Something I’ve always said – at least, that’s how I’m starting this post; I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually said it – is that one’s enjoyment of porn, as with all genres, is largely situational. Take into consideration setting, angles, music, cinematography, mise-en-scène and all the other things media students have to pretend to care about, and put it into context when you’re choosing porn – there’s a noticeable difference.
Don’t believe me? Okay, think of some porn you like. Why do you like it? Is it the actors, the situation, or the scenery? It’s probably well-lit. If it’s a sex act you like, are they doing it well? If you come, what makes you do so? And what makes this so different from the porn you dislike?
For me, character is the most important thing. I want to know who’s having sex, where they are having sex and why they are having sex – even if it’s just my favourite trope, “because they can”. It makes a genuine difference, and even the slightest of changes is the sort of thing I notice. Soft porn is an easy genre to do this with, because you get the same actors appearing in multiple films. My first thought was to choose two scenes to compare featuring “good ol’ Jason Schnuit” – but I really needed a scene featuring two actors together who have done another scene, playing different characters and preferably in a different setting.
COME THROUGH, JUSTINE!
Appearance: The Adventures of Justine 6: A Private Affair (1995)
Characters: Madame Souvray & Klauss Heinmann
Since the last time I mentioned it, I’ve managed to battle my way through the entire Justine series and, oh boy, what a mission that was – although, once I got the hang of the Indiana Jones-lite escapades and the “it was all a dream” fake endings, it was quite an amusing endeavour in the end. I picked this scene because:
a) it’s a genuine sex scene which lasts more than 15 seconds
b) Paul Michael Robinson’s in it
I’ve featured Paul Michael Robinson and Jennifer Behr (pronounced “bear”, like the growly animal) before, as Haffron and Ursula in Emmanuelle. That scene, for what it is, is hot – and, what’s more, it’s grown on me over time. in Justine,, obviously, they play other characters… but they still manage to get their kit off and bang, so I’m
completely justified in doing this doing this.
Behr plays Madame Souvray, one of the very few characters to appear in every Justine flick. She’s the fussy, stuffy teacher who nobody likes very much. Robinson plays several different characters, all named differently and who are, confusingly, all villains – so are we meant to know they’re separate characters, or are they just an evil Haffron changing faces? This one, in any case, is duplicitous Klaus Heinmann, with perhaps the most questionable German accent since ‘Allo ‘Allo!.
The set-up for this one is fairly simple, although admittedly quite contrived. Everyone’s on a train for whatever reason, including Klaus, who is masquerading as a porter (check out his uniform!). Souvray, who’s horny all of a sudden, throws caution to the wind – “no names, no fake promises… just you and me, and the moment…” – and retreats into a luggage cabin to get it on with the guy who’s trying to kill her boss.
I mean, if it works…
The scene starts (after the aforementioned dialogue) with the customary disrobing, which is – actually – unusual for ASP; they usually cut straight to the nudity. Souvray is taking the lead here, being the more seductive of the two – although we see her boobs long before Klaus so much as takes off any more than his hat – we also get periodical mixes to train tracks, too, to remind us that we are indeed on a train!
Plenty of kissing – not just lips against lips – preceded Klaus getting his uniform off – although Souvray does that most herself. He doesn’t actually take his vest off before the sex starts, either, so we get a semi-nude Klaus and a bestockinged Souvray doing it up against a rack full of suitcases. How bizarre – Haffron barely managed to put any clothes on to begin with. I suppose this is Robinson’s “difficult middle period”.
The sex is approvable, if fairly routine. It’s all done standing up – well, it would be, this is up against the rack full of suitcases – and doesn’t really do anything you wouldn’t expect it to. We have some thrusting from Klaus and some bouncing from Souvray; occasional mixes to train tracks jump in to provide handy cuts to different angles. Halfway through the scene, they switch to a kind of standing doggy style, with Klaus doing Souvray from behind as she holds onto the top shelf for support… a nice touch, really.
I’m also getting a standard early-’90s ASP vibe from this too. There’s a gradual but noticeable increase in speed, overlaid moans from both characters with greater volume as time goes by, and a very definite orgasm point, which – as was standard in Emmanuelle – is signalled by a single “uhh!” from Robinson. That’s basically it. We know what we’re getting, and what we’re getting is solid, a refreshing difference from the soft-focus dreamy sequences the series usually affords us.
So why don’t I like this very much?
It has all the ingredients I should like – two very attractive people having sex; the “just because they can” justification; somewhere unusual that isn’t just a bed in a hotel room; plenty of nudity and energetic, lusty sex. It even has acceptable music, which helps to carry the sex but isn’t too intrusive. By all rights, I should like this. It’s by far the best sex scene in A Private Affair and possibly the whole Justine series. What’s wrong with me?
I had to puzzle this one out for a while, before it hit me. It is completely to do with the characters.
I don’t mind Madame Souvray too much. I mean, I like Jennifer Behr and I’m quite fond of the way she plays the character. Her other sex scenes in the series are quite good, too. It’s also quite nice to see a main named character having sex, as that doesn’t often happen in Justine. The problem I have, I think, is with Paul Michael Robinson. I’m aware that he is playing a completely different character here, and a villain, to boot… but I’m so attached to the idea of him playing Haffron that it’s jarring to see him doing anything else – like a bum note in a familiar song.
I should be above such petty comparisons, but as we know, I take my softcore seriously and I like what I like! I like Emmanuelle in Space and I especially like Haffron. I don’t particularly like Klaus and, as I’ve said before, the Justine series could have been better than it actually is (which is a shame). The scene I’ve just looked at isn’t bad – it’s just disconcerting. I spent half the time trying to get into it and the other half wishing I was actually watching the other sex scene between Behr and Robinson from Emmanuelle!
Which just goes to show two things, really.
One: Character is important.
Two: I’m not difficult to please… I’m impossible!