It’s May, which means it’s Masturbation Month. An entire month devoted to masturbation? Well hush my mouth! That probably explains a few things about my actions over the past few weeks with my beloved Lelo Ina, but that’s neither here nor there. There are many other ways to celebrate masturbation and Courtney Trouble picked arguably the best one when she decided to put together Live Sex Show: a film shot at the Center for Sex and Culture. The film was shot during San Francisco’s Masturbate-a-Thon, which was hosted by none other than Dr. Carol Queen of just about every iconic how-to videos under the sun. Not bad at all.
This ensemble piece is at its core a celebration of many different kinds of sexuality, all performed in front of a live studio audience of 200 queer porn aficionados. The result is something extremely uncommon in porn: a collection of sexual experiences which engage with various different notions of publicity and create a narrative of the interplay between intimacy and performance. That’s a pretty fancy way of putting it, but you’ll see what I mean, because you’re all buying this film. Did I mention that portions of the proceeds from the DVD, VOD and screenings go to the Center for Sex and Culture? Because they do and that is important. Go pay for this awesome porn. I’ll step down from this soap box now.
In another life, I was an opera singer. Now I’m an amateur theatre person when I’m not living the “All about the Benjamins” lifestyle of a porn PR/marketing person and blogger. I guess what I’m saying is that I know a thing or two about putting on a show, and by the looks of it, so does Courtney Trouble. The stage is pretty gorgeous, replete with sexy sparkly stuff, a big turquoise and purple couch and an ornately rococo red velvet tufted headboard. If I were to decorate my boudoir for an evening of queer sex, it would look much the same. Kudos to the set team.
Did the performances live up to the decorum of the event, the wild crowd and the opulent set? Hells yes it did! From start to finish, every single performer is a powerhouse. It’s too hard to pick a favourite scene (or even just a few), so here’s a quick run-down of the action to whet your appetite for the theatah:
We start out with Kimberlee Kline, clad in a fishnet unitard with a strategically placed hole and some very sexy pleather boots. She feels very dark cabaret (and I’m not talking Liza) as she slinks around and teases before parting her legs. It’s seductive performance, but it quickly gives way to what can only be described as furious, goal-oriented masturbation. The audience dissolves and it’s just her and the impending orgasm. It’s hot.
Jolene Parton and Peter Devries develop a really sweet, intimate connection through their various sexual endeavours, which feels incredibly natural and not at all performative.The sex is hot, of course, but it feels almost vulnerable. This is definitely a moment of voyeurism as opposed to overt performance, which I kind of like. On a personal level, I think this may be one of the most identifiable porn scenes I’ve ever watched. As someone with a very particular brand of sexuality, that’s a cool feeling, and I feel that it could be replicated for others with any of the scenes in this film.
Then the one, the only April Flores busts (no pun intended) out on the scene, vampy and campy and fabulous in sky-high heels, hot pink fishnets and an acid-washed faux-denim one-piece. As she plays with herself, she’s entirely in control of her sexuality, but certainly playing to the audience in her uniquely saucy way. When The Matador (her paramour, clad in a mask, black gloves and dark clothing) comes out to join her, she becomes uniquely orally fixated, performing to a certain extent, but for him. This scene unfolds in a way that feels dirty, hot and loving, and could only be shown in such a way between two people who really know each other.
Tina Horn and Roger Wood bring the kink in a scene replete with jock straps, flogging, spanking, impressively intense fucking and the kind of joie de vivre which makes queer porn exactly what it should be. They’re both so charismatic, yet so focused on the passion and excitement between each other, that this scene serves as a perfect blend of external and internal understanding of this kind of sexual performance scenario.
We thought it would be all over with Jiz Lee and Nina Hartley, because they’re the grand finale to end all grand finales. Nina is lovably chatty and verbose in a way that makes me giggle and smile, and Jiz participates in the discussion, enaging the audience as they share tidbits about shaving to match Nina, which of course is demonstrated as they assume the “Twinsies!” side by side comparison position. Nina fingers Jiz, slowly building to fisting, which ended up being quite a problem for distribution, ultimately getting this video associated with International Fisting Day. After an impressive orgasm, it’s Nina’s turn to get fingered, which is full of as much chattiness and story-telling as one would hope. It’s endearing and it perfectly frames the charming relationship between the two of these clearly kindred spirits.
Just when you think it’s all over, the curtain call is an impromptu gang bang of director Courtney Trouble. Everyone is in on the action, and it is just as hot, awesome and spontaneous as you could possibly imagine. It’s a fitting way to end a phenomenal evening of live sex, and it sure beats taking a bow.
· Buy “Live Sex Show” (courtneytrouble.com)