Thursday, August 28, 2008

Porn Merchandise: Pictures, T-Shirts, and . . . Skateboards???


I can totally get behind the idea of porn merchandise, especially for the indie, queer companies who could use the extra income. And while I can't stand being a walking billboard for companies that I don't care about (*cough* Abercrombie & Fitch *cough* Hollister), I'd gladly wear a sandwich board for those that I really do want to promote and spread the word about. Not to mention that there's something deliciously perverse and radical about non-jokingly promoting porn in public. I want posters on my ceiling, bumper stickers on my car, in curiosity-picquing porn websites and catchy slogans on clothing.

But . . . a skateboard? I'm just not sure I understand the marketing ploy behind this. Maybe there's a bigger lesbian skateboarder contingency than I originally thought.

I could see a pair of boxing gloves (in line with Champion's Mixed Martial Arts boxing theme), Shawn's used mouthguard (you know, for fans who like the idea of owning a little bit of her saliva), any number of posters, autographed pictures, you name it. I'd gladly wear a shirt or hat proclaiming "Champion: Love Hurts", a la Trannywood Pictures' merchandise strategy.

I love you, Pink & White Productions, which is why I'm bringing this up- this isn't a snarky criticism for a few laughs, but a real question- are you sure, really, truly sure, that this is the best idea? No worries. I still trust you guys.

But I can't skateboard at all :(
Click here to read the rest!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

SIR Video Returns!

After so long hearing nothing new from S.I.R. Video (Shar Redenour and Jackie Strano's break-through company that brought you such great real lesbian porn like "Hard Love/How To Fuck In High Heels" and "Sugar High Glitter City"), they've finally come out of hiding with a new project!

Well, to be technically honest, their website is still as depressing as ever, reassuring that the years-long "redecorating" is going on, and please visit Fatale Media in the meantime. But their Myspace is fortunately alive and kickin' (thanks again, Myspace!). Not much information about the new endeavor is available- but they're definitely recruiting lots of genderqueer folks, which will be a nice change from their cool, sex-positive but quite heterosexually-aimed "Bend Over Boyfriend" series and "Talk To Me, Baby" video. It should be quite interesting to see how their work differs from their previous films, given the queer/lesbian porn niche's explosive growth within the last decade.

So welcome back, S.I.R. Video! I've missed you.

And if you're a dyke, femme, butch, or tranny who wants to be the star of this brand spankin' new porno, all you've got to do is email them (graciously linked because, you know, in case you couldn't read the posters). Now ain't the time to be shy, my little perverts! Go out and help make S.I.R. Video another great, contemporary dyke porn company.

And keep your eyes peeled for the finished product!
Click here to read the rest!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Book Review: “Sex For America: Politically Inspired Erotica”

I would have liked to put in my own review of Rachel Kramer Bussel's "Spanked!", like everyone else is doing, but unfortunately, I don't have a copy handy (and really, Jiz's favorable and sexy review should be enough to convince you to buy it). So I may not have "Spanked!", but I would like to put in a review of a book I do have, Stephen Elliot's "Sex For America: Politically Inspired Erotica", especially given how appropriate politics are at this time.

It's rather intriguing, I think, that Elliot also has out another book, under the title of "Even More Politically Inspired Fiction". Oddly enough, though, there is no prequel or original to this, except for "Sex For America", which bills itself not as fiction, but as erotica. This in itself might be a warning clue to what you'll find inside. Elliot, after all, is not primarily an erotica writer- though he has one erotic collection ("My Girlfriend Comes To The City And Beats Me Up"), his background is more mainstream fare. And while I want everyone to be able to break free of their molds and try out dirty writing (dirty editing?), perhaps it really ought be left to the professionals.

Most of the stories here don't register much heat- I would only go to a few as masturbatory aids. Others aren't much to write home about, and some are fabulous, but not really in the "political erotica" category. I still have high hopes for political erotica, and part of me wonders where all the expected stories might be. Were the authors so eager to go outside the box? Did Stephen Elliot pick and choose out of a bigger pool? I'm just at a loss.

But, nonetheless, here is a break-down of the book after the jump. I honestly think you can find a lot of good stories here, maybe not for your bedside drawer, but at the very least for your literary shelves.



Jerry Stahl’s “Li’l Dickens” gets points for sheer gravitas: writing erotica about Dick Cheney has got to be the most daunting task in the world. And yet . . . he nails it, perfectly. Mind you, it’s not the kind of story where you really want to be visualizing the action, but the characterization of a smirky, kinky, powerful Dick, the selection of details, and the clever, tongue-in-cheek twist on the Harry Whittington scandal all make this a true winner . . . and oddly sexy. It’s no surprise the story had previously been published- it has everything going for it. Great opener.

Michelle Tea’s “Music From Earth” is ultimately a little bit of a let-down. The premise- a San Francisco-dwelling lesbian returns home to hurricane Erica-ravaged Florida and ends up sleeping with a male friend about to ship off to war- is a good one, but in execution, it seems to lose something. I’ve felt this way before about Michelle Tea’s fiction; it’s hard to connect with the narrator, feel sympathy for the characters, and, at least here, to find much eroticism in the quick and passionless sex. The story tries- it has the sex, the politics, and a good idea- but just doesn’t push through. At the very least, I imagine it could have much more success in a different anthology, one not classified as “erotica”.

Mistress Morgana’s “An Open Letter To The Bush Administration” is probably the most brilliant piece of writing in the entire book- a letter from a professional dominatrix to the Bush administration, detailing how their S&M-esque tactics have outshone her and made it impossible for her small business to stay financially afloat. Short and well-written, smart and ironic rather than angry, it’s a gem. While not erotica per se, it deals enough with sexuality that I think it fits in quite well.

Avital Gad-Cykman’s “Tamar’s Prayers” doesn’t really make sense to me. The entire time I was reading it, I kept trying to place it in terms of locale and time and situation, and still couldn’t pinpoint it. Is this a wartime tale in a foreign country? A science fiction tale set in the future? An allegorical depiction of the U.S. as a fairytale-ish myth? Either way, I couldn’t tell, and the sadness of the tale undercut the sex, at least for me. Is it so much to ask that an erotic story actually show someone enjoying themselves?

Anthony Swofford’s “Escape and Evasion” initially gave me hope for something seriously sexy, from its opening line: “When the recruiter asked the queer questions I had a hard-on”. Unfortunately, it falls apart after that, turning into an [admittedly riveting] look into the “Ether Bandit”, a rapist who uses ether to violate men in the Army. Like many of the other stories here, it’s quite good- it was honestly a page-turner, and the ending was perfectly ironic and cinched it for me. But erotic? Not even remotely. The sex here is outright, pre-meditated rape in a way that will leave most readers cold- again, as in “My Most Memorable Encounter”, the rape is not eroticized for forced sex fantasies, and the vivid details of the bloody physical damage are disturbing, to say the least. And the political here is limited to the setting being war- beyond that, there is no discussion of it. It seems to be a trend in this book- good stories that belong somewhere else.

Jami Attenberg’s “Victory Garden” is another one of the set-in-the-future tales, but where the others portray the future as a crazy, gone-wild, topsy-turvy world, this one is refreshingly realistic and somehow subtle in the way that only great, thoughtful writing can provide. The setting is a world where the president has started four wars, and oil is now essentially gone. But life soldiers on, not in dystopian, Mad Max-style hell, but in a surprisingly old-fashioned-feeling rural kind of America. Cars are gone, both as modes of transportation and as places for sex. (And I might add that other little details- condoms being unable to be made without oil, for example, really make the story). Unfortunately, what seems to be missing from this story is an erotic encounter between the two characters. It’s like the author lost the last page he meant to submit . . . it could have been beautiful. I’m in mourning for the sex scene that never was.

Lydia Millet’s “Desert Shield” was a bit above and beyond my political knowledge. To be quite honest, I gave up on this story, which managed to be full of names I should probably know, but was also strange enough to leave me mostly unimpressed.

Daphne Gottlieb’s “Undone” hits the mark on being political with its gay marriage debate focus- definitely a hot topic right now, and still a controversial one for straights and queers alike. And while I love that it sheds some light on the emotional component of folks who never expected the offer of marriage rights, and questions the taken-for-granted belief that all GLBTQ partners would jump at marriage if only they could, I once again ask- where’s the heat? For that matter, where’s the sex? This is an erotica collection, right?

Jonathan Ames’ “Womb Shelter” tries to be provocative, but ends up stretching the word play of “womb shelter” (instead of “bomb shelter”) far too thin. Some of the writing is quite clever (the Jewish bit is great), but there isn’t much of a real story and little eroticism, particularly in his recollection of his nervous and decidedly unsexy tryst with a prostitute.

Eric Orner’s short, animated strip “Fear and Loathing In Chelsea” (I hesitate to call it ‘cartoon’ or ‘comic’) caught me off-guard, actually, and impressed me a quite a bit. I wouldn’t classify it as erotic, really, although sex plays a minor part in it. And it’s not really “political” in the traditional sense of Senators and Capitol Hill. And yet this short piece manages to hit the nail on the head perfectly, criticizing both narcissistic gay male culture and the whole “Politically Correct” movement.

Alison Tyler’s “Measure A, B, or Me?” manages to score a huge goal, as Alison Tyler always seems to do. The story is neither too long nor too short, has an explicit sexual focus, and incorporates politics quite nicely. Bonus perk: even though both protagonists are on the Left, the story doesn’t fall into a Bush-bashing or Right-vilifying mood. The story is a real winner- cute, clever, and hot. An actual erotic story, meant to turn you on, and the characters even know one another and love each other! Props, Alison, props.

James Frey’s “The Candidate’s Wife” is a tantalizing idea- a Democratic worker on the Hill sleeping with the wife of the Republican candidate. And it’s still rather sexy, but while reading it, I had to inject some of my own images, imagination, and fantasy to get “there”, mostly because the writing seems to explicitly keep away from the characters, presumably to add the naughtiness of the casual encounter, and to keep the mystery . . . but it ends up frustrating instead. It’s still good- I just wish the people weren’t held at an arm’s distance.

Charlie Ander’s “Transfixed, Helpless, and Out Of Control: Election Night 2004”, wherein someone gets topped and worked over while being told of the horrors to come in the Bush administration, isn’t a new plot (in fact, it’s essentially the same that appears in “Social Contract”), but the execution here is impeccable. Ander’s writing style feels a little like Pat Califia (the highest compliment I can give) and the story is just much more delicate and emotional than the editor’s own piece, not to mention much sexier and more erotic. Five stars for arousing both my mind and my genitals.

Nick Flynn’s “A Crystal Formed Entirely Of Holes” is a pretty damn cool story, mixing futuristic technology with popular “alt” youth culture to paint a portrait of some rather extreme new body modification. Unfortunately, the story mostly misses the mark on the political aspect, and the erotic aspects, which have so much potential, are only briefly skirted, in tantalizing little teases that never fully evolve into an actual sex scene. Don’t get me wrong- I really do adore this piece and find it smart and fantastically creative and well-written . . . but it would fit much better in a different anthology, or else by incorporating more eroticism (again, something I think could be done very easily).

Rick Moody’s “Notes Of Redevelopment” is by far the queerest, kinkiest, and naughtiest story of the bunch, even though it manages to not classify as erotica, really. Set far in a future U.S. where a lot of significant changes have taken place (part of the country has seceded, slavery exists, China and other countries are the most powerful nations, and conservatism has run rampant, including the G-Rated Only Family Film Act Of 2012), an anonymous transwoman gives some advice to the country’s leaders, mostly by the way of revitalizing the sex and porn industries in very kinky, futuristic ways. The story is just a lot of fun to read- political, but not quite erotica. Still, it gets thumbs up from me.

Tsaurah Litzky’s “Purple Tulip” is a mess. On one hand, I see quite clearly the flash of brilliance in what is otherwise the muck- the interesting concept of an angry, contemptuous Amsterdam man fucking out his aggression towards the U.S. with an American woman (with the cultures so clearly and starkly diametrical). But the rest of the pieces dangle like unfinished strings- the inexplicable addition of the one-armed hooker who is the title’s namesake, the drugs, and the fact that the main sex scene turns painful, panicked, and is essentially rape renders all of the initial eroticism null and void. It’s so jumbled and pointless that I almost wonder if it was at least semi-autobiographical for the author.

Michelle Richmond’s “Milk” actually made me gasp out loud- not something most fiction can do. The beginning had me scratching my head- another confusing tale with apparently no discernable setting and no explanation. But halfway through, everything is revealed, and the twist is SO unexpected, yet makes so much sense . . . it truly is a well-crafted story. The politics of the horrific act of sacrifice work wonderfully for the political aspect, though the erotic just isn’t really there. It, too, doesn’t really belong in an erotic collection, but I’m too in love with it to complain much.

Stephen Elliot’s “Social Contract” feels like a weaker heterosexual version of “Transfixed, Helpless, and Out Of Control: Election Night 2004” fast-forwarded past the election night. There’s great BDSM action, but without delving into any real emotion or giving us deep characterization, I can’t feel much connection with the story, and unlike Ander’s, there is no description of the feelings aroused by the physical torture/pleasuring or the mindfuck . . . it reads like a laundry list of what the dominatrix does, with no reaction, no orgasm, no pleasure. The editor’s sole piece just doesn’t measure up in my opinion.
Keith Knight’s comic strips War-gy and Energy Policy aren’t anything to write home about- essentially, they’re just dirtier versions of your average political cartoons, with lots of literal fucking as a play on words of the way the Bush administration has fucked us over. To be quite honest, while it fits in the book’s theme, it feels old and clich├ęd, and most certainly wouldn’t qualify as “erotic comics”. They aren’t nearly as impressive as Eric Orner’s piece.

Vanessa Norton’s “Dirty Heaven” combines an intriguing kleptomaniac narrator who gets paired up with a cute boy as she goes about making her door-to-door political spiels. The story starts out strong; the initial attraction and shy interaction was subtle enough to get me wet with anticipation of what was to come next, and I was sold by the time serious groping and kissing was going on. And then . . . it all falls apart. They go to the laundry room but there is no more sex- the narrator tries drugs for the first time, vomits, and that’s about it. Why, Vanessa Norton, why? The story had so much potential to be erotic, and ends up letting readers down tremendously.

Liz Henry’s “Capitol Punishment” isn’t a stand-out tale, but it fulfills all requirements: lots of sex, explicit political focus. The characters are a little detached and cynical in a way that makes them unappealing, although they have do have little endearing moments occasionally. And the BDSM sex can be a little sexy, although the emotional detachment, the lack of real investment in the sex, seems to rob it of some of its heat. I guess I’d just caution that it’s not an amazing story, but neither is it a poor piece of writing. It’s just so-so, but at least it fits in the parameters of the anthology, something a lot of stories here can’t claim.

Pete Orner’s “The Last Socialist” is short and pointless- a page and a half of dry intellectual dialogue exchanged between lovers, and a paragraph of two-minute sex that the narrator describes as like “two wet seals thumping” and leaves the woman [obviously] unfulfilled. Not sexy. Not that political (or at least not straightforward about it). Not worth your time.

Susan O’Doherty’s “My Most Memorable Encounter” is a shockingly good piece of fiction, and a shockingly poor piece of erotica. The story of a young, self-conscious girl thrust into an adult political party and taken advantage of rings true on every level; you feel like you’re in the story. Unfortunately, the rape and abuse at the end is not sexy or even attempting to be sexy. This is not eroticized non-consent or reluctance that a reader with a rape fantasy can enjoy. It’s a sad, bittersweet, heart-wrenching tale, but erotica- not by a long shot.

Steve Almond’s “The True Republic” is another wacky set-in-the-future piece that actually shadows a lot of the details of “Notes Of Redevelopment”, oddly enough (for example, the secession of part of the U.S.). I feel like this story is just trying too hard to push the envelope and be wild and crazy, with an ending that’s supposed to be ironic. It just feels . . . forced. It’s political, alright, and sexual (I wouldn’t go so far to call the odd synthetic virgin orgies erotic, even if I found synthetic virgin orgies erotic . . . there’s not enough description at all), but it never quite gets to the place it wants to go.
Click here to read the rest!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Porn Pusher, a.k.a. Promoting To The Masses

Lately, it's come to my attention that my little Xtube experiment- trying to pimp out real lesbian, transmale, and other queer and/or indie porn on this great free video sharing site that gets tons of traffic- is actually working.

I first signed up like most users- just to get access to that good, old-fashioned homemade free porn. But soon, by own budding interest in video editing (prompted by Youtube fanvideos and the purchase of a great DVD ripper) made me want to create videos of my own. I started seeing what would make a great video- funny Wet Spots songs illustrated with great, queer clips. Sexy music that I wished was in the originals. Montages and compilation videos centered around a theme. I truly enjoyed doing it, and I understandably wanted to share.

So I posted them, and got good feedback, that prompted me to be more precise and focused and to use my apparent skills to try to get more publicity for said porn. I gave credits in my video and urged my viewers to support real lesbian and queer indie porn. I didn't even have to work that hard, surprisingly- numerous folks messaged me looking for purchasing information. I felt like a slick salesman- yes! another one in the bag, baby!- as I sent them on the way to Crash Pad Series, Blowfish.com, and Fatale Media, among others. Because every person who bought and supported my favorite companies would keep my favorite companies afloat and making more good porn. Like some sort of profit sharing plan . . . well, kind of.



The comments on my videos continue to be positive and to urge me on to make more- lesbians and transmen who had no idea that their kind of porn existed, men and women who used to scoff at "lesbian porn" but now realize it can be smoking hot, folks who are simply amazed to see a queer presence on Xtube. And I love letting these people know that it exists, to challenge people's perceptions and maybe get them a little flustered over their own unexpected arousal (a staple move of mine: putting my videos in the Gay Section for all the gay men to be shocked over; hey, my stuff definitely isn't "Straight"). Apparently my videos are being talked about outside of Xtube (crazy, I know!). And they are reaching more and more queer circles:

Your vids and voice definitely struck out as being most unique though - probably moreso than you give yourself credit for, so just know it didn't go unnoticed! In fact, I overheard a conversation at a random social-centre meeting once about your vids - kind of along the lines of, 'So did anyone see those queer vids on XTube?' .... lol .... how cool or what?!

It's an absolute shame that more of this sort of pornography isn't more prevelant. I find it impossible to find pornography with actors/actresses attractive in the least. I think these vids are the way pornography should be. I honestly prefer men over women, but I must say that those were quite good.

I created an account on this website just to thank you and bomb666. I consider myself a sex positive feminist and have always had such a hard time explaining to my straight friends and gay male friends that just because I am in an long term relationship, my gf and I are NOT asexual. There is this fucked up myth that lesbians don't have sex with the enthusiasm as our straight or gay male counterparts, and videos like yours (and bomb666...bless their hearts), completely dispels that myth. While this dispels the myth, it simultaneously validates my relationship. Your videos empowered me. It may be far-fetched to some people, but I consider what you do a form of activism. Thanks. . . . . Take some credit! Your videos have made me think about buying some of the Pink and White Productions movies, and when I did a search of "queer" on xtube, your name came up, which brought me to the videos of bomb666 and sailorsgrave. Trust me, you are "doing your part" for the movement!


But while these experiences have definitely changed me in a positive way, they have also taught me one very important lesson I wish I could pass on to the actual companies themselves: promotion, promotion, promotion!

Unfortunately for busy porn companies, not all potential customers are the kind to wander the sex blogosphere where glowing reviews abound. I wonder sometimes if I would have ever discovered "The Crash Pad", had a kind soul not started a forum thread about it on a bisexual site I frequented. I wonder if I would have even deigned to buy it if it hadn't linked to the gorgeous trailer preview that I watched- the same that showed me the beautiful cinema and obviously skilled editing, the lovely music, the queer aesthetic and real models having hot sex. I might have dismissed it as just another slick lezzie porn and been on my way. And I can't even imagine how my porn consumption might have gone following that (probably gayboy porn up the wazoo).

Luckily, Pink & White Productions (and Blowfish Presents, really) are one of the few companies that offer preview trailers of their films, and they stand out because of it. Which is great- if you're the kind of person who happens to traverse the "Lesbian DVD" section of Blowfish.com on a regular basis. But what about the majority of porn consumers- the ones who aren't doing the research and looking to buy, but are looking to get off fast and for free? I saw a comment online once that summed it up quite succinctly: "Paying for porn? In this day and age? I thought that had gone the way of the dodo.". And maybe it has- except when it comes to that which is unique, different, which stands out and which is worth shelling out the money. Like most of the great queer, indie, and real lesbian porn that's being produced right now.

I suppose my question is- why aren't these producers taking their products to the masses- to Xtube and other sites where people looking to only find free porn, only expecting the mainstream, suddenly find something that opens their weary eyes and makes them pull out their credit cards very fast? I think the response would be overwhelming. Are they too busy otherwise? Is it more important to make one's presence known in the adult video industry and get recognition that way- is that where all efforts go? Or have they just not realized the vast potential of this medium?

I have to admit- it's not that I'm getting tired of making my videos or providing this service, but I am getting tired of taking the credit, of explaining that I shouldn't be getting the credit- send an e-mail to Shine Houston, to Ian Sparks, and give them the commendation. I'm nobody, really- at least, not in comparison to these great innovators and artists.

So step up, guys! Your audience awaits.
Click here to read the rest!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Drag Queen Dreams

Anybody who knows me knows that I hate wearing makeup. I mean, the odds are already stacked against me:

1) It takes time. And, if you're going to do it right, at least a good fifteen minutes. I love sleep. I'd rather have a good fifteen minutes of extra sleep than having to haul my butt out of bed to apply what will presumably rub off my face two hours later. Yeah, I'm lazy.

2) Directly relatedo to #1 and linked by the laziness is the fact that I can be somewhat iffy on showers and washing my face; often I just crash into bed at the end of a long day. Easy to forget makeup, which likes to be washed off . . . and presto, you have instant, unforgiveable acne!

3) I hate the way it feels. I like to be comfortable- everywhere. Hair down and natural (no stiff, gelled-up locks I can't run my fingers through), loose clothes, flat shoes, and I can hardly even stand my bra. Makeup literally feels greasy and heavy on my face; I can't stand it.

4) I don't want to be self-conscious. My few forays of wearing makeup, particularly eye makeup, have shown that I touch my face a lot. If I want to leave it unmarred, I have to concentrate on it, and that makes me a whole lot less laid-back and happy.




5) It's expensive. At least, the good stuff is. And I'd rather spend my money on books, movies, CD's, porn, and food.




6) It makes me look less like myself. Just like lots of people are unrecognizable without their makeup, I look like a different person, and what's more, everybody wonders why. All of the sudden it becomes "Oh, you look pretty today! What's the occasion?". And when I have none, I feel foolish. Moreover, I don't want to suddenly be a slave to makeup, having to wear it lest people judge made-up me to non-made-up me. And of course, I'm not going to be one of those ridiculous girls who put on makeup only to have it look like I'm wearing none.


And there are more reasons. But that's why I just don't want to wear makeup on a regular basis. Having said all of that, though . . .


I fucking love playing dress-up. There's nothing like having a free afternoon and getting the old urge to rifle through my cosmetic pots to come up with something crazy, wild, and unapologetically queer. So I thought I'd share some fun "drag queen"-style shots I got when I did a little impromptu photoshoot after playing dress-up. They came out so suprisingly good . . . even if they don't look hardly drag queeny (Sigh. How can I get the great makeup skills they have?).

If I was feeling more up to it, I'd make this post deep and introspective- all about how my love of over-the-top makeup is probably hiding interesting issues of fear of femininity and competition with women, and how my identification with drag queens hints at discomfort with acknowledging my female gender or maybe is an attempt to trivialize femme urgings that I feel are too "mainstream" for a wacked-out girl who desperately wants to be read as queer.

But I'm too tired for that. Concentrate on pretty pictures, instead.

Click here to read the rest!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Is Lindsay Lohan A Lesbian?



Honestly, I could care less.

Actually, I do care a little bit . . . why does the media and collective world around me insist on using the word "lesbian" (or "gay") to describe people who have actively had opposite-sex relationships? Sappho, Oscar Wilde, and now Lindsay Lohan. The girl's dated a handful of boys (Aaron Carter, Wilmer Valderrama, Harry Morton, Calum Best, Riley Giles), so it's obviously just a ploy to capitalize on the shock factor of the L-word. Ah, when will bisexuality get some well-deserved publicity that isn't of the horrendous Katy Perry type?

But once again, I'm like an ADD-addled kid. That wasn't my point at all. Back to the question ("Is Lindsay Lohan lesbian/bisexual?") and my complete and total apathy for the answer.

So why am I blogging about it, you might ask?



Well, it's quite simple- it has nothing to do with Lohan, who hasn't registered on my radar since "The Parent Trap" (okay, okay, and the guilty pleasure that was her first hit, "Rumors"), or with celebrity girl-on-girl extravaganzas . . . it's because the lez-beau in question shocked me quite a bit by her, well, butchness.

Every time my eyes wander away from the staring contest the Snickers bar and I are having at the checkout counter to glance the trashy tabloids, there's inevitably some girl kissing some other girl. It's unremarkable- they're both gorgeous femmes, it almost always looks staged, and if it wasn't, there was probably a good deal of alcohol and drugs involved as well. Ugh.

So I studiously stayed away from the rumors I was hearing about Lindsay Lohan (you know, mostly because my general impression was (is?) "skank" when I'm feeling mean, and at best a grudging "poor, messed-up kid" when I'm feeling generous). But somehow I managed to stumble over a picture of Lohan and the rumored girlfriend, and my jaw dropped.



















Sam/Samantha Ronson is a total butch lesbian. Or, if you're going to get picky about it, at the very least, andro or "futch". She doesn't look like a girly Hollywood girl. She looks tough, punk (as a DJ'ing gal should be), and she has dyke appeal up the wazoo.

Butch has never had it so good since Portia snagged up Ellen and left all the straight, mainstream folk scratching their heads in confusion, or, for the younger crowd, Tila Tequila showed more interest in Dani Campbell than a house full of Barbie dolls.

Various media sources are all a-frenzy, from conspiracy theories of a publicity grab, that the gals are just friends, and whatnot. I can't say I really care. For once, people are talking about lesbian celebrity kisses, and it kind of seems more authentic than usual. People are talking about a butch gal, and it's not steroetypical or derogatory. And whether the love is real, or fake, or something that will later be deemed a "mistake" by publicists, maybe a few people can think about how butches can be sexy, wonderful partners, if a famous, sexy chick like Lindsay wants herself one.

And that's enough to make me happy.
Click here to read the rest!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Lil' Bit Of Genderqueer In Mainstream Porn

I was pleasantly surprised today. That doesn't happen hardly often enough.

I was actually doing a little Googling for another blog, and I ran across a description of the porn film "Masque". Nothing too special, except for the mention of "Asia Carrera in drag". I did a double take, read it again to make sure, and then did some furious research to discover that yes, it was true.

I bought and downloaded the film and was thrilled to see some brilliant genderqueerness making its way into what was otherwise a pretty mainstream movie. The lovely Asia- or rather, apparently, Samantha, the character she was playing- spoke a bit about always having been a tomboy, being somewhat jealous of the way the boys named their dicks . . . hence she's dressed up like this on Halloween. And she isn't some bad imitation, either- she rivals any veteran drag king, and she looks distinctly queer. She wears unapologetic facial hair, something I simply can't imagine most typical heterosexual male porn watchers to get behind.

I fucking love it.

The tryst is very erotic- some sensual dancing and later strap-on fucking (with an added element of voyeurism)- and well-filmed, but I'm already impressed by the very presence of the boy drag.

So. The rest of the film was unremarkable . . . cheerleader outfits, doctor/nurse play, requisite orgy, yada yada yada. But Asia Carrera in a mustache, tie, and hefty strap-on wooing a girl? Maybe I was wrong about mainstream porn being bland and gender-binary enforcing (or stereotypically "shemale" when not).

I'm happy for today. Thanks, writers Edwin Brown and Oola Bloom!
Click here to read the rest!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Vanessa Del Rio: The Most Expensive Porn Memoir Ever?

It's no secret that folks love reading pornstar autobiographies- they're often bestsellers, in fact. And at normal book prices, who wouldn't want to pick up an exciting, steamy, and [hopefully] seamy look at the industry we're all so curious about? So go on, run out, pick up Jenna Jameson's "How To Make Love Like A Pornstar: A Cautionary Tale" or "Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man In Showbiz" for a nice $20.

Or if you have some extra cash burning a hole in your pocket . . .

How about unloading $1,500 for the privilege of getting to know the first Latina porn superstar Vanessa del Rio a little better from the 396 pages (and 140 documentary DVD minutes) of her 16 lb. book-slash-memoir Vanessa Del Rio: Fifty Years Of Slightly Slutty Behavior.

I was so surprised by the pricetag that I read up on the star I previously didn't know of . . . and now I'm starting to think I'd like to shell out the money. Click below to find out why Miss Del Rio is so utterly captivating.

As mentioned above, the book is hardly just that. Besides being massive, including a documentary video, and (if it's in the first of the 200 numbered copies) signed by Vanessa herself, one lucky buyer will find the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-esque "Golden Ticket"- good for a date with Vanessa, photographed by a famous photographer. And actually, if you're smart enough to avoid Amazon.com, you'll find the exact same book sold for $1,100 less- only $400 at her website, with three DVD's or VHS's of your choice thrown in for free as well.

That's pretty damn amazing. But then again, so is this lady.

Everything I read about her on the web- and particularly the interviews- paint a portrait of a very strong, smart, and fun-loving woman, the product of the sexually free 70's. Consider this quote:

"Listen, you can’t unring a bell. I can’t be a porn apologist. You can’t undo the fun. I just considered my life an adventure. It’s like, I let the wind blow me—pun intended—wherever… Everything that you could consider exploitative, I found something to get out of it."

So . . . no. I don't have $1,500 for this book. I don't even have $400 for it from Vanessa's website. And I doubt my library's going to start carrying it. So, until then, I guess I won't get a better look into this fascinating woman's life.

But maybe you will be able to. If you can afford it, enjoy!
Click here to read the rest!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Real Comprehensive Sex Education

I'm getting pretty damn tired of reading about sex-related deaths in the news, especially when, in most cases, it's entirely preventable. And that's what makes it frightening. Even more frightening, however, might be the fact that I'm not talking about sexually transmitted diseases.

As the Center for Disesase Control releases new information that statistics on HIV and AIDS have been underreported and people get up in arms about bettering sex education- something I want very much- I nonetheless start to get a little ancy.



Undoubtedly, more education is always better. And yet I can't help but think that sex education reform- prompted by the CDC's report and these studies which have shown that abstinence-only education doesn't delay sex in teenagers- will change very much.

Yes, there will finally be correct statistics about birth control and more information on preventing the spread of disease. However, the only safety issues facing teenagers are not just these two. Why are we always talking about safe sex only in terms of STD's and pregnancy? People are getting injured- and in some cases even dying- because they are having unsafe sex. And more often than not, this unsafe sex features all the condoms and clean bills of sexual health and latex barriers you could ever want.

There are countless books, magazine articles, websites, and TV shows dedicated to the art of sex help, and the questions about having sex safely (or dealing with the consequences of unsafe sex after the fact) that appear therein are not just about STD's and pregnancy. As people everywhere are exposed to more and more types of kinky fun through TV, movies, and the Internet, they often attempt them with no thought to issues of safety. And that, unfortunately, is how people end up heartbroken, injured, dead, or in jail.

Let me throw up a list of nine potential dangers that are in dire need of discussion and information dissemination:

1) Anal sex. More and more people are doing it- men and women both. And given today's youth's reasoning that anal sex doesn't compromise one's virginity (a whole 'nother can of worms) and erroneous belief that it is 100% pregnancy-proof, it's often the go-to sex for those young and unwed. Nobody is discussing the various, very real dangers of anal sex: the risk of urinary tract infection in men from performing anal sex without a condom, cross-contamination and potential infections from using objects in the vagina that were previously in the anus, using popular numbing lubes to mask warning pain, tears in the anal lining that may become infected and lead to very painful and serious fistulas (particularly in women), and the very ubiquitous emergency room situation wherein something- sex toy or other foreign object- becomes lost in your lower intestine because it didn't have a flared base (or wasn't meant to go up there in the first place).

2) Breath play. While it might seem like an obscure branch of hardcore BDSM, more children and teens are dying than anyone could expect, as the "Choking Game" remains popular, yet is rarely discussed. Erotic asphyxiation often remains a very, very, very dangerous solitary masturbatory aid for many- many times fatal. And perhaps even more frightening for the BDSM practicioner who prides him/herself on safety, the greatest danger of this act is not actually strangulation- most people who die doing this die of a massive heart attack, usually 15 or 20 minutes after they’re done.

3) Porn addiction. Long gone are the days when a teenager's- or even an adult's- porn collection consisted of some occasionally-visited dirty magazines. The Internet's seductive pull means trillions of images and videos are right at your fingertips- a load of media so massive it can become almost confusing and very hard to handle in a reasonable way. More and more kids and teenagers complain of being addicted to porn, and whether it's a true and real psychological addiction or just worried concerns over their constant usage, it's an important issue . . . that nobody is talking about.

4) Pedophilia charges. And no, I'm not talking about overly-hyped "predator" scares that make parents run to block Myspace on their computers. Rather, with cell phone cameras, the glamorous idea of taping your own sex and taking sexual pictures, and the ease of sending such through the medium of the Internet, a big problem has arisen: older teens (16, 17) are taking pictures and video of themselves, provocative, naked, having sex, just like a million other consenting adults. Whether they keep them to themselves or share them with their boyfriends/girlfriends, they are very often unaware that possessing such erotic material is illegal and can get them branded a pedophile, something that can haunt them for the rest of their lives. How can something so potentially dangerous not be warned about?

5) Constriction. And once again, in the trend of Internet-related dangers, here comes that spam e-mail trumpeting that you can get a bigger penis. Combine that with constant cheesy but reputable-looking Enzyte commercials, and guys are (more) worried about their penis size- enough so to seek out penis pumps, to try jelqing, and to otherwise constrict their wangs. Unfortunately, this can lead to rupturing capillaries and blood vessels in the penis, and even internal hemorrhaging that might lead to impotence or Peyronie’s Disease- neither good things, and definitely not something you want happening from a simple wank!

6) BDSM/kink. It's become so mainstream that everybody seems to want to try it, even if it's only lightly tying up their lover and splashing some candle wax on them. Unfortunately, novices are the ones who are bound to make more mistakes- ones that can cause lots of injuries. Using wrong (and common household) materials to bind can end up causing nerve damage, circulation problems can come from positions and not moving enough, the aforementioned breath play can kill someone, and the candles we often have at home- something pink and scented from Bath & Body Works- burn infinitely hotter and blister skin due to their chemicals for color and scents. People who want more intense/extreme acts might go even more dangerous- with the very not-to-be-done-by-amateurs e-stim- and many times die because of it. And, as often comes when participating as the do-er in extreme BDSM acts, you run the risk of causing death . . . and as if that isn't enough, you will probably be convicted and sentenced for your part in it, however unintentional it was.

7) Dangerous masturbation. People love to masturbate, and they love to make it better, sexier, kinkier. Unfortunately, especially when they're underage, teens can't get the safe sex toys to do it. That's when they get the wacky idea to use some unconvential stuff . . . though not only youngsters are doing it. Trips to the emergency room and potential long-term damage (not to mention a ton of embarrassment) await the ill-informed, from sticking your penis into vacuum cleaners or pool water jets, it's going to be bad. And it's not just the boys- one doctor reported a young woman with an acute onset of abdominal pain, who was found to have extensive pneumoperitoneum (i.e. an air embolism), which came from some Jacuzzi jet stimulation. Fortunately, it only gave her some pain- air embolisms can be potentially fatal.

8) Poppers. Schools can't seem to get enough of telling kids to stay away from the drugs- especially ones with very small risks like marijuana. But somehow they seem to gloss over poppers, or amyl nitrate, so often used in the gay community and other progressive sexual communities. Considering how dangerous and degenerative their effects can truly be, I find it apalling.

9) Alternative lifestyles. And no, I'm not talking about the textbook "gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender" cliche. All over the place, kids are getting ideas about trying different arrangements, and yet there is little, if any, discussion about polyamory, something difficult even for the seasoned and informed. As more and more younguns come out and identify as bisexual, they are often confronted with the possibility of threesomes and polyamory, and it's truly complex. Why isn't such advice about handling emotions and fostering communication about this given alongside that for two-party relationships?

I look forward to sex education getting a little bit better, but I'd much rather overthrow the whole thing and start from scratch- Carol Queen and the Center for Sex & Culture sending out licensed sexologists to discuss not only those issues of STD's and pregnancy, but all of the ways that sex can be made safer.
Click here to read the rest!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bad News: Libido.com Calls It Quits

Every time I hear about a great new company starting up- the sex-positive, women-friendly, gonna-make-a-difference kind that I love- I get a little scared. It's hard in the porn world, and even if you're the big fish in your little queer, indie pond, once you hop on over to the ocean that is mainstream porn, you've got a lot of monstrous competition. I bit my nails for the longest time over Pink & White Productions when they first came out with "The Crash Pad", worried to death that they'd go the way of Shar Redenour's S.I.R. Video (whose homepage has been proclaiming "We're currently redecorating . . . we'll be back soon so don't be a stranger!" for at least six years). Luckily, P&W have managed to not only keep their foothold, but build an empire (at least, an empire compared to what most other, similar porn has). But I still have these fears that what I love today will be gone tomorrow.

And just like that, it was.

I randomly trolled over to Libido.com tonight for a quick persual to see if they had anything new to offer, and sat straight up to read the notice:

To all Libidofilms customers:

Sad to say, the time has come to pull the plug on our little experiment in sex-positive erotica. If you have been putting off downloading your favorites, now is the time. Don't delay.

This site will definitively disappear on July 30, 2008.

After that videos will no longer be accessible except as dvds, which you can find at www.a-womans-touch.com www.amazon.com and the best of the women's sex toy stores.

We thank each of you who has supported us.

Libidofilms


How incredibly sad. I was constantly pimping out the company for its very cool films like "Urban Friction" and "Trial Run", which endeavored to the weighty task of making erotica for women that actually had a plot- not easy at all (or at least not easy to make it so you can please often picky female viewers). And they even managed to get their films sold on the fairly conservative Amazon.com, which has always impressed me even more. And then they recently went and produced an animated feature ("My Art School Summer"), which literally knocked my socks off- animation is largely held by Japanese porn and making one's own animated feature, well, that's a buttload of hard work and dedication. Strike two for rising above and beyond. And finally, their site had one of the largest collections I'd ever seen of vintage/antique erotic videos (that's right, not pictures, but videos), dating from the early 1920's to the late 50's. That, and other great feature films and even better shorts, made Libido Films truly stand out.

While the notice says that site will be definitively down, it still seems "up" to me- in fact, you can even still watch the previews. I attempted to download a few movies and the site didn't seem to like that, so that part of it may be abandoned and forgotten, unfortunately. I came just a bit too late, damn it. Of course, you can still get most of their titles from other places, but what's lost- the vintage erotica, the shorts, and most especially, any future astounding work I'm sure they would have made- is far too great.

I hope another company steps forward to take their place, but I'm still mourning the loss. You gave it hell, Libido, and turned a lot of people on, both sexually, emotionally, and intellectually. Thank you, and good luck in whatever you talented folks head out to do next.
Click here to read the rest!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Free Lesbian Magazine Subscription!

Because I'm a gregarious person, I thought I'd share this lovely little offer from Interlude Magazine. Instructions on how to get it by clicking below.

So, Arlan, the magazine's creator, will be giving away 1,000 free subscriptions . . . and after that, it's over. So act fast! Just head on over to thisismyinterlude.com and read up on the details. Good luck!
Click here to read the rest!