Tag Archives: love

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

Making Porn to Make a Happy Relationship

A loving blowjob by Camille Crimson

Do you want to have your heart warmed?  Well, Violet+Rye have a post that will make you feel all fuzzy and good about the world.  They keep their faces and identities anonymous online because of their jobs and very few people in their lives know what they do.  When they told a particularly (charmingly) curmudgeonly friend about their secret porn lives, he responded that it made perfect sense.  ”No wonder you guys are so happy together!”

As someone who also has a happy work/personal sex life with the man I love, I have to say that I think that the porn we make contributes to our happiness as a couple too.  It’s a creative project that we embark on together, it’s a constant reminder of our intimacy and it just means that we have a whole lot more sex than a lot of other couples out there, both on camera and off.  Because I blog about sex and relationships, I think more about my own relationship and how to strengthen it.

The rest of their blog post is charming and, quite frankly, hilariously cute.  I hope you’ll read it.  Also, there are breasts!  I want to know from you…  Do you think that having this kind of a project, whether for work or just for passion, strengthens relationships and keeps people happy?  Could you see yourself ever doing something like this, even if only in your wildest dreams?

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.

Pleasing Your/My/A Man

Sensual and cuddly blowjob

Reddit is great for a lot of things, but sometimes I have to say that their advice, though well-intentioned, is…  Let’s just say interesting.  Recently there was a thread where someone was asking what the boyfriends of Reddit would like as a random surprise.  They actually came up with a number of options ranging from sweet to…  Again, interesting.

Some of the ideas are nice and simple…  Giving little hugs from behind, little surprise gifts, massages.  That all sounds pretty normal.  Then, washing him, which is a little more out there, but not exceptionally strange.  It turns out a lot of men want food, which is fine, although one guy was extremely particular:

Tacos. Like, I want to have a Saturday where we’re driving to the mall or something, and suddenly she pulls out a whole tray of tacos from under the seat and is all like ‘SUPRISE! TACOS’ and then we would eat tacos.

Ladies: say it with tacos.  But, there was one thing the original poster reminded everyone up front: “Please no one say BJ, i know thats at the top of everyones list.”  And what ended up happening?  Well, they spoke about blowjobs anyways.  Extensively.  So, if you don’t have a place to store tacos in your car, you can always show you care with a blowjob, even though we already know it’s the first thing the very large majority of men would like as a surprise.  ;)

Helping Happy Relationships with Beautiful Porn

Naked while giving a sensual blowjob

I’m in Miami, so this is just a quickie Q+A response, but one near and dear to my heart for a lot of reasons:

Do you get much feedback about your impact on relationships? I doubt that everyone is comfortable with the knowledge that their spouse or lover is getting off thanks to the work that you and Mike do.

We actually get a ton of really wonderful feedback from happy couples who watch our porn.  Whether it’s young couples finding out what makes them tick together or older empty nesters discovering what the internet has to offer to reignite their passion, we get a ton of solid response from people who have used our porn to explore and connect together.  It’s one of the nicest feelings in the world to know that we’re a little part of that.

There’s also a lot of response from people who are nervous to share what we do with their partner, so I try to help encourage people to be open without making it seem like what we do is an ideal for their relationship or that porn is necessary to keep them interested…  Just to honestly share the fact that they find it interesting and sexy to see what it might be able to stoke in their relationship by watching it together.  It’s amazing how well that often seems to work.  Sometimes the significant other will even contact later to say that they’re happy they found out about our kind of porn.

There was even a response once from someone who was initially kind of jealous about her boyfriend’s fascination with our site, but I was able to diffuse the situation and try to contextualize to both of them that porn can be a good thing to enjoy together, but it shouldn’t be something that comes before each other.

How about you?  Do any of you have stories of introducing or enjoying porn as a couple?

Partner Interviewing

Hot sexy sucking by beautiful babe Camille Crimson

I’m always talking about communication as a tool to give the best blowjobs, have the best sex and experience happy, fulfilling relationships in all ways.  But what does that actually mean?  Dr. Jess wrote an article a while back detailing some questions that you and your partner can ask each other to check in every few months, kind of like an interview to stay updated on what’s working for them and what they want out of sex and your relationship together.  Here are a couple examples I really like:

6.Name one place you’d like to have sex that we haven’t tried yet.

7.What is your favourite position?

8. If I were to initiate sex tomorrow night, how would you like me to do it?

Are these the types of questions that you’d want to check in with your partner about?  What are some other ones that pop into mind?  And is this something that you do, either formally or just casually when you want to make changes/make your feelings known?