Daniel Schulz, The Strategic Eversion of Pornography

Ninja Thyberg’s Pleasure


  • Daniel Schulz University of Cologne, Germany


pornography, porn industry, film, narrative technique, male gaze, race, class


The paper explores the aesthetics of Ninja Thyberg’s Pleasure from 2021 in which a 19-year-old woman, Bella Cherry, follows her ambition to become a porn star. The paper explores Thyberg’s eversion of three pornographic narrative techniques, the inversion of what Laura Mulvey has defined as the male gaze, the repurposing of the serial production techniques porn utilizes, and the use of flat characters, which enable her feature film to give a nuanced reflection of the porn industry and the capitalistic structures that constitute it. Further, the movie invites a larger discussion of racism and class in the porn industry through its juxtaposition of characters.