Posts Tagged ‘blowfish’
Good Porn: A Woman’s Guide by Erika Lust, translated by X.P. Callahan. Seal Press, June 2010
It’s difficult for me to critique this book: Lust consumes porn in similar ways that I do, and we have a similar history with viewing porn, so most of my responses to this consist of, “yeah, so what?” It’s not new information to me, nor would it be to anyone who is aware of the ways that the porn industry is rapidly changing to include more female directors, more perspectives from and by and about women, and more woman-oriented pornography.
Really we’re talking about films here. Porno films, from kink and gonzo to erotic documentaries: Lust writes about ‘em all.
If you’re a woman who doesn’t like porn, or who has seen some porn and thinks that it is all the same, icky, unrealistic, performance-y, useless, and not even sexy, this is a great guide to finding directors, stars, and content that you may enjoy. There is a world of new porn available, even in the last five years, and if you can suspend your judgment for a bit to open up to the new materials that Lust describes, you might be greatly rewarded, discovering some new ways to explore your own sexuality through finally some videos of sex that are actually made for your consumption.
I can’t imagine that readers of Sugarbutch—or Carnal Nation, where this review will be cross-posted—will find this new information, however. In my experience, most of the readers understand this new world of porn films, as I might argue that both Sugarbutch and Carnal Nation are part of that new world, perhaps on the fringe, as we don’t produce video content, but as cultural commentary, certainly.
So who needs to pick up this book?
Those women who, though they have already made up their minds about something, are willing to be surprised. Women who believe that porn could possibly be good, that the definition of porn is not “exploiting women” but that the industry has had a lousy history in the hands of repressed men who will sell any act of a penis pounding a vagina to make a quick buck, and that if women or queers or respectable men were making porn, it could be better. It possibly could be interesting, even. Women who believe that it is not porn itself that is the problem, it is not taking video of people having sex, enjoying their sexuality, and getting off that makes porn bad, it is the perspective and the industry in which most of these videos have been made that is problematic. And look—there is a whole industry and perspective popping up, thanks to the feminist movements, queer movements, and the rise in sexual information, sex education, and the Internet.
Ah yes, the Internet. It’s a challenge to write about the Internet in a book. Books are somewhat fixed documents, the Internet changes all the time. Long lists of web addresses in books are not so appealing, since they aren’t hypertext and I can’t click on them, and I have to be really inspired to actually go look up the URL on my computer from a book. Plus, I spend a lot of time online, reading information about sexuality, keeping up with the feminist- and queer-positive directors of porn, and following the new big releases from Blowfish or Good Releasing, so the information in Good Porn wasn’t new or shiny or opening my mind in any major (or minor) way. I was hoping Lust would tell us more about the worlds of women’s porn in Europe, since she’s Swedish and in fact this book is translated into English for it’s release on Seal Press, but there was very little content and description of films that I wasn’t previously aware of. It seems that the major impetus for this new women-centered porn world is here, in the US.
If you need some convincing that porn for women is real, happening, and, yes indeed, valuable, check out what Lust has to say on the subject. But if you are already part of this world, while I recognize that it’s good, solid information and important to write about, it may not keep your interest.
It is no secret that I am a big, big fan of The Crash Pad Series. Shine Louise Houston and Pink & White Productions have raised the standards in porn film making so high, I think the porn industry in general will be struggling to catch up for a while. (In fact, Kristen and I just sat down to watch a couple films that a particular unnamed (unmentionable) company sent me to review recently, and I was slack-jawed in awe of just how bad bad porn can be. Holy. Crap. No wonder most people have such awful associations with porn, if things like THAT are what they think of or see!) Shine has spoiled me, big time – I expect the porn that I watch to be respectful, hot, full of desire and chemistry, smart, skilled, diverse, queer, and beautifully filmed … I know that sounds like high standards, but blame it on The Crash Pad! They DO that, constantly!
You can get subscriptions to The Crash Pad Series website, or you can purchase the compiled DVDs by volume. This is the fifth DVD, and though it isn’t the one I would recommend if you’ve never seen The Crash Pad before, it’s got some very interesting scenes and one in particular that I would definitely watch again.
Here’s the description:
The Crash Pad Series: Volume 5 returns to the titular no-holes-barred sex space that caters to an ever-changing group of sexually voracious dykes, femmes, butches, and bois (and even the occasional lucky bio-guy) under the ubiquitous secret surveillance of a mysterious voyeur played by director Shine Louise Houston. This installment features five scenes of wall-to-wall sex, including some dripping candle play, a little bondage, tattooed beauties, strap-on fucking and sucking, and other sundry delights. One standout scene features Kuma (a trans leather daddy with a shaved head and goatee) topping the curvylicious Julie Warren with a pair of floggers, some lashing canes, and an extremely hot choking strap-on blowjob sequence. The final scene has the always-enjoyable Shawn fucking a guy, something of a novelty in the Crash Pad series, though Mickey Mod isn’t averse to sucking Shawn’s big strapped-on cock when the time comes. She rides him vigorously and later rubs one out over his face while he jerks off beneath her — a good time is had by all. The Crash Pad series continues to set the standard for queer indie kinky excellence.
And, though that description of the five different scenes is pretty thorough, here’s my take on ‘em:
Scene 1, August and Stacy Staxxx, features hot wax and some switching. Scene 2 is the porn debut of the Essin’ Em we all know and love, under the name Scarlett Chaos, with the cute toppy boi Rex – make note of Essin’ Em’s fabulous femme red heels that she leaves on, I liked that. Scene 3 features Red and Cyd Loverboy, who are both pretty genderqueer and boyish and I liked the top/bottom dynamic here especially.
Scene 4, however, was exceptional. It features Kuma and Julie Warren, who appear to have a fairly strong daddy/girl thing going on, and definitely seem to have played with each other before. There is a beautiful two-handed flogging, and some lovely caning that made me wince (and also made my inner sadist grin). I liked the sadism and masochism in this scene, more pain than sex really, though Kuma does wield a cock very very well. I loved the skill, and I will watch this one again.
The last scene, 5, features everybody’s favorite queer porn star Syd Blakovich in a scene with cis guy Micky Mod. Interesting, and unusual for The Crash Pad Series, but it is very queer and very well done, and clearly they are both enjoying each other.
It’s not my favorite of The Crash Pad Series, but it is quite good, always beautifully filmed, and interesting.
2009 Feminist Porn Award Nominee.
Madison Young is looking for one last fling before walking down the aisle and she finds it with the very sexy Ariel X. Ariel seduces Madison into a world of rope bondage, foot worship, SM and Anal orgasms.
Madison’s day of penance includes a tight bondage crucifixion, an inverted one legged suspension in which she is cleansed with holy water, flogging, anointment with burning hot candle wax, and communion fed on a squirting strap on cock.
Stars: Madison Young, Claire Adams, Ariel X, Selina Raven
Directed by Madison Young
Produced by Blowfish Video
Watch Madison Young’s Bride of Sin here.
I’ll be featuring great films by Tristan Taormino, Madison Young, Buck Angel, No Fauxxx, Bleu Productions, Pink & White, and more, over at VOD.sugarbutch.net from here on out. I’m supposed to review some flicks for HMFH soon too, starting with Post Apocalyptic Cowgirls by Maria Beatty. (That film’s fencenets are inspiring.)
Blowfish is simply “good products for great sex,” and they are the producers of some of the best queer porn and experimental sexuality DVDs currently available. They want to start doing more giveaways through Sugarbutch … so here’s your chance to win something awesome!
I’ll select TWO different folks at random on Tuesday September 1st to win one or the other of these DVDs. To enter, leave a comment on this post, and tell me some awesome sexy thing you did this summer, or plan to do this summer, or wish you would’ve done this summer. Easy enough, right?
First, I have to confess, I have completely misplaced the Crash Pad #4 DVD that Blowfish sent me. I keep thinking it’ll show up, but I’ve cleaned my room and I am generally pretty darn organized – I just have no idea where it went.
And then I saw the the announcement that Crash Pad 4 is officially out and available on the Blowfish Blog and thought, aw shit. Better get moving on that review.
Here’s a scene-by-scene recap, with a couple thoughts:
- Brooklyn Flaco and Carson. Both are genderqueer and boyish, though when Carson’s hair comes down she starts looking more feminine and I really liked that (obviously, my bias shows through here). Lots of I-do-you-you-do-me switching (or, your-turn-my-turn sex, as another friend says), using their hands with no cocks or toys. I was getting into it when Brooklyn starts fucking Carson at the end, but then Carson doesn’t really come – or, if she did, it was kind of imperceptible. I was expecting a big finish. Their scene was too quiet – where’s the dirty talk? Where’s the noise? Where’s anything aside from heavy breathing?
- Jiz Lee and Dallas. Both genderqueer and boyish, with a big bag of toys to share. They are clearly into each other and having a great time. I think Dallas is freakin hot – especially when she’s toppy – and the whole scene is really playful. Jiz gets fisted [which I believe you can't show in a DVD, so the online episode is probably a bit more explicit than what you'd see if you purchased it] and squirts, which I always like to see.
- Toppy Sadie Lune and sub Tricksie Treat. They enter into the scene with some roleplay which felt awkward and forced, but I did like how Tricksie submitted, later. We skipped through most of this one, it was awkward and actually kind of hard to watch.
- Butch Cash and femmey Stella. Cash is in a button-down and tie (hot!), Stella’s hipster hair was distracting. Stella straps on and fucks Cash for a while, and Kristen’s favorite part was when Stella’s fingers were in Cash and Cash jacks off, and comes hard. It’s actually kind of rare to see a butch getting off in porn, and I have a feeling Kristen will go back to this scene for that part especially. I found myself getting kind of uncomfortable a few times – is that what I look like? I look like that, don’t I? – feeling exposed, but also a little fascinated with the ways that masculinity plays on a female body. The scene closes with doggy-style fucking – this time Cash is strapped on – and Stella comes hard, and hot. I’ll watch this one again.
- Top Ex and sub Muscle Beach. MB is very boyish and fucking adorable – I will definitely look her up and watch more scenes. Ex is a badass top, very impressive and clearly very skilled; she’s got this long hippie hair, round body, and nice smile, which made me think she was going to be a sweet and kind of motherly top, but she was a badass daddy type and her confidence and expeirence as a dom were mesmerizing. It
seems obvious that she and MB haven’t played together (much? at all?) before, were surprising each other a little bit, butturns out I’m WAY wrong about this – according to their bios on Crashpadseries.com, they are long-time lovers! It’s definitely clear that they had a repor, laughing, playful, having a great time together. Ex does some ropework, some humiliation (ashing her cigarette into MB’s mouth? Ew), and orders some bootlicking … she gets her cock out and Kristen exclaimed, “well, that looks familiar!” Indeed it was the same one I was wearing, occasionally groping, as we’d moved from the kitchen with our pancakes to the bed to watch the final few episodes. I’d watch more with Ex, I think she’s got a few more scenes on Crashpadseries.com if I remember correctly.
Overall: the sex is skilled, the chemistry is hot, the depictions of queerness are real and varied. I will probably watch the butch/femme scene again, but generally this isn’t one of the DVDs I’ll watch over and over. Of course, I have a particular bias toward the butch/femme dichotomy, so generally that’s a prerequisite for scenes that I watch again and again.
One of the questions Kristen and I kept kicking around was, where are all the butch/femme couples in porn? I mean, I know it’s all passe to be pro-labels and into the butch/femme dynamic, but there seem to be a real lack there. There’s a lot of genderqueer folks fucking other genderqueer folks, there’s quite few femmes … but where’s the butch/femme? If you’ve got recommendations, let me know.
While I’m talking about it, here’s a note about Crashpadseries.com: I put off getting an actual membership for a long time – long after I’d seen the DVDs, long after I’d watched the trailers and freebies on the site (over and over and over). I mean, the internet is for porn, right? I have this general philosophy that I just don’t pay for porn on the internet, that I don’t subscribe to websites.
But damn if I wasn’t missing out. Now that I have a full membership, I really wonder what took me so long – and I kick myself a little for not getting the membership sooner.
This is the best porn out there, people. If you’re willing to spend $35 on a DVD like this one - and you should! because it’s amazing – consider spending $35 on a month-long membership to Crashpadseries.com and trying it out. You won’t be disappointed, I guarantee.
Queer porn director Shine Louise Houston's new indy flick CHAMPION was released on DVD by Blowfish this week, and last night I sat down and turned it on. Watch this film. Buy it, and watch it, and tell your friends about it.Read More