Hi Advent - many thanks for the quick reply. I've emailed you with more details - I'm curious more than anything, as I'm sure you wouldn't knowingly give emails away! Anyway, take a look and let me know.
I recently changed my email address, to counter the various spam I was getting, and took the step of creating an alias for every site I signed up to. Eg if my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, I'd create email@example.com when signing up to Saucy Site. The logic being that, if you start to receive unsolicited spam, the address it comes to will tell you where they found you - and you can just ditch that address if that happens.
Anyway, after signing up here, I started getting some random spammy things - not at all related to ATK or any other paysites - to the address I set up for ATK. So perhaps they are leaking addresses somewhere...?
Am avoiding irateness here, in case a plausible explanation turns up :)
Hmm - I recall a comment recently about We Are Hairy - the price having gone up from $25 to $35. Seeing as these two sites are close competitors, I guess they figured they could/should match it. A shame since I'd be tempted to join here - but much of the content (ie the hairy everything kind) doesn't really work for me.
Like Parsnip, I don't necessarily have an issue with this. Like with file sizes on jpgs, bitrate doesn't necessarily define the quality; it also depends on the codec settings and the source material.
Not sure what it is on 1080, but the 720 videos I downloaded from SexArt and The Life Erotic are 2,000K and they look just fine - their style (whether you like it or not) is a little soft, which can contribute to the low bitrate rather than the other way around.
I did download 10,000K 720 videos from Twistys and it was a waste of space - I reencoded them at 4,000K with no discernable difference.
Actually, I don't mind artsy nonsense... as long as it's not at the expense of actual arousal!
A couple of things you may want to check out too: if you've not joined Babes, it's not quite SexArt or Joymii, but it's still good if you are looking for more similar material.
And if you aren't already familiar with him, look up Roy Stuart - also a bit of an auteur, but the material works better. There's some (very tame) stuff of his on Met Art; but if you want the B/G material, I think it's either the books or his own DVDs.
Hi Parsnip - another good review, of a site which so far is my favourite sex site. Although SexArt is pretty close, I found the styling, lighting, colours here good and evocative - and the scenes erotic but not overly pretentious or artsy.
I recently received their newsletter on the subject of anal sex - like you, it doesn't really work for me but as and when I rejoin, I'm pragmatic enough to ignore it if there isn't too much. I just hope that further to your exchange with the webmaster, they don't overdo it - there's plenty of places for folk that like it to see it; not so many for those of us that don't and it would be a shame to lose one.
Another interesting review, thanks. I've been tempted by this - like you I've received offers, being a member at TLE. I sort of half-dismissed it as overly-stylised artsy daftness - but it sounds harder than I'd suspected. My interest in fetish lies in the glam side, nylons and latex - not so much in S&M and the like - sounds like this would be a turn-off for me at best. Probably one I'd be better off avoiding!
Another great and helpful review. I quite enjoyed this site when I was there - although I usually watch solo, BG material is why I tend to join these heartcore sites, and what I found here was good.
Like you, I did, however, find it let down a little by the lack of variety of models - the vast majority 18-21 slim caucasian girls. But either way, a shame that maybe the quality has gone down since I was there - and especially that they are going for more extreme material.
Another great review - and again, your views on the site are very similar to mine. Assume somebody's arse got kicked around the beginning of 2012, since material before then is largely generic and uninspired - if anyone joined before then, note that the last 2 years of material is completely different.
And Paul Black's material is certainly a standout - also Chris King and Oliver Nation. I do feel they could all be a bit less dark - there's atmospheric and there's not being able to see much - but it's only a minor thing. I also like Sebastien Michel - his pics are among the few inspiring ones at Met Art.
Have you tried Breath Takers and/or Girlfolio? (Same photographer at each). Quite soft, but I think you may like the style - I think I will subscribe to the latter next.
Looking forward to your TLE review - it's one of my favourite sites and the one I have a 1 year membership to. As you say, they often get the pictures right - make them genuinely erotic where Met Art (and SexArt on the photo side) fail.
BTW you may also like Babes - it's a little formulaic, but still not at all bad.
Great review and welcome. I've just spent a couple of days at this site - a trial for being a member at TLE - and found much the same as you. The only real difference being that I thought the early arty, body-painting ones etc were too daft; I prefer the more recent more ordinary ones.
But otherwise concur - this is good stuff, well made and respectful. Like you I'm not a fan of anal and don't really feel it belongs in (although others are free to disagree!) in this kind of heartcore site, so I'm glad they've not done it here.
And agree completely about the pics! I find Met Art pics entirely insipid and the one here are too - I don't know how they are so unerotic when the videos are so good.
I also like that that it's not wholly fixated on 18-21 year olds, but still I'd like to see a few more girls 25-30+. Not sure if this beats Joymii, my favourite sex site so far, but it is good.
Current Member for less than 1 month (at the time of review).
Good diversity in models and photographers
Exemplary site layout/features
Live cam shows
Perhaps too hair-oriented
Mostly amateur themed
Pics often less interesting than videos
Photo sets need tighter editing
This is a tricky one for me to review, as I'm not necessarily the target market; nevertheless, I'll do my best.
Firstly, compare and contrast: I am very fond of any content featuring panties and nylons - especially tights - the longer they are teased/toyed with the better. I will gladly concede that things I could do with/to them, either on or off their owner, puts this in fetish territory.
OTOH, I also like pubic hair on a model. I think it makes the girls look womanly, sexually mature, and inviting; it is a thrill to catch a glimpse of it, or even to know I will do as the underwear (cf above) comes off; and although I've got used to shaved models, it is still a bit of a disappointment when there's only skin revealed. Pubic hair is natural and sexy thing, and I don't quite see why it's regarded as a fetish; and I do not further fetishise it by way of insisting there is LOTS of it (everywhere), playing with it, or drawing more attention to it than it creates itself. I just prefer it to be there.
Anyway, the above disappointment sent me in search of a suitably themed site; but it appears that there aren't sites for folk like me who just like hair - only for those who worship it... but beggars, choosers etc. The two obvious sites, therefore, are We Are Hairy and ATK Hairy. I looked at both of them and they seem very similar in style, content and even in model roster - WAH seemed a bit more glam, a bit better organised and with a more manageable amount of content to get through within a month's membership.
The mechanics of the site are exemplary; one of the best I've ever joined. There are the usual features:
* Dated updates
* Separate video and pic lists
* Model index
* Browse by category or tag
* Advanced search
As well as novel features like:
* Your own favourites (although oddly you can't favourite a model, only specific sets?)
* Browse by photographer (I tend to follow photograhers more than models)
* Custom zip downloads
* Webcam shows (I never got round to viewing any, but there seem to be a couple a week)
* Forum and comments on sets (albeit with the usual complement of spurious/disrespectful ones)
* Personal settings (how you view pictures, and what tags/categories to exclude if eg you don't like hairy legs etc)
And although not as vast as ATK, there's a good deal of content; generally 4-5 updates per day (3 photo sets and 2 videos), and with about 4 years worth of updates I make approx:
* 400+ models
* 3000+ photo sets, 3K, 100-150 pics each
* 2000+ videos, most 720p, 10-15 mins
Models are reasonably diverse in age - 18-40 and some beyond - and there there is probably just a little more ethnic diversity than on an average site. They can be broadly split - with plenty of exceptions - into 3 groups:
* East European (mostly Russian) account for maybe two-thirds of the updates - most girls are young, with pubic hair and otherwise neatly shaved. Some pretty girls but many do not let their personality or sensuality show; it would be nice to hear them talk more, even if their English was not good, or even in Russian etc.
* UK models - as above, most have pubic hair only - but get more chance to show their personality, with interviews, various dirty talking in masturbation and stripping videos, etc. These were the ones that worked best for me.
* US girls - tend to be more of the hippy type, with many more having hairy armpits, legs, etc. Again, they get interviews and some fun videos; some of the girls are very alluring but the extra hair isn't necessarily for me.
Photo sets are a bit too big for my liking; I prefer them more tightly edited, large sets get a bit repetitive. The style is relatively amateur (and I do mean the style, rather than the quality - which is generally good) - without much in the way of mood or evocative lighting - but still some fun sets.
Likewise for the videos - they are generally plenty explicit enough, most featuring masturbation with/without toys (also some GG and GB videos but much fewer). Many are a bit too samey, but some have a bit more of a theme - eg the very lovely Fawna Latrisch getting predictably wet and soapy when washing a floor; or a couple of models stripping out of some sexy officewear.
So, overall, although a great site, it doesn't quite work for me. It's only this that dictates my slightly lower score; if I was more of a hair and amateur lover this would easily be in the 90s.
I wish there was a site like eg The Life Erotic, or Joymii, that featured more unshaven girls; until that happens, I guess I'll stick to picking and choosing the limited amount of unshaven content such sites have.
Many thanks for your reply - great to have some webmaster feedback here, especially from one of my favourite sites. Good news on the back button etc - I'm a web developer myself and try not to overuse the AJAX as stuff like that can be a bit glitchy.
On the regional pricing - it's not really valid to compare to eg Apple - they are dependent on local costs - rent, wages, etc - and even for digital content they have the rights holder involved. On top of which, here in the UK we have 20% sales tax, which unfortunately has to be taken into account also.
But I'm pretty sure that adult sites like Joymii do not incur any per-sale additional costs when selling to a user in Europe or elsewhere. Please let me know if I'm missing something! If you are eg VAT registered in Europe, than I'll gladly (well, begrudgingly, but not to you) take the 20% hit...
I'm a fan of Joymii also - probably my favourite site with G/B content - and I plan to join again sometime soon, especially now that they have Connie exclusively (for G/B).
I wasn't really bothered by Nasos's problems, but I did find the site a bit too AJAX-heavy - with symptoms like the back button not working as you'd expect etc.
While we have the ear of the webmaster though... I know it's a little churlish to complain given how good the current TBP price is... but why must you do regional pricing? Admittedly charging the same EUR as USD is better than when you did GBP, but still...
Girl-girl content here is very few and far between, so it sort of makes sense that they may source it elsewhere. Having said that, one recent set & video of Samantha Bentley was taken from Breath Takers.
But I think it's rare - the site's stile is artsy/sophisticated enough that we'd recognise if there were more sets elsewhere. And the standard is good so I don't really begrudge the odd borrowed set.
Excellent review - and as a sometime-fan of heartcore, very helpful - this site has sort of been on my radar but your helpful review has pushed it down a few rungs. Your take on them trying but not quite making the transition sounds spot on, having seen similar material elsewhere.
Have you tried Joymii or X Art? They seem to set the standard - I'd be interested what you think of them.
This site remains on my to-join list since it features a number of models I like - although a bit tempered by some of the download issues folk have had and I'm not sure if there are still restrictions.
However, it's worth noting that if you like the style - and UK models - the photographer's work seems to be featured quite heavily on at least 3 other sites I know of:
I'd say other. I'll still add reviews, and chime in when I see something particularly relevant; but probably less likely to comment on as many polls/reviews etc. As Capn surmised, I think the raffle did increase participation, as it was designed to.
Great review, wittyguy - interesting that you reached the same score as me, but for different reasons.
I actually like the photography and camerawork; for me the cropping, lighting work well and make it atmospheric, and the action is explicit enough for me. But the things I agree with you on - that for me let down what should be a great site, are:
* The lack of variety - it becomes very formulaic;
* The pop shots - as you suggest, this should be something is female-partner-friendly, but the guy finishing on the girl's body or face kind of takes away from the believable atmosphere
Either way, for $10 (half what it was when I joined) it is great value. But if you think the concept could work for you, then I'd suggest trying Joymii - which I preferred.
Most of the above. Normal clothes are great, and really work well - the more casual/relaxed the better. But also semi-roleplay - officewear etc - works too; as does leather and latex when done in a glam, pinup style.
Also love lingerie, but understated, the kind that women would actually wear - the one I wouldn't choose is anything overtly sexy - sexy is the person and how they wear it rather than the clothing itself.
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