January 14th, 2007

The Beauty of Art, Sex, and Love Intersecting

A few days ago I received in the mail a DVD I had ordered (pre-ordered, actually), which I then watched for the first time last night. The DVD is Matt and Khym: Better Than Ever, and I had pre-ordered it from Comstock Films a few months ago. They had some unexpected delays in the finalization of it, so it came a little bit later than they expected, but that was fine with me—it was definitely worth the wait as far as I’m concerned.

Comstock Films makes adult movies. Before I go further than that, I want to paste an excerpt from Tony Comstock’s blog (he and his wife own and operate the company, and it is a small one so they are basically it—he is the main photographer/videographer, and she runs the second camera and assists with editing and marketing) about his take on his work being considered pornography:

“On one hand I have no qualms with being labeled ‘porn’ because it lets people know in no uncertain terms that these films are absolutely frank in the way they depict sex and absolutely intended to arouse. . . . Additionally, I am proud that my films have inspired countless happy erections, orgasms, and ejaculations. I’m pleased and happy that my films make people feel good about themselves and make them feel good about sex.

But along with the proclamation of sexual frankness, the word porn comes with a wagon-load of baggage and restrictions . . . . [B]y and large porn is cynical and poorly crafted; an insult to both sex and cinema. I am nothing if not sympathetic to filmmakers who do not want their work labeled as porn.

But what’s so very wrong about the the Porn vs. Art/Erotica vs. Porn question is that it supposes that whether [something is art or porn] is a relevant question.

It’s not; at least not if we’re evaluating the work without concern for its commercial potential. . . . [T]his porn/art nonsense supposes a continuum where there is none. It separates sex from the rest of life, porn from art, and then tries to draw a line, or at least define a grey area. . . .

This, of course, is silly.

Sex is not apart from the rest of our lives, and in this context ‘porn’ is merely an inflammatory, and largely meaningless descriptor.”

Make no mistake, I adore what I have seen of this man’s (and his wife’s) philosophy, work, and contribution to the world even without the above statement—but I have to say when I read that post last May, my respect for the aforementioned solidified into a loyalty that I now take the opportunity to act on by plugging in a major way their latest film.

The way Comstock Films does films is specific: They only shoot real couples, and the format is almost documentary-like in the beginning in that they interview the couples on camera about their sex lives, how they met, etc. This is interspersed periodically with scenes from their sex scene (somewhat like a trailer), and then there is the sex scene in its entirety. The first time I watched one of Comstock’s movies, I found myself moved to tears during the sex scene, which I realized upon reflection was because I had never actually witnessed (from the outside) two people in such a state of sexual intimacy—that is, despite my considerable porn-viewing history, I had never (that I know of) watched people that love each other like that have sex. It was not only quite powerful, but also quite different from my usual experience of watching porn.

(Don’t get me wrong: That is not to wholly put down the realm of pornography. As a genre, I love porn; nor am I one to fail to recognize the beauty sex can encapsulate absent the personal and specific love as depicted in the film I reference here. This discussion is not to postulate certain kinds of art—or sex, for that matter—as being better than others but rather to recognize the uniqueness of what I see in this particular movie and this particular company’s work. While there are aspects of the adult film industry and its marketing tactics that I don’t appreciate, for the purpose of getting off, which is the purpose for which I generally use it, I have much appreciation for pornography in general, and I fully consider it a beautiful and valuable genre.)

Matt and Khym affected me even more deeply than the other film I own and have watched from Comstock. I find this couple irresistibly adorable, and I would honestly say one of the overall impressions I received from this work was simply inspirational — this couple is obviously tremendously in love and utterly attracted to each other even after being together for more than a decade. It is beautiful to me to know that they are manifesting their energy in such a loving way in the world; I am so glad I got the opportunity to witness it.

On that note, I harbor also immense gratitude for Tony and Peggy Comstock’s doing what they do. I truly believe it is of much value to the world, both practically speaking in a culture that so often seems saturated with intentions to undermine and vilify sex and sexuality, and also energetically speaking in terms of the authenticity and consciousness they put into their work. I am not there with them to witness that process, of course, but I believe said energy shows through—I sense it upon experiencing their product. And the importance of that cannot, in my view, be overstated.

Love to all and my most sincere support in manifesting your energy as loving in the world,
Emerald

“Khym: If somebody that I knew saw this, I wouldn’t be embarrassed. I would be like, ‘Yeah, that’s a little peek into our bedroom, you know, and that’s…’
Matt: Nothing wrong with that.
Khym: No. In fact, there’s everything right with it.”

-from Matt and Khym: Better Than Ever

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