Tag Archives: Smash Pictures

The Personification of Allure

by Rich Moreland, February 2014

One performer’s dominating presence is felt within the pulse of the Adult Entertainment Expo. From the media room to the halls around the convention, Chanel Preston moves from one interview to another, corralled by PR reps, cameras, microphones, and journalists of every ilk. She’s stunningly gorgeous, an energized sex machine and a Spiegler girl, not to mention the co-host of this year’s Awards Show. The demand on her time and attention far outstrips any girl at this festival. But there is much more to the native Alaskan than a resume.

“Sexual Goddess,” a well-worn mythical title, is how Chanel is identified in a press release. I’ve been around porn girls for a few years now and no one has really impressed me as a goddess. That’s not a term to throw around casually.

But it fits Chanel Preston.

Chanel before the Awards Show Photo by Bill Knight

Chanel on the Red Carpet
Photo by Bill Knight

Goddesses’ have charisma, that special something that defines a woman who lights up a room with an emotional blaze that slays a million moths. Marilyn Monroe had charisma and so does Madonna. Chanel Preston, her looks, her personality and her professionalism, competes at the highest goddess level. She is the personification of an allure and magnetism that intimidates, hypnotizes, and arouses.

Crazy and Intense Adrenaline Things

After chatting in passing over a two-day period, Chanel and I finally sit down for a formal interview. Her energy drives our conversation. This 5’8” beauty thrives in an unforgiving industry that marches over the career carcasses of once star struck girls who figured anyone with a love for sex can’t miss in porn.

We talk about her film work in the BDSM genre. Chanel explains that it [BDSM] is not a part of her personal life but she does take what she learns in porn home with her and part of that is an affection for bondage play.

Talking in the media room Photo by Bill Knight

Talking in the media room
Photo by Bill Knight

“I love power play, I like switches,” Chanel says, in describing the dynamics of BDSM. She talks about having chemistry with some play partners and if it is just right, “I’m more than willing to be tied up,” she admits through a devilish smile. Chanel has her fun, of course, but BDSM “as a performance” is what excites her.

“I get off on doing really crazy and intense adrenaline things” Chanel says. “So for me, that’s like getting gang banged, I love doing that.”

This health club devotee films frequently for Kink.com in roles that are divided between submission and dominance, but admits she’s more submissive in her personal life especially if the guy is emotionally important to her.

“I do like dominant men,” she says, but prefers a bit of flexibility in their demeanor.

“I like it when a guy knows when to step back and I kind of take over a little bit,” though taking over is entirely relative.

“That doesn’t mean I have to take control over him,” Chanel declares, “that’s where the power play comes in, that back and forth.” She adds, “It makes me feel like the guy is comfortable with me and he can let go and he’s comfortable with himself.”

Maybe the best sexual lesson Chanel Preston offers everyone is being at ease and secure with yourself and your partner. It’s quite possible, in her mind, that the BDSM film genre sends this message better than any other. In fact, a youthful Chanel reinforced her belief in gender equality when she joined the wrestling team in high school.

Being told that she couldn’t became a challenge that she could.

The End of “Fifty”

The word at this year’s convention is Fifty Shades of Grey is now old news. The BDSM phenomenon is over, at least from a money-making point of view, and the likelihood the industry will increasingly invest in bondage films is not high.

As a BDSM insider, Chanel Preston references a movie she and I both know, Smash Pictures’ Bound by Desire series. The film is a “Shades of Grey type of movie where the focus wasn’t specifically on the domination but was testing the viewer’s boundaries,” she says. The idea is to use the “storyline” as an introduction to BDSM for the casual viewer.

It’s “for women who haven’t done [bondage] before but are kind of curious about it. They like the idea of it, but they don’t necessarily want to see it hardcore,” this former stripper says.

A fun moment in Bound by Desire Photo courtesy of Smash Pictures

A fun moment in Bound by Desire
Photo courtesy of Smash Pictures

I mention performers who shoot at San Francisco’s Kink.com where the BDSM landscape is true to the lifestyle and suggest that when shooting a bondage movie for anyone else it must seem pretty tame for a performer.

Chanel laughs, pointing out that “to us, it does feel really silly, but if I had no experience with it, maybe it wouldn’t,” a recognition that everyone’s tastes are different.

“But because I’ve had so much experience with it, it’s a little goofy.”  She laughs.

But isn’t sex supposed to be fun?

Porn as Art

As we move through our interview, I ask Chanel Preston about porn as art (it is, she says) and porn performers as artists (they are, is her response). She describes working with different director types, some of whom stick closely to the script and others who get more creative.

“You can tell when you work with [a director] to what degree they feel like they are an artist,” Chanel says. “For some it’s a true creation and they have an actual passion for it [and] for getting their vision to the viewer.”

Mentally sorting through some of the directors I know, I cannot disagree.

I’m left with one more thought.

My guess is that Chanel Preston is going to expand upon her own directing ideas in time and hopefully write a few scripts. Porn fans can rest assured that it will all be accomplished with merriment and lots of exhaustive sex to push every assortment of envelopes a little further.

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Try Something New

by Rich Moreland, October, 2013

This the final installment of the Bound by Desire series. In order to appreciate its contribution to the new submission pornography genre, all three films should be viewed in their entirety.

BOUNDBYDESIRE3 DVD-f

Bound by Desire: A Property of Love, is the latest in a series of BDSM romances from Smash Pictures. Part of the rising “submission pornography” genre, this film is a cornucopia of bondage in a single sitting.

The lovely and hard bodied Casey Calvert is the film’s anchor. She’s her husband’s collared slave and they have a mutual admiration society, he wants her to have fun and she wants him to play with other sluts.

Strawberries and Wedded Bliss Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Strawberries and Wedded Bliss
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Enter Casey’s old friend Natasha Nice, a fresh possibility for Casey’s mate (Richie Calhoun) to expand his domming skills.

“You’ll have fun. I want you to try something new,” Casey assures Natasha.

As the film opens, Richie is seducing Natasha over a snack of strawberries. Casey kneels in front of them, offering her back as a human table. There’s a bit of drool leaking around the ball gag in her mouth, very cool. Casey Calvert, an enthusiastic and real life submissive, is at her best at this moment. Her sensual kinkiness will grace the film throughout.

The Table and the Gag. Photo courtesy of Smash Pictures

The Table, the Gag, and the Girl on her Knees
Photo courtesy of Smash Pictures

Everything in this film is mutual and consensual, as BDSM relationships should be. But a newbie requires a little prepping. Casey tells Natasha she and Richie are open minded. She is allowed to have other men if Richie approves. And there’s fairness. Since he “officially collared” her, Richie has abandoned his other subs.

This is marriage, BDSM style.

An uncertain Natasha is interested, but needs convincing. “He beats you and ties you up, and you like it?” she asks to Casey.

It’s all about giving him pleasure, a nonchalant Casey replies. Her satisfaction is in “giving up control.” Casey likes being flogged, the sensation is intoxicating and the sex afterward is “so much more intense.” Natasha’s expression reveals all. She’s stuck in a vanilla groove and the needle needs moving. Her last boyfriend was strictly “missionary,” she laments, and the prospects of something new are enticing.

The Conversation that Convinces Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

The Conversation that Convinces
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

But there is a small problem. “Aren’t these the type of things that can end marriages?” Natasha suggests.

Casey reassures her about trust and compliments Natasha’s sexiness, all designed to persuade her buxom friend to be a sub for a day.

So while Casey becomes walk away furniture, Richie invites Natasha to participate in a self-indulgent play scenario over strawberries. The amply endowed French actress is game and so is the viewer.

From there the first sex scene of the movie is ready to go. Natasha Nice is a beauty and submits superbly. There are a string of fetishes offered: spanking, blindfolds, rope, paddles, and a brief flash of suspension. Addressing him as “Sir,” Natasha begs for the sexual  intensity Casey craves.

When Natasha is released from her bonds and the sex moves to the bed, the rope marks on her wrists become that delightful touch BDSMers know well.

Four Women

This film accomplishes its task, show BDSM sex in a way couples and women want to see it and try it. Bound by Desire Three does not play to a particular performer though Casey Calvert carries the movie on her back (pun intended) as she demonstrates in the opening scene. Rather, the film plays to the fetish.

Central to Bound‘s meaning is a look at four women, all representing a different aspect of BDSM.

First there is the romantic couple who block out the rest of the world in their own playroom. Allie Haze is trusting and comfortable with her lover Ryan Driller. In one scene she is suspended, flogged, and nailed from the rear. By far the favorite of BDSM fans in this film, the scene alone is worth the price of the DVD.

Allie and Ryan Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Allie and Ryan
Photo Courtesy of Smash PicturesAllie

Then there is Casey, of course, a slave and the kinkiest of all film’s players. Unlike the other girls, the viewer gets the feeling that if her marriage did end, Casey would find another master.

Next is Natasha, the neophyte who is discovering the fetish. We are convinced she will be a convert. Lastly, there is the older woman dominatrix and younger male sub. Julia Ann and Logan Pierce fill this niche.

Of course, any submission porn film must have a contrasting vanilla scene to give the fetish its meaning. In this case, the beautiful Alexis Ford fulfills that role in a well-shot bedroom scene with Johnny Castle.

Alexis and Johnny Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Alexis and Johnny
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Ice Cubes and Riding Crops

“I’m kinky and it takes more to get me going, to satisfy me,” Casey says early in the narrative. She’s quite different from the other girls: Allie took her time getting into the fetish and Natasha, who might one day reach that point, is still a bondage rookie.

In the dining room scene, Natasha and Casey are bound spread-eagled at opposite ends of the table, ball gags an added touch. Richie and Johnny will drink a little wine and play with the submissives using ice cubes on nipples and belly along with deftly placed strikes of riding crops.

Two on the Table Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Two on the Table
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Casey Calvert’s reactions are authentic, not scripted. She arches her back wantonly with each blow, an energy that signals her satisfaction. Natasha is more subdued. This is a vital contrast in the film; it shows the viewer the difference between a true kinkster and a girl just getting started in BDSM and maybe not sure where it will go.

Later when her turn finally comes to show her sexual skills, Casey concludes the film with its hottest sex scene. She’s a screamer and Johnny Castle will accommodate her with deep penetration. Once again Director Jim Powers gives the viewer rope marks on Casey’s ankles and wrists. He lets BDSMers know he understands their fetish and tells vanilla viewers that a few marks are expected and cherished.

The sex scenes in this film are all good. Allie Haze and Casey Calvert standout with their oral skills, Julia Ann is the perfect MILF, Natasha and Alexis are veterans who know how to frame their bodies for the camera.

But it’s the kink that’s the heart of the matter.

A Muse and a Messenger

Going over the Script: Casey, Richie, and Natasha Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Going over the Script: Casey, Richie, and Natasha
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Good fortune came my way when I had the opportunity to chat with Casey Calvert about making this film. Being a part of the Bound by Desire series was “really a treat” for her.

When I mentioned the submission porn genre, Casey enthusiastically replied, “I loved the opportunity to act out a BDSM fantasy storyline.” She went on to praise the people at Smash for producing “a great series for couples curious about BDSM.”

“As a lifestyler,” Casey added, “I feel honored to be the one to introduce new people to the fetish world.”

In this writer’s view Casey Calvert was the perfect choice for this series. She’s the real deal, a gorgeous kinky performer who doesn’t get enough rough sex and bondage for those who like red marks with their porn. Hopefully, this will change going forward because Casey’s fans want to see her in the perils of bondage having one raging orgasm after another.

She’s the muse and the messenger for the new genre.

The Muse Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

The Muse of Submission Porn
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

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Submission Pornography

by Rich Moreland, August, 2013

Rarely do I publish a precursor to a film review, but this time it’s needed. Look for the movie’s full analysis soon.

The Submission of Emma Marx, an engaging film from New Sensations, is in the vanguard of a budding adult film genre. The movie establishes a style of pornography that is romantic and erotic with a hardcore kick of dominance and submission (D/s) that satisfies a woman’s desires.

Emma presents an updated take on an old theme that was once, by virtue of the delicacy of the female sex, considered to be exclusively a male fantasy. In a 1920s classic stag film called An English Tragedy, a jilted boyfriend captures his ex and ties her spreadeagled for his sexual thrills. It’s a revenge tale and she doesn’t have fun. A decade or so later, a terrified Fay Wray is bound between two pillars in a blockbuster known as King Kong. She’s a sacrificial offering the island natives string up for the big ape. The twist is the “beast” falls in love and gives his all for the “beauty” in a fatal plunge from the Empire State Building. Both films are love stories with strong bondage overtones.

In neither of these productions, one underground and the other legit, is the woman as victim expected to be sexually aroused.

Dancing on the doorstep of the explicit sex era, naked women are tortured for male sophomoric jollies in sexploitation films like White Slaves of Chinatown (1964) and Love Camp 7 (1968). Referred to as roughies and kinkies, these movies are high camp soft core at its most brutal. Nary a girl has fun except when it comes to settling the score.

In 1975, a harsh BDSM tale hit the big screen, the film version of the French novel, The Story of O. Society’s proper decorum insisted that women were not to like this soft core fictional account of abuse for abuse’s sake, sexual slavery under the lash. But it, too, is a love story and O can always walk away. BDSMers call it consensuality, though Webster doesn’t recognize the term. Adult film responds the same year with a Gerard Damiano O knockoff called The Story of Joanna, a movie remembered more for the legendary Jamie Gillis than its combo of bondage (which is pretty tame) and sex. Incidentally, like O, Joanna (played by Terri Hall) emerges as the narrative’s strongest character.

Fast forward to the second decade of the twenty-first century and the print sensation, Fifty Shades of Grey. At long last, female desire is validated, albeit in a semi-desperate “must reform him” setting that finds excuses for the perverted male. Liking BDSM for its own sake, you see, is still troublesome. Nevertheless, Fifty jarred the submission door open for adult film. Women who previously did not buy into the dungeon of discipline and pain are now willing to take a second look at D/s sex in the name of love, sacrifice, and dark pleasure.

Though adult film’s road to the BDSM Land of Oz remains a slogging trek, the horizon is brightening. In this century, Porn Valley’s passable blindfolds and light floggings are now counterbalanced with a rough and tumble niche product from San Francisco’s internet giant, Kink.com. But where does this leave female viewers and couples who like a bit of romance with their soft corded flogger?

Enter a diminutive girl named Emma.

Emma Photo courtesy of Jeff Koga

Thoughtful in Her Pleasures
Photo courtesy of Jeff Koga

Written from a hetero female standpoint, The Submission of Emma Marx introduces a woman’s take on romance with a powerfully kinky flavor. The movie experiments with the midway point between the psychological tension and passion of sex women embrace and the stark “beat and punish” fantasy of Kink.com.

This new type of porn succeeds with solid storytelling and creative directing. However, the vital ingredient is the female protagonist. She must be vulnerable, assertive, relish her discipline as a prelude to sex, have real orgasms, and never lose the power of her character, a tall order for any girl. This is where Emma Marx shines. The energetic Penny Pax, trained in BDSM performances at Kink.com, is an authentic star in a business that too often proclaims every girl a star. She is superlative in a beautiful narrative.

By the way, Emma Marx is not alone in its exploration of submission pornography. Smash Pictures’ Bound by Desire series adds its voice to the field. But for now, New Sensations leads the pack in this new genre with a finely crafted film that is as much art as it is steamy sex.

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My Neighbor’s Wife?

by Rich Moreland, July 2013

This is the second installment of Bound by Desire from Smash Pictures. The films are best viewed as a package.

BOUNDBYDESIRE2 FT

Bound by Desire, Part 2 continues the tale of lust, love, and bondage presented in the original episode. The viewer meets three women whose friendships are bound up, pun intended, in a neighborly wife-swapping bondage club. The girls are the toys of their husbands and lovers, or so it seems, because these dominant/submissive relationships are not always what they appear to be.

Evan gets Elexis ready for some fun. Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Evan gets Elexis ready for some fun.
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

The story introduces Elexis Monroe and Chanel Preston, both connected to Evan Stone. Elexis is his slutty neighborhood playmate who, despite her resigning manner, enjoys his attention. Chanel is Evan’s demanding wife. She gets off watching hubby flog and skewer Elexis like a freight train racing through a tunnel. Though Chanel holds center stage among the guys, is she really the best whore in the cul-de-sac?

Next is Allie Haze. Though she’s out to remake her man into a less fetish-minded lover, she inevitably slips into the group’s bondage tentacles. Her man, Ryan Driller, wants to move their sexcapades into high gear via his personal netherworld of BDSM delights. Allie confesses to her friend and the third girl in this saga, Casey Calvert, that she’s scared. Whips and chains don’t do much for her, or do they?

Allie Haze Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Allie Haze
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Casey advises Allie to back off with Ryan, but it’s too late for that now. She’s already been seduced and is in too deep. “It’s weird,” Allie says, “but I want him to tie me up and have his way with me. . . I just don’t want any scars.”

In the fetish community she means “marks,” but despite that brief stumble, Allie reveals the film’s underlying mission: educate the viewer about the BDSM lifestyle. More on that shortly.

Casey’s desires are a swirl of confusion. Part One puts her on hold, but in this episode Casey upstages Chanel with a sex performance par excellence. A pile driving Evan works to keep up with this voracious tramp in the film’s conclusion. No wonder Casey Calvert is a hot commodity in porn today as is Chanel Preston, who is signed as a host for the upcoming 2014 Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas.

The Deal

Bound by Desire offers a sexual cornucopia that entertains on various levels. The film has none of the repetition of straight gonzo. The action is never a yawner because each scene offers a different interpretation of what it means to be sexual. Rather than rely on the standard porn formulas—girl/girl, anal, and DPs—the script maintains a couples-friendly mood with how-tos for bondage enthusiasts.

The hardcore fan will relish in the rough and tumble sex that spices up the film’s BDSM play. Exploring shadowy desires that are beyond “normal” can be daunting for bondage newbies, as Allie and Casey are destined to discover.

Casey's Wedding Picture. Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Casey’s Wedding Day.
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Self-deception is all over this film. Though Evan reminds a reluctant Casey, “Women need discipline,” it’s the neighborhood men who are obliging their housewives and lovers.

Casey wants love and trust but must prepare herself to please her husband, Richie Calhoun. Eventually she yields, devouring the carnality of ball gags and floggers with a vigor that is stunning. Is this really what she wants or is she fooling herself?

On the other hand, Allie is convinced Ryan is becoming more “normal” while she is unwittingly drifting in the opposite direction. Will she admit to herself that she loves the bondage scene?

Allie looks on as Ryan warms up Teal. Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Allie looks on as Ryan warms up Teal in the playroom.
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Meanwhile, the experienced Chanel is ever demanding, letting Evan know who is boss. “I really enjoy watching you beat these women for me,” she tells him. But she’s a prisoner of her desire to self-pleasure. She loves watching tapes of her husband working over Elexis.

For Chanel's entertainemt and Elexis' fun. Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

For Chanel’s entertainemt and Elexis’ fun.
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Chanel later insists that Evan persuade Richie to tie her up and whip her. “Have him fuck me,” she insists, implying that she is short on patience. “I want you to do anything I tell you to do. That was the deal.”  Bottom line? Chanel cannot find gratification without Evan’s willingness to follow her orders.

But the triumph of this story is Casey. Her sex with Evan is the best in the film. Manhandled like a trussed-up rag doll, she’s a screamer who drives the scene. There is no doubt that Casey Calvert pushes down and dirty to a new level in the neighborhood.

Easier Said than Done

The story deconstructs myths surrounding the bondage fetish. In conversation with an emotionally stressed Casey, Chanel relates what all BDSMers know.

Chanel controls her submission for her pleasure. Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Chanel’s submission is for her pleasure.
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

“A dom is nothing without a good sub,” she says. The sub has the control and the power. “That’s what makes for a wonderful relationship.”

Chanel doesn’t stop there. The “façade” of BDSM play, she reminds Casey, is that the sub always dictates the show. It’s an applause moment for every BDSM aficionado who knows the game and a revelation for anyone contemplating a taste of ball gags and restrains in his or her personal life.

Casey’s education gets another lesson. The element of trust in a BDSM relationship is vital and Allie steps up to carry on the conversation. She tells Casey that the playroom scene will serve her needs and take care of her in a loving protective way. But good doms are rare, Allie implies, and submissives must trust another person completely because “our safety and well-being, physical and mental,” depend on it. Then you can “let yourself go” and enjoy your fun. But, Allie warns, “It’s easier said than done.”

Allie admits the play scene with Ryan is getting better because she is learning how to assume the role of his sub for her own pleasure. In allowing Ryan to flog her, Allie says in a voice over, she “became more aware of his need for my love.” In return, she’s found sexual excitement in the fetish, something they now share.

Bound by Desire communicates that BDSM is not violence and pain forced on helpless victims by sadistic perverts. It’s a consenting sexual experience. A dom’s task is to enhance the sub’s pleasure and the sub can always end an uncomfortable scene.

Footprint 

A Jim Powers’ movie offers cinematic notables, artistic images that are as good as it gets in adult film.

In one scene, Richie flogs Teal Conrad, a willing sub Ryan offers him. She’s attached to a St. Andrew’s Cross in Ryan’s playroom.

Before they get into each other sexually, Richie releases her from her cuffs, something not all BDSMers would do, incidentally. As if intuitively knowing that, Teal quickly grabs the straps above her head, creating a visual simulation of restraint as Richie orally satisfies her. An overhead shot focuses on Teal’s ecstasy as she looks upward toward the camera.

Richie captures Teal's attention. Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Richie captures Teal’s attention.
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Powers is a master at capturing the female expression in the throes of frenzied pleasure, one of the reasons his work is so appealing. Once Richie digs into Teal’s body, there’s hair pulling and a flogger wrapped around Teals’ neck as a makeshift collar to control her, all effective BDSM elements that add an erotic touch.

The dinner table during a filming break. Clockwise beginning at lower left: Casey, Richie, Evan, and Chanel Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

The dinner table during a filming break. Clockwise beginning at lower left: Casey, Richie, Evan, and Chanel
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Two classic images standout in the film. First, a nude Casey is tied to her chair in the dining room while the others enjoy their meal. It’s a glimpse into her personal fantasy of where her desires are leading her. Nobody seems to notice her confinement because it’s a well-placed dream element. Of course, being bound and naked in front of a clothed audience is not unusual in BDSM play.

Casey's fantasy. No one seems to notice. Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Casey’s fantasy. No one seems to notice.
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

During Chanel’s masturbation scene, the computer screen showing Evan and Elexis sits on a table beside Casey who is tied spreadeagled to the bed. Chanel has slipped into her solo world, watching one woman being penetrated while fantasizing about the other.

But there is a twist here which Powers captures with a blended overlay of the three women. As Chanel vigorously stimulates herself, Elexis’s rapture on the computer screen appears behind her. The camera angle is from Casey’s perspective so that her cuffed foot becomes the predominant image in the montage. The cinematographic moment is Casey’s immobile foot covering Chanel’s crotch with her big toe solidly between Chanel’s boobs.

Casey watches while Chanel has fun. Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Casey watches while Chanel enjoys herself.
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

The image sends the message that Casey’s “footprint” is all over this story. Is she stamping out the competition for top community slut?

Normal will Bore You

For anyone who tries BDSM, he or she experiences the same excitement, fear, and enticement that characterize an adolescent’s sexual awakening. When relationships are formed, predictable results emerge.

Allie and Ryan cuddle, showing mutual respect with an almost sophomoric touch. Of course, sex compliments their affection but what if the sex revolves around a fetish? They appear to make it work, a valuable lesson for bondage neophytes.

Their scenes are a contrast to what the other couples offer. The internal cum shot, virtually unheard of in today’s pornography, is a nice touch for a woman-friendly film. Throw in a bit of nestling afterward and tenderness moves the moment.

Casey Calvert looking her best. Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Casey Calvert looking her best.
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Casey is much like a teenager falling in love for the first time with an older, more experienced boy. She is reticent and confused, not quite comfortable about love with Richie, trying to reconcile it with her expectations. As the movie winds down, Richie reveals the truth to Casey, “Normal would bore you and you’d be gone.” Is it a sign she’s into the scene? Can she meld her love for Richie with this newly discovered fondness for rough sex?

Chanel and Evan are in an older relationship that is a bit jaded, seeming at times more like an arrangement. Each uses the other for sexual variety especially when introducing like-minded friends into their playpen. What can we do when we get bored with each other? Put sex on tape, of course!

The conclusion of Part 2 dovetails back to the beginning of Part 1. The viewer senses there’s competition for the neighborhood’s hottest bondage tramp . As Evan pounds away at Casey in the final scene, the camera that recorded his previous adventures must be surreptitiously rolling in the background. Chanel will take a look at her rivals making Bound by Desire a film within a film.

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Her Trampy Best

by Rich Moreland, June 2013

Note: The history of BDSM porn dates to the “porno chic” era. Films like The Story of Joanna (1975) and A Coming of Angels (1977) are classics featuring the late Jaime Gillis who liked his women submissive. Hardcore sex is blended with bondage to titillate viewers whose taste ran in that direction.

Onto the soft-core scene came the French film The Story of O in 1975, a dark tale of submission based the novel of the same name. The film addresses deeply hidden taboos within polite culture at the time.

From the mid-1980s through much of the 1990s, the feds cracked down on pornographers and the worry over violence and penetrative sex on-screen took center stage. When whips and floggers are the basis for a film of that era, their use is fairly light and explicit sex is avoided. The work of filmmakers like Fred Lincoln, Ernest Green, and Bruce Seven was seductive at that time, but tame compared with today’s new horizons in the BDSM adult genre.

The new century is moving to the ultimate— heavy fetish mixed with acrobatic hardcore sex. The standard now emanates from San Francisco’s Kink.com. But not everyone is into Kink’s extreme filming. Roughing up women in an atmosphere of apparent humiliation is not on everyone’s viewing guide, especially couples who share their porn interests with each other.

With the film Bound by Desire, Smash Pictures is tinkering with a new formula for romance and flogging, kisses and ball gags, all complimented with penetrative sex. Perfect for the couples market, it presents women expressing their desires and facing the contradictions within them. A bit of character development emerges and gives reasons for the on-screen sex, a rarity to today’s gonzo porn market. In short, the old adage “You always hurt the one you love,” cannot be more intimate!

Bound By Desire Front

*          *          *          *          *

Degrees of Commitment

In the opening scene of Bound by Desire, Part 1: A Leap of Faith, Elexis Monroe is preparing to receive the attentions of Evan Stone.

She’ll be tied face down on a bed, flogged, and caressed. All the while, a mounted camera that is part of the cast is across the room picking up the action.

Who are Elexis and Evan—husband and wife, horny neighbors, members of a bondage club?

Elexis at first appears uneasy. “Let’s just do it,” she says to Evan, dropping her robe. The action accelerates and Elexis’ guilt-ridden ecstasy, simultaneously intriguing and troubling her, peeks through. Her sex with Evan is anticipation stroked by nagging doubts. Is she having too much fun in something that is over-the-top kinky?

As the scene heats up, the camera moves to Elexis’ face. Her wantonness draws the viewer into the authenticity of a BDSM encounter while posing the question that lies at the heart of this provocative film. Is a BDSM relationship normal?

For Elexis and Evan, apparently it is. Their hard sex establishes the tone of submission that is the centrality of this film. It will play out in the lives of three women, each with varying degrees of commitment to the BDSM fetish.

Let’s Go Play

The BDSM lifestyle involves giving oneself over to the fetish. It’s never an easy decision. Though a master-slave relationship can be sweetly and sexually tantalizing, red flags of fear and weirdness flutter in minds of all BDSMers. After all, they dwell on the margins of cultural acceptability. What would the neighbors think if they found out?

First, there is Chanel Preston, eager for discipline, punishment, and rough sex. She is Evan Stone’s wife and from the outset it’s evident that she is powerful, dictating to those around her. Chanel’s kitchen conversation with her husband establishes that they are in this together. As the viewer will see later, Evan does his wife’s bidding, a seeming contradiction to her role as the submissive in their relationship, but not an unusual circumstance in the world of tops and bottoms.

The Controller Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

The Powerful
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Over dinner with Evan, Richie Calhoun, and Casey Calvert, Chanel is haughty and mocking toward Casey, the second woman in this story. Chanel tells the shy, reticent girl that it’s exciting to be shared with other men when your master insists. Chanel teasingly asks Casey if she has ever been dommed by Ryan Driller, a man who “collects” women to punish.

“No, I never subbed for him,” she responses quietly, as if under an interrogation.

To stir the atmosphere, Chanel takes charge of the table conversation for Casey’s benefit and her own ultimate pleasure. Evan takes the hint. Turning to Richie, who is sitting next to Casey, he says,

“Sir, do me the honor of beating my wife.”

Triumphant, Chanel responds enthusiastically, “Let’s go play!”

As the scene with Chanel cranks up, the punishment meted out is a BDSM delight. Evan binds his wife to the bed, applies a flogger to parts of her body, then pauses to watch Richie work on her with a riding crop. The red marks on Chanel blister the room with anticipation for the sex. Chanel’s oral performance on Richie is superb, and that’s for starters.

A licentious seductress who plays the males for her own pleasure, Chanel’s carnality feeds theirs. Her eyes exude raw sexuality. Like Elexis in the first sex scene, Chanel Preston is worth the price of this DVD.

Meek and Submissive

On the other hand, Casey’s situation plagues her with nagging uncertainty. Does she want the rough and tumble lifestyle with Richie? He’s collared her, an expression of affection among BDSMers, securing her devotion to do his bidding. Plans are validated that Casey is to be given to Richie’s friends so that they might sample what he experiences. But contradiction fills the air.

Meek and submissive, Casey is the perfect slave who is unconvinced of her part in her emotional bargain with Richie. An older and wiser Evan understands her emotional dilemma and knows how to heighten a woman’s sexual excitement. Sexuality is brain based, after all, and words fuel desire.

The Unconvinced Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

The Doubter
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

“Do you like the attention you get from your master by doing exactly what he tells you?” Evan asks Casey in the hallway outside the dining room.

“Yes,” she responds softly. Her slightly stooped shoulders are an open book of submission.

“Women need discipline,” he tells her with a firm, quiet voice, knowing that words that offend most women, excite slave sluts.

Casey’s is uneasy. Haunted by visions of what she perceives “normal” to be, a loving vanilla courtship, she has doubts about life with Richie. How can she reconcile these contradictory feelings?

Casey turns to the one friend she believes can reinforce her ideas of romance, a head-over-heels in love Allie Haze, who is absorbed in changing her dominant boyfriend, Ryan Driller.

Vanilla Flavored Bondage?

Enter girl number three. Allie Haze is enjoying lots of rollicking sex in Bound by Desire—the ice cream scene (vanilla flavored, of course) is not to be missed—but there are growing hints that her lover has not yet thrown off his BDSM urges. To complicate Allie’s feelings, one of Ryan’s subs, Teal Conrad, is strapped to a St. Andrew’s Cross and flogged, while Allie, bound to a spanking bench in the scene, looks on. Once again director Powers focuses on the expressions of both women. Watching Teal flinch under the flogger’s impact, Allie is not sure she’s reformed Ryan, or that she personally has parted ways with BDSM’s haunting allure.

The Reformer Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

The Reformer
Photo Courtesy of Smash Pictures

To reinforce the cottage-in-the-country romance Casey thinks she wants, director Powers introduces Kimmy Olsen and Danny Wylde who perform run-of-the-mill boy/girl sex. Though not the hottest in the film, the scene does drive home the definition of “normal” and serves to move the story forward. By the way, Kimmy is cute as a button, pleasant on the eyes, and orally talented to boot.

The drama is now in focus. Casey’s thoughts drift into the wonderland of love that supposedly defines what a woman wants. But does it work for every woman? And, is it really for her?

Two Sexual Worlds

In a beautifully directed masturbation scene, Jim Powers captures the essence of Bound by Desire. Up to her neck in water, Casey relaxes in a bathtub and pleasures herself. As her arousal increases, Casey’s hips and body rise slowly above the waterline. This is a symbolic rebirth reminiscent of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, a goddess emerging from the sea. Casey’s sexuality is “cumming” out again from the watery womb of its original being. This time she is destined to be swept into the whirlpool of dominance and submission where all is not what it seems to be.

This episode also speaks for the film’s women. They are re-energizing their own sexual experiences. Chanel relishes her journey; Allie believes she has found her way, while Casey takes hesitating steps.

Using her nasty submissiveness as female empowerment, Chanel calls the shots with Evan, getting what she wants. Allie’s gushing relationship with Ryan, fueled by school girl love, is headed for a BDSM train wreck she thinks she can negotiate. Casey’s doubts and fears conflict with her desires. She wants the love and trust she believes Allie has found. Unnerved by the prospect of being whored out by Richie and equally hesitant around Chanel, the conflicted Casey is drawn to both like a moth to light.

How best to cope? Pleasure yourself and prepare. As the film’s centerpiece, Casey symbolically teeters between two sexual worlds, vanilla and fetish, knowing that the latter’s seductive powers will likely win out.

Part Two will tell that tale. Will Allie, who is farthest from the BDSM fold, be secured into the fetish? Will Casey join Chanel’s commitment to submissive pleasures? And the camera, the sentinel that captures every encounter, what is it all about? Who is filming these scenes, an underground cult of sadists and masochists, the neighbors next door indulging their passions, or a curious Evan and Chanel?

Final Thoughts

The BDSM scenes presented in Bound by Desire include the interpersonal affections that BDSMers revere in their play. In the flogging scene with Teal, Ryan holds her hand briefly as he applies the leather to her butt; Evan caresses Elexis after spanking her; kissing is evident throughout all the scenes, despite the presence of an accoutrement BDSMers adore, ball gags. Followers of bondage and discipline express themselves emotionally in ways not always understood by mainstream culture, reminding the viewer that in vanilla adult film intimacy is not always assured.

On a technical note, the film’s BDSM rigging comes via the talented John Wilkes of John Wilkes Photography. His handiwork is precise and clean, adding an artistic touch to the production.

Finally, the women are superb; each is at her trampy best. Chanel Preston demonstrates why she has been selected as a host for the upcoming 2014 AVN Awards. Allie Haze, who won two best actress awards in 2013, is the perfect choice for the sweet girl who wants to reform her boyfriend and Kimmy Olsen fills the straight sex bill to a tee. To balance a youthful Kimmy, veteran Elexis Monroe gets this reviewer’s vote for the hottest, filthiest close-ups during a sex scene ever. Powers makes the viewer want to dive in on the action.

When Part 2 arrives, perhaps Casey Calvert will turn in a performance that tops them all.

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Tears and Triumph: Smash Pictures’ Diary of Love

by Rich Moreland, April 2013

A young man lies comatose in a hospital bed, the victim of a car crash. A year has passed and the likelihood of his recovery is fading. Perhaps reading aloud a story of survival will conquer the dark world that imprisons his brain and his soul. Maybe he will hear. For the young woman who visits him daily, that is her desperate hope.

So goes the premise of Dairy of Love, a Smash Pictures release directed by Jim Powers and starring Presley Hart as Allie and Richie Calhoun as Noah. It’s a romantic tale of embattled love.

For porn fans, it celebrates the “couples” genre. Not gonzo, not even close. Best of all, it is superbly produced with acting that reaches beyond the norm for adult film.

From the view of this critic, Jim Powers’ work is sensational. He melds story and actor into a cohesive unit that has garnered accolades from the industry. Diary of Love received several nominations at the 2013 AVN awards this past January. Mostly recently, it was honored at the by XRCO (X Rated Critics Organization) as Best Dramatic Parody.

A Million Thoughts

When Noah and Allie first meet, he’s serious almost to a fault and she’s well-versed in flippant responses.

Allie, “a rich girl from the Bay Area,” the narrator tells us, has everything. Noah, employed at a local cement plant, struggles to make ends meet. As their relationship develops, the camera mirrors the emotional exchanges between the lovers. In an early scene, they are walking down the street, teasing and flirting. Powers’ lens is in motion with them, circling their playfulness as it whirls with seduction. The camera is in a fluid state, capturing their attempt to find their way through the stormy path they create for each other.

Later, as the summer progresses and their pairing becomes more than an acquaintance, Powers adds a humorous touch for gonzo fans. Allie and Noah share an ice cream cone (vanilla, naturally) and she ends up with ice cream all over her mouth and nose (not the eyes, of course). It’s the only “facial” in the film. Pop shots are directed at tummies in this story!

Presenting the sex as a woman likes it, Diary of Love emphasizes negotiation and communication between the lovers. When she is finally ready to get physical, Allie wants inside Noah’s brain, just as she now seeks to reach him in a sterile hospital room. What is he thinking?

“I have a million thoughts in my head and you’re acting like this is an everyday thing,” she shouts at him before they get it on. Of course it isn’t, but that’s not totally clear at this point.

Allie immediately apologizes for her petulance, telling Noah she just wants this first time “to be perfect.” How many women have sought reassurance that their self-generated fantasy of the “right moment” may actually contain flashes of male sincerity?

Later when they finally make love, Presley Hart’s sensuality splashes across the screen and heats up the set. Her scene is the hottest in the movie, but only a few degrees ahead of an earlier encounter that features Lily Labeau.

This tale has its share of bumps in the road. Allie’s mom ultimately voices her disapproval and successfully squashes her daughter’s summer fling, sending Allie east to college and eventually law school. But Noah never forgets and the quest to lure Allie back into his arms is the rest of the story. But for that, you’ll have to see the film.

Boxcover Courtesy of Smash Pictures

Boxcover Courtesy of Smash Pictures

A Drama Queen?

Diary of Love insists that the story drive the sex, not the other way round.

Laborious minutes of endless sex are thankfully abandoned in this film. The intimacy that does take place is carefully choreographed to reflect the viewer’s reality. Nothing is acrobatic, there’s no anal anywhere and no oral thrusting to gag the girls. Abundant kissing, male-on-female oral, and a bit of cuddling in the afterglow, highlight each encounter. Of interest is handholding during the penetration shots, romantic and bonding.

It is sex as couples experience it, tender without being slutty, featuring natural bodies. Included, by the way, are males hired for their acting chops, not the size of their endowment. However, there’s a downer note for fans of fully shaven girls. Only Presley Hart is smooth as silk, indicative perhaps of a trend toward the well trimmed bush, albeit for better or worse.

This film has memorable sequences.

Kimberly Kane, who plays one of Noah’s lovers, reflects a woman’s need to break into a man’s emotional vault. She reminds him that a woman can look into a man’s eyes and tell if he “sees” her. Unfortunately for Kimberly, her facial expression reveals who Noah sees.

Allie’s mother, played by Nikki Charm, confronts her daughter with the mistake she is making—taking up with a man outside her social class. Allie’s protests fail to move this mountain. “Don’t be a drama queen!” mom shouts. She is determined to prevent Allie from a disastrous life-altering choice. Indeed, practicality often trumps true love in real life.

Incidentally, Kimberly and Nikki handle dialogue better than anyone in the cast, including Presley Hart who received a best actress nomination. The film is worth a look to catch the authenticity of these veteran performers.

The film’s first sexual encounter between Fin (Logan Pierce) and Sarah (Lily LaBeau) is sensational. Lily is a stunner, as porn fans already know. But it’s the scene’s park setting that produces a clever touch. Behind Lily’s reverse cowgirl sequence is a retaining wall of logs pounded into the ground. They are of different lengths, nestled one beside the other. How appropriate for the repeated “pounding” Sarah is enjoying! Match a log with each thrust and the park becomes an animated participant in the shoot.

Speaking of directorial genius, a couple of other shots should not be missed. The emphasis on male-female sexual equality is in clear focus with an overhead view of Noah and his two playmates, war widows Kimberly Kane and Lia Lor. (Noah fought in Afghanistan and is trying to adjust to life after death. Fin is killed in action, taking a little bit of Noah with him).

They are a sexual threesome. In this shot, Noah is lying between them. The trio forms a barely perceptible triangle with their bodies, signaling that they are a comfort for each other and a hint at where this relationship might go if a sequel is developed.

Jim Powers’ artistry steps to the fore once again as the movie winds down. Pay close attention to Noah and Allie’s painful talk in the home he built for her. He is on the screen’s far left, sitting in a chair with the one next to him vacant. She is on the far right, seated alone at one end of a settee, a continuous unbroken seat. Despite the chilly emotional atmosphere blanketing the room, an expansive window bathed in sunlight is the mediator reaching out to the former lovers. The implications of this moment summarize longing, separation, and the possibility of reconciliation. Allie once again has the advantage; her love life is unbroken, she has a husband-in-waiting back east. On the other hand, Noah’s is in disrepair, like the now rehabbed house once was. He fixed that, can he fix this?

At film’s end, a masterful shot frames the story’s resolution. Allie’s luggage is tucked away in the far left of the screen and she jumps into Noah’s arms, wraps her legs around his waist, elevating her head above his. The lovers are drenched in a gleaming rain.

The victorious human will is never more clearly illustrated in love’s landscape. Rain and sun, tears and triumph, are superbly displayed as the final curtain descends.

Don’t miss this movie. There is much more to see.

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Behind the Lines

by Rich Moreland, 2013

There are three locations where the business of filmed pornography flourishes: L. A., which includes Las Vegas, San Francisco, and South Florida. (New York was retired from the adult map some time ago.) Of course, filming takes place anywhere nowadays, and quite frankly does. Just check out the amateurs, like the Jasons and Ashleys on any street in any American town, who are armed with a camcorder. They inundate the internet.

The Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas provides an annual opportunity for the professional markets to gather in one convenient spot. In truth, it’s the big names associated with Porn Valley in Southern California that draw public interest. Crowds jam into narrow aisles at the convention’s host, the Hard Rock Hotel. Fans elbow for space to take snapshots of their favorite performers and hope for a minute of chat and a signed one sheet or mini-poster.

At this year’s affair, I gave that battle an early go only to experience the usual frustrations. I want more than thirty seconds; I’m after information, a story. Here’s an example. Getting Joanna Angel was virtually impossible. I did speak with her briefly and she wanted to talk at length but had no time. Later that day, I lunched with a film editor, Sonny Malone, who works for Joanna’s company, Burning Angel. She was sympathetic to my dilemma, but emphasized that Joanna was so busy that an interview would not likely be scheduled this time around.

Joanna Angel gives me a brief moment Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

Joanna Angel gives me a brief moment
Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

There were other A-listers on the floor who also said they’d be happy to sit down for a few minutes but couldn’t say when. I spoke with an emerging star (gave her my business card, talked about my column with Adult Industry News—the usual stuff) who promised me some time before she left for the day. When I returned to her signing area, she was hurrying to leave, smiled and politely excused herself. A studio owner for whom she has signed in the past mentioned to me later that her skills in dealing with the public need to be polished. I nodded, acknowledging that he was trying to soothe my annoyance.

Tracking down performers based on where they are scheduled to sign is also highly futile. Names and signing hours are rarely posted; anything listed in the event’s official program is notoriously inaccurate and subject to change. The AEE is catch as catch can, very chaotic, and stresses out performers and other industry personnel. Even models I personally know often cannot give me more than a quick “good to see you again.” Sometimes luck comes my way, but this year’s Expo was not overly productive in that regard.

Presley Hart at Smash Pictures. No time for an interview. Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse

Lucky to catch Presley Hart at Smash Pictures
Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

However, that’s with the top players in the biz.

In the convention backwater, modeling agencies maintain booths where lesser known talent often sit around like girls on slow nights at strip clubs. Crowds are refreshingly thin in this little traveled area. But the eagerness to be a star always pervades the atmosphere and the girls are most accommodating, as I might add, are the talent agents—at least the licensed ones, but that’s a story for another day.

Backwater Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

Backwater
Photo Courtesy of 3hattergrindhouse.com

Shifting gears to this part of the Expo, my next post will be on a new girl whose bubbly personality is most endearing.

Before I get to that, a brief story is appropriate.

I was hanging around waiting to speak with an agent when a newbie was checking in for her floor time. Maybe nineteen at best guess and thin as a street waif, the girl was a bit of a laggard apparently (her seat had been empty). She appeared tired, weary is a better descriptor. Her agent approached her gingerly and inquired about where she had been. Putting a can of caffeinated high energy drink on the small around table she used for signing, the hazy eyed brunette glared at him. She was out until five a.m., she snapped, but reminded him that she was responsible enough to show up at her assigned time. I admired her gumption and sense of responsibility for someone so young in a tough business.

Girls are on tight, debilitating schedules for four days assuming they stay the whole week. The Expo is more that just putting in floor time and being pleasant with fans. There are after hours parties, time reserved for industry affiliates involved in distribution and marketing, and, of course, shooting scenes when a few available hours can be found. Hotel room time is rarely in short supply.

Everything is money in adult film, you see, and everyone needs to make another buck. In this case, what happens in Vegas gets distributed.

Wanting clarification of grapevine info I occasionally pick up, I asked a performer I know fairly well if she could verify that girls were relying on “chemical assistance” to survive the week. She was honest, as I trusted her to be.

Look for a story on a new girl coming soon. It’s from behind the lines where ever they are.

 

 

 

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