Testing the Limits of A Sensitive Guy
(with extra added Lurking Heavy Plot!)

Two women try to do cowboy on one poor sensitive guy as he grimaces in pain under the combined weight of their lithe, nubile bodies, testing his limits to the ultimate.

Testing the Limits is one of those films that demonstrates the resilience of the Skinamax genre. It's a fine film, most everything a Skinamax movie should be: light and friendly in tone, erotic, relaxed and happy, yet with enough going on plotwise and characterwise to keep things moving along.

Yet it also indulges in two of the most annoying cliches in the Skinamax pantheon of cliches: the Reluctant (or Sensitive) Guy and the Lurking Heavy Plot. These two cliches, combined, should test the audiences limits thoroughly, yet they don't, despite the fact that the movie's major theme deals directly with both cliches. All the sex, nudity and beauty of the film, plus the easygoing goodheartedness of the characters help take some of the edge off the cliches and make Limits just the thing for a sexy background movie.

Limits deals with the adventures of Ted and Alice, a betrothed couple who have big plans for the future considering Alice is planning on being a stay-at-home wife and Ted is an artist. Not a Web artist or a graphic artist or something else viable, no, Ted's a sketchpad and charcoal stick kinda artist, which as we all know means Ted's family or Alice's family better have enough money to support the two of them for, oh, the rest of their lives, because odds are Ted never will.

But Ted has good news. A gallery owner has agreed to give him a major show, and he's on his way. To celebrate that and their impending nuptials, Ted and Alice head out for the southern California mountains for a nice weekend of hiking and sex.

But before they pack, Alice offers Ted a little present -- she tells him she'll do anything Ted likes in bed. Just name his fantasy and she will be his genie in a bottle. And this is where we get our first glimpse of Ted the Reluctant, because faced with an opportunity like this, the best he can come up with is a request that she do a sexy striptease for him and then masturbate.

"You know, I like to watch," says Ted.

Alice is nothing if not willing, so she does as Ted requests, he gets all hot and bothered and they have some nice Skinamax style sex, nothing to write home about but easy on the eyes.

ALSO FROM PAT POWERS
Meanwhile, back at the plot, glamour model Candy, played by Lorissa McComas, has agreed to a date with an ardent fan who has pursued her vigorously. Young, handsome and well off, Bill seems like a pretty good catch. But he does have a wayof letting slip the occasional comment or vibe that cries out "obsessive stalker!" Nevertheless, Candy not only dates him but goes to his apartment and has big American sex with him.

Afterward, though, she feels kinda bad about it, because emboldened by his success with Candy, Bill has let loose quite a few more comments and vibe that are saying "obsessive stalker" pretty clearly. And you know, even if you are a model whose fans know exactly what your vaginal lips look like, you might feel a little slutty when you sleep with a guy on the first date -- and even more so when you sleep with an obsessive stalker-seeming guy on the first date.

When you do this sort of thing with a crazed stalker on the first date, you can't help but feel just a little slutty afterward.

So when Candy gets a phone call from Suze the photographer calling her away to a modelling assignment for the weekend, she gratefully jumps on it. Bill's a little upset because he'd already planned for them to spend the weekend and the rest of their lives together, but Candy points out that he didn't ask her about it, and so she makes her escape.

Candy hitches up with Suze, who's having problems. She'd planned to have a second model for the shoot, but the model is unable to make it. The shoot's scheduled for a remote mountain cabin and there's no time to get another model on such short notice, so Suze and Candy head on out, determined to make do with just Candy.

They arrive in time to catch some late afternoon sunlight (late afternoons and early mornings are favorite times for photographers, since the sun isn't so harsh and the light is warm and reddish, very nice on skin). And what nice skin Lorissa McComas has -- check out her website at this link for more information along these lines.

This really is Lorissa McComas' movie, and her beauty is worth it. The frequent sex and nudity work seamlessly with the plot. Really, do you NEED to know anything else about the movie?

Candy and Suze hit the sack the next morning, tired but happy knowing they've put in a good day's work in the glamour industry. Not so Bill and Alice. They've got problems. During the afternoon drive to their mountain cabin, they pause to take a short hike in the woods. But when they get back to their car, still reekingof spent passion (OK, that's an educated guess on my part) Bill discovers that an important fluid has leaked out of their car and it won't move any more.

The small vidcaps in this article don't really do justice to McComas' beauty. Here's an image from a still photo of McComas. She is one of the very few Skinamax actresses whose facial beauty matches her body's opulence. The movie has some beautiful shots of McComas as well. Clicking on the pic will lead you to McComas' website, if youre interested.

Bill is dismayed at this turn of events, but Alice is undismayed, figuring that they had planned to do some hiking ANYWAY, and they set off for what looks like civilization on their map.

Hours later they collapse somewhere in the woods and spend a long and uncomfortable night sleeping on the ground.

The next morning at Suze and Candy's cabin, they head out to have some lesbian sex or photo shoot, or a nipple-poppin' outdoor shower or something, I forget which. Meanwhile Ted and Alice are all happy because shortly after waking they've found a cool mountain cabin just over the hill from where they slept.

Care to guess whose? Right, you're ahead of us. So you also won't be surprised to learn that Bill and Alice break into the abandoned cabin and make themselves at home, rationalizing that they'll pay for anything they use. And of course they have sex, I mean, it's the thing to do in a Skinamax film.

Soon Suze and Candy return to their cabin and discover it's been broken into. They are alarmed at first, but when Suze sees the attractive, naked young couple who've broken in, ideas begin forming in her mind, and she is friendly and forgiving to her "guests." In fact, she invites them to stay on for the weekend and help out with the photoshoot.

Suze gets ideas as she checks out postcoital Bill and Alice. And yes, there is some male package display in this scene.

Won over by Suze's friendliness, they agree. Alice really likes the idea, but Ted is, of course, reluctant, being a total idiot and all. Over the next couple of days Alice is quickly and easily drawn into the photoshoot, posing not just for photos, but for nude photos, and then not just for nude photos, but for nude lesbian photos with Candy.

Bill the Reluctant rolls his eyes at all this and makes frowny faces and generally behaves like a total idiot whose balls have been removed. In doing so, he isbehaving like many another Skinamax male lead, reluctantly being dragged into hot sex by beautiful women, so reluctantly and smarmily that you soon find yourself wanting to kick his stupid ass up one side of the street and down the other.

Bill the Reluctant. "Not more hot seeeeex!"

After all, Skinamax movies are, for the most part supposed to be male sexual fantasies, and not many guys have fantasies in which they are offered all sorts of hot sex by beautiful babes but get all reluctant about it and so don't have it. No, this is not the way the typical way the male sex fantasy works, and yet, the Reluctant or Sensitive Guy is a stock character in Skinamax films.

Probably the most annoying single scene in the history of Skinamax is from a movie entitled When Passions Collide. The male lead is a Sensitive Guy whose girlfriend is your usual hot babe seeking hot sex. After much cajoling and entreaty, she finally gets him to make love to her with her wrists tied to the headboard of the bed.

Then Sensitive Guy pulls the blankies down and sees a couple of alligator clips with their tips shielded by plastic covers and connected by a small chain.

"What are these?" Sensitive Guy asks in alarm.

"Nipple clamps," reveals wifey with a smile. "I'd like you to put them on me."

"I'm ready for my nipple clamp scene, Mr. Demille!" The most annoying single scene in the history of Skinamax films, in When Passions Collide.

"AAAAAGH!" cries Sensitive Guy, running away in fear and dismay, appalled at the thought of hot sex with a ... a ... WOMAN!!!! (OK, that's not what really happened, which is that he refused to put the nipple clamps on her and untied her wrists from the headboard, wanting to do it "clean" with her.)

But Jebus Fucking Christ, Guy!!!! When a woman wants you to put the fucking nipple clamps on her, put the fucking nipple clamps on her and fuck her fucking brains out, dammit!!!!! This is a Skinamax sex film, not a goddam government morality propaganda film!!!! The people watching want to see those nipple clamps in action! They do not want to see you REFUSING to have fun, kinky sex with your girlfriend!!!! Skinamax films are precisely ABOUT having fun sex, kinky or otherwise!!!! If we wanted to see a film about a guy missing out on a chance to have fun, kinky sex with a woman, we'd just try it with our OWN girlfriends and experience it in Real Life. It's very easy to miss out on sex in Real Life, which is why we have NO fucking interest in watching it on film!!!!

To be fair, that was about the most egregious example of Sensitive Guy I've ever seen in a Skinamax film, and while Limits' Sensitive Guy rolls his eyes and acts pouty, he never actually refuses to do anything or forbids his girl from doing things. Mostly he just whines afterward, "I don't know if I can handle all this sex we're havinnnnng..."

What I can't understand is why the Sensitive Guy is such a stock character in Skinamax films, being so annoying and all, and so uninteresting to male viewers. My wife has a pretty good theory about it, though. When I described the problem to her, she suggested that maybe the Sensitive Guy gave the less, uh, confident and experienced viewers the chance to feel superior to the guy onscreen, no matter how handsome and well built he might be.

"Hey, I could handle that stuff!" the viewer thinks. "I'm better than that wimp!" And so he gets more of a charge out of the movie than he might otherwise.

Pretty good theory, actually. It might also explain another Skinamax phenomenon, which is the occasional scene in which the character's bodies are clearly positioned in such a way that the guy is humping the outside of the woman's leg, or the small of her back, or some other area not noted for its erogenous zones. Maybe that, too, is designed to make the viewer feel superior as in, "Hey, dude! Put it where it'll do the little lady some good!"

"I sure hope that Sensitive Guy lets us get it on..."

If you're going to have a Sensitive Guy in the movie to keep all the less confident viewers feeling, uh, risible, you should definitely use him with a certain amount of restraint. Like, keep the whining to a minimum -- it's annoying to the rest of us -- and for Chrissake, don't let Sensitive Guy blow any shots at really good sex scenes, as in When Passions Collide. That's INCREDIBLY annoying.

Now, while our happy threesome of hot babes has been sexing it up and making Ted all frowny, Bill has been having a non-wonderful time trying to track Candy down. It seems he's still determined to make Candy realize that he and she were made for each other. He calls around looking for her, and finally does track her down.

What follows is an abduction scheme -- he goes to the cabin, grabs Candy, ties her wrists and ankles together, gags her with duct tape, carries her over his shoulder down to his car, where he ties her in place in the front seat. It's a tasty little abduction scene, but it could have been SO much better. In fact, it could have been world class if, say, Ted had caught Candy in the shower and they'd shown an extensive on-screen capture, tying and gagging scene of a nude Lorissa McComas. Given that Skinamax films now routinely show consensual bondage sex scenes, it certainly would be well within the limits to show a simple capture and bondage scene, even in the nude. Given that it would have fit perfectly within the framework of the story, it was insane not to do so. So of course they didn't.

Lorissa McComas, bound and gagged. Yowzah! But it could have been so much MORE! Still, yowzah!.

Will Bill succeed in his mad abduction scheme? Will Candy escape or get rescued? We're not telling. It's not really germane to the point we want to make, whichis that this is another example of the Lurking Heavy Plot.

Lurking Heavy Plot is another fairly common cliche in Skinamax films, in which the drama is pumped up via an extraneous plotline that involves violence, jail, or other heavy consequences for the characters, who have spent most of the movie doing nothing more than making nice and having lots of naked sex.

OK, nice tape gag, though to be completely authentic it should go all the way around her head.

It always seems so overwrought and out of place, expecially when it just surfaces in the last ten minutes or so of the movie, as it does here. Similarly, Erotic Boundaries has a slow-simmering plotline involving blackmail that has all the "bad" sex partners hauled off to jail while the "nice" couple (who've been sleeping with most --- make that ALL -- of the bad sex partners) lives happily ever after.

And I Want to Play Games Too has a Lurking Heavy Plot, as a movie which is basically about a woman with a supercharged sense of fun that makes her turn all her business and personal relationships into one huge sex game, but in the last ten minutes or so a blackmail subplot emerges that ends in gunplay, taking a lot of the fun out of the games.

The problem with the Lurking Heavy Plot is that it is not only unnecessary but generally detracts from the real theme of the film. For example, in Limits the obvious theme is what constitutes acceptable behavior for Ted and Alice, given that they're betrothed and all. Is Alice free to follow her hot babe instincts, or do Ted's misgivings portend bad things for their marriage?

You could even throw the stalker theme into the mix if, instead of going for cheap violence, you had him do everything short of kidnapping Candy and then get persuaded by Candy and the others that there are limits to how intensely you can and should woo a girl, no matter how familiar you are with her body from photographs.

Following either of these themes honestly would have made for a much better, more interesting movie with a sounder resolution to the story.

The film that suffers most from this effect is Erotic Boundaries, which has as its heart a storyline in which a disaffected housewife whose husband is spendingWAAAY too much time at the office, is visited by an old college roommate who tries to revive their old relationship -- which was clearly a lesbian Domme/sub relationship, with wifey in the sub role. There are some really nice, really intense wooing scenes between Lisa Comshaw and Kathy Shower in it, which gives the picture much of its erotic charge.

The real action of the movie lies in resolving the emotional problems -- will neglected Kathy return to her old, wild ways or will she be able to get it back together with hubby? And how did Kathy go from being a lesbian sub to a hetero housewife anyway? But all that's blown away in favor of a very superficial blackmail plot that leaves the emotional content of the film dangling.

Lurking Heavy Plot is a real problems for a lot of Skinamax films. Fortunately, it's not nearly as much of a problem for Limits as it is for others. It doesn't interfere with the real plotline much at all, and the violence is kept to the level of fisticuffs and abductions. The same can be said for the Reluctant Guy theme in Limits -- though it's central to the story, Sensitive Guy doesn't actually prevent the hot babes from doing their thing at any time, and the whining, while annoying, is relatively minimal.

The fundamental beauty of the actors, the location and their friendly, easygoing personalities is what makes this movie worth watching. So watch it.

Clockwise from top left: Showers are always fun on Skinamax; Lorissa displays her cute little package; Lorissa defines cute with a smile; Alice poses for a glamour shot; a little friendly trouser snake hunting.

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