WIA Profile: Eva Garcia

WIA Profile: Eva Garcia

Each month, XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.

Throughout her career, even before she became chief communications officer for Erika Lust and her acclaimed brands such as Lust Cinema, XConfessions and Else Cinema, Eva Garcia always felt drawn to projects that positively impact society and the environment. It was not until later in her professional life, however, that it became feasible for her to pursue work that was true to those personal values.

We are more and more embracing that role of being an example for the industry on how to be ethical and hot at the same time. So my own role encompasses our strategy and annual communications initiatives to make that possible.

She started out in the fashion industry, working her way up to senior management roles in communications for big brands like Mango, Pepe Jeans and Desigual. While she loved working for those companies, it was only after she left fashion that she found the personal space and resources to pursue projects that held deeper personal significance for her.

Along that path, she joined Spain-based charitable foundation Oxfam Intermon, part of a nonprofit global anti-poverty network — an experience she fondly remembers as beautiful and impactful. She then lived in Shanghai for five years and worked with two environmental startups.

Garcia remains grateful for this diverse array of experiences. Living different lives and exploring various career opportunities helped her learn skills like marketing, corporate communications, public relations and brand building. It also taught her valuable “soft” skills, such as being empathetic, patient and a better listener. She credits her time in China, living in a totally foreign environment, for broadening her cultural perspective.

Now, working with Erika Lust, she is helping to shape the adult consumer zeitgeist with a vision and a message that promotes consent, diversity, human intimacy and beautifully shot works. In this exclusive WIA Woman of the Month interview, she opens up about her professional experiences and philosophy.

XBIZ: What led you to work with Erika Lust?

GARCIA: When I was working at Desigual, I had the freedom to try some pretty unconventional ideas, so around 2013, I met Erika Lust and her partner, Pablo Dohner. We talked about doing a collaboration between our two brands, which didn’t actually end up happening.

But in one of our meetings, Erika gave me her book “Porn for Women.” I read it, and it changed my mind about sex, porn and femininity. That book gave me a whole new way to look at sexual freedom and some new ways to explore and be more creative with my body.

For years, that inspiration stayed with me a bit, as I worked and lived in different places. I wouldn’t have known that Erika and I would cross paths again, but then in April 2022, I was stuck at home in the very strict Shanghai zero-COVID lockdown, where 27 million people were confined in their homes without easy access to food, medical services, transportation, flights, etc. for some 60 days.

And it so happened that I got this beautiful message from Pablo and Erika asking if I knew anyone who could join Erika Lust’s company as chief communications officer. I thought, “Myself!” That was the best thing that happened to me during those days. It helped me overcome the emotional ups and downs I was experiencing and focus on something that was very important to me.

XBIZ: How has your role evolved since joining the company?

GARCIA: In many ways, Erika Lust Films is stronger than ever, so my role has evolved alongside the growth and evolution of the company. When we first started, ethical porn — which means porn that is produced with respect, fairness and empowerment of all parties, portrays pleasure equally for all parties and celebrates diversity in inclusion — was rare. We’ve seen other parts of the porn industry change and improve since then, and I like to think Erika was very influential in that.

We are more and more embracing that role of being an example for the industry on how to be ethical and hot at the same time. So my own role encompasses our strategy and annual communications initiatives to make that possible.

We work across four streaming platforms: XConfessions, Lust Cinema, Else Cinema and The Store; an explicit online magazine, Lust Zine; and our nonprofit sex education project, The Porn Conversation. This has given me the privilege to build and lead an exceptional team that handles PR and media, social media, content and art direction, as well as our significant corporate social responsibility initiative.

XBIZ: What does a “typical” work week look like for you?

GARCIA: As I’m sure those who work in the adult industry know, we do a lot of the same things that any typical company would do. We start each week sharing the achievements and learnings of each department, and then I take my comms and content teams through our own weekly planning meeting.

One nice thing about Erika Lust is we have a flexible work arrangement that allows us to work from home two days a week, so we get a nice balance of super-focused work when we’re alone and more communicating and discussing when we’re together in person.

Also, Thursdays hold a special tradition where we come together for a vegan meal. This practice aligns with our commitment to environmental responsibility and contributes positively to our planet. It’s a joyous occasion, especially for me as a vegetarian, as it reinforces our shared values and supports a sustainable lifestyle.

XBIZ: Talk about the team culture at Erika Lust Films.

GARCIA: I’d say one major value for Erika Lust is diversity, in both who we work with and what movies we shoot. We welcome people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, cultures, abilities and desires. Especially in our movies, we think it’s important to portray sexuality and desire for different types of people, bodies, ages, and other things that some traditional porn doesn’t focus on.

It’s also important for us that our work is always collaborative, inclusive, and caring. We make sure everyone in the company has a voice and can express their opinions and questions, from Erika on down to the most junior staff members.

In our movies, Erika Lust has always been known for prioritizing the well-being and comfort of our performers throughout the production process, constantly seeking feedback to enhance their experience. That is something we can never lose — it’s the soul of our work.

Lastly, I’d say that we are very interested in the narrative side of adult films — in exploring authentic and relatable sexual experiences, or portraying characters and the emotion and desire that brings them to sex. It’s not just about showing body parts fucking.

XBIZ: How do you creatively collaborate with your colleagues to promote the brand?

GARCIA: When you work in communications, you need to see colleagues and allies all around you, since you never know who you can influence or who can help you carry your message. We try to have a very diverse team from different backgrounds, or different ages — people who understand the latest social media and people who get old-school communication — business people and actual adult performers.

And then we make sure everyone feels empowered to speak up, and that’s how we get out-of-the-box thinking, challenging norms and bringing innovative ideas to the forefront. You really need to be very deliberate about this, and intentionally build times when people are pushed to share, or give projects and decision-making power to people who haven’t done it before, and trust that they’ll learn and you’ll get something original and creative out of it.

XBIZ: Discuss a particularly successful promotional campaign you led this past year.

GARCIA: One thing I love that we are doing is bringing porn back to the big screen! We are always trying to bring porn out of the taboo, because all of us have sexuality and most of us watch porn.

In April 2023, we had a 500-person screening of our film “The Wedding,” with a Q&A with Erika and the performers. It was held at Barcelona’s Phenomena Experience theater, which is an absolutely beautiful and luxurious venue and one of my favorite places in the city. Imagine 500 people being willing to come out publicly to watch porn together, with tickets, popcorn and the whole thing.

After the pandemic situation, we are really into promoting “A Night of Lust” as a recurring signature screening event of a unique selection of Erika Lust’s movies with the aim to revive the so-called Golden Age of Porn, when adult movies were released in theaters, reviewed by the media and inspired open discussions about sex.

XBIZ: How do you stay motivated and inspired?

GARCIA: What really makes me stay motivated and wake up happy and ready to take my train back to work every morning is indeed Erika Lust’s mission. I have a daughter, and I want her to one day live in a world where sexuality in media and society is more equal and more empowering for all genders — and of course, that includes porn.

Even though the porn industry has changed a lot, it is still mostly produced by men and for men. Films are still shot with the male gaze, which means focusing on what cis, heterosexual men look at. Even when traditional porn shows female pleasure, it’s often not authentic to how most women experience pleasure. And let’s be honest, our industry is very influential for how society, especially young people, learn about sex. And it also isn’t just porn’s fault; it’s a reflection of the stereotypes and unequal distribution of power in society.

So what’s great about Erika Lust is that we have the power to change all that. We can explore how authentic connection, pleasure and communication happens in porn. We can change what porn teaches about sex. And we can explore the concept of what would be a female or a queer gaze. We aim to bring about a better, sex-positive culture where people feel free to speak openly about their desires without any taboos.

XBIZ: Talk about your non-work life. Any fun hobbies or unique interests?

GARCIA: I’m sure most people can relate to this: Life is hectic, and I feel the need to step away from my familiar surroundings and immerse myself in new landscapes, cities or cultures. Taking time to disconnect from responsibilities and be alone allows me to truly listen to myself, appreciate my own journey and practice self-love. These moments of solitude and self-reflection recharge my spirit and provide the necessary inspiration to navigate life’s exciting journey.

Also, as I mentioned, I have a daughter, so I try to maximize my time with her before she becomes a teenager and I become her uncool mom! We like playing board games and doing karaoke. She loves singing and I engage easily with that.

I also love hosting people in my home. My ideal weekend is to have friends over to have debates about life, society and sex.

XBIZ: What are your biggest goals for the rest of 2023 and beyond?

GARCIA: We are always thinking about what we can do bigger and better in terms of pushing ethical porn into a mainstream conversation, challenging societal mindsets and promoting a positive and inclusive attitude towards sex.

One aspiration I would dream of achieving this year is organizing a grand movie screening for Erika Lust at a renowned movie theater in the U.S. Another milestone I eagerly anticipate is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of XConfessions, which is a concept where we shoot the sex fantasies that people submit to us. I won’t say what we’re doing yet, but we want it to be a fun celebration.

In my personal life, I just seek to keep enjoying every minute, showing appreciation for the good things I have and good people that are close to me.

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