Small Favors Deluxe Hardcover Edition by Colleen Coover

Small Favors deluxe hardback cover

The hardback cover. (source)

[This is the text of the book review from episode 55.]

This episode’s review is of Small Favors by Colleen Coover, published by Limerence Press.

Unlike some of the books I review I did not receive this one for free—I’ve purchased this book many times, in fact.

First, I bought each of the separate comic issues when they were released—there were eight of them between 2000 and 2003.

Then both of the collected volumes, which, between the two of them, brought together issues one through seven.

The edition I’m reviewing today is the hardcover deluxe version that was just released in May.

It collects all eight issues—the final issue is in colour—as well as sketches, pin ups, other behind the scenes bits and pieces and a new short story.

First, book as object. Since it’s billed as a deluxe edition.

It’s quite lovely—there’s no book cover to flap around and get in your way, the cover image and title are printed on the front. It’s rather classy.

The pages are sewn in so it’s solid and the headband (that cloth bit that sticks up at the top of the spine of some books) has gold glittery thread in it, which is a nice touch.

Small favors glittery headband

The end papers are a heavy weight colour I’m not going to describe because it’s not gold or beige and whatever I say will be wrong. It’s in the lightish yellow range.

Small Favors end papers

It’s whatever colour you call this.

About the only thing missing is a sewn-in bookmark, but you don’t really need it, as it’s a comic and it took around an hour and a half to read the entire book. I could have definitely spent more time over certain pages, though.

Oh yes, and it smells good. Because it’s a nice weight paper with lots of ink due to it being a comic.

Now, on to content.

Issue one of Small Favours is about Annie, who is fantasising about her cute girl neighbour. She’s having quite the vigorous wank, totally nude in the back garden, when suddenly, she’s absorbed by the ground and lands in some nether-realm where a stately, Queenly type figure and her apprentice (who are both teeny, tiny) paralyse her with magic.

These two beings represent her conscience. They stand on her naked chest and inform Annie that at the age of twenty-one she’s already used her life-time allotment of masturbation. To prove how salacious the girl is, she produces polaroids of her fiddling with herself in all sorts of situations.

Annie protests saying, ‘So I masturbate a little’

Queenly exclaims: ‘A little?! These were all taken on the same day!’

Small favors proof

They tell her she’s simply got to behave herself from now on and in order to facilitate this, she’s been assigned this pixie-like creature named Nibbil. Nibbil has big blonde pigtails and appears to be wearing a black latex bikini with over the elbow matching latex gloves.

Her job will be to ensure Annie acts like a proper young lady from now on.

While the Queen and her assistant—whose name is Janus and I’ll get back to her—are blathering on about her moral turpitude or whatever, Nibbil has an eye-full of those polaroids of Annie diddling herself hither and yon.

The Queen and Janus go off to magically bond Nibbil and Annie together forevermore and our little pixie girl has discovered she’s utterly turned on by those photos.

Whatever is a tiny pixie girl to do?

Sometimes things are so large we don’t see them. Annie is just so big she doesn’t notice her there anymore—she thinks she’s alone. She’s super turned on, though, and sees a protrusion (hint: it’s Annie’s nipple) and hops on.

She’s having a grand ol’ time, then notices that she’s being watched and introduces herself.

‘Ummm, Hi, Annie! My name’s Nibbil! Gosh! I hope you don’t mind me fucking myself on your nipple!’

‘No. I like this. I like dirty girls.’

Having been given permission, Nibbil resumes her previous endeavours, now with the onomatopoeia of ‘boing boing boing boing’ and an expression of utter glee on her little face.

Small Favors dirty girls

This entire comic is very funny. I laughed out loud many times.

Then, Annie is all turned on, but she can’t move—she’s immobilised by magic still—so she asks Nibbil to help her out.

And she does—what a sweetie.

Small Favors Nibbil Helps Annie

Nibbil ‘helping’ out.

Once they’re both thoroughly satisfied, the Queen and Janus return to announce the women are irrevocably bonded. Nibbil will be keeping Annie in line in perpetuity.

No, they didn’t see what happened.

The takeaway is Nibbil is magic and very sweet, if not the brightest crayon in the box.

Throughout the following issues (which become chapters in the deluxe edition) we learn that Nibbil can grow to human size. So they take turns wielding the strap on. They’re switches in pretty much every way.

Sometimes Nibbil stays small and they play with that in all sorts of ways.

There’s a poly element in that our pixie friend encourages Annie to approach the hot neighbour she was lusting over when they were first introduced and thoroughly enjoys Annie’s enjoyment.

They also meet another girl at one point and have some three-way fun.

Small Favors Threeway

Like so.

Then there’s an orgy involving five people—all women. There are only vulva-having ladies in this book.

Small Favors lesbian orgy

Why isn’t this a live-action film yet?

At one point, Janus, the Queen’s assistant, is sent to check up on Nibbil and Annie.

I love Janus.

Janus wears glasses and a prim dress and has her hair in a bun and is usually carrying books—the titles of which reflect her inner thoughts. Like ‘The Clean Human Being’ and ‘Humility’

Her goal is to please the Queen and receive her approval and admiration. This is her kink.

Small Favors Janus is the best

This is what Janus thinks will happen when she finds the girls debauching one another.

As she’s walking up the drive to do the check in, she grouses,

small favors janus

That being at the top is Bean (not my Bean–she’s an actual person.)

Meanwhile, inside the house, Annie is going down on Nibbil, who suddenly starts crying and then this conversation happens:

Annie says: Oh no! I’m sorry! I thought you liked it when I licked you there! Oh no!

And Nibbil says:

small favors colleen coover nummy titties

So they’re running around the house like lunatics trying to clean everything up so Nibbil won’t get into trouble.
And something really good happens, but I’m not going to tell you what because spoilers.

Part of why I have such affection for Small Favors is nostalgia—it was released when I was a young-ish lesbian. And I hadn’t seen anything like it—I still haven’t.

It’s as graphic as it’s possible to be.

I gave a copy of the first collection to my friend Bean for her birthday one year and we were walking in public when she flipped through it and went, ‘Whoa, that’s graphic, I need to put this is my bag, hold up.’

It’s pretty much cartoon labia on nearly every page.

small favors annie masturbate

So

small favors nibbil masturbating

Many

small favors toys

Labia.

But it’s also very sweet and funny.

It’s also quite kinky! I didn’t realise. Because I was a kinky person but didn’t know it back then—I just thought it was the normal way to be—but looking at it now a vanilla person might be annoyed by all the spankings and bondage and such.

There’s even a story called ‘How to Spank Girls’.

Small Favors spankings

Which includes one of my all-time favourite comic panels, ever.

Note to my younger self: This isn’t the sort of thing vanilla people find normal. Find a clue, your life will be better for it.

I mean, in the very opening—Annie is fantasising about attaching her cute neighbour to the washing line with clothes pins by the nipples so she can do other naughty things to her. Sure. Everyone thinks about that.

Small Favors clothes pins on nipples

Really.

At the same time—there’s so much explicit consent. There’s a lot of people checking in or affirming their desire to do things. Which is definitely not something you see in BDSM porn—or any porn, really. People usually just go with the fantasy of power. I give Coover much credit for that.

So, it’s super fun and the physical version is high quality and I’m very happy. The end.

5/5

Episode 055: Small Favors

Episode the fifty-fifth; Wherein the Pageist expresses gratitude for community, friends and the best listeners in the world. The book reviewed is Small Favors: the definitive girly porno collection by Colleen Coover.

.45 Intro and Announcements:

  • The show has a new Patreon supporter! Effusive thanks to Dave!

1.48 My Submissive Life:

10.15 Book Review:

Small Favors deluxe hardback cover

The hardback cover. (source)

  • This episode’s book is Small Favors: the definitive girly porno collection by Colleen Coover.
    It collects the full run of the popular (very) explicit lesbian comic that ran from 2000-2003, including all seven of the black and white issues and the previously uncollected eighth colour issue. Also included is a new short story, pin-ups, sketches and other bits and bobs.
    It’s kinky and fun-loving (and hilarious). I had forgotten how funny.
    The premise is that Annie has used her lifetime allotment of masturbation by the age of twenty-one and the adorable Nibbil has been sent from another realm to make sure she behaves herself forevermore. They are irrevocably bonded through magic and, well, Nibbil is a naughty little someone herself.
    They thoroughly enjoy their bond (and bondage). Though it doesn’t remain just the two of them for long, as Nibbil understands compersion well and encourages Annie to explore whatever and whomever she’d like. Her cute neighbour, for example.
    This is such a fun time while demonstrating healthy kink and that lesbians can get down with the best of them.
  • Check out the artist’s website for more information about the author and her work: ColleenCoover.net

 

20.48 Closing Remarks:

Made in Serbia

(source)

If Kevin Smith had made a documentary about the Serbian porn industry, prior to making Clerks—this would be that film.

I’m 90% certain this is a documentary, by the way. 95%.

I’m pretty sure this is real.

The premise/story is that the filmmaker Nenad Bekvalac missed his ex-girlfriend who was a stripper-turned-porn star. She’s now engaged to someone else and they live far away, but will be returning to sell their apartment. He hopes to meet up with her then and win her back.

In the meantime, Nenad has seen some local porn and he’s not impressed with the low quality—he wants to make porn of higher caliber. First he sits down and watches a lot of porn (this is what Madison Young recommends to do when preparing to make your own in order to see what works and what doesn’t so that’s not as ridiculous of a plan as it sounds).

Then he wishes to befriend the biggest name in Serbian porn, Slobodan Stankovic (pronounced Stankovich), who has a regular set of performers. All of the porn actors in Serbia work with him and won’t work with anyone else without consulting him first so Bekvalac needs to know him anyway.

Bekvalac meets up with a core group of Stankovic’s actors and then introduces the viewer to several individually, allowing us to learn more about them, why they got into the business, their background, to go along on shoots, etc.

Cast: Simeon has the sling, Erzebet is in front, Dino is second to right, Bekvalac, far right. (source)

The Serbian industry is unlike the U.S. industry. If anyone would like to nominate that at understatement of the year, I think we have a chance.

People work in order to buy food or wood for the winter. The bodies are as natural as nature can provide. There is a certain degree of… intention I suppose is the word I’m looking for, in that Stankovic knows to have his performers to open up to the camera and keep hair from blocking light. He plays video before filming to give the performers an idea of how to do what they need to do.

Featured are:

Dino—he’s new and determined to make a success of himself. We watch him go to Hungary to film a scene with an actress there.

Djurica—a bisexual young man who lives with his aunt and uncle. He’s been in the business in a variety of capacities for some time and would like to leave Serbia altogether.

Erzebet—a woman who’s also been performing in print and on video for some time. She has her husband join her in a scene during the filming of the documentary.

Simeon—a former soldier who’s achieved local notoriety due to his new profession as a popular porn actor.

There are quite a few non-simulated sex acts. No big finishes, as it were, though.

After becoming immersed in the Serbian porn scene, Bekvalac grows to prefer the low-fi aesthetic and is no longer interested in making high-quality film.

‘Low-fi’ is an accurate description for this entire documentary. Booms are in view more often than not, the crew is visible in reflections, all those sorts of things. Dino recreates conversations with people in his life about becoming a porn star with about the level of believability of an episode of Jersey Shore. (There are only a couple of scenes like this—I think they were to give context? I don’t know. Like I said—think pre-Clerks Kevin Smith.)

Bekvalac gets back in touch with his ex and books her to do a scene for his film.

If you have no plans to watch it and want to know how things turn out. He says she has a professional mask on the entire time they’re together. After they’ve done their scene he says his film stalled and he never finished it and gradually lost interest in becoming a pornographer. Wow, man. That is a lot to go through just because you wanted your ex back.

Overall, it was depressing in a way that personal stories about porn stars in the U.S. aren’t always (they can be, but many are people getting paid to do what they love.) Made in Serbia was a portrait of how a much smaller porn industry with far less financing and social support works. It was an enlightening view of a business in a part of the world I knew little about.

3/5

*Oh yes, in this week’s episode I said Serbia made a decent portion of the world’s pornography. I have absolutely no idea where I got that idea. Apologies. I tried to find out the percentage of the world’s porn made there and came up with nothing. The US makes 89% of the world’s porn. South Korea is the biggest market for porn, though.

The DIY Porn Handbook

(source)

[This is the text of the book review from episode 40.]

This week’s review is The DIY Porn Handbook: A How-To Guide to Documenting Our Own Sexual Revolution by Madison Young.

Before we get started I would like to say I received this book for free, but if there are any doubts about my ability to review a free book honestly, listen to episode thirty one.

The entire point of the DIY porn revolution is very much in tune with my rant earlier in the episode about not projecting your kinks onto someone else. It’s about taking control over how the female body is sexualised—or showing that there’s more than just male and female bodies in the first place and people have sex in a plethora of ways.

Young takes the reader on a journey to creating their work—step-by-step from working out their values to writing a script to casting, funding, budgeting, building a website, distribution, branding, marketing, you name it. And of course actually filming.

Though the book has suggestions for the entire process, Young encourages people to use her ideas as a springboard and come up with something entirely new. She doesn’t think her way is the only way.

She’s clearly spent a lot of time making porn and thinking about it and has this to say:

Porn has been a container to hold our repressed sexual fantasies, a container and a closet that absorbs all the shame our society feels around its sexual desires. Porn becomes the scapegoat for sexual shame.

It was about then (on page, like, FOUR) I started thinking Young and David Ley should have coffee if they didn’t already know one another.

I’ve heard before that porn was political—that making porn was a political act. And I hadn’t really understood it, but in chapter three, which is called Why Does DIY Porn Matter, Young says this:

Documenting authentic sexual pleasure grants permission and creates space for viewers to recognize, explore and express their own authentic sexual desires. It also works to destigmatize sexuality and serves as a chance for us to view sex and sexual desire outside of a shamed mode of expression.

So. The title of this book includes the word ‘documenting’. The author regularly uses that word as well. She writes scripts, but the sex is real—there are no faked orgasms. At one point there’s an example of how she discusses what sort of sex the bottom in a scene likes—what will make that person comfortable. She doesn’t make ‘films’, as in fiction. She makes—and advocates—the making of documentaries. About sex.

This is how some people have sex—so it’s okay if you have sex like this, too.

And that’s when I got extra pissed about the porn laws in the U.K. Again. Because you can’t show legal acts like fisting and that’s how some people like having sex and fuck you for legislating that.

Back to the book.

Also in Chapter Three Young says:

DIY porn expands our minds to include images, sexual stories and narratives of a wide variety of body types, gender expressions, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and differently-abled bodies.

This is a good thing. Everyone doesn’t look like the people in generic white people porn.

Between chapters there are guest writings by artists, scholars, mothers of pornographers and so on. Those are enlightening, enraging and/or fun.

In one of those: Pornography as Protest: Direct Action and DIY Porn, the author of that piece, Zahra Stardust says:

In a criminalized environment, where our bodies, desires and sexualities are deemed ‘offensive,’ DIY porn is protest. DIY porn becomes a form of insubordination, a symbolic violation of laws designed to closet and invisiblise us. When we are excluded from participation in law reform, porn becomes our protest mechanism. DIY porn becomes an act of nonviolent resistance.

There’s lots of homework—you know how I love that. You start a journal for your various ideas and projects. One of the assignments is to write out a conversation with your desire. This is the conversation Young had with her desire:

Me: Hello, Desire.

Desire: Hello.

Me: I wanted to ask you a question.

Desire: Go for it. I’m waiting.

Me: Well, what do you lust for? What really turns you on?

Desire: I want to be full.

Me: Full?

Desire: I want to be so full of cock. I want cock stuffed down my throat, in my cunt, and two cocks rubbing against one another that pump in and out of my ass. I want to be so full.

Me: Wow! Tell me more about that. Where are you when you are full of all these cocks?

Desire: Somewhere filthy. Maybe a garage. Maybe they’re mechanics covered in oil and dirt. Everything is just so dirty and it feels so good, my sweat mixed with the dirt.

Obviously, as an asexual lesbian that is not my desire. But I love that assignment and I’m working on my own. And you’re welcome to anyone who wanted to hear me say those words. I say many more filthy words for Patreon supporters.

Films don’t occur in a vacuum—particularly DIY films, so there’s much information about building community, which is where you’ll be finding talent, graphic designers, crew and every other thing you can imagine.

There’s great advice for people starting out for how to avoid mistakes others have made—Jiz Lee wrote one of the guest pieces about the variety of ways porn directors and talent collaborate—sometimes they trade clips for performances rather than pay or all sorts of other arrangements. I learned a lot about how the industry works—it was fascinating.

Young also goes into the technicals on how to tell a story with a series of shots and gives the prospective director a shot list to use a video camera or even still camera to practice with. Then there’s good info on writing dialogue and a script.

There’s a chapter on budgets and how to keep yours as low as possible, with examples of what she pays for things.

The interlude between chapters is by the Tax Domme—her site is taxdomme.com. She’s a tax preparer with a speciality in the Arts and Entertainment industry, though she also does taxes for non-adult industry people, as well. Her section had some really interesting information about small businesses in general. Thanks, Tax Domme! That site is US-based, FYI.

There’s a section on the conversation that needs to happen during negotiations for BDSM scenes—it’s too long to read to you, but the way Young remembers it is by using the acronym REAL SHAG TOP. You’ll have to get the book if you want to know what all of those letters mean.

Young provides a chapter on production flow—or how she sets things up to keep everything moving as smoothly as possible so she can shoot an entire film in one day in order to save money. She has it down to a science. A sexy, sexy science.

A guest section between chapters is by Shanna Katz and is on how to be disability inclusive. The last piece of advice there is to be ready to fuck up. Because you know you’re going to.

Chapter eleven is my favorite—paperwork, legalities and obscenity laws! Whee!

In this chapter there’s a photo of someone named Elizabeth Thorn filling out paperwork before shooting a film called Bibliophile. So I had to go look that up and now I have an account on Filly Films. Ahem.

In regard to obscenity laws, there’s this:

In some instances bondage with penetrative sex, or bondage with penis/vagina penetration, is considered too obscene. Fisting is generally considered obscene (however, four fingers or even eight fingers is okay). Pee and poo are taboo as well. But many things, like context and distribution, factor into these issues.

Will this film just be screened as a film festival? Is it part of a documentary or a fantasy narrative? Does the film have artistic or educational merit? Are you marketing the film as erotic art, erotic film or porn? Is the film on DVD and are you shipping it to Alabama or Florida? Does it contain hardcore anal fisting with a girl in bondage?

That’s very specific. You really have to know what you can show and can’t show. No wonder she recommends having a legal advocate on speed-dial for if/when you need them.

Then there’s a chapter on the mechanics of shooting—lighting, audio, shots and so forth. Know your strengths and weaknesses and play to your strengths.

The chapter after that is on editing, which sounds about as meticulous and time-consuming (and possibly crazy-making) as can be. Then again, some people feel that way about editing writing, so eh.

But then, you have a finished film! Hooray! Chapter fourteen is on distribution—how to get your filthy art out into the world. There are many, many options—find the ones that work for you and the audience you’d like to reach. In this chapter Young says:

Along the way, you will also discover people who will not be supportive of erotic film, DIY porn or outward displays of sexuality. You are entering into a realm that embraces and celebrates a part of our humanity that is still steeped in shame. Your work is brave and it might frighten some people. Your events might get shut down. You might encounter problems with venues or disgruntled parents or the police. Have a plan. Know your rights, and know that the work you are doing is important. Have a lawyer. Have legal support and allies, and follow your heart, lead with compassion.

The final chapter is on the ever important branding and marketing. It doesn’t matter how mind-blowing your work is—if no one knows it exists they won’t know how to get it into their brains.

The DIY Porn Handbook is only 231 pages long and the font is fairly large, but it has everything I can think of to get someone started—it’s pretty impressive in that way.

For me, personally, this book was a lesson in judgment. I obviously don’t judge people who do or make porn, hello, I did an entire episode on porn, but I have never had a desire to make or be in it so figured I’d be reviewing this purely for my listeners—like service-oriented reading. I’ve always wondered how they got certain shots in porn, but that was the extent of my curiosity, really. Now I kinda want to be an assistant on set. I still have no desire to be in one—it’d be dull watching me, indeed, but I’d help out around set.

Instead of service-reading, though, I learned a great deal. Similar to David Ley’s Ethical Porn for Dicks, which was also going to be service-oriented reading, and turned out to be my favourite book of 2016. As mentioned before—this book showed me how porn is political. It also introduced the concept of Visions and Values Statement, which is something Young advocates writing down to help a person work out what they’re about. I’m working on mine to add to the site.

I would definitely 5/5 recommend this to anyone interested in making their own films for distribution. The legal and tax paperwork is U.S.-based, but that takes up a small amount of space in the book.

If you’re looking for info on making porn just for yourself? There’s still good information here, though the majority of the book is on other aspects of film-making, distribution, that sort of thing rather than specifics of how to hold a camera. So I suppose it would depend on how artistic you want to be with your personal films.

If you’re just interested in the porn industry—particularly the indie side of things then this has a lot of interesting information. Young knows her stuff and has been around—she’s made over 40 films in the last decade and is articulate about what she does and why it’s important. There are also many black and white photographs scattered throughout.

Episode 040: The DIY Porn Handbook

Episode the fortieth; Wherein the Pageist discusses the impertinence of projecting one’s kinks, learns of a kinky ebook publisher and is reminded (yet again) to be kinder to herself. The book reviewed is The DIY Porn Handbook: Documenting Our Own Sexual Revolution by Madison Young

.47 Intro & Announcements:

  • Two new Facebook likes: Hellooo to Dave and David!
  • Two new countries: Paraguay and French Guiana. Making headway into South America, yes we are.
  • Thank you to the person who took the survey!
  • The show only has five iTunes ratings. 🙁 If you use iTunes, please give us some stars and rate other shows you enjoy, too. It really does make a podcaster’s day.
  • This week’s review on Monday was Oh Joy, Sex Toy.
  • All sorts of tweaks to the site, including increasing the font weight so you no longer risk blindness.
  • The Book Recommendations page is up as is the Gift Guide.
  • Circlet Press is Erotica for Geeks.
  • The Viscountess Investigates by Cameron Quintain

9.35 My Submissive Life:

  • This week’s rant is brought to you by: dudes who project their kinks onto female-presenting humans. Stop.

15.35 Book Review:

32.11 Closing Remarks:

Ethical Porn for Dicks

(source)

(source)

[This is the text of the book review from episode 32 of the podcast.]

The book this episode is Ethical Porn for Dicks: A Man’s Guide to Responsible Viewing Pleasure by Dr David Ley. I received this book for free, but if you want to know if I can give a negative review about a free book listen to the previous episode.

This could be my shortest review yet. I could say:

This is possibly the most useful, best book I’ve read this year.

And then be done with the review.

And I have read some really useful, incredible books this year.

Or. This review could be two hour-long episodes because there are so many quotes and thoughts to expand upon. I’m going to try to find a balance. This is the first review I’m going to do without quotes because if I have to choose I’ll lose my mind. If you’re here for the quotes, I’m sorry. You’ll just have to read the book. I was highlighting something every third page or something insane.

Happily, the author will be on the show next week so it’ll be sort of like two episodes on the subject.

You should read this book.

Early on, Dr Ley says it’s geared towards men because that’s who our society punishes most for their porn consumption and also who he sees in his therapy practise talking about their guilt over porn use, but it’s for anyone who struggles with guilt, shame, or any sort of ethical or moral issue around porn or masturbation.

I would expand that and recommend this to spouses of people who view porn, people who are curious about the differences in the way men and women relate to porn and the way our culture views male and female sexuality in general, who want to consume porn more ethically…

Look, just read this book.

If you’re pro-porn or anti-porn I’m not trying to change your mind and neither is the author, but this thing will make you think. About, like, so much. It was blowing my mind, man.

There’s so much practical advice. About how to talk to your kid if you find out they’re watching hardcore BDSM and you want to be sure they know that’s—what Dr Ley calls ‘varsity sex’. About what to do if you accidentally download child porn.

When he was talking about that he said that was a common fear of the men he spoke with and almost none of the women. Yeah, I’ve never worried about that. Dr Ley contacted the FBI and asked what to do in those circumstances—I will be asking about that experience, which I’m sure was delightful during our interview—and he explains what to do. It does not involve setting your computer on fire and it does involve alerting the authorities and having an uncomfortable conversation about how you wound up with the images, but he explains why that’s the far better way for things to go.

There’s also advice on how to know if the porn you’re watching is ethically produced or pirated and how to find and support ethically-produced porn so more of it is made.

An overarching theme is that porn is not the problem—you are. Porn is a coping mechanism like alcohol. It’s something that feels good. If you’re depressed or anxious or nervous or whatever, and you’re not allowed to talk about your feelings—like men in our society aren’t allowed to do—then you go to your coping mechanism. You do the thing that feels good. Some people eat comfort food. Some people shop. Some people grab their crotches for dear life.

It’s like that joke: Why do girls play with their hair? Because they don’t have dicks to grab.

People with dicks get nervous and they grab their dicks like it’s a safety railing.

While I’m on the subject of ‘people with dicks’ Dr Ley is super inclusive. We’re talking about a straight, white, cis dude, here. But he gets and is inclusive of the spectrum of all the people and kinks. I thought it was going to be uber-heteronormative due to the title, but it’s more pragmatic about the way society treats men—when I say men on my show I mean any person who considers themselves to be a man—in regard to porn and sex. The world does treat people it perceives to be men differently than it does women. And, because of that, we treat ourselves differently.

I mean, why hadn’t I ever worried about accidentally downloading child porn? That shit will ruin your life. Probably because you never see women with it in the news. You never see women called perverts and dragged out of their houses and had all of their computers confiscated, etc.

At one point he uses the metaphor of model trains. If a man’s hobby is collecting model trains and it expands to the point that his wife can no longer get to the washing machine—she’s going to have a problem with it. If someone did an article on the guy whose model trains take over his house and life he’d just be seen as eccentric or quaint or maybe sort of a loser, but if a dude is collecting porn to that extent—well it has to do with filthy sex (which nearly everyone has so how filthy can it be!)–so he’s just a disgusting pervert.

What if there was a story about a woman who was collecting that much porn—if it was taking over her life? That changes the story. That’s kinda hot, right? Our culture tells us male sexuality is aggressive and gross and female sexuality is sexy and tell me more about that. How much porn are we talking? What kind? Like… threesomes or…

Ethical Porn for Dicks covers every myth or concern there is about porn—whether using it is cheating on your partner, does it change your brain, make you bad at sex, make you a bad human, turn you into a rapist, etc.

On that last point—many studies in different countries have shown that porn is good for society and lowers rates of sex crimes. Dr Ley and I will be discussing that because wow.

Could it be because people get to see their fantasies? They get to know they’re not alone in feeling and thinking the things they feel and think? After all, someone else—several someones—got together to write, direct, produce and film the thing they think about. Knowing other people think the same things they do removes some of the shame and when people are less ashamed perhaps they’re less likely to be enraged. Shame exhibits itself in weird ways. Some people hate their own homosexuality so much they beat up people who are gay. Others just pass anti-LGBTQ laws.

In the afterword, porn performer Chanel Preston says people think about things all the time that they wouldn’t do in real life—shoving their annoying neighbour down the stairs, punching someone who cut them off in traffic and so on—but when they fantasize about something unusual they want to know what it means. Chanel tells them, ‘Probably nothing.’ Just like you’re not a sociopath for wanting to gag that loud neighbour.

Our culture gives such weight to sex that if someone is fantasizing about something ‘not normal’ whatever that means people worry about it. Or if they watch porn rather than have sex they feel guilty. Do you feel bad when you have an easy meal rather than making a full dinner? No? Because it’s all food. Just different kinds.

The author does give advice on how to deal with any anxieties you have and how to talk to your spouse about your porn use. He also gives tips on how to decrease your use if you really think you need to once you figure out the role porn plays in your life. If you’ve been jerking it a bit too much and are having some difficulties with biological sex—there’s advice there, too. There’s advice all over the place. As well as observations and information on gender, culture and sexuality. In 225 pages. It’s also funny and accessible.

And there are resources in the back for any further information you’d like to follow up on.

Read this book. Have I said that? No one should be ashamed of their sexuality, thoughts or porn use.

I want to send massive crates of this thing to Parliament. But that’d be no guarantee they’d read it. Dr Ley needs to come speak.

Clearly this is a 5/5.

Episode 011 The Pageist Talks Porn

Episode the Eleventh: Wherein The Pageist talks porn: lesbian porn, BDSM porn, porn for men… no book review this week, though, as she is preparing for a more involved episode about two books by Gloria Brame.

00.55 Intro & Announcements:

  • The Facebook page has two new likes: Welcome to Brian and Jiz Lee.
  • Also welcome to new members of The Pageist Fetlife Group
  • There are a couple discussions up over there about books that influenced your sexual and non-sexual life. A similar post is here. Join in–I’d love to hear what books captured your imaginations.
  • Also through the Fet group, I learned that Android users can listen to The Pageist using the free app: Podcast & Radio Addict. Thank you, lovecrafthobbit, for the tip.
  • Power Exchange Summit is a month away! AAH!
  • I love sex toy review sites and have found a new one: A Couple of Kinks.
  • Speaking of sex toys and reviews of them, Hey Epiphora reviewed some Hole Punch Toys. Double win!
  • After loving the digital version of Playing Well with Others (reviewed in Episode 002) I bought the physical version and, as I suspected, it is superior to the ebook edition. I love ebooks, but this one should be read in the physical version.

6.40 Segment One: Lesbian Porn

21.00 Segment Two: Porn for Men

  • Original writing here.

23.25 Segment Three: Finding Porn Pre-Internet

27.15 Segment Four: BDSM Porn & Lesbians on Kink.com

31.20 Closing Remarks:

Porn for Men

I’ve written before about how admins can see the search terms visitors used to find their sites.

This time I signed in and was greeted by this:

porn for men

No, I don’t know what leathers 50 sex is, either.

Now, I know why the person was directed to my site–it was due to the ‘Lesbian Porn for Men vs for Lesbians‘ piece–that’s not what confused me.

What confused me was why a person would need to add ‘for men’ after typing in ‘porn’ into a search engine.

All porn is for men. Just… all of it. A human individual has to go out of their way to find porn not geared towards men.

Which is fine, since that’s who buys most of it. I’m just saying. The searcher could have saved themselves a few key strokes.

It’d make sense if they were searching for porn for gay men. Or porn for black men. Or some other specific type of men.

Then I started wondering if they had a specific sort of media in mind but they didn’t have the words to describe it.

Like, maybe they thought seeing too much of the dude in the porn made it gay, because they might, for a nanosecond, think the guy had nice muscles or manscaping or something.

But they didn’t want it to be all women, either. Because we all know women can’t be satisfied without some serious manliness all up in their girl-parts.

Perhaps they wanted a stand-in cock they could pretend was theirs, but didn’t want to see or hear too much other dude-ness. Because…gay.

Maybe that’s ‘porn for men’ for that person?

I don’t know. But I’m curious now.

Hey, porn for men person! If you’re reading this, please contact me. I really want to know what you’re looking for. If you’re too shy and I guessed right, trying looking for ‘gonzo porn‘, as much of it is shot from first-person and there’s no talking.

Is that it?! No talking? Porn for men would be porn with no dialogue whatsoever, right? Just sex!

Am I right? Do I win?

Gonzo porn. THAT’S porn for men.

… Oh god. I’m going to get so many hits now. So many disappointed hits.

I’m sorry. This isn’t what you’re looking for.

Or maybe this IS what you're looking for? I don't judge. (source)

Or maybe this IS what you’re looking for? I don’t judge. (source)

This is going to be a thing, isn’t it? Where occasionally I respond to something truly beautiful from my Top Searches. I’ll have to come up with a tag for it.

Lesbian Porn for Men vs for Lesbians

Lesbian Porn for Men vs Lesbian Porn for Lesbians: An Annotated List

I’ve seen one or two films of the grown-up persuasion in my time. And I enjoy the ladies who enjoy the ladies, so the majority of those films have been of ladies enjoying other ladies’… ladyparts.

When I first stumbled out into pornland, though, there was just so much of it–and it was all so shameful and dirty—and you had to go into actual physical stores (it was a dark time, kids)—so I’d blindly grab whatever I could get my hands on and run away. I’d consume my little bit of whatever I’d found and usually be partially aroused and partially appalled.

Kids, you'd wade through and take home whatever stuck to you. It was terrible. (credit)

Kids, you’d wade through and take home whatever stuck to you. It was terrible. (credit)

Then the internet arrived (blessed be the gods of perversity! all hail their filthy gifts from on low!) and I learned about the radical concept of lesbian porn made for lesbians, by lesbians. I started watching films made by Girlfriends Films and Sweetheart Video. Those just made me feel tingly in the pants region—without being appalled. (Well, until I started recognising some of the furnishings from one video to the next and realised I should probably take a break.) The films by lesbians were of a very different nature than that with which I had started my porn diet. I knew what lurked out there in the darker waters and lo, I was afraid.

So I stuck with what I knew and kept to the girly waters and all was well.

Very recently I started watching some of the Girlsway offerings. The Business of Women videos are right up my alley. But then I watched another one of theirs and it had several of the THIS WAS MADE FOR MEN signifiers. That started me thinking about the porn I watched early on and the ways porn made for two different audiences (but with the same subject matter can differ).

So here is a (no doubt incomplete) list of differences between lesbian porn for men (LPfM) vs lesbian porn for lesbians (LPfL). (And I mean between only women; no men arrive to ‘assist’ at any point in the proceedings.)

1. And I really cannot stress this one enough: NAILS. I’m at the point now where I turn off ‘lesbian’ porn if one of the women has long nails. It hurts me to look at it. And not good pain. One of my favourite porn actresses is bi and very occasionally will do a lesbian scene with slightly long nails (not Freddy Krueger length, but long enough to hurt) and I’m just, ‘Maggie, Maggie, why do you do this to me?’ (Magdalene St Michaels for those of you playing along at home.)

When some poor woman is being fingered to within an inch of her life by another woman who has two inches of vinyl attached to the ends of her fingers… Oh god. RED! RED! My eyes are tearing up as I type this. I do not consent.

We get it, lady. You're straight. Congratulations. (image from here)

We get it, lady. You’re straight. Congratulations. (image from here)

2. Foreign Objects, use of. Dudes just canNOT believe women don’t want something jammed in them. There’s a hole there (there’re TWO!) shove something in it, dammit! Or else it might seal itself shut, never to be penetrated again! Shove something, anything in there like your very lives depended upon it! Something huge, if you don’t mind.

Guys have to be in the porn even when they’re not in the thing.

There’s a hilarious ‘Lesbians React‘ video of lesbians reacting to ‘lesbian’ porn. We don’t see what they’re watching, but they describe it and, apparently the woman in the film they’re watching eventually has a stiletto heel inserted into her.

Lesbians do not do this. First of all, the vast majority of ladies who like ladies wear more sensible shoes and so wouldn’t even have one around and secondly, no.

Whilst I have not personally seen LPfM with non-sex toys used as dildoes, I’ve never seen a LPfM without a sex toy.

Yes, some women do like penetration. Just like some women don’t like oral sex. And yes, some lesbians like watching one woman with a strap-on riding another like she’s in the home stretch of the Kentucky Derby. (Ahem, this one right here.) But not every single time, men.

I wouldn’t mind there being a bit more of it in LPfL. The two groups need to get together and divvy up the amount of sex toy time so it’s a bit more equal.

'Hey Heather, why don't we go to the farmers' market. They always have really fresh courgettes. And organic is best, you know.'

‘Hey Heather, why don’t we go to the farmers’ market. They always have really fresh courgettes. And organic is best, you know.’

3. Foreign Objects, quality of. This is a weird one. But, in my viewing experience, the sex toys used in LPfM tend to be of higher quality than the ones—when you get to see them—in LPfL. You’d think that since actual lesbians are the ones who’d be using sex toys that on the rare occasion they broke one out for a porn they’d bring something nice. But I get all excited for some strap on action from actual lesbians and then they bring out plastic pinky the wonder winky. Seriously. I don’t know where they find these things, but, again, go talk to the props people for the straight guys.

I’m not asking for some monster thing that makes me think, ‘There is no way that’s going to f… holy hell that fit… That woman is straight. Straight straight straight. And she normally does elephant porn.’ But at least give me something that doesn’t look like it would cease to exist on a visual plane if I glared at it.

And something that doesn’t look like it fell off the back of a truck in Chinatown, while you’re doing me favours. You’d think they’d have nice stuff from Babes in Toyland or Good Vibes rather than what you’d get out of a naughty toy dispenser for spare coinage. Come on, ladies.

To see how it’s done properly, I suggest Kylie Ireland. She works with Girlfriends Films and brings her own gear and yes. This is how you do it.

'What do we need for this scene?' 'Just put in some change and we'll use whatever comes out.'

‘What do we need for this scene?’ ‘Just put in some change and we’ll use whatever comes out.’

4. Dialogue. Having watched gay porn, straight porn and lesbian porn I have scientifically observed an inverse correlation between testosterone and dialogue prior to the viewing of genitals.

Porn written and directed by straight people—no matter the sex of the people having the sex—gives a certain amount of porn-level dialogue and ‘plot’ before the humping kicks off.

Gay porn, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a couple lines to set the scene—mostly you just have to work out the ‘plot’ by what people are wearing and the set. ‘They’re soldiers. Soldiers having sex with each other.’ ‘They’re firemen. Firemen having sex with each other.’ ‘I don’t know what the… The setting is just a bedroom and they weren’t wearing clothes long enough to establish… They’re two dudes having sex with each other.’

Lesbian porn… everyone has a Dickensian back story and they’re all best friends with their exes, unless their ex is crazy (this is true-to-life, though, so props to realism), and each film has to be set up by twenty-five minutes of talking. No joke—I was once forty-five minutes into a Girlfriends Film before I saw a boob. I thought maybe I’d got the wrong film, but I knew who most of the actresses were so I stuck with it. And I must say—their actresses are pretty good. Once the sex got rolling it was even better! I was a little snarky by that point. ‘Oh, you are going to have sex. Bully for you!’

So. More oestrogen = more talking. More testosterone = less talking. Science!

'Maybe they'll stop talking soon and I'll get to see a nipple. That'll be worth the four hour wait.'

‘Maybe they’ll stop talking soon and I’ll get to see a nipple. That’ll be worth the four hour wait.’

5. Noises; Or: Sounds other than dialogue that issue from the mouths of women in porn.

These sounds vary depending on the porn the person is accustomed to performing in. Lesbians in LPfL make sounds people make when having sex—moans and hums that are particular to each woman.

Women in LPfM or who do a lot of crossover work make ‘sexy’ sounds they’ve all learned in a class somewhere.

One that I find especially odd is the intake of breath through the teeth. It’s a sound you’d make if you stubbed a toe on the way to the loo in the middle of the night and didn’t want to shout. If air was being exhaled rather than inhaled you’d say: ‘Shhhh’. At some point someone decided that a woman sucking air through her clenched teeth was sexy so now it’s common with bi/straight female porn performers.

Is it supposed to be a ‘fierce’ thing? ‘I’m so turned on I just can’t ooohhh, you just wait’ [reverse hissing sound]

That’s the thing that prompted this list—the actress in question was making that sound every (no kidding) ten seconds or so. Nope. Couldn’t do it. Turned it off. Because I was turned off.

Another sound you hear a lot is a moan/whine that could be coming from any porn actress out there. It’s the same pitch and notes, I swear. And it’s usually emitted at regular intervals.

Look, I know it’s a fantasy. I’m willing to work with you. All you have to do is not sound like a porn actress. That merely requires not making the exact same sounds every other actress makes. At regular intervals… in exactly the same way.

There could be another explanation. 'And now the mmmmyeah sound every three seconds.'

There could be another explanation.
‘And now the mmmmyeah sound every three seconds.’

6. Spitting. Guess which one it happens in. Guess which one it doesn’t. Spitting is not my kink so it just kinda grosses me out. It’s particularly jarring when it’s supposed to be vanilla sex.

No image available for this entry

No image available for this entry

7. Fake breasts. This isn’t a judgment on people who have breast implants—I’m all about people doing whatever they want with their bodies. This is about the differences between porn for lesbians and porn for dudes. And fake boobies are sort of a straight person thing. Especially the egregious ones. The ones that look painful. My friend Bug said, ‘I can’t get off while I’m busy being concerned about your surgery.’ I tend to start focusing just on body parts. Well, two body parts especially. I start thinking about how un/proportional they are, how un/naturally they sit or hang, what sort of job the surgeon did. There are some really nice boob jobs out there, I admit! And also some… well, I’m just sorry for those girls and I hope the money they’re making is to fix the other jobs.

The point is, I shouldn’t suddenly be focused on aesthetics and wondering if all the women with good breast jobs went to the same place or the one with the unfortunate set just caught the surgeon on a bad day. I should be enjoying the sex. Which is easier to do with natural boobs.

'The breasts themselves are equally proportioned, but they're a bit asymmetrical.'

‘The breasts themselves are equally proportioned, but they’re a bit asymmetrical.’

8. Non-conventional beauty. Even in my beloved Girlfriends and Sweetheart videos the women are pretty high femme. (I don’t know what that makes the average porn woman—stratospheric femme?)You have to look to the Crash Pad series to find a truly impressive assortment of female bodies having all kinds of sex. Aside from Crash Pad, LPfL still employs women that you’d never see in LPfM. (If you’re unfamiliar with Crash Pad, Oh Joy Sex Toy has an excellent review of their services.)

Some of the women in straight lesbian porn can be a little...plastic. (credit)

Some of the women in straight lesbian porn can be a little…plastic. (credit)

9. Shoes. This was pointed out to me by my friend Bean, but she was correct—LPfM lesbians keep their shoes on sometimes—something they never do in LPfL. Which is true. I guess straight girls like wearing murder heels. Unless they’re putting those heels in other women.

'No, no, I'm absolutely comfortable. Let's have sex standing up!' (Kronier Creations)

‘No, no, I’m absolutely comfortable. Let’s have sex standing up!’ (Kronier Creations)

10. Enthusiasm for the V. In LPfM you often see the enthusiasm for the V that ten-year-olds have for the first day of school. ‘Oh yay. This thing I have to do. Joy illimited.’ They then poke it with their tongue: poke, poke, poke like trying to ring a doorbell. It’s so sad. No wonder there’s all the spitting. In LPfL the ladies have the enthusiasm for the V that ten-year-olds have for the last day of school. They’re in there like they’re looking for their lost inheritance. They’re going down on a porn star and it’s the best damn day of their lives. As it should be.

'Girl parts. They are my favourite parts to put my face very close to.'

‘Girl parts. They are my favourite parts to put my face very close to.’

So what do you think? On the mark? Did I miss something?