Full of fake boobs and clichéd images, the slipcases of porn videos rarely catch my eye. But this particular one, arriving in my mailbox from San Francisco, dampened my panties even before I popped its contents into the VCR. A woman is captured by the camera from above as blond waves of hair cascade over creamy shoulders. Her head is thrown back in ecstasy, her eyes are closed. Her pouty lips, painted crimson, are slightly parted with desire. She's wearing a sequined bra that matches her lipstick, and she's got a bright red dick strapped between her legs. Perched on silver platform shoes, she suggestively holds the cock. The copy reads, "Outrageous sex-ed, serious stilettos, scorching dirty talk, and daring babedick action." The blond is Shar Rednour, and she and her partner Jackie Strano are the producers, directors, and stars of this new dyke porno with two movies on one tape: Hard Love and How to Fuck in High Heels.

Dyke drama at its finest, Hard Love is the story of two former girlfriends who can't resist a last roll in the hay. It's brimming with dysfunctional breakups, girls with questionable boundaries, and a heated argument that fuels steamy sex between ex-lovers. There's a little too much dialogue for my taste, but some of the acting is good, and the sex is surprisingly real, fierce, and provocative. The plot's climax between the exes—Strano and newcomer C.C. Bell—is genuine, explosive, and one of the best lesbian sex scenes ever made.

When was the last time you found a girl who could not only sport a sizable camouflage-colored dick that perfectly matches her perky bra, but who could also put her hips where her style is and pump the daylights out of every chick in the room? In How to Fuck in High Heels, the scripts and characters are tossed in favor of a music-video-style mockumentary with lots of wall-to-wall sex. There's no real story, but certainly a thread and a purpose to the rapidly changing scenes: how to fuck in high heels. Part erotic education, part girlie bangfest, the movie lets us witness as box-cover diva Rednour fucks everyone in sight, pausing only to change her high heels and strap-ons. I just love an ambitious woman.

Rednour and Strano have funneled their ambition into their new company, S.I.R. Video (www.sirvideo.com). S.I.R. is already known for its sassy series Bend Over Boyfriend—the third volume is in production—where women learn how to give men anal pleasure. This twosome, recognized for breaking boys' asses in, ought to also be acknowledged for breaking new ground: They are among the few dykes out there making dyke porn. They learned from the best. S.I.R. coproduced Bend Over Boyfriend 1 with Nan Kinney of Fatale Video, the most successful lesbian porn company to date. Kinney was a founder of On Our Backs, the first lesbian-produced, lesbian-aimed magazine, and Fatale began in 1985 as a natural outgrowth of the mag. However, Fatale released its last lesbian porn video, Safe Is Desire, in 1993, leaving a huge hole in an already struggling porn pocket. While the straight and gay male porn industries burst at the seams with growth, the world of lesbian porn withers on the vine.

A towering obstacle to producing lesbian porn is money. Women, lesbians especially, just don't have a ton of cash to throw around. "Producing our own porn has not been on the number one hit parade of important endeavors by lesbians," Kinney observes. "It's not that easy to do, especially not that easy to get distributed; there's not a lot of money in it, so it's really kind of a labor of love." The dotcom boom leads Rednour to think the capital is out there: "Yeah, a lot of dykes don't have that much money, but hello, Silicon Valley. In this day and age, there are plenty of dykes who have 10,000 bucks who could spend it on making a porn if they chose to."

Investment tip for rich lesbians: smut.

Antiporn feminists protested the evils of pornography in the 1970s, arguing that it exploits and objectifies women; some of that rhetoric lingers, leaving many lesbians ambivalent about visual erotica of any kind. If we make it, buy it, or—goddess forbid—enjoy it, we become The Man, degrading and abusing our own sisters. On the set of her movie, Rednour explains, "I really believe that I am doing important work in this world. And I still feel weird when I have to ask people to come. I mean I have this moment where feelings of guilt wash over me about what I am asking another woman to do." We're still figuring out how to make grrl-powered porn and retain our feminism.

In general, women aren't seen by the eyes of the mainstream (and, in turn, we don't see ourselves) as consumers of pornography or other sexually related products and services in the same way that men are. Women rarely go to peep shows to jerk off, strip clubs for a lap dance, or prostitutes to pay for sex, and this extends to their relationship to porn. Women aren't seen as sexual predators, sexual aggressors, as wanting sex for sex's sake, like men are. I am convinced that if a man were raised in the wild by apes, and on his 21st birthday you brought him to a strip club, he'd whip out a wad of bills. Men just have an easier time coupling sex and money.

Most producers are only recently (and slowly) acknowledging women as porn viewers and buyers. The lesbian porn market is even smaller and less recognized. On Our Backs is the only dyke porn magazine, and the by-and-for-dykes porn video is a rare treat. The question remains: If they film it, will they come?

Even if we've got the money and the balls, we still need talent. There are plenty of lesbians who strip and hook, but finding dyke porn stars is a whole other challenge. Strano recalls their casting difficulties: "We needed a butch bottom. We're in San Francisco where butch bottoms are like weeds, they're everywhere. But to find one who will actually take off her clothes and get fucked on camera was another story."

So you can see why I get all worked up over a new dyke porn tape like Hard Love and How to Fuck in High Heels. It's a miracle that S.I.R. Video exists, and that it shows no signs of slowing down. Says Rednour: "We've got plenty of dyke movies that we're gonna make. We have porn coming out our ears. We want to start the dyke Boogie Nights porn empire." I for one can't wait to meet the dyke Dirk Diggler.


My Web site: www.puckerup.com

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