Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)- R

Have you ever imagined your partner (spouse, lover) in the arms of someone else? Have you then, ever felt aroused by the idea but then also scared by the idea? Sometimes the very hidden sexual secrets and wishes we hold become a toxic mixture of desire and nightmare. These very hidden fantasies we hold can feel like an addiction that crosses the line from pleasure to painful obsession. This sounds like a sermon from the conservative Christians. Actually, it is the theme of "Eyes Wide Shut," a riveting and yes, highly erotic film of Stanley Kubrick staring (who else but) Tom Cruse and Nicole Kidman.

Nichole Kidman starts the movie with a full screen nude scene displaying her now famous statuesque body as she dresses for a party. She ends the movie by whispering into the ear of her husband played by Tom Cruise, "you know really what we need to do immediately?.., we just need to go fuck." Between these two scenes we are treated to 2 hours and 36 minutes of real and imaginary sexual tension. The film follows a wealthy New York doctor and his wife as they deal with infidelity. The story starts with flirtations at a party that then leads to the discloses of past secrets and then to nightmare erotic / life threatening experiences. However, maybe the nightmares were only imaginary.

Stanley Kubrick films are mixtures of detailed cinematography (remember the spaceship in "2001" and the milk bar in "Clockwork Orange") and wandering plots. His plots raise more questions than they resolve. So it is with "Eyes Wide Shut," we are unsure if the terror from infidelity was real or a panic attach. What we know is that we are left with an excellent film about sex and eroticism. We are also left with some of the most explicit nude scenes of a top box office star, Nicole Kidman.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Lifestyle: Swinging in America (2000)- Documentary

This film has received significant press reviews in the commercial newspapers. Some reviews note that the documentary portrays swingers as “often times lonely people that value their marriage relationships, people who are oftentimes overweight and oftentimes over 50.” It is for these reasons that I recommend this film, particularly for couples considering the lifestyle.

The fact that people are taken back with how average and flawed swingers are, reflect more on our notions of sexuality than on this alternative lifestyle. We, of course, see HBO specials and PLAYBOY Channel specials where young models romp from “group sex room” to “group sex room” at swinging resorts. However, I think the source for the misconception about the swinging lifestyle is not from media coverage but from our own “heads”. Rather that this being a group of beautiful self-actualized people, it turns out these are people who simple enjoy a variety in sex partners and also tend to be older. In our “heads” we struggle to understand sex with older, not so beautiful, people.

The film is not erotic. If anything it inaccurately minimizes the erotic pleasure couples gain from swinging. However, it does tell real stories of couples through an interview format over a 16-month period. The film shows some couples that report their relationships were hurt by swinging. The film then shows other couples that report their marriages were saved by swinging. Some couples thoroughly enjoy their new freedom to be nude, erotic and very sexual with others without threatening their marriages. Other couples are visibly disturbed when faced with the reality of watching their marriage partner sexually intimate with another. To this end, the film accurate reflects this lifestyle.

Emily and I have been active in this lifestyle for over 15 years. We have gained wonderful life long friends. Oh.., and by the way, the sex has been good too.

Better than Chocolate (1999)- R

"Better than Chocolate" Rated R, 1999 102 minutesI have never seen a food movie I haven't liked and have enjoyed chocolate movies best of all. This is the sexiest funny movie (and the funniest sexy movie) I have ever seen. Maggie is a beautiful young woman living in a gay/lesbian neighborhood, who is trying to come out to her mother, but just can't quite figure out how to do it. Her mother is at the end of a bad relationship, desperately needs a place to live, and invites herself and her high school age son to live with Maggie and her new lover. There is evidence everywhere, but her mother takes forever to catch on. Maggie's brother, on the other hand, catches on right away and fully appreciates that his life has suddenly become more interesting. This movie is a demonstration of my theory that no one has a "normal" sex life. My favorite supporting character is the transsexual (played by the straight actor, Peter Outerbridge) who falls for Maggie's lesbian boss, and who sings the ever popular "I'm Not a Fucking Drag Queen" at the Cat's Ass club. The director's notes indicate that most of the cast and crew are from the lesbian community, so all the odd situations and humor are done with an insider's eye in a respectful way. There are some very sexy but tasteful scenes. Colorful sex toys are used in this film in much the same way as daffodils might be used in a Jane Austin movie. Highly recommended.

This is a fun and very enjoyable film. I found it less erotic than "Like Water for Chocolate (1992)", but in many ways more fun. I agree with Doug and would highly recommend it.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Joys of Erotic Massage (Educational)

This is a highly glossy “how to” video. The film follows three couples through the steps of giving and receiving erotic massage. The couples, though young and attractive do not seem like actors but rather like real couples enjoying the sensual delights of erotic pleasure. One particularly erotic sequence demonstrates how hair, breasts and other “non-hands” body parts can be used for erotic massage. The video can be purchased for under $40. A note about the Sinclair Institute. They offer many other erotic videos, vibrators and other lovemaking aids. Generally, their quality is high, however their erotic fiction video seems more “clinical” than erotic. The video can also be purchased through one of my favorite web sites http://www.holisticwisdom.com/index.htm .
Holisticwisdom in addition to offering a full line of sex products and videos, provides a excellent resource for information about sex.

Emmanuelle (1974)-NR

The Joys of a Woman; The original Emmanuelle produced in the 1970’s still remain some of the most erotic filmmaking produced. The original erotic classic stars sultry Sylvia Kristel in the title role of the love-starved and sexually frustrated wife of a French embassy official in Thailand. Emmanuelle always follows an odyssey to explore--and shatter--the frontiers of her sexuality with a variety of male and female lovers. Joys of a Woman stars Laura Gemser, Sylvia Kristel, Caroline Laurence and Umberto Orsini. In French with English subtitles or dubbing. One of the most classic erotic scenes is the erotic massage sequent where the stars receive erotic body massages from Thai women. These films are shown late night on cable or rented at the local video store.