(I realize my first review is supposed to be of the Tantus Ryder, but I can’t find my camera charger to take pictures of it! So I’m doing a porn review instead.)
Chemistry, Vol. 1 is like a reality show, except it’s about 500 times better, since there are naked people and none of them are annoying or catty. The premise is that Tristan Taormino found 7 porn stars and put them in a house (with cameras) for 36 hours. The stars get to decide who they have sex with, what they do in these scenes, and when and where to do these scenes.
Okay, that last part is mostly true. In the behind-the-scenes footage, you see (an extended scene of) Tristan talking with all the performers before they go smush their genitals together. She mentions that they each know, from emails Tristan has sent, who they’re going to have sex with at least once, but where and when aren’t planned. They also have a “sign-up sheet” for sex. This is because there are a limited number of cameras, so if all of them have sex at the same time, someone’s sexy time won’t get filmed.
The movie focuses a lot on the connections and chemistry between the performers (hence the title). In between all the fucking, the performers talk about their experiences in the house, how they feel about the other stars, what they’re turned on by, etc. They also have philosophical rants about the porn industry, and talk about their lives in and out of the industry.
Since spontaneity is part of the premise, I’m not going to give a scene-by-scene rundown, but I’ll talk a little bit about each performer and the sex in general.
Mr. Marcus: He was the only name I recognized before watching this movie. He’s very charming and considerate of his co-stars, and in my opinion, the best looking out of the 3 male stars.
Jack Lawrence: He loves licking pussy. A lot. He talks about it a lot, and he does a lot of it in this movie. He’s not into rough sex (although he’ll compromise a bit to make a girl happy) – he’d rather just cuddle and lick pussy. And suck on his partners’ toes during sex.
Kurt Lockwood: A lot of the other stars expressed concerns about working with him, since apparently he had been difficult to work with in the past, but after the fact, everyone agreed that he is a funny and caring guy who has changed since he first got into the industry.
Marie Luv: Out of all the performers, she seems to have the most chemistry with her partners. Although I think the behavior of all the performers is mostly genuine, I feel like hers is the most authentic.
Taryn Thomas: She’s hot, but in her scene with Kurt, she acts very much like a typical porn star (loud, high-pitched noises and dirty talk). She reminds me a lot of Sasha Grey in this regard. If you want to skip out on her talking about how much of a whore she is, I’d suggest skipping this scene.
Mika Tan: She is super fun, bubbly, and outgoing, and loves all sorts of sexy activities. She’s also very attractive and likes going down on other women.
Dana DeArmond: She seems like a very genuine person. She reveals her insecurities in the “confessionals”, and even says, regarding her scene with Mika and Jack, that it wasn’t great. I consider that refreshing, because she’s actually being honest.
For a porn movie, the sex is very realistic. They actually show the performers using lube – the bottle, squeezing it out, everything! The performers aren’t afraid to make weird noises/faces that real people make during sex. They have real connections with each other and speak up if something is bothering them (for example, while having sex with Mr. Marcus, Dana expresses pain twice, and he adjusts accordingly). The performers themselves are also fairly realistic-looking. Sure, they’re all attractive, but they have not been heavily made up (or shot with bright lighting to hide blemishes), even though the film is in HD. You can see pimples on a few of the performers’ asses during close-ups.
Speaking of close-ups, there are a lot of them. There is also a lot of oral sex. If you don’t like either of those things, you probably won’t like this movie.
There’s also a LOT of sex toys! I saw Pure Plugs (prototypes, since they were in development at the time of filming), a Fun Wand, a LAYAspot, and a Hitachi Magic Wand. There were other toys too, but I couldn’t identify them (or my shitty DVD player skipped over them). They use strap-ons, vibrators, butt plugs, glass dildos, and anal beads – these toys are used on both men and women, which is refreshing to see! There are two (very hot) scenes that involve pegging, which is rare to see in a porn movie targeted to heterosexuals. Some of the girls use vibrators on their clits during sex, validating female pleasure.
There were only a few things I didn’t care for. I didn’t particularly like the scene between Mika, Jack, and Dana; Jack seemed to feel very out of place. I think the sex was too rough for his liking, with Mika taking on a dominant role, and Dana being the submissive. Jack later acknowledges he was feeling out of it, but blames it on him being hungry.
Also, if the performers used condoms (which Tristan has not required until recently), I would get to call this “the best example of realistic and safe sex I’ve ever seen in porn.” (The current holder of that title is the free educational porn series Tristan made for Smitten Kitten’s website.) If Tristan makes another volume of Chemistry (there are 4 volumes so far), I’ll probably get to make this statement!
I would have also appreciated some more queerness. There is girl-girl action, but aside from some flirtation and fondling, all of it is in the presence of a man. There is also no action between men. This is something I would’ve liked to see, and I bet many other queers would’ve liked to see it too, but I understand that Tristan was trying to target the large heterosexual market.
The feature film is almost 3 hours long, and there is over one hour of bonus footage, including more sex scenes! There is also a feature called the Positions Room. It includes 5 montages of clips from the movie: “pussy eating”, blow job, missionary, doggie, and cum shot. This is fantastic if you know exactly what kind of sex you want to get off to. Overall, Chemistry, Vol. 1 rocks. It’s super hot, interesting, realistic, sex positive, and female-friendly. I definitely recommend it! You can buy it from Tristan’s website here.
Thank you so much for reading my first review! Have you seen any of the movies in the Chemistry series? What do you think of them? Let me know in the comments below! Also, since this is my first review, I’d love to hear what you think about the review itself. If you have any comments, suggestions, or constructive criticism, please let me know!
Note: No one is paying me to review this. I got the DVD as a “thanks for calling” gift when I called in to Sex Out Loud Radio.