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‘My Life in Orgone Boxes’: William Burroughs on his sexual science experiments in OUI magazine, 1977
09:08 am



Burroughs contemplating an orgone box
As a contributor to this blog, I spend a lot of my time poking around looking for suitable subjects that might please and edify the DM readership. When I come across an item uniting William S. Burroughs, Wilhelm Reich, Jack Kerouac, orgasms, heroin, Jean Cocteau, and even tangentially Kurt Cobain that has not been written about all too much, I can be sure I’m in the ballpark of a good DM post.

In 1977 OUI magazine published an item by William S. Burroughs with the title “My Life in Orgone Boxes,” in which he explained that he built his first orgone accumulator in 1949 on the farm of a friend named Kells Elvins in Texas. Among other things, in the article Burroughs addresses Jack Kerouac’s fictionalized version of Burroughs’ device as presented in On the Road but insisted that the account was “pure fiction.”

That Burroughs used an orgone accumulator is (a) pretty well known, and (b) not very surprising, given who Burroughs was. But let’s back up a moment here. What is an orgone accumulator, anyway? (It’s sometimes called an orgone machine or an orgone box.) Reich was in the first wave of post-Freudian thinkers, and he attributed his discovery of “orgone energy”—that is to say, energy with the capacity to charge organic material (cellulose), unlike electromagnetic energy—physical manifestations of sexual energy—as occurring in January 1939, after working off of Freud’s theory of the libido.

One of the first experimental orgone accumulators. Note the stack of Reich/orgone publications propping the door open. Much larger version here.
Reich was sure that he had discovered the secret to manipulating and enhancing sexual experience by removing/satisfying electric blockages within human beings. Quoting from his book The Function of the Orgasm: Sex-Economic Problems of Biological Energy (The Discovery of the Orgone, Vol. 1):

The orgasm formula which directs sex-economic research is as follows: MECHANICAL TENSION —> BIOELECTRIC CHARGE —> BIOELECTRIC DISCHARGE —> MECHANICAL RELAXATION. It proved to be the formula of living functioning as such. … Research in the field of sexuality and bions opened a new approach to the problem of cancer and a number of other disturbances of vegetative life.

Check that out: “the formula of living functioning as such,” wow. Reich’s idea was that orgone energy was virtually everywhere and pointed to both the aurora borealis and the blue tint seen in sexually excited frogs as evidence. As he put it in The Function of the Orgasm, “‘Biological energy’ is atmospheric (cosmic) orgone energy.” Then:

The color of orgone energy is blue or blue-gray. In our laboratory, atmospheric orgone is accumulated or concentrated by means of an apparatus specifically constructed for this purpose. We succeeded in making it visible by arranging certain materials in a specific way. The blocking of the orgone’s kinetic energy is expressed as an increase in temperature. Its concentration or density is indicated on the static electroscope by the differences in the speed of the discharge. The spontaneous discharge or electroscopes in non-ionized air, a phenomenon designated as “natural leak” by physicists, is the effect of atmospheric orgone and has nothing to do with dampness. The orgone contains three kinds of rays: blue-gray, foglike vapors; deep blue-violet expanding and contracting dots of light; and white-yellow, rapidly moving rays of dots and streaks. The blue color of the sky and the blue-gray of atmospheric haze on hot summer days are direct reflections of the atmospheric orgone. The blue-gray, cloudlike Northern lights, the so-called St. Elmo’s fire, and the bluish formations recently observed in the sky by astronomers during increased sun-spot activity are also manifestations of orgone energy.

It was later realized that Reich’s device for enhancing sexual stimulation with electricity was more or less a modified Faraday cage.

As Burrough writes in the OUI article, in addition to the one he and Elvins built, Burroughs also made a smaller version, a “potent sexual tool” constructed “from an Army-style gas can.” Burroughs used the smaller tool inside the larger box, “held the little one over my joint and came right off.” Then, in an aside, Burroughs explains that Jean Cocteau used to ejaculate without using his hands as a kind of party trick. Some trick!
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Climb aboard ‘Hare-Force One,’ Hugh Hefner’s $5 million DC-9 jet with its own discothèque
09:25 am



‘Hare-Force One’ aka the ‘Big Bunny’ Hugh Hefner’s DC-9 jet.
Well, would you expect anything less from what was basically the Playboy Mansion with wings? Hugh Hefner’s custom DC-9 jet “Hare-Force One” (also widely known as the “Big Bunny”) pretty much had that and a lot more as you might imagine. In fact the jet was so ostentatious that when Hefner has it painted black so it would “stand out” while in flight he added spotlights to the tail of the plane so that the Playboy Bunny logo could still be seen at night. Nice.

Hef’s fabulous ‘Jet Bunnies’ standing outside of ‘Hare-Force One’ aka the ‘Big Bunny.’
Hef had his “Jet Bunnies” (who were cherry-picked from Playboy clubs in LA and Chicago) attend formal stewardess training at a school run by Continental Airlines and their outfits were as slick as the jet itself, consisting of leatherette mini-dresses, leatherette pants and black go-go boots. According to Hefner he wanted his stewardesses to look like “Bond Girls” and again since this is Hugh Hefner we’re talking about how they did. Of the many features that the plane had to offer were a discothèque, a bar, a shower and a movie theater of sorts featuring a Cinemascope projector. There was also a round water bed covered in fur that was accessed through Hef’s private entrance. Essentially the jet included all the comforts of “home” as long as your actual home was the Playboy Mansion.

During the time that Hef owned the plane it made numerous trips around the world and at the end of the Vietnam War became a giant stork of sorts used to bring orphans to their new adoptive homes in the U.S. Hefner would routinely lend out the use of the jet to celebrities like Yul Brynner, Elvis and Sonny and Cher and also entertained a litany of famous guests like Twilight Zone host Rod Serling, director Roman Polanski and poet and author Shel Silverstein. Hefner sold the jet in 1975 to Venezuela Airlines and in a 2010 interview for the Wall Street Journal when asked if he missed his sweet, sweet mile-high club ride his response was “only when I fly.” Awww. Images of Hef’s beloved Big Bunny, Hare-Force One follow.


More livin’ large with Hugh Hefner after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Dolled Up: Bizarre fashion photos of Marianne Faithfull as a toy doll
08:53 am



It was the unveiling of Pitchfork’s Top 200 songs of the 1970s yesterday that got me thinking about Marianne Faithfull. Pitchfork happened to position Faithfull’s “Broken English” in the final slot, #200, and when I dialed up Jamieson Cox‘s highly helpful Spotify playlist of the Pitchfork 1970s singles, it turned out that “Broken English” was the first song I listened to.

And what a song! I couldn’t get it out of my head all day, mentally positioning it alongside Peter Gabriel’s “Games Without Frontiers” and Nena’s “99 Luftballons” as the deathless post-punk Cold War anthems. The song drew me to investigate her 1979 album of the same name as well as her rich career before that.

At some point I stumbled on a picture of Faithfull in a French fashion magazine called Mademoiselle Age Tendre, and eventually I found these strange pictures of Faithfull literally “dolled up,” posing as a kind of real-life Barbie doll being taken out of its box. The date is hard to read on this magazine cover, but it appears to be January 1967:

So, yeah, it’s a cute idea for a shoot and all, certainly an innocent idea, and one might argue that we shouldn’t be too hard on the magazine personnel of that era, impose our perception of gender equality on them, who could not know better and all that. But you know what? Naaah. We don’t have to crucify the people behind that shoot to point out that some ideas date well and others do not, and objectifying women is a pervasive problem in our society that is always best avoided. The pictures may not have played as creepy then, but they play as creepy today.

By the way, above you can see a picture of Faithfull from 1979, the year she released Broken English. Note the absence of a box for her to come out of.



More of these odd pics after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Golden girl: Racy images from the famous ‘Goldfinger’ title sequence
12:15 pm



Golden girl Margaret Nolan covered in gold paint on the set of ‘Goldfinger.’
Pin-up model and aspiring the dangerously curvy actress Margaret Nolan was only twenty-years-old when she landed a the gig of the girl that the Bond visual and graphic artist Robert Brownjohn got to cover in gold paint for the racy opening title sequence in the 1964 film, Goldfinger.

Margaret Nolan being used as a canvas for a projector for the title sequence of ‘Goldfinger.’
Earlier this week I posted about the title sequences from many of the Bond films (sans credits) that both Brownjohn and the primary title sequence artist behind the rest of the Bond films up unitl 1989, Maurice Binder, created, and got caught up in the various folklore associated with the franchise. Specifically when it came to Brownjohn’s work on Goldfinger. His subject matter for the title sequences to Goldfinger seemed so suggestive the it was the first title sequence in the history of film to require an thumbs-up from a film censor. Clad in a gold leather bikini Nolan says that in all that the shoot took two to three weeks to complete. As part of her agreement to pose for the risqué segment she received a part in the film playing a brief role as “Dink,” a masseuse. Since I’m sure you’re curious Nolan said that while she found Sean Connery “lovely” he was more interested in getting busy with her identical twin sister. Because that’s how James Bond rolls. (Why not try to shag both of them, Bondy?)

The actual “golden girl” in the movie, “Jill Masterson” was played by actress Shirley Eaton who appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine painted gold. Her character’s death—caused by skin suffocation from being painted head to toe in gold pain—led to the “urban myth” that the actress herself had died during the filming. Eaton appeared in an episode of MythBusters to disprove the rumour.

The Goldfinger title sequence cost approximately $6,500 and the hard-partying Brownjohn used every last penny to create one of the most memorable moments in cinema history. The images you are about to see (some of which are slightly NSFW) were taken on the set by Herbert Spencer (the founding editor of pioneering graphic design journal Typographica) and were shown back in 2013 at MoMA as a part of the exhibition Goldfinger: The Design of an Iconic Film Title. As I mentioned previously I’m a huge James Bond film junkie and I had never seen any of the images in this post until just recently and they are utterly impossible to look away from. Unless you find the image of a beautiful woman painted gold in a barely-there bikini unappealing of course—which seems highly unlikely.


More of the golden girl who “knows when he’s kissed her….” after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Perversion for profit: Girlie mags from the 1960s
10:00 am

Pop Culture


After the launch Playboy in 1953 a deluge of adult entertainment magazines spilled across America. A “flood tide of filth” as one critic described it. Magazines like Adam, Dude, Rogue, Gent, Torchy, Candid, Twilight and Sultry filled the magazine racks. These girlie mags were blamed for the “promulgation of decadence” intended to corrupt America’s youth and make it impossible “for men to revert to normal attitudes in regard to sex.

Adult magazines were deemed as great a threat to the American way of life as Communism.

Compared to today’s porn industry—these jazz mags are tame. Codes of censorship meant models were more artfully photographed. Full nudity was forbidden—well, until Penthouse broke that ban in the late sixties and Playboy followed with its first full-frontal centerfold in 1972. The focus was mainly titillation or T & A.

There was always some moralizing religious do-gooder (like future financial felon Charles Keating, see below) who claimed these images encouraged perversion, fetishised breasts and were intended to “appeal to the sodomist.” With all this in mind, it’s quite remarkable that our baby boom grannies and grandads grew up to be average, run-of-the-mill, suburbanites.

Or did they?
More from this ‘flood tide of filth,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Keith Haring’s vision of Manhattan as lots and lots of penises
02:21 pm



Of the ‘80s class of NYC artists, graffitist Keith Haring probably punctured the mainstream deepest of all (lots of points awarded to Barbara Kruger for “I Shop Therefore I Am,” though). But while middle America delighted in t-shirts and tote bags of his famous “Radiant Baby” and three-eyed smiley face, Haring directly confronted Apartheid, perceptions of homosexuality, and the AIDS crisis, especially between his 1988 AIDS diagnosis and his 1990 death.

But well before that diagnosis, Haring depicted gay male sexuality much more playfully—in the late ‘70s, he executed a series of simple graphite drawings depicting Manhattan as an island of dick. Buildings, streets and people are all rendered as the kind of cartoon dicks you can find any given 8th grade boy doodling in study hall, but Haring being Haring, his renditions are quite wonderful. They’ve been compiled onto the new book Manhattan Penis Drawings for Ken Hicks. Per Hyperallergic:

Haring envisions the city as a kingdom of phalluses: he transforms Manhattan’s churches, skyscrapers, and fire hydrants into architectural penises. The Twin Towers become twin penises. There are penises drawn in front of Tiffany’s, in front of the Museum of Modern Art, while “waiting for a yam.” There are minimalist penises, composed of as few lines as possible. There are also Gucci penises, alphabet penises, flying torpedo penises, optical illusion penises, deconstructed penises, “actual size” tracings of penises, and clusters of penises on the subway at rush hour.

Unlike his “popnography” works in series like Sex is Life is Sex, Manhattan Penis Drawings are about as erotic as Dr. Seuss creatures, desexualized and abstracted into weird shapes ... they’re a light, playful version of his then-controversial pop celebration of gay male sexuality.

There’s sort of an underground precedent for a collection like this in Raymond Pettibon’s limited artist’s book Thinking of You, but that’s a much darker work—Pettibon’s penises are shadowy and menacing monoliths compared to Haring’s sprightly everydicks. Images here are reproduced from the book’s publisher, the Zurich-based Nieves. Since they’re, you know, pictures of dicks, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you to be careful if you’re reading this at work?

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Excess All Areas’: Mötley Crüe Vibrators
10:23 am



Mötley Crüe may be no more but they still have plenty of merchandise to sell.

Next month a range of eight Mötley Crüe Vibrators go on sale. These “eye-catching” (eye-catching? you’re obviously doing it wrong…) “vibes” are said to “capture”:

...the style and sex appeal of the band perfectly and deliver the power and pleasure you’d expect from The World’s Most Notorious Rock Band.

But wait there’s more…

Even those unfamiliar with the band are bound to enjoy them just as much thanks to the high quality, intense power and gorgeous designs.

The “vibes” are available in mini- and midi-size and are emblazoned with the iconic typography and distinctive artwork from some of Mötley Crüe’s classic albums:

Classic Skull 10 Function Bullet Vibrator (Gold)
Classic Skull 7 Function Vibrator (Black)
Dr Feelgood 7 Function Vibrator (Black)
Girls Girls Girls 10 Function Bullet Vibrator (Black)
Girls Girls Girls 7 Function Vibrator (Black)
Shout at the Devil 10 Function Bullet Vibrator (Pink)
Shout at the Devil 7 Function Vibrator (Black)
Too Fast For Love 10 Function Bullet Vibrator (Silver)

It would seem you’re not really successful unless you have a vibrator named after you.
More ‘eye-catching’ Mötley Crüe vibes, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Erotic French postcards from the early 1900s (NSFW)
01:06 pm



Erotic postcards were the pornography of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Small pocket-sized cards with a risque photograph on one side and a postcard design on the other. They were mainly produced in Paris—which led to their appellation French postcards.

Despite their name these postcards were never intended to be sent via the mail. Posting one could have led to a charge of obscenity, a hefty fine and a possible term in gaol. They were collectible erotica—sold through bookshops and photographic studios and certain gentlemen’s establishments. Due to their pornographic nature, the cards were sold surreptitiously—quite literally under the counter and discretely hidden in brown paper bags.

The earliest French postcards date from circa 1870s. These featured clothed or semi-clothed women posing like classic Greek statues. By the 1900s, the images were far more provocative and titillating. The women were usually naked or captured disrobing in their boudoirs—Tom porn—adding a frisson of voyeurism to the mix.

Jean Agélou (1878-1921) was a one of the best known photographers of nude and erotic photography. He was a master of producing the perfect French postcard. He photographed in his studio, using daylight to illuminate the scene. He had his favourite models—including his lover Fernande Barrey 9 (who also posed for Modigliani) and the theatrical star Maud d’Orbay. The photographs were generally made by a creative collaboration between model and photographer.

By today’s standards Agélou’s photographs would not look out of place in a copy of Vanity Fair or the American Apparel catalog. In 1908, France outlawed nude photographs—which made Agélou’s postcards all the more desirable.

Agélou’s erotic postcards were printed and distributed by his brother Georges. Due to the clandestine nature of the work, it is difficult to assess how many erotic photographs Agélou actually produced during his brief lifetime—which makes his work all the more collectible today. Jean and Georges were killed in a car accident in 1921.
Maud d’Orby—a singer, dancer and star of operetta.
More of Jean Agélou’s erotic photography, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The alluring vivisected mechanical pin-ups of Fernando Vincente
01:39 pm



A painting of a pin-up mashedup with mechanical parts from a Mercedes Benz by Fernando Vicente.
Self-taught Spanish painter, artist and illustrator Fernando Vicente has been working at his craft since the early 80s in Madrid and his work has been featured in publications all around the world such as Playboy, Vogue and various European magazines and book covers. In the case of Vicente’s series Anatomies the artist has united two of his favorite things—his love of mechanics and anatom—to rather strangely stellar results.

According to Vicente the bionic pin-ups featured in Anatomies came to be after the artist purchased a large collection of posters from an actual mechanic which he then incorporated into his paintings creating a kind of sexy “cyberpunk” woman with her inner “mechanical anatomy” exposed. During his career Vicente has collected hordes of materials such as maps, atlases, medical books, and vintage advertising posters during his frequent visits to flea markets held in and around Madrid, all of which end up being incorporated into his compelling creations. As you will see in this post Vicente is fairly enamoured with what’s going on inside the human body. Here’s more from Vicente on that:

Inside the human body is a tremendous beauty, I am captured by it. For a long time the inside of the human body was for exclusive use for medical and scientific purposes. Now it’s time to claim it for our own contemplation.

If you dig what you see Vicente’s artwork has been the subject of a few books such as the self-titled 2014 tome Fernando Vicente, and The Pin-Ups of Fernando Vicente among others. You can also purchase prints of Vicente’s vast catalog as well over at the artist’s website. Images of the hiss revved-up anatomical women follow.


More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Revenge Porn: That time Linda Lovelace taught Sammy Davis Jr. how to deepthroat… her husband
08:40 am



Sammy Davis Jr. was a singer, a dancer, an actor, a comic, and an impressionist. He was a superstar. One of the greatest all-round stage and screen entertainers. Davis was also one of the hardest working men in show business. He worked hard he said because he was a short black one-eyed Jew.

When Davis first started out in vaudeville—working with his father and an uncle—he claimed he never came up against any racism. That happened when he joined the army. He was once beaten up for looking at his white female commanding officer while she was giving him orders. Some lowlife bigots beat him up and wrote “coon” in white paint across his forehead, and “I’m a n*gger” across his chest. They beat Davis until he almost passed out. Then they poured turpentine over him.

Davis was both soldier and entertainer. At night he put on shows for his comrades. The day of his beating, Davis didn’t want to do his act—to “go out there and smile at people who despised me,” as he told Playboy interviewer Alex Haley in 1966.

But I made myself do it anyhow. I was fighting myself so hard to stay out there that the fighting made me do maybe one of the best shows I ever did in my life. And I’m glad it did, because I discovered something. I saw some of those faces out there grudgingly take on different expressions. I don’t mean for a minute that everybody suddenly started loving me—I didn’t want that from them anyway—but they respected me. It taught me that the way for me to fight, better than with my fists, was with my talent.

Davis’ need to win respect may later have made him seem somewhat insincere. When Steve Martin appeared on The Tonight Show, Davis fell off the sofa laughing at his material. Martin thought he must be one helluva comic if his routine was this funny. Until he saw Davis fall off the sofa every time any comic told a joke.

But that’s just small brushwork and not the whole painting.

Davis was a hip, cool cat. He helped make Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin look cool. He made playing Vegas cool—something Elvis never quite managed.

He was into sex, drugs and Satanism long before it was the in-thing to do. Davis went his own way—good or bad—others followed in his wake.

Davis even bucked Hollywood when he left the Democratic Party to support Richard Nixon (who invited Davis and wife to be the first black overnight guests in White House history) It’s fair to say he even had an unacknowledged influence on other American Presidents. Obama’s slogan “Yes we can” runs very close to the title of Davis’ biography Yes I Can. While Davis’ belief that blowjobs aren’t really sex was echoed by President Clinton when he said he not have sex in the Whitehouse.
Sammy Davis Jr.: ‘I Gotta Right to Swing!’
Sammy Davis Jr. loved getting his dick sucked. It was part of his “code of marital fidelity.” Blowjobs were fine, but full intercourse? That would be cheating on his wife. Or at least that’s what he claimed.

When Davis was married to his third and last wife, the actress and dancer Altovise—the couple had an open relationship. Davis played the field but kept to his “code of marital fidelity”—only having girlfriends blow him. Of course, sometimes it went a bit further—but Sammy always convinced himself he wasn’t really being unfaithful.

After a long night performing on stage, Davis liked to have people over to his house to chill. He liked to have couples over so he could swing. He’d drink booze, snort coke, and pair off with his chosen woman for the night. They would go off into Davis’ private cinema where they’d watch porn together and “get it on.” Altovise meanwhile was supposed to get it on with whichever man was left.

One couple who came to the Davis’ house in the early 1970s was Chuck Traynor and his wife Linda Lovelace.

Traynor was a creep. A manipulative bully who pimped his wife out for sex. Lovelace had made a couple of “loops”—short 8mm porn movies—and had suddenly become (in)famous overnight as the star of Deep Throat.

Deep Throat was Davis’ favorite porn movie. One ex-lover Kathy McKee said Davis watched that film about a hundred times. It seemed kind of inevitable that Sammy Davis Jr. and Linda Lovelace would one day hook-up and become lovers.

According to McKee:

When Linda Lovelace became part of our entourage, the main event for Sammy was watching Linda swallow his cock—just as she’d done for the camera while filming Deep Throat.

In her biography Ordeal, Lovelace described her relationship with Davis and how she once used the singer to get revenge on her violent and abusive husband.

The first night Linda went to Davis’ house Chuck told her:

“If Sammy suggests anything—I mean anything—you just go along with it one-hundred percent.”

Chuck was pimping his wife to get into the showbiz circuit. He wanted young pussy for himself.

That first night Chuck kept edging the conversation to having “a scene”—swinging—but Davis passed. The next night, the couples met again but this time Davis took Lovelace into his private cinema leaving his wife with Chuck. It was the start of a relationship between Davis and Lovelace.

At first they spent their time talking. Davis rapping about his favorite songs, playing old records, and discussing where his career was going. He allegedly never asked Lovelace about her past. Instead, he encouraged her to get into show business, do something in Vegas, and get into mainstream movies.

Davis had “an understanding” with Traynor. Whenever he led Lovelace away for the evening, Chuck would say nothing and wouldn’t come looking for them. This was because Chuck hoped Davis would “fix him up with a lot of far-out chicks.”

While Linda was giving Sammy a blowjob, Chuck was having his “scene” with Altovise. But their scene didn’t last long because Altovise “despised Chuck and wanted her husband to find someone else for her.”

According to Lovelace, Altovise wasn’t into swinging but only did it to keep hold of Sammy.

For a time, the two couples spent every night together—even going on holidays at Davis’ expense.

One night, Altovise was out. Linda was on her knees deep-throating Sammy while he watched a porn movie with Chuck.

“I really dig that,” Davis said to Lovelace. “I’d like to know how you do it. When are you going to teach me? When are you going to show me how you do that?”

Sammy apparently “often talked like that.” Linda never knew if he was joking or not. This particular night Sammy looked over at Linda’s husband Chuck sitting just a few feet away, eyes fixed on the screen.

“Hey, you think Chuck would mind?” said Davis in a low voice.

“Mind? No, that’s the kind of thing he’d go for in a big way. But let me set it up for you,” Lovelace quietly replied.

Linda knew Chuck would mind. It was not the kind of thing he would be into. It was, according to Linda, his greatest fear—the very thing he dreaded most.

More of when Linda taught Sammy to deepthroat, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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