Review – titles from AEBN’s TransRomantic line

I recently received a copy of TransRomantic’s Secret Desires (2013)Secret Desires is the second of two vignette collections from AEBN’s innovative new(ish) line, TransRomantic. TransRomantic features TS women performers without a lot of the raunch or (in my opinion) deprecating frameworks present in other “tranny”-type porn. The titles are produced in collaboration with writer/director Nica Noelle.

I watched Forbidden Lovers, vol 1 (2012), the first TransRomantic title, a while back and really liked it. And now, after Secret Desires, it’s definitely time to take a closer look at this important line…

I came away from both collections with one word on my mind – telenovela!!

Telenovelas are limited-run serial dramatic programs popular in Latin America and on North American Spanish language networks. They’re a distinct genre, with the look of soap operas but without the endlessness – telenovelas generally come to an end within one year.

Both TransRomantic titles definitely have a telenovela feel – glamorous, with a lot of drama, but on a lower budget. And though they vary in grandeur, each vignette tells a complete story. Most of the stories are romantic, star-crossed, hot & bothered, or some combination thereof.

Consider Secret Desires (2013). Here’s the synopsis:

In this groundbreaking new series from director Nica Noelle, we follow the intense, forbidden desires of beautiful Transfemale women and the men who secretly lust for them. Starring some of the hottest male talent in adult cinema and the most beautiful Transfemale performers, TransRomantic Films Secret Desires is sure to awaken your own.

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(pictured: buy your copy of Secret Desires and/or watch it now here)

In greater detail, the four stand-alone novelas unfold as such…

Wolf Hudson is an excellent actor and performer. His character reconnects with an old high school buddy (Eva Lin), who has since dealt with her gender and sexuality issues (sic from dialogue). They shift seamlessly from disconnected friends to hesitant reminiscing to hot and heavy heterosexuals over the course of the story. Though both Wolf and Eva stayed committed to their roles, the script’s constant revisitation of “you used to be a dude, and now you’re a hot chic” was… interesting.

Next, Christian XXX plays a stressed-out “high profile litigation attorney” who’s surprised (but not unpleasantly so) when his evening’s paid entertainment happens to also be his workplace assistant by day – delightful!!

Amy Daly then plays a lifesaver babysitter who’s also dining with hot ass Robert Axel… and then they have sex. (I completely missed the story behind this scenario as my DVD came damaged – I tried to improvise with the bits I could discern)

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(pictured: Amy and Robert – not sure how they ended up together, but I love that they did!!)

Finally, we’re back to Christian. This time he’s lamenting his devolving romantic relationship to a sympathetic bartender, when he’s approached by two vampy vixens. He cannot believe his luck as indulges in his first ever threesome with Texas Doll and Jane Marie.

And then we have Forbidden Lovers, vol 1 (2012), which I actually watched about a year ago.

Here’s the synopsis for these novelas – the sequence between Amy Daly and Christian constitutes one and the remaining three sex scenes in this collection make up a separate love quadrangle:

When tall, muscular Christian brings home shy, young girlfriend Amy to meet his parents, the pretty blonde seems uncomfortable and nervous. When a storm forces the couple to stay the night, Christian confronts Amy and finally learns the secret she’s been hiding. Will it spell the end of their relationship, or a hot, new beginning? Meanwhile, exotic and handsome Robert is fighting an attraction to sexy nerd secretary Brittany. But as he seduces the tall, intelligent redhead, his blonde bombshell girlfriend Sarina is busy having an affair of her own – with gorgeous, young Spencer Fox! [the fourth scene is Robert with Sarina]

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(pictured: buy your copy of Forbidden Lovers and/or watch it now here)

Some general observations about TransRomantic:

Amy Daly is absolutely luminous in both Secret Desires and Forbidden Lovers – passionate and sincere, this lovely lady invokes an uncommon combination of halting innocence and razor sharp intelligence. You should listen to my interview with her here to learn more.

– At first, I was troubled by the “shadowed” nature of both titles… “Forbidden”? “Secret”? For a line looking to show TS women as desirable in a (conventionally) romantic framework, why all the hidden relationship stuff?

But after watching both titles you realize that there’re no more forbidden secrets here than there are in any other pulpy, novela-like narrative. TransRomantic sets the stage in a culturally resonant manner, which furthers their (implied) mission to deconstruct the all-too-prevalent othering that occurs with TS women performers. Loved it!!

– And by the way: this is porn, and the sex is good!! Though I don’t quite concur with the “real sex” (e.g. here) description I’ve seen associated with this line (but I tend to question that phrase in general), I love the step away from the Bang My Tranny Ass (Rodnievision, series)-type schtick. This line is a real step towards diversification and acceptance.

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 (pictured: Amy meets Christian’s parents in what’s a really lovely vignette)

In sum, the TransRomantic line is a thoughtful redirect away from what I struggle with regarding TS content – the “tranny” schtick. I have written extensively about my thoughts along these lines, both on PVV (see “Genderfucking Hollywood“) and in the second volume of my You Study What? book series.

I’m happy to see representations of TS women growing transromantically!!

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 (pictured: “…on why I can’t say ‘Tranny Awards’” in You Study What? v2 on Amazon here)

 

Secret Desires

With performances from Amy Daly, Christian XXX, Eva Lin, Jane Marie, Natalie Foxx, Robert Axel, Texas Doll, and Wolf Hudson.

Directed by Nica Noelle for TransRomantic. Released in February, 2013.

Get your copy and/or watch Secret Desires now here.

BTS: about four minutes of post-scene discussion with Texas Doll, Jane Marie, and Christian – all of who are from the Lone Star state and are discussing a little bit about coming to LA – and a brief blooper reel with a few line flubs.

 

Forbidden Lovers, vol 1

With performances from Amy Daly, Brittany St. Jordan, Christian XXX, Robert Axel, Sarina Valentina, and Spencer Fox.

Directed by Nica Noelle for TransRomantic. Released in August, 2012.

Get your copy and/or watch Forbidden Lovers (v1) now here.

 

Also, for the sake of my completion complex, here’s an example of harder TS content that exists somewhere between TransRomantic and the “tranny” stuff that I don’t care for – Jay Sin’s TS Playground 3 (2013) is a good middle ground.

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(pictured: get your copy of TS Playground 3 and/or watch it now here)

 

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