Review: Chemistry Vol. 3

Tristan Taormino’s reality porn series gives its stars the freedom to fuck in their own way.

DVD cover of Chemistry Vol. 3, porn film directed by Tristan Taormino

Um, can Tristan Taormino make one of these per year until I die?

I dare say she’s found the gold mine with the Chemistry series. Each one of them has been exciting, interesting, and hot. The premise of the series is reminiscent of reality shows, such as Real World or Big Brother; only these are carefully hand-picked porn stars whose only instruction from Taormino is to have sex whenever they feel like it. They also do “confessionals” for the camera.

Initially, in terms of physicality, I was a bit wary of the stars in Chemistry Vol. 3; I wasn’t at all attracted to Christian or Steven St. Croix, and Roxy DeVille struck me as a dumb wannabe rockstar. That couldn’t be any further from the truth. Roxy actually turned out to be my favorite performer of all, and the most entertaining and relatable (especially when she slipped into cartoon voices and mused about wanting to sit around picking her nose all day). In fact, even with only three women and three men in the house, the cast feels quite diverse in terms of personality.

I usually fast-forward through everything that precedes the sex in porn. But when it comes to this particular series, knowing the stars makes the sex much more enjoyable. Plus, Chemistry 3 was shot in high-definition, and it shows. Everything is crisp, well-lit, and effortlessly shot, and the sound comes through beautifully (with no ridiculous background music).

I won’t go into the details of every scene (if you’re counting, there are about four on each disc), because this film isn’t about a formula, but about the genuine connections between people, and the freedom to fuck in their own way. Suffice to say, everyone has sex with everyone else at least once, and everyone has a seriously good time while doing it.

It’s really exciting to hear the confessionals too. It seems like every performer wants to gush about every other performer. Although the chemistry in the scenes already feels authentic, the confessions verify it.

Then there’s a second disc bursting with extras. There is, essentially, a second film with several more scenes. But these aren’t throwaway scenes; they’re all hot and worthy of being jack-off fodder. They’re just not the very best scenes of the film.

In terms of aesthetics, I really have to applaud whoever designed the DVD, the menus on it, and whoever came up with the idea of a “position room.” You can choose any act — from doggie to blowjob to cum shot — and watch a montage of clips from the film. It’s perfect for those moments when you know exactly what you want to get off to.

To put it succinctly, I think the reason I love these films so much is because they have the perfect balance between sex and integrity. No bullshit plot, but you still get to eavesdrop on the performers’ thoughts and see them interact with one another. I also love that the Chemistry series introduces me to porn stars, so their other work has context for me.

This isn’t the end-all porn film for me, but it comes damn close. There are a few (somewhat far-fetched) ways that Chemistry Vol. 3 could be better: if it included gay or bisexual performers (and thus gay or bi scenes), if every single performer were physically to my taste, if more time was dedicated to pussy licking, and if the DVD cost less so that disillusioned people who have never seen good porn could be swayed to buy it.

Oh, and if it were developed into a season-long reality show broadcast three days a week, I think I could handle that.

Stream the entire Chemistry series or rent it here.