This article originally appeared on VICE Spain
At the Salón Erótico de Barcelona – Spain's oldest erotica festival, held this year from the 6th to the 8th of October – one thing stood out to me more than any of the lewd acts performed on stage: the fact that every performance was filmed and photographed from all possible angles by a crowd of keen amateur photographers.
I couldn't help but wonder if these people were there for the obvious reason – to film people fucking so they could add the Salon footage to their personal masturbatory archive – or if there was something else behind them being there.
To find out, I decided to just ask some of them.
More photos of people documenting this year's Sálon Erótico de Barcelona below the interviews.
All photos by Francisco Poyato Pastor
VICE: Is this your first time at the Sálon Erótico de Barcelona?
Paco: No, it's my second time. I come here to take pictures for myself, have fun and watch the girls I like.
So your main goal is to take pictures of the female performers?
No, no, no. I like coming here to take pictures, but I honestly take all kinds of pictures. Of their bodies and their performances, yes, but also of the stage and the venue.
What do you use the photos for when you're back home?
If I want to masturbate I don't necessarily use the erotic pictures I made here, no. The Salon isn't a place where you go to gather material to masturbate to. This is a very specific kind of erotic event – you meet girls, take pictures with them, enjoy the shows. It's great. I wouldn't bring my girlfriend here, though. We've only been dating for a year – we don't have that level of trust and comfort with each other yet.
VICE: Hey David, what are you looking for at the Salon?
David: Getting something.
Getting pictures – or even better, getting to touch the girls. Or just watching them. I'm fine with whatever they allow me to do, really.
What do you do with the pictures you make?
I keep them and I look at them. I keep them on an external hard disk – both pornographic and non-pornographic material. I have a folder called "Movies" with a subfolder for porn movies. In that subfolder there's a folder for softcore and for hardcore, and the hardcore folder is divided into "Features" – movies with a plot – "Gonzo", and some other categories.
Do you like the images you've made yourself better than others you just download or watch online?
Yes, totally. It's the feeling of "I was there, I was inches away from it, I touched it" that just makes looking at my own pictures more exciting.
VICE: Have you been to the Salon before?
Susana: No, this is my first time.
Are you taking pictures here?
Well, I have taken a few pictures of the shows – guys and girls, guys and guys. It doesn't really matter what's going on, I'll take a picture of it.
I mostly saw you laughing while taking the pictures – do your pictures serve any other purpose than just good fun?
Well, we just like it here. We're friends and we work together, but we're the only ones here from our office, so we're taking pictures to share with our workmates on Monday. We're not making them for any private, personal use, if that's what you're saying.
VICE: What do you do with the material you shoot here?
Francisco: It's a hobby – I keep it on my computer. I like watching it live here, and then I just keep the pictures and videos to myself.
Are there any particular shows here you're looking forward to?
No, but I'm more into the gay area here. There's this one actor I really like – his name is Brent Everett. I don't think he'll come to Sálon Erótico de Barcelona anytime soon because he's Canadian. That would be complicated.
VICE: Are you a regular at the Sálon Erótico de Barcelona?
Gerardo: Yes, I've been coming here since it started years ago. I used to just come for fun with some friends who owned sex shops. We came to shop and see what was out there on the market, but I became a fan of the event. So after a couple of years I started recording the performances.
Do you keep the footage for yourself?
Yes, I do. Some of the actors and performers see my recordings and ask for the footage if they like it. If that happens, I send it to them so they can publish it on their channels and do whatever they want with it. But it's just a personal collection – I have it, but most of it I won't ever watch again.
You have a wife, right? What does she think of the Salon?
She came here twice, but she says she doesn't really like it – it's a bit too much for her. But she's fine with me going – she knows I'll have a couple of days of uninhibited fun. She knows I don't take part in any show or anything like that, I just record it.
VICE: I think you have the best equipment I've seen so far.
Carlos: I have a camera with a monopod and a separate screen, so I don't have to stare at the small camera screen the entire time. With that second screen I can focus and calibrate with the help of a remote control. It's perfect.
Do you come to the Salon to shoot footage every year?
Well, it's not just the Sálon Erótico I shoot footage of – I do a lot of different events. I like local festivals in small towns the best, to be honest. This is a bit different.
So what do you do with the material you record here?
It's all for personal use.
More on VICE: