Candida Royale

History

Candida Royalle, ex porno star turned porn producer and video entrepreneur, is considered a pioneer in the feminist pornography movement. She is the one who embrace female  sexuality and support porn that empowers women and presents them in a positive role. The thing that makes Candida Royale important in porn is the fact that before she got behind the camera the conventional wisdom held that women did not like porn. However to achieve that wisdom and to launch Candida’s Femme Productions (Sensuous Exotica for Women and the Men Who Love Them) she had to take her first step in that dirty industry.

She started as an actress in the 1970s to finance her talent for underground art. She trained and performed in music, dance and art, having attended New York’s High School of Art and Design, Parsons School of Design, and the City University of New York, where she was active in the women’s movement of the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. In a liberated San Francisco Candida started  her living with drag queens. She hooked up with some of the original members of the infamous Cockettes including the late Divine to create avant garde jazz and theater productions.

However soon it turned out that doing art required money which obviously she didn’t have from underground performances. She started to look for different chances until she met an agent who asked if she was able to act in porn films. The answer wasn’t  so simple for a girl that grew up in a catholic family and planned her career in art but finally she decided to try because of the money. After five years of acting in over 25 feature adults films she decided to stop. She achieved the point when she asked herself about the purposes of her being in the business. After few years of writing for different men magazines, taking new advantages and experiences about the porn issue, she begun to think about expressing herself point of view on sexuality standing behind camera, and soon afterward in 1984 she launched Femme Productions.

Philosophy of pioneer of sensuality.

At the time of the women’s movement when women allowed themselves to explore their sexuality and home videos emerged, she realized there was a challenging new market for female-oriented adult movies no one was paying attention to. Her answer to this gap was Femme Productions:

 “(…) In the process of looking at whether adult movies were actually bad for society, I concluded that sexually explicit art and movies were not necessarily bad and could in fact be informative and inspiring. That said, it seemed to me that most porn was sex-negative and did not present a woman’s point of view or show what women liked sexually.””

She found, most adult movies follow the same porn aesthetic, which makes them boring and formulaic. With her films Candida wanted  to change the image of pornography by making it a guide for couples and women to optimize their pleasure.

The concept of Candida was to encourage a real intimacy between her actors, so erotic scenes were filmed on a closed set, opened only to herself, the cameraman, and the producer. She also actively seeked out real-life couples to perform in her movies to capture a real connection between the characters on-screen. Rather than micro-manage sex scenes, Royalle allows the scene to evolve as lovemaking would evolve by encouraging the actors to act freely.

First of all Candida Royale threw away the entire formula approach, and approached the sexual, erotic depiction from a whole new place. She created a sort of a documentary style almost, or certainly a cinema verite style of shooting as soon as the sex scenes or love scenes would start.  As she describes:

 “ Generally, as soon as it’s time for the sex, they know what sex acts they want. So they’ll set up the lights and cameras, and they’ll say, “OK, now we want this long amount of time for fellatio, and then we want to change the lights and camera angles and we’re going to do cunilingous now, and then we’re gonna stop everything and set everything up for intercourse”.

     Her desire for realism is reflected also  in her choice of actors. She avoided featuring women who have had surgery. Candida does not like calling her work pornography and prefers the term “explicit adult erotica.” She admits her films depict graphic sex but they are different from conventional porn movies because they focus on women’s pleasure, and a realistic portrayal of intercourse. She feels in order for women to see the kind of adult films they want to see, they need to wrest the reigns of production away from the “lowlife, no talent creeps” and create films they approve of, would want women to see and that make them feel good about themselves sexually.  Although she address her production to woman that are looking to explore their sexuality and enjoy it, she also in fact believes her films also appeal to men who desire something beyond the porn aesthetic.

The prove that her thinking about braking through  the  conventional porno style which portrayed woman and men from only one, and so called men perspective, was right: since  launching her own production company she has been a guest on almost every news and talk show from Anderson Cooper to Dateline NBC, and has been written up in countless magazines and newspapers from The New York Times, Time Magazine and The London Times to Glamour and Marie Claire.

Candida Royale Variety

Royalle’s work has been favorably received by both viewers and the media, as well as the sexology community. She has become a sought-after speaker, having lectured at such venues as the Smithsonian Institute, the American Psychiatric Association’s national conference, and the World Congress on Sexology, as well as several sexuality conferences and universities including Princeton, Columbia, Wellesley College and New York University. She is the first erotic filmmaker to have been invited to become a member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists due to the message of “positive sexuality” in her films.

Continuing to lead the way in women’s sexual empowerment and pleasure, Royalle partnered with Dutch industrial designer Jandirk Groet, whose product design repertoire ranges from Nordica ski boots to Ricoh compact cameras and Panasonic TVs to the cockpit of the Fokker aircraft, and together they created the Natural Contours line of high-style, discreet ergonomically designed personal massagers. The line debuted in 1999 to favorable reviews in ID (Industrial Design) Magazine, Mademoiselle and Glamour, to name a few, and quickly became best-sellers in women’s mainstream health catalogs. Drugstore.com launched its sexual wellness range with the Natural Contours line and Holland’s leading drug store chain, ETOS, features the line as part of its family planning outreach.

In October ’04 Royalle authored her first book, “How to Tell a Naked Man What to Do,” published in the U.S. by Simon and Schuster/Fireside, and in the U.K. by Piatkus Press. The paperback was published in February ’06. As Candia suggested in interviews many sexual issues advices derive from her own experiences as woman 50-something with 50 year old Larry Trepel  owner of the exotic automotive wheel distribution company. As she expressed: “ It was a real eye-opener for me to see that could find the best love and sex partner of her life(..)”.

Royalle recently created a new line of “ethnic erotica for couples” called Femme Chocolat in order to provide high quality intelligent erotica for the largely underserved market of ethnic women and couples. She is now moving on to the role of mentoring young new female directors so that they may continue the Femme line while expressing their own visions and ideas. Her vision and sense of exotic aesthetics  is getting more and more popular among color men spectators who admire those portraits and consider them as a work of art.

Besides Candida Royale’s femme production she still plays a very important role in the contemporary NY glamour world. She acts as a celebrity and authority.  Not so recently, a bevy of sex divas of New York – radio sex doc Judy Kuriansky, erotica producer Candida Royalle, cross-dressers’ dean Veronica Vera, former Kinsey Institute director June Reinisch and hard-core vintage porn star Vanessa delRio, were out in style for the 1st Annual “Museum of Sex”-gala to benefit the Muse Foundation of New York.

What makes Mrs. Royalle’s story particularly interesting is both, her rich and varied background, unconventional lifestyle, but more, the brakethrough in thinking about women and their real desires. Which could mean: watching a real good porno movie either alone, with a partner or just share it with best girl friends. There is no reason to deny that a woman also needs different tastes of pleasure.

Links
www.candidaroyalle.com
www.newyorkcool.com/
www.gazette.uwo.ca
www.sexherald.com

 

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