rame.net  :  misc  :   disgust and deviance

From: Patrick Riley <p_riley@pipeline.com>
Subject: Re: Disgust and deviance (WAS: Re: pornstars peeing)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies.erotica
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 22:40:26

Your Pal Tal <taliesin@paganpleasures.com> wrote:

>And, Patrick, my friend, in describing me as a 'New Age anachronism from
>the 70s' you seem to get what I'm about; you just don't seem to like
>it. I have to say that I think that the sexuality and the sexual
>attitudes of the sixties and seventies are very much what the spirit of
>porn is about. Sex, rebellion, free love, communal values, openness,
>questioning authority, etc. These are good things to my way of
>thinking. How do you see them? And how is it that you can disagree
>with the spirit of that era? What, then, is porn to you? What is it
>about? What is it supposed to be about? Just asking.

Immediately after the initial success of Deep Throat in NYC and after his glowing review (both totally unjustified IMO) Al Goldstein gave an interview in which he said (as near as I can remember) "Within a couple of years porn is going to disappear". He didn't mean that explicit sex in movies was going to be wiped out but rather that mainstream Hollywood was going to start building it into their movies so instead of going to see a porn movie you'd go to see a regular movie at your local normal cinema and there on screen would be the mainstream actress taking a real dick in the old wazoo. Of course Al and lots of others in the industry were obviously hoping that most mainstream actresses would balk and the companies would turn to the porn industry and people such as Harry Reems, Andrea True, Kim Pope, etc. for an insert or even to play a role. Damiano and Spinelli would become household names like Scorcese and...um, who else was current?...maybe De Palma.

Although one might think this an unrealistic pipe dream, it wasn't so far fetched then as it sounds today. Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems were both the darlings of the mainstream media and even Al himself was basking in the spotlight. And the mainstream movie business was moving. Nudity was becoming more frequent and violence, another no-no under the Hayes office, was showing up in lots of movies. Easy Rider and Midnight Cowboy both received X ratings and seemed to survive so how far further was the step to put maybe a very-close-to-explicit sex scene with one of the more daring mainstream performers? And then after a few of those...the real thing.

Not waiting for mainstream to act, the porn industry tried to spruce up its image with near-mainstream quality 3.A.M., Wet Rainbow, Marriage And Other Four Letter Words and similar. So if mainstream wasn't going to do it, the porn industry would move upscale. Eventually the two would converge...or so the thinking went.

This is what I want to see--what porn should be--but unfortunately I'm still waiting 28 years later, like I'm still waiting for the females to start asking the guys out.

However, there are some excesses of the sixties/seventies that can't and couldn't continue: swinging, orgies, key parties, cults, encounter groups, etc. From both a fictional viewpoint and a real-life perspective these violated fundamental rules of existence of society and most people gave them a passing glance and rightly rejected them. Even Rimmer, who's generally one of your touchie-feelie lot, recognizes that the likely result of such activities is divorce with the consequent bad effects on the family and children in particular.

Sex in movies should deal with the young and attractive going through a succession of serially monogamous relationships in search of the pair bond and later in life perhaps showing an affair on the side but one that doesn't threaten the constancy of marriage. In the first case the viewer is seeing a fantasy of how his life could have been and in the second a fantasy of a forbidden and unattainable momentary thrill. A little like dreaming about owning a Ferrari.

You'll notice that much of plotted porn today and all (OK, Ultra and lattara tell me about the ones that don't <g>) mainstream follow these lines. Porn is not--and shouldn't be--the search for a hedonistic-at-all-costs empty physical pleasure at the expense of longer term relationships. When or if you try to do so, you alienate me and I feel certain, most of America.

Slightly tangentially, you'll notice on Luke Ford's site a few days ago an interview with an ex-stripper (Cindy Plenum, I think) who talks about the exploitative nature of the nudie bar and makes the point that the habitues of those establishments are looking for wives, not really just casual sex. This is not the first time this sort of comment has been made and of course is borne out by the phenomenon of the slavering fan boy. IOW even the hardened raincoater, despite his overt misogyny, is deep down looking for love. A very natural human reaction and considerably at variance with your hedonistic and anachronistic values.

Patrick Riley
The X-Rated Videotape Guide VIII just published! Available in the movie section of your regular bookstore.


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