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The fall trends in pornography have arrived! Following is a brief overview:

The possibilities afforded by the rectum are seemingly infinite, and have long been appreciated by the playful toddler, the misguided adolescent, and the raving homosexual alike. Yet only now is the mainstream porno artist opening up to this age-old vortex. Thus, the videos of a young artist such as Max Hardcore are a welcome development in the filth arts. On the very cutting edge, his recent work (everything past Max World: Volume 5) has seen him increasingly taken with both speaking to the open anus, and accentuating the visual sculpture of the anus with various colored lipsticks, paints, and semens.

The current squirting movement, available for analysis in such works of art as The Ultimate Squirting Machine, Rainwoman V, and Seymore Butts: Squirters, represents the enduring mystery of the orgasm. The disarming reality of a fluid discharge from the secretive folds of the labia inevitably poses the question: Is it urine? Or is it, as so many feel it is, a devious, magical substance, transubstantiated and made holy: A spirit, channeled through the vagina? I for one prefer to let the enchantment remain obscured. Suffice it to say that, like the flowing waters of the Alhambra, this is an elixir for the woes of the ages.

An exciting fall trend is the radical mutation of genre, under the guidance of such seasoned artists as Rocco Siffredi. In his current release, Rocco Never Dies, Siffredi expands his pornographic grammar with typical action-movie phrases, even while maintaining allegiance to his training as an anal classicist. For example, a helicopter and karate sequence in the woods leads directly to an anal linkage, in a deft display of mise en scène. Later, in a direct homage to Michelangelo Antonioni, Siffredi defuses a bomb by inserting his penis into a Russian spy's anus.

First popularized by the artist-savant Annabel Chong in 1989, the gang bang has taken off among avant-garde pornographic artists, many of whom seek to topple Chong's record of 251 couplings in a day. Sadly, the current phenomenon of gang bang one-upsmanship has all but obscured the original art.

It is true that to the untrained eye the gang bang is a base act, and surely not all gang bangs are works of art. Imitators like Filipino upstart Spantaneeus Extasy, who claims 541 men in a day, or the leather-faced Houston, who has vowed to engage 2,000 men on film by year's end, do not qualify as artists. There is a vast distinction between their work and the artistry of, say, Jasmine St. Clair, who holds the current record with 340 acts in a day. For St. Claire and Chong, the gang-bang is a formal re-interpretation of the sex act itself, rather than just some media stunt. They are artists and, like Khanweiler and his stable, I will defend them to the end.

Research assistance provided by Starlight Video and the Pew Charitable Trusts.