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Friends With Benefits

Studio: New Sensations » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 10/4/12

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

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Friends With Benefits

New Sensations

Genre: Feature, Couples

Director: Paul Thomas

Cast: Krissy Lynn, Steven St. Croix, Skin Diamond, Jonni Hennessy, Tony DeSergio, Bailey Blue, Alec Knight, Brooklyn Lee, Tommy Pistol
Non-sex roles (and limited sex roles): Veronica Avluv, Gabrielle Starr, Bonnie Rotten, Jack Spade, Dani Lane, Katherine Cobi, Luke Masters, Ali King, Rock Love, Jacki Avalon, Zoey Foxx, Vicky Vixen, C.C., Shylar

Length: 152:40 minutes

Date of Production: 2012

Extras: The extras started off with an entertaining 43:55 minute long Behind the Scenes feature, the cast and crew interacting as well as some interviews of the cast included. There was then 5:30 minutes worth of Bloopers, a pick your pleasure menu, a photogallery, lingerie spam, trailers, and some company information.

Condoms: Some

Audio/Video Quality: Friends With Benefits was presented in anamorphic widescreen as shot by director Paul Thomas for New Sensations as part of their fledgling “Swingers” line. Director of Photography was Eli Cross, the editor was Gabrielle Anex, and the writer was Raven Touchstone; the rest of the crew serving in various roles to assist the production as needed. The production looked really good and had a lot of small touches that stood out as a coherent whole this time. The composition of the shots was solid and the editing served the sexual trysts as well as the plotted points nicely, the addition of various smaller sex roles not being completely fleshed out helping make the orgy sequences work better than had the single camera been flying all around the room haphazardly (as usual in the usual orgy manner). There was a company watermark in the lower right hand corner of the cover too but it was light and fairly obscure in most scenes for those who care. The aural components were well handled too, the music appropriate for the mood of the scenes, the vocals easily heard, and the minimal ambient sounds such that some care clearly went into this portion of the production as well.

-- sponsored by --

Body of Review: Paul Thomas is widely considered one of the founding fathers of modern porn direction, his appreciation for the thematic elements used to “sell” the plotted points of a flick certainly standing out compared to many of his peers over the years that preferred gonzo style productions. His latest work is for New Sensations, another in the “Swingers” line that is called Friends With Benefits. The movie dealt with a couple of people on the rebound that want to experiment with the freedom of swinger parties but still have the same hang-ups that likely held them back in the past. They join together as a means of bolstering their self confidence and providing mutual support, the end result somewhat predictable but no less sexually interesting. The back cover described the movie like this: “Having ended their respective relationships, co-workers Alex and Jessica decide to check out a "swingers" party together. However, the intrigue and excitement of this "lifestyle" has rules. They must be together, and although they can play separately, they must be seen as a couple for this group to accept them. Inhibitions as slowly dissolved when they are welcomed into the group. As they share these new experiences together, Alex and Jessica begin to develop feelings for each other that are beyond sexual attraction and could very well be a spark of love.” Here’s a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that condoms were used for those still interested:

Scene One: Krissy Lynn, a busty blond woman with a curvy body, was up first on a red couch with Steven St. Croix, some humor starting off the movie setting the stage for the tryst. She showed her boobs and they kissed, his mouth lowering to suck her nipples as he cupped those wonderful fun bags. He then moved her hand to his crotch and that led to her slobbing his knob while people hung out in the background, her sweet ass positioned nicely for the camera until the shot angled to show her talented oral skills. Krissy was a playful fellatrix, Steven complimenting her on her “amazing skills”, the hummer leading to some condom clad vaginal penetration positions showing a connection between them. Her eye contact as he porked her was superior, the gal rubbing herself to intensify the sensations (her nipples getting erect). There was some intermittent kissing and she became a more active rider over time, Steven unleashing a huge wad of genetic juice all over her back after pulling out from the doggy position and removing the condom (the ball batter running down her back).

Scene Two: Skin Diamond and Jonni Hennessy were up next doing Tony DeSergio in bed at the orgy, Skin proving to be the more active of the ladies initially. I was surprised that Tony was as buffed out and cut as he was, other points of interest being the numerous glimpses of others in the background either masturbating or getting frisky. The scene was slow and seductively sweet, light caresses and nibbles leading to Skin wrapping her sweet lips around his cock to blow him as he spanked her perky ass and Jonni lay before them. The ladies did double team him orally but I had a love/hate opinion about how the scene kept cutting away to those glimpses I mentioned, Brooklyn and Tommy as much as a blond shown warming up on the couch nearby. I like scenes to proceed but my GF thought it helped the scene from being too formulaic so your mileage may vary. The oral led to vaginal positions, Skin assisting Jonni more than the reverse as they took turns with him. The condom use was not as overt here but again showing responsible behavior to lessen the likelihood of STDs, something I strongly recommend when having sex with casual partners (it takes guts to show this in movies given the manner in which they polarize consumers; especially if you are not a condom-only company). Tony used his hands to give Jonni some pleasure as well as gobble her gash, Skin looking awesome in doggy with her head between her legs and Tony taking her from behind. This ultimately led to Tony beating off all over Skin’s lower abdomen, none of them touching the seed before it cut away to more story elements.

Scene Three: Bailey Blue, a lean little blond with some large tattoos, was up next at an outdoor pool orgy, again showing a lot of people playfully teasing and warming up in the background. At first, I thought Krissy and Skin would be given a full lesbian scene together but as much as I wanted that to happen, it cut away to Bailey and Alec Knight in a shaded alcove. Bailey wore a light purple bikini, showing him a better way to drink tequila as she climbed into his lap. She then positioned her ass in his face for him to nuzzle, the dup moving into the house as their clothing came off and kisses came more frequently. She was an aggressive oralist but came across less lusty than the previous ladies, the gal helping him put on his condom before bouncing vaginally on his pecker. He did give her some head between positions but it was too brief and the mechanical nature of the tryst evident almost the entire time. It ended when he jerked out his load of spunk all over her back, the gal tasting it but otherwise conveying precious little connection (unlike the other scenes).

Scene Four: Brooklyn Lee, the redheaded starlet of the year featured on the front cover, was up last with Tommy Pistol, the man also sharing the cover with her. They came together after some soul searching about what they really wanted out of life, their growing mutual attraction culminating in the tryst at a nighttime orgy. They kissed on the stairs when it became apparent he really cared for her, the entire crowd stopping their own action to watch them. The scene then showed them on a seedy old striped couch, their clothing tossed aside and the kisses turning to him going down on her. He used multiple fingers to insert in her snatch as he continued warming her up, Brooklyn alternating between kissing him and blowing him actively as their chemistry grew. She was very loud as they fucked and they embraced as the scene continued, some foot fetish action mixed with face sitting before she impaled herself on his cock (almost like she was fucking him instead of the reverse). It was not shot as explicitly as I am used to but both did intermittent oral along the way and once he removed his condom, tossed out his deposit of splooge all over her crotch and torso.

Summary: Friends With Benefits by director Paul Thomas for New Sensations used a lot of group sex shots in the background rather than serve as the focal point of the camera’s voyeuristic eye, relieving the responsibility to capture all the standard shots from everyone as the primary partners were shown having fun. Paul is certainly better versed in this dynamic than most people in this country will ever be, the manner in which one thing leads to another capably handled, all while using condoms in a responsible manner. The lead cast members included Brooklyn Lee, Skin Diamond, and Krissy Lynn too, even the men fulfilling their roles well enough to merit some nods (Tommy Pistol and Steven St. Croix in particular), the combination of elements earning the show a rating of at least Recommended or better depending on what you are looking for. In short, Friends With Benefits might not be the next blockbuster you see advertised all over the internet but it was a tight little drama using an appropriate cast having a great time sexually engaging one another in a variety of trysts so check it out if this sounds like something you might enjoy.

You can email me with questions at Houstondon @ hotmail.com if you have any constructive criticism of the review too. :) Also you can follow me on twitter @HoustonDon

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