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Porn site showcases conversations about consent before filming, goes viral

The German-based porn company Ersties is going viral for their conversations on consent prior to filming a clip.

Porn site showcases conversations about consent before filming, goes viral
Image Source: erstiesofficial / Instagram

Note: The word "models" refers to the real-life people filming porn for Ersties, whereas the word "actors" refers to anyone portraying a character in a porn video.

Ersties, a porn company based in Germany, recently went viral on TikTok for showcasing the conversations they have about consent with the models they work with prior to filming. While consensual sex should be the default, this is unfortunately not always the case. In the past, some studios have faced backlash for building unsafe environments during shoots. Founded in 2009, Ersties aims to create porn for women, by women. Ensuring consent is only one of the ways they are disrupting the industry, BuzzFeed reports.



 

"It's up to you really, but we could do two 30-minute scenes if you guys want a short break in between, or if you guys are really gelled mood-wise we could also shoot for an hour," Ersties director of photography Karyn Hunt states in a clip that has now gone viral. "It goes without saying, but if anyone needs a break at any time, you have the authority to say stop." For many viewers, this was the first time they had seen a conversation like this one between models and a director.



 

The firm prides itself on depicting "real sex" rather than some of the unrealistic portrayals or staged porn seen within the industry today. Before every shoot that takes place, all of Erstie's models are given a "consent talk" with the director, similar to the one seen in the TikTok video. Ersties model Delfine Dahlia, aged 29, shared in an interview with BuzzFeed, "Karyn would ask all of us what our likes and dislikes are, what our boundaries are, and then we can say like, 'I don't like feet,' or 'No anal.' I never feel like I'm forced to do something."



 

For the company, what goes on behind the scenes is just as important as what the viewer finally sees. "We want to show real people having real sex," Amélie Mo, Head of Production at Ersties, said. "That's why we always have interviews before the sex [with the models], so the viewer gets to connect on a more emotional level. We don't have men on set. And we mostly try to focus on women's pleasure. We ask our model what they want to live [out] as a sexual fantasy, and then we make it happen." On their website, Ersties features a variety of content. Some themes include solo pleasure, girl on girl, group sex, and fantasy series (though these are more occasional).



 

According to Karyn, all of the models involved are "self-directed." She explained, "We spend an extensive amount of time talking about their fears, their desires, their boundaries—do they have any just general questions about what the day is gonna look like. I don't come to set with a shot list like, 'You're gonna do missionary and then go to doggy-style.' I don't have a vision for shoots. It's based on what are you in the mood for right now, today. There's just one rule: that you have to face the camera."



 

The talks she has on consent with the models she works with are similar to conversations she would have with her own partners. "'What are your boundaries? What turns you on?' And from there I can kind of facilitate and create that space for them to have the kind of experience that they're looking for. When I give my talks, I say, 'If you are in the mood to do anal and then we get to the part where you would maybe do anal and you say, "Actually, I'm not in the mood," I say, "That's totally fine. What would you like to do? Or we can just stop." It's really up to the performer always.'" And, while it has rarely occurred, models get paid even if they stop filming. "We foster a safe space for models to be themselves and do what they want," she stated. "But we also make sure everyone is compensated fairly."



 

The production at Ersties is wildly different from what models can expect from other studios. Karlie Brooks, a 26-year-old former adult film star who worked in mainstream porn, shared that the crew is typically composed of men. She said, "There’s the hairstylist, the people doing wardrobe, the boom guy [person who operates the mic], and cameraman." Most actors are also expected to sign a consent form on set. And while actors can turn down a shoot ahead of time, there is an expectation to fulfill your job once you are on set.



 

"You have to make a video, too, saying you aren't under the influence," she continued. "It’s kind of awkward. And it’s kind of expected that you do certain things, because they don’t ask you what you’re comfortable with beforehand." With Ersties, on the other hand, models are treated with more respect. For instance, models are encouraged to form relationships with each other. "We always share our STD tests, and I usually like to get a coffee beforehand," Dahlia shared. "It's the best job I've ever had. I feel respected and valued."



 

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