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Between the sheets:High-budget porn goes overboard

Tonya Starr

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In the aftermath of a very inspiring Sex Week, I realized I’d never watched a full-length porno and started asking around for recommendations. After many awkward conversations and surprising texts, I borrowed a friend’s copy of Pirates XXX, the most expensive porno ever made.

Unfortunately, not even a million-dollar budget and the tagline “Swash and unbuckle” could save this swarthy film from sinking. The high production value and elaborate script actually turned the X-rated flick into some kind of bizarre comedy/action/porno hybrid. As your friendly neighborhood sex columnist, I feel obliged to give you the lowdown.

Our sexy seafaring adventure starts on the ship of the young merchant Manuel, who has just gone below deck with his lovely new wife Isabella. Within the first five minutes of the film, we get to watch Manuel take Isabella’s virginity, though her gigantic breasts and ability to open her legs a full 180 degrees make it clear she’s no virgin. Despite the lack of authenticity, the scene is appealing, with an emphasis on oral foreplay, some impressive but not impossible sex positions and a passionate finish. The pair spends the night together immediately afterward, and the audience almost believes there can be a happy medium between pornography and plot development.

But then things take a turn for the worse. When a band of pirates take over Manuel’s ship and steals Isabella, we’re sucked into a crappy 129-minute rip-off of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” without a naked Johnny Depp doppelganger. The expensive costumes and flashy swordfights are completely canceled out by the terrible acting and nonsensical plotline, not to mention the over-the-top erotic dialogue that was more fake than the actresses’ boob jobs.

The bad cinema is thankfully interrupted several times by hardcore sex scenes, but even those are tainted by the director’s poor artistic eye. Between the cheesy medieval pirate music underscoring all fornication and the blonde wenches who keep their corsets and pirate hats on while screwing, the scenes are too obscured by the theme to actually be arousing. Not to mention, rampant pirate language and sexism pervades the film in a distracting way. In one particularly disturbing scene, Isabella and a female pirate perform their sexual acts in the middle of a circle of drooling male captains, who take brief pauses from gulping beer to shout profane commands at the girls.

I know what you’re thinking: porn is porn. It’s just going to be people banging no matter what context you put them in. But is it so much to ask for someone to find a way to integrate hardcore sex into a plot I actually care about, with people who can actually act? If the folks at Adam & Eve Productions couldn’t do it with a million dollars, I don’t know who can. Maybe if James Cameron directed a porno or something, but who knows.

So if you’re a new porn watcher like me, I highly recommend you stay away from the full-length movies. They’re confusing and distracting, and they won’t necessarily get you off. Plain old sex is available in RedTube clips by the thousand, and though their production values are lower, they do stay true to the purpose of porn. It’s people banging other people. Don’t try to get all fancy with it.

Happy watching!

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