Heartland: A Woman’s POV is a lot like it sounds — it takes place in the midwest, there are women in it who are framed by a camera operated by a woman, and occasionally some scenes with Madison Young talking about airplanes making her hot or porn conferences or coyotes or whatever.
The beginning doesn’t start out very strong. Madison sounds like she’s high, looks like she’s very sleepy, and offers her viewers a gratuitous nipple because… why not? I would have preferred for her to dribble on slowly for 20 more minutes than show me a blurry ass close-up of her nipple. It’s like she got self-conscious and flipped on a default response. “EVERYONE LIKES TITS”. Ugh.
All of the couples are introduced via text, documentary-style, with a bit of information about them. The first couple, Nicole and Peter are a real couple in Chicago that met at a sex toy store. This was their first experience being filmed during sex. I enjoyed this couple perhaps the most because of the obvious connection and pleasure they experience in each other. They were also the least overtly performative, I felt. The second couple, Cherry and Alea, met at a kink conference and were having sex together for the first time on Heartland. The third couple, Rita Seagraves and Red Hot Megan, are regular play partners but have never been filmed. Rita Seagraves is a sex educator. Last but not least, Madison Young has sex with Billie Sweet, a former RA in the dorm Madison lived in during her college years and subject of girl crushdom.
There’s also more small scenes that involve Madison updating the viewer on her whereabouts, including a masturbation scene on a plane that more closely resembles a first year undergrad art film than porn, as well as Madison getting tattooed by a fan and “hiking” with her family. These scenes appear to function as glue for the sex scenes, similar to how a thin plot would in most porn, while also providing some insight into Madison’s personality. They struck me as being fairly pointless unless you’re a hardcore Madison Young fan.
Aside from these really self-indulgent scenes, my main complaint about Heartland is Madison Young’s style of filming, which is apparently centered around poor quality. I understand that the free hand, one shot style of filming means there’s going to be some less visually interesting moments, but there are some moments when it takes Madison (or whoever is filming) several seconds to actually put the damn camera on the people fucking. It’s like she forgot she was filming or something. There are other scenes where the camera is bouncing so much it feels like you’re inside a hamster ball. Not appealing.
I just wish she would care a little bit more about the quality of the films she produces. Just because it’s porn doesn’t mean it should exist without standards.
Nicole and Peter
Nicole and Peter’s session starts off with finger sucking, kissing, slapping, and choking where you can see little other than Nicole’s pleasure and pain as it is expressed in her face. Where else Peter’s hands and mouth wander, that’s for the viewer to imagine. Occasionally Nicole makes eye contact with the camera, and her steady, unapologetic, fired-up-and-fucking-ready gaze is titillating in itself.
They move onto anal penetration, and I really appreciate that their communication wasn’t edited out, because women (well, everyone, actually) need to feel like they can say, “Can you use the smaller dildo first, then move onto the larger one?” This shit never happens in mainstream porn, and this is one of the few instances where I feel like Young’s “POV” piece actually nails it, because sometimes you’re just not ready for a giant dildo in your ass, but that doesn’t mean you’re not down to party. Nicole wasn’t worried about being a good “porn star” then, she was taking care of her own needs and fucking the way she fucks. Perfect.
The blow job scene (or strap-on sucking scene, whichever you prefer) is one of the better ones I have ever watched, mostly because both of them seem really into it and it’s very physical. I actually forget that Peter is wearing a strap-on and that Nicole is sucking and stroking a chunk of silicone. The fantasy becomes real for me in their moans, whimpers, heavy breathing, hair pulling, writhing, and occasional moments of delighted laughter.
– Moments where Young is clearly more interested in genuine facial expressions and the intimacy of an action than generic ass and titties shots.
– Beautiful women in lingerie (oh, and the Batman boxer briefs Peter wears)
– When Cherry stuffs Alea’s panties into her mouth, and later watching Alea’s pierced nipples bouncing back and forth while Cherry holds a Hitachi Magic Wand (with a condom on it, might I add) and her high heeled foot onto Alea’s clitorous.
– When Cherry is visibly overwhelmed in every way during and post-orgasm, cheeks flushed, with a somewhat dazed expression on her face when she embraces Alea. I know that feeling. I like seeing it in other people.
– Megan’s fantastic curls and naughty girlish-ness
– Nice angle when Megan is performing oral sex on Rita so you can see what Megan is doing while also seeing Rita’s face
– When Madison and Billie were makin’ out: awesome sauce
– When Billie was worried about coming “too much” while Madison fingers her, followed by Madison laughing and encouraging her, saying something like “you can’t come too much”, was pretty endearing and sexy
I wanted Heartland to be good. In between when we reviewed Bride of Sin and when we received this to review, I had seen that Madison Young had actually won a few awards for her work. As you may recall, I hated Bride of Sin. Fiercely. So I thought (hoped) that maybe Young had improved significantly or that Bride of Sin was a terrible fluke.
Heartland was another example of Madison Young’s complete lack of regard for any of the aspects of filmmaking that require even the smallest effort. She is obviously interested in kink and fucking and sexuality but only in terms of how it relates to her and enables her to have a good time. Heartland seems more like an excuse to fly across the country and get paid to watch people have sex than it does a serious endeavor. It is almost like the documentation and presentation quality are afterthoughts.
I feel like I am being generous when assuming that the reason the quality of her films is so low is that she doesn’t care. If she really does care then it means that she is hopelessly incompetent.
I won’t go into horrible snarky detail about all of the things wrong because I feel like Mimi has covered that well and it would echo very closely what I said about Bride of Sin, but I will say that I have seen many, many self-made YouTube videos with more care and consideration taken in their production.
Her aforementioned accolades are the main issue that I have with her work. Tons of people make terrible porn all the time. That’s no big deal. But Young’s terrible porn is being congratulated. I have to believe that the reason for this is because Young is one of the few female pornographers making female-friendly work, particularly with an emphasis on bondage or rough sex. Giving Madison Young awards for the terrible, half-hearted shit that she is making actually hurts the progress made by amazing pornographic filmmakers like Shine Louise Houston, Courtney Trouble, and the unique, passionate porn stars they employ.
At the end of the credits there is a quote from Madison Young: “If I can’t fuck, it’s not my revolution.” This paraphrases Emma Goldman’s famous stance that feminism cannot be something that restricts the life-loving, fun-having, radiant aspects of women’s personalities. That if she had to be well behaved and straight-laced to be a feminist, she wanted no part of it.
I think that she made a worthwhile point when she said that because there is a real debate going on about feminist porn. Violet Blue address the issue very well here. The problem I see is that either Madison Young made a flippant statement about fucking that was well received (it was part of her acceptance speech for Hottest Kink Film at the feminist porn awards) or she really thinks that she is a front runner in the feminist movement. I’m inclined to think the latter because people keep giving her awards.
The Naked Truth