An Explanation

Camille Crimson having hot sex

Hi everybody!

I know that a lot of you have been asking questions about what’s going on, so I’m here to set the record straight. I’m sorry that I couldn’t post here sooner, but this domain name was a contentious issue for a while and I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers by posting here, even though I wanted to clear things up. I did explain what happened over on the new blog at The Art of Blowjob, but the news didn’t necessarily reach all the way out here. For now, I’m not writing up any press releases or making any grand statements, just trying to explain what’s going on.

Before I get down to the explanation, I did want to say one thing that’s not always really thought of with regards porn: there’s a whole lot that goes on outside of the end result of a production, and that’s even more true with beautiful porn. The reality is that beautiful porn was conceived of to show the beauty of sex through filmmaking and through expertly captured photography. It’s about glorifying the passionate and celebrating the sensual, but fundamentally it is about the artistic process. Mike has always been a visionary in this regard and, though he’s always stuck behind the scenes because he’s not so much into the glory of recognition, he has always been a huge part of this company and he’s not going anywhere.

Once Camille was out of the woods and stable after her second surgery, she had a lot of time to think and she realized that she was in love with someone else, so she left Mike. It’s sad, but it happens. It was clear right off the bat that The Art of Blowjob would have to change because it would no longer feel right for them to make porn together. As for CamilleCrimson.com, that was more unclear. In the end, she decided to do her own thing with her new partner. We respect her decision and wish her the best.

Mike and I thought about whether or not we were going to continue making porn, but ultimately the desire to continue changing the industry and making something beautiful outweighed the potential challenges of the transition. The Art of Blowjob is completely back on track with new weekly updates featuring the same gorgeous cinematic style that’s always been synonymous with what we do. We’re currently working with new models who are passionate about giving sensual blowjobs, and Mike is shooting at an even higher artistic calibre. While we’re not looking to “replace” anyone or planning on having just one “star” of the site, we’re still committed to showcasing the personalities of the fascinating women involved over on the blog and they’re taking care of their own social media. Although a lot of you have become accustomed to following one person, we really hope you’ll give these other women a chance… They’re smart, funny, artistic, interesting and kind people, so I genuinely think that a lot of you will find commonalities and intrigue with them.

As for CamilleCrimson.com, that’s a bit more challenging. Obviously we can’t put new content on it without using a new face. For now, we’ve unearthed a never before seen video featuring lots and lots of sex, plenty of close-ups and a beautiful blowjob, too. We have a few options, which we’ll be weighing over the next week or so, and we’ll come to a decision on what to do about it in the new year. We know that you’ve been going a while without updates, so you can contact me at theartofblowjob@gmail.com if you’re upset and would like to discuss that and I’ll find a way to make it right. This was unfortunately a completely unforeseen circumstance, but we don’t want anyone to feel wronged as a by-product of this turn of events.

The most important thing to take away from this is the fact that the artistry and the ethos remain the same. Mike has always been the visionary behind the site and the reason it was so emblematic as beautiful porn. We’re not trying to diminish the role that real love played in the beautiful porn process, but he’s committed to continuing to make something visually stunning and doing so with women who are passionate, interesting and really into the pleasure of giving pleasure. From my perspective, I want to keep on giving advice/tips, writing erotic content, discussing the worlds of porn, sex, sexuality and gender and generally trying to help people find the passion and sensuality of beautiful porn in their own lives. While it may be slightly different now, the beautiful porn spirit lives on and will continue to be shared and propagated throughout the industry.

- Sophie

Halloween Lovers, Unite

Sexy blowjob in a witch costume

Last year’s costume: Camille as a sexy witch!

Halloween has long been my favourite time of the year. I grew up as the type of teen who would go to the shadow cast version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show every month, dressed far more liberally than my parents probably should have allowed for such a young age. In hindsight, I was kind of made to work in porn, wasn’t I? My love for the sexy, the fringe and the exciting far precedes my foray into the world of adult entertainment. I have always loved costumes, getting theatrical and relishing the opportunity to become someone else, spooky or silly, though always at least kind of sexy. This year, and particularly the past month or so, has been tumultuous, but Halloween does always lift my spirits… Insert joke about raising the dead and communing with the spirits here. And candy is delicious. Plus, Jezebel posited that Halloween lovers are the best, and we all want to consider ourselves the best, don’t we?

I want to wish you all the happiest of Halloweens. Even though there’s no special update this year, I hope you’ll all share your plans and costumes here. There’s nothing better than communing over all hallow’s eve, even if your plan is mostly about carving pumpkins and handing out candy. Speaking of which, I need to go snag some for the trick or treaters. Wouldn’t want to get egged!

- Sophie

Last Minute Halloween Idea?

Pam from Archer

Pam, the loveable HR representative from Archer.

Halloween is just around the corner. It’s my favourite time of year, I’d have to say. I love dressing up, parties and candy. I’m not actually so much about the spooky stuff, but one of my favourite traditions is to carve a bunch of pumpkins, save the seeds and toast them to eat later while watching a few of the classic Treehouse of Horror Simpson’s Halloween specials. While I already know what I’m going as (Pam from Archer: see header photo) I have just the thought for those of you who are 2 days out from various parties without a single idea of what to wear:

So easy! A suit jacket with tails, fishnet thigh highs and a g-string with a bow tie. Oh, and the incredibly ability to move your buns to Beethoven in perfect time with grace and elegance. I assume at least one of you will wear this… But who will it be? Regardless, I hope you enjoy this ode to the butt and to one of the world’s most celebrated composers. Can’t forget about him.

Studying Porn

Sometimes I have a pipe dream of becoming a pornographic academic. I’ve been lucky enough to speak on a few panels and even present a paper at the first Feminist Porn Conference here in Toronto last April. That was definitely one of the highlights of my life, and it’s something that I’d definitely like to experience again. I don’t know exactly what form that’ll take, but it does mean that I take the concept of porn academia to heart in quite a serious way. I spoke with Dr. Chantelle Tibbals for her podcast a while back, and have had this interview that she did with Slate in my back pocket, waiting for a time that I might be moved to blog about the dire need of more research and critical thought with regards to porn… That time has come, blog. That time has come.

The problem is that, because of the general preconceived notions about porn, people have a real tough time seeing value in attributing precious academic resources to its study. This is a really negative bias, because it is an otherwise very culturally dominant medium/art form/phenomena. There’s certainly something to be said about the taboo nature of porn, but if anything, that only feeds the potential for discussion and research, and it should ideally also play a role in piquing general interest about said discussion and research. It’s film, biology, psychology, sociology… It’s obviously the study of sex and gender. It’s ripe for all types of analysis.

As with my unfaltering belief that the answer to bad porn is not no porn, but more porn, I think that more work in the field will balance out some of the more unfortunate pseudoscientific snap judgments that people make about the way porn impacts teens, relationships and the psychosexual self. Maybe this means I should dust myself off and get into writing porn academia in a more serious way. After all, that’s sort of how Dr. Chauntelle came to it. Who knows? Maybe I could be Dr. Sophie some day. There is so much room for a balanced, sex-positive critical and academic response to porn. As far as I know, while mainstream and actively queer/feminist porn is getting traction, very little at all is being written about porn from a pro-am or aesthetically artistic way. Maybe beautiful porn needs a place in academia. What do you think?

Why Do We Have Sex?

I have a confession to make: I’m not having sex right now. At all. I’m taking a break from dating while I do some Sophie-related soul searching, and this includes even the casual, easy ongoing fling I’ve had for the past… Almost year. With a boy I really liked who suited my tastes and weirdnesses to a T… But, that’s neither here nor there. It is HARD, and the fact that I write about sex and spend a tremendous amount of my day around porn has made sure that my mind is on it even more than it already would be, but do you know what? That’s okay. I’m doing the best thing I know to do for myself right now, as suggested by my very innovative and persuasive therapist. All this is temporary, and it should lead to a happier me, if a super sexually frustrated me over the next few months. It’s been a week, but a rough one.

The main reason I’m doing this is because I want to look at the reasons I’m intimate and make sure they’re actually making me happy and making my life better instead of worse. Neutral would be okay too, but definitely not worse. Well, wouldn’t you know that the university just a few blocks away from me (University of Toronto – site of the Feminist Porn Conference!) is in the process of studying why people have sex and how that rates in terms of satisfaction and well-being? They’re only doing this work with couples (for now) so I’m not likely to become a lab rat for them, but at least I can look at their findings and apply them to my life, and perhaps to yours as well!

They found that when you’re having sex for positive reasons, you’re likely to have a much better time than if you’re having sex for negative reasons. This may seem obvious, but I don’t think it’s something people put much stock in. Positive reasons like increasing intimacy and connection or feeling better about yourself are more inclined to put you in touch with your partner and yourself and revelling in your sensuality together for its own sake, whereas doing it because you feel like you should or because it will smooth over a fight… Not so much. Wifely duties shouldn’t be a thing, and that goes for any other partnerly duties, too. A slave to duty is just that… And if you’re going to be a slave, you better have a safeword!

Sex is a wonderful thing, and we should all be having more of it (though not me right now, I guess) but it’s valuable to take a step back and make sure we’re feeling good about what’s going on. There’s something to be said for giving pleasure rather than focusing only on receiving it, for rallying and for making a concerted effort to promote intimacy, but there’s work on the self that must be done to ensure that this is a positive choice rather than self-coersion. You shouldn’t ever have to talk yourself into sex. That’s very different than making time for it or making it a priority. By checking in with ourselves, we’ll be able to enjoy it infinitely more.

Love, Art and Porn – The Life of Carlos Batts

The late Carlos Batts with his wife April Flores

The late Carlos Batts with wife and muse April Flores – Courtesy of LAWeekly.com

It’s been a tough couple of days, probably for many reasons, but chief among them is the fact that the world has lost a talented, innovative man. Carlos Batts was a fabulous photographer and videographer who made a name for himself in art, commercial work and adult content. His body of work on all fronts is truly gorgeous and lush with a uniquely vibrant feel. He engaged with a lot of subjects outside the norm, focusing on exposing “unconventional” beauty in raw, creative ways. Though he had many subjects over the years, his muse was his wife, adult film star April Flores. They were together for over 13 years, married for 10, and in that time he said that shooting her never felt like work, according to Gram Ponante‘s wonderful account of their working and intimate relationship. While reading Gram’s piece after finding out about Carlos’ passing, a particular topic stuck out to me:

Can what you do when you’re in love be porn? Is it porn when there’s commerce involved? Each scene of Alter Ego [a film shot by Batts, starring Flores] is lovingly framed, lit, scored, and constructed, but there are women fucking each other with dildos in it.

Sure it’s porn, but that doesn’t mean it’s soulless.

Michael Ninn could have made Alter Ego, or Andrew Blake, but it would have seemed cold.

That is a question I find that I’m asking myself a lot. Porn is hard to define and nail down, and people imagine that the love slips away from the creators and performers when you cross a certain sexual threshold or when money enters the equation. In my experience working with Camille and Mike, and in meeting, talking with and listening to many other people who blur the lines between love, art and porn, there is some almost inexpressible third heat permeating the work. There’s a warmth and closeness, not only drawn out through familiarity, but through the meeting of the professional and the personal in a defined artistic medium. It invokes a kind of solidarity and that radiates out to the audience, creating a community. They’re in this together, and we get to witness this rare thing.  It’s absolutely something you can see between Carlos and April.

My heart aches for her today. Losing a soulmate is an unfathomable thing. I encourage you to peruse his inventive, original work as well as some of the films they made together. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Carlos a number of times, including when I heard him speak at the Feminist Porn Awards screening and again at the Feminist Porn Conference. His desire to move past stereotypes and labels resonates immensely within the industry. As a big girl, seeing his unabashed approach to other big women in his work made me feel beautiful, and I know I’m not alone in this. He will be remembered for his amazing work, his unique approach to blending sexuality and love with his art and, just as importantly, for being a wonderful partner to April. Rest in peace, Carlos.

- Sophie