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New Wave Porn: A Review of BrightDesire.com Part Two

by Rich Moreland, December 2015

This is Part Two of my review of MsNaughty’s BrightDesire.com. With the exception of those used in the final segment “Ending with Some Humor,” all photos are courtesy of the website.

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A Sample of the Movies

Today’s feminist porn is rooted in the pioneering work of the late Candida Royalle and her FEMME Productions. In this new century, feminist porn is so fluid that in the eyes of some it’s losing its original intention. Candida herself got caught up in the discussion on more than one occasion. As she once said to me, just because a woman makes the film does not mean it’s feminist.

Were she here to check out MsNaughty, Candida would be pleased. The Australian’s work is solid feminist stuff. She allows her performers to express themselves as they wish in scenes that are mildly scripted at best. Condoms and pop shots are choices they make and if the penetration is in the shadows, so be it. What is refreshingly absent is the repetitive acrobatic sex found in Porn Valley.

So here’s my take on some of her work. These films are the merest of possibilities available on a site that is a bonanza of good movie making.

Three’s Not a Crowd

Intertwined

Intertwined

“The Birthday Wish” is a delightful film issued in three parts. MsNaughty limits the length of her films to fifteen minutes, more or less. So if things run longer, there’s a part two and sometimes a part three. In the Director’s comments, the viewer learns that the movie was shot in Berlin and the two women, Livia and Nicole, are in their own fluid-bonded relationship so a respectful Mickey Mod uses a condom.

Lots of Affection

Lots of Affection

“Birthday Wish” is a vignette centering on Livia’s celebratory day; Mickey sings, clothes come off, and the trio begins kissing and caressing. Sexuality’s fun and natural flow steps forward as an expression of three intertwined people rather than three sets of mouths and genitalia. In Director’s Comments, MsNaughty mentions some cinematographic concerns in the shoot, specifically capturing bodies in motion. Genital close-ups are limited so don’t expect gonzo shots here.

Sharing

Sharing

If your take on porn is Evil Angel, Hustler, and Realty Kings, this film won’t do much for you.

Parts Two and Three carry on the playful tone of Part One and offer the penetration shots. There’s lots of oral with everyone involved and facial close-ups that tell the story of the sex. A careful analysis reveals slight gestures among the performers to ensure everyone is okay with the action. The chemistry is supercharged and real orgasms happen.

A Collared Lover

I decided to take a look at the consensual BDSM presented in “Kim and Jay: 24/7.” They are a real-life couple (she’s collared) and in the scene Kim is the aggressor despite her submissive status in their relationship. Jay’s role is to pleasure her with impact play before we get to Part Two where the sex occurs. Incidentally, Kim does shoot porn professionally, though that is not evident here.

Finding the Mood.

Finding the Mood.

They have a Daddy relationship, not uncommon in BDSM circles, as Jay appears somewhat older than Kim. As mentioned in Part One of this review, their post-shoot discussion found in the website’s interview section reveals they met online. They talk about the importance of pleasing each other to maintain equality in a relationship that challenges power imbalances.

Impact Play

Impact Play

MsNaughty’s cinematography is impressive and Kim is strikingly beautiful. The room is bright white with the bed covering a contrasting black. Several instruments from paddles to floggers are hanging the wall. There is a standing full-length mirror in a far corner that reflects the action on the bed. MsNaughty, who comments on the difficulty of maintaining consistent lighting in a small space, manages to catch some of the mirror, presenting the sex from two angles.

Kim is Ready

Kim is Ready

Kim is handcuffed to the bed until the sex begins. It’s mainly misch with a limit on Kim orally satisfying Jay. Her orgasm is real and there is no external pop.

This is how an actual BDSM couple looks, feels, and expresses mutual affection.

Playing in the Dungeon

My second choice among the BDSM films was shot in a sex club dungeon in Toronto. The performers are San Francisco’s Siouxsie Q and Mickey Mod, who has made a name for himself at Kink.com. “Yes, Sir” is divided into two parts with the second containing the penetrations, as is MsNaughty’s preference. There’s a St. Andrews cross to which Siouxsie is attached and some spanking and kissing.

Mickey Intices

Mickey Entices

A comment about Mickey Mod. Any man who wants to become a true lover by orally satisfying his lady ought to pay close attention to Mickey. His chemistry percolates with his co-stars to build the sexual heat with care.

The scene is dominated by heavy shadowing, perfect for creating a dungeon feel. The shoot is a decided contrast to the airiness of Kim and Jay. Also, for fans of more commercialized porn, the performers are veterans of adult film and they come across accordingly. The shoot ends with cuddling, typical of MsNaughty’s sex-positive philosophy.

The Cross

The Cross

In the Director’s Comments, MsNaughty evaluates making “Yes, Sir” and remarks that the episode’s flavor is a Fifty Shades of Grey spin-off. Though Siouxsie Q is portraying a newbie, she comes across as what she is, a professional sex worker. Interestingly, a bit of post-shoot drama challenges the definition of authentic sex in feminist porn.

The Sex

The Sex

Sex is Hotter than Tea?

“Sex or Tea?” is a seduction scene in which Rebecca gives her lover a choice of her or a beverage. He smartly takes her and a modified strip tease precedes the sex. The photography is sharp with a vibrancy that illuminates the bodies. It’s worth noting that Rebecca is a perfect example of the once standard porn girl: thin, cute, and fully shaved with perky boobs that complement her flawless body.

Stripping Down

Stripping Down

“Tea or Sex?” has an obvious commercialized feel with certain conventionalities emphasized. For example, there is an over-the-shoulder POV shot of Rebecca performing oral and she tends to verbalize her pleasures with incessant moaning. A handful of penetration close-ups distinguish this film from the other offerings on the site. By the way, Rebecca is careful to point her toes in fine porn fashion at all the right moments.

Stepping Up

Stepping Up

Throw in position changes–there’s cowgirl, reverse cowgirl (very uncomfortable for many performers) and standing doggie–with an external pop, and the picture is complete. If you want some standard porn with the natural flow characteristic of the other shoots, this is for you. It is particularly feminist in one important point, Rebecca seeks out the sex for her pleasure.

The Note

The Note.

The Note.

The winner of the 2015 Feminist Porn Awards for Best BDSM scene, “Instructed” also received recognition at the 2014 Berlin Porn Festival and Cinekink in NYC in 2015. Shot in Toronto in April 2014 during the Feminist Porn Week, it’s a solo scene that features Pandora Blake, a well-known erotic performer from the UK who also appears in other works by MsNaughty.

Getting Ready to Follow Instructions

Getting Ready to Follow Instructions

The premise is simple. Pandora’s real-life lover leaves her a note with instructions to ready herself for his visit. This was actually arranged beforehand to guarantee authenticity. When she arrives for the filming, Pandora has no idea what she is to do.

Following his instructions that include a butt plug and self-spanking with a hairbrush, she first strips down and self-caresses in front of a mirror.

The Mirror

The Mirror

Pandora playfully follows every detail to the fullest. The viewer joins with her as each step builds to her eventual self-induced orgasm.

Applying the Hairbrush

Applying the Hairbrush

MsNaughty notes that the scene is “one of the sexiest films” she’s ever made. I agree. Of all the movies I watched, this one is the most erotic. It’s arousal level for viewers of both sexes is sky-high.

Assignment Completed. Waiting.

Assignment Completed. Waiting.

Ending with Some Humor

Among the “Extras” offered on the website is a short film called “Perversion for (Feminist Fun And) Profit.” It is a spoof on the 1965 pseudo documentary by the same name. MsNaughty’s satirical approach caught my attention because I reference the original film in my book on feminist pornography. Today, the half-hour movie is in the public domain if you want a good chuckle.

Here's George!

Here’s George!

The narrator is George Putman, an LA-based TV news reporter and radio talk show host. His conservative credentials made him the perfect hire for the Citizens of Decent Literature, a group founded in Cincinnati by anti-porn zealot and Catholic, Charles Keating. Because previous organizations like the religiously driven Legion of Decency were saddled with a book burning reputation, the CDL changed tactics, preferring the obscenity shtick to censorship in their excoriation of porn. “Perversion for Profit” was shown to community groups nationwide and warns parents about the pitfalls of sex that will quickly turn their children into homosexuals, sadists, and general perverts.

For the anti-porn feminists whose heyday was to come in the 1970s and 80s, the film became grist for their anti-smut campaign about porn’s violence against women and children. MsNaughty intersperses snippets from her shoots into Putnam’s speech. The result is satire at its most hilarious.

The Message 1965 Style

The Message 1965 Style

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BrightDesire.com contains many more films that focus sex at its best: solo (male and female), toys, fetish, gay and genderqueer. When I began my review, it was quickly apparent that the website is the porn candy shop of good film making. I encourage you to take a look.

By the way, MsNaughty has a full-length feature out called The Fantasy Project. I haven’t seen it, but if I do, I’ll post a review here.

 

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A Porn Tale Wagging the Dog

The Deep Throat Sex Scandal Playbill courtesy David Bertolino

By Rich Moreland, January, 2012

A United States’ President watched porn while on the taxpayer’s dime and he was not a liberal.

Or, so the story goes.

Odd, considering he proclaimed in an October 2, 1970, speech that pornography had the power to “corrupt a society and a civilization.”

You guessed it, the words of Richard Nixon. The man, whose personal playfulness was only exceeded by the mating habits of two-toed sloths, apparently was willing to finesse his shadowy ways. In 1974 he ventured into the erotic, at least for an evening at the White House.

Nixon wanted his porno and an off Broadway play uses the President and his government to teach us a lesson about freedom, truth, justice, and porn.

But first . . .

It’s mid-January in Las Vegas and I’m chatting with Bill Margold over morning coffee at the Tuscany Suites. We were there for the annual Adult Video News convention, in reality  a carnival for fans and a weeklong grind for the industry. Bill and I have known each other for a time and I was anticipating more porn biz news to go with the cream in my java. Little did I realize that within a few minutes I would have the immeasurable delight to meet a clever entrepreneur named David Bertolino. Sandy haired with a cherub’s face and an amicable personality to match, David is the kind of guy who’d buy you lunch (or a beer) and top it off with a fascinating story as a kicker.

You’d leave with the feeling that you have a friend for the duration.

Within a short time, David interested me in his off-Broadway show, The Deep Throat Sex Scandal. He’s brought it cross-country from New York to L.A. for a six month run. Now, I know nothing about drama or film criticism and I haven’t seen his play yet, so I’ll pass judgment on it as entertainment at this point. But I do know history, so we had something instantly in common. When David mentioned the famous 1976 Deep Throat Memphis trial in which actor Harry Reems and organized crime’s Perainos (brothers, father and sons) were indicted on obscenity charges, the native Bostonian was playing ball in my park.

Incidentally, Deep Throat’s director Gerard Damiano and actress Linda Lovelace of oral gratification fame were granted immunity for their participation in the opening curtain of porn’s hardcore age. Harry and his manhood were not so lucky.

Over a second cup and an order of Danish, David treated me to a story I knew nothing of. My ears perked up like a hunting dog sensing its prey. Historians are always seeking their precious droplets from the Holy Grail known as “the past,” meted out in anecdotes, folklore, whispered secrets, and the like. That unknown incident, the new twist no one else has considered, is what transforms us into Indiana Joneses.

The tale came to David via Raymond Pistol, owner of Vegas’s Showgirls Video where Margold holds his annual “Legends of Erotica” inductions. Pistol bought the rights to the Deep Throat in the 1990’s from Anthony Peraino. Originally costing $25,000 to make, the film grossed over $600 million, David relates, a figure I’ve heard confirmed elsewhere. Organized crime’s Perainos were in the thick of the profits, or so the government was convinced.

Before we move on, a little background is necessary.

In 1970, a Presidential Commission appointed by former President Lyndon Johnson delivered its findings on pornography to the new chief executive, Richard Nixon. Because of its rumored liberal slant, Nixon had attempted to influence the panel after taking office. He added Charles Keating, an outspoken anti-porn crusader, to the group. (Yes, this is the same Keating who perpetrated California’s S&L scandals in the “go-go” eighties. Remember, he went to jail for conspiracy and fraud. Morality has no boundaries unless one gets caught, except of course, when it comes to sex.)

Nixon’s efforts were futile. To his outrage and Keating’s frustration, the commission’s findings did not substantiate the horrors in porn that conservatives were convinced existed.

Without personally reading the final document, Nixon panned it, declaring quite pompously in that famous October speech, “American morality will not be trifled with.” In short, Tricky Dick wanted nothing to do with the perceived corruption of adult film.

So it seems. . .

It’s no secret that good citizens and porn performers don’t always operate on different planets. After all, sex sells to everyone, including high-minded moralists who have the habit, as Bill prophetically says, of pushing smut away with the left hand while satisfying themselves with the right.

From what David could learn, Raymond Pistol claims that Nixon actually wanted to see Deep Throat and called for a print to be delivered to the White House. To seek legitimacy, the Perainos had opened a company in the San Fernando Valley, soon to be the mecca of adult film, as a way to dodge the organized crime tag. Their business, Bryanston Pictures, was instructed to hand over a copy of the movie to a limo momentarily arriving on their doorstep. The print ended up on a Presidential plane bound for Washington and a “Nixon-and-friends” screening that evening.

For verification, I contacted Pistol; he added that the story came from Lou “Butchie” Peraino, one of Tony Peraino’s sons.

Such generosity did not dissuade Nixon from lowering the legal hammer on porn. “As much as he enjoyed viewing it,” David said, “he still went after it.” Because of jokes and criticism emanating from Hollywood about the emerging Watergate scandal, Nixon, according to Bertolino, wanted to “go after the actor community.”

For those of you who aren’t up on Presidential history, Nixon was famous for his “enemy’s list.”

As we talked, David pointed out that the whole affair was a “true example of the tail wagging the dog.” Censuring the adult film community offered Nixon the opportunity to send a message of harassment to Tinsel Town.

Nixon wanted indictments to excoriate the evils of Deep Throat. He ordered Keating, now his attorney general, to find a conduit for the government’s pursuit of porn, in particular its distribution by the crime bosses.

The State of Tennessee was destined to become Nixon’s partner in purification. It had a smut chasing US attorney named Larry Parrish and a judge already on board to secure a conviction of any sexually explicit material that menaced the sanctity of the family. But political righteousness does not always come easy. Keating discovered that Parrish was unable to “find a single theater” that ran the film by the time the Perainos took over its distribution.

A Memphis grand jury had already handed down indictments based on a showing at the Tri-State Theater in November 1973. The Perainos came on board as distributors in December 1974, or so they claimed. (For those of you following the timeline here, Nixon left office in August 1974.) By that time, no theater would dare put reels of Deep Throat in its projectors.

What to do? David relates that the Attorney General was undaunted, instructing the prosecutor to “keep going, we have to have the trial there.”

An ingenious solution was proposed. A quick phone call from Keating to Parrish was required and that moment is reenacted in the play.

One of the Perainos’ distribution centers was in Florida; a small fact that influenced everything.

Here’s the tale as told to David via trial lawyer Alan Dershowitz of O.J. Simpson fame.

American Airlines and the Greyhound Bus Company provided transportation over and through the Volunteer State giving the feds the silver bullet for their porn target. You see, Tennessee is on the way to the Sunshine State. The prints carried on the planes as they made their way to the Atlantic coast and the film copies on the buses motoring over the roads that served the solid citizens of the Bible Belt tainted the state. The populace was endangered; morality teetered on the abyss of oblivion.

What little choice did Nixon have?  “Citizens were harmed,” David tells me with tongue firmly implanted in cheek. Prosecutions were the only answer. Please note that corporate America, the play pal of politicians, dodged the bullet. American and Greyhound would end up as un-indicted codefendants.

The story of the trial and its challenge to free speech and justice is the essence of The Deep Throat Sex Scandal. It’s in two acts and I’ll comment later on how Betolino blocked out the scene when Linda does Harry, an cinematic flashpoint that brought filmed pornography to Middle America’s doorstep and showed every woman that sex is more than a poke. It is ingenuity that even Nixon and Keating would love, done with obfuscation and a collision of sobriety and tomfoolery!

A note of interest on this production that tells us everyone involved has a great time. Alan Dershowitz was Harry Reems’ lawyer for his successful appeal of his Deep Throat conviction. It turns out Alan has quite a sense of humor. David says the attorney saw the show in its early previews, loved it and lingered afterward “for a generous photo session with all the cast and crew.”

Here’s the best part. After the performance, Alan complimented everyone on reenacting a significant moment in the history of free speech. Then, turning a little somber, he commented there was a small problem. I’ll let Alan speak for himself.

“The actor that played my role should have looked more like Brad Pitt!” he said with an impish twinkle in his eye.

There certainly is a lot of wagging of assorted tales in this production!

See The Deep Throat Sex Scandal if you have a chance. I suspect the tale wagging is worth the price of admission.

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For a link to the play check out http://www.deepthroattheplay.com/

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