On Friday I felt much better slept, and I had tickets for five screenings, but I'd already decided that only three of them were ones I really cared about: XConfessions by Erika Lust, LOVE HARD by Sensate Films, and the Female Porn Shorts screening in which Instructed was playing.
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to speak at Gender Sex London on the topic of the female gaze in kinky porn, alongside male performer Michael Darling. It was a great evening, with a really positive reception and lots of thoughtful contributions from those who attended. You can read a storify of live tweets from the evening here.
I'll post the text of my one-hour talk in two parts.
This is another acclaimed short film from Erika Lust, the talented feminist producer who brought us Handcuffs. Minimal, tantalising, the film follows a couple checking into a hotel with a difference. This five minute short is a conceptual piece - it's more about stimulating the imagination than gratification on camera - and the concept is absolutely delightful. I want to stay in that hotel! Doesn't everyone?
It also includes some hot F/m moments, highly erotic glimpses of an MMF threesome, and enough subtext and charged glances to fill a fair few fantasies. I'd love to have seen the extended version of this film, but I admire it for what it is - a condensed, lust-provoking snapshot into an extremely hot, and rather kinky, idea.
Lust Films have an exciting new short film in the pipeline. Erika Lust is a pioneer of feminist and female-gaze pornography, but none of her early work was quite edgy enough to tick my boxes. Her 2009 short Handcuffs ticked many of my boxes, however, and to my delight she continues to explore kink themes in her 2010 film Love Me Like You Hate Me. Here's the trailer:
[Love Me Like You Hate Me] provides a modern perspective on a variety of practices that may be considered taboo for many women: to be tied up oneself or to tie someone else up, role-play and dressing up, giving pain or receiving it, being a strict dominatrix or being a submissive slave, punishing our partner or being punished by them... explore with Venus O'Hara and Erika Lust the seductive thrills of domination or the fear and excitement of submission.
Lust Films are beautiful, stylish and elegant with production values most spanking studios can only dream of. As a feminist pornographer, Erika Lust is one of my political rolemodels. I'm ridiculously excited that she's turned her talents to fetish; it's so rare to see the combination of progressive ethics, visually rich aesthetics and the female gaze with the sort of edgy fantasy that turns me on.
Discovering to my delight that both Handcuffs and Love Me Like You Hate Me are included as extras on Lust Film's newest DVD, Life Love Lust, I bought it like a shot. If this looks like your kind of thing, I'd strongly encourage you to do the same. I'm not making any money off this one; the world needs more imaginative, progressive pornographers like Lust Films and it's up to us to support them if we want them to continue. (Plus, if her fetish themed films are a huge success it'll encourage her to make more, which can only be a good thing). I'm really excited about my purchase, and can't wait for it to arrive. I'll be sure to write a full review once I've watched it!
A short while ago my friend J mentioned to me that he and his partner had watched Erika Lust's short film Handcuffs, and been completely blown away by it. I saw it for the first time yesterday, and I have to say I agree. This is one of the most stylish, sensual, tense, beautifully filmed porn films I've ever seen - the only other producer I'm familiar with who comes close in terms of style is Restrained Elegance.
Handcuffs doesn't have any spanking in it, but if you enjoy restraint, voyeurism, D/s and blowjobs in bondage, you will almost certainly find it hot. And even if not, it's a shining example of the aesthetic standards it's possible for porn studios to aspire to.