Porn Review: Crash Pad Series episode 196

I love Crash Pad Series because their porn is obviously made for the non-male gaze, unlike all mainstream porn – but it lacks the frustrating clichés that tend to show up in “female-friendly” porn.

Crash Pad’s founder and director, Shine Louise Houston, understands that just because women may not always like the rough-and-tumble, penetration-focused template of mainstream porn, that doesn’t mean we want our porn to depict only soft, “romantic,” gentle sex. We like rough and kinky sex too – we just want it to be geared toward our gaze.

Crash Pad’s porn is also racially diverse, sexually varied, and features folks from all the way across the gender spectrum. Basically, if you’re tired of mainstream porn’s boring template, by-men-for-men pandering, and racist tropes, you’ll probably dig Crash Pad.

This month I was allowed to review episode 196, which is based on a super interesting premise. Arabelle Raphael and Daisy Ducati are tired and overworked sex workers who have recently spent so much time catering to their clients’ fantasies that they haven’t had much time for the kind of sex they like.

Daisy is wearing the cutest pink sequinned halter dress, while Arabelle’s decked out in leopard print. Their friendship seems very genuine: there’s lots of giggling and finishing each other’s sentences. Arabelle complains about all the cis straight dudes she’s been boning lately, and whines adorably, “I wanna fuck something pretty.” Which, of course, leads to Arabelle and Daisy playfully starting to make out.

The ensuing scene is so much fun, and so unstructured, which is one of the things I love most about Crash Pad scenes. It always seems like the performers are just doing whatever the hell they want, instead of following some pre-ordained schedule of events like so many mainstream scenes do (kissing, BJ, 15 seconds of cunnilingus, then fucking in 3 different positions). Both performers alternate between finger-fucking each other, going down on each other, 69ing, using a goddamn leopard-print Hitachi on each other (!!), sitting on each other’s face, and so on. And they seem to do it in whatever order they feel like, for however long they feel like.

Although this clip is femme-on-femme like most mainstream lesbian scenes, it doesn’t feel like those at all. The performers are clearly actually attracted to each other, obviously have experience fucking other women and know how to do it properly, and they do acts that actually get them off (vocally and repeatedly!) instead of trying to make their scene appealing to a straight male eye.

The one mainstream-girl/girl trope that appears here is super-long fingernails, but Arabelle actually refers to hers and makes sure that she’s not hurting Daisy when she fingers her. This is such a nice touch! I am always terrified of the talons that women subject each other to in so many lesbian scenes.

As per usual for Crash Pad, this scene is shot beautifully. The cinematographic style captures the action without being distracting.

Some highlights for me: Arabelle telling Daisy, pre-cunnilingus, “This is gonna fuck up all your makeup.” Daisy going “Yesyesyesyesyesyes!” as she’s about to come. The aforementioned customized Hitachi. Daisy’s curly red pigtails. Arabelle’s backseam tattoos. The performers telling each other, “Treat yourself!” and “This is better than a spa day!” while they lie in the afterglow.

Episode 196 is damn cute and I think it could entertain and arouse anyone who’s a femme, a sex worker, or both. It’s incredible to see folks on screen who actually represent you and the sex you enjoy having, and that is something Crash Pad Series does exceptionally well.

Obscenity, Authenticity, and Coming Out: My Day at the The Feminist Porn Conference


On Friday night, I attended the Feminist Porn Awards, an annual event held by my local sex shop Good For Her. I hadn’t planned on going, because I’ve been a little strapped for cash lately, but my friend happened to have an extra ticket and invited me along at the last minute. Obviously, I was thrilled.

The awards were really exciting and a lot of well-deserved films took home Crystal Delights butt plug trophies. I was especially pleased that Fifty Shades of Dylan Ryan (which I loved) received the prize for best kink film, and that so many oppressed groups were honored – for example, in Nica Noelle’s awesome trans-positive flick Forbidden Lovers, and Matthew Clark’s short film Krutch, which focuses on disability and sex.

Honestly, though, it was sort of hard to concentrate on the awards because I was surrounded by so many hot porn stars I could hardly breathe. Dylan Ryan was a few seats to my left, Wolf Hudson was to my right, and directly in front of me were James Darling and Jiz Lee. I have watched all of these people fuck, many times, and have gotten off doing it. I’ve met some of my favorite celebrities before, but seeing someone in person who’s actually induced an orgasm in you (however indirectly) is quite a different story. (And yes, I was way too shy to speak to any of them!)


The next day, I got up bright and early for the Feminist Porn Conference, put together by Tristan Taormino to coincide with the recent release of the Feminist Porn Book (a great read which I highly recommend). My boyfriend, whose career and hobbies have nothing to do with sex, had nonetheless enthusiastically agreed to come with me, so we went together.

The first session we attended was Lesbo Retro: A Dyke Porn Retrospective, hosted by Shar Rednour and Nan Kinney, two totally captivating dykes associated with iconic lesbian porn companies like Fatale Media and On Our Backs. It was an hour of lezzie porn from the ‘60s up through the ’00s. A lot of it was silly and strange – voluminous hair (both on performers’ heads and in their pubic regions), stilted dialogue, “dyke drama” screaming matches – but I walked out of it with damp panties anyhow. (What can I say? I love a good cunnilingus scene.)

Shar and Nan recalled when they couldn’t ship media to certain zip codes because of the obscenity laws that existed there. Sexual acts like fisting and female ejaculation were considered too extreme to be legal. They would have been risking jail time by distributing those materials to some areas, mostly in the south. I said a little prayer of gratitude for the internet and its magical powers of distribution, as well as for the trailblazers (like Shar and Nan!) who ushered us into our more sex-positive time.


The second session we attended was To Be Real: Authenticity in Queer & Feminist Porn. It featured Jiz Lee (swoon), Dylan Ryan (also swoon), Shar Rednour again, and Dr. Jill Bakehorn, a sociologist whose research has focused on feminist porn.

The discussion was lively and thought-provoking. Many questions were raised: what is authenticity? How do we know if something is authentic? How can something as performative as porn ever really be authentic? Are we using the word “authentic” when we really mean something else, like sincerity or relatability? And if it gets us off, does it really matter whether or not it’s authentic?

This conversation really hit home for me, because although I’ve often told myself and others that I like “authentic” porn best, sometimes I watch porn that’s probably as genuine as any but just doesn’t do a damn thing for me – like porn where a performer isn’t making any noise, or is making noise but in a way that’s gratingly repetitive and monotonous. Who am I to say that that’s not how those people genuinely react to sexual stimulation? It would be more accurate to say that I simply like porn that suits my tastes, regardless of how genuine it may or may not be.


Next up was a panel called Being Out Now: How Performers Navigate Sexual Morality and Media Representation. It featured Tina Horn and James Darling (both favorites of mine, both pictured above) as well as Arabelle Raphael, Bianca Stone, Jiz Lee, and Quinn Cassidy.

This panel’s contributors were amazingly diverse in experience and identity. All of them do porn, all of them have at least dabbled in other kinds of sex work (most still do it), two identify as genderqueer, one as trans. All come from different sorts of families with different tolerance levels for what they do and who they are.

There was much discussion about whether one is obligated to come out, and how to remain true to oneself even in situations where one chooses not to come out (a choice usually made out of a desire to maintain safety for oneself and/or the people one is close to). For example, Arabelle suggested that sex workers who don’t want to come out can still vocally support sex workers’ rights when talking to people they’re not out to.

It was interesting to hear the perspective of a white cis male, Quinn Cassidy, in this feminist discourse. He pointed out that the parameters of a person’s “closet” can change depending on what environments that person exists in – meaning, for example, that he often has to “come out” as a cis male in queer communities that may assume he is genderqueer.

Moderator Tina Horn asked the audience to participate in an exercise: we were told to raise our hands if we are “out” about our involvement in the sex world, first to parents, then to siblings, extended family, the world at large, and our employers. It was interesting that so many people (including several of the panelists) said they are out to the internet and the world, but not to their aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

The panel concluded with a discussion on how to be a good ally to sex workers, which included advice like “Listen to them” and “Don’t call yourself a sex worker if you’ve only shot one queer porn scene” and “Start a chapter of SWOP in your area.”


The last session we attended was a Q&A with Shine Louise Houston, the creator of Crash Pad Series, a huge presence in today’s feminist queer porn world. I’ve reviewed a few Crash Pad scenes before (here, here, and here) and I’m a huge fan of the site.

Shine screened a video she made in which she “interviews herself” via the magic of post-production. The interview was funny and honest, like Shine herself. One thing she mentioned which struck me as particularly interesting is that she almost never jerks off to her own porn, even though the whole Crash Pad Series is based around her personal fantasies of voyeurism. She also pointed out that porn is “about more than getting off” – when done well, it can be a medium for pushing boundaries, for exercising one’s right to free speech, and for normalizing certain sex acts so people feel they have permission to explore. Hear hear!

The Q&A session after the video ended up being mostly a discussion about coming out as a pornographer, after Shine confessed that she isn’t out to her kids and doesn’t plan on changing that in the foreseeable future. While I appreciated that some of the audience members felt strongly about coming out as a form of political activism (“being militantly out,” as Quinn Cassidy had phrased it earlier in the day), I didn’t like that some of them seemed to be shaming Shine for her choices. I think everyone gets to choose whether or not they want to come out, and to whom, and it isn’t helpful to shame someone for staying in the closet if that’s what they want to do.

It was also interesting to hear that people frequently complain to Shine about her site not being diverse enough, but that she also receives complaints when she puts a cis male on the site (some past examples include Ned Mayhem and Mickey Mod). How sad that the queer community, known for diversity and acceptance, would revolt against cis guys even if they’re having sex in deliciously transgressive ways.

Just before leaving, I bought a copy of Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Pegging (which had nabbed Tristan the Smutty Schoolteacher award the night before, yay!). Then I headed home, smiling and feeling wonderfully enlightened.

Photo credits: the Feminist Porn Awards, Wikipedia, Crash Pad Series, and Queer Porn Review.

Silly Search Terms

When I installed a stat counter on my website, it was only because certain toy retailers wanted to know how many hits my blog gets. I had no idea that it would result in endless amusement for me.

You might say, “But GJ, statistics aren’t funny!” And you’d be right. But you know what are funny? The phrases people type into Google that lead them to stumble upon my site.

I’m not at all intending to make fun of these people – I think it’s awesome that they’re being pro-active and trying to find whatever it is they want. I just thought I’d share some of my favorite search terms with you, and perhaps speculate as to their meanings. I’m not going to edit any spelling or grammar, because often it’s better that way.

1. why are boys so obsessed with cullingus
Setting aside the word “cullingus,” which sounds like either an inconvenient disease or a bland cauliflower dish – I want to know this girl. I want to know what events in her life have led her to this conclusion. Is she constantly being begged by boyfriends to let them go down on her? Has she encountered exclusively cunnilingus porn and gotten the idea that it’s the main kind? Does she just have really awesome selective perception? I’m intrigued.

2. why is my penis smaller when im tired
Is this a thing? I just asked my boyfriend if his gets smaller when he’s tired, and he said, “Um… I’ve never particularly noticed that.” Have you guys heard of this?

3. rubbing own clitoris during sex
This is actually a really common one. I guess either a lot of women are trying to figure out if it’s normal/okay for them to do this, or a lot of men are worried about whether their girlfriends’ pleasure-seeking means their penises are defective. For all you folks out there who might be inclined to Google something like this: it’s okay to incorporate clit stimulation into intercourse! In fact, most women need it to reach orgasm.

4. quietest tenga egg
I laughed. Tenga Eggs are fuckin’ loud. My boyfriend describes it as a “squitching” noise (not squishing, but squitching). FYI, anonymous searcher, the VerSpanken is practically silent, so go nuts.

5. pad porn
I’m not sure if this person was searching for Crash Pad Series clips or if they actually just want to see porn involving menstrual pads. Either way, I applaud them.

6. my boyfriend makes me wear a harness
Dude, that doesn’t sound consensual. Communication is important, and consent is crucial! Not cool.

7. is it easy for a beginner to rub their clit
It’s pretty self-explanatory, yeah.

8. I a man and I want a cock vibrater
I love this guy’s assertion and self-assuredness. No beating around the bush here!

9. how to make a bisexual raver girl like me?
If you ever find out, bro, make sure you let me know.

10. he likes to caress his uncut cock
The usage of the word “caress” is what makes this great, especially when you consider that the definitions of “caress” all involve the idea of showing affection to whatever you’re caressing. This dude really loves his uncut cock. Fantastic.

11. handjob empty completely balls
Is it just me, or does this sound like a porn parody of Yoda?

12. cute awkward girl porn
Is this a new porn genre, in the era of “cute awkward girls” like Zooey Deschanel and Alison Pill? Do we have a collective cultural desire to see dorky girls get ploughed? I’d be down for that.

13. control my boyfriend with handjobs
Is this consensual? ‘Cause if so, it sounds hot.

Porn Review: Crash Pad Series #131

I feel kind of embarrassed to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of April Flores. I don’t know what it is; she’s utterly gorgeous, very sexy, and shows up all the time in the kind of porn I love, but I just can’t get into her.

Still, though, I was interested to see her shoot for Crash Pad Series. Crash Pad’s “solo” videos are always amusing and often arousing, because a story has to be invented for why this person ended up masturbating alone in the Crash Pad (see: Dylan Ryan getting “trapped” in a voyeur situation and then needing to jerk off immediately afterward). In April’s case, there isn’t much in the way of story: she knows all about the Keymaster, the fictional voyeuristic character who leers curiously at every Crash Pad performer via a camera-and-computer setup, and so April decides to put on a show.

This concept is not hot to me. I like my voyeurism to be secretive and subtle; I never want to feel like the porn performers are aware of my presence, or the camera’s presence. April talks to the Keymaster/camera for much of the scene, saying things like “I wish you were here right now,” which doesn’t do anything for me. But I think a lot of people would really like this extra dimension that the scene has, judging by the success of “cam girls” and point-of-view videos.

This scene is a toy lover’s dream. April announces early in the scene that she’s brought some of her favorite toys, and then pulls out her Pure Wand and Hitachi. If you’re slightly “toysexual” like me, you’ll appreciate this. I love the moment where April says, “Should I put [the Hitachi] on high speed?” and then looks down, giggles, and says, “Oh, that was high speed!”

April has huge, marvelous tits which she can suck on. She also has some of the most beautiful hair in the business. There’s no shortage of gorgeousness in this scene.

I appreciate that she seems to genuinely love masturbating. I’ve seen porn stars less excited about partner sex than April is about getting herself off. She’s nothing if not enthusiastic. And she has some hella sexy moans.

About halfway through the scene, something hilarious and unexpected happens: April pulls out a replica of her own vulva and proceeds to finger it, lick it, and fuck it with the Pure Wand. I can’t say I can find this sexy, nor can I really understand what made April want to do it, but it’s pretty funny.

While this scene didn’t turn me on, I think there is a niche audience out there who would really enjoy it. If you like POV porn, enjoy the idea of someone putting on a sexy show for you, and/or want to see April Flores lick her own pussy, then yeah, you might dig it!

Porn Review: Crash Pad Series #83

I have a crush on Tina Horn and Roger Wood as a couple. Their scene in Live Sex Show stirred up some heat in my panties, but it wasn’t til I saw them in Jiz Lee’s birthday party orgy that I realized how much fondness I have for watching these two people have sex. There’s a shot in the orgy where Tina and Roger’s faces aren’t even visible, just their bodies, clothes, and the strap-on they’re using – and I recognized them from that alone. I saw the purple dildo, rough fucking, and juicy spankable ass, and I thought, “That’s gotta be Roger and Tina.” And of course, it was.

Their one-on-one scene for Crash Pad is even better. It’s pretty much what I’ve come to expect from these two: a relaxed but serious D/s dynamic and the authentic intimacy of two real-life lovers.

Things I don’t really like about this scene: Roger spitting on Tina’s pussy (spitting never does anything for me in porn) and the squeaking noises the bed makes (they actually broke the Crash Pad bed while filming this, though that part’s been edited out of the clip and put into the “behind the scenes” featurette instead).

Things I do really like about this scene: Tina’s perfect ass getting spanked until it reddens. Tina calling Roger “Daddy” and “baby.” The way Roger fucks the shit out of Tina and the noises she makes in response. The moment when Roger instructs Tina to remove her skirt and panties and get on the bed, and Tina says, “What about my socks?” and Roger tells her to leave them on, which makes her laugh. The way Roger stays mostly clothed while Tina is mostly naked. The genderfuckery. Roger’s hand wrapped around Tina’s throat. The way he still manages to be the Dom even while Tina’s on top, by saying “Come on, fuck me, come on.” And then when he says “You gonna come for Daddy?” and she does. The totally loving and worshipful cunnilingus that follows after the lengthy ravaging.

One of the really endearing things about Tina Horn is that she clearly loves being fucked, but also needs clitoral stimulation to get off (or so it would seem, anyway). She’s like most of us. And she doesn’t deny or downplay that need, unlike a lot of porn stars who will pretend they’re having wild orgasms from penetration alone. She rubs her clit during sex and neither partner has any issue with that. Brava!

And the most endearing thing about Roger, to me, is that he fucks like a wildman. Seriously, this is some of the fastest, hardest, roughest fucking I’ve ever seen, and yet it still manages to seem somewhat controlled and G-spot-focused. Every time I see Roger fuck, I think, “Damn, my pussy wants some of that.” And really, isn’t that what watching porn is all about?

This is just a very fucking sexy scene that makes me happy to have a Crash Pad membership. If all porn was like this, I think a lot more women would understand what the hype was about.