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Reviews and Commentary:

Lovers, Volumes I & II

Watch Lovers I Video...

Watch Lovers II Video...

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Spectator, Volume 32, Number 11, Issue 818, 3-9 June 1994 p 4, 17

Ready for something completely different?

Real Life Lovers

Review by Layne Winklebleck

Candida Royalle's Femme Distribution presents an R.C. Hörsch Production:
Lovers: An Intimate Portrait, Volume One: Sydney and Ray
Produced by N. E. Chambers, Photographed by J. R. Butterworth, Original Music by l. B. Neimand.

i l1 250 02The late, legendary rock critic Lester Bangs (Creem Magazine) was said to listen to new releases by stacking them on a cheap, scratchy old turntable with tinny speakers while he hung out doing other things. To make the cut for a second listen, music had to reach out and grab him, sort of like the Stones can reach through the static of an AM radio in a '57 Chevy convertible in downtown traffic.

Now I'm not saying that I watch porn as often as Lester Bangs listened to rock but I do look at quite a bit. Frequently, when I work at home, I'll put in one tape after another and just sort of let them moan and groan in the back­ ground while my Macintosh and I do our thing. Anything that manages co get my jaded attention is sent off to a reviewer. The Lester Bangs trick works pretty well.

Femme's latest, Lovers: An Intimate Portrait, really stands out from the crowd. It's new. It's different. lt got my attention in ways that no porn has managed in years. The first in a planned series by R.C. Hörsch, Lovers presents real-life lovers, Sydney and Ray, with voice-overs and introductory interviews to create an exciting new kind of voyeurism. There is more here than the usual pornographic pleasure of watching real sex. In Lovers we peek at real sex in a real rela tionship. And what a relationship! It remains to be seen if Hörsch 's sequels can match this first effort. Relationships like Sydney and Ray's unfor tunately don't grow on trees.

How is this for a hot scenario, guys? You are fiftyish and OK-looking but no great Adonis, balding a little. You take care of your body, sort of, but miss your youth. No, I'm not talking about myself. I'm talking about the movie. You place a classified ad and guess who answers it? A 25 year-old woman with a girlish, nymphette body to drool for, who lets you take her to dinner on a blind date and then accepts another date, to your astonished delight. She goes out with you several times and seems to enjoy teasing you and turning you on. In return, the strength and urgency of your desire for her turns her on immensely as you let your lust be known. Your relationship, against all odds, turns into a hot love affair from heaven.

It gets better, which is to say, kinky. Just for spice, this hot babe sometimes acts bitchy and gives you "mercy fucks," although most of the time her desire is as strong as yours. She loves to play fantasy games and she is so luscious that you sometimes wish she wou1d stop bathing so you could "bathe her with your tongue like a cat." She loves it when you give her long massages and your hard cock rubs against her. The longer the relationship goes on the more dominance and submission games you play. She is a natural (loving) bitch and loves to tie you and tease you.

i l1 250 03And you thought miracles never happened? Well, maybe they don't happen to you or me, buddy. But this one did happen to Sydney and Ray. The reality of their fantasy love affair is un­mistakable in the unscripted interviews and the transparent authenticity of their motivations and feelings. Both video and relationship are very convincing. Any last doubts I had about this couple (we are never told what they do for a living when they aren't having a love affair). were allayed when I talked to Femme's Candida Royalle. Sydney is a heavy equipment operator, believe it or not. She is not with Ray because of money or drugs. She just likes the guy, says Candida.

From the video I could see that Sydney also likes the power she has over Ray. She loves being wanted so much. And Ray, the lucky bastard, is gone, just gone. And who wouldn't be? He can't believe his luck. He quite naturally would like the relationship to last forever.

It's a real relationship but in a way, their whole relationship is a fantasy. Fantasies of young women. Fantasies of being wanted deeply.The viewer is brought inside the heat of this fantasy relationship-come-true through the candor and openness of the couple and through Ray Hörsch 's artful direction. Production values, including sound, natural lighting and music, all add immeasurably, if for no other reason than that we hardly notice they are there. Very slick. Very professional.

The first thing to divert my attention from my word processor was a laughing, sassy, female voice describing how she had kissed and then "kicked out" her date. Not your usual porn script. I looked over to the video screen to see a mouth-watering young woman with long reddish hair who did not seem especially made up or in need of it. As I listened to her describe what fun it was to kick Ray out, I fell in love instantly. What a witchy little gal!

Sydney: "I had to laugh at myself because I knew he was on the other sick of the door wondering if he was ever going to get anywhere with me. I didn't want him to think I was easy. Besides, I like to tease him. And besides, I needed time to think. And while I was thinking I couldn't help wondering how big his cock was."

I'm hooked. I don't go for the vibrator yet (yes, Virginia, men use vibrators too, or at least a few of us intensity-junkies do), but the buildup, the anticipation, is savory indeed. Artfully, the director, interspersing the interview segments with early­ stage petting scenes, gives us a sense of who this couple is and builds erotic tension at the same time. Sydney is experienced, wild, unapologetic, in control, has all the aces, can have any man she wants (she could have me, for one) and although her friends don't understand why she would want a man literally twice her age, she does. Thank you, God.

i l1 250 04Ray is not so difficult to understand. Actually, he isn't difficult to understand at all. Of course he wants her. What's not to want? I identify with him and fantasize along as he describes the sweet visuals of her early morning workouts which he watches appreciatively (and so do we). In her voice-over, we learn how she enjoys him watching, the little tease, the little exhibitionist!

Sydney: "Ray is definitely the horniest man I ever met. Right now I'm almost as horny as he is. I wonder if
we can sustain that. I hope so ... I think that the more a man is sexually driven the more fun it is to torture him because his dick keeps getting harder and harder."

Finally I go for the vibrator, pausing the VCR and then replaying (with the wonderful power of vibration) the scene where Ray talks about liking to eat Sydney's ass (he is truly convincing) and she talks about how she loves it when he does it really hard. The imagery of Ray with his face buried in Sydney's crotch is powerful precisely be­ cause so many other times in porn , ass-eating scenes (except for Stagliano/Buttman, bless him) are never quite convincing and I wince throughout at the idea that the actors are doing it but don't really like it.

But now the words and emotions of the couple are told to us, not in a script with actors, but believably, by the people involved. This is a whole new way of enjoying a sex movie. Personalities come alive; for that reason, Lovers is surely a "couples film" if ever there was such a thing. What's more, there is promise here for a whole new genre of erotic video. I'm not sure what this new genre will be called. Lovers is like a hybrid between amateur porn and documentary. Yet it is hot, hot, hot!


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Spectator, Volume 33, Number 7, Issue 840, 4-10 November 1994 p 5, 11, 15

Beyond Fantasy

Review by Layne Winklebleck

Candida Royalle's Femme Distribution presents an R.C. Hörsch Production:
Lovers: An Intimate Portrait, Volume Two: Jennifer and Steve
Produced by N. E. Chambers, Photographed by J. R. Butterworth, Original Music by l. B. Neimand.

i l2 350 02I have looked forward to Femme Production's release of Ray Hörsch 's Lovers: An Intimate Portrait, Volume Two with considerable interest. Lovers: An Intimate Portrait, Volume One: Sydney and Ray, reviewed in these pages last spring, represents a new genre of erotic video, an erotic documentary, for want of a better phrase, although that isn't quite a fair name for two reasons. First, all X-rated porn, which is to say all hard-core media that has arousal as its first purpose, is documentary in a sense, because the sex is real. Second, to call Hörsch 's Lovers concept documentary is misleading because documentaries are not historically supposed to arouse us. So we have a semantics problem here. But whatever we call it, the fact is that there is something truly and differently arousing about witnessing hot sex within the context of real emotions and real desires in a real relationship.

Traditional porn creates fantasy situations in which, typically, women act fully as randy as men in various best-of-all-possible-fuckworld scenarios. There is another dimension to this general principle of traditional adult video, however. True pornophiles develop a meta-awareness of the personalities of the porn stars by watching them over their careers from video to video. This porn-hound appreciation goes beyond pure fantasy because porn stars are not just actors. They are real sluts.

Some are better sluts than others. Some are subtly reluctant. Some need drugs. Some just look the part. But find me a porn addict of true dedication who does not love Nina Hartley, because her slut­credentials are established beyond question and we love her for loving it. She is our slutpeer and then some. We believe in her and every Nina movie is a documentary.

But Nina's movies are not documentaries about relationships. Ray Hörsch 's concept is to find real­life lovers and show us the emotional side of their sexual relationship through interviews and voice­overs, along with the physical side, lushly photographed. The result is the erotic equivalent of stereo music. Suddenly we see through both channels and the experience is richer, more textured.

i l2 350 03This takes a little getting used to. The pace and tension depend, at least for me, more on the unfolding of the erotic energy between the video couple and less on my own instant-on fantasy triggers. My fantasies are still in the mix, however.

Sydney and Ray in Lovers One hooked me quickly because I fell in love with Sydney and identified vicariously with Ray. Their age differences (25 years) made Sydney's power-drunk teasing of Ray a natural dynamic and the voice-overs put the sex play into that power context. The impromptu quality of the personal commentary made it seem authentic and sincere. I was swept along.
I didn't warm quite so quickly to Jennifer and Steve in Lovers Two, and in the end they left me wanting something more. That's the bad news. The good news is that whatever I wanted, I wanted in stereo, and I remain as excited about this new genre as ever. It is worth mentioning that whatever dissatisfaction I had was with Jennifer and Steve, not with the videomaker. I wanted to be there. I wanted to talk with them. Steve, relax! Slap the little hussy around a bit. Sensation, Steve. Sensation and intensity. Can't you see she is begging for it?

It's an old problem, of course, when couples start playing with power without a local community or SM role models to learn from. A dominant guy who has never switched is afraid of his shadow and doesn't know how to scratch the itch of his trembling submissive girlfriend, who has never switched either and doesn't know for sure what she wants.

Well, Jennifer knows she wants to suck cock, anyway. That helps. And she does love it when Steve whacks her on the butt a little. If there were better whacks but Hörsch edited them out, that was a definite fuck-up. But I don't think this was an editing problem. This was a relationship problem. And I guess problem is too strong a word. This was maybe more a simple case of erotic dominance and submission being wasted on the young. Jennifer and Steve need a libertine like Moi to help them along.

i l2 350 04In the meantime they probably don't know they need my help. And for that matter, the intended audience for this video may not think Jennifer and Steve need help, either. Candida Royalle has (almost singlehandedly) recruited her own audience for Femme Distribution's product, and that audience is neither porn-jaded nor SM-sophisticated. Twenty-five year old pups (Steve's and Jennifer's age) in the heartland will watch this video and be just perfectly scandalized by the PC powerplay and the daring celebration of sluthood that goes on. Just the mere fact that this couple plays male dominant and female submissive is a plenty big step for Candida. Bet she'll catch some shit for this one.

Speaking of sluthood, Lovers Two advances the cause with a beautiful profile of a superbly slutty woman. Jennifer is a stripper. We hear her voice-over description of how stripping is empowering for her, and we hear her fantasies of being wanted by every man in the world, while we watch her lie on her back with her legs on either side of a bar patron's face, spreading her nether-lips lewdly. She smiles at Steve in the background, who waves. He loves to watch her dance.

Later, in one of the film's most effective scenes, Jennifer is teased and then left alone by Steve, her hands bound. She rubs the knots of her bonds against her pussy while we hear her talk of how she loves to be erotically used and abused. Her dancer's body is muscular with just enough softness to give her a wanton, hedonistic look. Natural breasts and adolescent tummy draw the eye quite magnetically. But her body is far from the cartoon caricature of so many porn stars, and that helps us see her, not as a woman acting a fantasy of being a slut, but as a real slut whose real name is Jennifer and who is called Jennifer in this movie.

Jennifer's pouty, sexual mouth with perfect teeth is set in a rather plain face. In the opening interview scene I could not help comparing her somewhat unfavorably with Sydney from Lovers One. But by the end of the video, I thought Jennifer was quite beautiful. Sluts have this effect on me. So brave and needy and vulnerable.

Steve, with his muscular body, angular features and shoulder-length black hair, could pass as a young Lord Greystoke. He is an athletic fucker and their bodies flexing together create an animal aesthetic. I grew to rather like him as well, although I could see through his struggle with his stated fears of dominance -his fear that he might hurt Jennifer if he ever really let go- which was mostly bluster. His real fear, if you are interested in my clinical diagnosis, Herr reader, was in being thought a wuss if he could not sufficiently chauffeur his partner's fantasy trip, a partner of whom he is quite fond and doesn't want to... you know, hurt. This is a common ploy for dominants, who fear they will break the illusion and lose their magic if they cop to temerity. Pretending to fear their own inner darkness gives them an excuse to hold back while simultaneously maintaining the hypnotic illusion. Not always simple, these games.

i l2 350 05In the meantime, Steve has other fantasies as well as his dominant ones, a conclusion which I deduce, Doctor Watson, by the fact that Steve's fiercest boner and only real screen orgasm came when he masturbated in front of Jennifer's dancer body while she spread the lips of her pussy very much like she spreads them for the world at the strip club. What fantasy brought his copious jizm splashing onto her belly? Perhaps something tied to her role as dancer, as teaser, a role in which she has a certain kind of power. For more on this concept see Camille Paglia's excellent essay on strippers in October's Penthouse, in which men are seen as paying unconscious emotional tribute co Goddess dancers. Whatever his fantasies, Steve (at least in the video) goes on being the loving dominant for his woman, maintaining the Tarzan role that turns her on. That could be sad. See how they need me?

The foregoing analysis may seem more than a little out of place in an erotic video review. But if this genre -which is erotic video plus a new dimension- catches on, I think we might see a lot of it. How often do we get a chance to truly see into a sexual relationship? It's fascinating and it's tempting to try to understand what we are seeing. Hörsch 's films open a window into a new world of sexual under­standing, one in which sexual arousal is seen in its relationship context so chat the films have the potential to be hot, intriguing or both. Sex-positive friends could watch these videos together and then go talk about them for hours over deserts in a local coffee shop, just like we post-hash real movies. Plus that they are erotic. Best of both worlds.


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He Said, She Said...

© AVN, March, 1993, p102 (Reproduced with permission.)

Editor's Note: Anyone not investing in cryogenics knows by now the word with AV N over the past year hos been "change." The layouts and coverage have been evolving in almost every area... Our newest experiment in reviewing is the page you're looking at. We've token a tape that two of our reviewers had widely (wildly?) different views on, and given each a chance to express his/her opinion on it in print. AVN feels that, where there are legitimate but very different viewpoints, printing both can only help retailers and consumers get a more rounded view of the feature in question. So sit back and enjoy the fight...

* * * * *

She Said:

Lovers: An Intimate Portrait
(Volume I, Sydney and Ray)
D. R. C. Harsch (Femme Distribution, 70 Min.)
Heat: AAAA Interest: AAAA

i l1 250 05The sex industry's sexiest pioneeress, Candida Royalle, has added a winning new series to her line of Femme tapes; that is, if the first installment i s any indication of the insightful efforts to follow. Directed by R.C. Horsch, this is a sensitive delve into the private world of real-life lovers Sydney and Ray. Told documentary style in their own words, this lies some­where between Anthony Spinelli's Reel People and the stark candor of amateur vids, yet is an entity unto itself. With polish, fine camerawork and heart, this unique portrait tells more than many lovers allow themselves to reveal even to each other.

Although sensual activity is virtually constant, as the title duo supplies revealing voice-overs atop the action, there are no traditional beginnings, middles or ends to the encounters. Don't expect five standard plumbing scenes or an abundance of penetration footage. Don' t expect wet shots (although there is a gorgeously drippy facial). Do expect a beautiful tapestry of erotic interludes, writhing orgasms, riveting facial close-ups, lustful kissing, painstaking foreplay and thought-provoking commentary.

Sydney is a lovely nymph with long auburn hair, a fawnish body with graceful breasts and a memorable ass, while R ay is just an average-looking guy. Together, they make a fascinating character study, a brave voyage into the anatomy of a romance. It's all lovingly lit and shot in such a way that the action amazingly never gets boring. Coupled with their words, it is often quite stirring. Fantasies abound, like rape, hooking, light bondage ( in which Sydney's admittedly bitchy tendencies come to light), shaving and triads ( they're joined briefly by Tasha Voux, who still looks wonderful). There's a delicious side-by-side masturbation in which Syd explodes around a massive dildo and Ray, in his excitement, christens her. The focus here i s on the intense, sweat-drenched faces, which I found infinitely more arousing than the old in-and-out.

A must-stock for retailers who pride them­selves upon offering adult fare which is different and thought-provoking . A must-have for think­ing pornophiles. Kudos to Royalle , Femme, Horsch and all those involved in this ground­breaking x-ray of the erotic psyche.

--Pearl Chavez

* * * * *

He Said:

Lovers: An Intimate Portrait
(Volume I, Sydney and Ray)
D. R. C. Horsch (Femme Distribution, 70 Min.)
Heat: AA Interest: A 1/2

i l1 250 06Just this once, I 'd like to borrow the limp dick icon from another magazine's rating format. It's the only way to illustrate how an hour's exposure to the scrotum shriveling emanations of Lovers truly affects the male member; both as an organ and as a species. From the perniciously P.C. preamble by Candida Royalle, which advocates that great sex is done "consensually, responsibly, compassionately and with sensitivity", one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that this vid may be just for women and wimps. Interesting for perhaps a skin-flashing microsecond, this is the kind of Learning Channel documentary one surfs over on the way to ESPN. The problem is appeal. I don't believe the average guy wants to know why his dick gets hard, any more than he wants to know how that big-ass trout got in the stream, or how slower­ brewing hops make better beer. Fish are for fishing, beer is for drinking, and dicks are for dunking. To director R.C. Horsch, however, relationships are for examining -every minutiae-dissecting moment.

The talking-heads syndrome is given full reign as Sydney, an attractive brunette, and her partner Ray relate their initial blind date and subsequent romantic woo­ing, as an ever-obvious heartbeat on the soundtrack throbs a happy tune. She likes big cocks ("don't believe that bullshit about size not mattering") and he gets off on her fermenting odors. Hey, give me Shalimar and Summer's Eve any day.

Though the chatter leads to their "first time" doing the horizontal mambo, no re­creation is attempted, just a fellatio-interruptus (though a later and far more professional bj. reaches a wet climax). When Sydney's not in the mood , she submits to "mercy fucks"; coolly reading the newspaper while poor Ray mounts her like a dog might hump the kitchen table leg.

The various sex acts show a bit of hard­core penetration and a few of the fantasies are mildly titillating. Sydney plays a hooker, giving it up in a bathroom; she ties Ray up while she and guest star Tasha LaVoux put on a girl/girl show; she shaves her rusty pubes, etc. The one truly passionate encounter is (we reiterate: a fantasy) rape scene, where the two struggle aggressively, Sydney's eyes rolling up into her skull as sweat-drenched Ray plows her into ecstasy -a sequence as intense as any seen in mainstream adult fare but only permissible in a politically correct environment such as Lovers. Which is not to say that rape is what gets real men off... the scene is simply the hottest on the video, period.

With the redundancy of a tax form, psychoanalyzing from both parties permeates the vid in the form of endless voice-overs; but do we ever learn anything valuable about the couple? Not much. The fascinating gap between their ages (Ray's twenty-five years her senior) is given short shrift in favor of platitudes like "It's important to take it one day at. a time." Ultimately, these two lovebirds aren't even sure of their commitment to each other, but boy howdy, don't they just love that warm secure feeling of sleeping close.

Lovers offers little even in the way of sustained hope for the P.C. audience. For all its navel-gazing pretentions, Lovers is an anomaly - it can't affirm the advantages of monogamy, and it sure as hell ain't a jerk-off vid.

--Steven Austin


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© AVN, December, 1994, p102 (Reproduced with permission.)

Lovers: An Intimate Portrait

(Volume II, Jennifer and Steve)
D. R. C. Harsch (Femme Distribution, 70 Min.)
Critical Rating: AAA

i l2 350 06Femme Distribution's second venture into exploring the intricacies of real life relationships is another innovative winner in their small but quality catalog of offerings. Although not as varied as its predecessor, Part 2 achieves a slow, steady, satisfying boil which sustains the viewer's attention (sexual and otherwise) with a combination of intellect and heat. Jennifer and Steve, the couple in question, are attractive, intelligent and well-spoken. The appeal here is not only the erotic action, but also the fact that they know what they like and tell you why they like it with a stark honesty. This is sex for contemplative souls, so raincoaters, forget it.

Steve is a 32 year old filmmaker, and Jennifer, a vivacious 25 year old stripper/academic with a master's degree in art history. He is brooding and pensive while she is a bubbly exhibitionist. The dance footage (and later, her masturbation sequence) is highly erotic and illustrates Jennifer's innocent, joyful approach to matters carnal, not to mention her handsomely waifish body — upturned natural breasts, full, bouncy buttocks, pretty, pink pussy. As the two describe the most intimate details of their relationship, their strong feelings for each other are evident. It's there in the soulful kisses, the heartfelt gazes. This is a tender, poignant portrait juxtaposed against images of hardcore sex — deep-throating, spanking, intense bondage, even anal sex. Wall-to-wall sex, wall-to-wall Steve and Jennifer. In the end, you might feel that you know them better than you know yourself.

Psycho-sexual forays like this appeal to the adult "Oprah" and "Geraldo" voyeuristic tendencies all too many of us possess but constantly deny. Perhaps this tape can teach us as well as turn us on. A refreshing change from the formula "five fuck scene" scenarios, Femme s Lovers series is the next wave in sexually explicit endeavors.

Yes, there are cum-splattered bellies, but the focus is on the moist, contorted faces and sincere emotions. It's a valiant effort to unearth how and why we fall in love, what arouses us and what it all means. A giant step for gender unification, intimately videographed with stark sets and even starker emotions. For those who dare to look past the penetration shots at what's inside.

--Pearl Chavez


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© Adam Magazine, Volume 38, Number 5, 5 May 1994 p8-11

"Veronica Vera's New York"

by Veronica Vera

Macho Femme

Lovers: Reality Porn from Femme

What happens when a male chauvinist pig steals his way into the (Femme) hen house? Does he emerge hen­pecked (a kinder gentler pig) or does he lick his chops and pick feathers out of his teeth?

i l1 350 07Lovers: An Intimate Portrait is the first reality-based release from Candida Royalle's Femme Productions as well as the first one directed by a man. R. C. Hörsch shoots himself and his girlfriend Sydney talking, fucking, and talking some more. He's 50, she's 25, and both are articulate, sophisticated and well versed in sex. ("He's the horniest man I've ever met," she exclaims.) The 90-rninute film is more edited and controlled than most reality-based erotica, but no less hot, and totally natural. The words actually amplify the considerable beat of the sexual images.  

Candida Royalle's combination of beauty and brains makes her a real dreamgirl.  The head of her own world-renowned distribution company, she is a businesswoman whose sexual energy and passion to communicate fuel the fire in her eyes. When you are lucky enough to find yourself under her gaze, you know what is meant by a "captivating look." Candida commands attention, and she gets it. Her movies, which she describes as "erotica from the woman's point of view" have earned international acclaim . They are instant party ice-breakers as well as required viewing at some colleges.

Recently Candida moved her company in a new direction, as distributors for other people's material: videos, books and audiotapes. She created a new "infologue" called "Sexual Healings" combining both information and products that will enhance your sensuality. True to her initial concept of representing the women's point of view, among the products represented are Betty Dodson's "Self-loving," a video portrait of a women's sexuality seminar in which participants inspect their vulvas and learn how to get the most out of masturbation; and "Find Your G-Spot, or How to Ejaculate," created by Fanny Fatale, publisher of the notorious lesbian sex magazine On Our Backs. The infologue also offers some products created by men, such as Dr. Ray Stubbs' books and videos on erotic massage. A few years ago, Stubbs, a sex teacher who has collaborated with other great sex teachers such as the Tantrika, experienced such a powerful orgasm, he was knocked right out of his chair. Authors Dr. Marty Klein and Michael Perry, PhD offer books on sexual secrets, and Dr. Sheldon Kule presents "Loving  Better"  in five video  volumes .

i l1 350 08Candida reports that her best selling items are the movies produced by women for women . They are being bought by both sexes. Everyone seems to want to know how to give women pleasure.

Still, with the inclusion in the Femme inventory of material produced by men, I wondered if the foxes had gotten into the hen house. With Femme 's latest release the more appropriate question seems to be, What happens when a male chauvinist pig steals his way into the hen house? Does he emerge hen­pecked (a kinder gentler pig) or does he lick his chops and pick feathers out of his teeth? This is the situation with Lovers: An Intimate Portrait, the new release from Candida Royalle's Femme Distributors . Until  now, every Femme release has been written and directed by women. Lovers: An Intimate Portrait is created and produced by Ray Hörsch. According to Femme's press release, " Hörsch 's last foray in the adult film world  was a mid-'70s tongue in cheek film classic called The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig, starring Georgina Spelvin. The self­described macho pig had an ego-but did he have a heart?  I sat down at my VCR to find out.

One of the first facts to be established is that Ray Hörsch has a big cock. His girl­friend Sydney says it, "That stuff about size not being important, in my opinion, is bull­ shit!"   Ray's cock  is not only hefty, it is "good looking," she says.  So here we have a woman 's point of view that seems to work out very well for this man -though maybe not for all. My friend Anthony, with whom I watched the tape, said that he thought there might be a lot of men who might not appreciate that remark.

i l1 350 09Candida commented, "Sydney is a real spitfire. She was not afraid to speak her mind." Take heart, fellows, not every woman prefers a large penis, but you won't learn that from this tape. There is, however, a lot of information offered by both Ray and Sydney that is very refreshing to hear. Ray loves to eat pussy. He thinks of asking Sydney not to bathe so that he can lick her all over like a cat. Sydney is not always as horny as Ray, so occasionally she throws him "a mercy fuck," making sure to let him know she is doing him a favor.

Sydney is twenty-five. Ray, who just turned fifty, is twice her age, and the tape obviously allows him to celebrate his studliness, though he tempers his bragging with sensitive remarks that women will just love to hear. He loves to "snuggle," and if he had to choose between snuggling like spoons or fucking, snuggling would win. But since he doesn't have to choose, he'll slip his cock into Sydney in the middle of the night and sometimes wake up still inside her; another subtle allusion to his size, since this little maneuver is tougher to accomplish unless you've got a couple of inches to spare.

Safe sex never comes up during the tape and though Candida advocates condoms and safer sex in her introduction, it would be nice for this couple to have included some word on just why they choose not to use them in the tape. We learn all about almost every other aspect of their sex lives, though there are still a few fantasies Sydney says she keeps to herself.

Sydney and Ray are a handsome couple. It is a pleasure to watch them on screen. She has long legs and a beautiful body. He somewhat resembles a satyr with his light beard and pretty hard-on. One of the more controversial topics is Sydney's violation fantasy. The scene between the two of them is very powerful. We actually see the hair on Ray's arms stand on end although I would have loved to see him tear her clothes off rather than start with them already undressed.

There is a scene in which Sydney makes love with another woman. The two of them do it while tantalizing Ray who is not permitted to join until later. The subject of Ray and another man, though, never comes up. I guess that is territory that does not fit into a former macho pig's perspective.

One of my favorite scenes is one in which the couple masturbates together. You don't see that much, and in these days of safer sex it is a practice well worth promoting. Plus, it is very exciting.

Was it good for me? I guess it was because I was on the way to my own orgasm shortly after the tape ended. Is Hörsch still a confirmed macho pig in no clothing? I'm still suspicious and will reserve my opinion until I see the next volume in this series . Still, the concept works. The tape is provocative and the sex is lusty and honest.


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© Adam Presents, Volume 3, Number 4, April 1995 p8-10

New Wave Amateur

by Harvey Grind

Femme Intros a new Pair of Lovers

i l2 350 08Candida Royalle's Femme Productions has another winner in the " real-people" sex vid derby with Lovers, Part Two. The new couple (and are they ever hot!) are Jennifer and Steve. They were shot in interviews and action (including scenes of her stripping) by Ray Hörsch, whose performance with his girl­ friend Sydney in Lovers, Part One, set new records for intimacy and unfaked heat. The Lovers line is part of a "new wave" of amateur porn: real and hot, but also deeply personal.

Amateur video comes pretty much in two shapes and sizes: regular, which accounts for just about everything in the genre, and offbeat -of which there frankly is very little. But more video creators are starting to work in the second category, with "new wave" or "alternative" takes on amateur formulas. At some point alternative video may become a wholly viable commercial proposition, the way alternative rock music has zoomed in radio play over the past few years. For now, new-wave amateur remains the exception rather than the rule. But there are at least two very interesting new-wave lines: the Lovers series from Femme Productions, and Kivas Private Collection, from K.P.C. Productions. Ray Hörsch, the talented creator of Lovers, Parts One and Two, might bristle at being lumped with "amateur video," but that's only because of the "real people" nature of his work. Technically it is extremely polished and highly professional, with superb videography (both productions were shot on Betacam) and topnotch editing, altogether far and away above the standard for amateur video.

i l2 350 09In the first installment of Lovers, released in 1993, Ray shot himself and his girlfriend Sydney in what has gone on to become a classic of the "real-people" sexvid genre. Now, in Lovers, Part Two, he turns his attention to another couple, Jennifer and Steve. They are as interesting for what they are as for what they do. She is a stripper and an academic, with a graduate degree in art history from a prestigious Ivy League university. ("Intellectually , she's very smart," says Steve.) He is an experimental film maker from the Pacific Northwest who relocated to New York, which is where they met. (They are not, incidentally, complete strangers to the medium of rotica: Annie Sprinkle photographed and interviewed them for her Sprinkle Salon feature in ADAM monthly in 1992.)

As in Lovers One, the format is, first, to tell the viewer about themselves, what they like, what does and doesn't turn them on, and then to illustrate their remarks with action. This couple has to be the most articulate twosome ever to do a sex video. Boy, can they verbalize! Hörsch gives them every opportunity to talk, and the talk is often as interesting and arousing as the action.

Not only are they intensely verbal, they are intensely passionate. They are really into each other, which is what gives the video its tremendous heat. Their scenes, in fact, have an almost frightening degree of intimacy. It's rare in porn of any kind for the viewer to feel that he's seeing something very private, (actually eaves­dropping) but that's what it feels like here.

Jennifer describes herself: "I'm twenty-five years old, a tease and an exhibitionist. I like pornography and enjoy sexuality." She works as a stripper and seems to feel that more men should have girlfriends who take their clothes off in public. "For your girlfriend to be a stripper-what an amazing thing!"

i l2 350 10We see Jennifer dancing on top of a bar with customers stuffing dollars into her g-string. Steve looks on with approval and no little desire. "I love that she's a stripper," he says. A little later he reveals that by appearing in the film, he is "making public something that was very private." But he goes on: "It's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't done."

They talk about "fellatio" and "cunnilingus," not about blowjobs and pussy eating. Her mouth, he says, turns him on the most. And ditto for her. Their kissing scenes are very intense and as we see them doing it, we also hear them talking about it. Says Jennifer: "I really enjoy his pleasure and like giving it to him."

They don't always agree. Steve tells us right off the bat that Jennifer "doesn't enjoy getting [head] that much, and I don't think it's because I'm not good at it." She tells us that she likes it mostly because he likes doing it, going on to explain that "I'm used to more pressure. A wet tongue doesn't do it so much."

Steve rhapsodizes: "She's got a very beautiful vagina" and then he shows us how much he loves to kiss and suck it. Jennifer likes his genitals as much as he likes hers. She says, "I love to deep throat him, to lick his shaft, to lick his balls while he's licking my asshole and licking my cunt. His cum is so buttery sweet," she enthuses. "I really love the taste of it. It's just amazing!"

What she really digs about Steve, it turns out, is that "he's so aggressive. I really like that." Both of them are into "fantasy" role playing. Top and bottom. Exchanges of power." Her erotic reveries are straight out of Behind the Green Door. "I have this real fantasy about being gang banged."

She reveals that Steve "fucked•me up the ass the second time we had sex, and it was amazing...lt's when I fell in love with him." Steve says, "I have to listen to her body ...When I do something she likes, I can tell." He even indulges in some toe­ sucking.

At the climax of their final scene together he shoots a big load all over her tits. This, incidentally, was the first exter­ nal cumshot ever to appear in a Femme­ distributed feature. "It's part of what they're doing," Ray explains, "the mutual masturbation."

Jennifer and Steve were "friends of friends" of Hörsch, who found them when he and producer-distributor Candida Royalle decided to turn the successful first part of Lovers into an ongoing series. For future installments, Hörsch is looking for a couple with "a different kind of background, an older woman and a younger man, for example, or a couple in their forties or early fifties, which he acknowledges may not be so easy to find.

Candida Royalle agrees: "The difficulty is finding interesting couples who will do it." Future volumes may contain two different couples rather than just one. The series is something she's eager to pursue. It's doing well with Femme's core fans and crossing over to an even wider audience. Royalle says she gets phone calls from women who have seen the two Lovers, who tell her the tapes have stimulated discussion as well as sensuality in their own relationships.

Ray calls his work with Lovers "a labor of love." He had made porn films in the early '70s. His most successful was The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig , with Georgina Spelvin. All told, he made six features and many 8mm loops. Then he got out of porn in the mid '70s, just as Candida Royalle was getting in.

Ray and Candida agreed that for one couple to sustain interest in an hour-long film, the key is the psychology in addition to the sex. His ideas for scenes came. out of interviews with Jennifer and Steve. He sat the couple down separately and had them talk about their sex lives, getting different views of the same subject to find out what each thought of the other. He discovered, for example, that while Steve loved giving her cunnilingus, Jennifer wasn't too keen on receiving it.

i l2 350 07The film was shot over a four-day period, a real luxury for a two-person porn movie. Shot on Betacam. They used a real strip bar which for practical reasons had to close down while filming. Part 1 was also shot over a four-day period.

As a viewer as well as a director, Hörsch appreciates the couple's articulate self­revelations. "I myself find it difficult to fantasize about a woman I don't know much about. The more I know about her, the more intense my fantasies are."

The most unusual part of the movie is the very intense role-playing scenes. The intent was to show them as part of a totally consensual relationship. Femme knew it would be highly controversial to show sexual penetration in such sequences, but everyone concerned thought it was a very important thing to do. Says Horsch, "It shows that whatever a couple does in their sex life is okay, as long as it's by mutual consent."

He is pleased with consumer reaction . "Once people get into the idea that these films are a little bit different, the results have been fantastic. People are calling up Femme now with personal comments, saying how much they like them." And sex therapists and educators have been showing the films to their classes.


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