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 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!

Soft Porn Sunday: Jewel Staite & Callum Blue

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

Sex and the City isn’t a good example.

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

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

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

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

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

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

DIALOGUE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love this stuff.

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

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

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

Scandalised public… and it isn’t even Britain!

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

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

And so they should be.

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

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

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

Soft Porn Sunday: Veronica Vain & Andrew Espinoza Long

The world has been waiting.

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

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

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

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

Guy in a suit. How official.
*dialogue*

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

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

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

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

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

Hey, this thing writes itself!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So why do I have an issue with this?

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

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

…boring.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pornception!

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

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

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

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

My head hurts.

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

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

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