travel suitcase covered in kisses

A porn producer and a travel startup have partnered for the vacation of a lifetime.

Imagine if there was an Airbnb-type site for tourism, where locals could offer themselves as guides and share an insider view of their area that doesn’t normally get seen on a quick visit. Now imagine if those guides happened to be porn stars.

Call it an erotic Eurotrip.

That’s exactly what’s happening through a new partnership with European porn producer Erika Lust and a travel startup called Trip4real: porn star tour guides, with each one offering a truly unique view of the respective cities in which they live.  

Trip4real, which Lust calls a “young, female-driven company,” currently operates only in 9 European cities: London, Paris, Berlin, Lisbon, Dublin, Edinburgh, Rome, and Barcelona—where Lust is based. Company brand director Natalie Batlle told the Daily Dot that Trip4real has its sights set on an upcoming expansion to Athens and Istanbul, and is considering Latin America and the U.S. in the future.

“Almost anyone with a passion for hosting and a creative idea for a tour can enlist as a guide,” Batlle told the Daily Dot. “Our locals range from amateur photographers and street food experts to Michelin-trained chefs, renowned graffiti artists and world running champions. We also have bloggers and Instagram influencers providing signature tours on Trip4real. It’s a great platform for them to enhance their brand and make extra money.”

For the ‘Lust Club,’ as Erika Lust calls her stable of porn star tour guides, showing travelers around is about more than just making money. “The idea was to create a platform to demystify the often negative views that people have of adult performers,” Lust told the Daily Dot. “I’ve come across many over the years, that they must be on drugs, troubled, or desperate for attention. In my experience, this is not the case at all!”

Sightseeing tours range from a Berlin bike tour led by porn actresses Poppy Cox and Paulita Pappel, to a Barcelona vermouth tasting with Bel Gris, to a private guitar performance by London’s Luke Hotrod. There’s absolutely no sex or sexual entertainment occurring on the tours, so it gives porn performers a chance to break away from the stereotypes and stigma that typically follow sex workers. 

“They are people with interesting lives, passions, and intellectual views,” said Lust. “I wanted to give people the chance to meet them through a fun day out where they can talk to the performers about their lives outside of the industry, about their cultural passions and hobbies.”

Hotrod told the Daily Dot that he was already playing guitar in bands when he wasn’t starring in Lust’s adult films, but his music career slowed down a bit because “porn has become very busy for me.” His tour event, which costs 350 euros and has already garnered positive reviews, is less of a ‘tour’ and more of a concert and conversation.

“I’m going to do more like the VH1 Storytellers, where I play a song acoustic and sing,” he explained. “Then people can ask questions about my music and about porn.” He continued that he’s never had a problem with sex work stigma, per se: “Guys don’t get this as much… like the female performers.” Participating in the Trip4real project is just a chance to do something he loves with fans.

So far, travelers booking the porn star guides have been surprisingly split evenly among genders. Maybe it’s because the Lust Club offers more male stars as guides than female, or maybe it’s just because the tours sound so fun that it doesn’t really matter who is leading them. Who wouldn’t want to do traditional Catalan acrobatics in a park in Barcelona? Or explore the Prado with a sexy erotic film star who also happens to be an avid art historian?

“I mean, it’s pretty cool to meet actors in real life, especially if they double as your tour guide,” said Batlle. “It’s a much more intimate and authentic way to travel. In this case, they can also experience a day in the life of their favorite erotic film performer.”

Adult film stars typically interact with fans at conventions like Exxxotica, where fans line up at booths for autographs and pay around $50 each to take a photo with their favorite actors. But for Lust, the move to IRL hangouts with porn stars was simply an extension of the crowdsourcing methods she already uses to produce her films. Each one of the performers participating as a Trip4real tour guide has starred in Lust’s XConfessions series—films that are based on fan submissions sent to the XConfessions website. “I love the idea of being close to my viewers, and with XConfessions the viewers have been brought in to the creation of my films as an essential part of the creative process, as I make films based on their stories, fantasies and memories,” said Lust. In other words, Trip4Real’s tour guides already have a close relationship with fans of their adult film work. 

Not all of the Trip4Real tours involve going outdoors: The most expensive Trip4real tour offered by Lust, in fact, is a chance to make your own porn movie with Lust’s professional crew. The 9,000 euro price covers film equipment and staff down to the makeup artist, and Lust even throws in a few sex toys and lubricant from her Lust Store line. So far, she said, no one has booked the film shoot—but the partnership only launched in October. 

At its root, the Lust Club tours are an extension of the Erika Lust brand. She’s an erotic mogul, constantly branching out into novel twists on the classic business model. The new face of porn production is a sex-positive feminist pushing the boundaries of what porn should look like and how it is marketed and consumed; Lust is joined by similar one-woman studios like Nikki Silver and Jacky St. James who follow in the footsteps of feminist porn pioneer Candida Royalle.

And more than any other porn mogul, Lust understands what it’s like to be an outsider—not just in the mainstream adult industry, but also as a Swedish expat living in Spain. In that sense, her collaboration with Trip4real is yet another tool in her efforts to bring people closer together in an intimate way.

“I did move to Barcelona from Sweden in my 20s, I couldn’t speak any Spanish then, and it was a new city and a new country to me,” said Lust. “I’m no stranger to the feeling of being curious in a new place, looking for things to do, inspirations, exciting people who can teach me something new. I’m very aware of the very human need to have meaningful experiences and connections, wherever you go in the world.”

Illustration by Max Fleishman

Mary Emily O'Hara

Mary Emily O'Hara

Mary Emily O'Hara is an LGBTQ reporter. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, NBC Out, Daily Dot, Broadly, Vice, the Daily Beast, the Advocate, Huffington Post, DNAinfo, Al Jazeera, and Portland's Pulitzer Prize-winning newsweekly Willamette Week, among other outlets.

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