VINTAGE SMUT (WARNING: CONTAINS NUDITY AND ‘ADULT’ SITUATIONS)

My beautiful picture

For reasons that now escape me, in the early 1980s I took a lot of photographs of friends’ porn magazine collections. A lot (though not all) of the publications were vintage even then, though nowadays magazines that were published in the 1980s are themselves considered pretty much antique. Perhaps I thought I was performing some sort of public service, or compiling a historical record, or (more likely) vaguely imagining the pictures would come in useful for research purposes in some sort of never-to-be-written article that would one day definitively establish me as a brilliant journalist who dared tackle subjects that writers more prudish than me would never have dreamt of touching with a bargepole. And with reason – I can’t think of any mainstream publications that would might conceivably have wanted to publish such an article anyway.

But my first ever published article, in Event magazine, had been about inflatable sex dolls, and Monthly Film Bulletin kept sending me to review sex films (because their established film critics were too busy reviewing all the non-porn releases), so I quite touchingly assumed that sex was fated be my area of expertise. However, this was long before pornography was considered in any way chic, Madonna published her Sex book, Agent Provocateur and Coco de Mer started catering to the respectable bourgeoisie with risqué lingerie and sex toys, and the likes of Miley Cyrus started prancing around half-dressed with her ladyparts showing on a regular basis. As usually tended to be the case in trend-related matters, I was so far ahead of my time that it got me absolutely nowhere.

In any case, there’s an interesting mix here, I think. I have left out some of the more gynaecological or andrological material, but these publications cater to a wide range of demographics. I also think they’re quite endearing – almost innocent – when viewed from the perspective of an era where just about any form of explicit hardcore is only a google away. I sometimes wonder if smut is something that would be better kept under the counter – not for prudish reasons, but because making porn so accessible deprives it of much of its fun.

There’s something off-puttingly clinical and cynical about today’s porn sites; by being so universally accessible, and leaving nothing to the imagination, they end up being the opposite of erotic. The whole process of venturing out into the seedy part of town, browsing some sort of sex bookshop, purchasing a magazine from a real live human being and then sneaking it past the parents/spouse/flatmate in a brown paper bag didn’t just get punters out of the house – it also provided them with the smut equivalent of a Hero’s Journey, in which the quest became part of the titillating build-up.

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING PICTURE GALLERY CONTAINS NUDITY AND ‘ADULT’ SITUATIONS. DON’T LOOK IF YOU’RE EASILY OFFENDED.

 

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “VINTAGE SMUT (WARNING: CONTAINS NUDITY AND ‘ADULT’ SITUATIONS)

  1. Wonderful! It’s amazing – you could have been the sex film correspondent because the other contributors didn’t want to do it.

    Always a far-sighted visionary. I should ask you to make some predictions as to the future and get a head start.

  2. Sometimes the sex films were quite interesting. I found Barry Levinson’s name in the credits of a grainy slice of low-budget exploitation called Street Girls, and once got dispatched to watch something called Naughty Blue Knickers, which turned out to have been directed by André Génovès and co-written by Gérard Croce and Paul Gégauff, all longtime collaborators of Claude Chabrol, who indeed made a guest appearance. I don’t remember it as being much good, or even very sexy, but I like the desperate attempts of the UK distributors to package it so it would appeal to British punters – who would have been able to find more sex in a mainstream release such as Body Heat, which would have been playing at their local cinema around that time.

  3. Pingback: MANLY ADS OF 1951 | MULTIGLOM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s