Anyone who's seen a documentary on how bread or computers or cars are made knows that there's something oddly compelling about assembly lines. We're so used to seeing the finished products out in the world, but we rarely watch them come together from component parts—the steady, repetitive process that turns raw materials into the basic items that make up our world.
Filmmaker Nikias Chryssos made a short documentary that's like that, but for Fleshlights.
Titled The Double Feeling, this short takes you behind the scenes of a Las Vegas Fleshlight factory, where you can watch as the hot plastic is molded and the sex toys are shaped into categories the plant manager describes as "lady," "mouth," "butt," and "nondescript." You can also watch a man make a dildo have sex with a Fleshlight, in case you were wondering about how that worked. The whole thing is below:
I caught up with director Nikias Chryssos to ask him a few questions about his peculiar little film and to see if he's ever had any hands-on experience with his subject.
VICE: Have you ever used a Fleshlight?
Nikias Chryssos: After the shoot, the company gave us a Fleshlight as a present. We had it tested in Berlin by a French porn actor named Kevin Long, but unfortunately, the footage was lost in mysterious circumstances.
I'll take that as a no then. So what spurred you to make a film about a Fleshlight manufacturer?
There is a children's program on German TV called The Show with the Mousewhere kids learn how factories work and how things like chocolate or pasta are produced. I thought it would be interesting to do something like that for adults and look behind the scenes of such a special product.
Making a film about a sex toy seems strange enough, but what was the strangest thing you discovered while making it?
The strangest thing is how an object like this one can be stripped down from its connotations of shame and strangeness through daily interactions and proximity, something I noticed in the different relationships the workers and developers had with the Fleshlight.
Clearly you are a professional, but what was it like to watch the head of the company simulate sex in front of you with a dildo and a Fleshlight?
It was really nice. He was so open and hospitable with us. That particular moment was exhilarating, intimate, and joyful, close to what Werner Herzog describes as the "ecstatic truth." I imagined hearing David Attenborough's voice in my head and felt very alive.
Jeffrey Bowers is a tall mustached guy from Ohio who's seen too many weird movies. He currently lives in Brooklyn, working as a film curator. He's the senior curator for Vimeo's On Demand platform. He has also programmed at Tribeca Film Festival, Rooftop Films, and the Hamptons International Film Festival.