Posts Tagged ‘babeland’

Giveaway: Pleasure Panties

April 29, 2010  |  reviews  |  69 Comments

I go back and forth on the word “panties.” Usually, I think I use “undies,” and I do like “thong,” as a word, though my girl rarely (never?) wears those.

But, y’know, when Christina says it’s sexy, I listen.

“Panties is a wonderful word. When did you stop saying “panties”? It’s sexy. It’s girlie. It’s naughty. Say it more.” —Christina Hendricks in May’s Esquire.

So: I introduce to you, I introduce you to, to you I introduce, the Pleasure Panties. The idea is that the wearer gives the remote to someone else, and has to endure all kinds of turning-on and buzzing and vibration up against her clit while trying to keep her composure.

A lovely little torture indeed.

I’m not usually such a fan of little gimmicky vibes like this, but you know what sold me? Of course you do. You know me so well. Yeah, it was the ribbons. The ties on the side. That casual little bow that says, “Oops! I didn’t mean to come untied, silly me.” I even have a whole “ribbon” category over on my Tumblr. I’m easy sometimes, a sucker, it’s true. But hey, it’s good to know what you like!

Want these little Pleasure Panties? (It still sounds funny, sorry Christina!) Leave a comment on this post with one naughty thing you’ve done in public, or one thing you wish you’d done in public, or one thing you fantasize about in public, or, you know, something else entirely, and I’ll pick one random lucky winner on Monday morning.

PS: If you live outside the US, you’ll have to throw in a few bucks for shipping.

These Pleasure Panties were provided by Babeland for giveaway. Visit the Babeland website for more great sex toys like this one. Thanks, Babeland!

Spanking 101

March 16, 2010  |  advice  |  6 Comments

Someone emailed me recently with a question about starting to play with spanking, and after looking around online for a bit, I didn’t find much, so I jotted down my basic thoughts on the subject.

Here’s the question:

I was wondering if you know of any good resources for spanking. I have a friend who wants to get spanked and I said that if he wanted to, I would do it. Any tips? Handouts? Diagrams?

Babeland has a decent How To Spank article, so that’s worth a read. And there’s Rachel Kramer Bussel’s collection of erotica stories called Spanked and the corresponding Spanked blog.

This is what else comes to my mind:

  • Where to spank: Spank the fleshy parts of the ass & thighs, make sure to avoid the parts that are bonier like the little triangle coccyx bone right above the butt crack, the spine, or the kidneys. Basically, steer clear of the low back. Some people like to have sensation on the upper back and shoulder blades (though that perhaps is for later)
  • Start light: Start light with pats rather that swats or hits, jiggle the flesh even, warm it up, gradually increase pressure. Generally when I start I go light and fast, then work up to the big hits later, with full big arm strength, taking pauses and breaks between to press my body close, run my palms along the flesh to sooth it, and whisper sweet things
  • Hand vs Ass: So much of the pain is psychological, not about actual damage. It can hurt, but there are hundreds of teeny bones in the hand, and compared the big pelvis and femurs down there by the ass & thighs, the hand will get harmed way before it could do any real damage to those bones. Which is not to say you can’t bruise—you can—but that’s not the kind of damage I mean. Be sure to be reassuring vocally (or with pleasurable touches) as you’re getting heavier, and warm up slowly
  • Spanking to Sex: I tend to start spanking closer & closer to the genitals toward the end, working in some fingering in between spanks. That can be a nice way to segue from the spanking back to the sex play, and also when someone is turned on they can take a whole lot more sensation, so I tend to be able to hit harder then
  • Positions: Try a couple different positions: leaning over a bed with feet on the floor, on all fours, across your lap on the couch, hands high leaning against a wall. People have different preferences when both giving & receiving, so try out a few different things
  • Toys: My hand usually gives out before her ass does. Consider a little paddle maybe like this one, you can go for longer. ones that are flat and wide tend to be “thuddy” and ones that are thin tend to be “stingy”—usually people prefer thuddy ones, especially if they aren’t so experienced. Same rules apply for paddles

Readers, help me out here. Anything else? Any tips and tricks for taking or giving a spanking? Do you know of any online beginning spanking resources that I’m missing? How did you get into spanking? What’s your favorite way to get spanked? What are your favorite toys to get spanked with? Leave it in the comments!

Review: The Njoy Fun Wand

March 12, 2010  |  reviews  |  3 Comments

Let’s have a review, shall we?

I’m way behind on product reviews, I have a list and it kinda just keeps getting longer. I’m moving away from doing reviews, actually, trying to be much more discerning about which sites and which products I take on, especially since I don’t use all that I already have. And of course I’m still taking some products for Babeland, which continues to be one of my favorite toy shops. I’ve probably told my Babeland story a dozen times, but I credit their sex-positivity, queer-friendly staff and products, and endlessly useful workshops with a lot of my own queer sexual awakening. I made a special trip to the Capitol Hill store in Seattle when I moved there in 1999 and, like many first-time visitors, purchased the Dirty Dice before I left. It took me another year or so to actually purchase my first strap-on and attend a spanking workshop, and I’ve been learning from them ever since.

They are such an excellent introduction to the worlds of sex-positivity and sex toys, that is precisely their strength and still something they do better than just about any other queer and feminist toy store, in my opinion. That reminds me—the founders of Babeland, Claire Cavanaugh and Rachel Venning (who are included on the Top Hot Butches list, though I’m told that Clare does not identify as butch, though Rachel does), have a new book out! Moregasm: Babeland’s Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex is out and fantastic. I especially like the design of the book, it’s so much fun to flip through. The graphic design and layout is fantastic, and it’s kind of like the sex ed class that should have been available when you went to college in a book form. The site calls it “a warm, expert, and witty guide to a truly satisfying and exciting sex life. Especially helpful for those at the beginning of their sexual self-discovery, Moregasm combines gorgeous, glossy visuals with real-world advice and the frank, reliable information you’ve come to expect from Babeland.”

On to the toy!

Behold: the Njoy Fun Wand.

I kind of feel like the Njoy toys review themselves. I mean do I even have to say anything about the actual function? I kind of want a fancy stand for it (does anybody make those? Someone should!) so I can display it on my coffee table or on a lighted shelf. It really is as beautiful as it seems.

Babeland says it used to be called the Saturn Wand, which to me seems boyish, maybe because Saturn was a god? It doesn’t seem like the Fun Wand is marketed as an anal toy, but that seems like the best use of it, personally. It’s kind of small.

Look at this photo from Babeland’s site of a hand holding the Fun Wand, you’ll see how small it is. Barely larger than a finger, really. The big difference between the Fun Wand and a finger, of course, aside from the hard stainless steel, is the strong curve and the texture, kind of like anal beads, which are um, awesome.

In the months that I’ve had this toy, after trying it out (both on myself and on Kristen, since it is easily sterilizable for sharing), I haven’t used it much. I’m more inclined to use strap-on cocks, harnesses, and bondage toys when playing with Kristen, and though we have started using some anal plugs of sorts fairly regularly, I am more inclined to use my fingers as a supplement to my strap-on than to get out another toy like this one.

I do tend to bust out the Njoy toys during my own solo masturbation play, though; both this one and the Pure Wand. Partly it might be that it does not have a flared base (and therefore makes it a little bit dangerous to play with anally—things actually can get lost up there you know, unlike the vagina which has nowhere to go. Do NOT insert it all the way and be sure to keep a strong grip on the end), and because I only insert it about halfway, it’s not the most comfortable to use when on your back.

Since this review has been half in photographs, I’m going to give you one more:

To be honest, I’ve lost the photographer of this shot. I think I found it on Tumblr, and my best guess (thanks Dacia) is that it’s a shot by Aeric Meredith-Goujon. All I can remember is that I’m pretty sure it was shot by a guy, and that when I found him on Twitter his icon was one of those make-yourself-a-Mad-Men-character cartoon. Going through Aeric’s daily photo blog, I did come across this shot: Ponderosa also, and the style is similar enough that it’s quite likely that is his photo. If you know for sure, or if you have this sourced somewhere else, please tell me! I want to give proper credit! Photograph is by Melvin Moten, aka mErocrush, reprinted with permission. Model: StephyC, taken August 2009 in Tampa during FetishCon ‘09.

Also, it’s a really fucking hot photo. Add to the list of more amazing ideas of what to do with a Fun Wand.

Njoy Fun Wand photos from njoytoys.com. The Njoy Fun Wand was sent to me from Babeland to review. Buy the Fun Wand and other fabulous sex toys at your local feminist sex-positive queer-friendly shop, or, of course, at Babeland.

Review: Midori’s Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage (DVD)

December 26, 2009  |  reviews  |  3 Comments

Midori’s Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage DVD is directed by Tristan Taormino and written & hosted by sex expert and author Midori, and I am familiar with both of them in general, so I knew I would probably enjoy it. When it arrived, though, I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t a video version of her Art of Japanese Bondage book – I don’t have a copy of it, but I’ve been eyeing it in Babeland for years. I was hoping the DVD would be elaborate, beautiful rope bondage, but it’s not.

In fact, it might be better.

One of the things that has kept me from doing more bondage is that it seems difficult, elaborate, and highly skilled – but that’s really only one kind of bondage, the fancy rope artistry kind. And though I have a few moves (see: Crab Tie), I often just don’t even practice what I know because I feel like it’s time consuming and will interrupt what we’re doing.

Kristen, though, I know, really likes bondage. Really likes to be tied up and tied down and restrained. While she does not love much pain, as a bottom, she really gets into that submissive mindspace when restrained and bound. She has often requested it more frequently and though it is frequent in our play, I could do it more often I’m sure. She has said that every time would not be too often, in fact. And though I often restrain her with my hands, holding her down or holding her wrists or ankles or under her knees, I could do more.

This video very much inspired me to do so.

And, it gave me a whole lot of ideas of things to use aside from elaborate rope ties – in fact, very little rope is used in this film. They use the Under Bed Restraint System (which I highly recommend, I got one for Kristen’s house that I still need to write up and it’s fantastic), wrist cuffs, ankle cuffs, belts, scarves, and some great snap hooks to hold it all together.

Midori’s introduction was pretty basic, had some great solid concepts and guidelines for bondage play, though nothing I wasn’t already familiar with. When she started demonstrating with some pretty purple scarves, I thought, damn, where do I get some like that?! (Lucky for me, I have some Liberator Silk Sashes just begging for Kristen’s return from her holiday family visit.)

I thought this video would be for beginners, but I don’t consider myself a beginner with bondage, and I got a lot out of it. It has four basic scenes: Midori’s introductory instruction, a hands-on demo with Midori, Adrianna Nicole, and Mark Davis, a scene with Adrianna and Mark, and a scene with Madison Young and Danny Wylde. Midori has some comments throughout the two scenes, but it’s fun to see some of the bondage ‘in action,’ which is a good way to get familiar with putting bondage on and taking it off during an actual scene.

I was kind of waiting to watch this video so Kristen and I could watch it together, but now I’m kind of glad I watched it on my own – the tricks will be more mine and less like I copied them from an instructional video. (Not that she won’t know that’s where I got ‘em, she reads my posts. Still, she won’t have the visual of seeing someone else do it first.)

There’s a particular moment in Adrianna and Mark’s scene where Adrianna has wrist and ankle cuffs on, and they are cuffed wrist-to-ankle with a double snap ring (like a two-sided caribiner). She is on her back in bed with her head near the edge, he is fucking her mouth with his cock while he’s got his fingers in her pussy. It was nice – I am looking forward to testing that out.

Now I’ve just got to add some double snap rings and wrist cuffs to my toy box. Perhaps I’ll use some of that Christmas money from Grandma and invest in a few of those.

Pick up Midori’s Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage at Babeland, or your local feminist sex toy shop.

Sugarbutch Hits 1,000,000! Champion DVD Giveaway!

October 15, 2009  |  journal entries  |  84 Comments

champion2

If you don’t know about the queer indy porn flick Champion by Pink & White Productions, I bet you haven’t been spending much time around the queer/porn blogosphere lately, because it has quickly risen to the top of many all-time favorite lists. I wrote my own review of Champion back in January 09 if you’d like to see how I enjoyed it.

If you haven’t seen this, you’re missing out.

And now’s your chance! Because see, Sugarbutch’s visitor counter hit 1,000,000 last week. One million! Can you believe it? Stat counters aren’t exactly rocket science, I think that number is probably give-or-take-a-thousand, but still, to see it roll over to seven digits was kinda mind blowing.

Thank you, for visiting, for stopping by, for reading whatever it is you’ve read here on Sugarbutch, for your comments and emails, for clicking through on the reviews or the affiliate links, for clicking through the advertisers, for coming back, for sharing these links with your friends or lovers or girlfriends or wives or boyfriends or mistresses or whomever you might send them to. Thanks for reading. Thanks for thinking about these things. Thank you.

So I’m doing a very special giveaway, thanks to Babeland: the Champion DVD itself. All you gotta do is leave a comment (with a valid email address) and give me one piece of feedback about Sugarbutch, either something you like or something you don’t like or something you wish I did more often or something you miss that I used to do or something I’ve never done or a question you have or a comment about the process or how you found this site or ANYTHING.

I’ll pick ONE single winner at random on Monday morning.

Review: The Black Glove & The Elegant Spanking (DVD)

October 12, 2009  |  reviews  |  No Comments

I seem to be up to my chest in queer porn DVDs to review these days. Now that I’ve finished the two S.I.R. Productions DVDs, I’ve got Courtney Trouble’s Speakeasy, Tristan Taormino’s Rough Sex, Bleu Production’s Post Apocalyptic Cowgirls through Hot Movies for Her, and I’m expecting some films from Buck Angel in the near future, too.

Queer porn is taking off like crazy!

I still constantly hear people say that there’s no “good” lesbian porn out there – that it’s all made for men or is girl-on-girl action, not by-and-for real dykes. That is just not true anymore! Dykes are making some of the most amazing, progressive porn out there, and, based on my recent reviews of a few DVDs which are actually almost 10 years old, I’d say we have been making damn good porn for quite a while.

beattyRecently, I had a chance to check out Maria Beatty’s Fetish Films Volume 1, The Black Glove & The Elegant Spanking from everybody’s favorite neighborhood sex toy shop, Babeland. I was intrigued by the film noir images and the heavy BDSM which includes hot wax torture, foot worship, pinwheels, roleplay, and spike heels, and actually my acupuncturist was the one who first asked me if I knew Maria Beatty or her production company, Bleu Productions. I wasn’t familiar with her work, but it didn’t take me long to become so.

Though this DVD collection of Beatty’s two short films came out in 2003, the films themselves are form 1995 and 1996. They are explicitly lesbian and beautifully shot – if you’re into slow, slow buildup and lots of tension, pretty girls doing naughty things to each other, high femme drag, and strong power dynamics, you should consider this one.

I probably won’t watch it again for the purposes of jerking off or getting in the mood, but I can see possibly putting it on in the background at a party – it is beautiful to look at – and I’ve definitely never seen any porn like it. There’s some odd components, like for example a gas mask in The Black Glove. I’ve never really considered a gas mask sexy and while I understand the purpose of regulating breathing, I found it kind of hard to watch. Very interesting, though, and very elegant.

There is virtually no sound in these films – they do have some musical track to them, but they are for the most part silent, with dialogue cards (which are more like revealing the character’s thoughts) like in silent films. I think what I loved best is that Maria Beatty herself is the submissive bottom in both of these films, which I don’t usually expect of the filmmaker – but obviously she knows what she wants, and goes for it. I wonder if she’s in any other films that she made? I’ll have to research that, she was definitely very sexy.

Pick up Maria Beatty’s Fetish Films Volume 1, The Black Glove & The Elegant Spanking at Babeland, or your local feminist sex toy shop.

Review: Sugar High Glitter City (DVD)

October 7, 2009  |  reviews  |  6 Comments

Oh, Shar. Oh, Jackie. I’ve already waxed poetical recently about my love for the super hot porn pioneer butch/femme couple behind S.I.R. Productions, but here’s another one for you: their second production, Sugar High Glitter City, from 2001.

Like Hard Love / How to Fuck in High Heels, I watched this over & over. My roommate owned a copy of the VHS I used to watch when she wasn’t home. In fact, the first time I saw it, I’d rented it at Babeland‘s Seattle store (not sure they still do rentals) to watch with my first girlfriend, and when finally we had some time alone in my apartment together, I went to the VCR and popped the tape that was in there out – and suddenly I was holding two copies of it, as my roommate had actually purchased it already. That was weird.

sugarObviously it wasn’t just me but many dykes who were excited about Shar & Jackie’s second release!

Kristen & I sat down to watch this a few weeks ago, and it was even better than Hard Love / How to Fuck in High Heels and better than I’d remembered. The film narration by Honey Lee Cottrell explains that we’re in a different world where sugar is outlawed and sex workers do all sorts of things to get a taste. Then, of course, there are the corrupt cops who shake down the sugar hos for both their sugar and their sex. The outfits are glittery and over the top, lots of makeup and fun really performative costumey items.

Since the whole setting is way over the top anyway, it’s way easier to suspend disbelief and enjoy the occasionally slightly awkward dialogue and scenes, which makes it much easier to get into than Hard Love.

Those who love sugar will especially get a kick out of this film … I don’t love the sexual fetishization of sugar so much because so much of the film treats sugar as a drug (as it basically is), and I don’t think it’s a good idea to sexually fetishize drugs. But I do like it as a play, as a performance of drug culture, as a commentary even on sex & drug desire.

The other thing of note is the fabulous dirty talk from butch Jackie, especially in the beginning scene “Sugar Cop Shakedown.” Kristen turned to me and said, she sounds like YOU to which I responded, actually, I probably sound like her. Where else do you think I learned it?

Worth it.

Pick up Sugar High Glitter City at Babeland, or your local feminist sex toy shop.

Review: Lonestar

September 8, 2009  |  reviews  |  1 Comment

I am the biggest fan of Vixskin dildos out there. I should be president of the Vixskin Fan Club. I mean seriously, they are my favorite – well, to be fair, they are kind of everybody’s favorite right now, they are THE MOST realistic feeling cocks on the market. They’re made of this material that is soft and a little bit pliable to the touch, with a firm core, so it is definitely hard enough, but it is silicone, so it is completely sterilizable.

Right there, I’m sold. Any Vixskin cock Babeland offers up, I want to try. (And I have been.)

lonestarHowever, the Lonestar is the first one that I’ve been disappointed in. It’s 6″ long by 1-7/8″ in diameter, a generous girth and just fine length to be sure, but it doesn’t feel like 6″xalmost-2″ when fucking with it.

So here’s what happened. Kristen and I are having a lovely time, making out, my hand between her legs, kissing, feeling each other, having a general romp, when she says, “I want you to tie me up.”

Out come the ropes. Oh it feels nice to have them in place on my footboard again, where they used to live. I was even a bit out of practice – the first thing I did was tie her spread-eagle but all the way taut, with no real room for her to bend her knees or lift her hips. I realized this pretty quickly, I suppose, because uh, if I actually want to get a cock in that girl while she’s tied up, I need a better angle, we both do.

So I loosened the ropes a bit, told her to bend her knees, gave her some extra room.

I couldn’t get a very good thrust going, ever, really. It still slipped out a few times when things got hot & heavy, and I lost the length pretty much every time I pulled out. It’s 6″, plenty long enough for fucking most of the time, I told myself – what’s the problem?

“Maybe it’s the balls,” Kristen said later. Hm, yeah, maybe. It does mean that the insertable length is a bit less. And they’re a bit awkward – they counter-weight the cock down, so it doesn’t have the same kind of upcurve that other cocks (like the Silky/Mr. Bendy!) that are 6″ have.

Then I noticed, when I was snagging the image for this review, that many of the reviews on Babeland mention how it basically points downward, that it doesn’t quite work for many of the reviewers. It’s close – and it seems like it’d be just perfect – but there’s something about the shape of it that doesn’t quite work. Sorry, Lonestar. Better luck next time.

(Don’t worry though – I changed cocks and Kristen and I had quite a good time with her in ropes, being used, being taken, just the way she likes it.)

Lonestar comes in Vanilla, Caramel, and Chocolate VixSkin silicone. Buy it at Babeland or your local feminist sex toy shop.

Masturbation is Great! (Review: Off With Your Head Hitachi attachment)

September 2, 2009  |  reviews  |  5 Comments

You know what sucks? Not getting off. And I really didn’t realize how often I did (ahem, just about daily) or how comforting it is for me as a nightcap or a pick-me-up until I spent the last six weeks crashing on my own couch or sleeping over at Kristen’s house. Not that Kristen wouldn’t have minded if I had jacked off before bed, I’m sure, but usually it didn’t even occur to me, not the same way that it had become just part of my nighttime routine when I was home alone.

About two weeks ago, Babeland offered up the Off With Your Head attachment for the Hitachi Magic Wand vibrator, one that I’ve been coveting for a while now. When I purchased my Hitachi in college, I was impressed with the vibration, but it really wasn’t specific enough or delicate enough (hah! If there is one thing the Hitachi is not, it is delicate) and I specifically remember a discussion with one of my colleagues at the writing center where I worked where she said, “get the attachment.” And I said, but I don’t really like insertables, I’m not looking for something to go inside … and she said “no, no, I get it, I know, get the attachment, use that on your clit, it’ll be better, I swear, trust me.”

And so I did, and she was right. An attachment like the Gee Whiz silicone attachment or the G-Spotter focuses the vibration and makes the otherwise overpowering vibration of the Hitachi more specific and concentrated, which is precisely what I needed.

So that was what, six years ago? And now that I’m used to the Hitachi, other vibrators seem awfully worthless. I do think there’s a little truth to the rumor that vibrators make you less sensitive – I know my sensitivity changes depending on what kind of sex acts I’ve been frequenting. But there are other factors too – like what time of the month it is, how I feel about my body, how connected I am to myself or to my lover. So the strength of the vibrator not the only contributing factor to my own sensitivity, but it does make a small difference, and the teeny vibrations of other vibes are just not enough. Although, to be fair, they weren’t enough for me even BEFORE I used a Hitachi, which is the major reason why I got a Hitachi to begin with. I’m just not as sensitive as some of you.

But honestly, I have yet to run across another vibrator that would be my go-to as often and as much and as effectively as the Hitachi. All the high-end vibes that are on the market now, well, some of them are very pretty, and seem very fancy and high-tech, but this is the Cadillac, the classic. I don’t need bells and whistles, just vibration.

It was only very recently that I discovered that the white head of the vibrator comes off, and can be replaced by this fabulous silicone one by Vixen. Makes so much sense – it’s sterilizable, so you can share it with someone and sterilize it, and plus it’s got these ridges and bumps and edges that focus the vibration in the same ways that the G-Spotter and Gee Whiz attachments do, but without the protruding part made to actually penetrate. Which stores better in the toolbox I keep next to my bed, with all the things I want easily accessible, and visually I like it better anyway.

So the Off With Your Head attachment arrived, just about the time that my bed was starting to be bedbug-free, and we spent an hour or so getting to know each other – the new Hitachi head, my bed, and me.

I even mentioned it on Twitter:

Getting off that day, I realized I didn’t really remember the last time I did that, which was unusual, and choked me up a little, actually. You know how sometimes you’re so inside of something that you can’t recognize even what a big deal it is? Today I ran across an old post from Havi saying, “Sometimes we can’t notice that we are in pain and sometimes we are so entangled in our own pain and distress that we aren’t able to pay attention to someone else’s pain and distress.” And while I’m sure that’s true, there’s also the aspect – for me – of being so wrapped up in the pain and distress and so focused on getting out of the pain and distress that I don’t even see the kind of pain and distress I am in. I should’ve noticed that things that I do to take care of myself – like yoga and meditation and masturbation – were slipping away from me, but I didn’t really. I gave them lip service, I thought I was keeping up, but I wasn’t, not really.

I hope this can go on my own personal record as something to note, that if I stop doing things like having a masturbation practice, there is probably something wrong.

Oh – I didn’t really mention the fantastic addition to my masturbation collection, but hopefully that’s obvious. The Off With Your Head attachment has become pretty much permanently affixed to my Hitachi.

And yes, I’m using it much more frequently now, and I feel so much fucking better, thank you for asking.

Buy the Off With Your Head attachment for the Hitachi Magic Wand at Babeland, awesome queer and feminist sex-positive sex toy store.

Review: Hard Love & How to Fuck in High Heels (DVD)

August 17, 2009  |  reviews  |  3 Comments

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.

They’ve now been together 16 years. There was a great article in the The SF Chronicle recently about them and their three kids, which mentioned Sharlene’s Babycakes.


(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!

You should buy Hard Love and How to Fuck in High Heels at Babeland.