Pillow Book Gallery

Issue 9 is here!

• December 20, 2013

Leigh Magdalene is featured on the Issue 9 “cover”, in a layered photography composition by Art Director Paul Deeb.


Fans of Jillian and David Jacobs will be pleased to enjoy the final installment of the series The Day Long, The Night Through with Part 3 – Dream, Dream, Dream. Jillian and Jacob give us a view into one of their most intimate and loving moments.

Also enjoy:

Beau Matin Pour Mon Amour – breakfast in bed never looked so good…

Episode 11 – a comic retreat that once again pushes cameraman Brad a little out of his comfort zone…


Test Shoots 9 – introducing Elise Dawn, Sawyer, and Kelli Lox.

Enjoy it all, and please send us your comments!

Go to The Gallery.




Pillow Book Gallery Issue 8, Now Screening

• November 4, 2013

Pillow Book Gallery Issue no.8 Trailer from Pillow Book Gallery on Vimeo.


In Issue Eight

Our Pillow Book Productions erotic feature for Issue Eight is “The Accidental Bear” featuring adult film stars and real life romantic partners Will Swagger and Allen Silver. I somewhat cheekily derived the name for our film from the classic 1985 Anne Tyler novel (and subsequent movie) “The Accidental Tourist”. As a final touch for the film the name seemed a good fit, however, in retrospect it has come to represent for me a good deal more than, at first, it metaphorically implied.

In approaching any of our work for the gallery, I try to avoid preconceptions and cliché’ whenever possible.  They become something of a creative straight jacket, preventing the discovery of new paths to pieces that are interesting, fresh and alive.

We had worked with Allen Silver and Will Swagger previously during a short photo shoot, visited their home and discussed their life together in some detail. Following these interviews, I decided to make our first erotic film with two men a continuation of the “reality based”, quasi-documentary style, explorations of adult film that we had undertaken in our previous film “Trains” featuring Lily Cade and Dylan Ryan.

The principal photography for “Accidental Bear” took place in February of 2013 at Will and Allen’s San Francisco home. I wasn’t to begin editing the film until August. During the intervening period of time I spent many long hours looking through the raw footage (roughly 16 hours from three different cameras). This process of “scrubbing” the raw footage is usually where my ideas about the structure, mood and style of a film are formed. I struggled… and in May, after more than two months of review I was no closer to an idea of how to cut the film together than when I began. The project went on the proverbial shelf. I was not sure when or if I would return to it.

In the beginning of August Tamara and I were in Seattle for the exhibition of “Trains” at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. It was during this trip that I started thinking again about my problems with Allen and Will’s footage. I spent a significant amount of time at the festival looking at “Gay” art and, surprisingly, my answer came into focus. I realized that what I had been trying to make was a “Gay” erotic movie, or more specifically, my preconception of what a movie like this should be. The best “gay” art at the festival wasn’t really “gay” at all; it was fresh, alive, imaginative and occasionally focused on same sex sensuality. When I returned home I looked at Allen and Will’s footage again and saw the authentic loving character of these two beautiful men that had been clearly in front of me all along.

It was at this point that I coined the film’s title. Anne Tyler’s novel has a subtext of differentiating between tourist and traveler. The tourist brings his home with him while travelers visit other locales, at home with whatever they discover. In the difficulties I had experienced during my process of making “Accidental Bear” I was not unlike Macon Leary, Tyler’s protagonist, initially something of a tourist hiding behind preconceived ideas, ultimately experiencing a new reality after seeing those preconceptions laid bare.

“The Accidental Bear” is a film that I am proud of not only for its artistic merit, I am proud of what I learned creatively and spiritually during my process of making the piece. Tourism is, after all, a pursuit where comfort is king and it is not enough to simply talk about where we have been and what we have seen if our true aim is to be a traveler. A little discomfort, as it turns out, is a good thing for the creative soul, something the traveler learns from, and perhaps eventually, takes in stride.


Enjoy Issue Eight, as always I look forward to your comments


Paul Deeb

Finding Our Pillow Book Audience

• September 20, 2013

Finding an audience for erotica can be challenging.  Indeed, it is something that we spend an enormous amount of time thinking about here at Pillow Book.  Sharing erotic material is not a thing that most of us (and I think that Tamara and myself would include ourselves here) are inclined to do.  If we see a great movie, attend a wonderful performance, read a great book or thought provoking article it is all too easy to pass it on via Twitter, FaceBook or any of the other stars in the growing constellation of social media.  Erotica is different; our nature is to keep it to ourselves, we don’t message a friend with “I just found the most incredible porn site”.  In light of this I am particularly gratified and inspired by many of the intrepid individuals who blog in exactly this way.  Of particular note today (for us here at Pillow Book) is the premier of the R rated version of our short film “Mistress” on the Pillow Book Gallery Vimeo Channel.  Not long after the film was posted we received a very gracious review from Lucie Blush on the We Love Good Sex blog.  Our thanks to Lucie, both for spreading the word to her readers on our behalf and for pointing out to me that it’s time for us here at Pillow Book Gallery to be more proactive in the sphere of reviewing.

Mistress from Pillow Book Gallery on Vimeo.

“Pillow booking” on Tumblr

• August 30, 2013

Jim Heights in the title shot from the Pillow Book Productions film “Beau Matin Pour Mon Amour”

That’s right!  We have taken the Tumblr plunge at Pillow Book Gallery.  We invite all of our tumblr fans to check out our newest Pillow Book site.  In addition to following our own photo stream you can take advantage of the research that we’ve been doing into the sensual side of tumblr.  Enjoy! and tell us what you think…



“Pleasing things: finding a large number of tales that one has not read before. Or acquiring the second volume of a tale whose first volume one has enjoyed. But often it is a disappointment.” ― Sei Shōnagon, The Pillow Book

• August 27, 2013

…or in this case coming across some stock footage that I had totally forgotten about.  This short piece of film was shot in Baltimore around 2003 and I later used it in the Pillow Book Productions test film “Sway”.  I forgot that I had recorded a half hours worth of this ethereal, beautiful interaction of sunlight and rain.  Perhaps I should organize our stock footage archive more regularly…


Unlikely Sunshine from Paul Deeb on Vimeo.

Pillow-Booking in Seattle

• August 7, 2013


Tamara and I just returned from our whirlwind tour of Seattle and the exhibition of “Trains“, our short film starring Dylan Ryan and Lily Cade, at the 2013 Seattle Erotic Art & Film Festival.  In addition to thanking everyone in Seattle for contributing to one of the hippest, most vibrant and beautiful urban experiences that we’ve had recently,  special thanks are due to the staff at the Art and Film festival and the Foundation For Sex Positive Culture.

“Erotic” art exhibitions are events that we have learned to approach with an open mind and an eyebrow raised, as the consideration of what is “erotic” usually tends to overshadow and dominate the consideration of what is “art”.  The 2013 Seattle festival was an extremely pleasant surprise.  Allena Gabosch, Sophia Iannicelli and their staff assembled a perspective offering significant depth, subtlety and nuance to eroticism as the subject and muse for artistic exploration and, unlike many marginal venues chosen for the exhibition of work in this style, the gallery at the SoDo ShowBox was stylishly retrofitted for the event – clean and professionally lit.

As trepidatious as we may be about erotic art festivals, we tend to regard film exhibitions (even those featuring our own films) with more suspicion.  All too frequently these events are staged as mass titillation events complete with cliche burlesque music, tacky gags and overly boisterous emcees exhorting the audience to “get FILTHY!!!”; the mock provocational humor of adolescence.

Perhaps we are finally ready to evolve.  DeAnna Berger, and her film festival staff have taken a higher road. The curated exhibitions chosen for the film festival included both historic and modern viewpoints on erotic film, its evolution and development as an art form.  Featured in the short film screenings (in addition to our own film “Trains“) were other domestic and international offerings running the gamut from the lightly comic to the avante-garde documentary style.

Finally… a film festival that seeks to provoke the mind and feed the heart in addition to intriguing the libido. We were very proud to be part of what I hope will be a long-running component to Seattle’s incredible cultural tableau.

On the lighter side, a little

pillow-booking from our trip…

Excuses For a Little Motoring

• July 30, 2013

Testing out our new Go Pro video camera (complete with suction cup mount) on a little ride through Napa Valley wine country.  Truly amazing footage from such a compact and durable device.  It got a little bruised, however, when I mounted it to the side of the car and lost it on a particularly sharp corner (suction cups like even surfaces and there are few of these on our Triumph).  Great fun!  Now the challenge will be finding a way to actually use it in the studio



Why Pillow Book Gallery?

• June 14, 2013

Yes, I do love the Peter Greenaway film.


But the real inspiration for our gallery comes from the broader idea of a pillow book, literally, a collection of notebooks or notes which have been collated to show a period of someone or something’s life.  Pillow books were originally used by concubines in geisha house, containing explicit illustrations and notes as references for sexual techniques. Some describe a pillow book as a collection of articulated observations – thus a curated sampling.

The pillow book establishes taste.


A notable literary example is the well-known and often-referenced The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon. The author, a court lady during the 990s and early 11th century Japan, records, in lists of all kinds, her personal thoughts, observations, poetry, and opinions, as well as some of the opinions of her contemporaries.

Paul and I are artists. We have worked in the art and design realm for our entire lives. The idea of our virtual gallery and our online magazine was born from the desire to share intimate artistic works – traditional physical visual art, and multi-media productions – with an appreciative audience.

I haven’t yet written any poetry, but you will be sure to find here the following: personal thoughts, observations, and opinions about the creation of our films and art, our relationship, our bodies (by way of recipes for food and drink that bring us pleasure), and our brains. I’ve been reading some life-changing books on neuropsychiatry lately. We want to entertain and amuse, but we also aim to please.

In a review by Adam Gopnik in the April 1, 2013 issue of The New Yorker, Lutece Chef André Soltner tells Gopnik, he counts his cooking “by the looks of satisfaction on the faces of the people who have eaten my food…I want them to be pleased.”


We couldn’t have said it better.

Bonne nuit, doux rêves…

Our Modern Pillow Books

• July 30, 2011



This thought, delicately inscribed in calligraphy slightly over one thousand years ago, was taken from what is now the most well known surviving example of a pillow book.

In addition to journal entries, keepsakes and other memorabilia, the pillow book of a court lady such as Sei Shonagon would also contain her “morning after letters” or “zuihitsu”.

These letters were an important element of social etiquette between lovers.  A man, on the morning after an intimate encounter would send to his lover a poem inscribed on beautiful paper with a small flower or blossoming branch in receipt of which the beloved would return a brief note of their own.8k031

Illicit romantic liaisons, although common to ancient aristocratic Japanese society, were exceedingly private affairs.  Consequently, few pillow books survive.   These beautiful collections typically came to an end, with their authors, on a funeral pyre; their contents never disclosed.

This blog, Pillow Book Gallery, is our vignette of a life together.  A glimpse of the Pillow Book that we assemble from our day to day experiences as we work, create, laugh and dream.  Alternately humorous, quirky and thoughtful; at times beautiful and occasionally silly; we aim to entertain and invite all to join us as we explore “the inseparable arts of life and love“.


Interested in learning more about Pillow Book, or commissioning a project of your own?

Be sure to visit us at