50+ Divorcée + Former Housewife Becomes An Adult Film Star To Prove Sexuality Has No Expiration Date

It’s the kind of story we are not used to seeing – a woman over the age of 50 rediscovering her sexuality in a whole new way, and embracing it without shame. As the infamous Amy Schumer “Last F*ckable Day” sketch featuring Julia Louis Dreyfus taught us, society often places an expiration date on women in general once they get to a certain age, as seen most auspiciously in the roles older women are relegated to in Hollywood. In the adult film world, while we aren’t clear on the data around “age limits” for female actresses, it is highly uncommon to see 50+ women on screen in that genre.

That is, until Australian beauty and norm-dismantler Morgana entered the room, and decided to take charge of her body, her sexuality and life in a way that would shock and anger the most prudent among us, and excite those of us who love a good comeback story featuring the unlikeliest women.

Now the center of a documentary called ‘Morgana’, the actress’ “second chapter” began at the age of 47 after she had left a sexless marriage (she had been celibate for 12 years) and found herself middle-aged and divorced. Morgana has thought about ending her life, but before doing that, she decided to pay for a night of intimacy with a paid escort. That night changed the rest of her life.

After hearing about a competition for first time erotic filmmakers, Morgana directs and stars in a film about her own story, ‘Duty-Bound’. Unexpectedly it wins, catapulting her into the international Feminist Porn community, taking her from Australia to Berlin. Life merges with art as Morgana uses erotic filmmaking as a tool for creative catharsis, while struggling with demons from her past.

Her story caught the attention of two filmmakers, Isabel Peppard and Josie Hess, who embarked on a 5 year journey to capture Morgana Muse’s story. Raising funds through a Kickstarter campaign, and undoubtedly a rapt audience waiting to see this film come to the screen, Isabel and Josie initially learned about Morgana when Josie was asked to document Morgana’s 50th birthday, as they were beginning their career as a filmmaker in erotica/ethical porn and had begun working for Morgana.

Morgana was to be suspended naked, in a large-scale bondage installation and then photographed as a birthday gift to herself. After meeting Morgana and learning that only 3 years earlier she had been a house- wife in the suburbs of rural Australia, Isabel and Josie became fascinated by Morgana and her journey, approaching her to turn her life story into a documentary film.

Filmmakers Isabel Peppard and Josie Hess on set with Morgana Muses

Initially it was only going to be a short documentary, but as the story and character progressed in unexpected ways; it grew into an intense feature length bio doc, which led the team from the suburbs of rural Victoria to the BDSM clubs of Berlin and beyond.

“I’ve always been drawn to complexity and adventure, so fol- lowing Morgana felt like a natural path. I’m simultaneously inspired by her gusto, perplexed by her choices and compelled to discover more about her. It’s been endlessly fascinating to be allowed to so intimately capture someone I admire,” said Josie in a statement.

“Even though my background is in animation and horror, I was excited by the opportunity to tell this dark, transgressive story in a creative and lyrical way. Morgana’s narrative naturally taps into many of my personal thematic fascinations around existential horror, female sexuality and the redemptive power of art,” said Isabel.

Both filmmakers explain how they were initially attracted to Morgana because she is a fascinating, complex protagonist who naturally challenges expectations of a middle-aged woman’s character, sexuality and place in the world.

“Originally what drew us to this story were the themes that were on the surface, the taboo of female aging and visible sexuality, the human need for intimacy and touch, the search for community and belonging and the redemptive power of art. As our journey with the character continued, other layers of meaning rose to the forefront; the construction of identity and self, how we play into social and personal narratives and where the line between the ‘authentic self’ and the ‘performance of self’ is drawn,” they said.

For those unfamiliar with the term “feminist porn” it stems from the social movement of women’s sexual liberation. The terms “sex positive”, “feminist” or “ethical porn” denote a belief that sex and it’s related pleasures are not inherently bad or wrong. Instead sex positive creators believe sex is a natural and healthy part of life for consenting adults. This view follows through into sex work, with sex positive feminists rejecting the idea that all sex work is exploitative.

This is the type of story that may shock and confuse some audiences, but that is perhaps exactly why we need to see it. We need to see women of all ages, races, and backgrounds be the star of their own lives and take their place in society that they have carved out for themselves. Today Morgana owns a company called Permission4Pleasure and she continues to make films.

“Permission4Pleasure is my production company, named as such because I want to encourage others to give them- selves the permission to seek out pleasure, what ever that might look like for them…For a long time I needed to be seen, so being in front of the camera was a way of reclaiming what I had lost in my sexless marriage. Now, I really enjoy the process of making films,” she said in a statement.

Morgana employs women in all key roles on set and they focus on the female gaze in the films.

“My upbringing was incredibly repressed with a lot of shame and silence around sexuality. Capturing my sexuality on film and having others engage with my story gave me a newfound confidence within myself. I want my films to act as a reminder to myself and others that there is no expiration date on our sexual pleasure,” she said.

After having a successful global film festival run in 2020, ‘Morgana’ continues to be screened in the early half of 2021, and you can find more dates here. Be sure to visit the website to learn more about this fascinating and necessary film, and stay tuned for details on where you can view it in your city.

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