Submit to be tied: “The Truth About O” [video]

You will not find any slouching, mumbling, or hijinks on the set of Ernest Greene’s lifestyle-submissive movie “The Truth About O,” the third in his award-winning porn adaptation of “The Story of O.” That’s because this an adult adult movie.

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“The Story of O” was a groundbreaking and shocking novel when Anne Desclos revealed it to Paris and the world in 1954. The story of a submissive woman seeking to be dominated, “O” broke several taboos simultaneously. First, O was a photographer, a career woman; how could she want to be dominated by that man Rene? Second, “O”‘s depiction of sadomasochism and the humiliations O willingly suffered upended the sensibilities of many. Regardless, the novel was critically lauded, occasionally banned, and became a sensation.

Greene began this trilogy with the feisty Carmen Luvana in the title role (the “O” movies are produced by Adam & Eve), then the truly submissive Bree Olson became O in the sequel. This time it’s Bobbi Starr. As O, Starr brings a certain brunettitude to the role that the other women couldn’t muster.

The budget for this movie, like all movies these days, is lower than its predecessors. Luckily, Greene has accumulated much of the machinery required to dress the set over a career of debauchery.

But there is another deviation from the norm this movie represents that I think will please fans.

The first two “O”s featured Adam & Eve’s contract stars Carmen Luvana and Bree Olson. Both did well in their roles but it was a stretch to believe these big-busted blondes as submissive photographers hiding behind their cameras. For whatever reason, Greene did not have to work within the contract system for this movie, drawing significantly from the talent pool of the Spiegler Girls agency (Starr, Asa Akira, Jessie Andrews), as well as “O” veterans Claire Adams and Justine Joli. Much as Adam & Eve’s Teagan Presley and Alexis Ford are fun to look at, they would have been miscast in this film.

Greene, who edits Hustler’s “Taboo” magazine and whose loft (which he shares with wife Nina Hartley) is filled with all manner of heavy—yet elegant, always elegant—bondage equipment, takes the “O” movies and the lifestyles they depict seriously.

It’s because of the exacting standards of the BDSM community.

“If we just tried this on,” he says, referring to Porn’s habit of appropriating a fetish in costume only, “there would be some seriously angry people. People I would not like to be angry with me.”

So the movies are extremely mannered, the exchanges conforming to the rigid standards of lifestyle BDSM groups, and the language dead serious. Not only that, but the players know the ropes.

“Because she’s Asian, I tied Asa (Akira) in the Japanese style,” says master rigger Claire Adams. “People will be pleased with that.”

But while Greene, Hartley, Adams, and “O” regular Justine Joli are answering to a higher power, what about the porn performers for whom this script is just another job?

Chunky Bunny for hire

In the makeup room of The Sanctuary, a bondage den across from LAX, I sit with Justine Joli and Krissy Lynn and watch Jessie Andrews, Asa Akira, and Bobbi Starr try to fit as many marshmallows in their mouths while saying “Chunky Bunny.” [I have reviewed my footage and Asa Akira is the winner.]

I don’t need to tell you how comfortable and life-affirming it is to sit with scantily-clad women as they giggle, tweet, text, take photos of each other, and shove candy in their mouths. In the next room, they will be trussed up, leashed, and made to utter lines like “You have trained me well, Mistress” in service to Greene’s script, but on the couches of the makeup room, it’s high humor and the smell of girls and marshmallows.

I am part of a group of extras who is to stand, slack-jawed and appreciative, as Claire Adams pummels the pale and easy-to-bruise-and-bend Justine Joli into a froth. They have worked together before and it is easy to get slack-jawed as Joli peels herself out of her clothes.

[I drift in and out of the scene. All the other extras are paired up, but to be America’s Beloved Porn Journalist is to be Alone, I guess. During the short scene I think, “Do I want to be the one guy in the sex show scene who is going Stag? Do I want to be that guy?” The stills photographer takes pictures of the couples to my right and left and walks right by me. I would have done the same thing.]

I take interesting photos with my phone, having left the better camera in the car. Everything looks more lurid than the dispassionate setting seems to warrant. But my favorite is this shot of Greene and Hartley, reprising her pro-domme matriarch role from the first two movies.

The next day we are in Greene’s and Hartley’s loft near downtown L.A. {“I have an excellent view of what’s left of Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles,” Greene says, and he’s right). Starr, wearing a bottomless white onesie that neatly bookends a magnificent bush and the tops of impossibly long legs (Chandler would call them “stems”) takes pictures in character. Remember, the original O was a photographer.

Meanwhile, Adams is tying a barefoot and buck-naked Akira into a life-size representation of the time 3:30. She stands on her right foot as Adams ties ropes around her vagina, between her breasts, and under her left leg, which is raised at a 90-degree angle. As the dialogue commences, Adams reminds Greene that Akira shouldn’t be kept in this position forever, and Greene shoots the scene quickly.

Lying on the floor between takes, Starr offers an unparalleled view of what cameraman Ralph Parfait calls her “schmabbedz.”

“If it’s not Yiddish,” he says, “It should be.”

I ask Hartley and James Deen, playing O’s master, to high five over it. Starr’s schmabbedz needs to be high-fived over and celebrated nationwide.

Elsewhere, Greene is filming a scene in which Akira’c character laments the lack of a good dominant male (she has grown weary of Danny Wylde, who played her master at The Sanctuary).

“Where are all the self-confident masters who aren’t arrogant pricks?” she says.

For a writer, this is known as Wish Fulfillment by Proxy, like when the high school-age me wrote a play in which the hot girl says, “Where are all the guys with glasses? I’d sure like to blow a nearsighted Chess Club president right about now.”

“The Truth About O,” which looked gorgeous from where I was standing, will be released early next year.

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Previously on Porn Valley Observed: “O2: The Surrender of O“; “Surrender of O” first look; “O: The Power of Submission
See also: Adam & Eve

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Gram Ponante is America's Beloved Porn Journalist


  1. Well, Alexis Ford isn’t with Adam & Eve anymore, and Teagan doesn’t do boys anymore, so that would explain why they weren’t used.

  2. Y’know, I’m not really into BDSM, nor did I have any interest in the previous installments (while I can appreciate Carmen Luvana and really enjoy Bree Olson, I just can’t see them in the role of an ‘O’), this one has my attention. I really think Bobbi Starr is perfect for the role – she just has the look and mannerisms, I guess.

    Also… why aren’t there more “Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles”-esque porns? In the hands (heh) of the correct writer and/or director, they could be pretty-damn entertaining, I’d think. Of course, I’m a sucker for the visuals of that time, so there that is.

  3. Hello from France, the country of “O” story, like you tell. I pray for this comment will not considered as a pathetic spam because the site which I\’ll talk has nothing for sale. If the Internet BDSM world in English was richly of this view , in the Francophone zone did not offer anything, no community website about to BDSM. There are only Pay Sites or Health forums. It\’s complicated because Facebook excludes transgressive pages. Finally, we try to create a BDSM community for French … This will be ambitious, however, we wanted to test: is launched. We need your help for triumph against the odds. If i tell it on comment, it is because this social network wants to help potographer, model, actress, and kinky expression. Thank you by advance.

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