September 15, 2015

In the Headlines - Candida Royalle, Erotic Filmmaker, Dies

Last week in New York, Candida Royalle, a former pornographic star and film maker of erotic works for women, passed away. 

Candida Royalle in her office in New York City in 1990, after she turned to making films.
Jim Estrin/The New York Times

After studying art and design in New York, Ms. Royalle became a pornographic actress in California for several years. In 1980 she made the move from actress to producer, founding her own company, Femme Productions. 

Ms. Royalle focused her work on erotic films designed to appeal to women and couples; she hoped to answer the unmet needs of women who wanted erotic media of their own.
“Women were curious and wanted to see if there were some sexy movies they could enjoy with their partner, and there was nothing out there for that,” she is quoted as saying.

Of course, she had her critics. She was often put down for participating in a misogynistic system that exploited women just as much as any other pornographer. For my part, though, I can't help but admire a woman embracing her own sexuality and the reality of women's sexual needs and desires.

Have you ever seen one of Ms. Royalle's films? What do you think of women in the pornography business, and directing pornography intended for women?

"Perhaps if we weren’t still so consumed with guilt and shame about sex, neither watching nor performing in these films would carry the weight it does. But then, perhaps we wouldn’t be so interested in them, either. If the fruit were not forbidden, would anyone care to take a bite?"
~Candida Royalle


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