drip team
17.08.21
Conversation

The relatable porn star: Morgana on self-worth, sex and stereotypes


You can be certain that a woman who struggles to look at herself in the mirror but feels comfortable in front of the camera has a story to tell. Yet when we meet for our interview, she’s quite nervous at the idea of being recorded – that is the paradox that is Morgana Muses.

In 2012 Morgana made a choice, the impact of that choice spans countries and generations. She left a miserable marriage and hired an escort for a night she had planned to be her last. Morgana describes that first taste of intimacy after being celibate for 12 years as someone flipping the switch and turning the lights on. Armed with the hope the experience had given her, she chose to rewrite her story. It’s the kind that you can’t pull yourself away from; a captivating voice, a charismatic protagonist who you immediately get behind and an unexpected formula that’s seeing Morgana’s narrative unfold in front of a global audience. Desperate to keep the story going, I sat down with the creative director and multi award-winning film maker of feminist production company, Permission 4 Pleasure.


You’re often referred to as a house-wife turned porn star, how do you feel about that label?


I don’t mind, actually. It pricks people’s ears to the story; it’s a hook. It makes people want to know more about me, it’s like, wow she had this traditional life and then became a porn star.


Tell me about your films.


My porn depicts various aspects of our sexuality, presented in a normal and healthy way, and hopefully in a way that resonates with the vast majority of people. Mainstream porn has got a formula that it works on, and a lot of people can’t relate to it in real life, whereas I like to think my porn is relatable. I think that’s the word I’m looking for.

It makes people want to know more about me, it’s like, wow she had this traditional life and then became a porn star.

What’s the most memorable feedback you’ve gotten?


This young German couple, who are both in the adult industry and both thought there was a cut-off date for their career told me, ‘You proved to us that there is no expiration date’, it was just beautiful. They were saying how wonderful it was and it made me realise I’m doing the right thing. Sometimes I have my doubts. Particularly because my family gets a bit embarrassed and ashamed by it. I think to myself, ‘no, you know what, I have a legacy.’ I never thought I would, because I was always this silent housewife and mother and now, I have a legacy and a purpose.


So, it’s your lived experience that people are drawn to?


To be quite honest, I never thought it could be like this. I thought, what can my little old films do, I’ll just put them out there, and for it to be global is just amazing.

How much of your work is fantasy and how much is reality?


To me, it’s not fantasy, it’s curiosity and exploration of sexuality. Each film has a different theme, whether it be food play, breath play or rough play. They’re all aspects of my sexuality that I am curious about, and I’d like depicted on film.


Do you think that helps make it relatable?


I think because the people I perform with are usually friends or performers I get to know. We already have that bond, and we have a concept about what the film will be about and so the chemistry is there because of the existing relationship. We collaborate on the sex scene and once we’ve nutted out the scene, we just let the cameras roll. There’s no take two, take three – if there’s a change in what we discussed, it doesn’t matter, we just capture what happens, the reality.

I get messages sometimes saying, ‘Oh, can I film with you?’ and I say, ‘Sorry, it’s not as easy as you think it is’.

Sounds fun!

We have a lot of fun! I can’t perform with someone who just shows up on the day. Admittedly, most of the time I have performed with friends but the few times I’ve used performers, I made sure we’ve had a coffee and a chat just to get to know each other a little bit. The foreplay, if you will, because I can’t do the cold turkey.

I’d say most people would struggle with that.

I know, that’s the funny part. I get messages sometimes saying, ‘Oh, can I film with you?’ and I say, ‘Sorry, it’s not as easy as you think it is’.

. . .to get in your pants?

Exactly. Having sex with a complete stranger isn’t as easy as it seems. Especially when you have a camera coming right over you.

I guess that’s one reason why your work feels so different to mainstream porn.

I have nothing against mainstream porn, there is a place for it. But it’s important to me that I am depicting age positive, body positive, sex positive content. I really believe it’s important people realise that at any age you can have a healthy and normal sex life – my films just confirm that.

What does normal mean in that context?


Sexuality is so diverse, there is no normal. It’s normal if you want to do it with a consenting partner. To me that’s what normal sex is.


It’s such a refreshing take, it really highlights why your style is resonating with so many people.


That’s right, and that’s why the label that they have placed on my work is Art House Erotica. I’m quite comfortable with that.


I agree. You’ve done an amazing job of depicting the art and beauty of sex.  


That’s the aesthetic that I aspire to. Everyone has said I should just do some mainstream porn to make money, because to be honest that is where the money is. The niche work I do, I finance it all myself. And I don’t make a lot of money on it at all. But to me, I don’t want to make money. I want to create art. So, I’m willing to pay the price.

Sexuality is so diverse, there is no normal. It’s normal if you want to do it with a consenting partner. To me that’s what normal sex is.

Seems that’s what makes it so powerful?

Exactly. You know, sex can be ludicrous, sex can be funny or a whole lot of different things. That’s why I like to depict the various sexualities – the times where things can be funny or ridiculous, I like to be able to explore all avenues. I think that is where the mainstream porn they do, they have this formula, and it ends with the money shot, and you know what, that is not what sex is for me.

It sends a certain message too. . .

And you’re really setting yourself up for failure half the time to be quite honest. You walk away thinking, ‘what’s wrong with me?’ I don’t want people to have that feeling watching my films. I want them to have a smile on their face, to say ‘that was lovely’ or ‘I can or cannot relate to the film’, but I don’t want them to walk away feeling there is something wrong with them. Because I’ve always had that, in my marriage, blaming myself, always, ‘I am the reason why the marriage is failing.’ That’s why it’s very important my work is empowering and enjoyable.

I want them to have a smile on their face, to say ‘that was lovely,’ I don’t want them to walk away feeling there is something wrong with them. Because I’ve always had that, in my marriage, blaming myself. That’s why it’s very important my work is empowering and enjoyable.

I can assure you it is. Do you have a sex hack to share?


I think the greatest thing is don’t put pressure on yourself. Don’t have the whole event or night played out before hand, take it as it comes. Enjoy the journey along the way, don’t be so closed in your mindset that you don’t allow for changes to happen along the way.


What advice do you have for anyone struggling to feel comfortable with their own sexuality?


I think the biggest thing is to communicate with their partner. Don’t be afraid to voice what you’re interested in. Once you start a dialogue with the right partner that exploration will go ahead. Communication and the right partner. See what you can learn about yourself by being open.


Breaking down the walls a bit?


Don’t be quiet about it. Sex was never discussed when I was at home. I always tease my mother now; I am waiting for my sex talk.


Are you still making movies?


Yes, I am having a bit of a lull, I still have a hunger to make more films. I’d love to make it to sixty and still make more films. Sixty it is a different milestone and a different audience and as you head toward seventy it’s a different audience again.

Don’t be quiet about it. Sex was never discussed when I was at home. I always tease my mother now; I am waiting for my sex talk.

When you’re doing interviews and making content who you are envisioning consuming it?


In the beginning of my career, I was focusing on the forty and fifty plus people that were in a similar situation to what I was. But I now find that my work resonates with a whole lot of people, not just the over forty housewives, so now I don’t specifically think I’m making content for a specific demographic. I just make work that I enjoy making and it will then resonate with whoever it does. Everybody needs to be inspired.


Does that make it easier knowing its going out to more people?


I find it very overwhelming and very flattering actually that the work has a big audience. I get messages from people from overseas telling me, ‘Thank you, your story was empowering’, ‘your films are empowering’ and a lot of people say, ‘we thought our life was over’ and ‘we can’t facilitate any change, but now we can.’

Do you think that’s part of the reason people find you so inspiring?


They find me relatable. They can see a little bit of themselves in me and I think that is my biggest weapon in my film making – that it’s all relatable. I am stressing that a healthy sex life is a forever thing and not an age related issue. It’s never spoken about, and I just want the dialogue to be open for it.


Is that what motivates you?


Yes, because knowing the position that I was in and feeling hopeless and helpless, I’d like people to have some sort of inspiration to give them hope.


Almost like your making films for your past self.


In a lot of ways, I am. My films are very healing and very cathartic. Each time I make a film I just get a little bit more healed, from the years of misery I had in my marriage. And the fact that I can inspire so many people is just a bonus.


They can see a little bit of themselves in me and I think that is my biggest weapon in my film making – that it’s all relatable.

Almost like your making films for your past self.


In a lot of ways, I am. My films are very healing and very cathartic. Each time I make a film I just get a little bit more healed, from the years of misery I had in my marriage. And the fact that I can inspire so many people is just a bonus.


What has this healing journey taught you?


Well, for 20 years, I was basically silenced. Even before my marriage, in my teens, it was a very strict upbringing – the main purpose of my existence was to get married and have children. And I achieved that, but it wasn’t enough, that’s why I asked for a divorce. For most of my life, I have felt unworthy, that I had nothing worthwhile to say. With my films, I feel I am able to have messages that I can put out to the world for people to be inspired by. I feel worthy, I have something to say.


What do you wish people knew about porn and sex work?


It’s important people know that not every sex worker or porn performer is working under duress. That it is their choice in wanting to be in this career, I can speak for myself: I chose to be a porn performer and porn producer. It was a career move for me, a big career move. Sex workers and porn performers, we can’t be pigeonholed, we can’t be. I absolutely think being a porn performer is the most liberating and empowering thing in my life. And I’m sure it is the same for a lot of other people. Don’t make me out to be a victim. Because I am not. I am the writer of my own history.

Well said.


I mean I can only speak of myself. I am sure there are not so nice stories, but for me it has all been a choice that I have made willingly, and it has changed my life. It has given me purpose and made me feel worthy. I keep going back to that word, after 20-30 years of feeling unworthy, I feel I have found my calling.


You really capture that passive feeling of doing things for other people, and show us that it’s possible to take control of yourself, your body and your narrative, and say ‘I’ve got something to say, that relates directly to the shit I had to go through.’


Exactly. People say, ‘Oh, that was sad about your marriage,’ but I accept the fact that if I didn’t have the marriage that I had, then I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing now. There would be no Morgana Muses. I needed to recreate the person and become whole after the marriage to have a voice. And if I didn’t have the hardship and the sadness and unhappiness in my marriage, I wouldn’t have been able to have the story that I have now.


Would you say you feel fully comfortable in your sexuality now?


Yes, I think I do. I think I have explored everything I have wanted to. I am now in a position where I can negotiate the type of sex I would enjoy. It is great, I feel pretty well fulfilled in that respect.

What would you say to people who still face insecurity or self-doubt, particularly around sex? How do you combat that? What do you say to those little voices?


You speak louder than them. It is like having these two voices in your head: the sex positive angel and the opposing devil – I have this inner dialogue and it is a battle between the two, but it’s a matter of making sure the angel wins, it is about having the doubts and overcoming them. You just have to yell at them, yell at them louder.


It’s so nice to talk to someone who gets it.


I was in absolute fear and anxiety coming to this interview today. I thought, what if I have nothing to say. The demons were telling me I was unworthy. It is very important to know that you don’t have to be alone in the journey of change. I think it’s very important. There is always someone else that shares your desires and kinks.


You can watch Morgana’s films here


You can follow Morgana on Instagram here, Twitter here and Facebook here.


You can watch the trailer for ‘Morgana’ here, the feature documentary is currently on the international festival circuit, you can follow its availability for streaming or on-demand via the website here

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