Friday, April 6, 2012

Edu-Porn Review: Tristan Taormino's Expert Guide To Pegging

Believe it or not, I don't watch a lot porn. However, I will ALWAYS go out of my way to get my hands on anything with Tristan Taormino's name attached to it. In addition to being Thomas Pynchon's niece (sorry, that bit of bizarre trivia will NEVER fail to entertain me), she's one of the best sex educators and pornographers on the scene. She creates films that are sex-positive and women oriented while avoiding the irritating "porn for women" tropes of the 80's and 90's (blowing curtains, luxurious mansions, romantic storylines...gag!) Instead she focuses on choosing interesting performers with hot, authentic, chemistry, and isn't afraid to push the envelope with films like the "Rough Sex" series, that focuses on women's real raunchy, hardcore fantasies with no apologies.

 I was VERY excited to check out her Expert Guide to Pegging (previous topics covered by TT in this series include oral sex, anal and female orgasms), which came out this past Valentine's Day. As a person who loves pegging, I thrilled when VividEd sent me a review copy to review. Tristan Taormino is following in the footsteps of  sex education videos produced by Nina Hartley and Carol Queen (Bay Area represent!) in the 80's and 90's, notably the latter's "Bend Over Boyfriend" series, and I think she's doing a fantastic job of providing fresh, relevant education on these topics for a new generation!

The day my DVD arrived in the mail, I brought it over to my lady pal Stricknine's house with a 6 pack of vodka infused red velvet cupcakes, and enjoyed the film with a pitcher of Sangria and thai takeout (and yes, some serious pegging was going down onscreen when the delivery guy arrived). We enjoyed watching it Stricknine's adorable gay roommate J. provided some amazing running commentary:

On Mickey Mod: "He is SUCH a pretty man! He looks like an Egyptian pharoah in an old Hollywood movie!"

On Christian XXX: "Oh, you know I'd be rubbing all up on that bald head!"

Seriously, I kind of wish I'd live tweeted the event.

TT's Expert Guide to Pegging starts with a 45-minute educational overview. Tristan that covers the important nuts and bolts of pegging, illustrated with snippets from interviews with the performers, and clips from the full length sex scenes. As a sex writer and pegging enthusiast for over a decade, I personally didn't learn anything new from the educational section, but I realize that pegging is still a pretty controversial and even taboo sex act for a lot of straight couples. In this regard, this DVD does a fantastic job of making pegging both accessible and hot, and would be indispensable to any couple new to pegging.

The educational portion is followed by three full-length sex scenes featuring six incredibly hot  performers: Dylan Ryan paired with Wolf Hudson, Jada Fire and Christian XXX, and Jiz Lee with Mickey Mod. Pegging veterans less interested in the educational aspect will find this DVD is worth buying for these scenes alone.  I love that Tristan chose such a diverse mix of performers for this video, including people of color, and a range of gender presentations, including genderqueer Jiz Lee. More importantly, it's clear that all the couples have genuine chemistry and seem to be truly enjoying their scenes. Each interview is precluded by an interview with the performers, and the pegging is presented in the context of a full length sex-session for added realism. The non-pegging sex varied from Wolf Hudson switching by fucking Dylan Ryan's ass after she's given him a good pounding, to Mickey Mod enthusiastically cunt punching Jiz Lee, and a strap-on blowjob (both acts you'd almost never see in mainstream porn). A variety of pegging dynamics are explored through the scenes, as well: Dylan and Wolf's scene has a sweet "couple experimenting for the first time" feeling, while Jada exudes dominant energy as she pegs the clearly experienced Christian, and Mickey and Jiz's scene has a strong emphasis on queer sex and gender play. It really displays different ways couples can use pegging to explore different types of fantasies to suit a variety of tastes.

Dylan and Wolf's opening scene is very sweet and romantic, and because Wolf is less experienced as a bottom, they dedicate a fair amount of time to showing how anal warm up can be sexy, something that is often sorely (haha) missing from porn. This couple has a kind of cute 1950's butch-femme dynamic about them: Dylan is a post-modern pervese Doris Day, pairing a  retro swing dress and pearl earrings with a curly blonde fauxhawk and a baby pink double dildo, while Wolf has an irresistable tattooed, greasy haired "leader of the pack" look. This is probably the least "intimidating" scene for pegging newbies: it's shot with natural sunlight illuminating a beautifully appointed room ("don't get santorum on that $50 decorative pillow!"), and seems almost sort of sweet and innocent, like a teenage couple "going all the way" for the first time. This is my first time seeing Dylan Ryan perform, and her sexual intensity is INCREDIBLE- she is able to get off by strap-on fucking Wolf, and I was able to empathize with her pleasure  to the point that I found myself yelled "grab that Hitachi, girl!" literally two seconds before she indeed grabbed the Hitachi while Wolf was fucking her ass.

Jada Fire and Christian XXX's scene had the strongest D/s power exchange feeling of the three scenes. Christian is a big, bald, and butch strap-on power bottom, and high femme Jada has a sizzling, naturally dominant presence. I couldn't get over the fact that she'd color-coordinated her hot pink lingerie and hair extensions to match her black and fuschia dildo! She's like the Nicki Minaj of strap-on porn! Jada fucks Christian so good that he sort of curls up in fetal position and appears to be drooling on his pillow in pleasure as she takes charge. It's incredibly hot to see a tiny femme woman completely own this Mr. Clean lookalike with her pretty pink strap on, and Christian's submissive pleasure is superbly erotic and authentic .

Jiz Lee and Mickey Mod's scene has a distinctly queer feel, with a strong emphasis on genderfuck. Mickey and Jiz wear matching smoky eyeliner, men's briefs, and tank tops at the beginning of the scene, like sexy androgynous twins. I've been a fan of Jiz Lee's underground queer porn for a while now, and holy shit, Mickey Mod IS a pretty man in all that eyeliner! Jiz makes Mickey suck their strapon before he straddles it lapdance style, and the scene winds down with a shower sex scene featuring the aforementioned Kathy Acker-style cunt punching. Adopting a masculine persona while wearing a strap-on may not be a fantasy for all women who enjoy pegging, but it was fun (and brave) to see this genderqueer dynamic explored in a video geared towards straight couples.

The DVD included some useful extras as well. I forced myself to sit through the safer sex reel for posterity, expecting yet another lecture on the importance of using condoms, but was pleasantly surprised by  the inclusion of safer techniques for choking your partner during rough sex!

 The DVD also features a guide to selecting and wearing a dildo and harness, a section on male anal self-stimulation (featuring the delectable Christian again), and a guide to enemas. The enema portion was probably the most interesting and and useful for me (albeit a bit ridiculously porny, as an actress is shown attempting to give herself an enema while wearing high heels and lingerie). Tristan's suggestion of buying an inexpensive Fleet enema, dumping out the solution, and refilling the bottle with warm water, seems like great advice for enema beginners, and she also explains how to use a more complicated enema bag.

If there's anything I felt was missing from this film, it's that I would have liked more information about pegging for different body types, particularly in the "how to select a harness" featurette. Pegging can present unique challenges for larger bodies or people with physical disabilities. For example, fat folks may find that a more full-coverage harness like the Spare Parts works better than a strappy one, and personally find that I need a dildo with a longer insertable length to compensate for my chubby belly (this can also be helpful when pegging someone with a big, juicy butt). I would have loved to see a BBW porn star like April Flores or Kelly Shibari in one of the sex scenes for added body diversity. It would have also been cool to see some of other types of harnesses used in the scenes as well (like thigh, face and and palm harnesses). Nevertheless, I get that there's a limited amount of information that can be presented in one DVD.

In closing, this is an incredible DVD for pegging lovers of all experience levels- even if you're less interested in the educational section, the sex scenes are incredibly hot, authentic, and a lot of fun, and the bonus features include a lot of useful information as well.

My grade: 9/10. BUY IT.

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