Sex with my ex.” The first episode shows girl sex (“friends” according to the title), the rest heterosex in all the standard porn positions. Every episode ends with a money shot, mostly in her mouth.

But what perhaps provokes me the most about this film is how Kira—a long-legged green-eyed brunette—repeatedly poses for the camera, her languid gaze fixed on it with a come-hither look. The film begins with such pictures of Kira, rendered in alternating black-and-white and color to highlight the shimmering shine in her red corset and her shiny long black lace lined stockings. And between all four episodes the camera returns to linger on Kira posing, stripping and touching herself, in the end completely naked, her gaze still fixed on the camera as she writhes on her chaise longue among all its silk and satin pillows; her legs spread apart, stroking her breasts, masturbating.

Kira’s made a huge deal about how she left hard core out of consideration for her family, and how she’s no longer acting in it for that same reason. This does not prevent her from enthusiastically advertising on her website for friends who do, nor from acting and directing films for the Best of Stocking Secrets series—“your invitation to experience the ultimate erotic destination as the world’s most gorgeous women yearn to seduce and satisfy you.” In other words, it’s hardcore sex with penetration that Kira will no longer do for the camera. Softcore porn that capitalizes on a sexualized objectification of women, on the other hand, seems to be fine with her.

In an email to me, Kira expressed the same conflicted relationship to working in the porn business as Estelle Joseph of Stella Film Production had:
I don’t really care about porn. I care about the business industry/aspect of it … I don’t watch porn myself and you would never catch me buy a movie, I love the production side of it and the wholeness. It could be a house decor show, and I would do the same. If only I had the experience with that. It just so happens that I have the experience within the softcore bizz of adult and figured I could direct something I would watch if I should pick something adult to enjoy.
In case I wondered, Kira also told me she was not interested in representing any form of “‘propaganda campaign,’ discussing the rights of porn, because I frankly don’t give a shit about the people that don’t like it. I care about the people WHO do enjoy it, for those are my audience.”

Enough said about that. Let me return instead to what bothers me about Kira’s film, which is NOT that it features penetration; it’s Kira’s constant posing for the camera, stripping and touching herself.

Kira insists that mainstream porn bores her, while what she has made is something that even women will enjoy. But I for one did not enjoy the sexualized objectification of Kira, even if she’s doing it to herself. Nor did I appreciate the stereotypical assumption her porn is built on: that women prefer things soft and romantic with satin sheets and lace. And last but not least, I have a real problem with the failure of Kira’s porn to communicate a convincing reason for why the characters have sex in the first place. To quote the Puzzy Power manifesto: “It is not enough for four unknown actors to enter stage right, drop their pants and simply get down to it.” – When there’s no context or story behind the sex, no convincing capturing of the characters’ mutually crescendoing desire, the result is disturbingly flat.


  1. Enough said. Actually, the same wrong point of view Kira put in her works is presented in non-porn mainstream brazilian TV. The objectification of women do not necessary come from porn, you know and I know that there are many examples of good porn outside there. The objectification come from the representation, brazilian soap operas have not any explicit sex image, but it is more damageful for the women rights and for the women sexuality than a good porn movie made by women (of course, but many people in my country still don't realise that).
    And there is the huge problem with the prejudices inside the discurse of Miss Kira.

  2. Exactly! What intrigues me is how new good re-visioned porn can serve as an actual counterweight not only to mainstream porn, but the discriminating objectification of women in popular media. Thanks for chiming in! I appreciate it.


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