Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Category: Memes (Page 1 of 2)

ILB’s contributions to various memes

Soft Porn Sunday: Heidi Schanz & Tom Berenger

If you recognise those names, you’re not alone. This film, despite the “early-’90s soft porn”-style title and limp thriller set-up, is a genuine mainstream thriller with actual actors, albeit rated R (the BBFC might render this as either a 15 or 18 – but that’s up to them) and containing a fair amount of nudity and even some sex.

Tom “was in Inception “was in Inception “was in Inception“”” Berenger is the star here, as attorney Gavin, working hard on defending a Mafia don, when Pandora Circe (Heidi “out of The Truman Show” Schanz) rocks up looking for his help. She’s hot, and has a story to tell about a brutal husband, so of course Gavin is interested.

Anyway, that’s the set-up and it’s all you’re getting.

Appearance: Body Language (1995)
Characters: Pandora “Dora” Circe & Gavin St. Claire

Hmmm, Gavin has a porn star surname.

Kiss the miss.
Are you as worried as I am about the fact that Gavin doesn’t appear to have eyes?

The scene I’m going to be looking at is, for a mainstream flick, genuinely quite explicit for a mainstream film, and of course it happens between Dora and Gavin, so I suppose there’s some amount of “star power” here. Like many mainstream films, there isn’t much build-up to the sex in a sex scene either; whereas genuine softcore might spend time focusing on disrobing and/or foreplay, Body Language makes do with a brief kiss followed by a jump cut to the sex, so at the very least, we don’t have to wait.

There are a few dimly-lit close-ups to begin with, but at 00:13 we get a full-body shot, which unfortunately means that you have to see Berenger’s bum, but leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind of what’s actually going on here. There’s even quite a lot of steam between the two of them – Dora and Gavin are working off a fair amount of passion that’s been building up, so…

I don't know about you, but I think he's a bit of a bum man.
He’s got a better bed, but I’ve got a better arse.

In fact, it’s the closeness that makes this scene. The other shots prove to highlight this – deep, lusty kisses in tight head-and-shoulders shots; rolling over without breaking the connection; grabbing the back of the head; plenty of moans and gasps (from her; he makes a noise like Christopher Walken at the beginning, which…). We switch to Dora riding Gavin at 00:37, by which point it’s more than believable that they are both genuinely into this.

So, the riding. As I’ve said before, this scene is genuinely quite explicit, but for a fair amount of time the camera doesn’t focus on anything except Dora’s head and shoulders (and her pretty hair). As it isn’t porn, that’s clearly a stylistic choice, and not having boobs on show doesn’t really take anything away from the scene – they’re just absent enough to be noticeable.

Yaaaaaaaaaawn...
Yes, I too like to play at “going to the dentist” during sex.

In fact, although we do see her back and bum a few times, the one time her boobs could be on display, they are covered by Gavin’s hands. Nevertheless, they are both naked throughout this scene, and there’s enough bump’n’grind to keep everything ticking along nicely. Even the moans increase in volume, which… helps, I guess?

Having said all that, this isn’t real softcore and the sex isn’t the focus, however much of it we may see. There is, however, a nice postscript to this scene, with a fully naked Dora getting a drink from the ‘fridge afterwards. I’m aware she’s just had sex, so she should be, but it’s nice to normalise both nudity around the house and getting a cold drink after sex.

Oh, and fishkeeping.

Paracheirodon innesi +++
It’s not meant o be the focus, but that’s such a nice fish tank…

The only thing I really don’t like about this scene, really, is the music. But, again, softcore pays a lot more attention to music than other genres do. This scene uses semi-orchestral piano and woodwind stuff, which I suppose does suit the mood. It’s not particularly inspiring, but it doesn’t stick in my head. Mind you, this is one minute of passionate lovemaking, so that’s a minor quibble.

Overall, then, this is A Good Scene (and thanks to the reader who sent it in). It’s quick, it’s hot, it’s filmed well, and yes, it isn’t from actual softcore at all…

…AND YES, I’M VERY ANNOYED ABOUT THAT!

QuoteQuest & KOTW: The ILB who Loves to Love

We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.

tim robbins

I’m a horny sex blogger. I write posts about porn, oral, and dirty sex. I love sex, even though I haven’t had any for years. I’ll talk about it. I’ll promote it. Hours can pass and I’ll still be discussing it… with no filter. Thirteen years of sex blogging does that to a boy.

And yet I’m still thoroughly aware that, love sex as I do, my focus has always been on love.

I mean, it’s in my handle, c’mon.

I’ve always found it easy to fall in love… possibly too easy. It’s never been easy to actually be in love – successive teenage crushes on which I never acted making me increasingly upset as life went on. In a few years, I went from occasional glances to out-and-out pining, and finally to going home every single day to cry for an hour because I was in love. Since the age of about 13, in fact, there hasn’t once been a time where I didn’t have, if not genuine love, an “official” crush.

I didn’t, however, actually entertain the idea that my affections would ever be reciprocated. Despite my Head of Year (to whom I was quite close) telling me that people would be flattered, I was convinced – fairly quickly, as it matters – that I was unlovable. It didn’t do to be fancied by ILB. I was fairly convinced, throughout my miserable ecstasies, that those who I loved must have been constantly wondering what they did wrong.

If they thought about me at all. I’m not sure if any of them did.

Careful! Or I’ll fall in love with you!

innocent loverboy

Love, to me, has always been associated with guilt. I’m still sorry to the people I loved. But I can’t take any of it back. I may have fallen in love easily, but it’s not like I could control it.

In the more recent years, even though I’ve been in genuine, actual, real long-term relationships, I’ve still struggled with the concept. My dark moments tell me that, no, I can’t be loved. Girlfriends have cheated, or cast me adrift, or become so critical that every night was a challenge. Every time I get close, life seems to conspire to remind me of this. I am unlovable.

I’m trying, and believe me that I am, to convince myself otherwise.

It isn’t easy.

But I’m working on it.

QuoteQuest

Soft Porn Sunday: Yvette McClendon & Glenn Ratcliffe

This is the long-overdue final instalment in the unofficial series of Soft Porn Sundays featuring Glenn Ratcliffe. Yes, I’m aware you probably weren’t aware of the fact that I was doing that. Friendly reader S.A. requested I do these, and you can find the first two here and here, and there’s a third, here.

But you’re not going to read those. I can tell.

Centerfold – please excuse me washing my hands with bleach after typing that Americanism – is an unusual half-hour of softcore because, although it varies between episode, half-hour series often feature an average of two or three sex scenes – more often than not, one before and one after the mid-point advert break. Some feature more (Passion Cove‘s Practice What You Preach leaps to mind, with no less than five in under thirty minutes!), but most commonly, you get two or three. It happens.

Centerfold, however, features four sex scenes. That’s two in under fifteen minutes. They’re brief, but they are there. They may all feature Ratcliffe as forgettable idiot horny photographer Joe, but at least they are there. So here is one.

Appearance: Compromising Situations, Series 3: “Centerfold” (1996)
Characters: Jennifer & Joe

Alliteration, eh? I like that. Gives me all sort of fluffy feels and energetic English graduate glee. You don’t get that sort of clever continuous collusion with murderous Maths.

Anyway.

This sex scene takes place on a bed with a pretty colour scheme. In fact, the colour scheme is fairly continuous throughout the scene: dark blue duvet, dark blue pillows, and it even takes place at dusk, so the light through the strategically-placed windows is dark blue. I know that I’m not supposed to notice that, but c’mon, I’m ILB – of course I’m going to do so.

Blue his house, with a blue little window...
“Blue room, you saw me standing alone…”

One thing I will point out (the second thing I noticed, after the blue, da ba dee, da ba dai) is Jennifer (McClendon). She’s actually very attractive. Nice defined face, lovely smile, and beautiful blonde hair in a unique hairstyle that I can’t quite place. She’s even got pretty silver nail varnish on that contrasts well with Joe (Ratcliffe)’s hair, and considering the fact that she doesn’t get to do anything except be awkwardly boob-kissed by Joe for the first 28 seconds, she does at least give off good vibes.

From the boob-kissing we cut to some thigh-kissing (yawn), with added ‘kiss’ sound effects (yes, really), before a mix to bog-standard softcore oral sex. Joe’s head is far too far north for this to be believable, but the look on Jennifer’s face does at least suggest she is enjoying herself – one supposes she is the one carrying the scene.

Smile, dammit! Smile, I command you!
Very nice girl. Lovely teeth.

It doesn’t, however, negate the fact that by this point, the scene is halfway through, and for a sex scene there doesn’t appear to have been much sex. Let’s move on.

I had to watch 1:03 to 1:09 to make sure I wasn’t imagining this. There’s a switch here from Joe being on top of Jennifer to Jennifer being on top of Joe – but, rather than a mix or a fade or a cut, it happens on-screen in double speed! There’s no change in the music or indication that this is going to happen, or indeed, if it’s intentional at all – but for five or so seconds, they have suddenly channelled Billy Whizz, before instantly returning to normal pace as if nothing has happened!

…What?!

Anyway, once we are back a tempo, we do get something approximating what I assume is an attempt at simulating penetrative sex. At the very least, Jennifer is astride Joe and neither of them is wearing anything (unless the duvet conceals it – a cunning design), so I think this is the OMGZ SEKS bit. Jennifer does have a nice back (and, although I don’t mention this very often, a well-proportioned arse), and once we mix to a front-on view, it turns out she has nice breasts too (if only Joe’s damn hand would get out of the way).

Back shot. I’m a sucker for a good back. There’s a kink I didn’t realise I had.

There just isn’t a lot of movement. She’s just… sitting there while he flails his hand around a bit. At 01:33 she even grabs it in what appears to be an attempt to stop him doing so – making me wonder if this was scripted, or if it was just the actress getting fed up with it!

There’s a touch of movement at 01:44, accompanied by a shift in the music, presumably to indicate a shift in tone; the previous piece (a kind of ambient dreamy synthy thing) suddenly overlaid with bass guitar, kick drum and tambourine. It doesn’t really add anything, but at least it makes things a little more interesting.

It may as well, because the sex isn’t getting any more interesting.

And then a telephone rings. Telephone, the real star of the show.

It took me ages to screenshot this.
Should’ve received full credit.

Overall, I’m not sure what this scene is meant to be. It’s not overly sexy, and wouldn’t be at all were it not for Yvonne McClendon. It’s slow, but not romantic slow or intense slow, just slow slow. The cinematography’s okay, and the music is sound, and – as I said – understated but colour-consistent décor is always nice – but it’s delivered with a kind of disinterested detachment that makes me wonder what they were doing here.

“Hey, we need to move this plot along! Throw in another sex scene and they’ll never notice!”

But hey. Four sex scenes in one episode. Horny teenagers watching this on L!VE probably aren’t going to complain.

QuoteQuest: Applause, please!

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all: read a lot and write a lot.

Stephen king

and

I write for me, but I want you to read it too.

little switch bitch

and

I’d love to help the world and all its problems, but I’m an entertainer, and that’s all!

william shatner

I initially found this week’s QuoteQuest a little uninspiring, but LSB’s post opened up some interesting avenues. Which is, I suppose, what I’m trying to do too.

I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember (I started at fifteen months, so my family tells me) and writing for about as long. Stephen King’s quote above doesn’t serve so much as a reminder, but a description of my life, and even if I don’t have the time to read so much (or to write so much) I’m always composing in my head.

If a blog post comes out of it, then that’s a success. If not… well, it’s an idea. And and idea’s something.

I may blog now, but back in my teenage years, I kept a diary. Frustrated by the hoops I had to jump through in academia, writing my journal every night was the way I got my writing out. Unlike my friends who did the same thing, though, I would freely pass my diary around, letting people read everything I wrote. (I even read bits out to them, if they asked.) I applied the same logic to my LiveJournal, when I started that a few years later, and latterly to ILB.

Like LSB’s quote above, my writing is for me, but I want you to read it too.

I don’t really get the idea of writing which isn’t there to be read. That is, after all, what writing is for by design. One of the first things we are taught at children is how to read, and what’s the point in learning a skill if you’re not going to use it?

I write to entertain. I always have, even when I’m not meant to. My teachers didn’t like my unorthodox approach to every written assignment (but at least I made them laugh!); in the sixth form, my political and historical essays weren’t neutral enough (but at least I made them think!); at university, my tutors appreciated the effort but were often confused by the overabundance of sardonic wit (but, again, I made them laugh!).

[It’s a good thing I did a creative writing dissertation, as well, as I don’t think I could have hacked my way through yet another essay deconstructing the precious art form of literature…]

My aim, in writing, is to entertain. Whether or not that actually happens is immaterial; I write every word in the assumption that someone, at some point, will read it. Thirteen years ago, I started writing ILB with no idea that people would read – but I hoped they would – and they did. So I kept writing, kept the content going, and kept enjoying myself. I want people to read my words and have a good time doing so.

And that’s why I write.

*

Or to put it another way…

A year and a half ago I had a job interview for something I really wanted. I rehearsed, for want of a better word, the practical task and even some of the interview answers (although, in the end, I freewheeled my way through the interview… son of an actor, I can do that…), but forgot completely that there would be a written aspect of the interview process.

I was given a blank piece of ruled A4, a black biro and a printed question.
“Don’t worry about giving too many details,” the interviewer advised me. “This is just to see if your grasp of written English is sound.”
“Righty-ho,” I replied (yes, I genuinely said “righty-ho”). “But can I put details in if I want?”
“Do whatever you want,” she said cheerfully, “it’s your writing.”

The Hallelujah chorus rang out.

A page and a half of dry humour, parenthetical remarks and deliberate oxymorons later, and she came to collect it.
“This is… quite a lot longer than I was expecting,” she said, “but I look forward to reading it.” I thanked her, took my leave, and on the way out, I heard the telltale rustle of a page being turned, followed by short, sharp bursts of laughter.

And that’s why I write.

QuoteQuest

Soft Porn Sunday: Jewel Staite & Callum Blue

Although there’s a lot of go-to scenes I have, throughout various permutations of glossy smut – on my hard drive, my busted external HD or my Disks of Wonder™ – there is also quite a lot to be said for the quick snatches of sex, implied or otherwise, that you’ll find in more mainstream media.

Sex and the City isn’t a good example.

Anyway, here’s what I mean – something ostensibly mainstream (if a little cult-ish), definitely not softcore porn, but hot nonetheless. An example, if you will.

Appearance: Dead Like Me, Series 1: “Rest in Peace” (2003)
Characters: Mason & Goth Girl

In before anyone trying to tell me that it’s actually requiescet in pace. “Rest in Peace” is the name of the episode. Look, shut up, I can only go on what IMDb tells me.

We don’t get Dead Like Me over here in the UK, and as far as I’m aware, it’s never been shown on UK TV (although it seems like a programme that E4 might pick up) – a Bryan Fuller comedy-drama series focusing on George (Ellen Muth), who dies early on in the pilot episode, becoming a reaper, one of a team who guide the souls of the dead towards the afterlife. A bit like watching Last of the Summer Wine, really.

Mason in pain. Can reapers feel pain?
“Ow! Bloody ‘ell! You motherf…”

Anyway, the scene I’m going to focus on features British reaper Mason (Callum Blue, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Princess Diaries 2, Smallville), who – as far as I can tell, since I haven’t actually watched the show – is incredibly British, on account of the fact he says “bloody hell!” in this scene. After getting slapped in the face by a little kid in a video store (hence the aforementioned profanity), a sexy goth girl (Jewel Staite, who has also starred in Firefly, which I’ve never been interested in) appears, holding something Mason dropped.

DIALOGUE!

A very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, attractive girl
I love her style, and I love her smile!

Goth Girl: “You dropped this.”
Mason: “Yeah.”
Goth Girl: “What’s ETD?”
Mason: “Estimated Time of Death…”
Goth Girl: “What is this? Whose Estimated Time of Death? Who are you?”
Mason: “I’m Mason! Can I have this back, please?”
Goth Girl: “What are you, some kind of grim reaper?”
Mason: “…yes?”

And that’s it. That’s all we need to set up some impromptu sex. Porn doesn’t even do that. We’ve got Mason and the unnamed goth girl circling each other, and some very clever camera work (which is, apparently, a motif of the series) involving a quick pan accompanied by an electric guitar slide, and then sex! Fantastic!

Hey, those are nice boots!
I noticed this, so of course I took a screenshot. Now you know.

So, yes. Mason and the goth girl have rough, dirty sex inside a listening booth (or possibly a janitor’s closet… or both…) in the store itself. We can tell they’re having sex because the production team saw fit for the goth girl’s Dennis the Menace-patterned knickers to be around one of her boots, but to be fair, we could have worked that out without the shot. Nice touch, though.

The sex is quick (as I said, this isn’t porn), but hot and energetic. It’s the kind of instant sex fuelled by nothing except lust (and maybe a little fascination with death in her case). There’s a lamp swinging back and forth, occasionally throwing them into shade and occasionally sharp relief. Oh, and Mason is hot and Jewel is hot, and she’s wearing a very attractive goth outfit and she’s very clearly in control here.

I love this stuff.

Maybe they're singing opera?
“I’M A REAPER!”. Yes, we get it.

The thing that drives this scene is the dialogue that continues throughout the sex. The goth girl, who’s quite clearly fixated on a certain aspect of Mason, grabs him and elicits him to “tell me what you are!” a couple of times, quite forcefully (well, wouldn’t you?). After timidly realising that “I’m a… I’m a reaper?” gets her going, Mason picks up the pace, shouting “I’M A REAPER!” so loudly the whole shop can hear it.

Probably should have checked that the booth was actually soundproof. Get it together, shop owning guys.

Scandalised public… and it isn’t even Britain!

Even the way they exit the booth is clever (again with some good camera work). Jewel seems unconcerned and cool as a box of frozen cucumbers; Mason, on the other hand, is dishevelled AF, and without a word… he gets slapped again.

Usually I’d mention scenery (it’s good here), music (metal here, which is appropriate), characterisation (no context, so I’ve no idea), and relevance to the plot (…again…). But this is different. Dead Like Me is a programme with a production budget. You’d expect it to look good, sound good and have good actors in it. I can’t comment on the rest of the series, but at least for these eighty seconds, those are there in spades.

And so they should be.

Clearly in a state of disarray
Goth Girl doesn’t seem to be fazed by any of this. I can’t quite say the same for Mason.

The point I’m trying to make, convoluted as it may be, is that it doesn’t need to be a sex show to have sex. Lots of people have sex for all sorts of different reasons. I’m fairly certain that being dragged off to a side room by a goth girl for a quick shag doesn’t happen a lot in real life (it’s certainly never happened to me), but then again, I’m also fairly certain that dead people don’t get appointed as a gang of reapers, so I can forgive the slight ridiculousness of the set-up.

And, apart from anything else, this does make me laugh.

Soft Porn Sunday: Veronica Vain & Andrew Espinoza Long

The world has been waiting.

In 2001, the population of the world looked on aghast as, following the most controversial election in history, Lex Luthor was sworn in as President of the USA. Nineteen years later, these memories have been all but undone, the world having moved and and looking in a different direction – all except ILB, who continues to churn out his own memes with multiple pop-culture references in the space of one single paragraph.

And then there’s the other sort of waiting. We have been waiting for something else to happen – something wonderful – something I’ve been predicting for a while. It made us wait a long time, but it finally has come.

Which reminds me, inevitably, of Escape from Pleasure Planet.

Appearance: Escape from Pleasure Planet (2016)
Characters: Cassia & Agent Daniels

Guy in a suit. How official.
*dialogue*

It’s almost inevitable that Cassia (Veronica Vain), who presumably is an alien because very few humans have breasts that humongous, will end up having sex at least once during the course of Escape from Pleasure Planet. She kisses Aria (Erika Jordan) once, but as we all know, Aria ends up having sex with the sentient pleasure android by the side of a swimming pool, instead sending Cassia off to Earth to do… I don’t know, evil stuff. It’s been a while since I watched this.

Of course, the US Government has to get involved, so while the heroic characters are busy getting laid in a variety of amusing ways, General Randall (Michael Gaglio) sends Agent Daniels (Long) off to find the aliens.

Daniels finds the aliens, has sex with one of them, and then appears in a completely inappropriate orgy scene at the end in which he has sex with every female character at least once. (I can’t do that scene; I’d get RSI.)

Cassia having a bit of a bounce.
“My head isn’t little. It’s just that my breasts are humongous.”

I mentioned waiting, and that isn’t wrong; Veronica Vain doesn’t wear a bra throughout this entire movie, and what’s left of the clothing doesn’t leave much to the imagination, and yet it’s almost an hour into the film before she has her first sex scene. Her character, Cassia, is a sexy assassin looking for an escaped princess; Daniels is an idiot working for the FBI looking for whoever – he has a less defined mission. When they confront each other, very little happens until Cassia decides to try sex (“Why don’t you show me? But no funny business!”). There’s also a convenient sun lounger nearby.

Hey, this thing writes itself!

Retromedia Entertainment – and I’m saying this from the point of view of someone who’s seen four of their films, so it appears to be a thing – specialise in long sex scenes, and this one is particularly long and features Long, so it’s a long Long sex sce… no, I’ve gotten lost here, let’s backtrack. There’s a relatively quick cut to the aforementioned sun lounger (clothes are lying around but there’s no disrobing here), and we start with Daniels giving oral sex to Cassia.

Who has rewarded our waiting by finally being naked. Her breasts are humongous.

Vain’s acting, for all the ridiculousness this film might contain, is probably the best in it. She’s been the right level of menacing throughout, and now that she’s (meant to be) having sex, she’s making all the right sort of noises. Assuming, of course, that this is her first experience of oral sex (the dialogue suggests she is a virgin), she’s moaning in a sort of “oh Lord, this is amazing!” way – not the high-pitched screams of hardcore porn or the muffled sighs of arthouse softcore. Just irregular, sexy moans.

A rather shaved bottom.
Don’t know about you, but I reckon he’s a bit of a bum man.

She even does some stuff with her body, holding onto the lounger with her hands and writhing a bit and whatnot. Daniels is doing basically nothing, so there’s at least something there, being relatively entertaining to the casual viewer while they fap.

After a while of this – and with no change in the sexy moans – we cut to an annoyingly close-up close-up of sex in the missionary position. At least, I think this is sex, but we can’t see anything other than Cassia’s and Daniels’ head and shoulders, so it could be anything, but I doubt they’re playing Donkey Konga with their feet, really. (He says, as there’s an immediate pan from face to bum, which confirms they are indeed having sex, if you can stand looking at Long’s arse for that long).

We even get oral sex from Cassia, who seems to be very skilled for someone who’s never done so before. There isn’t much more to say here, it’s the usual soft porn blowjob with hair blocking anything too specific, but it’s something.

Guy in the sun.
Andrew Long has a nice snooze in the sun.

Something in this scene’s favour, however, is that while giving oral sex, Cassia doesn’t make any sounds – some softcore flicks overlook this and put in the moans anyway. Since her mouth is hella busy right now, it’s Daniels doing the noises. He’s not fantastic at it – and there’s an amusing bit where Long appears to forget where he is and zone out while sunbathing – but it is, at least, something they put a little bit of thought into.

We then get reverse cowgirl from a number of angles, followed by doing it standing up against a fence, and then on the fence, and then on the fence in a different position, before it fades to black and we cut back to Aria, reminding us that there’s a plot in here somewhere. The whole thing takes place against the backdrop of a nice forest and is overlaid by some pretty piano music and everyone has a lovely time.

So why do I have an issue with this?

A beautiful forest landscape.
This is, of course, impossible.

As I said above, this is a long sex scene – over five minutes at least – and, although it does have variation in sex positions, camera angles, lighting, depth of space and participation (mostly focusing on Cassia, but Daniels gets some screen time too), it’s precisely that length of time that puts me off. I like a long sex scene, sure, but the fact that this is just two actors bumping and grinding for a few minutes – sexy as Vain might be (Long isn’t much to look at) – just gets… well…

…boring.

And that’s the case with a lot of longer scenes, no matter how good the mise-en-scène may be. If it works for the first few minutes, then cut it off there. The plot here declares that Cassia sleeps with Daniels as a kind of sexual awakening: you can do that, as well as arouse the viewer, in three minutes. You don’t need to do it in six.

It’s a very rare occurrence that I get bored with softcore, and even more so that I get bored during a sex scene. These scenes are probably long enough to give the viewer something to fap to (and, incidentally, these are all porn actors, so sex is what they do on screen whether or not they’re in a softcore movie), but when all is said and done, this is a sci-fi story with sex in it, and if you’re going to be invested in the plot, you need to move on with a quicker pace.

Otherwise it ends with me… well… waiting, I suppose.

Quote Quest: Work

This is the first time I’m taking part in Quote Quest – probably not the only time, and I’m late to the party, but nevertheless, it’s a start.

Wanking is only two letters away from working!

amy norton

The majority of the people who have taken part in this meme are sex bloggers who write about sex (…toys) for money. Realistically, I can see the link there. In Amy‘s case, that’s very much a thing – as it is with many others – and there are some handy guides, in the links you’ll find, if you want to wank for cash yourself. That’s a route so many go down, and they have my mad respec’.

But what about ILB?

When I started this blog, relatively few sex blogs existed, and those that did weren’t making money in the way that blogs do these days. Bloggers were making money were doing so from getting book deals, and although there were a few of those, a book deal is like gold dust. You may not even have the energy to write a whole book (and those that do have my mad respec’ tag heading tueir way too!).

I started my blog with the very specific aim of sharing my views on sex, curated after many years of being single and getting in touch with my sexuality. There wasn’t even the question of monetisation anywhere in my mind, and it took me quite a few months before I realised that people were starting to do it.

Thirteen years later and I still stand by my principles: this is a non-commercial blog, ergo:

I need to put this badge back
on my sidebar at some point.

No affiliates;
No sponsored posts;
No paid ads;
No paid-for links;
No paid reviews;
No commercial links.

I never have, and I never will.

Back to the quote itself: does I, as ILB, see what I do as work? If I’m not paid for it, more specifically, do I see this as work, compared to – say – my day job working with people, or my former side hustle editing Christian literature? Why am I going to spend two hours writing about soft porn if there’s no remuneration involved?

That’s a far more complicated question…

I will admit that when I started blogging I didn’t expect it to blow up. I wasn’t expecting hundreds of readers, I wasn’t expecting lasting friendships, and I certainly wasn’t expecting wave after wave of nascent sex bloggers – some who vanish after a strong start; some who struggle but stick it out; some who stick and become, if not a face, at least a voice of our sex-positive, sexually open generation.

The sex blogosphere, to the eager newbie or curious journo, can be quite a forbidding place. Inside there lies a network of genuine people, all of whom know each other by name and pour out mutual appreciation for the content we produce… by and for people who are genuinely passionate about our subject. On the outside, though, it is confusing: a sprawl of separate blogs by separate writers, all ostensibly coming from the same direction but approaching sex from multiple angles.

And then there’s the glut of paid content, affiliate links, ad banners, toy reviews with clicks that pay, and the reliance upon sponsorship for those brave enough to take the plunge and blog for money. Wade through this for a while and it’s easy to wonder if the medium has become devalued – content, previously free and easy, looks like something you have to mine for.

Lazy readers won’t have the patience to do that.

So what about ILB?

In response to the quote, then: no, I don’t see blogging as work. Or wanking. Or writing about sex. It may well be my favourite thing to do, but it’s not work.

The fact remains, however, that it is my favourite thing to do. I love sex and I love writing, and I love writing about sex. It’s been thirteen years (almost) and, every time, I thank Past ILB or starting this thing. I can’t imagine life without my blog, and the directions in which it’s taken me. It may not make me any money, but it does so much for me, and I hope that in reading my words, it does something for you too.

And while it isn’t work, it is something I put a lot of work into. A blog is nothing without content. Sometimes it flows freely; sometimes it needs a bit of a push. If I need to work to write ILB, then so be it.

But I’m doing it because I love it.

Your mileage may vary.

QuoteQuest

Keeping the British End Up: The Amorous Milkman (1975)

I started to watch this one with more than a little trepidation, I will admit, on account of the fact that I had only seen it once, and even then, only half of it. In fact, just about the only thing I remembered about it was the alarm clock with a little doll that dings out erections as it chimes (really) and sex being replaced by a train going into a tunnel (which doesn’t actually happen – something of a false memory there…).

What I didn’t recall was the plot, if there was one, and therefore I went in relatively fresh before reviewing…

The Amorous Milkman (1975)
Director: Derren Nesbitt
Starring: Brendan Price, Diana Dors, Julie Edge, et al.

First off, the sound quality is terrible. There’s a huge amount of background hiss throughout the whole thing, although this probably has been recorded from some VHS tape somewhere (I can’t imagine there’s ever been a DVD release), and even then, this probably didn’t have the hugest of budgets, it may just be there, as a feature. I’m going to ignore that, though.

The Amorous Milkman poster crediting Julie Edge as the star. Why?
Julie Edge is credited first. Why?
Answers on a postcard!

This one’s called The Amorous Milkman and is yet another of these comedies that has the name of a salt-of-the-earth working-class type job in its title, on account of the fact that you probably wouldn’t be able to tell that from the huge milk float our title character rides and the bottles of milk he delivers throughout. In fact, Brendan Price is even credited at the start as “The Milkman”, as if the character doesn’t have a name!

The title and premise are somewhat misleading, however. Davey (Price) is a young milkman who lives in a tiny bedsit, complete with erection alarm clock, who can only wake up with the sound of an aeroplane seemingly close by (too close; you’d think he lives in the airport by the noise itself!). He’s also very British, warming up a copper kettle on a gas hob to make a cup of tea in the morning. His first line also contains the word “bloody”.

British, you see. Cor blimey, guv’nor.

"The Amorous Milkman" in questionable yellow typeface.
And it was all yellow…

There’s even a British sex comedy opening, with a jaunty theme tune over a “morning routine” montage (including walking down all the stairs in his building using the same shot multiple times – a cunning bit of trickery also used by student filmmakers everywhere) and the titles superimposed in yellow (also a colour they use a lot…). And off he goes with his milk.

One would expect, I think, for the rest of the film to be fairly routine, with Davey delivering more than just a bottle of milk to the succession of bored housewives he meets along his route. Indeed, it does seem to be setting that up quite nicely, introducing us to Rita (Diana Dors), unsatisfied with her stuffy second husband Gerald; Janice, who we first see in the bath; a drippy young lady who patches Davey up after a bad fall; and a dog owner.

After a huge roaring bark which I could swear was also used for Knightmare‘s Festus, Davey falls over and hits his head. Of course, it turns out that this fearsome beast is just a small King Charles spaniel, but then we all saw that one coming, didn’t we?

Davey & Janice
She’s an attractive girl.
He’s got a mullet.

The thing is, that he doesn’t actually seduce any of these women until much later. The Amorous Milkman spirals from campy sex comedy into something of a drama about romantic misunderstandings, what with Davey managing to get engaged to multiple girls (Janice, and sexy brunette Margot (Nancy Wait), not to mention Julie Edge’s Diana, also a love interest) while not having sex with any of them.

In fact, in a similar vein to Adventures of a Taxi Driver, there’s even a dodgy friend, and a crime caper bit which ends up with Davey standing trial for indecent assault! Once again, this is a comedy which ends up trying to be something else – I would have preferred repetitive sex scenes with a number of housewives, to be frank!

A mass of writhing bodies meant to represent an orgy.
The orgy. Yes, I know.

Like a lot of ’70s sex comedies, however, there isn’t really a large amount of sex. There are, and I did remember this correctly, brief snatches of sex between Davey and other women lasting about a second long (and often in an odd colour like red or blue – maybe to make it more “memory”-ish), and there’s plenty of inoffensive nudity too, such as bars with topless waitresses, a party will a full-on orgy going on, and an art nouveau film-within-a film scene, where the flick they’re actually watching reminds me of real soft porn!

Pornception!

In fact, at one point during which Davey does manage to get into bed with Margot, very little is actually seen – and what there is is intercut with wartime footage… namely:
(i) a warplane
(ii) soldiers
(iii) more soldiers
(iv) Hitler
(v) a battleship firing
(vi) another warplane
(vii) pipers playing an Edinburgh tattoo
(viii) explosions
(ix) …a flamethrower? Why?

There are even some attempts at groanworthy verbal comedy (“I hope I didn’t hurt your pussy” – it’s a cat, you, see, a cat, there’s some Mrs Slocum levels of smut there) somewhere, but if I hadn’t written it down I probably would have forgotten it!

A sex scene, dimly lit.
It’s the most you’re getting.

My guess is that The Amorous Milkman is the result of a curious experiment, throwing sex comedy, romantic misunderstandings, Shakespearean farce, courtroom drama and a milkman into the mix, filming it all and seeing what sticks. Then again, it’s actually based on a novel (by the director), which I haven’t been able to obtain, so I can’t simply go and check if this is just a filmed version of said novel to begin with!

My head hurts.

For all I’ve said, though, this flick isn’t actually bad. It’s not good, but it’s not terrible. Frankly, I was expecting worse.

And I’m really glad I don’t live in his bedsit.

Soft Porn Sunday: Jennifer Behr & Paul Michael Robinson

Something I’ve always said – at least, that’s how I’m starting this post; I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually said it – is that one’s enjoyment of porn, as with all genres, is largely situational. Take into consideration setting, angles, music, cinematography, mise-en-scène and all the other things media students have to pretend to care about, and put it into context when you’re choosing porn – there’s a noticeable difference.

Don’t believe me? Okay, think of some porn you like. Why do you like it? Is it the actors, the situation, or the scenery? It’s probably well-lit. If it’s a sex act you like, are they doing it well? If you come, what makes you do so? And what makes this so different from the porn you dislike?

For me, character is the most important thing. I want to know who’s having sex, where they are having sex and why they are having sex – even if it’s just my favourite trope, “because they can”. It makes a genuine difference, and even the slightest of changes is the sort of thing I notice. Soft porn is an easy genre to do this with, because you get the same actors appearing in multiple films. My first thought was to choose two scenes to compare featuring “good ol’ Jason Schnuit” – but I really needed a scene featuring two actors together who have done another scene, playing different characters and preferably in a different setting.

COME THROUGH, JUSTINE!

Appearance: The Adventures of Justine 6: A Private Affair (1995)
Characters: Madame Souvray & Klauss Heinmann

The barman looks like he's ready to kill, frankly.
Justine, Klaus and a hella suspicious barman.

Since the last time I mentioned it, I’ve managed to battle my way through the entire Justine series and, oh boy, what a mission that was – although, once I got the hang of the Indiana Jones-lite escapades and the “it was all a dream” fake endings, it was quite an amusing endeavour in the end. I picked this scene because:

a) it’s a genuine sex scene which lasts more than 15 seconds
b) Paul Michael Robinson’s in it

I’ve featured Paul Michael Robinson and Jennifer Behr (pronounced “bear”, like the growly animal) before, as Haffron and Ursula in Emmanuelle. That scene, for what it is, is hot – and, what’s more, it’s grown on me over time. in Justine,, obviously, they play other characters… but they still manage to get their kit off and bang, so I’m completely justified in doing this doing this.

Behr plays Madame Souvray, one of the very few characters to appear in every Justine flick. She’s the fussy, stuffy teacher who nobody likes very much. Robinson plays several different characters, all named differently and who are, confusingly, all villains – so are we meant to know they’re separate characters, or are they just an evil Haffron changing faces? This one, in any case, is duplicitous Klaus Heinmann, with perhaps the most questionable German accent since ‘Allo ‘Allo!.

Bless.

The set-up for this one is fairly simple, although admittedly quite contrived. Everyone’s on a train for whatever reason, including Klaus, who is masquerading as a porter (check out his uniform!). Souvray, who’s horny all of a sudden, throws caution to the wind – “no names, no fake promises… just you and me, and the moment…” – and retreats into a luggage cabin to get it on with the guy who’s trying to kill her boss.

D'oh!
To be fair, he’s got the right idea.

I mean, if it works…

The scene starts (after the aforementioned dialogue) with the customary disrobing, which is – actually – unusual for ASP; they usually cut straight to the nudity. Souvray is taking the lead here, being the more seductive of the two – although we see her boobs long before Klaus so much as takes off any more than his hat – we also get periodical mixes to train tracks, too, to remind us that we are indeed on a train!

Plenty of kissing – not just lips against lips – preceded Klaus getting his uniform off – although Souvray does that most herself. He doesn’t actually take his vest off before the sex starts, either, so we get a semi-nude Klaus and a bestockinged Souvray doing it up against a rack full of suitcases. How bizarre – Haffron barely managed to put any clothes on to begin with. I suppose this is Robinson’s “difficult middle period”.

As sponsored by the underwear department at your local M&S.
Is this seduction? Or calisthenics?

The sex is approvable, if fairly routine. It’s all done standing up – well, it would be, this is up against the rack full of suitcases – and doesn’t really do anything you wouldn’t expect it to. We have some thrusting from Klaus and some bouncing from Souvray; occasional mixes to train tracks jump in to provide handy cuts to different angles. Halfway through the scene, they switch to a kind of standing doggy style, with Klaus doing Souvray from behind as she holds onto the top shelf for support… a nice touch, really.

He can certainly handle all her baggage.
Health & Safety would have a field day.

I’m also getting a standard early-’90s ASP vibe from this too. There’s a gradual but noticeable increase in speed, overlaid moans from both characters with greater volume as time goes by, and a very definite orgasm point, which – as was standard in Emmanuelle – is signalled by a single “uhh!” from Robinson. That’s basically it. We know what we’re getting, and what we’re getting is solid, a refreshing difference from the soft-focus dreamy sequences the series usually affords us.

So why don’t I like this very much?

It has all the ingredients I should like – two very attractive people having sex; the “just because they can” justification; somewhere unusual that isn’t just a bed in a hotel room; plenty of nudity and energetic, lusty sex. It even has acceptable music, which helps to carry the sex but isn’t too intrusive. By all rights, I should like this. It’s by far the best sex scene in A Private Affair and possibly the whole Justine series. What’s wrong with me?

I had to puzzle this one out for a while, before it hit me. It is completely to do with the characters.

I don’t mind Madame Souvray too much. I mean, I like Jennifer Behr and I’m quite fond of the way she plays the character. Her other sex scenes in the series are quite good, too. It’s also quite nice to see a main named character having sex, as that doesn’t often happen in Justine. The problem I have, I think, is with Paul Michael Robinson. I’m aware that he is playing a completely different character here, and a villain, to boot… but I’m so attached to the idea of him playing Haffron that it’s jarring to see him doing anything else – like a bum note in a familiar song.

I should be above such petty comparisons, but as we know, I take my softcore seriously and I like what I like! I like Emmanuelle in Space and I especially like Haffron. I don’t particularly like Klaus and, as I’ve said before, the Justine series could have been better than it actually is (which is a shame). The scene I’ve just looked at isn’t bad – it’s just disconcerting. I spent half the time trying to get into it and the other half wishing I was actually watching the other sex scene between Behr and Robinson from Emmanuelle!

Which just goes to show two things, really.

One: Character is important.
Two: I’m not difficult to please… I’m impossible!

Soft Porn Sunday Special: The Adventures of Justine

Let me be the one, Justine
Let me be the first, Justine
To have you, and hold you…

Blue DVD case with several film titles listed. Justine is there, but she doesn't look like she does in the flick.
Justine doesn’t actually
look like this.

It’s been a while – in fact, it’s been so much of a while that I can’t put a number of years to it – since I first watched the Adventures of Justine series. It was shown all of twice on L!VE TV in the late-’90s, and I once accidentally got sent a copy of a Justine flick when I’d actually ordered Emmanuelle. (I watched the sex scenes and then sent it back.) The fact that I’ve been re-watching it recently has me thinking… was I assuming it was anything other than what it actually is?

Time for AN INVESTIGATION!

For those of you who aren’t aware what Justine is – and relax, it’s in no way based on the book by de Sade; I had to look that up too – it’s another series of seven erotic adventure(ish) films made by the same people (almost exactly the same people) who made Emmanuelle in Space. By which I mean, without hyperbole, it’s got the same directorial team, same crew, same sets, same cast (with the only variation being the principals, and even then there are some returning actors), and even some of the same music, which I hadn’t noticed until rewatching the second in the series the other day.

Justine follows the traditional ASP line of having seven volumes with pretentious names, some of which being known by alternate titles because actually I have no idea why. According to the DVD cover, they are:

Volume 1: In The Heat of Passion
Volume 2: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (presumably with apologies to Bill)
Volume 3: Object of Desire, also known as Wild Nights
Volume 4: Exotic Liaisons, also known as Exotic Liaison
Volume 5: Crazy Love
Volume 6: A Private Affair (written by Brian Clemens OBE, although how he got involved…!)
Volume 7: Seduction of Innocence

while Wikipedia lists them as:

Volume 1: Exotic Liaisons
Volume 2: A Private Affair
Volume 3: Wild Nights
Volume 4: Crazy Love
Volume 5: Seduction of Innocence
Volume 6: In The Heat of Passion
Volume 7: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

and there’s even some ambiguity as to when these films are dated – some are 1995, some ’96 and even some as ’97. I’m going to guess that ’95 is the closest bet, as Emmanuelle in Space is from ’94 and it’s quite clear there was very little break between filming both series.

Justine, a blonde college girl, is completely obscured by the word "JUSTINE" in obtrusive white text.
It’d be more impressive if you didn’t have your name obscuring your entire face during the opening credits.

I’m not entirely sure what Justine is meant to be – perhaps an erotic spoof of Indiana Jones, perhaps a college girl tale with fantastical elements, or probably just “a way to use up ASP’s budget” – but the resulting product is incredibly episodic, so it doesn’t seem to matter what order you watch these films in (I’m going by the order on the DVD cover). Internally the films are also a series of individual adventurey vignettes, so one could achieve the same effect by broadcasting the Justine series as half-hour episodes. Only nobody would watch that.

So, yes. Justine Wikenson (Daneen Boone, who also appeared as “Girlfriend” in Emmanuelle) is a smart and precocious, yet incredibly innocent, college girl at an academy for gifted students (Topacre). Her best friend Ursula (Kimberly Rowe, Angie in Emmanuelle) is smart and sassy, but also incredibly sexually active – the only one to have scenes like this – while Madame Souvray (Jennifer Behr, Ursula [confusingly] in Emmanuelle) is a female teacher… possibly the head of the academy, who cares?

Robson, a tall man with dark hair, embraces Justine. They are both naked.
Robson and Justine as a medieval queen. Don’t worry, it’s all just a dream.

The male lead – Professor Paul Robson (occasionally pronounced “Paul Robeson”, amusingly – is played by Timothy DiPri, who also played Theo in Emm… you get the idea. Robson is meant to be a bespectacled, yet handsome archaeology lecturer who just can’t resist getting his hands on some random historical McGuffin, throwing him into a world of intrigue. Justine interferes and gets captured (yes, in every single film! This girl gets captured seemingly as a hobby!); Robson manages to rescue her and…

…okay, here’s the other series trope. It was all a dream.

I’m not making this up. Justine’s adventures are mostly dreams she’s having either in the middle of Robson’s lectures or while writhing on her bed in sheer négligée. They genuinely don’t need to write endings to these storylines because they’re all actually dreams!

Justine, asleep in bed, which is basically the only place we ever see her.
Oh, Justine! Wake up – you’ve written an adventure film in your sleep again!

So what’s Justine studying, then, sleep? I’ve never seen her do any actual work or take an exam or anything… not like she pays attention in class, either, as she suddenly slips into an archaeological adventure seemingly completely at random!

Originally I intended for this to be a standard SPS review, where I took a scene and analysed it in-depth. I can’t bring you one, however, because the other thing I’ve managed to discover is that there’s very little sex in this sex series.

Justine is a virgin and manages to remain so throughout the entire thing (fetishisation much?), while all the kinky sex with random guys is the remit of Ursula (slut-shaming much?). While there’s meant to be a little “will-they-won’t-they?” between Justine and Robson, this never actually happens, so there’s no pay-off. There’s plenty of inoffensive nudity from Justine, as she’s particularly keen on changing into nightwear at the drop of a hat… but there isn’t an awful lot of sex.

And when there is sex, it’s often brief, poorly lit, and cuts off before any actual penetrative sex is meant to be happening! It’s very frustrating!

I suppose one positive thing about this (apart from Paul Michael Robinson, formerly Haffron, who plays a villain in this with the most lacklustre German accent I’ve ever heard – always a gem!) is that, in what was clearly quite a short space of time, ASP managed to wring seven adventure films out on what was also probably quite a limited budget. Daneen Boone tries her best, but she doesn’t have the inherent sexiness of Krista Allen as Emmanuelle, and frankly she’s such a drip that it renders her character quite unlikeable.

Justine, in very revealing nightwear, masturbates while having a dream. She has a lot of dreams.
At least she has the impressive ability to masturbate while sleeping.

But the adventure aspect is good. I’m sure I’d appreciate this more were it not for the “it’s all a dream!” epilogue, but at least they’re trying something different with it. I’m not sure it works, coherently, as a whole – they get lost a few times with what they are trying to do – but at least it has the bare bones of a series all in place.

I just wish there were a little more sex, that’s all!

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