Are Plots Needed?
Two men are sitting at a table talking about baseball. This goes on for a minute or two, and then Boom! A bomb goes off, creating a terrible explosion. This creates shock, an extreme reaction but without suspense.
Now, let's go back and do it again, only this time, right off the bat, you show the audience that there is a bomb underneath the table, and it is counting down to zero. The two men are oblivious to its existence, and they continue talking about baseball.
Now this creates suspense, and if you do it right, the audience will be bouncing in their seats, screaming "Stop talking about baseball! There's a bomb under the table! Get out of there!" You begin to sweat and wonder if the men will discover the explosive and stop it. When the bomb finally goes off, the reaction is more intense, because you have added the extra element of dramatic tension.
Most people familiar with my work know that I am an advocate of story porn. I enjoy it more than the all-sex variety of paddy-whacking material, and I prefer to direct it as well. Movies and books have intrigued me my entire life. It's fascinating how someone can create, through words and images, fictional people that you care about and imaginary situations that you want to see them interact in.
I threw a newspaper over my head when the Wolf Man crept up behind Lou Costello in that hotel room. Tears ran down my face when Ebenezer Scrooge stood outside his nephew's door on Christmas Day. I sat in my chair frozen in horror when Bambi heard that fateful gunshot. The medium has the power to evoke powerful emotions in us, including lust, but the intensity of these emotions must be cultivated to achieve maximum levels.
I began this article with "The Baseball Story" because it is also how I feel about sex in a film.
There was a period not too long ago, when I realized that I was getting more turned on by erotic scenes in R-rated mainstream films than I was by watching porn. This got me thinking. R-rated films could be erotic, but you never (or rarely) saw anything along the lines of an erect penis, and certainly never penetration. So why were the Hollywood films a bigger turn-on? Then I realized the answer: story/situation and character.
When you add story and character to a sexual situation, you create a dramatic tension that notches up the heat on the sex scene.
Here's my own nod to Hitchcock that I call my "Two Guys Enter a Room Story."
Two very attractive men enter a motel room and start kissing. They strip naked and have very hot sex, then pick up their clothes and leave. This, in and of itself, can be very satisfying. For some.
Now, take the same situation: two very attractive men enter a room. But you have set up, through story and character, that these two men were best friends in high school; one gay, the other, seemingly straight. One night, after winning a basketball game, they celebrate by drinking beer. Things turned sexual, but the gay friend was too hesitant to make a move, and nothing happened. It is now 10 years later, and the two men find themselves in a motel room after their class reunion. The gay friend has never gotten over his unrequited love for his buddy, who is now married with two kids, but unhappy in his relationship. He tells his gay friend that he knew all along how he felt, but he couldn't make the first move, either.
Now you have created the same situation as above, but through the use of back-story and character, you have created a situation thick with drama. This creates sexual tension: Will the gay friend make his move now? Will the "straight" guy go for it or refuse him? Who will top? If the gay guy tops, will his friend like it? How will this change their friendship?
The two men kiss, but this kiss is more highly charged because there are emotions and repercussions involved. The sex has added layers and elements to it because it's not just two men fucking, it's two friends whose love for each other has been repressed, fucking. After they cum, what will they say as they're getting dressed? What happens after they leave the room?
That example, I feel, makes the advantages of story porn obvious. One might argue that the success of Internet amateur sites would contradict me, but even there, I think one finds the elements of character and story (or at least situation, which is very similar) playing key roles.
Most sites like SeanCody.com begin their solos and duos by talking to or interviewing the guys. The guys are usually hot, so why bother? Why not just whip the dicks out and get busy?
If you go on XTube.com, you'll find snippets of scenes and amateur videos. Random samplings of these are titled "Hot 19yo Boy Fucking His Straight Best Friend for Money," "Two 20yo Best Friends Sucking and Fucking After School," and "Amateur Hidden Cam Sex." Even if no one in the video clip says a single word, the titles give you the story. I could easily write a script based on each of these. The titles here describe a situation that creates additional layers, which enhances the sex.
Like a lot of things we love, story porn is a personal preference. Perhaps it's my love of movies that spurs me to create and enjoy these kinds of films, perhaps it's my love of a good tail — uh, tale. As the line between mainstream and porn continues to blur, and as our industry attempts to explore new areas and boundaries, I know that story porn will continue to thrive and advance.
After all, everyone has at least one good tale to tell. What's yours?