Erotic images have made couples hot since before the people of Pompeii painted frescos of oral sex. But the concept of woman-friendly porn didn't hit the American market until the mid-'80s, after porn star Candida Royalle left the screen, feeling ambivalent about her experiences. "The films were not really sex-positive," she says. "They didn't give good information, and they didn't reflect female sexuality." She moved to New York and founded Femme Productions in 1984, to make ones that did. Sixteen movies later, Royalle's cameras are still rolling, and other filmmakers have followed her lead.
Because women prefer to watch adult films with their partners, rather than alone, the movies directed toward women are referred to as "couples' porn." And in order to lure the female half of the equation, they must have a plot more complex than the pizza guy ringing a doorbell and bending a silicone-breasted blonde over some diseased plaid couch.
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"Guys fast-forward to the good parts," says Jill Sieracki, editor-in-chief of Playgirl magazine and script writer for Playgirl TV. "Women want to know the relationship. They want to see the foreplay." The male leads tend to be sexier, while the female stars are more likely to have natural breasts, softer thighs, and wider hips. Titles such as Honey, We Blew Up Your Pussy and Teen Cum Squad have been swapped for The Gift and Caribbean Heat, and the sets are carefully constructed. "Women notice the smallest details, like how her nails are painted or what her shoes look like," Sieracki says. Of one vignette that takes place in a beach house with gauzy white curtains, she notes, "You think, 'Who would notice the duvet?' But women really do." Beautiful Master Bedroom Designs
Most important, these films focus on the woman's pleasure. Foreplay and afterplay are standard, and there's always time for ample oral sex. Directors minimize camera close-ups of genitals and penetration in favor of soap-opera-style face shots. Some films even use real couples, who have real orgasms. There is rarely a "money shot," or ejaculation scene, and many actors use condoms.
Aficionados of traditional porn complain that the attention to plot in couples' films makes for some embarrassing dialogue and slow pacing. "There's just too much talking," says a beauty-industry marketer in Hoboken, N.J., who has enjoyed watching erotic films with her fiance ever since a friend gave her a copy of Super Ate Motel for her birthday. The couple popped it into the VCR, giggled together, and then found themselves getting turned on.
But as anyone who watches porn knows, the remote is your friend. Fast-forward through pointless conversations, and mute the B-grade music, opting instead for your own sexy CD. Even in the couples' category, quality varies wildly, but Violet Blue's The Ultimate Guide to Adult Videos is one dependable resource. Or simply read on for YourTango's picks.
THE SERIOUS STUFF
MARIE AND JACK: A HARDCORE LOVE STORY
Marie and Jack, porn stars married in real life, have the genuine chemistry and knowledge of each other's bodies to make this film sizzle. It starts slowly, with the couple discussing the intimate details of their love, before getting down and dirty. Xana and Dax: When Opposites Attract, offers a similar scenario.
URBAN FRICTION— A MODERN ROMANCE
The tattooed men and pierced women make this movie a must for those who are turned on by Suicide Girl mystique. The bodies are natural, and the plot revolves around one couple's sexual encounters and fantasies.
EYES OF DESIRE 2
A woman embarks on a series of voyeuristic affairs after she discovers her neighbor watching her through his telescope. The stars of this Candida Royalle film were married when it was shot, and the passion between them is tangible.
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