On the Set: <i>Taboo 23</i>

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Taboo 23, the latest edition of the venerable porn potboiler, is rolling along at Str8Up Studios. The title is one of porn's most popular and Cal Vista/Metro continues to profit from its slightly tarnished mystique.

The Taboos have always been linked by the touchy theme of incest, sometimes real, sometimes implied. In this new version, says director Anton Slayer, as in most of the recent editions, the theme survives as a shadow of its former self.

Penny Flame plays the leading role of a woman whose search for her younger sister (Richelle Ryan) takes her into an underworld of bondage clubs and fetish fanciers. At one point Penny watches a sex video of her Richelle and masturbates—that's as close to forbidden love as Taboo dares to come these days.

Slayer, an experienced director who works under several other pseudonyms, is shooting from a 26-page script for four days on what he calls a "moderate" budget.

He's working with a strong cast: Gina Lynn, Shyla Stylez and Sandra Romain are among the bigger names, along with Evan Stone, Steve St. Croix and Alex Sanders, guys who can act as well as fuck.

Flame says she's had the script for a month—there's a lot of dialogue to get down, and dialogue is all she's doing today. She has already shot her two sex scenes, a girl-girl with Nikki Benz and a boy-girl with Evan Stone.

"Evan is fun," she says drily. "Intrinsically fun."

Glamour blondes Lynn and Stylez are just going into makeup for a threeway scene to be shot later in the day. Lynn says she's shooting one gonzo release a month for her own company, Gina Lynn Productions, and occasionally working for other producers. "But I haven't been on a big set like this for a long time."

The scene is an all-girl four-way with Audrey Bitoni, Victoria Sin, Sammi Rhodes and former Hustler contract girl Mya Luana. It takes place in a live sex club where Penny has come in search of her sister.

Slayer sprays splotches of body paint on the girls, doing a kind of Jackson Pollock number on each pretty body. When he shoots them under black light their limbs glow seductively and they have radioactive smiles.

"You should paint a penis on Audrey," Flame laughs good-naturedly, "pointing at her mouth." Bitoni, a tall brunette with large natural breasts who towers over the other girls in hooker heels, just smiles.

"You guys look like an '80s rock video," the director tells the girls. They gyrate sexily on the small stage to pumping techno sounds. About ten extras, mostly male, help provide a real club atmosphere, along with some smoke effects.

Flame enters, checking the place out, followed by Slayer, camera in hand. She exchanges a meaningful look with Stone in the DJ booth. That's it for the story part, now on to the sex.

Slayer tells the girls he'll shoot for 30 minutes total. For the first 15 they'll get into it with the tools God gave them; in the second half they'll break out the sex toys.

"Keep up the energy," he says. "Whatever you have fun with. I just want the intensity there. I'm not here to tell you how to have sex—hopefully you already know how to do that. Get wild, get nasty!

"Go from dancing into tearing each other's clothes off. We're feeling the music, and of course, you're feeling each other."

The girls start fingering each other's pussies. Mya and Audrey kiss and caress as two cameras cover every lick and stroke.

"Let's all gang up on Audrey," someone suggests, and three girls converge on the succulent Bitoni.

"Let it go, Audrey, let it go, let is all out," the director encourages. "Now do the same thing to Mya and we'll break."

"Smack my ass!" Mya begs. "Fuck me harder!" Victoria has her fingers in her pussy. "I'm going to come all over your fingers."

"OK, bitches," Slayer yells lovingly, "we're now halfway through. Are there any baby-wipes?"

Taboo 23 will be released by Cal Vista/Metro on November 23.