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Frank Zappa and the Mothers freak out in a 1968 sex-ed film
03.31.2017
08:47 am
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Frank Zappa live at TTG Studios, 1966 (via Zappateers)
 
It must have been thrilling, the teacher threading the film into the projector and the Mothers of Invention bursting out of the chalkboard in full color. The instructional movie Sex in Today’s World, a/k/a Sex in the Sixties, presented by Focus Education, Inc., incorporates a few short clips of the Freak Out!-period Mothers driving an LA audience into a Bacchic frenzy.

Román García Albertos’s valuable Zappa videography says this footage was shot at Hollywood’s TTG Studios in 1966 for broadcast on The David Susskind Show. The videography suggests Sex in the Sixties was originally broadcast on ABC, but judging from the number of splices toward the beginning of the version on YouTube, the source is a sex-ed print that saw legit classroom use.
 

The Mothers live at TTG Studios, 1966 (via Zappateers)
 
Something Weird included Sex in Today’s World in the collection Sex Hygiene Scare Films, Volume 2. Here’s the synopsis from their catalog:

Sex in Today’s World (color), “an examination of sex in the 1960’s,” is a time capsule which neatly captures many of the conflicting attitudes of a cross section of people—doctor, psychologist, professors, students, and preachers—caught in the sexual turbulence of 1966. The so-called Sexual Revolution happened so quickly and with such across-the-board pervasiveness that this little film, like most of the people interviewed, seems not only dazed, but trying to catch its breath. It also includes some great glimpses of mid-sixties adult book stores, 42nd Street in its glorious grindhouse heyday, Bunnies doing a go-go at a Playboy Club and, most surprising of all, concert footage of FRANK ZAPPA and THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION! The inevitable conclusion: Yeah, there’s sure a lot of sex out there!

See for yourself, after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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03.31.2017
08:47 am
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From a (much) more innocent time: Vintage sex education LPs
02.15.2016
09:13 am
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Being taught by Christian brothers from an early age, my sex education amounted to little more than “If you do it, it’s a sin and you’re going to Hell. If you don’t do it, you’re still going to Hell—because you’ve thought about doing it anyway and that’s still a sin, you dirty little bastards.” My father was more pragmatic—“I’ll tell you all about the birds and bees when you’re thirteen.” When I hit my teens, he said, “Well, if you don’t know it by now, then you never will.”

Sex education was embarrassing for both sides of the equation. Parents didn’t know what to say, while a lot of the kids could have probably taught their elders a thing or two. Still nobody between the generations really wanted to talk to each other about sex—well, unless they were Swedish because everyone knew the Swedes talked about sex all the time. That and flat-pack furniture—or so we believed back then. It was the 1970s and nothing had really progressed, though everyone acted as if it had.

Nowadays, things may be far more open and sex ed taught with the same verve as say woodwork or math or citizenship. But the difficulties of discussing sex, sexuality, and the changes arriving with puberty were very real for many people in the ye olden days. I know. I was there.

So imagine my surprise to find that Americans could once upon a time pick up an LP from their local record store that either gave youngsters sex advice or parents tips on how to discuss the subject with their offspring. Albums parents could even hide in plain sight amongst their easy listening collection—somewhere between Bert Kaempfert and The Sandpipers. These well-meaning discs included a priest (Father Filas) advising parents on what to tell their children about sex (like HE would know); the host of Kids Say the Darndest Things Art Linkletter narrating the story of “Where do I come from?”; and a Dr. Morris Fishbein giving advice to growing girls.

This, people, was once a thing

What I’d like to know—did anyone (aside from Madlib perhaps) actually listen to these records? And if so are they still traumatized?
 
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More goofball sex ed albums, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.15.2016
09:13 am
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There’s a Roku channel just for cheesy old sex-ed and exploitation films
05.22.2015
08:39 am
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When streaming players boast about their huge numbers of channels, I’m generally even less impressed than I am by the “wealth” of offerings on the grossly overpriced wasteland that is cable TV. I have absolutely no use for thousands of impossibly granular channels like The Christian Comedy Channel, Firewood Hoarders, NRA Women, and Cruise Addicts. Those are all real. But in their favor, I don’t have to pay $75 a month to not watch them.

But sometimes, that nanoscopic specificity does pay weirdness dividends. The Shout Factory channel proffered by the music/video label of the same name holds some treasures, as do the handful of channels that compile old cartoons that have passed into the public domain. And not so long ago, I ran across a channel, called Stop It Or You’ll Go Blind!, devoted exclusively to old sex ed films, with some “educational” exploitation thrown in. (Why is “Sex Ed-sploitation” not a term? It’s a thing, it needs a word…)
 

 

 
Unsurprisingly, a lot of these are a riot. There’s “Miracles in Birth,” a graphic depiction of live births shot in grainy black and white so blown-out it looks less like a miracle and more like outtakes from Begotten. There’s “Dance Little Children,” a creepy VD scare flick directed by Carnival of Souls auteur Herk Harvey, which teaches us all a valuable lesson about not letting slimy rich dudes boink us on the first date. The 1938 Sex Madness, Dwain Esper’s follow-up to Reefer Madness is streaming, as is the bizarre Test Tube Babies, a tale of swinging and sterility. And the ‘60s classic “Perversion for Profit” is there, the notorious and INSANE 30 minute anti-indecency screed in which L.A. newsreader/talk show host (and, later, NewsMax columnist *shudder*) George Putnam blames pornographers for everything from juvenile crime to child molestation. The brilliant thing about “P4P” is that if anyone actually held on to even half of the smut rags displayed for *ahem* viewer edification, they could be an eBay millionaire today.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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05.22.2015
08:39 am
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Psychedelic sex education video for kids
12.23.2014
10:06 am
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I’m staunchly supportive of early sex education, I’m certainly all for childhood body positivity—especially in these days of surgical and Photoshop fantasy—and I also don’t think the efficacy or value of children’s programming should me measured by its appeal to adults—sometimes kids shows are visually and aurally lurid to compete with a clamorous world (also, a lot of kids just have bad taste at that age). However, the body positive kids’ sex education web show “Baby! Love Your Body!really challenges my allegiance to a carefree and liberated vision of childhood. It’s intended for children as young as three, but maybe it shouldn’t be?

Borne of energetic French feminists “Fannie Sosa” and “Poussy Draama” (who—shocker—both belong to an art collective called School of No Big Deal), “Baby! Love Your Body!” is what happens when the impetus for cultural liberalism—apparently at all costs—supersedes all instinct for appealing to a popular audience. It starts with a value-neutral tour of vaginal slang, with all your favorites included. Then it makes a quick left turn with two people dressed up as raver vaginas. From there we see some confusingly metaphorical portrayals of sex and masturbation interpreted with erratic dancing, and then it just completely abandons narrative with a “Through the Looking Glass” love canal adventure. Yes… someone enters a vagina and a psychedelic journey ensures.

There is only one episode so far, but it’s been done in English and in French—I’ve blessed you all with the disorientingly English-dubbed version below. The tone is manic with the sort of exhausting, heavy-handed enthusiasm and good cheer that afflicts so much children’s programming these days, but I could see kids responding well to it even if I didn’t. I give Fannie and Poussy a hard time, but in spite of some some absurdly prudish backlash, I think the show could actually be useful—if parents can handle the acid-trip presentation. For those of you who might prefer a more sedate teaching tool—may I suggest a nice, sterile anatomy textbook, preferably in Danish.
 

Posted by Amber Frost
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12.23.2014
10:06 am
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