Do you remember when porn had merit as an art form? When performers seemed sincere and situations, while a bit contrived, were fun and realistic. Do you remember when porn actors looked like you and me? When male actors were filmed above the waist? When performers were rather nice to each other and were not expected to perform a series of parlor tricks, most of which are unpleasant and unsafe? Probably not because that was a LONG time ago!

I started watching ‘porn’ on television in the late seventies. I wasn’t even a teenager back then but I began seeking out and watching ‘adult’ entertainment. I don’t mean porn per say just things that were made for a more mature crowd. It was kind of hard to find but I persisted. I remember when Playboy TV came on and, low and behold, guests were allowed to use the Fword in interviews on the station’s ‘Late Night’ show. I remember one of the guest in the late eighties, he used to pick up chicks off the street and film himself or another actor having sex in a very amateurish way. His name was Buttman a.k.a. John Stagliano. He gave us Gonzo, imported Rocco Siffredi and, unfortunately, a market for copycat Max Hardcore.

Sometimes my encyclopedic knowledge of porn kind of spills out in vanilla settings and causes a bit of an uncomfortable moment. The first time I saw Rocco Siffredi on screen, in Night Trip II (1990), I thought he was so hot that I mentioned it to my girlfriends at school the next day. My college girlfriends knew I was a bit ‘different’ because I submitted anonymous ‘confessions’ to our college papers and eventually came out to them… But they were not fans of porn.

While I started watching erotica at a very young age, I am glad that sex was not yet packaged as a product. A product so different from reality that it would have prevented or ruined my enjoyment of it. Sex in older films looked more sincere, more real. It was attainable! Sex in old porn looks like my own sex life! Yes, even the freaky threesome parts! Sex in current porn I could have but why?! And I am perfectly comfortable with explaining to a partner why I don’t care to have ‘porno’ sex.

I don’t think porn is demeaning to women in general. The oversexualization of everything else might be. But porn is porn and the performers are paid to act out unrealistic sexual encounters which are supposed to be male sexual fantasies. Based on my research they are more based on a system of one-upmanship than actual fantasies of your average guy. Porn is one of many industries where profit is king and people are used, abused and thrown away quickly. There are a few male porn stars who appear to be skilled sexual tops (one of which is Mark Ashley) but all in all men in porn seem to have sex AT a woman rather than with her. These nuances are not obvious to teenagers who start watching hardcore porn at a very early age today. I think that watching porn hurts a man’s enjoyment of sex, lowers his self-esteem and provides little usable skill. But, having had a few partners who have grown up with access to Internet porn in their teenage years, I cannot say that I have noticed ‘porn damage’ anymore in men in their 20s over men in their 30s through 50s. Porn hurts women by making men annoyingly insecure. It takes away their ability to enjoy regular women over twenty. Of all my male friends and lovers, those who do not watch porn much or at all report having and enjoying a normal sex life. They are generally more happy people.

However I do not think the male landscape has changed that much. I’ve always thought that only one guy in 20 is worth fucking so rather than fuck the next 100, I have decided to develop skills to spot a keeper and then… well keep him, at least for a while.

But back to the fake sex…

There are a few people in porn that I admire. They are the ones who take it up a notch or have a real insight into their work in the grander scale of things and are truly enjoyable to listen to and watch.

In 1982, Annie Sprinkle, already a frequent performer in x-rated loops, directed her first full-length movie. When I saw this recently I thought it was adorable and I have included the first few minutes of it. Dr. Annie Sprinkle has explored human sexuality for 30 years and is still active as a lifestyle educator today.

[…video removed…]

Why am I revisiting vintage erotica? Well, I have have been thinking of putting my observations of alternate human sexuality over the past 30 years on paper and… well in the meantime a sweet bit of iconic 70s erotica is trying to resurface. We are talking here about the most recognized franchise in erotica for the past 35 years… I don’t know if it is faith but it’s on my desk and I feel what Tom Cruise must have felt when he snagged Mission Impossible… Now I just need to write down my ideas and find me a Paula Wagner!!!