Friday, January 28, 2011

Gasmasks, orgasms and N2O

Rubber-girl selecting a gasmask for an N2O encounter

Gasmasks and orgasms: There are times when a girl wants a really slow dreamy orgasm and that can be obtained by breathing 5% N2O mixed with regular air during an encounter with a man or while masturbating with a Sybian or a hand operated dildo. A 5% Nitrous oxide mix will give the user a buzz w/o much desensitization of the nerve endings so when I’m breathing 5% N2O it just takes longer for me to reach orgasm so the ecstasy is prolonged until I’m quivering with desire and fatigue regardless of my considerable stamina during penetrative encounters. Because of the extended interval of the encounter it’s a very good idea to use a heavy duty intimate lube, like DiveGel, because regardless of how aroused a woman becomes she will often be unable to produce enough natural lube for the entire time she is penetrated and the slight anesthetic effect, which seems to dull pain more than pleasure, can hide the fact that a dildo or Sybian plug could be shredding her vaginal lining. Sybian machines are particular dangerous to use while narced on N2O because the woman using it may not be able to shut it off or might collapse so that the rotating plug shreds her vaginal lining.

Gasmasks: A half mask like the one the rubber-girl is holding in her right hand can be useful if the wearer is riding a Sybian. If something goes wrong and she is narced to the point of unconsciousness she will drop the mask and revive, hopefully in time to prevent too much damage to her vagina from collapsing while straddling a rotating plug. Additionally, it has a gas feed button so the user can give herself a shot of gas rather than having it flow constantly and waste gas. The full face gasmask that she holds in her left hand is used when she needs both hands free during the encounter, like if she is with a man and needs her hands to stimulate or cling to him.

Death and the Aqua Lung Mistral: There was a fatality the other day at Splash, my friend Adolph’s erotic dive club where Gigi works part time as a Towel-Girl. The victim was a 26 y/o who had just gotten her Masters from UNLV and was working as a Red Door TG there. It’s not clear who killed her other than it was a woman, and it looks as though the person had inside knowledge of the normal routine and security at Splash, because the security cams were off in the training pool where it happened and she knew about the ID chips in the girl’s gas guards. We think it may have been related to an extreme case of stalking one of the clients at Splash because the dead girl’s Reflexions gas-guard with its RFID chip was used by a woman to identify herself as the dead TG for a scheduled encounter with a famous client.

What happened was the victim, clad in a black latex catsuit that provided no buoyancy, had a small pair of Vice-Grip pliers clamped on the short mp-hose between the first and second stage of her Mistral twin-hose regulator shutting off the air to the second stage reg so no air could get to her mouthpiece or her buoyancy compensator. Her BCD was over-weighted – a common practice with TGs to help keep them firmly on the bottom - so that with a full tank, no flippers and no neoprene suit to add buoyancy her attacker easily drowned her. Her body was found the next day by a maintenance man when he went to relocate some underwater sets in the training pool and found her body with her crotch unzipped stuffed behind them. In the TG log she hadn’t signed out but that really wasn’t suspicious because a lot of the girls forget to log out after a strenuous day of dive-encounters.

A check of the victims gear showed the buckles of her SCUBA set had been tampered with so she couldn’t get out of her gear which helped explain why she didn’t shed her gear and head for the surface. The impostor had no problem getting past Splash’s electronic security wearing her victim’s diaphragm with its RFID chip. The client said he noticed no difference in his encounter with the imposter, she used equipment identical to his normal TGs gear, was the same height and body type and completely encased in a black latex catsuit, gloves, hood and booties, her mask covered her face and she didn’t speak. After thinking about it the only difference he said was that she had a tighter more forceful vaginal grip. He was very pleased with his encounter and complemented her on her performance as he helped her out of the pool. So with her vagina filled with the clients sperm she left the building, still clad in her latex catsuit covered by one of the clubs pink jumpsuits the TGs wear in the lounge area between encounters.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vacation preparations

A fitting diaphragm - the dome hole prevents suction while sizing rim

Vacation pelvic prep: The results of Miss Willoughby’s (Carla’s) and her lover, Ashton’s STI panel are back and they are free of infections. That was necessary condition of their going with us since the women on my Virgin Gorda vacations have sex with all the men at one time or another. Although in Jacques case this outing might be too public for him to have an incestuous encounter with Gigi, or perhaps not. With six couples exchanging body fluids the likelihood of some of the women getting yeast infections is pretty high so we will all use Semécide+ that has a biocide in it that inhibits overgrowth of vaginal flora to prevent YIs.

I helped Carla stock her slit-kit with an in-date O9 spermicide (Semécide+) and condoms (both male and FC2) and using a fitting kit I rechecked the fit of her two newly fitted diaphragms an 80 mm silicone All-Flex arcing spring for surface use and an 80 mm latex Reflexions flat spring to wear while diving. She is also taking a SCUBA refresher course with Peter as her instructor and learning about dive-sex, trying it for the first time, so I warned her ahead of time about his ability to impregnate his students who thought they were well protected.

However, she should be safe enough since she had a GyneFix IUD implanted in early December, so for dive sex her gas-guard will be primarily for PID and embolism protection. One area Peter is teaching her about is the ability of a male to under-thrust some rim styles of a partner’s gas-guard, such as the All-Flex which can easily be intentionally under-thrust. Since she is protected from pregnancy by her GyneFix she only needs to be concerned about under-thrusting during a dive encounter so wearing her properly fitted Reflexions while diving can almost always block even the most determined under-thruster.

Ben Wa balls for vaginal muscle toning: When Carla first became interested in Ashton she came to me for advice about the best method for toning her vaginal muscles to tighten her grip and build stamina. The best tool for enhancing those vaginal capabilities is a set of Ben Wa balls. Preferably a set of individual (not linked) ¾ inch solid jade balls that can be individually moved up and down the full length of the wearer’s vaginal barrel. One of the nice things about training with Ben Wa balls is that – once you develop enough grip so the balls don’t drop out - you can leave them inserted during the day at work or while running errands and tone your muscles as you drive or stand in line at the bank or grocery and wear them at night to exercise before you go to sleep. Women new to wearing a Ben Wa set can wear a snug fitting thong, or tights to catch a wayward ball if it drops out. Having a ball fall out and roll across the floor at Nordstrom’s or Saks is one thing, having it happen at the grocery or Wal-Mart it’s quite another and could scandalize fundamentalists, if they recognize what it is.

A set of ¾ inch jadeite Ben Wa balls

Ben Wa balls and G-spot orgasms: I’ve been working with the students in my St Lucy’s AST (Advanced Sexual Techniques) class to teach them how to masturbate to vaginal orgasm with Ben Wa balls. It is time consuming and takes considerable skill and stamina to grip the balls tightly while moving them back and forth over the surface of the G-spot to simulate the thrust of a dildo or lover’s penis. Once a woman learns the technique it can take as long as 45 minutes for her to reach orgasm. As she becomes more skilled in manipulating the balls the time required to reach climax drops until a skilled woman can reach orgasm in about 25 minutes. Several of the more highly skilled students wore their balls when a group of them when to see Black Swan for the third time and timed their orgasms to occur during the lesbian scene where Mila Kunis was giving Natalie Portman oral sex. Cyndi and Gigi who were in the group said the four ball-girls all wore absorbent pads in their thongs to collect their vaginal discharge and mouth guards to bite down on during orgasm to stifle screams. She said there were low moans and they were all sweating and quivering with desire as they reached orgasm, but it was a late night showing and the theater was nearly empty so no one seemed to notice four girls in their late teens quivering in sexual ecstasy.

The New York Times
January 24, 2011
Birth Control Update, in Thousands of Interviews

To find out what American women are doing about birth control these days, the National Center for Health Statistics conducted some painstaking research: 80-minute interviews with each of 7,356 women ages 15 to 44.

The interviews were done in the women’s homes by trained female interviewers from July 2006 through December 2008. They gathered data on births, pregnancies, marriages and cohabitations, sterilization operations, and other social and demographic characteristics.

Similar surveys were done with comparable samples of women in 1982, 1995 and 2002, and some findings “are quite persistent” over the decades, said an author of the report, William D. Mosher, a statistician with the center.

“The pill and sterilization have been the leading methods for 25 or 30 years,” he said.

In the latest survey, 61.8 percent of the women interviewed were using contraception, up from 55.7 percent in 1982. More than 17 percent were using the birth control pill, compared with 15.6 percent in 1982, and female sterilization increased to 16.7 percent in 2006-8 from 12.9 percent in 1982. Ten percent of women relied on their partner’s use of a condom, up from 6.7 percent in 1982.

By contrast, the rate of male sterilization, 6.1 percent, has not changed.

The percentage of women who had used emergency contraception at least once increased to 10 percent, from 4 percent in 2002.

Seven out of 10 women said they had used some form of contraception at their first incidence of intercourse, and use was directly correlated with the education level of the woman’s mother.

For those whose mothers had no high school diploma, the rate was 52.8 percent; for daughters of high-school graduates it was 69.3 percent; for daughters of women with some college, 75.5 percent; and for daughters of college graduates, 83.9 percent.

Contraceptive use also varied by race. In the 2006-8 survey, 64.7 percent of white women and 63.9 percent of Asians used birth control, compared with 58.5 percent of Hispanics and 54.5 percent of blacks.

Personal comment: Cervical barriers are not mentioned in the survey because they are used by less than 1% of women using contraception. Diaphragms and caps are only used by women who don’t like condoms and want a natural and reversible form of birth control. Except among my circle, in the elite escort community and the fetish world where CBs have become a ‘spice’ for rubber fetishists and must-have protection for women regularly participating in underwater intercourse.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Going diving in the BVIs

Deep Bay North Sound Virgin Gorda

Virgin Gorda: Next weekend my Inner circle and I are going to my place on the North Sound of Virgin Gorda for two weeks. Most of the dive gear has already been sent ahead as have our contraceptive supplies: Spare diaphragms in our sizes, DiveGel+, Semécide, FC2s, the new EC med ella and Mifeprex just in case something unexpected happens. It shouldn’t, but with contraception nothings is 100% effective.

We can’t land Limnaea at Beef Island on Tortola (now called the Terrance B. Lettsome International airport) because it only has a 4,600 ft runway so we will Land at St Thomas which has a 7,000 ft runway that can handle the G550 and take a turbo-prop over to Tortola and have a gorgeous sail boat pick us up for the final leg to Virgin Gorda. Cyndi’s grandmother, the Duchess, who lives in a large estate on Virgin Gorda year round, is lending us an under-housekeeper to open and run the staff with six hand picked and experienced islanders so things should be well in hand when we get there.

Wanton Lass IV: The Duchess is also lending us His Graces 95 foot sailboat ‘Wanton Lass IV’ for the duration of our stay. Since this is high-season there I offered to pay but she said the Duke insisted since Fiona, his daughter and Cyndi’s mom, told him how well I’m guiding Cyndi in her education and feminine skills. The Duchess, speaking of her husband, said “The old satyr probably wants to sleep with you!” and I imagine she’s right because I’m sure Fiona has entertained him with stories of our lesbian sexual exploits as well as the number of men I serviced during last years Super Bowl party.

Miss Willoughby and other Guests: Returning readers who read my 360 blog may remember Miss Willoughby, Taryn’s old tutor when she lived with Sal. When Taryn (who is now at Trinity college Cambridge) enrolled at St Lucy’s Miss Willoughby accepted a teaching position there and has been a positive influence on Cyndi and Gigi. Miss W. will be going with us to keep Cyndi and Gigi current with their studies. She is taking her boyfriend, Ashton, along who is a Gyn in town. So we will have two Gynecologists along which is just about right for six very sexually active women.

Also going are, in no particular order: (1) Cyndi & Chuck (a Gyn at our clinic), (2) Anya & Chris (3) Diané & Peter, (4) Gigi & Jon, a young escort who is making a name for himself and (5) Jacques & me which will nearly fill the plane. Returning readers will remember Chris as the SAS officer who impregnated Cyndi and was with her when she miscarried on a dive in my cove in the North Sound. Fortunately Chuck and I were diving the area when Chris called for help and Chuck saved her from bleeding to death

Alain’s condition: A reader asked if Alain is recovering well from his heart attack that occurred during his encounter with Gigi. While hospitalized he had aspiration pneumonia from getting vomit in his lungs, but is almost over that and is getting stronger by the day. His wife flew out and is taking care of him in a pool bungalow at the Hotel/casino while he works on a components contract with a large West Coast manufacturer of ordinance. His doctors object to his working, but he insists. He and his wife should be returning to Paris at the end of next week. He had two stents placed shortly after he was admitted so he is much healthier than he was and so far there seems to have been no lasting damage to his heart. But it may be too soon to tell for sure.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gigi goes behind the Red Door

Beavertail jacket showing twist-latch detail

Gigi gets her chance: Gigi, who turned 17 on October 1st, loves her part-time job as a Towel Girl at Splash, Adolph’s erotic underwater pleasure club in the hills outside town. Her father, Jacques, my primary stallion got her the job so she could practice her skills with European aristocrats who are drawn to the area by the chance to participate in very risky forms of underwater erotic play. Risky for both partners because some of the women employed by Splash are sociopaths, as are some of their men clients which is what makes every encounter behind the Red Door that leads into the restricted part of the club so fascinating. No one is sure if they will just enjoy each other’s bodies or if not, which one will survive. The fee for that sort of thing is extreme, but then so is the adrenaline rush of sex that is so intense the encounter could kill you.

Adolph has had me guest as a Towel Girl at Splash on occasions when he wants to impress a European business partner with someone his age who still has her looks and 20 years of experience strengthening her vaginal muscles. The men I entertain at Splash like what a woman can do with a very tight vagina and that’s a specialty in which I excel. I can grip the man in my ‘velvet vice’ and while he is distracted with what I’m doing to his manhood I can easily incapacitate him by pressing on his carotid artery. Even men far larger and stronger than me can be easily immobilized with that sort of misdirection. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that most men’s egos won’t let them contemplate much less believe that a small woman (I’m 5’4” and 105 lbs) can best him.

For the last year I’ve taken personal charge of Gigi’s dive skills training including strengthening her vaginal muscles. She always has a training aid inserted, usually a set of heavy one inch diameter stainless steel Ben Wa balls which she continuously moves up and down the length of her vagina building vaginal muscle strength and stamina. During Christmas break Jacques, Adolph and I agreed that Gigi was ready to begin working with the club’s special members behind the Red Door. I have been training Gigi with my circle of well hung stallions and they have given her high marks for stamina, pain tolerance and creativity and her supervisors at Splash who are retired dancer/escorts and run a tight ship say she is one of the better young TGs they have so it was unanimous that Gigi was ready and not being pushed into the deep end of the pool prematurely.

A vintage beavertail jacket: For her debut Gigi decided to wear her latest dive gear purchase a vintage red and black long sleeve neoprene beavertail jacket that she had found in her size at a garage sale. Since the recession tightened its grip and unemployment spiked in Las Vegas you can find some really nice things at unbelievable prices and the woman she bought it from for $15 was crying as Gigi drove away with it. She knew the vintage beavertail would show off her body, emphasizing her long shapely legs while the front zipper opened to display the lush swell of her C-cup breasts would only increase a club member’s interest in taking her into one of the pools for an intimate encounter.

The thing she likes about the beavertail design is that she can be seemingly unattainable, protected behind the thick impenetrable neoprene skin of her jacket, one minute and with a flick of a partner’s wrist the twist-latches of her beavertail can be opened so when she spreads her thighs the crotch drops away providing direct access to her vulva and clitoris, while a tug at the zippers neck pull exposes her breasts to be fondled and her nipples sucked. She has been talking to me about inducing lactation, but I’m trying to convince her that as young and beautiful as she is she doesn’t need the additional work of maintaining lactating breasts with her busy schedule. She can just enjoy her lover’s sucking on her nipples without worrying about clogged milk ducts and chapped nipples.

Vaginal prep: In the Towel Girls dressing room she emptied her bowels and bladder and inserted her 70 mm Reflexions flat spring latex diaphragm as a gas guard, tucked the anterior rim into her pubic notch then squatted and pushed down as though she was having a bowel movement three times to push the remaining air out of the dome and increase the strength of the vacuum. Pumping down the vacuum caused the dome to be sucked into her anterior fornix and she could feel the dome pulled tighter to ‘coat’ her cervix with the stretchy latex which made the diaphragm nearly impossible to under-thrust and increased her confidence that her cervix was well protected. Pregnancy wasn’t a worry because Gigi has a GyneFix frameless IUD implanted but PID or an embolism from air forced into her uterus is a real concern for Towel Girls. I had fitted her with the latex Reflexions to increase her safety with clients who intentionally under-thrust their Towel Girl’s gas guard for fun just to see if they can cause a serious injury while claiming it was an accident.

When she was satisfied her diaphragm vacuum was where she wanted it she inserted a 10 ml applicator of DiveGel+ and emptied the thick silicone gel-biocide combination deep in her vagina. Withdrawing the empty applicator she tossed it into the trash and Kegeled twice to squeeze the lube down the full length of her birth canal. Then smeared some that oozed out between her labia around over both sets of lips to make sure she was externally well lubed and ready for underwater penetration.

Professional pool pointes: Gigi had been after me to let her wear professional level pool pointes, the ones with the super flexible shanks that allow the wearer to point her feet to display high arches while underwater. The standard models, available from Gepetto’s specialty shop have polymer shanks that can be pre-arched, but are strong enough that they will support a dancer over her center while she is out of the water. Professional pool pointes (P³s) have shanks that are as flexible as those in well broken in conventionally made pointes so they provide very little support to the wearer when she is en pointe while out of the water. Although Gigi had been taking ballet in France she hadn’t started intensive five days a week training until the last year when she came to St Lucy’s and so I had her working on strengthening her feet and legs to be able to balance over her center in lightly shanked shoes for extended intervals. She has worked continuously and has gotten to the level I wanted so I told Gepetto I was satisfied that she could safely wear professional pool pointes and not injure or embarrass herself and he fit her for her first pair. The P³s have gripper slits on the soles and platforms to squeegee water off slippery surfaces to provide secure footing and she looks gorgeous in them.

For anyone wondering why Gigi needs to be wearing and proficient in Professionals, it’s because Towel Girls at Splash are judged on (among other things) their ability to do a pool-side barre for clients while wearing P³s and part of that is being able to pose stable and confident over her center in very lightly shanked shoes to demonstrate the strength of her feet. And, while balanced on one pointe to present a client the other foot and then point, flex and point her foot with her heel at the level of her clients head so he can enjoy the scent of the sweat drenched rubber after her barre. It’s a form of foreplay that has caused clients to have spontaneous orgasms w/o even touching their Towel Girl. Some men are upset to have a load ‘cook-off’ while watching his escort warm up. Others are pleased that some of the urgency is out of their first coupling of the encounter because then it isn’t as difficult to delay orgasm until he has given his TG her pleasure first. Sometimes if a client is knowledgeable about ballet technique they will determine a TGs gratuity, at least in part, by how strong her ballet technique was during her barre.

Gigi’s first Red Door encounter: Gigi came out of the staff area wearing a white Gottex thong bikini carrying her beavertail and P³s and wheeling a gear cart with her single HP steel 130 cu ft tank scuba set on it. She passed right by Adolph, Jacques and me before entering the pool area for her first Red Door encounter. Adolph had chosen a young French industrialist, Alain, in his mid 40s, who owns a munitions empire and who is a great friend of Jacques. I think Adolph chose him because he wanted to see Jacques reaction when his good friend mounted Jacques daughter and inseminated her. Jacques, Adolph and I hurried into the control room so we could watch Gigi’s debut on HD TV from the security cams in the encounter pool.

Alain was waiting for her when she entered the pool area. Gigi Put on her Professionals and bound her feet into them with the wide pink ribbons then performed her warm-up barre and balanced perfectly at the end presenting her left foot for Alain to smell the sweaty rubber and he kissed her instep. Alain is a good looking man (especially with his package cupped in a Speedo slingshot) about 6’ 180 lbs and hard muscled. He helped her off with her bikini and on with her beavertail and latched the crotch snugly in place and watched her breasts disappear behind the red rubber of her jacket they carried their gear to the shallow shelf from which the divers enter and exit the water and standing waist deep turned on their air and buckled themselves into their buoyancy control vests and SCUBA sets. Gigi would have preferred using a FFM but Alain specified the gear she would use so she pulled on her mask slipped the reg mouthpiece into her mouth and ducked under the water to test the masks seal and the ease of sucking gas through a different DV. They inflated their BCDs and stepping off the ledge into 20 feet of water released air from their vests and began their descent equalizing the pressure in their ears and sinuses as they slowly descended. Both had successfully completed equalization by the time they reached the bottom at 20 feet.

Foreplay: Alain immediately became assertive holding her close and manipulating the twist latches on her beavertail and her groin protection dropped away, He turned her around and tucked the beavertail up under her tank so it would be out of the way during penetration before tethering her to the bottom with two ankle leashes then activated the inflator on her BCD to provide buoyancy to hold her taunt against the leashes holding her in a wide split a foot off the bottom. He unzipped her jacket about three-quarters of the way down exposing her high firm C-cup breasts and he caressed her nipples with his fingers loving the effect he had when her nipples sprang erect and hard beneath his touch. He pushed her backward and moved between her legs as with his other hand he began to feel for her clitoral shaft.

He was pleased to see that she had been recently waxed – there was not even a tiny landing strip - so her pubes were devoid of hair and she looked as though she could have easily been 12 y/o except for her breasts. But taking no chances about being possibly charged with sex with a minor he had asked to see her birth certificate to ensure himself she really was 17. He caressed the shaft of her clit, he quickly learned its tip was far too sensitive to stand direct stimulation – and brought her to full arousal when her labia became engorged with blood, turned purple and opened like an exotic flower before she gasped, screamed and seemed to suck air continuously as a constant cloud of her bubbles rushed toward the surface during a lovely clitoral orgasm.

Penetration: Just as she was catching her breath and descending into the warmth of afterglow Alain positioned the tip of his massive erection between her engorged labia at the entrance to her vagina, gripped her hips with both hands and pushed. With a single massive thrust his erection disappeared as he buried the entire eight inches in her and their tips kissed through the thin protective latex membrane of her gas-guard as his pelvis slammed into hers. Later Gigi told me she had been greatly relieved as it was a moment she had been apprehensive about since she wasn’t sure exactly how large he was and if she would be able to safely take all of him while in missionary. His first orgasm was massive since he had managed to hold himself in control until he was certain she was fully aroused and he had given her pleasure. For a forty year old she said he recycled quickly, within five minutes, but she was a new and very beautiful conquest so he was motivated. His second orgasm came after he worked on her G-spot and was able to bring her to a vaginal orgasm within twelve minutes and her vaginal contractions took him along with her into ecstasy; after which she just clung to him holding him inside her as he recycled.

The unexpected: On Alain’s third and final penetrative encounter Gigi noticed he started out strong and his erection was hard, but he somehow didn’t seem to be able to focus and within a minute or two his erection began to wilt so Gigi took over and ripple gripped him. She said later she did what was expected of her: “What were all those months of practice with Ben Wa balls and dildos for if I didn’t get to suck the goodie out of him with my vaginal muscles?” That’s exactly what she did and she was right. But somewhere near the end of that encounter when she had him rock hard from being squeezed by her velvet vice he had a heart attack. In looking at the videos we think it was when she brought him to orgasm and the strain of the third ejaculation spasms while in a two atmosphere environment increased his blood pressure and exertion to the point that his heart failed. The first indication Gigi had that anything was seriously wrong was when he went limp then spit out his regulator and vomited. She pulled herself off him and hit both their inflators and he started his ascent. She stayed right where she was, tethered to the bottom. She had to bend over and open the Velcro fasteners of her ankle leashes before she could follow him to the surface. She also had a panic button from the security group which she pushed and she knew the pool was being monitored by security while it was being used so she was confident there would be help on the pool surround as soon as they reached the surface. She said later it felt as though she shot to the surface and they did rise the 20 feet from the bottom quickly Fortunately they were down about 45 minutes at 20 feet so there was no need for a deco stop but still that sort of rapid pressure change isn’t pleasant.

The EMT crew on duty was fishing Alain out of the pool immediately he surfaced. Adolph, Jacques and I had rushed down to the pool and I helped Gigi out myself a minute or two later. The techs got Alain’s airway clear, though he may have aspirated vomit, but he was breathing and they rushed him to the private hospital that Adolph and some of the other clubs use to keep this sort of thing out of the papers. The story for his wife and daughter in Paris is that he had a seizure while hiking in the hills. As long as no one asks why his genitals are so badly bruised – the result of Gigi’s very strenuous ripple gripping of him - the story should hold up, but Alain says his cardiologist has told him it isn’t safe for him to dive again. He also said he would treasure his near-death encounter with Gigi for the rest of his life.

Consequences: Adolph says Alain signed a medical release form that he was perfectly healthy and would hold Splash and all of its employees blameless if there was an accident. Jacques is pleased that his good friend Alain survived his encounter with Gigi. He is even more pleased that a daughter of his was almost able to kill a man because of the intensity of her encounter with him during underwater intercourse, something I told him she would be easily able to do when I began her training, but he hadn’t believed me. Gigi seems to be taking the accident in stride saying that we all know the risks of dive-sex which is a large part of why we are attracted to it so what’s the big deal? And I am very pleased with the way Gigi calmly and professionally handled herself in an emergency situation.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pointe shoe quiz January 19, 2011

Who is the maker of this pair of pointes?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Natalie Portman wins 2011 Golden Globes award

Natalie Portman 2011 Golden Globes winner
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) for her role in Black Swan

“The win by Portman for her role as a ballerina coming unhinged amid a production of "Swan Lake" sets her up for a two-woman showdown for best actress at the Feb, 27 Oscars with Annette Bening, who won for her role as a stern lesbian mom in "The Kids Are All Right," which also won for best musical or comedy film.

It's familiar territory for Bening. She won the same prize at the Globes 11 years ago for "American Beauty" and went in as the best-actress favorite at the Oscars, where she lost to Globe dramatic actress winner Hilary Swank for "Boys Don't Cry."

Portman thanked the film's choreographer, her fiancé Benjamin Millepied, with whom she's expecting a child. He also appears in the movie, and his character doesn't want to sleep with hers. "He's the best actor! It's not true, he totally wants to sleep with me," Portman said, giggling.”

Black Swan box office: domestic Total as of Jan. 16, 2011: $72,993,000 (Estimate)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Xmas dive-sex and the net GropeSuit

A model in a generic GropeSuit clearing her mask

My Cycle and my protection: I’m CD2 today, bleeding heavily and at my secondary libidinal peak during menses. I’m wearing a hyper-vacuumed (pumped down) Reflexions for menstrual flow control and as a gas guard. For more about increasing the vacuum in the dome of a latex diaphragm see my entry for January 6, 2011 ‘Increasing the effectiveness of vaginal latex’. I’m going diving in a few minutes and the flat spring rim will not distort and cause leakage - as other rim styles will – below 30 feet. And with a stronger vacuum in the dome – I can feel the rubber stretched tightly over my cervix – I’m confident I won’t have any accidents while wearing a net GropeSuit in the casino or restaurants since you can’t wear a menstrual pad with a net GropeSuit because the outline of the pad would be obvious.

The net GropeSuit: Escorts offering dive-sex encounters want to appear infinitely desirable while at the same time seemingly unattainable, just like ballerinas on stage. To accomplish this in the intimacy of an encounter pool the girls often wear neck entry net GropeSuits to heighten a client’s desire and anticipation by appearing totally incased in a GropeSuit of tough silicone rubber netting that is almost entirely revealing while encasing her body. The crotch of the Groper is open, but initially hidden by the girl’s thong. Wearing this sort of suit has been known to cause young males to lose control and spontaneously ejaculate while just looking at a girl encased in a net Groper. In our resort/casino since she is technically covered, a wearer is not confined to the pool area. We can wear the suits into the casino with a pareo around our hips and into the up-market restaurant by putting a pashmina over our shoulders and breasts. When I wear a net GropeSuit into our five-star restaurant a hush comes over the diners as they watch me pass by in matching pointes.

Net GropeSuits and BDSM: Net GropeSuits are also worn by female Subs to some Masters in the BDSM community for underwater bondage with restraints fastened to the netting rather than the Subs body to hold the wearer in position against a wall, mounted on penetrative machinery or just below the surface of a pool while wearing scuba with very limited air for breath training. Attaching the restraints to the netting prevents marking the body of a woman who is struggling to breathe.

Custom GropeSuits from Labia Labs: The GropeSuits my dancers and I and the casinos escorts wear are custom made by Labia Labs with smaller neck and crotch openings for a custom fit rather than like the one shown in the photo accompanying this entry. The silicon rubber in an LL custom GropeSuit is very tough and stretchy, much better than the cheaper mass produced ones that Adolph has gotten from on-line rubberwear makers, but I don’t think he wants to put that much money in what will probably be a disposable single use, garment for a snuff video. Another thing I like about wearing a Labia Labs net Groper is that I can breast feed right through the openings in the netting. There is no need to unfasten a cup or partially undress to let a lover breastfeed which is very convenient and leaves me in far more control of the situation should we suddenly find ourselves being observed. Another nice thing about a net suit is that pool chemicals or salt water can be easily rinsed off and afterward it dries very quickly.

Diaphragms as Christmas gifts: Some of my friends from the casino got gas guards for Christmas. Some to replace older latex versions with silicone ones and some got a gas guard for the first time. Most were sort of self-gifts in anticipation of dive-sex with male friends. Except for the moms who had their daughters fitted for their first diaphragms because they were being given SCUBA lessons for Christmas. Most got diaphragms (instead of FemCaps) so they can be used when the wearer is menstrual and diaphragms are usually easier to insert correctly too, especially the All-Flex arcing spring. Returning readers will remember that an All-Flex is only effective as a dive-sex gas guard down to 30 feet, but for most women that is not a limitation since very few of them have access to anything deeper than a 20 ft deep training pool and around here open water is too cold for underwater intercourse even in the summer.

Foam spermicide: Recently, as the number of diaphragm users increases, there has been some interest among users to simplify the application of spermicide in the dome and a few have tried spermicidal foam. Delfen vaginal contraceptive foam and VCF Foam are two widely distributed brands. The foam is not formulated for use with a cervical barrier. Most contraceptive foam has 12.5% of the spermicidal active ingredient Nonoxynol-9 in it. That is a much higher concentration than the typical 2% - 4% N9 in spermicidal gels formulated for and typically used with diaphragms. And with that large an amount of N9 several have gotten painful allergic reactions. Another problem is that by volume it takes a lot more foam to be effective even with 12.5% N9 and that much can’t be contained in the dome of a diaphragm.

What that has resulted in is at least two pregnancies so far from Christmas gifts of diaphragms while using foam in the dome. Both girls were told that using foam was not a good idea and used it anyway. Both were from one of the high schools in town (not from St Lucy’s – our girls know better) and came to the clinic on their own for Mifeprex. So, we are trying to spread the word – through the fitters at our clinic and student health at the schools - to all the women who have been fitted for diaphragms recently to avoid using vaginal contraceptive foam and to switch to a gel or cream spermicide in the domes of their diaphragms.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Black Swan – Should young dancers see it?

Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers

The New York Times
January 7, 2011

To Some Dancers, ‘Black Swan’ Is a Cautionary Tale

“CARMELLA IMRIE spent six grueling hours last Wednesday mastering steps like the brisé and jeté battu for Keith Michael’s ballet “The Alice-in-Wonderland Follies.” But instead of going home to nurse her toes afterward, she and five other dancers with the New York Theater Ballet headed out to see “Black Swan.”

After sitting through the nearly two-hour-long thriller, Ms. Imrie, 27, left the AMC Loews theater in Kips Bay wanting to shake her arms, as if her skin were crawling. It wasn’t the gore of the bloodied tutus, but the psychological subtext. “It’s the destructive personality that makes it really creepy,” she said. “You don’t ever want to have that to become you.”

“Black Swan,” which stars Natalie Portman as a ballerina whose rise to the top comes at the price of her sanity, has become something of a must-see movie for young ballerinas, not just because it is the rare Hollywood film that uses ballet as its central universe. Some dancers say that the film holds up a mirror to a darker side of ballet.

The film’s director, Darren Aronofsky, might have set out to make a thriller, but for dancers, the chills come from the unsettling topics he laid bare: the blind pursuit of perfection, the anorexia and bulimia to achieve a fat-free swanlike figure, the sexual abuse of fragile ingénues.

Those tensions are embodied in Nina Sayers, a young ballerina played by Ms. Portman. The movie begins with Nina choking down an ascetic breakfast: one grapefruit. Later, she heaves her bony shoulders to retch in the ballet company’s bathroom, and refuses even a taste of a pink-frosted celebration cake her mother has bought her.

The scene may be played with melodramatic effect, but its underlying pathos is familiar to ballet dancers. Tara Hutton, 21, a senior at Butler University in Indianapolis who is studying dance, said the specter of eating disorders haunted many of her classmates. Ballet, she said, can be a “sick and twisted art form” that puts an unrealistic value on “achieving this beautiful thin body.”

At dance camps she attended growing up, drinking quarts of Crystal Light and cup after cup of coffee to tame hunger pangs was a common practice. Dancers who starve themselves also increase the likelihood of stress fractures and other injuries, she said. In one scene from the film, Nina’s toenails crack off in her toe shoes.

“You see a dancer who is injured, and you can’t help but think twice about the fact that it could” be from eating disorders, said Ms. Hutton, who is preparing to audition for ballet companies in the Midwest this spring. “You’re working every day to achieve something that is physically impossible.”

For Nina, the impossible reflects the demands of her smothering mother, a failed dancer herself who seeks vicarious fulfillment through her daughter.

Cheryl Kaeser hesitated to let her daughter Emma, 15, a ballet student in Manhattan, see the movie. “I was concerned that it may show a particularly ugly side of ballet,” she said. Only recently has she decided to take Emma to the film, after serious consideration.

The film also portrays ballet as a quixotic art form that demands nothing less than total submission to the craft. Nina pirouettes until her feet are bloodied, twirling before the barre so long into the night that the theater lights go out on her, and still she wants more. Hidden under her fashionable shrugs are angry red lines that she clawed into her skin, and her fingers are bandaged to hide the raw patches of skin she casually peels. The pressures dancers face rang true for Ellen Bar, a soloist with the New York City Ballet, who attended the film’s New York premiere with 30 dancers. “The psychological torture of being an artist” felt real, she said. “The way it shows an artist being her own worst enemy.”

Jennifer Homans, a dance critic whose new history of ballet, “Apollo’s Angels,” has drawn critical applause, said that dance tends to draw people who have a kind of discipline and dedication that can flip into obsession. “They are obsessed with trying to make their bodies into something beautiful and special and otherworldly,” Ms. Homans said. “There is an enormous psychological pressure cooker there at a very young age.”

Torture for Nina came also in the form of the sexual advances of her director, Thomas Leroy, played by Vincent Cassel. He slides a wanton hand down her leotard when teaching her a turn, and shoves his tongue into her mouth when she dares to slip into his office and ask for a better part.

The dynamic has a historical precedent: the charismatic choreographer George Balanchine had a well-known weakness for his own dancers, reported in newspapers and tabloids during his time, and in books including “All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine,” by Terry Teachout.

“Is there a problem with a sort of dominant male figure and a woman under his power? Yes, that happens,” Ms. Homans said. But the problem, she added, might be exaggerated in cases of ballet companies filled with young female dancers and directed by men. “The outside world may glom on to this more in the dance world because it’s a physical art form, so the power relationships seem physical. They exist in all worlds, but they may seem to people more intense here.”

Not everyone agrees with the gloomy picture of ballet that Mr. Aronofsky paints. They argue that the eating disorders and sexual exploits are stereotypes, and that the issues dancers face are over-dramatized to the point where the film borders on farce.

Diana Byer, the artistic director of the New York Theater Ballet, said that movies that try to dramatize ballet usually miss the mark by turning actors into caricatures of tortured artists, obsessed and tormented by their craft. “Dancers are people, they have a job like everybody else,” she said during a break in rehearsal last week. “A person who doesn’t live life can’t bring anything to a ballet. You have to live life to create an art form.”

Still, she made a point of seeing the movie soon after it came out, along with nearly everyone in her 14-member company. They debated Ms. Portman’s ballet techniques during breaks in practice, critiqued some of the dance performances and gushed over a few of the costumes. The fact is, it’s not every day that Hollywood portrays their art.

Their biggest complaint about the film, she said, wasn’t the melodramatic portrayal, the inaccuracies or the ugly stereotypes. It was that there was not enough dancing in it.”

Personal comment: Black Swan is a must-see for every dancer I know! I think every ballet student who is serious about dance as a career should see the film. Except for the ending I thought the portrayal of the inner workings of a ballet company were fairly accurate. I don’t think the stresses that dancers have to deal with in a hyper-competitive environment were over emphasized. There really are dancers with eating disorders, intense competition for roles, injuries from over-training and some paranoia too, at least to some extent in most major companies. A good company cares about the health of its dancers and requires bone density scans and weigh-ins to check on their dancer’s health.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Increasing the effectiveness of vaginal latex

A Reflexions flat spring diaphragm with introducer

Deep dive sex and vaginal latex: Returning readers will remember that the latex Reflexions flat spring diaphragm is the only style diaphragm that can be used effectively as a gas guard during menses to prevent upper reproductive tract harm during sexual penetration on dives below 30 feet, 10 meters.

The latex dome of Reflexions is super stretchy and after insertion, to increase the strength of the vacuum in the dome, I pump the residual air that remains in the folds, out of the dome by squatting and bearing down as I would while having a bowel movement. The rim held in place by the anterior rim in my pubic notch and posterior rim in the posterior fornix allows the dome of the diaphragm to be stretched as I bear down pushing my cervix closer to the entrance to my vagina which forces the dome snuggly against my cervix and anterior vaginal wall to squeeze out that last bit of air. I find that with the diaphragm properly inserted pushing down hard three times develops a vacuum in the dome so strong it is difficult to break the seal when I need to remove it. When I stop pushing the evacuated dome has developed a strong suction against the anterior wall and cervix pulling the stretchy rubber into the anterior fornix sucking the latex membrane down tight over my entire cervix rather than just over the tip where ordinarily air voids may be left. Pumping down the vacuum in the dome of Reflexions also reduces the likelihood – to nearly zero - of a skilled male partner being able to under-thrust the dome because the rim is so tightly sealed against the vaginal wall.

A vacuum that strong feels so good! The stretchy rubber supports and sucks on my cervix even when I become aroused and my vagina lengthens (tents) as my cervix is pulled up and out of the way of a thrusting penis. It’s great fun when the lusty stallion I’m mating with is large enough to reach my cervix even when I’m aroused! Then I can feel him hit my cervix a glancing blow and slide off to thrust into my vaginal wall or the deep cleft of my anterior fornix knowing that I’m safe and he can shoot his load. I love it when a lover completes his fluid transfer depositing hundreds of millions of highly motile sperm deep inside me against the thin latex membrane protecting my cervix!

Advanced Sexual Techniques: This semester I’m teaching my AST classes how to pump down the vacuum in a latex gas guard to increase the effectiveness of their protection. The students are all being fitted with Reflexions and will have pump-down training prior to moving from the 20 foot deep training pool at St Lucy’s to the Pit, my 64 foot deep pool for deep dive sex training (below 30 feet) with escort candidates. It increased my insurance rates training teens in AST 60 feet below the surface of the pool, but I think it’s worth it for the girls to have that experience.

Taryn and Tanaquil return to the UK and Europe: The girls flew out of McCarran International aboard Limnaea on Monday January 3rd. It was sad seeing them off, but we had such a great time while they were here! We also got 7 inches of snow at my place in the Spring Mountains and had to be taken to the airport by helicopter. The city got a dusting, but nothing really stuck. It looked pretty for a while than was a mess before it melted.

Adolph and Snuff Videos: Adolph has contracted to provide one of Taryn’s Adult Media companies that specialize in snuff videos with new product. With the number of contraceptive devices that Taryn and I collected off the bottom of ‘The Well’, his 216 ft deep training facility, one of the thoughts that occurred to me as to how that many contraceptive devices came to litter the bottom of the well was that at least some of the women they belonged to didn’t survive the experience. For more about what Taryn and I picked up off the bottom of Adolph’s training facility see my entry for December 26, 2010 entitled ‘Dive-sex on Trimix’ My suspicions have been heightened since he has been talking about having at least some of his ‘students’ train while wearing neck entry net grope suits that are entirely of latex (no zippers or metal snaps or hook & eyes. And having the women wear FemCaps rather than diaphragms as gas guards because diaphragms have metal springs in the rims while a FemCap is just soft molded silicone. It sounds as though he is looking to equip the girls entirely with clothing and equipment that have no metal in them. One reason could be that metal bits like zippers and diaphragm springs dull the blades when a body is put through a wood chipper. God knows there are enough young gorgeous naïve dancer/performer wannabes coming to Vegas so a few disappearing would never be missed.

He has ordered two dozen of the net grope suits in petite and small sizes so he must have something in mind Abi, his Pool Assistant and Girl Friday, modeled one for Taryn and me when we were there having Trimix dive-sex and cleaned the contraceptive devices off the bottom of The Well. She was so gorgeous in it!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Apollo’s Angels – Another perspective

Some of the Shades in La Bayadere

The New York Times
January 4, 2011
Critics Notebook

Is Ballet Dying? Sure, It’s Died Many Times

Each ballet dies with the fall of the curtain. Will it return to real life when next danced? Nobody can be sure. Some dances need occasional periods in cold storage; others — having forever passed their sell-by dates — carry on in some macabre afterlife onstage that feels spectral. For those of us who adored a work in its youth, which alternative is grimmer: never to see it again or to watch it acquire the lines of age and then become one of the dance dead or, worse, undead?

The famous Shades scene in Marius Petipa’s 1877 “Bayadère” is just one example. I loved this in many performances by the Royal Ballet in the 1970s and the Kirov Ballet in the 1980s. In the last 20 years, though, it has grown pale and gray as danced by those companies and others. I can applaud its general look, but the details that made it matter have been blurred out of recognition.

One of the keenest debates in dance right now has been about something larger: is ballet itself dead or dying? This we owe to the epilogue that Jennifer Homans, dance critic for The New Republic, has placed at the end of “Apollo’s Angels” (Random House), her welcome new history of ballet. (I am thanked in her acknowledgments, but I do not deserve it. Over five years ago, before we met, she sent me part of her chapter on British ballet for my comments, which were not, as I recall, generally complimentary.) “After years of trying to convince myself otherwise,” Ms. Homans writes, “I now feel sure that ballet is dying.”

When ballet makers retire or die, their whole repertories become endangered species. By 1992, George Balanchine’s “Divertimento No. 15” — a ballet that had been the apogee of his purest classicism — seemed so trivial and small at City Ballet that I found it hard to recall what had moved me so greatly.

I have written this before, but it bears saying again: Ballet has died again and again over the centuries. The dances that Louis XIV and Voltaire and Pushkin cherished did not survive. We can smile at that now, because we know how ballet, phoenixlike, rose again from its ashes; how, protean, it changed its nature with each new era. But I did not smile when writing that 20 years ago. The deaths of Balanchine (1983) and Frederick Ashton (1988) gave my generation too much cause for mourning. Ballet had a beginning (in the Renaissance); it may well therefore have an end.

Ms. Homans’s epilogue is actually, for several reasons, the weakest part of her book. You can believe that the art form has died for an author who doesn’t even mention Alexei Ratmansky or Christopher Wheeldon: she’s living in the past. Yet her generalized charge that “contemporary choreography veers aimlessly from unimaginative imitation to strident innovation — usually in the form of gymnastic or melodramatic excess” sounds strangely like the complaints leveled at Balanchine (whom Ms. Homans admires at least as much as I do) in his lifetime by uncomprehending critics. That complaint, however, really doesn’t fit Mr. Ratmansky’s “Concerto DSCH” (2008) or “Seven Sonatas” (2009).

Very remarkably, the best parts of “Apollo’s Angels” are the most difficult areas for any dance historian — the years before 1890, from which so few dances survive in repertory. I have spent enough time in the archives researching ballet between 1670 and 1850 to be amazed by the fresh material that Ms. Homans has brought to light, and by the piercing intelligence with which she has refreshed whole topics. She writes of the past with not only thought but feeling too: you sense her heart in it, not least in her marvelous sense of how ballet at many junctures was revitalized by pioneering women.

There are, it should be noted, errors and omissions. (Odile in the 1895 “Swan Lake” was not dressed as a “black swan.” An account of Ashton that omits his enduring pure-dance masterpieces “Les Patineurs,” “Scènes de Ballet” and “Monotones” is simply misleading.) More problematic, however, is a tendency toward hyperbole.

Ms. Homans writes that “Louis XIV and Marius Petipa would have appreciated” the classical nature of Balanchine’s choreography. Would they indeed? Picture Louis XIV and Petipa watching “The Four Temperaments” and you may question Ms. Homans’s judgment. She writes that “a basic attention to form” was something in which the superlative Bolshoi dancer Vladimir Vassiliev “had no interest.” This is poppycock; it makes no sense to anyone who has seen Vassiliev dance “Don Quixote” or “Giselle,” and it misunderstands his achievement in “Spartacus.”

In a book that inclines to this kind of exaggeration, an epilogue arguing that ballet is dead arrives simply as one more overstatement. Yes, in the period after Balanchine, Ashton and other great choreographers, we are living through an often dark era of ballet. There were times in the 1990s when I too felt the art form was essentially dead. But since I began this job almost four years ago, I’ve seen performances of Balanchine’s “Divertimento No. 15” at City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and (best of all) Miami City Ballet that confounded the misery I had felt about that work in 1992.

Ashton told me in 1988 that his “Symphonic Variations” was “dead,” a view with which I concurred. But he added that “the right dancer” might bring it back to life: this has happened in more than one company, but above all in recent performances at Covent Garden by Alina Cojocaru. I know New Yorkers who attended City Ballet in Balanchine’s lifetime for whom the young ballerina Sara Mearns exerts a compelling fascination they have not felt since Suzanne Farrell and Kyra Nichols. David Hallberg at American Ballet Theater seems to be taking male classical dancing to fresh peaks. And many, many people who lived through the Balanchine-Ashton era feel that Mr. Ratmansky’s choreography gives cause for more than hope.

Perhaps a later history will view all these as the final gutterings of a spent flame. This is no golden age, and several of its ballets are indeed dead. My own main alarm about ballet — not one that troubles Ms. Homans — is that its dependence on pointwork for women and partnering by men proposes a dichotomizing view of the sexes that is at best outmoded and at worst repellently sexist. Nevertheless, this balletgoer testifies that the scene feels brighter than it did 10, 15 or 20 years ago.

Personal comment: It’s always interesting to read Alastair Macaulay’s views on various aspects of ballet. One can only hope that he is correct. It can be argued that the high point in the 70s and 80s left the art at an unsustainably high level of choreographic talent and creativity and some decline was inevitable until new ballet geniuses appeared. Perhaps we are now on the upswing once again.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Black Swan Oscar Buzz

Natalie Portman costumed as Nina Sayers

The New York Times
December 30, 2010

Natalie Portman Embraces Monster and Victim

THE subject of “Black Swan” — a leading candidate for the most misunderstood film of 2010 — is the relationship, in art, between technique and emotion. Ballet, the specific art form in question, is shown to require endless practice and grueling physical discipline. Bodies, in particular the bodies of young women, are stretched and twisted into unnatural postures, and the cost of the fleeting, breathtaking grace they attain is reckoned in close-ups of battered, bloody feet and tendons pulled almost to the snapping point. The toe shoes that are among the principal tools of this torment also seem to be surrogates and scapegoats; they are scraped, mutilated and disfigured by the dancers in a symbolic re-enactment of the violence they perform upon themselves in their ruthless pursuit of perfection.

Is “Black Swan” a realistic portrayal of life in a ballet company? Probably not. Is it an overheated, wildly melodramatic rendering of an artist’s struggle? Without a doubt. And to scold the director, Darren Aronofsky, for what he doesn’t get about dancers or how he looks at women is almost deliberately to miss the point. This is, at bottom, a horror movie. It gathers psychological implications from its chosen milieu and makes them literal, giving flesh to wild metaphors of female sexuality and aesthetic risk.

“Black Swan” is no more about the behavior of ballerinas than its central pretext, “Swan Lake,” is about the habits of birds. It is, rather, an inky, unhinged fairy tale, a swirl of intuitions and sensations visited upon and realized through the body of its star, Natalie Portman.

Ms. Portman appears in nearly every frame of the movie, sometimes more than once. She is reflected in the mirrors that line the walls of the practice salles, in the windows of subway trains passing through dark tunnels, and in the faces of the mysterious doubles — strangers on the street and rivals in the company — that her character, Nina Sayers, mistakes for herself. Nina, who lives with her Freudian nightmare of a mother in a spooky Upper West Side apartment, is a hard-working dancer cast as the lead in a new, revisionist production of “Swan Lake.”

Thomas (Vincent Cassel), the artistic director who serves equally as handsome prince and evil sorcerer in Nina’s increasingly fevered imagination, pushes her to incarnate, within a single performance, both an ideal of inviolate femininity and its dark mirror image. His conception of the swan figure may not be subtle, and it certainly flirts with an old misogynist dualism — the pristine virgin versus the witchy seductress — but it provides the film, and Ms. Portman, with a dramatically potent idea. The white swan and the black represent, above all, the Apollonian and Dionysian poles of art, one restrained and rational, the other unruly, passionate and dangerous.

Thomas pushes Nina, whose delicacy and precision is never in doubt, to “let go,” and her contradictory effort to obey him — to perfect her performance by allowing spontaneity and imperfection into it — is what makes her and undoes her. The forced integration of the Dionysian and Apollonian impulses leads to the disintegration of her personality, a literal splitting into two Ninas that takes place in full view of the camera and also entirely, it seems, within the character’s mind.

All of this might be preposterously over the top were it not for Ms. Portman, who not only turns an abstraction into flesh and blood but also takes us inside Nina’s head and under her skin. Much has been made of the punishing regimen that Ms. Portman undertook to prepare for the role, and the results are both ravishing and frightening. When she is not dancing, and sometimes when she is, Nina’s slender, delicate frame can look starved and skeletal, her hollow cheeks and large eyes the features of a death’s head rather than a china doll. And she seems, with her mother and with Thomas, more like a terrified child than an accomplished professional with the skills of an athlete. She is, to some extent, the creature of these two dominating figures, with very little personality of her own and almost no ability to articulate her own desires or feelings other than by trembling, perpetually, on the verge of tears.

In keeping with the logic of “Swan Lake” her liberation — her realization of a self freed from the constraints of other people — takes the form of self-destruction, and it is in mapping this paradoxical process that Ms. Portman conducts her own brilliant counterpoint of instinct and technique. Mr. Aronofsky certainly creates a mood of paranoia and incipient madness, embellishing the traditional horror-movie idiom of tracking shots and shock cuts with eerie sound effects and digital tricks. Ms. Portman is dabbed with stage blood and digital goose flesh, stalked and spied on by the camera, wrapped in the jumped-up Tchaikovskian wail of Clint Mansell’s score.

But in the end it all comes down to the actress, who seems, before our eyes, to be participating in the invention of a new kind of screen performance. In its various iterations, the Method has been about using voice and gesture to express a character’s deep psychological truth. Ms. Portman, like other young actors working with filmmakers who emphasize the visceral and the immediate, seems almost to reverse this process. Nina’s psychological state is evidently part of the artifice of “Black Swan,” but her body, subject to unimaginable (and sometimes unreal) mutations and mutilations, is the film’s ground zero of authenticity.

The pivotal scene is a simple one: Nina, alone in the rehearsal studio, looks at her multiplying mirror images and loses control of them. What follows is a crescendo of madness leading up to her opening night triumph, during all of which it becomes increasingly difficult for the audience — or for Nina — to find the boundary between reality and fantasy. And it is a boundary that Ms. Portman succeeds in erasing by hurling herself, with reckless conviction, into Nina’s world and becoming both the monster and the victim in this horror movie.

Which is another way of saying that she is both the black swan and the white, both the perfectly controlled performer and the pure creature of instinct. We can assure ourselves that Nina does not really turn into a bird. We also know, being sane and disciplined moviegoers, that Ms. Portman — pregnant and engaged (to the movie’s choreographer) and happy in the wake of her latest professional triumph — is not Nina Sayers. But we also know, on the irrefutable evidence of our own eyes, and the prickly sensation of our skin, that she is.

Personal comment: With all the work Natalie Portman put into the role it would be wonderful if she was able to win an Oscar! Box office: Domestic Total as of Jan. 2, 2011: $47,370,000 (Estimate) Production budget, $13,000,000.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011



May the New Year bring you good health and happiness!

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Powys , Wales, United Kingdom
I'm a classically trained dancer and SAB grad. A Dance Captain and go-to girl overseeing high-roller entertainment for a major casino/resort