Category Archives: Porn

My First Video

Sophie giving a sensual blowjob and hand job

Well, I did it. It definitely happened faster than I expected, but sometimes you test something out, it looks right and you just decided to submit it. I was expecting the worst, but I was very pleasantly surprised to see how many people were actually enthusiastic about seeing me in porn. I mean, sure, people are generally speaking pretty psyched to see porn no matter what, but it does feel really great when it’s at least somewhat specifically to do with the person as well as the content. So, yeah, my first update is live.

Since I’ve always essentially been someone else, I’ve always had a certain amount of distance. Now that I’m myself and fully exposed as a performer, it takes on a really different feeling. It has definitely taught me that receiving first-hand compliments for your appearance as opposed to your work is quite a mind trip for someone who hasn’t always felt beautiful. That’s something that I’m honestly surprised by, but I certainly think it’s something I could get used to without developing a big head.

The other thing that has been surprising me is how polarized my feelings are towards the idea of people actually watching the porn I made. I mean, sure, I’ve always been intellectually aware that this kind of publicity means it’ll be observed and enjoyed by other people… That’s kind of the point. At the same time, I didn’t really think of it too much. So, on the one hand, it feels kind of strange to know that people are getting off to what is essentially my face, but it’s also kind of hot in a way. It’s only been a few days, so I’m still processing it.

Regardless, I hope you’ll go take a look at the update. It’d be really nice to get some feedback and hear what you thought of my first attempt.

The New Girl?

Hey. Sophie here. Long time, no see, I guess. After the confusion and general unpleasantness of the response to my last post here, I kind of avoided this blog, but I wanted to be straight with everyone because something is likely going down and I want you to be on board, or at least aware.

So, I want to do porn. I’ve danced around this for years. I met with a SuicideGirls photographer when I was 18, but I chickened out. I had some recruiters from Playboy magazine come talk to me when my school was chosen as a party school on one of their big annual lists, but it didn’t feel right. I started working in porn and opportunities seemed to be coming up left, right and centre from artsy folks, queer folks, community-oriented folks and even some bigger names who made me swoon just thinking about it. I was still too scared at the time, though now I’m much more settled in my career. But what I really want to do is shoot for The Art of Blowjob. So, what has been holding me back now?

Um…  You. Not you personally (though, maybe) but the idea of the past fans of the site and what they might think/say about me and what it means for me to be on the site. I know there’s going to be a certain percentage of the audience that will say just plain mean things, but I’m not even really talking about the internet trolls… I’m talking about people who will assume things about my motives and intentions in moving from behind the scenes to in front of the camera, so I want to proactively set the record straight.

The thing is, I’ve been a Cyrano de Bergerac type for a long time and it didn’t at any point suit me. I am far too opinionated and self-possessed to try to be anyone but myself, and I value authenticity in so far as that is possible in the adult industry. By finally being myself and exploring my sexuality and sexual politics on my own terms, I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do. Yes, I’m benefitting from the platform I’ve cultivated over the past over four years with this company, but this is a culmination of desires and opportunity over nearly a decade. I have mulled this over and I have made my decision. Sure, it’s going to be different than what it once was, but the personality and potential of the site can change and grow. I hope you’ll be open to it.

An Explanation

 

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

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?

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

Nude Selfies: What’s the Big Deal?

Without lauding what this particular lawyer dude from Delaware is up to (because he seems kind of skeevy) I do think that he has a point… Why do we care so much about people seeing our nude and/or sexual selves? This is an idea which is near and dear to my heart because, well, I get freaked out about it a lot. You see, my work is what I’d call porn-adjacent. I’m in the thick (PUN!) of it in terms of my day to day operations, but I am not the subject nor am I sexually available in any meaningful way because of my job. Sometimes I dabble in blogging, reviews or interviews which include a glimpse into my sexual life (these days, it’s absolutely nothing to write home about anyways) but it’s always done in an arm’s length kind of way. I’m lucky that I don’t feel any pressure to go any further than I feel comfortable. Camille and Mike are very respectful of me and would never ask anything beyond my desires…. But I am undeniably curious at times.

I mean, I have a very outgoing personality, I’m a decidedly sexual person and, even though as a bigger girl I’m not everyone’s favourite flavour, I know the niches that would work for me. Every year, along with representing our sites, making valuable contacts and soaking in the inspirational environment, the Feminist Porn Awards always brings at least a few tempting offers to shoot with some of my idols. So far, I’ve shrugged them all off with sheepish statements about just being a behind the scenes type of gal, but it does make me question why I’m so reticent to share my sexuality and my body online.

This reluctance doesn’t just mean that I wouldn’t likely shoot professional porn, but also that I’m almost overly judicious about any way that my body could appear online. The only sexy videos and photos I’ve shot with former partners were mutually deleted in what is almost a half-ceremonial/half-legal exchange — last time over delicious Vietnamese takeout. On the increasingly rare occasion I’ve had any reason to get sexy over webcam with an object of my affection, I’m actually very cautious to only have my face OR my body in the shot, and to have a sufficiently ambiguous backdrop. With the propagation of ex-girlfriend/revenge porn sites devoted to ogling non-consensual sexts and screengrabs, you can never be too careful even though I trust those with whom I’m e-intimate.

I certainly have absolutely zero sexual shame, I’m confident about my body, I’m quite up-front about sex with the people in my life… There shouldn’t be any reason for such concern, but there are still external societal pressures to keep the theoretical sex separate from the physical embodiment (or digital reproduction there-of) in order to feel safe from the more intense ramifications of sex-negative culture. I’m happy and secure with my job and feel an increasing comfort in my path in the sex-positive sector, so I’m not particularly concerned about my image in that respect and I’m relatively confident that I could explain a foray into porn to absolutely any friend or family member… I guess it’s largely that, though I don’t view sex itself as private, I struggle with the vulnerability required to share it. Once it’s out there, it’s out there, and you can’t entirely control the way people interpret it, even as a person with a background in porn PR.

Maybe I’m just too uptight. After all, I’m also not the type to get a tattoo for fear of regrets over that which cannot be undone, but I so deeply admire those who can let go and do what they want. I’m a little too in my head to divorce my desires from the potential impact of doing something which is stigmatized in many ways, though less overtly so. Perhaps if it became more normalized, it’d be easier. It’d definitely be healthier for everyone societally to share and bare our sexual and physical selves to reduce shame, promote our differences and find kinship in our baser natural states.

I’m not saying we should make like that University of Iowa TA and accidentally attach a sexy video instead of the solutions to her math homework, as I think that there’s a time and a place for everything and that a delineation between overt public/professional persona and the sexual self is still important, but I think that we should be able to shrug off such situations as a moment of exposed humanity and move on. That takes some doing, which only comes through normalizing such sexual expression. It’s kind of a catch 22. I know that more people need to be willing to be open to cause the shift, and that starts with the individual… In this case, with me. Will I do it? I guess we’ll see.

- Sophie