GOOD

Adult-Themed Pop-Up Books Find Humanity in Awkward, True Sexual Encounters (NSFW)

Filmmaker Stephen Dunn’s “Pop-Up Porno” series goes beyond scintillation to explore the humor, and heart, of our online hookup culture.

image via youtube screen capture

Raise your hand if you’ve had terrible, awkward, uncomfortable, or just plain lousy sexual encounters.


Most of us, right?

Now, raise your hand if you’ve had that terrible, awkward, uncomfortable, or just plain lousy sexual encounter immortalized in an adult-themed pop-up book.

image via youtube screen capture

Pop-Up Porno” is a series of short videos, each of which features an unseen narrator describing a true liaison-gone-wrong as the action is “acted out” in the form of a custom made, beautifully rendered pop-up book. The stories are, it should go without saying, entirely NSFW. They’re also entirely terrific, with facial expressions, exclamations, and, yes, genitals, leaping off the pop-up page and into the viewer’s face with every shot.

Silly as the videos–and the actual pop-up books depicted–may be, though, each is actually is a painstakingly created tribute to, and exploration of, the all-too-human moments that come part and parcel in a world where finding a new sexual partner is as easy as swiping right on our smartphones. As creator Stephen Dunn told Variety: “I’ve been kind of perplexed lately by Grindr and this whole online dating world. That’s where I get a lot of motivation for my work, as a way to overcome my own fears or insecurities.”

Fears and insecurities lie, in some way, at the heart of all the Pop-Up Porno installments, but perhaps no more so than in “f4m,” the story of a woman’s post-mastectomy hook-up, which is at once hilarious and heartbreaking:

image via youtube screen capture

Perhaps it’s the series’ use of pop-ups, a medium typically reserved for childhood whimsy, which lulls viewers into a sense of gauzy nostalgic complacency, leaving them particularly susceptible to the wholly mature subject matter at hand. The films are both cringe-worthy, and comforting, laying bare (so as to speak) the vulnerabilities inherent in sex, while reminding us all that we’re not alone when it comes to looking for, finding, and failing at both physical and emotional intimacy.

Speaking with GOOD, Dunn explained: “For me the whole series is anchored by f4m. It's not just a series about silly dating mishaps, it's about true, moving (and yes often funny) stories about meaningful human experiences derived from online dating disasters.”

On the series’ website, Dunn encourages visitors to submit their own stories either in writing, over the phone, or by uploading an audio file.

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