Released: Jan 01st, 2004
Running Time: 83
Director: Claes Lilja
Company: Strand Releasing
Cast: Carol Queen, Chloe (I), Cole Tucker, Chi Chi LaRue, Richard Hunter, Nina Hartley, Randi Rage, Others
Critical Rating: AAAA
Genre: Gay Specialty
An unqualified recommendation for those already in the know about BDSM as well as those trying to understand its appeal.
Director Claes Lilja is careful to explain his reasons for making this documentary on kink, his personal beliefs, and how the process of interviewing so many different kinds of people has benefited his own development as a person. He is careful to differentiate between violence and sex and provides copious support for his contention that violence is non-consensual, whereas sex is consensual. From there, individuals tell their own stories. Men, women, and transsexuals representing a wide ethnic and age range; breath-play, piss-play, bondage, and foot worship enthusiasts; porn stars, tattoo artists, escorts, leather shop owners, sexologists, doctors, writers, florists, and a "BDSM healer"-all provide fascinating insights into why they do what they do. Fantasies are confessed with enthusiasm and a number of activities are shown, including hot wax play, spins on a Catherine wheel, bondage, temporary piercing, electrical and knife play, spanking, and flogging. Professionals including Dr. Carol Queen provide additional insight into this social-sexual phenomenon without breaking the flow of excitement generated by those sharing their deepest secrets-and provide academic wisdom without sounding preachy, boring, or pedantic. Pre-Nom for Best Alternative Release.