Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Category: Soft Porn (Page 1 of 2)

ILB’s posts about softcore, his favourite porn subgenre

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.

Keeping the British End Up: Emmanuelle in Soho (1981)

This one’s on Amazon Prime if you want to watch it. But, you know, don’t.

Soft porn experts (such as myself) and the more clued-up will probably have noticed that the Emmanuelle series has its own recurring motifs. All incarnations of Emmanuelle have, at some point, been seen on (or near) a wicker chair. She’s always bisexual. She’s always a hedonist, to some degree. And she’s always, always spelled correctly, with two Ms – Emmanuelle.

“Who are you?”
“I’m Emmanuelle.”
“One M or two?”

Emmanuelle through time: Emmanuelle’s forbidden pleasures (2011)

And then there are the unofficial ones – not just the Black Emanuelle series with Laura Gemser, but a whole glut of others (some not even featuring a character called Emanuelle!) with the label slapped on – dodging copyright simply by eliminating the wicker chair and one of the Ms.

So how they actually managed to release this I have no idea!

Emmanuelle in Soho (1981)
Director: David Hughes
Starring: Mandy Miller, Julie Lee, John East, et al.

Naked woman standing in front of... London, I presume? Dunno, really.
Neither of these women are Emmanuelle. Yes, I know.

This one is a strange mix of sex comedy, sexploitation and a satire on the British sex industry (and, indeed, the US release – yes, there’s a US release – starts with a short documentary on the Soho adult films market). Like a lot of the other British sex comedies I’ve seen, it does at times appear to be a little confused about what it’s actually trying to do. There’s also very little sex. Man…

So, the plot. Struggling photographer Paul (Kevin Fraser) and his unsatisfied wife Kate (Julie Lee) live in Soho. They have been trying to make it big, but to no avail; therefore, their openly sexual pal Emmanuelle (Angie Quick credited as Mandy Miller) gets involved. Emmanuelle is presented here as a very British, very leggy blonde who, the first time we see her, is trying to sleep with Paul. Paul, however, is a married man and not up for being caught in flagrante delicto.

The first scene – the very first – reminds me starkly of why I found this very difficult to watch. The lines are delivered in a relatively piecemeal, monotone way – specifically from Paul, whose pitch and cadence neither vary nor amuse. None of the jokes really land, and because the scenes are so short (the film itself moves at a breakneck pace), I’ve found myself having to pause to puzzle out what’s going on at times!

Naked women doing... naked woman stuff.
Nudity!

Erotically speaking, we do indeed get a lot of the traditional “nudity without sex” here – as early as the second scene, which has Paul doing his photography thing with Emmanuelle and model Sammy (Kathy Green). They are getting increasingly naked as the scene goes along, and although Paul is being a professional, the girls are getting into it. Were it not for the fact that Paul genuinely says…

“bisexuality is very fashionable these days…”

…I might understand what’s going on here.

In fact, it’s those random, innocuous lines that throw me. We get things like “I’m a straight guy in a bent business” (Paul), “I’m always sexy early in the morning” (Emmanuelle) and “I wouldn’t handle his prick, let alone his business!” (Bill) coming in ten-a-penny, presumably to raise a smile, whereas all I’m raising in an eyebrow. Yes, it may be that this flick is from a less enlightened time, but you can’t possibly tell me that they’re even funny, never mind appropriate!

Kenneth Williams' stunt double meets some woman with a mullet.
Emmanuelle seducing Bill. I will admit that that Emanuelle poster on the wall is a nice touch.

The antagonist is Bill Anderson (John M. East – also the co-writer and co-producer of this!), a sleazy porn producer who, I assume, is meant to embody the seedy, untrustworthy side of Soho. Emmanuelle, after sleeping with him (I assume – the scene cuts away), gets signed to his business with Paul representing her; Kate takes a job as a stripper to make ends meet. That’s it. That’s the film.

There is, somewhere here, a blackmail plot – something to do with our heroes having enough of Bill’s bullshit and fleecing him out of cash – but there’s very little of that. The majority of this is inoffensive nudity – not just Paul’s increasingly desperate photo sessions and Kate’s stripping for the very camp theatre director, but the obligatory “naked party scene” (we’ve seen this trope before) which takes up about a third of the hour-long runtime.

By the end, we don’t really care too much for the plot, which I suppose shouldn’t really be a surprise. What is a surprise is the fact that Emmanuelle in Soho‘s only actual sex scene takes place right at the end.

As I’ve said above, while there’s a lot of nudity, there’s very little sex in this. Scenes which involve some amount of sex either involve disrobing before they cut away, getting to a bed but nothing ends up being particularly explicit, or naked kissing, which may well be nice, but it’s fairly obvious what it is (and/or what it isn’t).

Got milk?
The scene. They don’t really get any closer than this.

Here’s an example. In the third act there’s a lesbian sex scene in a bath of milk (yes), which cuts away and back several times. Each time we can see the girls kissing in a different position, but there’s clearly no touching elsewhere. Yes, it’s difficult to film lesbian sex, but it looks a little socially distanced at times. You could have the ladies wrapped around each other to kiss and that would give some indication as to what you’re aiming for. It doesn’t really work otherwise!

The final sex scene, which actually looks like a sex scene, is well-shot, but spoiled slightly by the context. Kate spends her time narrating over it – Derek (her male lover) is the other participant – but what happened to Paul? In Kate’s words, “he turned out to be homosexual, and into little boys. I like horny men.”

Excuse me?

Naked woman rides a gormless man in front of the least realistic depiction of a tiger since Tony.
I’m sorry to report that this isn’t a real tiger.

So there’s a completely new, totally superfluous gay paedophilia subplot here, which serves no purpose at all (other than to give Kate an out, I suppose). It’s both disturbing and ridiculous… plus, there’s been no indication at all of any of this for the rest of the movie! It’s the worst kind of ending: something so out-of-the-blue, so contrived, and so tacked on (not to mention ethically dodgy and maybe even a little homophobic!).

Emmanuelle’s not even in it that much!

So, yes. Emmanuelle in Soho is a confusing, disjointed mess. There’s a plot I’m not interested in, nudity which is so commonplace it doesn’t serve to titillate, sex which doesn’t happen, and a postscript so ridiculous that I had to rewind it three times to make sure I wasn’t hearing things!

Incredibly, I think I’d prefer this sort of film without a supposed Emmanuelle name, unofficial or not. It doesn’t do anything but sully it!

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!

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.

Lying

In our lounge, against the big radiator underneath the big window, there is a big sofa. Technically, of course, it is a bed – but one that folds up into a sofa if one desires so. Since its installation, it has been in sofa mode; distressingly, a couple of slats recently got loose and it has developed an alarming slump in its centre as a result.

I’m nervy about sitting atop it, now, but it’s still nice to lie on.

Which is what I was doing this afternoon. I took a long walk shortly after lunch – ostensibly to deliver Christmas cards, but more realistically in order to have something to do – after which I came home to a girlfriend who was on the verge of going for a lie down herself.

Loath to interrupt her, I cleared some space on the sofa, and stretched out on it. I didn’t even bother to turn the TV off – I just crashed out.

First time in a while I’ve been able to do that. Glorious.

After a stressy experience a few days back, I’ve gone off the concept of porn. I mean, I love porn – some of it, at least; I’ve got quite discerning tastes – but, for the past couple of days, the mere idea of watching porn is more exhausting than exhilarating.

I lost my job yesterday, so maybe that’s got something to do with it…

Hazy ILB, however, appears to have completely different feelings towards porn. In my lazy, semi-conscious state, watching porn was something I was so fixated upon that it consumed my very being. Here I was, completely immobile on the sofa, starting to feel more rested than I have in a very long time… and becoming more and more aware that mainlining Emmanuelle riding Haffron was, in fact, MY PURPOSE IN LIFE.

The problem was, of course, that my computer was on the opposite side of the room – a whole five steps away – and, while Hazy ILB was drowning in a world of glossy smut, physical ILB wasn’t willing to make the effort. (Conscious ILB had long since safeworded out of the conversation.) And so I lay there… partially pondering my existence, partially remembering through sensation how comfortable our sofa actually is, but mostly just becoming aware that, although I didn’t have to be watching porn, if I wanted to, I probably could.

Until, at one point, Hazy ILB suggested the concept of actually doing so.

That would be easy – of course it would. Just haul myself off the sofa, slope over to the PC and fire up VLC. Work up the energy to do so and I could even turn off the TV. Easy as π² – right?

Thump. Thump. Thump.

“What’s that?” said my girlfriend, suddenly materialising in the doorway as the people downstairs started to turn up the bass – probably the entire song, it was all bass – to somewhere between “ouch, my ears” and “please let me die”.
“I don’t know,” I slurred, “maybe it’s the people downstairs?”
“But I was having such a nice nap…” she protested.
“When it comes down to it, so was I.”

Fuck!

« Older posts

© 2021 Innocent Loverboy

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑