NSFW

The Desperate Housewife Who Reinvented Herself as a Porn Star

The incredible (true) story of Morgana Muses, a housewife who transformed into a sex-positive porn dynamo. Josie Hess, co-director of the doc ‘Morgana,’ writes about her journey.

Courtesy MorganaDocumentary.com

Morgana Muses is a storyteller, filmmaker, mother, artist, award-winning pornographer, and a survivor. Her pornographic films detail her own journey of sexual awakening and exploration with a candor that makes consuming them as a viewer, voyeuristic, intimate, and ultimately joyous.

I, along with my co-director Isabel Peppard, have been working on a documentary about Morgana for the past three years. Getting to know her more intimately than I know many of my close friends and spending much of my time watching and re-watching footage we have captured of her. She is an incredibly generous subject, sharing so much of herself that we feel a real sense of privilege in being entrusted with her story.

Morgana recounts her life to us in a series of interviews and behind-the-scenes footage on porn sets, which we shot over several years. Our footage is intimate and revealing; her face tends to flash with multiple emotions as she recounts her personal history.

Morgana Muses was living in rural Australia when she found herself at 45, having not been touched by her husband for 10 years. A divorce didn’t solve her problems. Instead of finding herself free to start a new life, she was treated as a scarlet woman by her conservative community, making her feel even more isolated. Alone and made to feel as if her “use” in life as a wife and mother was over, her self-worth was completely eviscerated.

At 47, the mother of two, who had spent her whole life trying to meet the expectations “to be a good woman” that were imposed on her—by her family, her husband, her community, and ultimately herself—made a plan to end her life.

“I was raised that my whole purpose in life was to get married, have children and not create any shame or any embarrassment on anyone,” says Muses.

The lack of touch and intimacy had left her so emotionally distraught that the thought of leaving this world was her only solace. In researching the situation, we later found out about a condition called “skin hunger” which afflicts affection-deprived people and increases the likeliness of depression and mood disorders. Touch, it has been found, is a requirement for human life.

Morgana wanted to end her life, but her innate drive for touch found her not wanting to go out without one last attempt at being touched. So she booked herself in for a night at an upmarket hotel, got tickets to a show, and reserved a seat at a nice restaurant. To make the experience complete she also hired a male escort. She wanted the full boyfriend experience: to be treated as a woman and have one last shot at feeling alive.

“Because I had been celibate for 10 years, I really craved touch and intimacy and I knew I couldn’t do it within my community, so I chose to research a suitable escort,” Muses recalls.

The night with the escort proved to be a revelation for her. Morgana describes the first moment that he put his hand on top of hers while they were sitting in the theater, remarking on how after 10 years of being denied touch, this simple gesture of human connection completely overwhelmed her.

Afterward, they went back to her room. The male escort, who in due time we also interviewed, told us Morgana’s story isn’t uncommon. He tells us that he sees many women who want sex, but who also want a human connection after being ignored for so long. Isolation and lack of intimacy within marriage, it turns out, is a very common issue.

After that night, Morgana was imbued with a new sense of purpose. Her fire was reignited and she decided she wanted to see the escort again. She held off her plans to end her life with a growing sense of hope that there was more for her yet to come.

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“By the time I’d left him for the weekend he’d given me hope that there’s someone out there that might want to share life’s moments with me,” she says.

Fast forward three short years and we are sitting in yet another hotel room, setting up for another interview with her. Morgana recounts her history with passion, retelling it to us with an air of urgency, hoping that by sharing her story, she might help new generations avoid being trapped by the same great expectations by which she felt so completely duty-bound.

Morgana, now 52, is telling us excitedly about her plans for her next erotic film. She describes herself as having her teenage rebellion in reverse—that she is like a “kid in a candy store” when it comes to her sexual journey. She has made twelve erotic films to date and starred in several more. Morgana has won multiple international awards for her work, been recognized as a “heartthrob of the year” at the Feminist Porn Awards, and been on panels with the likes of Jiz Lee (author of Coming Out Like a Porn Star and actor in Transparent) and Stoya, curator and director of TRENCHCOATx at Cinekink NYC.

She is a pornographer’s, pornographer, creating films that document her experiences in real time as she develops and learns about her newly explored sexuality—a process she never got to experience in her youth. Morgana’s work is sex-positive and age-positive. She features a diverse range of performers whose ages span from mid-twenties to late-sixties, and she makes a point of including the messy parts of sex, with the intent of documenting a truthful representation of sexuality. 

“I want my films to act as a reminder to myself and others that there is no expiration date on our sexual pleasure,” offers Muses.

Morgana’s journey is not over. She continues to document her ever-growing slate of sexual fantasies. We, as documentarians, continue to learn more about her and to learn from her, as she paves the way for older people to be allowed to be openly sexual without it being the butt of jokes or reduced to a fetish. We can’t wait to see what she does next.

Morgana—A Documentary Film is a feature-length documentary about Morgana’s life and how she went from a 50-year-old, depressed housewife, to a multi-award-winning feminist porn star. You can donate to the film’s Kickstarter here.