Porn was a different beast in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Often times, actors, looking for their “big break,” would do adult films under assumed names to make rent while struggling to land legit roles. In the history of porn, only a small minority of stars, such as Jenna Jameson, Traci Lords and Ginger Lynn, were actually able to make the transition from “blue movies” to the “silver screen.”
The Rialto Report is an online historical archive of information related to “the golden age of porn” (mostly ‘70s and ‘80s) in New York. It’s an excellent, exhaustive source of interviews and articles related to the subject. If the topic holds any interest for you at all, you’ll want to check them out by following the previous link.
Prior to the shot-on-video, amateur quickies of today, it could be argued that porno flicks in the ‘70s—especially in New York—made some attempt at “real movie” production value. Indeed, many of the actors in these films were poor souls who had come to the Big Apple seeking fame, but were struggling in bit parts for little-to-no money. As Deep Throat star, Harry Reems, told Rialto Report:
In the beginning, I could get $150 for a few hours in a sex film – compared to next to nothing for appearing for weeks in an off-off-Broadway play. These X-rated films helped prolong my existence as a struggling actor, and therefore increased the chances that I’d eventually get a big break.
Rialto Report has tracked down several headshots of these struggling actors “before they were porn famous,” for a two-part series.
I have to admit some amount of ignorance when it comes to many of the actors featured there, as I’m no expert on ancient porn loops—but a few of them were instantly recognizable, even with my personally limited knowledge (basically limited to woods porn and 10th generation VHS dubs at teenage friends’ houses). Maybe it’s because the male actors “worked” more, but I recognized far more of the men than the women. If you ever watched any porn from the ‘70s or ‘80s ever, then you are bound to recognize some of these.
Here are the ones I found instantly recognizable:
Jamie Gillis. Real name, Jamey Gurman. Shown here as “Jamey King.” One of the most prolific male porn stars. His interview at Rialto Report can be found here. Gillis played “Burt The Enema Bandit” in the unbelievably sleazy 1977 film, Water Power.
Joseph Nassivera, better known as Joey Silvera got his start in adult films in 1974. He currently is a leading director of transsexual pornographic films.
Sue Rowan, better known as Bree Anthony, who appeared in many adult films in the mid-1970s. As “Sue Richards,” she was also the editor of High Society magazine for a short time.
Taija Rae entered the adult film industry in 1983. According to Rialto Report, the first part of her stage name, came from an Asian cocktail waitress with whom she worked before porn. The last name, Rae, was a tribute to Fay Wray.
Ronald Hyatt, better known as Ron “the Hedgehog” Jeremy—for better or for worse, he is the most recognizable male porn star of all time. He has an unbelievable 1,405 (both porn and “legit”) film acting credits to his name.
During the Qing Dynasty (the final imperial Dynasty of China, 1644 to 1912), smoking tobacco was illegal, but the use of snuff was permitted for medicinal purposes. As the habit became pervasive throughout the country and across every class, beautiful little snuff bottles were produced, made from materials like jade, bone, ceramic, glass and ivory. Many of the bottles depicted pastoral scenes or images of nature. Others—like the ones pictured here—were hardcore and would make pervy potter Grayson Perry blush!
If you’re in the market for a tiny antique porn collection from China—or you just want to do bumps from a smutty little snuff bottle—you can find them for around $50 on eBay or Etsy (much cheaper if they’re missing the stopper-spoon). If you’re really looking to drop some serious dough, Sotheby’s and other high-end auctions sell Qing snuff bottles that will run you thousands of dollars. It can be difficult to tell a reproduction from a legitimate Qing, but a little research will help you find the real thing (and for a reasonable price). For instance, many knockoffs are made of light-weight resin, and real Qings are often dated on the base.
There’s something so charming about these itsy-bitsy explicit tableaux—how could you resist?
More smutty snuff bottles of imperial China after the jump…
First up, a “trash compactor” cut of the incredibly earnest Christian anti-porn film, Every Young Man’s Battle.
My favorite part comes when the fat kid invites the guilty ginger… er, wanker (not that he seems like a bad person, I’m just being descriptive here) over to his [most assuredly no girls allowed] porn-watching party and then excuses himself to pick up “some special buzz juice, if you catch my drift...”
Oh, but we do.
If that taster wasn’t enough for you, please feel free to watch the entire thing below. Dig the football coach guy explaining to the boys how to go on the defense against yanking their cranks. And that sublime Ted Bundy interview conducted by Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, on the very day before he was executed in 1989.
Porn leads straight to death row! Heavy-handed much? Nah!
Every Young Man’s Battle was produced in 2003, but it’s so dated that it seems like something made ten years earlier. It’s worth mentioning that many Bundy biographers cite multiple instances of him saying that he had almost no interest whatsoever in pornography. The Dobson interview is considered by many to be Bundy’s final chance to manipulate the public’s perception (and why Dobson, specifically, was granted the interview). Bundy also blamed alcohol and brainwashing by the TV as reasons why he became a serial killer, so take his confession here with a hefty dollop of salt.
Brian Eno’s reputation as an aficionado of rather extreme pornography is by now well-known, but at the time of future Pretender Chrissie Hynde’s 1974 profile in the NME, he was just letting the cat out of the bag. What an extraordinary thing for a pop star, even one with Eno’s avant garde pedigree, to admit to in 1974!
But what’s even stranger is the casual reference to Eno being an “elite” film star. What the hell does that mean? Is he referring to actually being in the films himself?
“It’s a burning shame that most people want to keep pornography under cover when it’s such a highly developed art form - which is one of the reasons that I started collecting pornographic playing cards I’ve got about 50 packs which feature on all my record covers for the astute observer.
“There’s something about pornography which has a similarity to rock music. A pornographic photographer aims his camera absolutely directly, at the centre of sexual attention. He’s not interested in the environment of the room.
“I hate the sort of photography in Penthouse and Playboy which is such a compromise between something to give you a hard-on and something which pretends to be artistic. The straight pornographers aim right there where it’s at.
“Which is analogous to so many other situations where somebody thinks one thing is important, so they focus completely on that and don’t realize they’re unconsciously organizing everything else around it as well. I have such beautiful pornography - I’ll show you my collection sometime.
The last guy invited me up to see his etchings.
“One theory is that black-and-white photography is always more sexy than colour photography. The reason for this is provided by Marshall McLuhan, who points out that if a thing is ‘high definition,’ which colour photography is, it provides more information and doesn’t require participation as much as if it is ‘low definition’.” I.e. a horror play on the radio is always very, very frightening because the imagery is always your own. If youUre choosing your own imagery, you’ll always choose the most frightening, or in the case of pornography, the most sexual.
“The idea of things being low definition has always interested me a lot - of being unspecific - another thing which is a key-point of my lyrics. They must be ‘low definition’ so that they don’t say anything at all direct. I think the masters of that were Lou Reed and Bob Dylan (on “Blonde on BIonde”). The lyrics are so inviting.
“DO YOU KNOW WHAT ‘burning shame’ is by the way? It’s a pornographic term for a deviation involving candles.
“Very popular in Japanese pornography. They’re always using lit candles because Japanese pornography is very sadistic, partly because of the Japanese view of women, which is a mixture of resentment and pure animal lust.
“In the traditional view, a woman is still expected to be at the beck and call of her husband, so that manifests itself in that kind of pornography. Of which I have a few examples, of course.
“Mexican pornography is an interesting island of thought because they seem to be heavily into excretory functions. The traditional American view is that anything issued from the body is dirty. It’s incredibly puritanical and it resents bodily fluids, so if one is trying to debase a woman, you cover them with that and hence you get the fabulous term ‘Golden Showers’ - the term for pissing on someone, which some well- known rock musicians are said to be very involved in . .
“Here come the warm jets?”
“That’s certainly a reference.”
That he’s considered to be a film star of sorts in a few very ‘elite’ circles. - Any chance of him making a comeback to the Screen?
“Some of the movies I did were very funny - they had to pretend to have a plot. Ha ha. [Emphasis added]
“Can I show you my pubic area?” (! ! !) He exposes his stomach down to his, ah - about six inches below his Navel. “Absolutely bare! Now I’ve got this beautiful bare belly! I’ve got this new Japanese thing, you see and the Japanese don’t have much hair on their bodies ‘Japanese culture I tip as the next big thing.”
I glance nervously over at the flickering candle on the windowsill. Out of nowhere, Eno produces a very extraordinary looking object which he explains to be the ‘Double Punkt Roller’, a massage device used in Victorian times. I marvel at its aesthetic qualities and he assures me that it can only be fully appreciated when used on the bare buttocks. We conclude that art which demands participation holds the greatest appeal.
I have a friend who swears up and down he once saw Eno in a sleazy mid-70s porno loop, in a big “daisy-chain” orgy scene (“Who else had such a hairstyle back then?” he’d ask). I always dismissed this, but maybe he was right?
WOW this film looks AMAZING! And NOT in the way that the creators intended!
Fuck For Forest is a new documentary following the titular eco-activist group FFF, who have a simple modus operandi: convince strangers on the streets of Berlin to film gonzo porn with them, which is then sold with all profits going to help save the Amazon rainforests. The movie makers travel with FFF to the wilds of South America to meet the people they aim to ‘help’, only to discover, unsurprisingly, that the locals are not enamored with their unique brand of spirituality (which seems to entail a lot of nudity.)
It sounds like it came from the mind of Sacha Baron Cohen, but alas, it’s real. Here is the Fuck For Forest group’s Wikipedia page, which states that they are the world’s first ‘eco-porn’ org.
In its first year of existence,[when?] the organisation’s website netted over $100,000 for rain forest protection through the sale of paid memberships. In their first six months of existence the group received seed funding from the government of Norway. They are the world’s first eco-porn organization.However, the organisation’s unorthodox methods have made it difficult to distribute the money it makes. The Norwegian chapter of the Rainforest Foundation Fund as well as the WWF both in the Netherlands and in Norway have refused to accept donations from FFF. As a result, Fuck for Forest is working on a project to work directly with indigenous communities in Costa Rica and the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.
The film has just gotten a very limited cinema release in the UK, and the reviews have not been good. In fact, it was a damning review by the Guardian that seemed to imply unintentional hilarity that really piqued my interest, making me seek out the trailer and to place it immediately on my “to see” list.
Seriously, check out the additional footage in that Guardian video review after you watch the trailer, it has me wondering if Fuck For Forest is the damning, hilarious portait that this “eco-punk” (or neo-hippy, crusty, whatever you want to call it) scene has always needed?
Over a decade ago, I directed a piece for television about “extreme” pornography and the societal effects it would have on a generation of young men who were but a mouse-click away from “Anal Armageddon 3,” “Barnyard Fun” and midget gangbang videos. They didn’t even have to suffer through the hang-dog wanker’s ignominy of dealing with a frowning video store clerk, it was just there already, right in their very homes.
For many young men coming of age in the past decade, probably more than anything else, the Internet represents a Pandora’s Box of digital perversions that can often be quite specific. 12% of all websites are pornographic in nature and 25% of all Internet search terms are for porn. Around the time that modems got fast enough to allow for video streaming, there seemed to be a corresponding spike in how sick, twisted and violent porn could get, each fuck film auteur trying to outdo the rest of them and raising the bar little by little, one fucked-up “gonzo” scene at a time.
Surely having such violent and dehumanizing images seared onto one’s retinas at the point of orgasm, I don’t think could ever be considered a healthy thing... Certainly it might at least prove to be, well, confusing, if not far, far worse, when a generation of men are getting their sex education from the likes of Max Hardcore. One of the interviewees I talked to, Australian writer Luke Ford, said that pornography was for the soul what cigarettes are for the lungs. Author Anka Radakovich, who was also in the program, mused that it might take ten to fifteen years before the full data was in and to get back to her with the same questions then.
It’s been thirteen years now since that TV piece and “Did Porn Warp Me Forever?” a brutally honest essay about growing up with unlimited access to smut from 23-year-old Brooklyn-based writer “Isaac Abel” (not his real name for obvious reasons), I think, has some answers for us:
With a teenage sex drive only inhibited by a vague shame, I quickly fell down a “kink spiral.” After all, we’re talking about reaching climax — when the overriding thought is often just “more!” The unknown, the unseen, was sexy to me, and I pursued novelty with vigor.
I found myself rapidly desensitized to online images. If a threesome was kinky last week, then I’d need something wilder this week. To reach climax, I had to find that same toxic mix of shame and lust.
By my sophomore year in high school I felt torn. Even though I was fairly certain that most guys my age were regular porn watchers, I felt ashamed about the type of porn that I was watching (not something that even the son of psychotherapists was eager to share with friends).
These questions continued to bother me. I worried that real girls wouldn’t do it for me. So my senior year in high school, I decided to quit. Cold turkey. For five months. I actually decided not to masturbate at all, and I had few sexual encounters. It was refreshing, and I definitely became more easily turned on by “traditional” things — including the women around me.
But when I started having sex, I realized that I had far from cleansed myself, even though I had continued (and continue still) to keep up my boycott on pornography. I had trouble getting and maintaining an erection with the first three women I slept with. This didn’t feel like a small matter. It seemed like all the schoolyard jockeying ultimately came down to that moment of phallic power, and I just couldn’t do it. Was I more turned on by porn than by real women? What did that mean about my sexuality?
I starting seeing a young woman regularly, and some confluence of alcohol, weed, no condom, and the trust, comfort, and affection I felt with her allowed me to start enjoying sex — to an extent. I wouldn’t acknowledge it, but the majority of nights I had “good sex” I was intoxicated. And, what’s worse, I was fantasizing about porn during sex.
It was a dissociative, alienating, almost inhuman task to close my eyes while having sex with someone I really cared about and imagine having sex with someone else or recall a deviant video from the archives of my youth that I was ashamed of even then.
I’ve talked with other millennial men who’ve experienced this, and it’s not particularly surprising. A decade before we were having intercourse, our neural pathways associated ejaculation with an addictive, progressive perversity that demanded a superlative overstimulation — skipping from climactic scene to climactic scene so that it’s always the most novel, deviant, kinky.
You get the picture and it’s not a very pretty one.
It was then purchased by what is now Syfy, who never aired the series (for reasons you won’t wonder about, if you’ve seen it) despite them paying a fair whack of money for it. Eventually it came out on DVD (Netflix also has it).
In any case, this segment, “The Best of Both Worlds” was going to be the first thing viewers would have seen in year two, but I ended up shuffling that around a bit after several people warned me not to come on that strong and that I might want to ease into it with the C4 lawyers, so it ended up airing towards the end of the second series. When that episode did air (dealing with themes explored in Adam Parfrey’s Apocalypse Culture II book) there were tons of angry letters and viewer complaints. One memorable letter accused me of trying to “create mass social deviation” using the airwaves (the best compliment I’ve ever received, btw). I was later told that criminal fines were levied on a broadcaster who showed that episode in Thailand due to the piece on transsexual porn.
The thesis of the piece—and it’s something that was also written about by George Petros (who you’ll see in the segment in an interview that we shot in my then apartment in the West Village) in a provocative essay titled “The New Hermaphrodite”—is that what seemed to then be an eye-popping explosion of “chicks with dicks” porn, was not really something being marketed towards gay men at all, as might be expected, but at straight men, as a sort of “kink.” Gia Darling, a well-known director of transsexual pornography who I interviewed says this explicitly to me, that gay men are not even remotely interested in seeing depictions of femininity—especially the sort of hyper-femininity associated with transsexuals—in their porno. So who was renting all of the shemale porn that started coming out in the late 1990s then?
When the answer to this actually dawned on me—before I knew there was a question, I should say—I was walking around lowlife XXX video stores on “The Block,” Baltimore’s sleazy red light district at 7 am on a Saturday morning in 1998 (it’s actually two blocks long and at the time, still a pretty seedy spot). Perhaps a little explanation is necessary: that very weekend was one of those times in my life where my bank account went from having like $200 in it, to having quite a bit more by the following banking day. But this was the weekend before that money got deposited into my account and I found myself staying in what might be charitably have been described as a “crack hotel.”
I had taken the train to Baltimore to see Joe Coleman do a lecture (Hasil Adkins also performed) and I think I had an overly optimistic idea of what sort of reasonably priced accommodations I might find in the downtown area. The shithole I stayed in didn’t even have towels and the bed sheets (which I used as towels in the morning) smelled strongly of Pine Sol. Two morbidly obese women with their hair in curlers sat outside the place on the sidewalk on lawn furniture watching a B&W TV and chain-smoking. The clerk who checked me in did so from behind a two-inch thick bullet proof window. It was a fucking dump. The worst.
The second I woke up, I made to get out of there, but there’s not a whole lot to do in downtown Baltimore in the very early morning hours (at least not that I knew of) and so I ended up getting coffee at a 7-Eleven and wandering around until the bookstores and record stores opened. Then I bumped into “The Block.” Having read about it in one of John Waters’ books, I knew exactly where I was when I laid eyes on “it.” So I walked in—and then rather quickly out—of the stores and the strip bars that were open at that time of the morning. “The Block” lived up to its depraved reputation, but there was something I noticed that, at the time, seemed quite remarkable…
In every Baltimore porn store, there was a disproportionately high percentage of the floor space—25 to 40%—devoted to “shemale” DVDs. Mostly straight porn, then the transsexual porn and only then a very small amount (5-6%) of gay porn. Baltimore, if you’ve never been there, is more or less a hillbilly and poor black city (that doesn’t describe the entire city, no, but it will suffice). Even at that early hour, these places were pretty crowded. The men who were perusing these wares were all working class guys, the sort of dudes who carry lunchboxes to work with them. As “normal” as you could get. Why all the interest in “chicks with dicks” (at 7am) and yet the apparent disinterest in the “regular gay” DVDs?
It seemed to me that the answer to that question would make good television.
Another thing that’s worth mentioning about this piece is a sort of “oh duh” epiphany I had when I was doing some interviews at Gia Darling’s apartment. Alyssa, Gia’s downstairs neighbor (who I assumed, until I was told otherwise, was a biological female and Gia’s zany “fag hag” friend) was trying to explain something to me about the difficulty for her to find a straight boyfriend because she wasn’t herself interested in being with a gay man (in fact, she seemed to look down on the idea with great disdain).
Later, when we were editing the piece and I was watching the raw interview footage, I could hear myself not quite getting what she was trying to communicate to me, like it just wasn’t computing in my brain, and Gia can be heard off camera trying to patiently explain it to me. It seemed to make a lot of sense to cut it around Alyssa’s poignant remarks because I didn’t want the piece to seem lurid or unsympathetic (For the record, I wholeheartedly agree with what Gia Darling says towards the end about the daily heroism of a transgender person. It made me happy to be able to include that part).
When the show aired and I sent videotapes to all the participants, I was pleased to see how positively Gia, Alyssa and everyone else felt about the piece and how jazzed they were to be able to say the things they got to say on network television.
Shot and edited by Nimrod Erez, music by Adam Peters and Chris Brick (Family of God). (Don’t blame me for the distorted audio or the typo, it’s not my upload).
Democrats should pay close attention here. The Republicans may have the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove in their corner, but this is surely more deviously creative than anything a reichwinger could ever come up with.
Now the merry pranksters of reddit /r/politics want to organize banner campaigns across various online porn sites to advertise Romney’s stance on pornography.
What better way to turn off potential Republican male voters in pr0n-crazy red states. Even the 20-something males who are the most impervious to politics might decide to register to vote over this issue. Hit ‘em where they live…ten plus hours a day!
Here’s a representative sampling of the reddit community’s reaction to the proposed stunt:
This November, don’t let Romney kill your boner forever.
These ads would be going against “The one little trick to get a 9 inch dick”, it doesn’t really matter how easy to pick apart it is.
Taking out ads on porn sites is a marvelous idea - it would likely result in subconsciously associating an orgasm with whatever the message of the ad is.
I seriously LOL’d at this. My room mates had to ask what was so funny. They think it’s awesome, too.
I’m going to start stockpiling porn.
Nobody votes for a boner killer.
I’d think that porn websites would be advertising this freely on their own.
Hi, I run fastjizz.com—if somebody wants to design us a 300x250 i’ll throw it on our homepage for a week!
Where do I donate?
‘Romney can take my porn from my warm sticky hand…’
Nice try, Obama. That said, I’d pitch in a few bucks.
“This November,when you go to the polls, think of your pole.”
This must be done
I work at an ad:tech company, specifically in the business of placing banner ads across the web. If someone is seriously interested in getting these run, I can help.
So he wasn’t happy just pissing off women huh? This is going to be the biggest landslide in the last 50 years.
The hypocritical, angry, white males who feed the tea party have finally painted themselves into a corner. They have to appear to disdain porn for their morally prudish wives, when in fact the porn industry caters almost exclusively to (such) men.
The Republicans have already lost the female voters. This could cleave quite a few males from the GOP fold, too!
“Perversion for Profit links pornography to the Communist conspiracy and the decline of Western civilization.” The producer, Citizens for Decent Literature, Inc. was the organization of crooked banker Charles “Mr. Clean” Keating, one of the central figures in the savings and loan scandal of the 1980s. Clearly Keating and his cohorts seemed to know an awful lot about the pornography available at the time.