Review – New Sensations’ Shared Wives (2012)

New Sensations has started a new line – Swingers.

Like their Romance Series, Swingers will showcase higher-end feature length films for (heterosexual) couples. And whereas the Romance Series hovers around mostly conventional “romantic” story lines, including a plethora of fairly adorable romantic comedies, the Swingers Series will focus on couples involved (or getting involved) in the swing-tastic lifestyle. According to industry press, the line is designed to appeal to consumers interested in testing the limits of their own sexualities in this particular way.

If you want to learn more about “romance porn,” including plenty of reviews of films (some wonderful and some crappy) in this genre, go here.

The first installment in the series, Shared Wives (2012), came in the mail the other day, so I decided to check it out.

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(pictured: buy your copy and/or watch Shared Wives now here)

Directed by the renowned and respected Paul Thomas, the film tells the story of two married women looking to spice up their sex lives. Accordingly:

They play by a different set of rules.

Karla and Gabe are a loving couple looking to spice up the sexual side of their marriage. Gabe has a fantasy of seeing his wife with another man, and Karla, apprehensive yet intrigued, shares this little secret with her co-worker, Mindy. As luck would have it, Mindy is seeking more attention from her husband Will, who seems more married to his job than her. Two couples, very much in love, that share a similar interest; the sexual fantasy of watching and being watched by the person they love. However the road to heaven is not always paved with gold. In a dramatic twist, the very thing that is intended to bring them closer together may actually tear them apart. Will their relationships be able to survive the ultimate test?

Hmmmmm…

Here’s the trailer:

 

HMMMMM…

So Mindy (Jessie Andrews) and Will (Richie Calhoun) are married; and Mindy, though in love, seems to be getting bored. (she actually seems to have a fairly dull life overall) In an attempt to spice things up, she gets her husband another chic for their anniversary. Will (played sincerely and adorably by Richie Calhoun), who owns an epic-yet-casual moped/motorcycle shop, rejects his wife’s three-way surprise for all the “right” reasons – that it would be cheating, that “I love and desire only you Mindy,” etc etc. In the end, the three-way goes down, but only in their minds.

Mindy’s co-worker Karla (played lovely-ly by Andy San Dimas) is kind of over the proclivities of her kinky police officer husband, Gabe (Eric Swiss). Through a series of flashbacks, we see that Gabe really likes to play sexy time “bad cop” …we also learn that he really wants to see another guy bang his wife. Karla seems to be a bit more reserved than Gabe and, when she confides in Mindy, nervous overall.

The totally un-nervous Mindy then starts throwing out alternate ideas and suggestions, which include a little spousal-swap. But when Karla brings up the swinging with Gabe, he flat out rejects her. (Will rejects the idea, too)

The ladies, both on the edge of stimulus deprivation desperation in their own respective lives, refuse to take no for an answer though and decide they must “push their dudes in the right direction.” So they manipulate a meeting/dinner. Things then rapidly start to get all sorts complicated as we learn about some secrets from the past…

…which I refuse to reveal because that would ruin the film. But it’s important to know that secret-keeping is integral to Shared Wives‘ plot – many secrets are kept from key characters, which ultimately result in making this story a swinging caution.

Rather than revealing the joys and titillations of sexual explorations… or rather than engaging a racy idea, while being clear that not everyone has the same boundaries and this is perfectly ok, Shared Wives is about two dishonest jerks manipulating two nice people. And in the end, we’re unclear if it’s actually everyone who’s a jerk or if people are ultimately capable of seeing through manipulative bullshit.

Regardless, Shared Wives, though interesting and well-done, is not a film to watch if you’re looking to encourage swinging behavior in a reticent partner. The drama of this film makes it seem more realistic; but if this is looking to be an even semi-on mark representation of swinging (which, in various respects, it may or may not be), then it’s definitely a cautionary tale.

Other things…

The costume design and casting here really augment Shared Wives‘ cautionary dimensions. Though they are both adorable and good at their jobs in every respect (acting and sex performance), Andy San Dimas’ and Jessie Andrews’ relative youth (as compared to their characters’ respective husbands) detract from the compelling dimensions of this story. And even though Jessie’s character points out that she’s “too young to be this bored” (or something like that) at one point, the age differentials are laughable. This kind of thing needs to be considered when attempting to make a film that’s (presumably) targeting heterosexual couples.

Combine that with outfits that are all super cute but have absolutely no business being in an office environment, and you really impact the overall feeling of the film. #justsayin

 

Notables

With performances from Jessie Andrews, Andy San Dimas, Lexi Belle, Brandy Aniston, Gracie Glam, Richie Calhoun, Eric Swiss, Evan Stone, and Nick Manning

Shared Wives was written by Raven Touchstone and directed by Paul Thomas for New Sensations. It released in June, 2012.

Buy your copy and/or watch it now here.

 

BTS and extras: fairly standard fare.

 

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