Starring Poppy Cox and Gasper Johnson
Directed by Courtney Trouble
I like bikes. I ride bicycles for transport, for exercise and just for fun. There's a lot of exhilaration and joy to be had when riding a bike, hurtling down the hill with the wind in your hair, using only your body to propel yourself forward at speed. It's kind of... sexy.
So I like the idea of Bike Smut. This travelling film festival invites pushbike lovers from around the world to make porn films that feature bikes. They then screen the films in small theatres or homes, allowing the film's creators and performers to remain (relatively) anonymous. Their aim is partly political. It says on their website:
"Bike Smut is civic. Current political policies are designed to repress sexual expression and transportation choice. The Bike Smut film festival challenges that trend by enthusiastically displaying the quality of creative expression and the amount of fun inherent in both cycling and sex. Both actives are worth elements of a healthy lifestyle and a pleasant quality of life."
For the past 7 years, Bike Smut has remained a live-screening-only event but in 2013 that changed. This year creative director Poppy Cox teamed up with indie porn director Courtney Trouble this year to make a DVD. The end result is Come Find Me, a collaboration between Bike Smut and Trouble Films. And it's rather a lot of fun.
Come Find Me features real-life heterosexual couple Poppy and Gaspar Johnson in their first scene together. The story-related first 8 minutes were shot by Poppy, Gaspar and some friends while the sex scenes were shot by Courtney Trouble.
The plot is relatively simple but very engaging: Gaspar sends Poppy on a bike-powered scavenger hunt, finally leading her to an abandoned house. Here he ties her up with bike tubes, spanks her, teases her, dominates her and generally gives her a fabulous sexy time. In the process Poppy has several orgasms, usually via cunnilingus.
In the second half of the sex scene they move to a mattress on the floor and begin to film each other with a small camera. These extreme-close up and very personal images are intercut with the more traditional porn shots and they give a real point-of-view, in-the-moment feel to the movie. The couple give each other oral sex and then fuck in several different positions. Gaspar comes inside Poppy.
Poppy is quite a squealer and she also giggles a great deal. It's pretty clear she's having a lot of fun. She gets the last gasp as well, sitting on Gaspar's face after he's had his loud orgasm (and we get to see his face when this happens, which is great).
The camera often focuses on Poppy but not exclusively. Gaspar gets plenty of screen time and his body is objectified just as much as his lover's. There's a real determination to get a female point of view happening in this film and the POV cam helps with this. It's also very focused on female pleasure which I always applaud.
Come Find Me has a few scripted lines during the sex scene and unfortunately the acting isn't perfect, especially at the beginning. But things improve as they both get into the mood and I was happy to let the initial clumsiness slide.
That said, the initial story-building scenes are fantastic (they're done almost without dialogue) and I was interested from the very beginning, keen to find out what would happen next. Yes, I admit that I watch now porn for the plots and this one was good fun.
The production values on this movie are pretty low. It's an independent, amateur production, shot on consumer video cameras with a fairly basic lighting setup. This means the footage has a grungy and grainy quality that sometimes does no favours to the performers. But then, this is something of a hipster-style porn movie so that's part of the appeal. The sound quality is also less-than-ideal; the dialogue can be difficult to discern because it's shot in an echo-filled empty house. Although perhaps that hollow sound is what the directors were after.
Poppy is not your average porn actress. She's curvy, has wild pink curls and a proudly hairy bush. Gaspar is thin and handsome in a rangy way (even if he doesn't take off his annoying plastic sunglasses until well into the scene). They're very much the antithesis of plastic porn and their everyday aesthetic makes a nice change.
Of course, the main thing is that they're deeply into each other and having a great time, which is why I liked this film.
If you like bikes, or real life straight couples, or grungy alt porn, you'll like this movie.