Two couples, both alike in beauty, in liberal San Francisco where we lay our scene. “An Open Invitation: A Real Swingers’ Party in San Francisco” is that rare porn movie that follows a couple who get better at sex as they go along, all through the noble efforts of the deliciously predatory Lorelei Lee and her groovy friends.
Director: Ilana Rothman
Starring: Lorelei Lee, James Deen, India Summer, Bella Rossi, Jessie DiMarco, Gia Cox, Tia Ling, Jack Hammer, Seda, Mickey Mod, Mark Davis, Skylar Price, Tara Lynn Foxx
Alison and Will (India Summer and James Deen) are the Blooms, recent transplants to the Bay Area whose sex life leaves a lot to be desired. A chance encounter with (tastefully) swinging couple Vivian and Adam Angel gives a new spring to the Blooms’ relationship.
“An Open Invitation” is not a movie that tries on swinging to meet a niche quota, like “Lesbians” or “MILFs” or “Asians.” Instead, it presents a story about a hesitant but game couple and a pair of old pros, then it takes the viewer’s hand and gracefully but deliberately leads her to the inevitable orgy at the back of the house, with each door clicking closed behind her.
Director Ilana Rothman had to coach India Summer and James Deen to have bad sex in the beginning of the movie (which means the couple has normal person sex), with Summer not clamoring for a facial pop shot. But then they happen to meet Vivian and Adam at a bar.
Prior to this meeting, however, we get to see the type of sex Mr. and Mrs. Angel have, with Vivian presenting her ass to her husband.
“Stay where you are,” she says, confident that he’ll like what she’s about to show him. And if he isn’t entranced by what she’s waggling there, he does a great husbandly job of faking it.
As Vivian, Lorelei Lee is just the type of person one would want to indoctrinate oneself and spouse to the mysteries of open relationships (none of the couples refers to their arrangement as “swinging” in the movie).
“Let’s get in a little trouble,” she says to her husband.
An evening of wine and hookah smoking follows, and this reviewer appreciated not only the display of the condoms necessary for a realistic menage-a-experience, but also the social lubricant that facilitates such things.
But then we arrive at yet another couples’ house, and Alison and Will are getting antsy as the likes of Tia Ling and Seda get demonstrative with the assembled men.
“Is that OK with you, that your wife does that?” blurts Will.
“We trust each other,” he is told. “We just don’t pretend we don’t have any urges.”
Maybe all swingers do not look this urbane and fit, and maybe Will and Alison fall into the lifestyle quicker than most, with nary a tear shed nor a night on the couch spent. And, while I do not know any man who has not indulged in the double standard of being fine with his partner getting it on with another woman but drawing the line when another penis edges into the frame, we must remember that, for Christ’s sake, this is still porn we’re talking about.
Ditto Will’s apparent ease at rubbing balls with another man when they double-team Vivian on an elegant couch at Kink.com’s Upper Floor. (It should be noted that “Open Invitation” is especially Kink.com-y since that venerable San Francisco studio supplied the production arm of the movie.)
So “Open Invitation” is an exceptional porn feature that really succeeds in bridging the gap between unattainable fantasy and something actual couples might try.
“Gonzo” porn, that stripe of adult entertainment that emphasizes sex over story, has its place. After all, one of its pioneers was the late Jamie Gillis, who had been in so many increasingly cheesy “Golden Age” scripted porn features that, he reasoned, getting back to the sex was what the public wanted.
And to a degree this is true, and millions of three-minute examples of Gillis’ monster can be found for free online.
But it is the rare contemporary scripted feature that makes someone remember the reason all those coastal art freaks started making movies like “The Devil in Miss Jones” in the first place: that, with the right story, director, and performers, the sex can be exponentially more compelling.
My favorite line (of many great lines) in the script is uttered by Alison the morning after the couple’s encounter with the Angels.
“She sure took control of the situation,” says Will of Vivian.
“Yeah,” says Alison. “She really laid into me.”
“An Open Invitation: A Real Swingers’ Party in San Francisco” (with more cities to follow) is a film for you and your special, timid someone to lay into.