Author’s Note: This is a fictional letter which imagines the sort of letters a pornography review magazine might receive, if such a thing existed. It in no way represents the author’s feelings about the state of pornography either past or present.
I’m not sure when it happened, but it seems to me that pornography these days is nowhere near as audio-visual as it once was. Surely I can’t be the only one who misses a simpler, more innocent time of high production values, bushy pubes and fantastic soundtracks?
Maybe the kids of today just take video tapes of depraved sexual acts for granted, and at face value. I am of the age where I can still remember pornography coming in the form of either dirty magazines or out-of-the-way erotica theatres.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that the advent of home video gave us sexual degradation we didn’t have to imagine, but witness first hand in all its grainy glory. This new market was swiftly capitalized on by the sections of society with loose morals and huge moustaches. And lo, the golden age of erotica was born.
It wasn’t just a dirty film, but an audio-visual treat for all the senses! The high production values, ‘stiff’ acting, and the carnal act itself all wonderfully sound tracked by German techno or wailing guitars. I was thirty-four before I knew it was possible to make a girl orgasm without a synthesizer! Thirty-four!
Kids laugh at the classics now, mocking the cheesey dialogue and contrived plots. But, I ask, is a woman having her clitoris in her throat really that much more unlikely than an intergalatic empire fighting swarms of teddy bears in a forest?! Why is it possible to suspend disbelief in one form of entertainment, but then scoff at another? Suspension of disbelief is paramount to the enjoyment of fantasy films.
And as for those that complain that in vintage erotica the women are ‘fat’ (natural) and ‘hairy’ (real) and that it takes a full six minutes before the busty young medical intern even shows so much as a nipple… well, have they not heard of a little something called suspense? Something, which Alfred Hitchcock well knew, heightens the climax.
I suppose they just don’t have those same feelings of nostalgia as I do. In this sex saturated age why should today’s kids get aroused by a glimpse of nipple through a chenille nighty when even that gets a 12a rating in Hollywood blockbusters these days?
Perhaps I’m just one of those old fogies, too set in his ways to embrace change, Brazilian waxing, or interracial S&M gangbangs… Goodness, I hacked into my son’s laptop last weekend and a quick glance at the search history actually made me blush! Gone are the intricate storylines and hilarious innuendo of yesteryear, replaced with hairless blonde harlots with shaven loins and swollen sphincters.
And it’s not even as though this has been for the sake of improved quality! The very same VHS innovation that opened my mind to the joys of male-female fornication is in now such wide usage that any Tom, Dick or Sally can film their activities and upload them onto the world wide web. With such an influx of amateur material it’s no wonder quality control has slipped! Even the studios now present ‘gonzo’ films, putting we the viewers right into the pumping, thrusting heart of the action. Frankly this makes me more than a little queasy— and the camera operators getting in on the action just smacks of unprofessionalism!
In these modern films the leads simply jump right into action with the barest of cursory explanations. If I’m going to witnesses a young waitresses being punished by her manager I want to know exactly what it is that she’s done to earn such a harsh and unorthodox punishment. It is what the viewer deserves at the very least! How can I, as a viewer, get into this erotic situation without the relevant background details? If I wanted sexual pleasure without an element of fantasy I’d just go back to sleeping with my wife.
I have a particular penchant for schoolgirls. In my day it was all cute pigtails and plaid skirts. I tried viewing a contemporary take on my favourite of all the genres of erotica and found it was all denim shorts and funky hair dos. These girls could be anything from off duty cops, receptionists on a dress down Friday or even hookers! How can I differentiate between the babysitter getting spanked for drinking on the job and the underacheiving schoolgirl giving sexual favours in the hope of attaining better grades without the appropriate visial cues?
I don’t want to sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but when I was young pornography wasn’t just gratifying, it was entertaining— these days it’s just filth.
Sherlock J. Hazlebrook, Tunbridge Wells