XConfessions by Erika Lust, Volunteers Wanted30 April 2021
Shot during the actual Porn Film Festival in October 2018, Volunteers Wanted gives us a never-seen-before look inside Europe’s vibrant porn scene.
“Someone once told me, if all of my family were dead, I would be a porn star.
People think my life is some sort of Hollywood movie. They either picture it as a romantic comedy à la Pretty Woman or Mighty Aphrodite with me as some sort of clueless Woody Allen character as the protagonist, or a tragic drama like Moulin Rouge.
It depends on their morality about sex work and what they think they know about us. And when I mean us, I mean the sex workers who choose to charge for their time, their emotional labour, access to their sex, and their company. People that don’t believe that porn, or asking for sexual services, are innately bad.
I have had people make all kinds of assumptions about my life….what it is and what it’s not. In reality, my life is pretty ordinary. I get up, I eat breakfast, I listen to the news, I go to work, I hang out with my friends and I call my grandma once a week.
There are so many things I love about my job, but the most moving part is the strong sense of community amongst us. When you go to a festival or you are on set, it’s always a bit like a family reunion. We catch up about what’s been going on in each others lives. We support each other, sharing laughs, tears and memories. We band together to tackle things like stigma and all the risks that come with our job. Most importantly, we protect each other like families ought to do.
I don’t think there is anything “abnormal” about us. I also don’t think any job is more or less valuable than another. I chose to be a porn performer in spite of the stigma and my family is still very much alive. I chose to be a porn performer because I believe that we all deserve to choose something that makes us fulfilled. And for me, it feels fucking great. ” — By MerilynK
Erika’s comment: “Volunteers Wanted was shot during the Berlin Porn Film Festival 2018 and gives you insight into the vibrant community of sex workers in Europe. Most of the people you see in this film are friends and colleagues in real life which gives Volunteers Wanted a very immersive and authentic feeling. If you’ve always wondered what it’s like going to a porn festival, follow Kali to Berlin and get invited to porn sets, movie screenings and very, very private encounters.”
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