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gettingsome

Watching porn: The good, the bad and the horny

Our author has never watched porn. She caught up with Berlin-based porn director Goodyn Green. Will the queer feminist filmmaker help her in #gettingsome sexual pleasure - or will it inspire plain disgust?

The woman I've arranged to watch some porn movies with opens the door of her apartment holding her one-year-old son in her arm. "Come on in, make yourself feel at home," she says, stepping aside.

Just seconds ago I was thinking about how much more I would love to eat a cheeseburger in the restaurant next door, rather than trying to overcome my disgust towards porn. Now, I'm being ushered through the door by Goodyn Green, a history teacher and a 36-year-old mum, who directs - and occasionally stars - in queer feminist porn, that is anything that goes beyond the mainstream heterosexual porn, and in this case, which features average women rather than the stereotypical pornstar.

Today, I'm going to watch the first porn film in my entire life. Or rather, lots of them. For research purposes only, of course. In other words, I'm being paid to watch and write about other people having orgasms. It might be something that sounds like easy money for some of you, but for me it's going to be a real struggle. I can't even write the words boobs or vagina without someone forcing me to. Boobs. Vagina. Boobs. May there be lots of them. I secretly plan to pretend to make notes when I can't stand it anymore. And luckily, there's a lot to marvel at in her typical "Berlin creative"-style flat.

#gettingsome from daddies and grannies?

Goodyn doesn't have a clue about my complete unease and shouts over from the kitchen: "Wanna drink something?" I respond that coffee would be lovely. "Soy or cow milk?" I've never had soy milk before. I've never watched porn before - this is the perfect day for firsts: "Soy milk," I say.

I secretly curse my editor, who talked me into what's coming next: "Can we watch one of the gross clips that inspired you because it was so bad?" I ask. She doesn't for a second think that's an odd question to kick off an interview. "Sure. Just choose something," she responds.

I type 'porn' into Google and boom! Suddenly the screen is filled with red and black and swollen and white and old and … yeah, I'm talking about dicks.

I click on a hit labeled "romantic" because I cannot handle anything else for my first film. What a cheap cliché. I get a little annoyed at myself, but not annoyed enough to select "daddy", "teen", or "granny."

My first ever porn movie

The clips starts. I exhale slowly. A hetero couple is making out in what seems like an office. Things are happening slowly - too slowly. "This is not bad. The acting… he seems like a good guy. This is not necessarily bad. She's hot. There's not enough [bad] acting for it to be a turn-off, I think," Goodyn comments.

The couple is still kissing. "That's a little boring," I say. "You want them on immediately, yeah?" Goodyn asks and I blush.

"Sometimes I'm just looking for the f***ing movement," says Goodyn as the guy on screen starts nibbling his partner's nipples. "At other times I like it slow. It depends so much on what sexual mood I'm in... Ah, this is nice," she says, interrupting herself and - being the director that she is - she points towards the beauty shot of the actress's nipples.

Leaving the director role and becoming simply a consumer, Goodyn says she watches straight and gay porn to "get off, to masturbate and to have a quick orgasm".

"I feel the women in straight porn often won't turn me on [because of] the way they are portrayed," she says. "In gay porn, there's just lots of dicks and that's hot."

Mainstream porn: not about the kind of men you'd want to f***

But what really inspired Goodyn to want more than just these masturbational aids was bad lesbian porn. "How lesbians have sex in other movies doesn't seem authentic. It's so much for the male pleasure. It's so often [tailored] to a straight man watching for Lolita, for the grandma, for the huge tits. It's not about what kind of men you, [as a women, would] want to f***."

Goodyn rants on. "I was shooting this couple last week and we talked about how it's so funny that when you watch a lot of porn, you start doing the same when you have sex: biting the underlip, touching your breasts like that… So no wonder that young teenagers think, 'This is how I'm supposed to f*** a woman.' Or 'I'm supposed to swallow his sperm.' It's disturbing. Combined with the lack of correct sexual education in school, they learn enough stupid stuff about getting babies but not enough about sexual pleasure. Girls definitely don't learn anything about their clitoris and how that functions."

From that fairly harmless intro complete with doggy-style position, we now watch Shutter, a 44-minute series of five clips produced by Goodyn herself. Forty-four minutes of awkwardness and nervous staring at my notebook.

Goodyn's porn: Sex, the way you have it

On screen, two girls with short hair and pale skin are leaning against a tree in a brightly-lit forest. That's actually extremely aesthetic, holy crap. Rays of sunshine break through the trees - it's some serious eye candy and the slow rhythmic movement of their bodies is beautifully captured on camera. It's the softest introduction I could have asked for and I'm starting to relax.

DW Life Links - Goodyn Green EINSCHRÄNKUNG

Do you ever get used to seeing your naked body on screen? "I'm still not enjoying seeing myself on screen, it's still fucking challenging. I prefer being behind the camera. But it was personally important to me to try it out."

"I'm in it by the way, in the first scene," says Goodyn catapulting me out of my happy bubble. Is there anything that fazes this woman?!

As if reading my thoughts, she jumps in: "The reason why I wanted to play in porn was that I wanted to challenge myself and push my boundaries completely, to exhibit my complete body. I didn't like that I wasn't comfortable in it. I'm a fully grown, intelligent woman, why can I not like my body? I need to do something about that." So she did.

"Ninety percent of women have cellulite or will get it," she goes on. "But it's f***ing never seen in mainstream porn or advertisement. In queer porn, it's about showing these things so that you build up confidence and actually enjoy having sex. Women are too much in their brains, thinking, 'How do I look in this position?', I'm like, 'Why do I care?'"

No perfection, but still aesthetic

"I want people to enjoy the aesthetics. But then of course I also want people to feel represented by the protagonists. I want them to say, 'Oh my God, this woman also has cellulite on her ass, like me!' But obviously I want the women who watch it be turned on."

With that in mind, my eyes move back to the screen and double in size while acknowledging that the two girls who have now moved on to the penetration part. The groaning gets louder and movements wilder.

I wonder whether I'd ever be able to, not just have sex in a forest, but to actually get off on doing it. Aren't you too busy being scared someone might come and join your little adventure?

"I love shooting on location but I hate places where you cannot avoid people coming by. I don't like people watching me have sex either! I don't like working and being afraid that some person will come," Goodyn throws in.

Having watched the second porn movie of my life, I'm relieved that I'm not totally disgusted. My pulse is still steady and I'm still quite far from being turned on [which may or may not also be down to Goodyn's son, who I see out of the corner of my eye throwing toy blocks around]. I am considering some kind of shock therapy like starting to star in porn to change my attitude a little bit. It seems to have worked for Goodyn.

What would your parents think?

Two down, three to go. The next piece of art kicks off with a couple clumsily opening the door and stumbling through the hallway. "This is how I started three years ago. This is the first clip that I shot myself," Goodyn explains.

How does your family feel about the fact that you shoot porn films?

DW Life Links - Film Shutter EINSCHRÄNKUNG

"I guess my sister knows because she is on Facebook and there's one photo from that [first] scene that is often used as a still, and she can probably recognize her sister."

"They don't know in detail what I do. They know I'm a filmmaker and they know that I do porn, but we don't talk about it. I feel safe because I make political porn. There is a purpose to what I do. If I was making hard mainstream porn, it would be harder for them." I'm pretty sure my parents wouldn't give a crap about the difference.

"It feels really natural and spontaneous," I say trying to give feedback on what I see and feeling all analytical. I mean, who doesn't know that feeling, when you can't seem to tear each other's clothes off fast enough? When even making it up the stairs to the bedroom is a serious challenge?

One of the women on screen stands and cuts an apple, then her own lip. OUCH! She shackles the other woman. It gets rougher. I can see holes that I'd rather I hadn't seen - I barely want to write that down because, chill out girl, this is a human. You have these holes yourself!

Anyways. I love apples. Can I have an apple?

My clone is having the orgasm of her life

While I'm trying to distract myself with my love for the sinner's fruit, the next clip begins. A girl with dark hair that's tied up in a bun sits on her flowery bed. Wait, that girl looks pretty much exactly like me.

I stare at Goodyn, shocked. My clone and I even have the same bedding! The only difference is that when I woke up this morning, the first thing I did wasn't exactly masturbating in front of a camera. #iwokeuplikethis #not #startyourdayright

The girl is touching herself playfully. She looks innocent albeit not in the cheap doll-eyed way. Another girl comes in. They hold hands while the masturbating softly. It's surprisingly quiet. I like the slow, natural rhythm of it all. Speed is overrated!

I also really like the way Goodyn lets it just happen, literally: "I'm the pervert fly on the wall. I want them to forget that I'm there. I love when they say afterwards 'Oh my God, I didn't even notice you were there'. Just let them do their thing." And oh, how they do their thing.

My clone licks the finger that was inside her two seconds ago while the other girl holds her hand. Quiet groaning. Big smiles. As my clone is having an orgasm, I ask Goodyn: Are you easily turned on? Is it hard to keep a professional perspective?

'I need to be turned on by my own porn'

"Whenever I film or edit, there needs to be a moment when I think, 'This is hot.' It's important to me that I can get turned on by my own porn. So far, I got turned on in every shooting. But it doesn't mean that I am turned on right now."

Phew, it's not just me. I'm relieved and stunned by Goodyn's nonchalance. It's like we're talking about dinner. It's getting dark outside and I'm a bit worried that my dreams will include masturbating clones tonight.

But there's more dream material to come: Now, two girls in uniforms are standing in a forest. Oh la la! The birds are chirping loudly. The pair take off their clothes. One puts a rope around the other's hands and feet and ties it to a tree. She's flying. The movements are soft. They smile. That actually looks like fun. And I spot a roll of flab, or two.

"I talk to my protagonists and try find out if there is something they would rather not show. Sometimes I get comments like, 'I would rather you don't focus too much on my ass.' But why is that? It's important that I focus on your ass so that people can see it's pretty. Of course, I don't push anyone, but I've had people who afterwards were really surprised about how good they looked. So one of my goals is to create alternative porn that shows 'real' people, 'real' sex, whatever that means. Diversity."

In this case, diversity means: Their armpits aren't shaved, and one of the women has pierced nipples. The girl who's standing slaps her lover gently in the face. Then they wrap each other in a blanket and stroke each other's heads. Aww, I like the intimacy that even came through in the slap. There's nothing disturbing or weird about it (anymore).

What makes a good porn actor?

So I'm super comfortable now. Like so chilled. Goodyn's got this. No dirty gangbangs or fat old men masturbating into her face. Still, as her son is shouting for attention, I cannot resist trying to escape: "I don't want to waste your time. We don't have to..." I offer kindly. "Don't worry, there's just 10 more minutes to go," she says. Damn!

Two girls wearing tank tops are leaning against the sink in what looks like a student or shared apartment. One of them is cutting watermelons. I think maybe Goodyn has a thing for fruit. Me too. They start fumbling.

The couple are amateurs. The one on the right is becoming a queer porn star ("She's actually my lover," Goodyn tells me) and the one of the left just had a baby and is taking a break at the moment.

So what makes a good actor?

"A good actor is someone you want to look at having sex, but mostly you want to look at them enjoy sex. 'She or he is really into sex!' They want it right now and they don't give a damn about the camera."

Goodyn points at the screen: "She's a natural talent. I saw it on camera straight away, she had no experience at all [before I shot with her]! There are other people who make porn and you're like, 'I don't feel it.' [They] may have a great body… but there's not this…" Goodyn breaks off and groans before adding, "Some have it, others don't."

The two girls have a whole lot of pretty tattoos. There star tattoos on the hip and then some obvious imperfections - a rash on her skin, perhaps a mosquito bite. Now one is pulling on the other's nipples. A red dildo enters the scene.

The house music rhythm goes extremely well with the pace of their moving bodies. They screw against the wall. Light skin, curls in focus, grins on their faces - two bodies vibrating against each other. Now, down on the floor. The girl on top comes, her lover looks expectantly at her: 'Was it good, yeah?' Bloody yes.