Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Passions of Carol: Platinum Elite Collection

You can read my thoughts on this film, and screenshots from the last Video-X-Pix release, here. I have seen Passions a number of times, and still regard it as something of a life-changing flick, so I'm thrilled VXP decided to release it restored and as part of their Platinum Elite Collection. The packaging and presentation are not as fancy as previous PE releases, and I must admit I was disappointed by the giant typo ("An Adult Adaption...") on the cover, but not every PE DVD can come with a finger puppet and glossy card sleeve. And besides, I'm just happy that the folks involved went to all the effort to restore the film itself, and get Shaun Costello's commentary recorded. I'll put the typo down to rushing to get this released for the holiday season.


Anyway, the restored film itself is beautiful -- there are colours in this copy that I really didn't know existed in the film. Seriously, look at the screenshots from the last version and compare them to the ones here. It's astounding. The greens in particular shine, and I appreciate all the work that went into trying to eradicate that buzzing sound that was so prominent in the old version. In addition, this release comes with a neat little essay written by Costello which has all sorts of behind-the-scenes memories and entertaining tales that provide some insight into the making of the film and the finished product.


The commentary, conducted by Joe Rubin, is pretty wild and scatterbrained, with a lot of the intriguing stories getting started but never getting finished (what was the sad story? Inquiring nerds want to know!). This is really due to a certain giddy enthusiasm and a rapid pace though, and it's definitely worth a listen. I wish there had been more wiggle room, but such is the nature of commentaries, and besides, we have the essay to fill in some of the gaps.


Obviously, this is a must-buy for anyone who has only seen the dingy, grimy copy previously in existence, as well those who simply love the film as I do. Those of you who haven't seen the film, now is the perfect time -- obviously, I recommend it. Oh, and if you get it now, I think you can still take advantage of the VXP sale. Sweet.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Meet the Neighbours: Megan Hussey

More interview goodness in the spirit of (week-long) Lady Porn Day, this time with journalist, erotica writer, and all around fascinator, Megan Hussey. Read on to find out more! Thank you Megan for these wonderful and thought-provoking answers.

******

Tell us about yourself! Who are you, what do you do, and what has led you to this point in life/work?

Thank you so much for this opportunity, Gore Gore Girl; you and this blog rock and I'm glad to be here. I'm Megan Hussey, a journalist and erotica author who writes paranormal, historical and contemporary erotic romance for Class Act, Melange, Noble and Phaze books. I also have written blog, erotic fiction and website material for companies like Playgirl, the Good Vibrations e-zine, Chick Media and Trejix Toys, and some DVD cover copy for Playgirl. My work has been published in Playgirl and Scarlet adult women's magazines. And if all that wasn't naughty enough, I run the Playgirl Posse, Playgirl's fan club, and co-coordinate the FemPower women's erotica project. I'm collaborating on a book project coordinated through FLR.Com that addresses the issue of FLR (female lead relationships), and am also working on a book about women who worked behind the scenes in the silent film industry. And I'm a proud staff writer for Fangirltastic, where GGG also writes! My website is http://goldenmuse.tripod.com/.

Tell us about your writing - what themes interest you? Do you have a particular perspective that you want to express through your writing?

I definitely write from the feminist perspective; I like, not only to capture women's fantasies on paper but to turn stereotypical male fantasies on their ear for female readers; I write about male incubus vampires who open bordellos for women, male alien sex servants, sensual mermen, etc. I once wrote a feminist erotic take on Beauty and the Beast. The beauty, of course, was male and the 'beast,' female.:)

You identify as feminist - how do you define feminism? What do you find are the most common misconceptions of feminism?

I define feminism as the support of equality and women's empowerment. Feminists do so many great things; they open domestic violence centers, raise money for breast cancer research, and work to stop rape and rape myths. And for their trouble, they are attacked as 'Nazis,' 'manhaters,' and women who just want to be men. That one I REALLY don't get--we hate men but we want to be them? (Shakes head, crosses eyes).


I personally have gone through several "evolutions" of feminism due to various experiences, books, classes, and a multitude of other influences. What has been your own "evolution" or "journey" through feminism? What or who have been the biggest influence on your perspective?

I like to joke that I was a feminist since birth; that I came out of the womb with the singular goal of overturning the patriarchy by preschool.:) By my teens I was writing feminist poetry and humor; some of my role models range from Gloria Steinem to Naomi Wolff to Barbara Ehrenrich, Hillary Clinton to Queen Elizabeth I, Candida Royalle to Petra Joy and Kelly Holland. I joined a feminist group in college and always have supported the National Organization for Women and Feminists for Free Expression.

Many women, especially writers and filmmakers, are careful to distinguish between "porn" and "erotica." Do you make a distinction? If so, why and how do you define each term? If not, why not, and how do you feel about these distinctions when they're made?

Personally no; and this is going to get me into heapsa' trouble with some of my sister erotica authors.:) The fact is, though, that if you read an erotic book, you won't find anything more or less explicit than you will in a high class couple's porn movie; the problem is that, through the years, the word porn has been associated with sexist, sleazy, sometimes even violent productions--this casts a stigma over the whole industry. In its purest form, though, both porn and erotica center around sex and sensual activities; both fields have their share of quality, beautiful works. I'm an erotica writer and a women's porn writer, and am equally proud of both.

The experience of and public attitude toward pornographic literature and pornographic film are, in my experience, very different. In addition, literature tends to be referred to as "erotica" and seen as "feminine," while film tends to be referred to as "porn" and seen as "masculine." Have you noticed these genderings of visual/literal media? What are your thoughts on such cultural distinctions?

Yes, I have definitely noticed those distinctions. If a woman goes into a porn shop, she may be pointed or laughed at, just as I have. If a man goes into the erotica/romance section at a bookstore, he gets the same reaction. Yet I know a lot of women who love porn, and have been surprised by the number of men who respond to my erotic stories. In the end it's all about sex and romance; concepts that play a role in the lives of most people.

Some feminists see women's consumption of pornography as an important and progressive act. What are your thoughts on this?

Important, progressive and vital. Listen Ladies, if we ever want to see women's porn succeed, it's important that we go to the adult stores--and, for that matter, to mainstream DVD stores that sell adult titles--and ask for the movies, magazines and books we want. It's equally important for store owners to train their personnel to be sensitive to the needs of female customers; I've known more than one lady who was practically laughed out of a store for requesting a copy of Playgirl or an adult film title--this has to stop.


How would you describe your personal relationship with porn?

Porn and I have been happily married for a number of years tee hee; actually, I wasn't always a porn fan. I started out watching beefcake and male stripper tapes from companies like Playgirl, Chippendales, LaBare, The Hollywood Men, Manpower Australia and Sharpshooter, but had always heard that porn was--well-icky. Then I watched a few Candida Royalle/Femme and Adam and Eve titles (I believe the first ones I ever saw were Candida's "Femme," Adam and Eve's "Hardbound" with Dale DaBone and Nina Hartley and Cameron Grant's "The Dinner Party,") and found nothing icky about them; in fact they were extremely hawt!


Now I have a sizable porn collection but it consists entirely of femme style titles; films that emphasize the male body and the female pleasure, with an equal balance of romance and hot action. It doesn't have to be a real-life husband and wife scenario; in fact I avoid those because I'm not a monogamous person and I don't relate to them. It could be a beautiful, ultra sensual title from Playgirl, a funky, artsy flick from Strawberry Seductress, a hip, sexy film from Chick Media or London Gunn, or just an all-out girls' night out fest from Inpulse.

What are your Top 3 favourite XXX movies, and why?

Wow, just three?! Well, among my top picks would be Playgirl's Body Worship; Playgirl vignettes feature popular adult actors in fantasy scenarios geared toward the female eyes. This particular disc features Jean Val Jean as a male escort, Niko as a priest, and so many other hotties--and for once, the camera focuses on the males as they pleasure the women!

Another would be Immortal Desire, an absolutely beautiful production from the early '90s that features Gerry Pike and Sarah Jane Hamilton as immortal lovers who meet in the renaissance era and keep finding each other through time. It's a beautiful, romantic and artistic film; a love story in an industry of sex stories.

I also love Inpulse's Erection Services, which starred Julian, Alex Sanders and other porn hunks as enterprising males who open a bordello for women.

And though it's not XXX, I also have to list the Love Scenes softcore series from B-fore Productions. It's sumptious, romantic, and features a number of Playgirl models and male dancers in scenes with some lucky (and lovely) women; and, again, the focus is on the men.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lady Porn Day: Porn Secrets


Check out these awesome Porn Secrets, anonymous thoughts about porn pasted onto "retro man candy," and anonymously send in your own!

GGG Loves...Abigail Clayton

More goodies for Lady Porn Day...

Seven into Snowy (1978)

Seven into Snowy (1978)

Seven into Snowy (1978)

Naked Afternoon (1976)

Naked Afternoon (1976)

Desires Within Young Girls (1977)

Desires Within Young Girls (1977)

A Coming of Angels (1977)

Meet the Neighbours: Debi Diamond

Hi folks! A very special Meet the Neighbours today, perfect timing for Lady Porn Day: an interview with industry legend, Debi Diamond. Thank you Debi for graciously agreeing to do this!

Enjoy!

******

Tell us about yourself! Who are you, and what do you do?

~Well Hi....humm what do I do?
I'm a busy mom 1st.(list to long to include). Producer, Spice Radio Host, writer, and animal rescuer...


You started out as a performer, working in a huge number of titles during the 1980s/90s, before retiring and then making a recent comeback. Why did you originally retire, and why did you decide to return? How are things different for you as a performer? What are some of the biggest changes in the industry you have noticed?

~Yes, I actually made my first movies in 1983, as a outlaw....It was not, legal to shoot porn, so I really loved the idea, of being sneaky and bad....perfect for me...I left the business in 95, I just felt i needed a break, I did so much in the early 90's, my life was FAST> , not complaining, just wanted to try something new...so I started dancing....which led to another state, which then led to another life.....outside of SEX...it was amazing, and perfect...BUT, felt i was ready to implode....lost my mind, and came back to Cali..Never really having a plan....I just kinda settled into my level of comfort....which i have now....complete comfort...I love producing, making fem dom is edgy enough to satisfy my inner kink...and Radio is a total blast...I write for a few sites, and I am a busy bee working on my BOOK... The business is a complete change from when i left in 95...thanks to the INTERNET....In many ways, a very nice thing , but sadly, many cant survive..sad situation


You have also started your own company, Debi Diamond Films, specializing in femdom titles. What made you want to produce titles in this genre? How have people (industry and/or audience) reacted to you deciding to work in this particular genre?


~Upon my return to California and the industry that raised me, I was taken back by the loss of many of the stable companies I had known, why? FREE PORN SITES.... This is a travesty and it just isn't right.I watched it and just felt the chances of survival would be much greater if I found a subject matter, so saturated within the free sites....fem dom was it...plus i love to boss guys around....stupid fuckers....TO SEE HOT WOMEN IN TOTAL CONTROL......TURNS ME ON!

Femdom is an interesting genre in terms of gender -- I have seen people laud it as empowering for women, while others see it as simply a "turning of the tables" and not progressive at all. Still others see it as offensive and no different from porn in which women are abused by men. What are your thoughts on these varying perspectives, and what is your personal view on the genre?


~I love it when everyone is happy....#1 priority for me.....I was usually happy fucking anyone anywhere....but, sex scenes can get complicated.....MY FEM DOM....has like this magic potion....we have had no unhappy situations, everyone is thrilled to be involved, the women love to work these guys over, the guys love it too!...win/win

Do you identify as feminist? How do you personally define feminism?


~ I do feel women are goddesses and can have what ever they want, they are wonderful,gifted and able to accomplish things men could only dream of ... but bottom line...we need our men.....i love men, i love cock, i love sex,

Pornography and sex work have been divisive issues in feminism for many years, an ongoing heated debate known as the "sex wars." While these divisions were strongest in the 1980s, there remains the assumption for many that porn is damaging to women. What is your perspective on these "sex wars"? Is pornography at odds with feminism? Do you think one has something to offer the other?


~I think as with any occupation....when done with intent...it's all good.....Look, in this life, are we not very lucky to make our living and be happy? I have always enjoyed what i do, felt very lucky, been in control of my destiny... I am sure there are people that get damaged by our business, sad but true, but come on....any line of work can be dangerous to the fragile, xxx is just a magnet for the low self esteem crowd...but lately...I'm impressed with the number of IN control business women within our industry.....really impressed

You're a Hall-of-Famer, a multi-award winner, have a vast catalogue of films under your belt, and are considered a pioneer in adult film. How do you feel about such accomplishments in an industry so often maligned by mainstream media/culture? How has such success affected your life outside of porn?


~I feel very lucky to be me...and Frankly, my humble opinion of myself? no big deal...never felt like I would even be remembered after my break, shocking how many people feel i was part of their lives, very touching to know,and to read, and be praised almost on a daily basis.....I'm just a jean&tee wearing mom....who happens to have her sexual life on film...

If you could change anything about the porn industry, what would it be?


~Damage is done...so many of my friends are gone/out of business, it's a free for all...for example....my domain..debidiamond.com..is owned by some fuckhead running a fake fan club, stealing my stuff,and thousands of dollars and several years..i am still fighting to get it back....free sites and the people and companies behind them need to be exposed and really if we all got together and stood as 1, we could do some amazing things, make some amazing changes..but seems everyone is out for themselves...back in the day, the early 80's...we were a family, all as 1...today....its a dog eat dog business ...sad



What are your goals for the immediate and/or long term future?


~my goals are just to have that balance....I need balance and positive outlook...i will accept nothing less...if i can make my movies, keep my family and myself happy, live well and healthy, stay busy, keep smiling and spreading good energy...all is good in my world!

If you were to make a scene today with any director and performer/s from any era, who would you pick to work with, and why?


~Goodness....the old timers were some of my favs....John Leslie, joey silvera, paul thomas, Vanessa Del Rio, kay parker,Marilyn Chambers.Desiree Cousteau...these were the ones i watched and looked up to....mix them with the dirty girls of this time , belladonna, amber rayne....and wow....im in!

What are your three favourite XXX films that you have made/performed in, and why?


~again the older ones stand out
all american girls in heat...83
bad girls 2...83
san fernando valley girls...83

but i do love
PERFORMER OF THE YEAR...84.my movie!
GANG BANG GIRL...
AND REALLY....shit...so many...

i have a theater at hot movies, with most of my movies debidiamondvod.com very cool thing the Internet has ...VIDEO ON DEMAND!



What are your three favourite XXX films that you have watched, and why?

SAME AS ABOVE...im a perv, and really love to watch myself

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lady Porn Day: Feb. 22nd


Finally, someone has created what I'm too lazy/technologically incompetent to have done myself (but complained about enough): a porn equivalent of sorts to Women in Horror Month. Here is Lady Porn Day, courtesy of Rabbit Write, a day that in reality goes on for a whole week. Join in the fun Feb 21st-26th on Twitter, or join in the festivities in your own way through writing, sharing, and talking.

I'll figure out a way to do my bit also. Probably through the writing and sharing avenue.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bush is back? The discourse continues...

The various debates over women, pubic hair, and shaving are of great interest to me. On the one hand, there are those who think to shave your pubes is to fulfill masculine desires for a childlike female body (see Andrea Dworkin), and then there are those who think there is a possibility of subversion to shaving pubes because it fully exposes the oft-mystified and misunderstood female genitalia (see Germaine Greer). Then there are the more recent "porn is making women shave their pubes" argument, which can safely go into the "porn is making women (insert bodily/behavioural alteration here)" category.

I came across a couple of interesting articles today. One is from The Guardian, which is a newspaper I used to read, but has apparently had a strong of anti-porn articles as part of its "women" section, which I find a little disconcerting. The other is a critique of this article by Petra Joy, who first alerted me to the Guardian article, and makes some very important points.

All of this reminds me of something that happened a little while back: Sasha Grey appeared on Entourage, and at some point (I don't watch it) she was naked, and of course her famous bush was visible. Sasha Grey is a very successful porn star, for those of you who do not know, and the reaction from Entourage viewers (or, a vocal portion of them at least) was disgust, horror, and general shock at seeing bush. I even heard someone refer to it as "Bushgate" or something to that effect. The whole situation was so incredibly ironic -- porn stars are supposedly shaved bare, and porn supposedly normalizes a very specific body type that women feel pressured to model themselves on. And yet, porn fans have been idolizing Sasha Grey and many other be-bushed starlets for quite some time now, while in the case of the Entourage outrage, the mainstream viewers were the ones who recoiled in disgust. Meanwhile, many porn fans are merrily watching (and asking producers for) unshaved performers (and, I might add, defending Grey's bush). I found this all rather amusing, but also pretty frustrating, and this frustration came back to me while reading the article from The Guardian. What a funny world we live in.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Masculinity and the Flaccid Penis in Porn: Part II

Back when I wrote this post on premeditated depictions of flaccid cocks in porn, I had no idea that it would become the second most read post I ever wrote. (The first is this piece of lameness, thanks to searches for "sexy porn star" and the like). First off, I really wasn't sure the post would be well-received (not that I cared), but I certainly was not prepared to discover an entire underworld of people who are seeking out flaccid penises in various contexts on a daily basis. My analysis of the evasion of non-erect penises in media (with much-appreciated assistance from Peter Lehman's excellent book Running Scared: Masculinity and the Representation of the Male Body), and the ways in which, when they appear in porn, they are mediated and embedded in narrative or symbolism is likely not what these avid flaccid-fans are after, but I like to think I have made a much-needed vocalisation of something that is so cruelly marginalized. Furthermore, these searches have shown me (and now you) that there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who, for whatever reason -- curiosity, arousal, education, or a combination of all these things and more -- are seeking out representations of penises in their most common, everyday (but silent and unseen) state.


While the mundane search terms pop up each and every day multiple times, such as...

flaccid men porn
soft penis porn
large flaccid penis
flaccid cock porn
flaccid cock
flaccid penis
flaccid dicks
flaccid men porn
small dick flaccid
soft penis porn

...it was when the search for "how does a non-hard penis look like" popped up that, thanks to it's wonderfully awkward grammar, I decided to start recording these terms day by day. This led to such fabulous search terms as...

penis, black, flaccid
husbands flaccid penis
flaccid cocks erect cocks
softcore flaccid male nudity
plaing [sic] with a flaccid dick
flaccid dick underwear porn
girl playing with flaccid cock
randy spears flaccid
manuel ferrara flaccid
flaccid to erect cock movies
full frontal flaccid penis
hot sexy flaccid soft penis

...and, the delightfully straightforward, "i like seeing flaccid penis in porn." Well, anonymous searcher, so do I, and on that note here is Part II of my dutifully recorded adventures.


Deep Throat (Gerard Damiano, 1972)

It's important not to forget the time-worn classics, so here is this nugget from Deep Throat wherein, after having diligently worked to assist his female clients-cum-nurses, poor Dr. Harry Reems has a poorly cock. Lying in bed, tossing and turning, applying a cool compress to his crotch, Linda Lovelace persuades him to remove his clothes ad reveal the sickly member, tied up in a bandage. Of course, Linda isn't dissuaded, and soon has the good Doctor back in action. This scene is one of a few "sick penis" flaccid scenes, suggesting that a non-erect penis is permissible on film if it is the result of strenuous bouts of sex, during which the penis was very much erect.


Midnight Desires (Shaun Costello, 1976)

I wrote about this excellent vignette film a little while back, and remember my gasps of awe when Jamie Gillis emerged from the locker room, flaccid penis casually slung out of his red sweatsuit. It's an inspiring sight, and easily one of my favourite flaccid moments in porn. It's also a particularly interesting one, as it occurs smack bang in the middle of a highly homoerotic rape sequence.




Private Moments (Gary Graver aka. Robert McCallum, 1983)

This little vignette flick doesn't seem to get much attention, but it's good fun and involves some very witty dialogue, especially between the husband lawyers as they self-indulgently chit-chat around the dinner table while their wives are busy fantasizing. At some point, the fantasies involve a "Guess Whose [sic] Wanger" competition, complete with soft dicks waggling around through holes. Ladies have to explore said "wangers" in order to detect which one is their husband's. It's interesting that in this scene, the unengorged members are dismembered and the subject/object of a joke.


Teenage Twins (Carter Stevens, 1976)

Hope and Prudence are twins with divergent approaches to sexuality in this grimy curiosity. It's become a classic of sorts, thanks perhaps to the casting of real twins, Brooke and Taylor Young, but amply assisted by a plot that involves the Necronomicon. It's also pretty good, especially if, like me, you love flicks centered around shit-talking, sassy women. In this scene, Hope (the sexual and sassy one) is chatting with Jew-fro'd Jason (Todd Davis) in what is perhaps the most prolonged prostrate flaccid shot in adult film history. Quite an accomplishment. No mediation, no bondage, no nuthin. And, trivia fans, Todd's iafd.com photo is from this very scene!


Desires Within Young Girls (Richard Kanter, 1977)

A much-loved but lesser-known classic, featuring a cast of lovelies including Annette Haven, John Leslie, Georgina Spelvin, Paul Thomas, and the man we will be discussing here, Jon Martin. Spelvin is the mother of two gals whom she hopes to marry off to millionaires. Shenanigans ensue (as does an unexpected and applause-worthy ending), including this captivating deflowering scene. It's the two ladies doing the deflowering, while the virgin is Martin, and the whole enticing affair begins with one of he gals tying his soft penis in a delicate, frilly white ribbon. Very cute, and notable as an entry in the rapidly growing "flaccid cocks tied up with stuff" category.


Desires Within Young Girls (Richard Kanter, 1977)

Immediately following the previous scene, things turn all dominatrixy, as The Baroness (Joan Devlon) shows up and promptly wrangles that post-coitus, sleepy prick by pressing her stiletto heel in precariously close quarters (not that Martin seems to mind). This is a more traditional mediated softy than the preceding one, as the domination element justifies the brief initial representation.

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