Starring Eden Alexander and Sebastian Keys
Directed by Shine Louise Houston
I like filming and watching real life couples having sex. They're who I primarily feature at my site Bright Desire. If you're like me, you also enjoy seeing the intimacy, laughter and general hotness that is apparent when two people who know each other well have sex on screen. The connection is not unique to real-lfe couples of course; I've seen regular porn scenes that positively exploded with chemistry between the two stars, even though they weren't in a relationship. Nonetheless, I've found that real-life couples scenes do tend to have a certain intensity to them that is compelling.
Thus, I was very keen to review Bed Party, a heterosexual scene starring real life queer couple Eden Alexander and Sebastian Keys. Directed by queer porn auteur Shine Louise Houston, the film captures this kinky porn star couple at home, doing what they enjoy most in bed.
The film takes great joy in not following the usual straight porn script. There's no awkward plot setup; instead we get images of the couple playfully jumping on the bed and engaging in a bit of roleplay in the hallway. This is accompanied by a voiceover in which the couple talk about their relationship and their preferences, just to set the scene. There's a real sense of fun on show here, lots of laughter and silliness. You immediately get the sense that Eden and Sebastian are very comfortable with themselves, with each other and with their sexuality.
The interview reveals the non-standard nature of their relationship. They're not a monogamous couple and identify as queer (Sebastian) and pansexual (Eden); they are keen to seek out new sexual experiences and partners, though they are also content with each other. It's a nice prelude that helps the viewer identify with the couple.
Forget the blowjob and 3.5 position changes, Bed Party features sex acts that are very rarely seen in straight porn. When the sex starts, it goes from nought to a hundred pretty quickly. I can safely say that this is the first straight scene I've ever watched that starts with male anal play - including fisting, near-Hitachi vibrator insertion (eep!) and gapes. Suffice to say, I wasn't really prepared to go there first up. Usually there's a bit of lead-in to that kind of anal play (and I'm always keen to see that lead in because it's part of what makes anal fun). But Sebastian is into it and Eden is keen to make him happy so off they go and good luck to them.
It's nice to see a focus on male pleasure in this film, especially the kind that isn't solely focused on the penis. Sebastian is allowed to be vulnerable here and Eden is in charge. This is not your standard porn dynamic. The scene also breaks taboos about which sex acts are "straight" and which ones are "gay". Here, the main goal is that both partners get off in the way that best suits them.
After that there's intercourse, squirting and oral sex with the scene ending in an external cumshot from Sebastian. The camera is often zoomed in, creating artistic fleshscapes as the couple go about pleasuring each other. This looks great although I occasionally found it frustrating as the whole thing is shot documentary-style with no cuts; the viewer sometimes misses seeing all the action as it happens because of this run-and-gun method. I found myself wishing they'd had a second camera but that's just me interpreting the scene from my own filmmaking perspective. That said, it looks fantastic and is very erotic. There's a strong focus on their faces and the interactions that occur between them as the scene progresses.
There's been some press which suggests Bed Party is groundbreaking because it is straight porn shot with a "queer gaze". I found myself pondering this concept, particularly from the position of someone who doesn't identify as queer but who does shoot straight porn from a different perspective to the mainstream, specifically, a straight, female perspective. I don't think showing straight sex in a different way automatically makes it queer (an idea that seriously messes with both labels) and I don't think the filmmaker has to be queer in order for the result to step outside the rigid cliches and boundaries that inhibit so much mainstream straight porn. In essence, it's those inflexible tropes that are the real problem because they have limited the representation of what is possible when capturing heterosexual sex.
That said, I'm very glad that Bed Party is out there and it's getting so much attention because it does show the possibilities. It also shows how fabulous sex can be when a couple are relaxed with each other and open to exploring their bodies in any fun and pleasurable way.
And if you are a fan of real-life couples having good sex together, I do recommend it.
Pink Label: Streaming Video
This review also appears at Bright Desire