From Issue 2.5 - March/April 1996
My friend Mark Chester challenged me recently to write about the SM subtexts in Brad Braverman's work. Even though Mark had shared with me a while ago that Brad was sick, I was dumbfounded when he told me that Brad had died. It's not that I really knew Brad personally. But I did feel connected to him somehow, as if sharing and appreciating and blowing my wad to the images that he culled from his psyche and put onto videotape had made us kin in some way. What follows is my fond remembrance of him. I'll be forever sad that there will be no more creative work from Brad Braverman.
I first came across Brad's work in the sale rack at my local adult video store. It was his first film, "fetish," and it had probably made it there because nobody knew what to do with it or how to sell it. It was too unconventional, being both art and porn, hardcore and erotica, dirty and beautiful, realistic and fantastic, and totally HOT, all at the same time. I was at once drawn in by the way Brad manipulated images, switching back and forth between color and black and white, sound and silence, smoothness and jerkiness, all backed up with a nasty techno score that was totally original and perfect for the action on screen. This "Bad Brad" was a boy I wanted to get to know!
In a way, the increasing adventurousness of Brad's subject matter paralleled my coming out into SM. Sure, I loved the muscle boy in "fetish" who danced and pulled his prick for me against a backdrop of old porn loops. Its fast paced cuts and great moaning soundtrack reminded me as much of an MTV video as it did a piece of J/O fodder. But it was the last scene, in black and white, in which a cop forces his captive to suck him off and fucks him with his nightstick and then his own tool that really got my dick to stand at attention. The force, the rough cut of the film, and the bliss on everyone's face got me to pop more than one load as I watched it over and over."
"dis/connected" mixed voyeurism with vampires, but it was the implication of forced sex in the (again) black and white scene in which French sailors on leave gangbanged one of their own that got me the most hard and dripping. I would imagine it was me being held down and face fucked while my hole was stuffed with beer bottles and one fat prick after another.
I had finally screwed up the courage to wander into leather bars for the first time when I saw Brad's montage of harnessed masters and slaves and other leather toughs fucking and sucking and jacking their way to load after load in "hush."' And it was after I found my Master and started taking his piss that I discovered Brad's homage to watersports, "pissed." Those images of guys worshipping beautiful soaked cocks, drinking and bathing in their wet gifts, are among the most raw, beautiful, and compelling pictures I've ever seen on film.
I haven't seen Brad's last video yet, but rest assured that it will
find a home in my collection. Brad's art and porn sticks in my mind
like my Master's voice, and this boy can't help but submit to