This was absolutely the first butch/femme porn I ever saw, and it blew my mind. I had a VHS version until a few years ago – not sure what happened to it exactly, actually, haven’t seen it since my cross-country move four years ago.
But: it was made in 2000. And I was OBSESSED with it in 2001. So when Babeland offered it up, I jumped, but wondered nervously: would it hold up? Would it be outdated?
Hard Love & How to Fuck in High Heels consists of two different films: Hard Love, which stars Jackie as directed by Shar, and How to Fuck in High Heels, starring Shar and directed by Jackie.
What’s that? “Who are Shar & Jackie?” Oh, right. I talk about them both on a first-name basis as if I know them, but really I don’t. (I did meet Shar once though. She asked me if I was packing. I was. It was hot, and I blushed hard. Did I ever write that story up on Sugarbutch?) They are a queer butch/femme couple, Shar Rednour and Jackie Strano, who I’ve known of since their porn company, S.I.R. Productions, put out both this film and others (such as Sugar High Glitter City – full review of that one coming soon too). I was obsessed with On Our Backs, too, and I vaguely remember them being featured in there at least once or twice. They were a high-profile visibly queer butch/femme couple when I was a babydyke, and I saw them as mentors and roll models, even if I didn’t actually know them.
(Photo reprinted without permission from The SF Chronicle)
Okay, back to the review:
Hard Love is not just a porn – it attempts a plot, a pair of former lovers who are still intertwined, and the two others they are now currently fucking. There were a few arguments between the characters – which, though I expected them, I found myself asking my computer, “really? I mean I know this is realistic and all, but can’t I have my porn lesbian-drama-free? Must I deal with lesbionic relationship bullshit? I just want to get off …” yet I found myself invested, identifying with the characters (Jackie especially).
I admire the attempt by S.I.R. productions (which apparently stands for Sex, Indulgence, and Rock ‘n’ Roll) to put together a story, but also find it generally unnecessary, and sometimes distracting.
How to Fuck in High Heels is the shorter, second part of this video, consisting of one of Shar’s performance poetry pieces of the same name. It is smutty, and showcases some great femme wear and cocks and heels, but it isn’t porn the way Hard Love is. I do love it, because it’s Shar, because I’ve seen it a hundred times, because it reminds me of queer performance poetry open mics. But it too is dated, and f I didn’t have the history, the relationship, with S.I.R., I would probably be more critical. Still, in the interest of, ah, the evolution of dyke porn, this is a significant piece. And if you dig hot blonde femmes and strong sexy butches, you’ll love it.
I was thrilled by it when I popped in the DVD and saw the familiar opening scene. You know how some movies are just forever embedded in your consciousness? Yeah, this one is. I studied the sex scenes with Jackie, though I wasn’t certain wy she fascinated me so much. Did I want to do her or be her?
I love the scene when the femme is getting fucked in the kitchen. I love the scene where Jackie’s ex meets up with her boi and does a striptease. I love watching Jackie jerk off while her lover eggs her on with dirty talk. I love Jackie’s enthusiastic jump into the tub to be with her, later.
I loved it, but I hesitated to show it to Kristen. The clothes and hairstyles and shoes were dated. The camera work wasn’t great, either – not compared to the recent high quality dyke porn. I worried she’d be critical of it, and I worried I had too much invested in it, given that it’s imprint is burned on my brain like the burnt in ghostly imprint of text on an old monitor.
Eventually, Kristen and I did sit down to watch it, and her reaction was much as I suspected. We didn’t make it through the first scene, but I insisted we forward it to the dirty talk/jerk off session. “Don’t you want to watch Jackie come?” I enticed, knowing how much she appreciates a butch orgasm. She watched with interest, lips parted. I watched her. Then she insisted we turn it off and go fuck.
I’d say it’s still got it’s charm.
Stay tuned for reviews of Sugar High Glitter City, S.I.R. Production’s 2nd butch/femme porn, and a porn giveaway of both of those DVDs!