✖ BLOODMILK

Oct 14, 2020

note: discussion and images of blood play, blood covered people.

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I'm going to use the word intense a lot in this write up. This is an intense one.

I've known and loved Cam for years since our long gone tumblr days and they've been there since the beginning making films with us. Go back and watch them our short film Persephone with Owen Gray from the archives for some nice prophetic parallels with this film today. Lucky to know them, lucky to get to make work with them across the years as we both grow and change and reconnect. They're not only a talented model and creative photographer in their own right but they are also a hard as fuck "agony enthusiast" who turns suffering into deep explorations in kink and art.

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Cam and Ten are partners in love and in pain, when I saw images of them blood cupping I was completely enrapt with the whole process and I knew I wanted to put it on film. It involves making small, deliberate incisions on the back and immediately placing a suction cup over them making a vacuum to draw out and collect blood. The blood mixes with the air in the cup and partially coagulates and clots, when the cup is released the blood runs out.

(in this film the blood starts at the 08:10 mark)


This is a personal part of Ten and Cam relationship. Getting to experience their connection through this act, even second hand; it's hot, it's intense, it's unnerving, arresting and really beautiful. All my favourite things.

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Blood is base, it's earth, it's dirt, it's life - it connects us uniquely to our mortality, our fragility, our death. It's the ultimate in physical intimacy, something internal made external. Taking and giving lifeforce. Sacrifice and power. It's danger is exactly it's pull. Dancing on that (sometimes literal) razor's edge with another person. The trust required to make this exchange can eclipse conventional physical connection. There's a reason why fraternal bonding as "blood brothers" exists, where each party cuts themselves and joins the wounds, sharing blood is ritual, inseparable joining on a physical level. Queer and dangerous, both powerful and subversive and deeply delicate and intimate.

Gala Vanting's incredible film Vital Signs about queer blood play opens with the quotes

"It feels like everything, it feels like art, it feels like fucking."

"It feels like coming, it feels like coming"

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A lust for the blood of another is a lust to merge bodies on deeper level. To be inside them, to penetrate and consume them beyond skin, beyond boundary. Desiring most the thing you shouldn't desire. A deep insatiability for connection on a level surpassing physical and mortal limits. True surrender, to open and be opened in every possible way.

"...if I confess that when I see or smell blood, my sex wakes up and wants in. When I fuck someone in her own blood I come in a state of awe and panic. It's just so pretty, such a poignant reminder of mortality. It makes me cry and shake and understand why I'm alive" - Speaking Sex to Power

Willingly giving your body over to use for that moment; to be bled and fucked - to be entirely in someone else's hands. The power of the giving. The freedom to exist in your body, in your guts, in your primal sex for a moment.

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This was shot in January at the start of what we didn't then know was going to be a very strange year. The potency of fluid exchange becomes all the more visceral, taboo and intimate in pandemic times.

"The vampire is a subversive creature in every way, and I think this accounts for much of his appeal. In an age where moralists use the fact that sex is dangerous to “prove” that sex is bad, the vampire points out that sex has always been dangerous. These days, if you wish to make love to someone without a layer of latex separating your most sensitive membranes, it becomes necessary to ask yourself, “Would I be willing to die a slow, lingering death for this person?” The
answer may be yes – but for the vampire, it’s not even an issue. He laughs in the face of safe sex, and he lives forever. (x)
" Poppy Z Brite 'Love in Vein' - twenty original tales of vampire erotica.

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The cut scenes reference these incredible images by photographer Frederic Fontenoy of blood and milk mixing called Alkama. I wanted to use real blood but didn't want to buy animal blood - being a bleeding heart vegan and you know, having a lot of blood myself that I just needed to get out. I posted online looking for someone qualified to take blood and low and behold the nicest nurse who I knew from way back in my internet alt porn modelling days got in touch and two days later turned up at my house. Truly, the magic of the internet.

The wonderful Andy Gibbs composed an original score for the film, with violin by KC (both of the band Thou among other excellent musical projects) and we talked a lot about ritual, the film Midsommar and Nico's incredible Desertshore album as reference points. Lucky to get to work with talented collaborators, I'm really getting into this whole 'original score for Four Chambers films' business.

This image by Ana Mendieta occupies my mind a lot. I'm in love with the power of looking out at a camera or a viewer defiantly covered in your own blood, of endurance and defiance in the face of suffering. I get that 'hairs on the back of my neck standing up sensation' from both this picture and its mirror in the closing shots of this film.

I'm honoured to have got to make this, in what's been a year of often stark, bleakness disconnect working on this has been a lightening bolt of visceral intensity that I've really cherished. I hope it's the same for you.


CONTENT NOTES
blood play / ingestion of blood / spit / rope bondage / dominance + submission dynamics / whimpering / suffer noises / cum eating

MUSIC
original score by Andy Gibbs

REFERENCES
Ana Mendieta, 'Untitled (self portrait with blood)' (1973)
Hermann Nitsch 'Orgien Mysterien Theatre', (1968)
Gala Vanting, Sensate Films 'Vital Signs' (2017)
Daemonumx - 'a little blood snack' (2020)
Patrick Califia-Rice, 'Speaking Sex to Power' (2001)
Angela Carter, 'The Bloody Chamber' (1979)
Carlen Lavigne 'Sex, Blood and (Un)Death, The Queer Vampire and HIV', Journal of Dracula Studies (2004)
Frédéric Fontenoy - 'Alkama' (2012)
Poppy Z Brite - 'Love in Vein' (1995)