Published on April 22, 2013 | by Kyla Mandel0
Can porn save the planet?
From big-boobed, bikini-clad girls in adverts to girls sporting strategically placed leaves in PETA campaigns, as a marketing strategy sex-sells.
So, what about selling porn to save the planet?
Founded in Norway in 2004 by Tommy Hol Ellingsen and Leona Johansson, Fuck for Forest (FFF) pushes the boundary, putting forward the idea that saving the planet is sexy.
In an effort to save the rainforest, FFF has tapped into the roughly $14 billion earned annually by the porn industry to raise about £85,000 per year selling homemade eco-porn online.
“We think sex is great, so why not show it as something great. We wished to show a more free and sex-positive message as a reaction and contrast to more empty erotic expressions we often see.”
Leona Johannson, FFF founder
“We wished to create an exciting ecological project where we could freely express ideas we had about love, nature and freedom,” said Johansson of their decision to enter the world of porn-for-charity.
While they are often criticised for being nothing more than exhibitionists, Johannson said: “We wanted to explore the platform the porn industry had created and reclaim and show the real power of sexuality, the healing essential life giving joy of lovemaking, for the protection of our own nature, our body and sexuality, and the nature outside us.”
True to form, you won’t find any airbrushing or silicon in their videos. Instead, they bare-all, including their emotions.
“Sexuality and bodies always get used to sell us all kind of bullshit ideas and products, but rarely shows a more positive and challenging message,” said Johannson.
The group’s work was recently captured in the documentary F*ck for Forest, in which director Michal Marczak spent seven months filming FFF’s activities everywhere from Berlin to the Amazon rainforest.
“We thought it would be funny to see our project through a third-eye angle,” said Johansson about the documentary, which was released on April 19.
However, at times their spontaneity and desire to remain true to their cause clashed with the filming methods explained Johannson: “The movie making put us in a situation that made it difficult with our impulsiveness.”
“The camera team tried somehow to manipulate the story a little too much for our taste,” added Johannson of the expedition shown in the film which was facilitated by the director. “The movie also shows a lot of the real lifestyle of some of FFF, but maybe fails to show the real complexity of the whole project and idea.”
F*ck for Forest has received mixed reviews, much like the cause itself. The group first gained its notoriety in 2004 after Ellingsen and Johansson climbed on stage while the band Cumshots was playing at the Quart outdoor music festival in Norway and proceeded to have sex for about 10 minutes before being arrested and fined about $1,400 each.
Their website saw an increase in membership and donations in the months following the Quart incident; however the act did not pass without its share of backlash.
The Dutch branch of the World Wildlife Fund refused FFF’s offer of $15,000 after Quart, fearing that associating itself with the activists would jeopardize its credibility with members and stakeholders.
Also, while behind closed doors the Rainforest Foundation Norway indicated it would accept a large donation from FFF – as long as it was kept quiet – publicly it decried the group’s activities.
“If you are a lawyer or even a military killer, maybe it is more socially acceptable to protect nature.
“But if you work with sex you are too bad to save nature?” said Johannson of organisations refusing their donations.
“When you film animals having sex it is called a nature program and you can show it to children as education, but when you film humans, it is called porn and gets the same age limit as hard violence. So what kind of message does this give us about sexuality and bodies? That sex is like violence?” she said.
Partly as a result of being shunned by these larger groups, but also in part due to their strategy, FFF works directly with small eco projects where they can see directly where the money goes.
“We eat, shit, and fuck. Maybe that, in the end, is less dangerous than consuming, making war, and polluting.”
This has allowed for them to work relatively effectively, director Marczak observed during his time with FFF. To-date they have supported six different projects in Peru, Brazil, Slovakia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
Speaking about their work, Johannson said: “We want to show people that nudity and sex is not the main threat to the world. Sometimes people are a little confused about what real dangers we are facing as humans on a common planet.”