By Jon Pressick
When I look back on my own sexual development, I can say, unashamed and unequivocally, that pornography played a major role in shaping my identity. Since the early 80’s, porn has been an industry of staggering growth, and since that’s when I was growing up, I feel like I was right along for the ride. My earliest experiences were finding discarded magazines, tattered and puckered from rain, but those finds were masturbatory treasures and cherished. As I got older and bolder, I became quite nimble at stealing XXX magazines and videocassettes. Because I’ve been highly sexual from an early age, my appetite was insatiable, and I did this for years.
I tried to get my hands on all kinds of porn. Whatever I could find: big breasts, older, celebrities…if there was a magazine devoted to a fetish, then I usually had at least one copy. I wanted to experience everything. And I was definitely taking note of the new things I liked to see and what got me off.
One day I was in a convenience store, staking out which mags I was going to take. I spied a Playgirl. This gave me pause for thought…but in an instant I grabbed it and headed to my secret porn lair (which was in the woods!) Once there I began checking out my stash and getting hard as a rock. When I got to the Playgirl, I paused again. What had made me think to grab it this time? As my porn collection grew, I noticed the male models in the photosets more and more. I was taking notice of their bodies and their interaction with the female models. I had previously been fixated on just the sex the two were having, but now I was starting to look at just the men. And I was definitely looking right at their cocks.
Needless to say, that Playgirl got well used that day, and many other days after that. At the time (and I’m thinking I was about 15 years old then), I had no concept of bisexual tendencies or feelings—those realizations came a few years later. But from then on, when checking out magazines (I did eventually stop stealing them), or porn on VHS—which soon became my favourite media (real life people fucking in front of me!)—I definitely took notice of both the male and female actors. Eventually I also got into gay porn as well.
I don’t think I’m alone in this sort of sexual progression. Pornography has been around for centuries, of course, from cave paintings to sexual poetry of the Renaissance to some of the first photographs and motion pictures. But it wasn’t until the 60’s and 70’s, after the Sexual Revolution, that it became something so commonplace as to be found in most Mom-and-Pop shops. So my guess is that plenty of people of my age grew up with porn. I’m also guessing that there are others like me who started to explore their sexual identity through porn, and who, like me, started to feel a bit of a void in the porn industry. Once I figured out that I wanted to see some hot bisexual action, I wondered ‘just where do you go to find some?’
Mainstream porn took off in the 70’s with the release of Deep Throat. That film, and other groundbreakers of the day, introduced audiences to women fucking women, but any man-on-man action was still strictly off-limits. Those “bisexual” women scenes were clearly intended for a heterosexual audience and were usually exploitative. It wasn’t until the mid-80’s, after gay feature films had made their mark in the industry, that films featuring bisexual content—both girl/girl AND guy/guy—started being released.
This movement in the porn industry is directly related to rising social awareness of queer people in general and specifically “the bisexual.” Producers were simply trying to cash in on this “new”, untapped social market.
Alex, a representative from Heatwave Video told me a bit about his company’s bisexual porn division. Heatwave “specializes in Black and ethnic themed boy/girl videos. We also have black and white gay films, as well as niche markets such as shemale, MILTF, midgets, pregnant, fat, lactating, anal, big tit, and cream pie.” Their bisexual films account for approximately 5% of their overall sales. When it comes to bisexual films, they buy content and then repackage it into such titles as: Bi Scream, Bi Bi Love, Bi Exam, etc. “Productions shot in Brazil,” Alex relates, “have consistently been better than our other bisex content shot in the US. Better and younger-looking talent, more into their performance.” It is has been, and should continue to be, a steady market for Heatwave.
Now, I’m going to presume that most people here have seen at least one pornographic movie in their time. If you have, you’ll agree that porn is certainly not the pinnacle of filmmaking. However, for whatever reason, bisexual porn films have always been even lesser lights in the adult entertainment universe. Frankly, many of them are terrible. Cory Silverberg of Come As You Are, a sex shop in Toronto, Canada tells me “the one thing that defines almost all bisexual porn is mediocrity. Directors just don't seem to know what to do with bi-sex, and even though many of the performers are bi or queer in their personal lives/identities, bi-sex in porn tends to be VERY dry (literally and figuratively), uninspired, awkward, and just plain boring.” Typically, bisexual porn films are extremely low-budget, which results in poor lighting, poor sound and bad editing. Also, since it is a less popular genre, it seems that it probably gets directors from either the gay or straight porn worlds. As a result, you get films that don’t seem to know where they’re going. The camera work is disjointed and clumsy. Some potentially sexy action is lost.
When asked about who rents these films, Cory offers an interesting perspective: “In my experience, customers who come into the store, and identify themselves as bisexual tend to be a bit more open to watching all kinds of porn. Maybe this is because they already know that most ‘‘bi porn’, that is porn marketed as bi, is bad, so they have been forced to broaden their interests...”
Don’t get me wrong! I’m not trying to turn you off bisexual porn flicks here! Consider these words more of a caveat, especially now a-days when there are pornos out there that are incorporating special effects and much bigger budgets. I heartily encourage people to explore pornography to its fullest. And as an, ummm, journalistic courtesy, I thought it best to head out to a couple local video stores to check out what I could find on the bisexual porn shelves.
My partner and I visited Come As You Are and our local video store, which happens to be in the heart of Toronto’s gay village. We picked out five titles. We specifically avoided any movies that looked to be “compilation” films, i.e., just a bunch of random porn clips thrown together on a DVD. We came away with the following titles:
Bi-American: The premise here is a diner in the 50’s that has in its employ some pretty sex-crazed girls. They get it on together in an ‘ let’s experiment!’ sort of way, but one also encourages her boyfriend to get it on with another guy. The sex scene progression is interesting here, because they present sex in this order: ff, mm, ffm, mmf, and then mf. More often in bisexual porn, the story calls for heterosexual people to be a bit bi-curious, and they then eventually move into same sex experience. Bi-American had fun sets and fun sex, so I’d check this one out.
Miss Dixie’s Military Sex Parties: I found this in the bi section, but it really shouldn’t have been there. And it’s a really terrible movie anyway. Basically, Dixie is this just-turned-18 Harvard girl who is convincing military men to sleep with her and her bisexual boyfriend. The only bi-sex action is when the boyfriend does, what seems to be, a bit of gratuitous cock sucking in every scene. And its not as if the rest of the scenes are any kind of saviour. Dixie doesn’t look like she wants to be there at all, and the actual sex scenes are so dull and boring and entirely quiet. Can we at least get one moan out of any of you? Avoid this for sure.
Goosed: A Bisexual Fable: This one is worth renting based on the comedy alone. Actually, the comedy is about the only good reason to rent it. The sex, or more specifically, the filming of the sex is quite bad. In this film, I clearly got the impression that these were gay male actors having to fuck women, and they clearly don’t look like they’re enjoying themselves. Add to that terrible camera angles and bad lighting and I certainly wasn’t reaching for my cock or my partner. However, Chi Chi LaRue, a legend in the porn industry is very funny, and you have to see Little Bo Peep and her sheep.
Slide Bi Me: I was most looking forward to this film, as it was produced by the crew at Good Vibrations, the renowned, outstanding sex and education store. I thought, “If anyone can make a sexy and responsible porno, those folks can.” I guess, in some ways, they did. This film features a nice mix of body types, and does feature a wide variety of sex acts without any exploitation, and some scenes are fairly hot. However, it also features a clichéd and ridiculous plot, and the same terrible camera angles that plague so many other bisexual XXX films. I’m sure many will find some sexiness in this film, so I won’t say don’t rent it, but don’t think its going to be any better than the norm, just because it comes from some highly-educated people.
Bi-Curious: Maybe it was because I’d been fairly disappointed in the rest of them, and that we watched this one last, but this film was the sexiest of all for me. It had an intriguing plot: a lesbian and gay man are roommates, and each finds themselves fantasizing about getting it on with the opposite sex. This is an intriguing twist from the norm. Bi-Curious also featured the best production values of all, and seriously, it makes such a difference when you can actually see and hear hot sex. I’d definitely watch that again, on my own and jerking off, or while fucking my partner.
The golden rule of pornography is “different strokes for different folks” and maybe you’d see these films in a completely different light. In fact, I hope you do! I hope you’re out there watching with your friends, partners or on your own and I hope you’re having great experiences.
Porn on film will always hold a special place for me. Not only is seeing long, uninterrupted sex on my television very hot, but just the act of going to the video store gets my motor going. At this point, who knows how long this medium will continue. Internet porn has to be breathing down its neck (watch for an article on bisexual internet porn here, very soon), and is more readily available for everyone. I don’t know about you though, but relaxing on my couch, both hands free of the computer mouse is by far the way to go.
(c) Copryight 2006 Jon Pressick
Jon Pressick is the feature article editor for Bisexual.com when he manages to get both hands free.
He is also the publisher of TRADE: Queer Things and a past contributor to Xtra!, Gaiety, Broken Pencil, Women’s Post and Quill and Quire.