August 23, 2016 05:37am
Submission Crosses Over
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Rich Moreland
Jacky St. James' Submission Crosses Over by Rich Moreland - This is the first in a three-part series on crossing over from porn to mainstream.
When I talked with actor and director Tommy Pistol at the 2015 Adult Entertainment Expo, he mentioned that Jacky St. James was destined to transition from porn to mainstream. Indeed, her crossover tale of dominance and submission aired on Showtime in May has verified his endorsement.
With executive producers AVN founder Paul Fishbein and former AVN Media CEO Darren Roberts on board, St. James brings the kinky with all its nuances to everyone who chooses to watch. She wrote and directed the screenplay which aired under the title Submission.
Production ownership and the control it brings, has allowed the feminist director to forge new pathways that represent an entertainment and cultural moment akin to porn's move from the grindhouse big screen to video tape almost forty years ago. The welcome mat is out once again, this time with an added bonus . . . cable TV that goes beyond the expected fare of the Playboy Channel with on-screen performances that don't rely on a good banging.
Simply put, the Showtime piece involves a story that is not focused on the adult industry, but uses its artistic assets. Venturing into territory once thought verboten, the porn connection informs the late night TV audience that talented people work on the other side of the Hollywood sign.
In six half-hour episodes, St. James explores a BDSM relationship that deviates from E. L. James' story of Christian Grey (remember his Fifty Shades?) as a damaged soul who becomes his lover's reclamation project. In fact, Submission is a love triangle ignited when a woman whose love life is steeped in boredom reads an erotic novel (in a nod to James) and enters a world of romance, mystery, and intrigue.
But what does Submission mean for an industry that shoots a feature in a handful of days on a limited budget? Quite a lot for a couple of reasons, the first is an expanding view of sexuality, particularly what is considered to be normal. In an interview with Fleshbot.com, St. James reveals that in her mind at least, "normal" is very flexible. She insists that anyone can get "bored when we're only dipping our spoons in vanilla."
The BDSM shoot has become a staple of porn and is now on the mainstream stage. Kink and its many flavors is no longer the most expensive video tape the local Mom and Pop video store carried in the 1980s and 1990s, if they were brave enough to do so. For those too young to remember, the customer had to special order fetish films at high costs that often approached $50 plus in those days.
And, need I say, more people are buying bondage products on line and in boutiques than ever before, especially the fairer sex. Women are watching porn more frequently and willing to take possession of their sexuality.
The second reason is linked to the first. Millennials (18-34 year olds) are into diversity and though some researchers are telling us the age group is having less non-marital sex than the Gen X crowd did at their age, porn in all its varieties is perfectly ok with them.
And, I might add, so is the porn star. In fact, Submission offers a leading part to one of the industry's true stars, Skin Diamond, whose acting talent is often overlooked. Supporting roles are filled by some twenty others associated with the adult industry including the behind-the-scenes positions of BDSM consultant and art director.
It would have been convenient to abandon her roots with Submission, but St. James brought the industry with her to Showtime, informing the viewer that porn people have many talents that don't always rely on the next sex scene to generate a payday.
Many performers and directors would love a shot at legitimate Hollywood. Jacky St. James has taken the step and hopefully others will follow. She is the most important woman behind the camera in porn today.
In the next installment of this series, we'll look at some cross over history.