Category Archives: Celebrities

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

Patrick Stewart Love

Patrick Stewart being a kind man.

I know I’ve specifically spoken about how much I love and respect Patrick Stewart before, all for being very sexy, being a brilliant actor, being an amazing part of Star Trek and a really wonderful role model for male feminists everywhere.  There’s recently been a story circulating around the internets about yet another time where he was wonderfully sweet and charming and just a kind soul.

Essentially, a young woman came to see him at Comicpalooza and asked a question: “Besides acting, what are you most proud of that you have done in you life (that you are willing to share with us)?”, which was framed around her own experiences with domestic violence and how his work with the issue had helped her to realize that it wasn’t her fault.  He answered eloquently, referencing his work with Refuge (a safe house for women) and Combat Stress (his organization to combat PTSD in veterans) – both of which are related to his own past living in a home where his PTSD-afflicted dad abused his mother.

But then he checked in with her, asking if she was alright and offering a hug.  So they did.  Isn’t that just beautiful?  He said: “You never have to go through that again, you’re safe now.”  Did your heart just melt too?

I’m sure you can understand why I love this man.  Read her account of the events and check out this video, where you see the hug in action.  My adoration has only grown.

Nigellerotica

The gorgeous Nigella Lawson

My love of Nigella is no secret.  She’s simply gorgeous, she makes food that makes you salivate and she has this sensual approach to everything she touches.  Clearly, I’m not the only person who has noticed this.  Jezebel reported on a hilariously lecherous article that a Toronto food writer named Michele Henry wrote about her, which essentially reads like something from an erotic novel.

Really…  Just read for yourself:

Nigella Lawson bites her bottom lip as she snatches a giant knife off the counter with the stealth of a schoolgirl up to no good. Swiftly, she lops a loop of fabric off her curve-hugging purple dress.

The blade nearly grazes her jugular.

“The microphone got caught in my dress,” she explains, batting her eyelashes coquettishly as if to make amends for doing something naughty.

And that’s the opening line.  Wow.  I don’t think we get much more lurid with that in the update descriptions!  It really just goes on from there.  Yes, he does mention her culinary skills, but there’s always this intense undercurrent of sensuality and sexuality in all his descriptions.  Then again, this is Nigella we’re talking about.

So…  Would you read food porn erotica?  Would you be any more turned on by a blowjob (or more) in the kitchen than anything else?  And have you ever had any culinary experiences take a turn for the decidedly erotic?  You certainly know I’m at home in the kitchen

Dita Sings

Monarchy x Dita Von Teese on Nowness.com.

 

This is the best thing to happen to music and sexiness in a while.

 

I love all things Dita and I never hesitate to share what she does, but this is next level.  She’s singing with Monarchy and she’s starring in the music video.  As someone who also loves feeling sexy, embracing a retro look, making videos and singing…  This is exactly what I want.  And she’s amazing, too.  The song sounds like something that would appear in one of my videos…  I doubt we’d be able to get the rights, though.

 

This is just perfect.  The retro housewife exploring the most sensual reaches of her mind.  The writhing bodies in her brain, the way she slowly strips on the bed, the contrast with her sweet side…  She’s incredible.  There’s really nothing else to say.  It’s so erotic just to watch her sing.  Her mouth works effortlessly and her eyes are expressive but non-challante.  Then you add everything else and it’s almost over-stimulating, especially since the cinematography, direction, concept and everything work together so flawlessly.

 

So, what did you think?  Does a sexy retro music video do it for you?  It certainly does for me, and maybe even gave me a little inspiration…  Who knows?

Motel Fetish

Dita Von Teese on Motel Fetish

 

We’ve shot in a few motels over the years, which I always find kind of kitschy and fun.  They feel like getting away to go do something sneaky and erotic.  Clearly I’m not the only one who feels that way.  Chas Ray Krider is a photographer who has created a series of photoshoots all taking place in motels called Motel Fetish.  As you can see from the above picture, he has even collaborated with Dita Von Teese!

 

Motel Fetish lingerie erotica

 

I love the concept for his photos, which all have a beautiful vintage quality.  The settings are perfect for stockings, sexy dark lingerie and retro pinup glamour makeup and hair.  Even though I’ve been going for a more relaxed look lately, I still love this look a lot…  I am a Dita fan after all!

 

Erotic motel glamour shot

 

Do you like this aesthetic?  I’m very enraptured by it.  There’s such a lovely idea of the kinds of trysts that must have happened in those times…  It makes me feel inspired…

RIP Steve Jobs

RIP Steve Jobs of Apple Computers

 

It’s been a year since Steve Jobs died and I just wanted to make a little blog post to commemorate his life and achievements.  As an huge Mac fan, I think he helped to make some wonderful things, but he also inspired me as an innovator.  His influence helped motivate me to find my own way to Think Different.

 

He will be missed.  There’s a lovely tribute video up on Apple’s website today.  I hope you get a chance to see it.