We've heard of coffee breaks, bathroom breaks and smoke breaks – but how about masturbation breaks?
Erika Lust, CEO of adult entertainment company Erika Lust Film, has introduced a new type of timeout from the working day with half-hour daily breaks to "normalise masturbation." There's even a private 'masturbation chapel' in their Barcelona office.
Erika started her business 20 years ago with the mission to change porn from within. She believes people should "make time for [masturbation] in their daily schedules" to destigmatise the activity and conversations surrounding it.
The lusty work benefit came into action last year and has since become a daily practice in the workplace. Erika told Indy100: "We’ve always celebrated Masturbation Month, but to more effectively promote it, we felt like we needed to actually embody it."
And that's precisely what they did.
Erika explained that the company have a rota – and while "it's obviously not mandatory to embrace the benefit", each member of staff schedules their "self-love breaks" to avoid overlapping. As for WFH, they simply book their 30-minute slot around meeting hours and enjoy from the comfort of their homes.
The office has its own dedicated space in the form of a "small, intimate chapel" complete with a bed, mirror, erotic paintings and warm ambient lighting "to help get in the mood." The secluded room is away from desks to "guarantee privacy" and includes screens that showcase X-rated movies "for inspiration."
It doesn't stop there...
Erika Lust Film
The company offers sex toys and lubricants to staff, which she noted: "need to be thoroughly washed after their use, of course."
Since the word spread about their unique take on breaks, the pioneers in playfulness, Fun Factory, have provided them with high-quality toys to celebrate their first anniversary. "These also include a personalised toy and some lube to use in case we work from home," she added.
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Erika swears by the alternative breaks for "self-care and productivity" in the workplace, saying: "When we feel good, we do good work."
She noted how the pandemic had a clear shift in how workers lived and how some employees were "performing with less energy than before."
"According to experts, masturbation can make you feel more relaxed and focused, while it’s good for creativity and increases your drive to get things done. It helps to decompress and relieves tension and stress," she said. "So it’s the perfect medicine for a stressful day at work!"
Due to what some consider a taboo topic, they haven't warmed to the concept. Erika believes they assume they are just doing it because they are an adult company which she disagrees with.
"If you can educate your team/company to create safe, non-judgmental environments where all people can feel safe to talk about their bodies and sex openly, this will only have good effects on everyone’s mental and physical health," she said.
"We are challenging the concept of NSFW, and that’s revolutionary and ultimately beneficial to our overall health and relationship with sexuality."
'Masturbation Conversations' Mini-Doc by Erika Lust Filmswww.youtube.com
Regarding the company's work, Erika says the movies they produce "reflect their views on sex as a healthy, natural part of life worth celebrating." She also "defends the importance of having women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ people behind the camera in all key positions, both on set and in our offices."
By producing and financing female and queer guest directors, Erika has supported burgeoning talent globally since 2016, starting a diverse (online and offline) community of sex-positive creators and artists.
The mum-of-two "strives to spread sex positivity" and is keen on more informative sex education. One of their non-profit platforms, The Porn Conversation, encourages educators to "help open up on the topic of porn."
Erika Lust Film has also recently released a mini-documentary to celebrate Masturbation May, Masturbation Conversations.
Ittakes a deeper dive into the topic by asking volunteers about their 'self-pleasure journey' with questions such as: "How did they discover masturbation? What were they taught about it growing up? How, when, and why do they masturbate? Do they talk about it with their partner, family, or children?"
The documentary has been well-received by the public, with many thanking Erika and her team for creating and sharing.
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