Real Sex in the City

Director Travis Mathews shocks and delights audiences wtih I Want Your Love

BY Heath Daniels

March 18 2013 5:30 AM ET

How did you approach the sex scenes with the actors? Did they bring their own ideas of what they wanted or were willing to do?
Everybody who auditioned knew there was a likely chance that they would be involved with sex. One of the questions that I asked was, “What do you like to do sexually and what are your limitations?” They were not trained actors and for the most part never had sex on camera before. Certainly none of them had ever done real porn before, so they were trusting me with a quite a lot and putting themselves in very vulnerable positions. The actual mechanics of the sex scenes were partly based around what they liked, but mostly around their characters and the story. So the questions became, “Is this going to be an awkward sex scene? Is this going to be a funny sex scene? Is this going to a sweet and sexy moment?” Once the goal of the scene became clear we then knew how the sex scenes were going to be choreographed, filmed, and edited.

There must have been a lot of discussion about rim jobs. I can’t think of a movie that has featured rimming quite as often and explicitly as this film does.
[Laughing] I think there was a lot of agreement that rim jobs are pretty cool. In the spirit of this whole project, I didn’t want to pull stops on things because they were too explicit.

One of things I liked about I Want Your Love is that it’s not a gay “issue” movie. No one is struggling with their sexuality, fighting homophobia, or dying of AIDS. Were you cognizant of that when you were writing the film?
Completely. That was important to me. I don’t want to bash movies that are “issue” related because I know they exist for a reason. But all of those familiar issues that we have seen in gay films, those weren’t issues that were on the front burner for these guys. I felt like we had progressed enough, in every way, as gay people and gay cinema that we could start telling stories that weren’t gay issue–driven. They just had human conflicts.

Could this story have been told without the graphic sex?
Sure, but I felt if I was going to really honest and candid and revealing about these guys’ lives why would I hide this piece that is so integral to who they are? Sex, whether you’re having it or not, is a big part of everyone’s lives. Especially young gay men living in San Francisco. And I didn’t want to shy away from it.

Do you think the explicit gay sex scenes will make I Want Your Love less accessible to a straight audience?
Of course. There’s no doubt about it.

Does that bother you?
On a certain level it does, but I also understood that was the reality of this project from the beginning. I’ve tried to stay honest to what is interesting to me, and so far it has worked to my benefit. I’m going to try, as much as possible, to continue to do that.

Tags: film

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