Monday, September 29, 2014

Please Check Out My Patreon Page!

So last year, I wrote about The Art of Asking, which talked about the relationship between an artist and their audience.

Well, here I am again, asking.

I just set up my very own Patreon page.

For those of you who don't know what Patreon is, it's a crowd-funding site much like Kickstarter. However, unlike Kickstarter, it isn't necessarily geared toward a specific project, and is more for enabling and supporting artists to do what they already do.

Now, for me, this feels so thoroughly Greek, in that 1) it feels awkward and strange to ask for money and 2) the concept of patrons to the arts has such a rich history in ancient Greece. So I guess this is me asking you join that distinguished tapestry of history. 

By funding my smut.

Most of the content I churn out is out there on the internet for free. And that's something I want to continue. I like sharing with you all. I enjoy the process of doing what I love and the results that allow a person in Indonesia or England or Seattle or down the street from me to see what I have to offer in a way they otherwise never would have. And I don't want to deny someone accessibility to it based on something as base as money.

So this is not about charging people for my work. 

The blog posts and stories and photos that I normally post, I will continue to post and put out there for free for anyone who cares to enjoy them.

More than anything, this Patreon account is an attempt to make the creative process a bit more collaborative. Instead of just posting about topics and stories that I feel are interesting when and how I want to, I want to hear from you. Want me to post more often? Want me to post more about a specific topic? Want me to answer a question? Want a story featuring your favorite characters? Want to be featured as a character in one of my stories? Want to see my next novel hit digital shelves a little faster? Pledge a little something and let me know. I want to know.

Because, as I've said before, if you're willing to reach out to me, I am more than thrilled to do what I can to reach back.

I tried my best to keep the pledging pretty reasonable, starting from a single $1 per month to get access to Patron-only content and progress updates on my current novel or story or shoot, going all the way up to $5 per month to get your very own character put into one of my stories.

Please, check out the page and let me know what you think. Are the pledges worth it? Would you participate in something like this? If not, why not? Is there something else you think I offer?

Again, this is about collaboration. I want to know what you want. In essence, I'm asking you one of the most important questions in the world: What are you into?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Happy HUMP! - My Night at a Porn Festival

So my Saturday night began with asking myself, “Soooo, what does one wear to an amateur porn festival?”

After trying on everything in my vast closet—from prom princess to slut, from Domme to schoolgirl—I decided that Stepford Wife was really the clear and obvious choice.

So, tea-length dress, kitten heels, and pearls donned, I joined my date at Dan Savage’s first HUMP! Tour. For those of you who don’t know, Dan Savage—whom I frequently quote here and in real life—is my favorite advice columnist and podcaster. I’m a faithful fan of his blog, column, books, podcast, youtube videos, and his TV show. I’ve converted quite a few friends to his wisdom and he is usually my go-to on any and all advice I give when asked to weigh in on the trials and tribulations of my friends’ relationships.

A few years ago, Dan wondered, if he asked his readers and listeners to send in their amateur porn for a film festival, if he would get any kind of response. Well, he did. In a flood of videos. So, being a man of his word, he had to put on a festival. 

For the first years, much to my chagrin—as well as many other’s—HUMP! could only be seen in Seattle. If you wanted to attend, you had to get yourself there. But, this year, Dan decided to assemble the best films from all the past years and take this crazy, sexy show on tour.

Now those of you who follow me may have noticed that I’ve been pretty absent of late. For the past few months, I’ve been helping out a friend with his wedding. Which hasn’t left me much time or energy for the usual sexy shenanigans that I would normally get into. 

But now that I’m blissfully if thumb-twiddlingly post-wedding, I’ve been struggling to get my groove back. So, when I saw the announcement for the festival online, I knew that this was the perfect way to get back in the swing of things.

My date and I showed up early, so we could people watch. Because, really, we wanted to know what kind of people would show up to an event like this. I was rather delighted by the diverse crowd that steadily filled the theater. Single old men. Just old enough, college sweethearts. Huge groups of friends. Straight people. Gay people. People in barely street-legal amounts of clothing. People dressed up to the nines. People making-out in their seats. People nervously giggling into their hands. With popcorn in hand, I was thoroughly entertained by the pre-show view alone.

Then the lights dimmed and the first of the twenty five-minutes-or-less films began. “Rumpy Pumpy” was a delightful, vividly colorful cartoon where dicks, vulvas, lips, tits, and tongues did a lovely choreographed, synchronized diving routine onto each other. It was charming, reminding me of a psychedelic, x-rated version of the pre-show “Let's All Go to the Lobby” song where the concession stand soda, candy, and popcorn dance before the previews. Suffice to say, it was the perfect way to start this whole erotic adventure out.

Then there was “The Legend of Gabe Harding,” which was a short, fictional documentary about the life of a porn-set fluffer. Gotta love a movie that ends with a huge bear of a man blowing a line of angels while a diva porn star sings gospel music in the background.

“D&D Orgy” was actually the film that sold my date on coming with me instead of staying at home alone. A DM of an amusingly filthy D&D group herself, she just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see a porn featuring the game. However, I must say, I was a little disappointed by this one. While the movie began with the characters playing D&D and the movie ended with a cast-wide orgy, my date and I were sad that the two things never really felt like were happening together. We were hoping for spells of undressing or rolling dice to determine positions or crazy, zany nerd sex games. Instead, it felt like the characters abandoned their game to have sex. Which was fine, I guess, but not quite what we were hoping. I have a feeling I’ll be reading some how-I-would-have-done-it D&D porn from my date in my future. If not, perhaps, dear reader, you might be reading some from me.

Next was “The Perfect Stranger.” I’m going to also loop this one in with “Music for 2 Humans.” They were both fine examples of straight-up straight porn. A boy and girl just pretty much having sex in different places, in different positions. No real plot. No real dialogue. No character development. No real story to speak of. Just a whole lotta sex. Which was okay. Got ya where you were going. But nothing that everyone hasn’t seen a million times before. 

“The Beat,” while it has some tough competition, might be my favorite out of the bunch. It starts off with a pretty, attractive guy waking up and beginning to jerk off. Okay, all right; again, nothing really new, but I’m all for watching and enjoying as he fucks himself with a dildo all around his apartment. He comes and you think that’s it. But then he gets dressed for work and pins on one of those “Can I Tell You About the Wonders of Jesus Christ” type pins and grabs a Bible to the raucous cheer from a thoroughly amused audience. Gotta love when the come-shot isn’t the true payoff in a porn.

I've seen “Mythical Proportions”—so very NSFW, so be careful when you click—before, when I first heard about HUMP! It’s one of the reasons why I just HAD to go to this event. I really have nothing more to say about this than what was in HUMP!’s program description: “This mockumentary details the taboo love of humans and centaurs, as enacted by some butt-ugly puppets.” Perfect.

Before the films began to roll, Dan had prefaced the event by saying that these shorts were not your usual porn, that “if you were alone in the privacy of your own home masturbating, these are probably not what you would click on.” Well, I would have clicked the hell out of “Edged.” Hot BDSM porn about a guy meeting up with a Dom he met online to do edging play, where he’s stripped naked, tied down, gagged, and brought to the edge of coming over and over and over. And, if he comes without permission, he’s not getting untied for the rest of the weekend. Hot premise, hot actors, hot scene. But what sold me so much on this were the mental images the guy tried to use to stop himself from coming. Nothing like a montage of Sarah Palin, Betty White, and tampon commercials spliced together with hot gay sex.

“Go Ahead, Pee!” was...weird. I’m not into piss play, but even for piss play porn...this was weird. It starts out with a clothesline full of soiled underwear. Then a woman in a full-body, white unitard starts jumping on a trampoline in front of the clothesline to the sound of someone urging her to pee. Which she does. Like I said, weird. But what got me was the end tagline, advertising a site for making working out fun. Hey, whatever you gotta do to stay in shape.

“Ouroboros” started out with a very sexy scene of two very sexy guys having fucking hot sex. At the end of the sex, the film starts to rewind, showing the scene in fast reverse. It goes even further and shows you how the two men met in a dance club. You get to see them dance together and flirt together while the film gives you a very sweet background to the extremely hot scene you saw before. It keeps going back until you follow one of the guys home where he’s masturbating to a film of the very first sex scene, giving you a cool infinite timeloop effect.

Oh, “Tuff Titties,” how I wanted to like you. And I did. To a point. The movie starts out with a very endearingly bizarre “Leaving your ladies and children at home; this is just for men” song as the camera closes in on two mechanics bent over as they check under the hood of a car. You quickly see that the two are transmen who have some great sex all over a car yard. And it is hot. Except that they have scenes where they’re deep-throating grease-covered car parts and pouring car lube over each other and fingering each other using car grease. And, even though I’m sure the grease on the car parts was chocolate frosting and the lube in the car lube canisters was body lube and the car grease they squeezed into their hands never made it past the camera-cut and onto the actors’ bodies, the germaphobe, neat-freak in me just goes GAH! I can’t. I just can’t. Those are not body-safe!

And, knowing that Dan Savage is a bit like me in that respect, I wonder if that was why “Krutch” got placed right afterward in the lineup. This was a great story about a woman with a disability and her struggles with just going about life. You see her making her way through crowded, busy streets. You see her run after her bus. You see her fall down and pick herself back up. All intermingled with scenes of her also masturbating on her bed. And, even with this, she struggles. It’s as if she can’t quite get in the right head space to reach orgasm, because her mind keeps flipping back to the more stressful parts of her life. It isn’t until she grabs her trusty, reliable cane and attaches a vibrating cockring to it that she can reach orgasm. I loved two things about this film most. One, I loved that, at the end, her girlfriend crawls into bed with her and you just know they’re going to have one hell of a round two. And, two, before she MacGyvers her cane into a sex toy, she sanitizes and cleans it off. The part of me that freaked out at the previous film thanks you, film makers, so very, very much.

“Fun With Fire.” Oh man. What more can you say about an adorably kinky couple playing with flash paper than the actress’s perfect line, “No big deal; it’s just a fireball over my cunt.” 

“Go Fuck Yourself” was a hilarious short comedy about what would inevitably happen if time machines were built. You can’t tell me that there wouldn’t be a significant portion of people going back in time to literally fuck themselves.

“D4U” was another animated short done with paper cutouts of dolphin/unicorn sex. Because why not? What I loved was that the crab filming the dolphin/unicorn sex (again, why not?) put it online, where it was watched by a masturbating bear, rabbit, and t-rex. I loved the sad “awwww” the whole audience gave when the poor t-rex’s arms couldn’t reach his giant paper boner. I also quite enjoyed the Rick Santorum cameo. Bravo. Only a Dan Savage fan.

I have mixed feelings on “Hot ‘n Saucy Pizza Boy.” While I loved the idea of a horny boy masturbating to fantasies about the delivery boy who brought him his pizza, said horny boy looked way too much like my brother. Disturbing.

Much like “Edged,” I would have definitely clicked on “Lauren Likes Candy.” Probably more times than I ought to confess to. This was absolutely BDSM porn done right. It started off with negotiations. Moved on to an incredibly sexy sensation scene against a chain-link fence. It was like being at a kink party. Beautifully real reactions. Nothing was played up or played down. It never felt staged or rehearsed. It was just witnessing a wonderfully done scene. And I love—love, love, love—that it ended with some well-done after care. Yes, every time, would click.

In the same way my date came to see “D&D Orgy,” I came to see “Pie Sluts.” This may be because I’ve been marathoning through my seasons of Pushing Daisies and I love me my Pie Ho’s or my lifelong love affair with all things pastry, but I find the idea of pie-in-the-face porn charming. And it was. While not my kink, what I loved about this was the pure joy of it all. The people in the film were just having so much fun. Even the stern Domme, shoving faces into pies and smashing pies on boys’ butts, slipped a laugh or two. Because, really, how could you not?

“Magic Love” was also a clear favorite of mine. Done in stop motion, it was an ingenious way of spicing up what would have otherwise been a pretty average porn. But there’s something indeed magical about the jerky-yet-smooth slide of a couple, in congress, going up and over their couch, onto the floor, through a hallway, and up onto their bed, all without missing a single thrust. Where they then played sex-pong on the bed. I about died laughing as she spring-boarded off his dick, hit the headboard, only to bounce right back onto his cock. Not to mention the facial with packing-peanut semen. It was absolutely visual magic.

So how on earth do you end something like this? How do you round out the night, leaving a theater-full of fully-clothed, non-masturbating people watching an hour-and-a-half of porn fully satisfied?

With freakin’ E.T. porn. 

“E.T. 2: Dark Territory” took a beloved childhood memory and fucked it into submission. From the “It’s safe to come out of the closet now” line spoken by the the now fully grown, adult Elliot, this animated film just went there. For deity’s sake, E.T.’s penis bloomed like an exotic orchid out of his weird alien body, sprouting out nearly twice his body length. The girth of it was so large and oddly shaped that E.T. had to use strange glowing-finger magic to widen Elliot’s anus, so he could take it. Which means that E.T.’s glowing tip shuttlecocking within Elliot’s chest will haunt my dreams for freaking ever. FOREVER! You can’t unsee some things and I fear that that and the sound of Elliot calling his alien buddy his “space whore” will follow me to the grave. But, as I told my date on our way back to the car, it’s still not as bad as if Michael Bay had redone this childhood classic.

And, so, my night of HUMP! Tour ended with some heavy breathing, some laughs, a few tears, and memories of a night that, given the chance, I would definitely do again.