Reviewer Greta Christina has worked in and around the sex industry for over a decade writing about it, editing books about it, and living it. She edited Paying For It, a collection of articles by all kinds of sex workers: dommes, escorts, peep show girls, T-girls. Her novella called Bending is out in Susie Bright's book Three Kinds of Asking For It (published by Simon & Schuster and can be found at amazon.com). In response to overwhelming member requests for reviews of sex toys, sexy films, and other sex whatnots, Ms. Christina brings her girl-about-sex wisdom twice monthly to ALT.com. You can check out Ms. Christina on her web site, gretachristina.com.
Xana and Dax: When Opposites Attract
Studio: Comstock Films
Starring: Xana Star and Dax Star. Directed and edited by Tony Comstock.
Cameras: Peggy Comstock and Tony Comstock. 45 minutes.
This is reality porn.
This is a porno based on the idea that the hottest thing you can watch is people having sex who are really into each other, having the kind of sex they really like to have. It's an idea I've been advocating for years -- the idea that real pleasure, real chemistry and connection will almost always be more arousing than the fake stuff.
So in theory, this is a movie tailor-made for me. (Or it would be if it had any spanking scenes...) A real married couple, who really love each other, having real sex -- that's exactly what I'm looking for, right?
To a great extent, yes.
But to a great extent, it depends on who the couple is.
I should say right off the bat that Xana and Dax is a very likeable video, with an awful lot going for it. I'll say that now, and I'll say it again later in the review when I start nitpicking. It's a unique, heartfelt, labor-of-love video that defies many of mainstream porn's more tedious and irritating conventions… and that, all by itself, is enough to make me sit up and pay attention.
In particular, it's just about a perfect example of a "couple's video." There's lots and lots of very explicit sex, but the sex is more sensual and less gynecological than it is in most mainstream porn, and it's set in the context of romance, love, and a relationship. If you're looking for a "couple's video," it'd be hard to do much better than a video of an actual couple having actual, loving, hot couple sex.
The video is set up in a smart, enticing way. It begins with an interview with the couple, talking about how they met, how they feel about each other, what their sex life is like, etc. -- interspersed with brief, teasing shots of the couple making love. This introduces you the couple, gives you a sense of who they are and how they connect… while still getting you excited and turned on with little tastes of the good stuff to come.
Then, after the interview is over ‒ it's only about fifteen minutes long, the producers aren't idiots -- they cut to the sex scene.
The love scene, I should say. That's probably the single most distinctive thing about this video, the quality that sets it apart from almost every porno I've ever seen. The couple is in love. And people who are in love fuck like nobody else in the world. They fuck like the rest of the world has disappeared. They fuck like nothing in the world matters more than giving each other pleasure. It's unbelievably hot to see -- and you hardly ever get to see it in porn.
This is a big thing to like about a porn video. But there are a lot of little things in this video, too, things that make it even more likeable and hot.
I like that the couple doesn't start out in porno outfits. Before they get naked, they start out in jeans. And I like that -- it made them seem less like impossibly unattainable fantasy figures, and more people I might actually fuck.
I like that Xana is kind of fleshy: she has a beautiful body, but she's built like a woman, not like a borderline-anorexic gym addict with plastic breasts. Her belly is a little soft, and her breasts are a little dangly.
I'm sure there are some porn fans who'll find that off-putting. But I found it hot -- partly because it made her seem more human and more accessible, more like someone I could identify with… and partly because I just like fleshier women.
I like the way Dax fingers Xana's pussy. He does it with such naked, awestruck devotion and delight. No cool, aloof model's pose for this boy -- he loves this woman's pussy, and he fingers it like it's a work of art.
I like that they kiss and caress and make sweet pillow talk when they're done fucking.
I like that there's no music. Dear God in Heaven, do I love that there's no music.
And I like how fluid and organic the sex is, how naturally it flows from one sex act to the next. There's not that "Now we're doing the blowjob/Now we're doing the cowgirl/Now we're doing the anal/Now we're doing the money shot on her boobs" feel that makes so much mainstream porn seem so choppy.
When Xana and Dax move from massage to tit-fucking to fellatio (just to describe one sequence), it's clearly because that's where the spirit moves them -- not because it's the next thing on the storyboard, or what the director's telling them to do.
Once again, it's the difference between actors having sex, and a couple making love. And there's really no comparison.
But there's a thing about this movie that started bugging me early on, and the longer the movie went on, the more it bugged me. It's just one thing, but it really got up my nose -- not enough to make me flat-out dislike the video, but enough to bring it down a notch in my book, from Great to Pretty Damn Good.
See, in the interview at beginning of the movie? When Xana and Dax are talking about how crazy they are about each other and telling us all the stuff they like and love about each other? It's almost all physical stuff.
She likes his back, his ass, his hairy chest, his beautiful cock. He likes her breasts, her ass, her hair, her blue eyes, her beautiful pussy. They say almost nothing about how much they like each other's sweetness and generosity, or intelligence and humor, or taste in music and movies… any of that good shit.
Even when they gas on about how they're such opposites and thus make such a perfect fit, they're talking about physical stuff. They don't mean that he's more reserved and she's more outgoing, or that she's more impulsive and he's more thoughtful. They mean that she's a blonde and he's a brunette.
Now, if someone asked me what I like and love about my partner, I'm quite sure her breasts and ass and big beautiful eyes would be on the list.
They'd probably be fairly high on the list. But they wouldn't be the first things on the list -- and they sure as hell wouldn't be the only things on it.
They were for Xana and Dax. Not quite the only things, to be fair, but pretty damn close.
And this made me… well, it didn't make me dislike them exactly, but it sure didn't endear them to me either. They didn't seem like bad people or anything, but they did seem kind of shallow, and not very interesting.
Which made it harder for me to connect with them, harder to identify with them and get drawn into their sensations and emotions… and thus harder to get turned on by watching them fuck. Their supposedly passionate and intense love connection, the one that's supposed to make the video stand out from the tedious repetition of the mainstream porno pack ‒ well, it seemed kind of shallow, and not very interesting.
So the one thing I didn't like about Xana and Dax: When Opposites Attract was Xana and Dax. The people having the sex. Which is kind of a big thing to not like about a porno video. Especially when there's no secondary characters, and it’s just the two of them.
But this is the place where I'm supposed to remind you -- and remind myself -- that overall this is a very likeable video, with an awful lot going for it. I wasn't as entranced with it as I'd hoped I'd be; but I loved where the producers were going with it, even if I didn't think they quite got there.
More importantly, my appetite is definitely whetted for more. Comstock Films has three other videos out and another on the way, and I have every intention of seeing every single one of them. I really love what this company is trying to do, and while they didn't get as close to it here as I would have liked, they got close enough to make me sit up and pay attention. And they made me eager and excited to see what else they have to offer.
Available at Good Vibrations (www.goodvibes.com), and at Comstock Films, (www.comstockfilms.com).
You can visit Greta's blog: [extern url='http://gretachristina.typepad.com' target='_blank' text='gretachristina.typepad.com']
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Love Story by Greta Christina
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