Girlfriends Films was founded by Dan O'Connell and "Moose" in 2002 and has since become one of the premier studios shooting authentic lesbian porn. Most "girl-girl" porn that was produced at that time was anything but authentic. The female performers often were not lesbians, or even bi-sexual, and what passed for "sex" was rarely more than a simulation of what a poorly informed male viewer might have thought lesbian sex was like. There were occasional exceptions, but the main goal was simply to present two or more women for male inspection. These were films made for a male audience.
Girlfriends Films, by contrast, has from the beginning tried to serve many different audiences: both men and women, and both straight and gay women. They try to cast only women who actually do enjoy having sex with other women, and they work hard to live up to their motto: Simply the most realistic sex in lesbian adult video. Indeed, for the most part, one at least has the sense that the performers are invited to do what they wish to do, and the director just films the result.
Many of the videos are story-based, and there have been several long-running series that have much the flavor of soap operas, e.g., Imperfect Angels, Lesbian Psychodramas, and Please Make Me Lesbian. Other videos are more vignette-based, but there is usually some kind of 'framing' story, at least.
In 2012, Girlfriends Films signing the widely respected director B Skow, who had been producing some terrific features for Vivid (such as Overnight), to direct videos for them that would feature heterosexual sex. There was much hope that the "lesbian" roots of the company would filter into these releases, not necessarily in terms of who would be having sex in them, but more in terms of how the sex would be portrayed. And the first release, Voilà, did not disappoint. It was nominated for Best Romance Release at the 2013 AVN Awards, losing only to the inspired Torn, from New Sensations.
Since then, there have been several more such releases, some of which are also excellent. The reader should be warned, however, that "Skow for Girlfriend Films" has released some films, such as Down the Rabbit Hole, that have no pretensions to be anything other than run of the mill, male-focused porn. Crap, as we would put it.
A second caveat, and in a way a more serious one, is that some of the releases, such as Daddy's Girls and Southern Hospitality, are extremely dark, to put it mildly. Both these films include scenes that portray rape and sexual assault. We find it hard to be aroused by such scenes and find them difficult to watch, to say the least. We are, in fact, not at all sure these are appropriate topics for porn.
Heterosexual and Lesbian
|☆?☆?☆||Daddy's Girls (B Skow)|
|★★★★★||Paint (B Skow)|
|☆?☆?☆||Southern Hospitality (B Skow)|
|★★½☆☆||Truth Be Told (B Skow)|
|★★★★½||Voilà (B Skow)|
|★★★★☆||What Do You Want Me To Say? (B Skow)|
|☆?☆?☆||Down the Rabbit Hole (B Skow)|
Heterosexual and Lesbian
Our general view is that, if a movie ought to have the words "TRIGGER WARNING" splatted across its cover, then it is not going to count as feminist porn. And this one should. The overall story revolves around rape and incest, and there are scenes of both. As our reviews of the Tabu Tales movies should make clear, we have no problem with porn showing incest, and even a bit of coercion, but rape is an entirely different matter. To blow a rape into an entire sex scene, and to present the victim as any kind of willing participant, is just wrong.
The overall theme of this movie is kind of icky, frankly. But it is the third scene that is so problematic: A young woman, presented in the movie as a virgin, is raped by two men. We have no problem with reference to such an event being made, or even a small sliver of it being shown. But to blow a rape into an entire sex scene, and then to present the victim as even a somewhat willing participant, is just wrong, in any context, and it seems particularly wrong in the context of porn.
Down the Rabbit Hole
After having made several fantastic movies for Girlfriends Films, and then some clunkers that were, at least, trying to do something different, B Skow has since reverted to the "tease and please" style that was featured in many of his films for Vivid. I.e., to stupid, predictable, misogynistic porn. This particular effort consists of a series of five vignettes, all focused on anal sex. We have no problem with anal sex. We like anal sex, in fact. But the women are treated as nothing but usable holes, and the "interviews" at the end are disturbingly focused on how painful the experience was for them.