By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Fuck the handbasket, Hell's coming to us. Just the other day I'm in the dentist's office waiting to have new platinum fronts fitted, and I come across the most scandalous thing I've read in Time magazine since that investigation into drinking on college campuses (rampant!): A highly sympathetic story on SM. (Meaning sadomasochismGreek for "immoral even by our standards"in case you're not up on your world-dominant media.) The phrase "Pyrex dildo" appears in first paragraphin a list ending, paradoxically, with "other unmentionables." Thank Jesus and Mary my mother has a subscription to Newsweek. Her Catholic-school class of first-graders already give her angina.
As an alt-weekly scumbagsorry, alt-weekly website scumbagI eagerly lapped up the sterling rag's nut-gush over the newly mapped BDSM demographic. But my bile rose when I encountered the story of a mid-aged married couple from North Carolina, "Surri" (the slave) and "Doc" (three guesses). "Doc is a Schwarzenegger Republican and a big fan of the Left Behind novels, the evangelical Christian thrillers that graphically depict the damnation of the sinful." Surri, who once sustained life-threatening injuries after a boyfriend locked her in a cage and left her alone in a building whichwhoops!caught fire, has to stand in the corner if she doesn't perform her housewifely duties to Doc's satisfaction and must ask permission to smoke a cig. You've come a long way, baby!
Hey, do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. I love a little "role-play" during s-e-x as much as the next porn columnist scarred by Catholicism ('specially when I get to be a fireman!). Heck, I don't even mind bossing bedmates around. ("Now suck the other elbow, you dirty coke slut," that sort of thing.) Still, the day I take orders from somebody named Doc who hasn't graduated from med school is . . . another day, long from now. The bedroom is psychodrama's greatest stage, but that couple has a 14-year-old daughter. Imagine what kind of prize she'll wind up marrying.
My two cents. SM etc. will eventually be properly recognized by society at large. Anticipating that, this week I check in with porn's most liminal smut purveyor, home of boner fide celebrity Jenna Jameson, Vivid Entertainment. Their kinkiest new offerings are one part politically correct instructional, two parts mindless fucking. Two outta three ain't bad!
The History of Fetish (Vivid), dominated by Kira Kener (who defines "busting" outsomebody pluck those melons before they snap the vine suspending my disbelief!), gives a more even-paddled take on the action than, say, Rocco Siffredi vehicle The Fashionistas. Cover slogan "Kira teaches a lesson in the lash" notwithstanding, we're still leashed to Sir Nick, a "professional/lifestyle" dom with a red-tipped mohawk, Boy George face paint, and Pee Wee demeanor who lays the get-on-the-ground rules using his wifey Dahlia as an example. Call him a motivational slapper.
"Caning is an artformfor girls who are disobedient!" Sir Nick shares, without a hint of menace. Dahlia elaborates: "The pain goes into a spot in your mind where itit feels like pleasure." Whereupon Nicky lays six mean welts across her backside, and Kira blurts, "Are you OK?" then sucks off a guy in a top hat. Veering from behind-the-scenes setups to faux-documentary demonstrations to bow-chikka-bow skinema, The History of Fetish cleverly figures the fits-and-starts emergence of the sex underground, replete with lecturing (safe, sane, and consensual, that old chestnut) and awkward implementationthough game, Kira's hardly a born freak.
But freaks are made. We all must be shaped some way or another, and Kira takes direction well. We even hear it from offscreen: "Tilt your head back," director Paul Thomas instructs, so that the light will catch the glass dildo stuck in her throat. After my schoolgirl giggles passed, I "came" to enjoy the scene in which Kira, her tits saran-wrapped and ample bottom dressed in silvery easy-entry panties, does as she pleases with a mummified Randy Spears. Freeing his hands and cock from the vinyl encasing his body, Kira watches Randy jack it, puts her wet mouth on him, then swings into the saddle, producing a sound not unlike a gymnasium full of kids walking in warm-up pants.
In the saddle she's a pro, but when Kira dons a tail and prances like a ponyDahlia does it, but what if Dahlia jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge?I feel humiliated for her. Dahlia, skinny and skittish, makes a fine li'l horse, assuming the bit between her teeth doesn't disturb you, but Kira's more like a panda bear. A sexy, sexy, big-titted panda bear. All good furries should be furious!
Sir Nick tells of a friend who "gutted her apartment and made it into a stall," she was so obsessed with horsing around. (Imagine how much you'd have to pony up for all that hay!) Ambitious, inept, and an injustice to fetishists of all physical and metaphorical stripes, The Fetish Underground (Vivid), directed by Anita Rinaldi, narrates a woman's revenge against men. Take my word for it, 'cause the best I can tell you is this involves her vanilla-fucking guys then taking apparently embarrassing Polaroids of them naked, and also something complicated involving an underground SM club and a limo driver. (Think Eyes Wide Shut; you probably don't remember what that's about anyhow.) Even I know sadomasochism isn't necessarily a conscious lashing out or symptom of self-hatred. Either way, I'm still screening my mom's Newsweeks.
Vivid, 15127 Califa, Street, Van Nuys 91411, vivid.com