Current Member for over 2 months (at the time of review).
||-some of the best and most intimate cinematography I've ever seen
-the most genuine-seeming passion I've seen in professional porn to date
-content is in general very classy and not degrading
-video quality is excellent and plays back smoothly on various devices
-download managers work, no bandwidth limitations
-daily updates (either photoset or video)
-videos are just about the right length without a lot of mechanical filler
||-no real search function
-behind the scenes section is not a useful bonus
||This is the second time I've had a subscription to x-art. The first time I tried it for a month, and, after trying a few other sites, returned to get a year's subscription as I was hard-pressed to find any other site that measured up to what it had to offer.
It should be noted that I much prefer the "heartcore" genre of porn, as I find that style much more appealing than some of the more traditional hardcore approaches. x-art both epitomizes this style and does it perhaps the most successfully. About the roughest you will see on this site are occasional scenes where the sex is quicker and more vigorous than normal, but I can't think of a scene that was degrading (that in and of itself is a plus, at least for me).
The site's navigation is very straightforward: a chronological list of updates (also sorted by name and popularity), with the option to filter b/g, g/g, solo, and group. While it's a clean interface that doesn't get in the way and is great for checking a few times a week, it would be nice to have a search feature (for example, when I want to grab a different size of a video I have on hand, the fastest way is usually to look up the model, find the model page, and then find the video link from there - manageable, but could be better).
The videos are available in multiple formats and sizes (1080 and 720 HD, SD, and mobile), and all play back smoothly on most devices (I was even able to get them to play respectably on the tiny video screen of a classic iPod). The file sizes are smaller than those from comparable sites, although to me they seem to offer a clearer picture and smoother playback than most. The photosets are generally good too, come in multiple resolutions, and seem to be hand-picked without much in the way of repeated shots (which can also mean that you may not like the particular angles or frames they chose to include, but I like that I'm not having to sort through dozens of samey pictures for each set). There are several hundred photosets and videos available, all of consistent quality (although the earliest part of the archives are mostly artful, solo photosets, and videos show up later on, but there is plenty of video content at this point).
What I like most about the site, though, is the quality of the content. I have seen a fair number of sites in this genre, at least in terms of trial videos, and this one seems to get it the most right. The very basic requirement of this type of site, "not so gross I can't show it to my girlfriend," is met by most of them, but this site goes a cut above in providing videos that, through their cinematography and directing, present an actual chemistry and passion that is sadly lacking on many other sites.
Cinematography-wise, the shots work well to highlight things, never linger too long, and provide a good mix of close-ups, mids, and overview shots. The lighting is superb, the location shots generally beautiful, and the editing is clean (although the title fadeouts are a little irksome). The camera work is also good regardless of the subject, and on some of the solo intros, frame the female body in an incredibly beautiful way.
Speaking of the models, it's rare to see one that looks "porn-y", and to my eye at least are all quite stunningly beautiful. It's true that they stay on the "slimly european" side of things (I think I saw maybe one asian and one black model on the site), but they do not disappoint. The male actors are generally quite good too, and with the exception of one I don't like as much, tend to avoid the skeezy look and perform quite well.
What sets them apart even more, though, is that they actually attempt to achieve, or at least reasonably simulate, passionate encounters. The chemistry between the performers is generally excellent, and the passion in the sex feels believable. There's much less of the fake moaning than the norm, to the point where I can listen to the audio without it detracting from the experience, and there are orgasms presented on camera that for a professional site seemed amazingly believable.
Overall, aside from a few quibbles about the site design, this site does everything "heartcore" pretty much right. It is with this site alone, so far, that I come away from watching the videos and feel not just sexually satisfied, but actually happy to see sex presented with a seeming kindness and emotional authenticity that is too often absent elsewhere in porn. Perhaps, despite the title, it's not exactly art per se, but it's the best I've seen so far at managing to be both hardcore and truly erotic.
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