Graphic Sexual Horror

A fair-minded glimpse into the pain-glorious performances and behind-the-scenes procedures of the now defunct hardest of the hardcore bondage Web sites
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REVIEW The prurient pleasure piece Graphic Sexual Horror cannot be accused of failing to live up to its title. In fact, it's safe to say that discussion or protestations (and anyone who's not catatonic is bound to have something to say) that follow this solid porn-ocumentary will be related to the rather contentious content. This fair-minded glimpse into the pain-glorious performances and behind-the-scenes procedures of the now defunct hardest of the hardcore bondage Web sites is simultaneously titilutf8g and reflective, admiring and critical.

Insex.com founder Brent Scott, in explaining the academic ostracism at Carnegie Mellon that led to his new career as a high priest of porn, says this: "If they don't let me teach their kids, I'll corrupt them," which seems an apt encapsulation of his renegade artistic arrogance. This account is assuredly enriched by his candidness and self-criticism. He praises, sometimes adores, his female models and expresses sincere regret when his neglect leads to a malfunctioning water tank that could have inflicted injury. At the same time, however, he is chauvinistically demanding and insensitive to his model's vulnerabilities. Essentially, he represents the ambivalence of extreme bondage — the murky convergence of liberated consensual sex and exploitation.

Clips of artistically presented live feed performances featuring such intrigues as blue-purple strangulated breasts and hot pepper being applied to genitalia, are intercut with interviews to give a sense of the models' experiences. For bondage enthusiasts and the morbidly curious, there are visuals to gawk or gasp at throughout, but the tone becomes more conflicted as the film addresses the dilemmas of Insex models, as illustrated by the young woman who whimpers incredulously as her face is slapped. Face-slapping was her one hard limit (defined as activity forbidden by a model), but she struggles to play along because of the shame and lost fortunes a refusal begets.

GRAPHIC SEXUAL HORROR Thurs/16–Fri/17, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

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