Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Category: Soft Porn (Page 1 of 3)

ILB’s posts about softcore, his favourite porn subgenre

[REC]

Throughout my teenage years most of the glossy smut I used to consume came courtesy of my gran’s Cable TV package. She was very much into sports, so most of the channels she watched weren’t to my particular taste, but after hours, I used to indulge – when I could – in whatever was on L!VE, UK Living, Bravo, or even Sci-Fi (although Sci-Fi also showed Knightmare for a while, so I was well-acquainted with them).

Channel Five changed everything.

With terrestrial new kids on the block – and those who actually showed soft porn, no less – actually recording some suddenly became an option. It was impossible to do on cable (and I never quite realised why), digital encoding was years away, and I had plenty of blank VHSs to exploit. While the softcore shown on Friday nights was of varying quality – the original Emmanuelle was good; Buford’s Beach Bunnies… less so – the fact that I could actually use magnetic storage to obtain these films (and, hypothetically therefore, watch them at my leisure) was something new.

New and exciting.

While I remember the first time I recorded something – it was called Lap Dancer and didn’t have nearly enough sex in it – the thing I remember the most, of course, was… destroying the tape.

Although I was diligent in committing to magnetic storage a lot of the flicks I liked, at this point I was going through my “porn is wrong and I’m watching it so I must be a pervert” stage. Practically every week I would give up, and as a result I’d tape over whatever I’d taped with an afternoon of CITV or something – assuring myself that I was now cleansed, and never would watch any ever again.

And then I’d record more the following Friday.

Things came to a head the week after recording Rosie Dixon: Night Nurse. Feeling appalling every time I saw the tape (labelled “Muttley” since I’d originally been intending to use it for Wacky Races), in the end I decided I needed to get rid of the VHS, thus spiritually cleansing myself and rendering myself unable to do it again (without stealing one of my parents’ VHSs, and they all had something on them). In the end, I went to my mortal enemy Stu, who – despite hating me – also knew a lot about destruction.

Using one of Stu’s methods, I managed to lever open the cassette, pull the tape out and snap it in half, and then – for good measure – stashed the remains in the tiny alleyway that ran by the side of the house, in a drain. Hopefully, I told myself, the rain and run-off from the pipe will finish it off. And I’ll never do that again.

I wasn’t wrong, on this occasion. I didn’t do so again. I discovered downloading soon afterwards.

But it didn’t stop, on one occasion, a distraught, horny teen ILB, standing in the rainy, wet alleyway trying to find a way to repair the tape he had so artfully destroyed.

Zounds, I can be so desperate sometimes.

Eighteen

I’ve been to the cinema a lot recently and, although I have yet to see an 18-rated film, I will doubtlessly be seeing one at some point, possessed as I am of a girlfriend who has an unhealthy obsession with horror. They mentioned, yesterday, as the 15 came up for the second film we watched, that they still feel a sort of naughty thrill at seeing a 15-rated film, even at the age of thirty.

I’m thirty-six and I still get that with 18s, mostly on DVD.

I have a complicated relationship with the BBFC rating system due to the fact that my mother was so stringent. My dad was a little more lax with what I was allowed to watch – I didn’t want to watch anything more than PG until I was about 15 myself anyway, so it was probably easy – but my mother was both nervous and worried about anything more than a 12, pulling us all into the lounge to have an hour-long talk about the ethical considerations of taking me to see Shakespeare in Love at the age of 14.

And then we have porn.

I started ordering porn – if you can call it that – at seventeen. I was underage, and I’m aware of that, but I had my Visa Electron card and an Amazon account. Amazon, in those days, had a “video erotica” section (now sadly lost) with a surprisingly varied collection of VHS titles… all rated 18, of course. Ordering one – even one as pedestrian as Emmanuelle: Queen of the Galaxy – gave me a curious feeling somewhere between excitement and guilt. I was doing something I could, obviously, but something I shouldn’t.

It was probably illegal. I mean, I don’t know, but it probably was.

Anyway.

When I got to university I ordered a lot more. I didn’t have a DVD player before, but my new laptop had one, so I could hit up Amazon for softcore basically whenever I wanted. In my first year I even paid money to sign up to a site where you could download individual scenes (which now seems passé – don’t move so fast, technology!). I still felt incredibly guilty, and when they arrived at the university hall postbox, I basically smuggled the goods up to my room as if I was doing something illicit. Even if they were in cardboard packaging.

I got to the age of about twenty when I realised that I was, in fact, well over the age of eighteen and, in fact, was not doing anything wrong, nor anything I wasn’t allowed to do. Indeed I was paying for the porn I was watching, which isn’t the wrong thing to do at all!

But I still felt like I wasn’t doing the right thing. Going back home at the age of twenty-one with a growing collection of softcore DVDs, plus a case full of Discs of Wonder (all hidden inside a D&D box), made me feel like a wretch. I knew my parents wouldn’t approve, and was readying myself for the conversation when it hit me.

They don’t need to know.

And then came

You’re 21. You’re well over 18. You’re allowed to buy porn and you’ve been allowed to do so for three years now.

Yet I still feel odd even considering doing so. It’s helpful, therefore, that I have a collection.

Soft Porn Sunday: Pristine Edge & Ryan McLane

One does have to wonder, at points, how creative types get their ideas. Consider, for example, the lead actress in this scene, and why the words “Pristine Edge” were her chosen moniker. The title certainly works, but as for how she came up with it, I’m not sure.

The same can be said for the production company behind Vixens from Venus (Retromedia Entertainment), who clearly thought they had a winner with this plot.

Stand back! I'm going to attempt science!
Look at all those gadgets! Do you see? SCIENCE!

Venusians Zonondor, Zorax and Zimbabwe (couldn’t they have chosen a name which wasn’t already the name of something else?) beam down to Earth and temporarily take the bodies of sexy young women Felicity, Piper and Violet respectively. They are greeted by three of “Earth’s top scientists” – Doctors Edwards, Grayson and Kline (plus their assistant Charlie) – whose intention is to study them.

The Venusians’ aim is to escape any information about them getting out, in an attempt to preserve their utopian society. Quite how they know it’s a utopia I’m not entirely sure, since I’m fairly certain Utopia did not have a print run on Venus, but then there are more pressing matters, such as why they speak English.

Or why they came down in the first place.

Or why they feel they need to have sex to rob the scientists’ memories.

Or where Zimbabwe went. She’s by far the most attractive character in this and she’s hardly in it.

But let’s not worry about that.

Appearance: Vixens from Venus (2016)
Characters: Dr. Kline & Dr. Grayson

Grayson and Kline appear to be romantically involved.

Felicity / Zonondor

Zonondor has a delicate way of putting things, it seems, since she’s just walked in on Grayson and Kline having sex on a table.

As it turns out, the Venusians need to sleep with all three scientists in order to complete their mission. Doctors Grayson and Kline are engaged (although neither of them is wearing a ring – tisk, tisk), and after their colleague Edwards has been incapacitated (after foolishly sleeping with Zonondor), they decide that the best way to let off steam is to fuck on top of the sanitised table in their study room. This they do.

Twice.

Before the plot moves on, really. This is, of course, a Retromedia Entertainment trope – overlong sex scenes with very attractive people with a plot set around them – the problem being that by this point I was invested in said plot, so there wasn’t a reason not to spool through them! Aaaaargh!

Ahem. As I was saying.

Nudity! Sexytimes! SCIENCE!
The thingy on the right is a teleportation device, complete with… bowling pins?

So. This scene takes place in a lab, by which I mean a set which has illuminated screens which show very little, gadgets that don’t do anything but beep and blink, and what look like 1950s-era sound reel-to-reel tape players. At the very least it doesn’t take long for the doctors to disrobe… because it all happens in a mix cut. There’s a brief kiss and then an immediate mix to Grayson giving Kline oral sex. No time wasted there. Very efficient scientists, clearly.

I’ve mentioned how lengthy the scenes are, and this is a bit of a problem. As attractive as Pristine Edge might be (and she is, she’s absolutely stunning), watching her get eaten out for over a minute and a half seems to slow time down a little. There isn’t really any variation in the position it happens, nor in her reaction, nor in McLane’s “half-a-face” expression. It’s just naked Kline on a table for a length of time which could be a whole scene on its own.

Smile while your brain is breaking...
One of Edge’s facial expressions… oh, and a chair, for whatever reason.

There is an interesting cut to the Venusians discussing their plan in the middle of the scene, which provides a refreshing break (and a glimpse of Dillion Harper as Violet/Zimbabwe, which definitely kept me interested), and when we cut back, Grayson and Kline are now having penetrative sex. It’s quite a clever way to show a shift (in location as well as activity; they’re now on the opposite side of the table, yes I do notice these details shut up). It’s fairly energetic and regularly bouncy, and although this also lasts for a long time, the regular cuts between different angles, quick pace of the sex and Edge’s range of naughty facial expressions (she does a good open-mouthed smile thing which I recognise from actual sex) helps keep the momentum up.

There are even some moments which your average sex scene wouldn’t consider. They look into each other’s eyes and at one point attempt a messy kiss. It’s not a romantic scene, but if you really try, you can almost imagine they’re a real couple.

Almost.

After a while, Zonondor walks in, watches for a bit, and then smiles and exits. Fantastic – voyeurism. Let’s add that to the list of social issues this film has.

This is what Zonondor sees. His washboard stomach is putting me off, somewhat.

What you can’t see (or hear) is that, throughout this entire scene, there is a strange pop track playing… with vocals. The lyrics aren’t very inspired (choice cuts include “I need your love” and “I want your love), but the track also includes various orgasm noises at points. They aren’t at all related to what’s going on on screen, which throws off the rhythm somewhat. Plus, if I’m listening to the lyrics, how am I meant to be enjoying the sex? There’s only one of me!

The main thing, however, is that throughout this scene, and the successive one and the one after that (and one later in the movie), all of which feature Pristine Edge, she is genuinely the one carrying the weight. Throughout the film, she neither looks nor acts like a scientist, but she gives every performance her absolute all – her facial expressions (whether lustful, cunning, or pleasantly vacant once she has been incapacitated), the way she moves her body, her cute little nose piercing and famous “four hearts” tattoo. She is fantastic at what she does, and despite the fact that the script does nothing for her character except gets her naked, she really brings the performance to life.

The best thing about this flick.
This isn’t Pristine Edge, but I think Dillion Harper is beautiful, so I’m putting this here.

I have an issue with Vixens from Venus, insofar as the message it gets across. It has some very questionable ethics behind it in terms of gender rôle, social class, race division and a wholly unnecessary method employed by the aliens (and one scene which could be considered sex without consent), and – essentially – a plot which, look good as it may on paper, is sort of forgotten about in the second half.

So I do have to say, essentially… yeah, the sex is good, but just… just… don’t.

It’ll Never Work

Why won’t this work?

It could apply to either thing, really. First of all, my CD drive won’t work. I have, in all fairness, had this for a while. It certainly opens well enough, but then there’s the matter of the fact that it’s not reading the CD-R I’ve put into it.

Maybe it’s a problem with the CD-R. I went through labelling them all a month or so back, and this one says “this disc is temperamental”. But it’s not just not reading – it doesn’t appear to exist. My computer isn’t detecting a drive at all.

Maybe it’s not plugged in properly.

I fiddle with wires. Eventually the drive groans into life.

I’m looking for something specific, but I’m not even sure if I have it. Disc after disc go in and out of my drive. Scene after scene scroll past my eyes, flickering like a peepshow. What am I looking for? Is this it? What even is this?

Why won’t this work?

I was hard even before I started watching the scenes. Minutes pass, and this becomes less of a scavenger hunt than a mission of arousal. My body is crying; every part of me screams for release.

It’s too early to be horny, I tell myself. But then I can’t control what my body wants. And I’m haaaaaard.

So why won’t this work? These are carefully curated scenes. They’ve always worked before. My hand knows what to do. But something is disconnected here – it’s not working. If I can’t find what I’m looking for, then I may as well satisfy myself in another way, and if I can’t satisfy myself that way, then what am I achieving here?

Maybe I should just give up. Put on some clothes, get myself a drink and walk to the cinema to see Jungle Cruise.

Google Chrome is still open, I notice. What site was I browsing before this? Click.

Oh…

Something sparks in the back of my brain. I close my eyes and let my imagination take over.

And that works. Almost immediately.

Soft Porn Sunday: Cassidey & Daniel D. Anderson

If you look at the list of softcore features from the ’90s (go on, do it), you’re more than likely to come across many – if not most – of them billed as “thrillers”. In fact, the erotic thriller genre really peaked in the nineties; there were multiple variations in how believable the thriller aspect was (there is a throat-slitting scene in Mirror Images II with the least realistic fake blood I’ve ever seen), and also massive variations in the number of sex scenes.

In the early noughties, less and less erotic thrillers were being made as studios started to become more interested in erotic sci-fi, but the genre persisted, and that’s why there are still things like

Appearance: Naked Secrets (2006)
Characters: Belinda & Chase

Naked Secrets is an odd beast. On the surface, it looks like a fairly standard “missing woman” thriller – Matt (Frank Mercuri) is looking for his missing wife Laurie (Lacie Heart), aided by his coworker Chase (Anderson). Dig a little deeper, though, and there’s a darker aspect – Laurie has been vising an exclusive spa, catering for female clients and fulfilling their sexual fantasies. Matt and Chase can’t get in, so there’s… that…

Into this mix comes Belinda (Cassidey – who is also the porn star Paizley Adams), who ends up having sex with Chase because of course she does, she’s played by Cassidey, she doesn’t need to have any clothes on to make an impact.

I mean.

Anyway, this scene starts with the soft porn candle, although it has clearly also been to the health spa as it has changed shape – it is also not alight, so why is it so prominently in shot at all? Did we have to have something to pan over before getting to the sex part?

Candle, clothes and cushions. Hey, magic three!
Necessary cameo. The candle is the Stan Lee of soft porn.

The sex itself takes place on the sofa, and the first noticeable thing – candle notwithstanding – is that there is an age difference between Belinda and Chase (and presumably also Cassidey and Anderson). Before you start coming for me, I’m just going to point out that I noticed it. There’s no further commentary on that.

I’m lying. Here it is: softcore will have multiple actors of varying age. Some (Shannon Tweed) kept making it until their 40s; some (Amber Newman) made a lot and then moved on to other things; some (Jason Schnuit) are timeless. One of the jobs of the casting director (in this case, Robert Lombard… in 4,027,204 other cases, also Robert Lombard) is to make the pairings believable. When it comes to apparent age, although there are some gaps, most of the scenes I’ve seen appear to have participants of roughly similar ages.

In this scene there is a very apparent, noticeable and deliberate age gap: Chase is an older man; Belinda is young and hot. I know it’s there for a reason, but I had to stop and think for a second. Couldn’t quite get into the scene without adjusting myself a little.

The scene doesn’t have this problem, because it starts with very enthusiastic fellatio! Wasting no time there, fellas!

In fact, most of this scene is enthusiastic. The soft porn blowjob lasts for 45 seconds, and it mostly consists of head bobs (which is what a real blowjob looks like; soft porn blowjobs usually look more like a very slow kiss, so this is different) before moving to sex in the astride position. This isn’t actually a mix or a cut – we see her mount him, which is also pleasant.

I'm bringing sexy back. I mean, she's got a sexy back. Is what I'm trying to say.
She performs fellatio; he performs “the grasp”.

Belinda rides Chase for a while, which is also done with a fair amount of gusto – fast and bouncy, but believable – and, at this point, we get to see Cassidey’s face (she’s beautiful!) and famous butterfly tattoo (which is her trademark). Anderson is reacting fairly well, both facially and with positioning of his hands, so clearly Chase is enjoying himself just as much as Belinda is.

There’s a break in the action for a little breast-kissing during which Belinda makes a curious “ooh” noise (yes, seriously). Chase gets in on the noise-making himself when she starts to ride him again, although the noise he makes is more like “ow!” than anything else – painful much? – and the sex, as energetic as before, is now accompanied by some moans from Cassidey, which adds something.

You can see the butterfly tattoo if you tear your eyes away from her face and hair!
Hair holding. See, I do notice things.

Throughout the entire preceding scene she has been holding her hair back with one hand. Maybe she’s into that? In any case, it’s one of those details which have just been added in for ILB to notice, so of course I’m mentioning this.

At 01:48 we get a mix to the position that I was expecting – doggie style – which both allows Belinda the chance to get bumped and ground (grinded? Ground sounds wrong. Never mind.) and highlights the amount of body hair that Chase has (he brings gorillas to mind). At 02:04, she shoots him a sultry, lustful look: it’s brief, but it’s hot. A series of quick cuts shows us his face (he looks like he’s concentrating a lot), hers (she looks fine), and both bodies – with, again, the noticeable age difference.

At one point, there’s even a bit of dialogue, which is

Belinda: Yes! Come on, baby!
Chase: Uuuuuuurrrrhhh…

Scintillating, I know.

There isn’t much more to say about the rest of the scene. It’s more of the same; sex in a variety of positions performed with a lot of energy and enthusiasm from both actors. Belinda moans and is sexy; Chase grunts and is there; the sofa gets fucked on; the soft porn candle gets its paycheque for the cameo appearance, and the scene ends when Matt knocks on the door. The whole scene is almost four and a half minutes, which is a healthy length for a sex scene in this genre.

Cheese and tomato. (This has nothing to do with the screenshot. I'm just hungry.)
“Oi’th got thome hair in mah mouff!”

Hot as this scene is (and it is; it makes me hard, at least…), one wonders exactly what it would have been had the music been different. Throughout, it is a soft, synthy thing with occasional percussive beats, whereas I’m more used to energetic sex like this being accompanied by electric guitar slams and drum lines! Maybe it wouldn’t suit the overall tone of the film – after all, it’s a thriller and not Passion Cove – but what we’re given is not the soundtrack I’d be expecting.

Minor quibble. It just might have been hotter, that’s all.

Overall, though, I really like this! It’s lengthy, dirty, sprightly and vibrant, and a worthy addition to my library… so thank you, kind reader SA, for suggesting I do this one!

Discs of Blunder™

Wow, May went by quickly.

Whoosh.

That’s May going by.

I missed out completely on Masturbation Month. I’ve got plenty to say about masturbation, but I just skipped my chance to say it. Bad blogger, ILB. Very bad indeed. It’s Pride Month now, so maybe I’ll have a chance to say something about that.

Despite the positive message of May, it’s not like I did a lot of masturbation during the month. My initial aim – and I would have gotten a blog post out of this – was to set some time aside for masturbation every day. Make it some sort of event, rather than a furtive spur-of-the-moment thing – and, possibly, getting back in touch with my body while doing so. (I’m having a lot of body issues right now, so anything helps, really.)

However, as it turns out, this wasn’t the case. I’ve been at work – and I’m aware that I was lucky to get work, what with the current economic uncertainty, so I’m not going to turn that down – and there was a lot to be done around the house. I’m also not comfortable with masturbating with my girlfriend watching.

(I made them come with my fingers the other day, but that’s something completely different…)

They started a temp job today, however, so I thought I’d make up for lost time. And out came the Discs of Wonder™.

They have seen better days.

Several of the Discs – including one on which was the scene I particularly wanted to watch – appear to have given up the ghost. One has had a little of the mirror side flake off, so my drive doesn’t read it; a couple make whizzy noises but the computer fails to recognise them. Some load up well enough, but then some of the scenes glitch the while thing. Some make VLC hang halfway through. And then some have just decided it was their time, and peacefully expired.

Only a few of the Discs still work and they were mostly the ones on which the scenes are not things I’d choose to watch (and, realistically, frustratingly, not the one scene I own which I really wanted to. I’ve been trying to conjure it up in my head during my infrequent wanks recently, and now I actually have the Discs out I can’t find it!). I spent about half an hour this morning checking which ones loaded, which didn’t, and which had content I actually like…

…with one hand. All while hard and stimulating myself with another hand.

In the end, of course (and predictably), I finished while a scene autoplayed from one of the folders I have on my hard drive… making my efforts, effectively, moot. Glad for the orgasm nonetheless, I cleaned up, and put the Discs away, but closer to home for easier access.

Because, you see, I have no reason to put them away right now.

I have the rest of the week free and all of May to catch up on.

SO HERE I GO!

Soft Porn Sunday: Shannon Tweed & James Brolin

Take a step back, and breathe.

Okay, now come closer. You can’t hear me from all the way back there.

Am I clearer now? Good.

I felt like I needed to give you the time to parse the title you have just read. If, like me, you grew up in Britain during the ’90s, you’ll know exactly who Shannon Tweed is, most likely due to the existence of Channel 5. Her extensive back catalogue steadily made its way onto UK TV, and as it did, Tweed completists were religiously setting their VCRs to record every Friday night.

That is to say, I certainly was.

You may also know James Brolin… that is to say, Golden Globe-winning, Emmy-winning, has-a-star-on-the-Hollywood-walk-of-fame, married-to-Barbra-Streisand James Brolin. Yes, this is actually him. His Wikipedia entry seems to omit the fact that he did soft porn. I wonder why.

Appearance: Indecent Behavior II (1994)
Characters: Dr Rebecca Mathis & Liam O’Donnell

Now it’s my turn to take a step back and breathe to get over the fact that I had to use the American spelling of “behaviour”. I’m never, ever doing that again.

At the very least, I am aware of this series, and to my knowledge there are four Indecent Behavio(u)r films (although the fourth one was later retitled Human Desires), and from what I’ve seen – or at least what my memory tells me I’ve seen – they are all very similar. Tweed is the star, but this one also contains Nikki Fritz and Rochelle Swanson, so at least there are a few bonus names there.

Boooooooooooobs.
This is Soft Porn Sunday, so I’ve got to put some boobs in somewhere.

Like the rest, IB2 is an erotic thriller, with the erotic parts serving to fluff out the thriller parts. In fact, in essence, IB2 is more of a whodunnit; reporter Shoshona (Elizabeth Sandifer) investigating people before getting hecka murdered. The suspects, such as they are, include Tweed’s character, sex therapist Rebecca Mathis, and that’s where she comes in.

The trope of “sex therapist not having a lot of sex” is one that has seen its fair share of days in the sun, and it very much shows here, with Rebecca’s sexual awakening amounting to two shower scenes plus one sex scene with Brolin. To keep the punters happy, or something.

The scene itself

Popular though she may be, I’ve never really gotten on with Shannon Tweed’s sex scenes. There may well be nudity, but there’s very little movement. Lots of close-ups, dimly lit sets and often just the merest hint of implied sex rather than the bump’n’grind of more recent stuff.

Light. Lots and lots of light.
Rebecca, Liam and the Time Vortex making a cameo appearance.

This scene is a good example, actually. The first half-minute shows us nothing more than Rebecca and Liam (Brolin’s character) in a fairly extensive kiss in front of a curiously bright light, and at thirty seconds we cut to a shot of Liam’s chest, with Rebecca’s hand… sort of caressing and then deciding not to?

By this point, the scene seems to have been set up already. Holy light notwithstanding, everything’s quite dim; the focus is deliberately soft, and we also have the classic ’90s erotic thriller music underscoring the whole thing: slow, held synthy chords; slide guitar every now and again; occasional wind chimes and a clave hit thrown in every now and then for good measure. It’s slow and sultry and would suit the scene were I at all interested. By 00:34, I can tell where this is going.

00:35 is the start of what I assume to be sex, although with all the camera changes it’s difficult to tell. Undoubtedly Tweed is making the noises, although that’s also questionable, as they are relatively sparse. Some bits definitely are – there are a few shots of Rebecca in the astride position and something which may be a stab at doggie – but nothing lasts very long.

Sex. Just not much of it.
I took a screenshot to make this last longer. It’s two seconds otherwise.

Deliberately, I assume. Every two seconds or so there is a mix shot to a different angle, occasionally featuring extreme close-up; for a while, this is more like a montage than an actual sex scene. It’s very odd.

At around 01:05 – which is more than halfway through this this scene clocks in at two minutes exactly – we do at last get a shot of what I recognise at being a sex scene. Liam is on top of Rebecca and they are undoubtedly having sex at this point – but, again, this fades out. This carries on for the rest of the scene, too, as they film various brief shots of sex in various positions but them mix out to more chest kissing or somesuch!

Sex and shadows.
Some interesting shadow patterns on the wall behind them there.

In fact, the chest kissing is what they keep coming back to – quite literally, because it’s the same shot of Rebecca kissing Liam’s chest recycled several times in the same scene! Nice one, movie!

So what is it?

This must, must, must be a deliberate attempt to film a sex scene without showing a lot of sex. There’s no other excuse for it. You’ve got two talented actors here, and an adequate set (well… a bed), but there are so many overly-short shots and insta-mixes that the message kind of gets lost somewhere. What is happening here? Is Rebecca attracted to Liam or not? Is he some sort of beautiful lady magnet or is that just his chest? Are either of them enjoying this? Tweed smiles at some point, but that’s the only indication we get, really!

Would anyone like to sign a petition to have this film retitled Indecent Directing?

Soft Porn Scramble: Blonde, Busty, & Keane (1999)

Ding, ding!

That’s the sound of the little bell ringing in the back of your head. Maybe it’s dulled by the accumulation of years surrounding it. Perhaps it rings with a muffled clapper – you recognise the words, but can’t really wring the context out of your brain. You may have even seen this mentioned somewhere – although mentions of the same are very difficult to find – perhaps while trying to find Threesome or Kira Reed’s Easy Guide to Fulfilling Your Fantasies.

But I challenge you, gentle reader, to find anyone who has watched a single episode.

I have, of course. I’ve seen about two or three, but bearing in mind that I was 14 when this was aired, and add to that the fact that one series was made – and one that was never repeated, sold on, or renewed (and no clips are on the Internet – I’ve looked!) – and you may have to forgive me for my memories being a little hazy.

I’ll do my best.

So what is it?

L!VE TV‘s Blonde, Busty, & Keane (which is the correct spelling, complete with Oxford comma and ampersand) does, indeed, exist; although it isn’t mentioned in the official L!VE TV prospectus, an IMDb listing exists, as does a brief mention on GitHub!

James Bond after taking a huge dose of LSD.
I believe this may be the title sequence. I can’t recall any other L!VE TV programme that used this.

It is, effectively, a spy caper series starring Jane Blonde (porn star Katie Ann Day) and Tracey Keane (actress Madeleine Curtis), two attractive young ladies employed as secret agents by spymaster Busty Farquar (Annabel Rivkin – I’m assuming not the same Annabel Rivkin who writes for ES Magazine et al, but you never know, she might be!). Written and shot by L!VE themselves in and around their Canary Wharf headquarters, and directed by John Wolskel (who went on to write horror movies), Blonde, Busty, & Keane lasted for one series.

Eight episodes, aired between September and October 1999.

What’s different about it?

The gimmick here – if one can call it a gimmick – is that it bills itself as an erotic series. It isn’t – there isn’t any actual sex in it, and the sex there is is always done quickly and with clothes on – but, at the very least, it was shown during the L!VE Late 10pm slot and contained what can best be termed “a moderate amount of nudity”.

I’m really selling this to you, I can tell.

One prominent example I can think of is a scene in which Blonde and Keane get stuck in a skip – it’s not meant to be, but it’s genuinely a skip – full of… something meant to trap them, I guess. Blonde manages to activate a hitherto-unmentioned explosive device in Keane’s bra, which manages to effect their escape as well as render Keane topless for the next few minutes.

There is, even, a continuing plot with a recurring villain – Baron Schwanzer (Alan Blyton) – and, if my memory serves me correctly, several side characters including a stereotypical Frenchman complete with beret, stripy hat and garlic necklace. Busty, while busty, is never particularly involved in the action and never once removes her business suit.

I also can’t really say much for the storylines, but as far as I can remember, they are a mess.

So what was the point?

It’s difficult to tell.

From a young ILB’s memory, Blonde, Busty, & Keane seemed to have had a lower budget than other homegrown series like Threesome. Sets were small (I suspect mostly built in the office in One Canada Square), plots were threadbare, characters had no character, and in addition to having nothing that could reasonably be termed a ‘sex scene’, what nudity there was was both brief and non-sexy.

14-year-old ILB wasn’t difficult to turn on. Practically everything else did, but I remember being both bored and confused by this. I genuinely don’t remember ever being once titillated, amused or intrigued by any part of this programme, which probably explains why I only remember watching it twice.

Exotica Erotica was on afterwards, so that’s probably why.

Is there anything positive to say about it?

I’ll skip past the ‘strong women doing heroic stuff’ tag, because this doesn’t really exemplify this. Bikini Avengers is right there, my dudes.

For all its flaws, Blonde, Busty, & Keane is an example of both what not to do with an erotic spy story (ie. no sex; limited nudity; no plot) and what to do with a very limited budget (ie. use what you have for scenery; small cast; inventive use of outdoor props).

A misspelled Katie Ann Day completely out of her depth.
Katie Ann Day on “The Sex Show” promoting it.

It even had a bit of promotion, with Day appearing on L!VE’s The Sex Show talking about it and a trailer made (which sadly I can’t find anywhere; it has an MST3K-like set up with silhouetted men in a cinema), before quietly disappearing into the netherworld.

ILB’s Extra Bit

This post was originally planned to be a deep dive into Blonde, Busty, & Keane with all the resources I could find, but realistically, there are no resources. Vague references aside, there’s very little evidence that this programme ever existed, and while the cynical side of me wants to think that MGN (who owned the channel) buried it somewhere quiet and dark, the realistic side of me rationalises that it was quickly realised they had produced something that proved not to be marketable, and pulled it.

The same slot that aired Blonde, Busty, & Keane was also used for imports of short-form American programmes like Compromising Situations and Love Street; this is what it went back to shortly after the aforementioned show stopped running.

What is confusing, however is why it appears to be completely expunged from televisual history. It was certainly filmed once, and aired once. Cable television proved to be difficult to record from on VHS (I certainly failed to get any of Knightmare from Sci-Fi), but this is the sort of thing that someone would record, surely?

So where is it…?

Soft Porn Sunday: Sarah Hunter & William F. Bryant

“What’s your name?”
“I am Beauty.”
“I can tell that, but what’s your name?”

THREE TIMES. It’s one joke, and not even a particularly good one, and yet they wheel it out three. whole. times in movie that’s a scant one minute and twenty seconds long. My guess? They didn’t think to give the character a name – neither does she have much of a personality, really, but that’s not her fault.

In any case, this is a different spin on Sleeping Beauty, and if they hadn’t already made Maleficent into a thing, I might be more interested in this. As it is…

Appearance: Sleeping Beauties (2017)
Characters: Beauty & Harry

I may cringe a little at the dialogue, but to tell the absolute truth, I quite like this one, even if it’s by no means a cinematic masterpiece. At the very least, the concept is fun – Beauty is found by a pair of construction workers, and most of the plot centres around them – their friendship and later rivalry, and even a sort of fraud storyline, unscrupulous Richard (Andy Long) stealing good guy Harry (Bryant)’s architecture plans.

Beauty, despite being the title character, has very little to do with the plot. She’s just… there. Naked.

At the very least Sarah Hunter plays her well enough. Not that she has much to do, really, but she does it well. Her first exposure to the modern world, after centuries of slumber, is amusing – completely engrossed in hotel television and assuming Harry is a wizard for making it happen – and at least a part of her character is established when it turns out she is fairly shameless about changing clothes in front of a bloke she barely knows.

I never truly thanked you for saving me… but I’d like to try!

beauty

Aaaaaaaaaaaand… cue the sex!

This is the first sex scene in the film, and let’s be honest, the fact that it’s between Beauty and Harry shouldn’t really come as a massive surprise, should it? It’s also a looooooong scene, each of the ‘o’s in that word representing a minute. Seven-minute sex scenes are rarely ever a thing. If they’re hot, that shouldn’t really matter…

but then again…

The reason for having sex with Harry having been established is one thing, but adherence to continuity appears to be a completely different concept here, as Beauty’s dress appears to vanish between shots, and by the time she’s lying on top of Harry giving him a kind of aggressive kiss (apparently two seconds later!), she’s completely naked.

A wizard did it. And then he ran away.

This kissing bit – and there’s quite a lot of kissing, really – goes on for a while, and for a few moments, I did kind of wonder if this was all the scene was going to be. Despite all the nudity, in fact, it’s relatively chaste – there’s plenty of touching, but nothing overly explicit. It’s well over a minute before Harry gets around to kissing Beauty’s breasts, and even that is done in a relatively censored way.

Not that I complain – lest we forget, this is soft porn and there’s only a limit to what they can show – but it really does seem desperately slow. The necessary boob-kissing is followed by a bit where she takes his shirt off, one button at a time, which both takes up a lot of time and she clearly struggles with one of them, which they left in! Nice one, movie!

It sucks.
Look me in the eye and tell me she’s anywhere near his dick.

More kissing (yawn), followed by the least convincing soft porn blowjob I’ve ever seen (yawn), until a few minutes go by and we have a slow mix to something approaching penetrative sex. This is standard doggie style stuff, but at least it’s fun. There’s a lot of energy on Harry’s part and Beauty is doing her fair share of moving. We also get some sound effects here – moans and the like – which we haven’t seen before. It makes a difference and also reminds a horny ILB that this is a sex film, so there’s some good in that.

Harry's been decapitated.
I mean, she keeps her crown on, that’s pretty fashion-conscious.

This goes on for a while – in fact, probably too much of a while; Harry looks bored by the end – so it’s something of a relief that, five minutes in, they switch to the missionary position. This is also fairly energetic – by which I mean they are rocking back and forth and Beauty has her mouth open – and there are some nice touched too, like a point where her hands are placed on his back, as if to hold him in place. This then goes on for two minutes (!!), before it quite simply fades to black.

Missionary impossible.
I think one of those is a statement nail, but it’s kind of hard to tell.

The whole thing is overlaid with a kind of circular instrumental mediæval (or later) music thing, mostly plucked strings (harp/lyre?) with orchestral violins behind it, which is pretty on its own, but doesn’t match the scene. I get the concept – this is a time-displaced princess from a earlier era and it’s an attempt to be in keeping with the fantasy theme – but it neither matches with, nor is it appropriate for, the sex. I can’t see electric guitars working here, really, but it makes me very sleepy, and if I’m going to be watching a film, I don’t want to fall asleep during!

Overall, though, I don’t hate this. The individual components – characters, actors, setting, music, scenario – are all pretty. Individually they work well, but put together it doesn’t quite gel into something cohesive enough. It’s also far too long to be the kind of sexy hit I need (this is a problem I usually have with hardcore; softcore doesn’t usually do this!), which makes me wonder if they just filmed all the footage they could and decided to use it all.

Something I’ve also noticed – and this is positive – is how body-diverse this scene is (if that is a thing). Harry still has body hair, which most men in softcore have shaved (or waxed) off. Beauty, while she is undeniably incredibly beautiful, isn’t skeletally thin, either – which isn’t to say she is a large woman; she does, however, have a slightly fuller figure, which makes her look healthy, as opposed to anaemic and worryingly xylophonic.

It’s mot much, but it’s noticeable.

Come together, women of the world!
It’s IWD, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw in a shot of Beauty’s feminist power tattoo.

I can see what they are going for with this scene – and the film as a whole, really; as I said above, the concept works – but its length and mood both confuse me. If it’s meant to be smoking hot, it doesn’t work (the music is off-putting), and it doesn’t call out as being something one is meant to fap to. Having said that, it is long and Beauty is pretty and even Harry isn’t bad to look at, so if one has time for a long, leisurely wank that neither starts nor ends with this, then it might be something handy (ahem) to have on hand (ahem!) should something come up (AHEM!).

And then there’s the rest of the film too. So don’t worry – you’ll be seeing her magically become naked again.

The Blame Game

I was watching porn, and I knew it was wrong.

It’s not my fault, I told myself furiously. I’m doing something wrong, but it’s not my fault. At the end of the day, it probably was… if one can find fault with porn; I’ve no problem with it now… but I couldn’t tell myself that.

It’s her fault, I settled on. If she did go out with me, I wouldn’t need to watch any of this stuff. I’m only watching it for the kissing, anyway, and if she kissed me, then maybe I could…

A bare-faced lie. But then again, I never would act on any of my crushes. It was probably hard enough for her anyway. In any case, this was different. Porn was about sex. I never imagined having sex with anyone I fancied – even a hug would be enough. I didn’t get hugs either, but…

It’s BBC2’s fault, then, I offered. If they weren’t showing Dangerous Touch then I wouldn’t be watching it.

Never mind the fact that I always perused Radio Times for every bit of erotica I could find on Channel 5. BBC2 showing something was a novelty. I’d probably have been watching it anyway, no matter what channel it was on, but nevertheless. What was I supposed to do – blame the entire media?

It’s the production company’s fault, a little voice said. They’re making sexy stuff and putting it on TV. It can’t be your fault if you’ve got no control over what film companies make.

My head started to hurt as the cogs in my brain whizzed around trying to find someone else to blame. My parents? No. My sister? Hardly. My friends? Probably not – although Lightsinthesky’s constant sex talk didn’t help. My school? I didn’t know; our year 9 sex ed may have been relatively limited, but they didn’t talk about the ethics of porn.

I could take pot shots at everyone, but then I was the one watching the porn. I could have easily turned off the TV, but I didn’t. I just kept on watching.

At the end of the day, the only one to blame was me.

So I did.

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