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White Lightning Strikes   by Greta Christina

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Reviewer Greta Christina has worked in and around the sex industry for over a decade writing about it, editing books about it, and living it. She edited Paying For It, a collection of articles by all kinds of sex workers: dommes, escorts, peep show girls, T-girls. Her novella called Bending is out in Susie Bright's book Three Kinds of Asking For It (published by Simon & Schuster and can be found at amazon.com). In response to overwhelming member requests for reviews of sex toys, sexy films, and other sex whatnots, Ms. Christina brings her girl-about-sex wisdom twice monthly to Adult FriendFinder. You can check out Ms. Christina on her web site, gretachristina.com.

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White Lightning
Starring Ginger Lynn, Chloe, Kylie Ireland, Michael J. Cox, and Mickey G.
Co-starring Sindee Coxx, Syren, Midori, T.J. Hart, Keisha Dominguez, Angelica Sin, Billy Glide, Brad Armstrong, Dale Dabone, and Nina Hartley (non-sex role). Directed by Veronica Hart. 2 hours plus DVD extras. VCA. Available at Good Vibrations, http://www.goodvibes.com/ and anywhere else you find good DVDs.


There are times when mainstream porn-industry porn videos make me so bored and irritated I could spit. The assembly-line formulas, the clone-like physical sameness of the performers, the depressingly narrow vision of human sexual possibility... there are times when the whole thing makes me almost give up on the medium entirely.

But some directors manage to work within the mainstream pornographic-industrial complex and still turn out work that's both creative and hot. And Veronica Hart is one of them. She's a prime example of why having women in real power in the porn industry makes a difference.

Her videos stay fairly solidly within the mainstream porn conventions -- but she stretches the boundaries of those conventions a fair amount, using her sexual imagination to bend and twist them to her own vision. And she puts the pleasure of women front and center in her videos, in a way that's totally fucking hot -- and all too rare.

White Lightning is a pretty darned good example. Not great, necessarily -- but a solid B, maybe even a B+, and well worth checking out if you like this sort of thing.

I'm looking over the notes I took for this video, and one of the very first ones I wrote is "Cunnilingus -- yay!" It's sad that this should be something special, but alas, it is. Cunnilingus used to be something you saw all the time in mainstream hetero porn -- you couldn't hardly have a sex scene without it. Now the standard progression has become "blowjob/vaginal fucking/anal fucking," and cunt-licking often gets shoved to the wayside or ignored completely. If you're looking for examples of sexism in video porn, that's Exhibit A right there.

But there's tons of cunnilingus in White Lightning. And it's the good kind, too. It's not the stupid kind where they stick out their tongues and go "lap lap lap" so the camera can see it. Not mostly, anyway. Mostly they shove their faces right up in there. It looks real -- and it looks real fun. On both ends, both giving and receiving.

This is a perfect example of what works about this video. The pleasure of the women -- being gone down on, or otherwise done -- is at its heart and soul, and you get to see a lot of it. This isn't one of those pornos where the women moan and thrash a little and then get on with the important business of getting the men off. The women in this video *come.* Again, and again, and again.

And you get to see it. This is a mainstream video, and it's certainly got plenty of your standard mainstream insertion shots. But it's also got face shots, and full-body shots... images that show the people having sex, not just the genitals that the people are attached to.

Which is what I want to see when I see a woman come. I want to see her body contract, her face contort, her fists roll up into tight little balls... and I want to see her shudder and shake when the storm finally hits. I want to see her, the whole woman, having the experience in her whole body. A woman shaking and rattling and rolling when she comes...
that's my equivalent of a cum shot. That's what shows me that it's real.

And that's what makes me feel it myself when I'm on the sofa with a remote in my hand.

This feeling of realness shows up again and again in this video. Example:
The video has occasional forays into kink, and while they don't last long enough for my personal taste, they have genuine impact while they do.
There's a scene between Chloe and Mickey G., where she's flogging his ass and then making him lick her asshole while he jerks off... and it's not just a play-acting gesture towards dominance and submission. She's really whipping his ass, and she's really pushing him around.

And they're both really getting into it.

The "rimming while jerking off scene" is a perfect example of Veronica Hart's willingness to play with the possibilities of sexual pleasure. It's simply not the kind of thing you typically see in a mainstream porno -- after all, it's not part of the holy trinity of oral sex/cunt-fucking/ass-fucking, which seems to make up 99% of the sex in pornos. And White Lightning explores other options outside the holy trinity as well. Mickey G. gets into not one but two foot-licking scenes... and while neither one lasts very long, they're both done with a lingering, fiercely focused attention that made me think long and hard about getting his tongue between my own toes.

Oh, and speaking of Chloe and Mickey G. -- let's talk about the casting for a moment. The five main characters in the love triangle (I guess that's a love pentacle, huh?) are all first-rate performers -- they have decent acting chops, and they fuck with passion and energy and distinctive style. And none of them is a spring chicken. The star, Ginger Lynn, has been around for a good long while -- she's in her mid-to-late thirties at least, which in porn years is ancient -- and Hart had the cojones not only to cast her, but to put her front and center. And it pays off -- Lynn is a delight to watch. The casting of White Lightning seems to have been done with talent and energy and experience in mind... not simply to parade a new batch of fresh young faces and bodies in front of the camera.

You may not care about the plot of your porn. But in this case, I suggest you not skip through it. White Lightning is one of those rare pornos where the plot (a) is reasonably interesting, with a clever structure that keeps you hooked, and (b) makes you care about why the characters are fucking, and what they're getting out of it. The tangled web of relationships between the people makes the sex more interesting.... and the conflicts between them makes it more heavily charged.

Now, there are times when the limitations of the mainstream porno formulas do bring this video down. For starters, there are way too many "fucking in an uncomfortable position to gives the camera a clear crotch angle" scenes. I just hate that. It's a perfect example of what's wrong with mainstream porn -- it shows you sex that doesn't actually feel good, simply because it supposedly looks good. And while there is more sexual variety in White Lightning than in most porn videos, it tends to cut the variations short in a rush to get to the old standards. (Not to harp on Mickey G. and his amazing toe-sucking tongue... but that shit was gorgeous, and I wanted a lot more of it than just a little tease.)

And while the movie is unusually generous in showcasing female orgasms, it gives you the male orgasms in the same old damn way -- the cum shot, time after time after time.

It's weird. I'm guessing that Hart is aiming her work at least somewhat at a female and "couples" audience -- and I'm guessing that's why she put in both older actresses and a focus on female pleasure. But I don't understand why she didn't give us girls a good, thorough look at male pleasure as well. It's funny how a director who loves to display the full-body gorgeousness of the female orgasm could be so blind to the possibilities of male orgasm. It's a weird kind of sexism, or reverse sexism maybe -- the idea that female orgasm is important and beautiful and takes up the whole person and her entire body, but male orgasm consists entirely of spooge being shot out of a dick. I, for one, would like to see a guy's face and body when he comes, at least once in a while.

And it's not just because I'm so sick of cum shots I could hurl.

That being said, I still got a lot out of this movie. It didn't make me jump up and down and sing the Hallelujah Chorus, but it didn't have me drumming my fingers waiting for it to be over, either. I was pretty engaged through most of it, and very engaged through a lot of it. I got a good number of sympathetic mini-orgasms just sitting on the sofa watching, and I had a nice little session with my vibrator afterwards. I especially think it would be good for hetero couples who find most "couple's videos" too tame. If you want a video that's basically mainstream but that plays around with the format instead of just cranking it out -- and that has plenty of fun with women's pleasure as well as men's -- you could do a whole lot worse than this one.


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