Safer Sex Barriers: No
Director: Jacky St. James
Cast: Maddy O’Reilly, Natalia Starr, Jessa Rhodes, Xander Corvus, India Summer, Johnny Castle, Steven St. Croix
There is something supremely twisted with this plot, but it is what it is and, in a guilty way, I find it very enjoyable.
Also, Maddie O’Reilly is a shit actress.
An inexperienced girl goes to a therapy for virgins and the sexually frigid in order to ease her fears and cast off the burdens of her conservative upbringing as she struggles between some patriarchal ideals of Madonna/whore, good girl/bad girl, slut/virgin.
On a critical, societal level, I hate this. I hate these big, all-encompassing ideals that women have to face as they grow (or are prevented from growing) into their sexuality; the worth tied to their purity, the push-pull of doing what you want versus the fear of being labeled a slut, and the us-and-them of the good, respectable girls and the bad, worthless girls.
At the same time, this is very identifiable, even to someone like me who grew up in an upper-middle class suburban home and was having Skype sex calls as a “barely legal” teen. Watching the character of Anna hurts because it is so jaw-dropping recognizable.
If they can see past Maddy’s bad acting, I think most women will see a part of themselves in Anna.
Emmett is supremely turned off by emotional intimacy, is a piss-poor practitioner of BDSM, loves treating women as inanimate fuckdolls (which, irl, is only hot when it’s consensual), is irresponsible, and has the empathetic range of a teaspoon. He is our Christan Grey. The man consumed by all the extremes society tries to give men. And Xander is a fantastic actor, able to convey subtle emotions with ease and all the little troubled pieces of this character.
Every day, Anna wakes from her nightmares of the previous day to find another card with another Task printed on it. These Tasks are meant to be obeyed without question (in fact, she signed a release form and contract in the first minutes of the film without reading it) and are meant to help awaken her sexuality and help her be more comfortable around men. They also form a framework for the sex scenes to orient around.
Eventually, the two of them are put together for paired therapy and develop a deep chemistry and attachment that feels healthier the longer it goes on. Anna becomes more sure of herself, but Emmett is unable to handle it and takes off, but she goes to find him again and… I suppose they live happily ever after?
Acts: blowjob, vaginal fucking, cunnilingus
Performers: Johnny Castle, India Summer
Feel: feared sensuality
Anna’s first task is to observe through a blindfold her instructor and another male therapist have sex. She’s told to sit and stay, the blindfold over her eyes, and simply to observe.
There’s something very threatening about what would otherwise be a beautiful sex scene. There’s a lot of natural lighting and both performers are gorgeous and sensual, with a good amount of chemistry. The woman doesn’t “overdo” it, like a lot of other female performers, and it feels like what she says and the noises she makes are for her and her partner, rather than the camera and dudebro stroking off on PornHub. I used to really judge porn stars who would cum without touching their clit, but I’ve now had more than my fair share of clit-free vaginal orgasms, so, I’m willing to go with it.
However, the music is dark and eerie, a faint, deep thrum of strings instead of upbeat hip-hop or techno. The atmosphere is tightly controlled, between very near closeups on Anna’s nervous face and the passionate lovers, with this heavy note of drama and fear. We’re meant to watch the scene through her eyes and to absorb the anxious fear that grips her as she’s forced to watch.
I honestly felt like the scene could have been 5mins shorter, as it got very samey and the deep, rhythmic pounding felt a little boring and uninspired after a while, but it sets the tone for the rest of the movie of fear and corruption.
“Do you think she enjoyed it?”
“If she didn’t now, she will later.”
Acts: light bondage, vaginal fucking, blowjob
Performers: Xander Corvus, Natalia Starr
Feel: objectified by a twisted mind
This scene is a flashback to, presumably, the last time Emmett had sex before going into therapy. He had hired a hooker and left her tied up in his bedroom all day when he went off to work. 10 hours. Dude. I mean, dude. Should I even bother explaining how stupid that is?
In any case, this is a perfect example of a scene that has to be watched in the movie. Without the film, there’s no context to Emmett’s rude behaviour. He craves the “stranger fuck” and just wants to use her body to masturbate with, without a care for her pleasure or her personhood. He doesn’t abuse her, but he ignores her. He doesn’t want to look at her face and constantly pushes her away when she goes for a kiss or sustained eye contact. He avoids her eye when she blows or rides him and buries his face in a pillow, his hands in her tits.
Now, if there was some kind of greater context to the scene instead of just Emmett’s memories of her probably wanting it anyway, some way to suggest that she enjoyed being dominated and objectified, then this would be super hot. To a certain extent, it is, but I feel a bit skeevy and guilty enjoying it.
This scene is the definition of objectified sex. Tone-wise, it’s all about how he uses her rather than her enjoyment of it. The same deep, eerie music plays very softly in the background to highlight the unhealthiness of it all.
“Don’t take off the mask.”
“Because I have no need to see your face.”
Acts: blowjob, cunnilingus, vaginal fucking
Performers: Jessa Rhodes, Steven St. Croix
Feel: lush pounding porn
Brought into Anna’s imagination by her third task (“sensual intuition”=judging a woman to be hyper-sexual based on her sexy attire and makeup), this scene is all about her wish fulfillment. Maybe not about having sex with her therapist/instructor, but about secretly wanting to become this nameless, hot woman who she invented an entire sexual persona for: she kisses open mouthed, is always dripping, loves attention from men, and dresses just to be able to take her clothes off. I’m starting to side-eye the writer right now.
On the other hand, I really like Steven in scenes. He’s vocal, passionate, and seems genuinely in awe and lust with everything Jessa does to him. It’s a bit of a stereotypical porn scene and it really felt like Jessa was overreacting. It doesn’t feel like it particularly fits with the plot or movie, but it was good and hot all the same.
Acts: bondage, kissing, sensory play, light S&M, slight dildo-ing
Performers: Jessa Rhodes, Steven St. Croix, Johnny Castle, Maddy O’Reilly
Feel: artistic bondage
Despite the only sexual act is kissing, it’s incredibly sensual and artistic. Anna is blindfolded and strapped to an X-cross and all the others come around with sensory play items (ice cubes, light flogger, chocolate sauce, massage oil, feathers). The pounding drums and sharp dramatic lighting all amp up the primal sensuality. It’s all about her finally fulfilled desires of being made to cum at the mercy of others. Her final corruption into a sexual being. It reminds me of those black, sexy perfume commercials, and is more of a piece of art than a bog-standard porn sex scene.
The scene is fairly short, but is included as a DVD extra of about 19 minutes that extends all the little vignettes.
Acts: blowjob, bondage, vaginal, rough sex, throat-fucking, begging
Performers: Xander Corvus, Maddy O’Reilly
Feel: rough lovers
Most hard, rough sex takes place in dungeon-type settings, but even though this one is very choreographed and scripted, it feels more natural. It takes place in Anna’s stylish ivory-coloured bedroom, filled with knick knacks, and feels like everything they do are the characters’ own desires. Emmett had confessed a desire to be tied up and teased, so Anna brings out handcuffs and gives him a long, sensual blowjob.
This is the final culmination of the characters’ relationship and it’s beautiful. Emmett is still rough and pushes Anna’s face away, but it’s to pin her down the way they want it. He holds her hand and kisses her hair and cheekbone while spanking and choking her. Each of their desires are equally important and their pleasure as valid. There’s no glaring obvious focus on Anna and it’s about the pair of them and just how fucking hot they are.
Even though all the plot revolves around problematic, un-PC ideals and devices, it’s an enjoyable film with hot rough, sensual sex that I’m sure will speak to a lot of women who see themselves in positions like Anna: conservative and chained by their morals but wanting to be a “bad girl” and embrace their sexuality.
I received this DVD from Sexy Time Toys in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Thanks, Sexy Time Toys!