The Evocative Power Of Erotica

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Peck and Call Girls, today’s courtesans, modern muses who provide virtual escort services via phone sex, chat, etc.? …You could call them “phone sex operators,” but they are really so much more than that; I know that as I’m lucky enough to know over half of these stunning, capricious creatures ~ known as much for their intellect as their masturbatory assistance. They, like any great sex workers, clearly know the key to arousing a man ~ from discerning gentlemen to silly cads alike ~ is via the largest, most powerful sex organ: the brain.

To wit, they recently posted a discussion about the esoteric attributes of erotica ~ with Robert, owner of Delta Of Venus. More than the old “erotica vs porn” debate, they pluck at the heart & lust strings of what makes erotica work… Tease, romance, unvarnished reality, nostalgia, connection, mystery…

Here’s a snippet from Robert:

To use maybe an unsexy term, good erotica is always putting in work, it’s gathering a momentum beyond just blood flow and pulse rate and dilated pupils. This work could be eliciting a memory for the viewer, or striking their imagination (sexual or otherwise) in just the right way, or launching a train of thought or feeling about beauty or desire or whatever. Plenty of erotica evokes contradictory emotions too – maybe arousal mixed with the unsettling or absurd, and part of the pleasure is holding those feelings together in tension.

“Arousal mixed with the unsettling or absurd”…. That lingers. I’m tempted to jump into the conversation myself; but I have written about this quite a bit before, including:

In Praise Of Vintage Porn (2012)

Why Do Modern Women Love Vintage Babes? (2004)

Articulating Thoughts On Porn (2004)

However, I will keep my eye on the Twitter conversations… You never know what will inspire a thought ~ or what other pretty pictures you’ll see!

Again, Me With The Sex Work & Feminism Stuff

In I’m A Sex Worker, But I’m Not…, three sex workers, @SiouxsieQJames, @theMickeyMod & @VenusLux, point out how their lives ~ like many sex worker’s lives ~ are contrary to the mythology.

What’s most amazing about this short video is the fact that escorts and porn stars are both included. Like actually together! Normally, as I have noted before in The Great Porn Star ~ Sex Worker Divide, porn stars typically take great efforts to not be included in the sex worker category, instead hiding behind their status as actors and actresses. While this actor/actress distinction has historically protected them from legal prosecution, there are many who prefer the “loftier” terms simply because it elevates them from prostitutes. In other terms, they suffer from whorephobia.

But it’s important to note that in terms of human history, the distinctions between “actress” and “prostitutes” have been few. In fact, for many years, the two terms were interchangeable. (And you can find the history still in the traces of face powder on the vanity!) Today, the Hollywood/Whore meme continues.

Even after actresses managed to get a foothold on the stage, and later film (briefly women ruled at the box office in the 1920s-30s until actresses and women’s roles suffered the most from the The Motion Picture Production Code), they continue to suffer and bemoan their autonomy and inequality. There’s Hollywood’s gender pay disparity, of course. And the continued lack of good and/or leading roles for women, especially for those over a certain age or with visages and body types which are not considered “beautiful” (white). This is often attributed to the power structure in Hollywood, where the true power is held by directors, producers, distribution, etc. ~ which is, largely, made up of (white) men. No wonder so many women in the profession prefer the terms “actor” be applied to their work: so that no gender distinctions & dismissals occur. [Given how much porn stars try to identify as actors and actresses, it should not be such a surprise then that the porn industry is just as gender-screwed (and racist too) as Hollywood.]

Just as actresses struggle to achieve equality with their male counterparts, to maintain the autonomy of their work and their bodies, so do sex workers. In fact, actresses and sex workers are not all that different.

Yet, while many have profited from playing the role of sex worker, many actresses and celebrities have taken to loudly speaking out against decriminalization ~ even when the science doesn’t back up their claims. It is such a shame that our actress sisters do not remember their history, do not see the fact that sex worker rights are women’s rights. The lies about sex work hurt women! And women’s rights are human rights, humanist. Who doesn’t want equality for all?!

Maybe one day, people will see that sex work is just work. There are signs it is happening… Slowly, minds are changing. Ironically, sadly, it is slower to change among women. But there is still hope.

For more on sex work & sex workers, go here, here, and here.
Yes, I do the tweety machine! @GraciePassette

“The Bitch” From “The Stud”

Joan Collins as Fontaine Khaled in The Stud.

joan collins stockings

The Stud was a 1978 soft-core flick based on the novel written by ~ you guessed it! ~ Jackie Collins.

Enjoy this ~ 5 minute clip montage of the film played to the film’s astonishing-period theme song. Breathlessly sing along, “The Stud, what’s his name, what’s his name!”

To be factually correct about this posts’ title, Collins/Khaled weren’t officially “The Bitch” until the sequel (book and film).

UPDATE:

Here’s the trailer:

Coins In The Slot (Or, Golden Escort Fantasies)

In Australia, where sex work is legal, a Gold Coast sex worker has been advertising her escort services by touting her past modeling experiences. Sounds like a good marketing ploy, right? Wrong.

golden fantasy escortAn Australian escort, who goes by the name “Wild, Raunchy Blondie” under a “Golden Fantasy” escort listing, has been promoting herself as a “stunning meter maid from the Gold Coast” and an “Original Golden Meter Maid.”

Gold Coast meter maids at Surfers Paradise in 1971Despite how that name may sound here in the USA, the “Golden Meter Maids” have nothing to do with any sort of showers. Instead, the Surfers Paradise Meter Maids are legendary tourist attractions, with a 50 year legacy. Pretty women wearing skimpy golden bikinis & the obligatory high heels who wander around the streets of the Australia’s Gold Coast, aka Surfers Paradise, protecting motorists from parking violations. When the beauties spot a meter about to expire, they plug in the requisite coin and place a card on the vehicle’s windshield which reads, “You have just been saved from a parking fine by the Surfers Paradise Meter Maids.” The coins are supplied by the company ~ who earns plenty more by selling tourists trashy & sexy-in-that-college-frat-boy-way souvenirs.

While it’s rather probably that this particular “Golden Fantasy” had worked as one of the meter maids, she did so having signed a disclaimer vowing not to “bring the brand into any form of ill-repute.”

Bikini_Cooler_meter_maidsYes, the company that brings you $15 cheap plastic bikini can coolers, is worried that their image is being tarnished by sex.

Once a meter maid herself, Roberta Aitchison has owned the 50 year old company for the past 30 years. And Aitchison is zealously guarding her kitschy brand, contacting those she feels violate the trademark and the disclaimer. Including taking action against “Golden Fantasy” over this past weekend.

But Aitchison is facing bigger problems than that. Advanced new parking meters are working to render the Surfers Paradise Meter Maids obsolete. And it’s not just the technology, either. Local business owners are complaining that the meter maids are “in clear breach of the council’s anti-touting laws by selling merchandise to tourists.” That news story also says that Aitchison’s business is struggling to attract maids. Perhaps it’s because potential meter maids know they can make more as sex workers ~ when the meters are running.

Saucy Saturday: Vintage Becky Bailey Edition

Kyle wrote in asking about one of the models in last week’s leg warmer post:

That ebony model with the very 80s workout outfit, Becky Bailey, do you know more about her?

That photo of Becky Bailey, aka, “Jayne,” came from this athletic spread for vintage men’s mag, Razzle (Volume 4. Issue 25 & 26 Xmas Special, 1986).

vintage workout grow your melons

vintage becky bailey workout

While in the vintage pictorial shoot, Becky was presented as a “gorgeous dark girl” for a supposed request for the same from a “black youth” (In a men’s mag, this request is about as reliable as a Penthouse letter ~ or describing her workout as “doing exercises to make her tits even bigger!”), there is some confusion regarding Becky Bailey’s ethnic heritage. And, no, blonde wigs don’t exactly help. *wink*

natural tits and ass lingerie vintage vintage becky red stockings natural bush from behind vintage toples blonde becky bailey vintage becky bailey blonde wig lingerie becky red and black lingerie vintage peek a boo with becky vintage mens mag

She was quite a popular busty model though, appearing in many men’s magazines, such as the American Gent magazine (“Home of the D-Cups”, Dugent Publishing;  August, 1986, cover) and UK publications like Tozerward Ltd.‘s Bounce (legend has it issue 31 has black & white photos of Becky). As was the way back then, Becky worked under, or was billed with, various names in these magazines, including as “Becky Rogers.”

gent d-cups vintage mag august 1986

She also appeared numerous times in the pages of Asian Babes, and made the cover of  Volume 1, Issue 5 (1995), where Bailey was billed as a “100% Asian” girl “Keziah.”

vintage asian babes keziah

Adding to the confusion, she also worked under the name the name “Becki Brown.”

vintage becki brown in shower

But, according to a fan nbwriter, Becky was East Indian:

I am 99 per cent sure Becky is “second generation” East Indian. That means her parents were born in East India (Pakistan) but she was most likely born in the UK. I believe I encountered her (by chance) in my 20s in a UK town (known for a larger asian population).

In this soapy spread, also from vintage men’s mag Razzle (Volume 4, Issue 10, circa 1997), she was rub-a-dub-dubbed “Ayesha.”

Razzle Vol. 04 No. 10 vintage soapy

vintage asian indian girl Ayesha in Razzle men's mag

She also appeared in at least two (British made) soft core films, under the name “Becky R.

But that’s about all I know… If anyone else can add to her story, please do!

busty vintagenBecky_Rogers-becki-brown

Flexible Laurien Wilde: Leg Warmers & High Heels

Speaking of leg warmers

The glorious 80s also gave us other videos ~ which gave directors, models, and actresses the ability to flex those fantasies explicitly… Perhaps none so well as the short-lived Laurien Wilde, also known as Lauren Wild, Kresten Boyd, Tina Ross, Tina Ronnie, Tina Ashley, Christy Boyd, Lauren Summers, and Bernadette Farrar. (She died tragically young, at the peak of her career, at the age of 20 in a car accident.)

laurien wilde tina ross leg warmers heels vintage porn

laurien-wilde explicit leg warmer vintage porn

Even Then They Knew It Would Be Used To Watch Pretty Women

Over 100 years ago, in 1910, our French grandparents imagined what life would be like in the year 2000. This illustration by Villemard depicts the “videotelephony” ~ and you’ll notice the scene shows men watching a pretty woman, much like today’s cam girls. Via.

France_in_XXI_Century._Correspondance_cinema

Creepy & Complex Sexual Discussions In The News Part Two (Trigger Warning)

It wasn’t until David Bowie passed that I heard about how he had slept with an underage girl.

At the age of 15, Lori Mattix was a self-described groupie in the 70s ~ a groupie who lost her virginity to David Bowie. Last November, in an interview at the Thrillist, the adult Mattix seemed fine about it. Even when Thrillist reporter Michael Kaplan pressed her about it, she seemed dreamily happy, gushing, “Who wouldn’t want to lose their virginity to David Bowie?”

Mattix’s stories of her groupie years, deflowering, and age have varied over the years ~ which is not stated here to cast doubt on her claims, but to point out that she clearly hasn’t viewed her sexual activities with Bowie (or others) to be rape or anything remotely close to it. But, as told in the Thrillist piece, Mattix was a minor and Bowie was not. So even with Mattix agreeing and desiring to have sex with Bowie, her age removes her legal ability to consent. This would make Bowie guilty, ethically if not legally, of statutory rape.

Yes, I know; we all took David Bowie’s death pretty hard. But I’m not posting this about Bowie per se…. I mean, sure, there are definitely implications and conversations we should be having regarding celebrities and abuse. And we do have some consumer power we can wield. But the real issues I am looking at in this conversation are the rights of young people to have any sexual autonomy, who decides who is victimized, and how autonomy and victimization impact one another.

While there are laws that specify ages at which a person is “adult enough” to legally consent, even those which outline what sorts of authoritative relationships render sexual acts as abuse, we all know that there is no magic age at which every person automatically becomes a mature adult. It’s clear ~ or damn well ought to be!~ that infants and young children are not in any sort of position to make decisions about their sexual lives, outside of masturbation, anyway (which is why the “part one” post is so upsetting). But at what point do we give young adults the power to make decisions about their own bodies and sexual needs?

At Medium, Jes Skolnik, survivor of child sexual abuse, writes poignantly about the Bowie situation from her point of view:

[Mattix] does not view herself as a victim. This does not excuse the fact that Bowie had sex with her when she was underage, but we need to allow survivors the ability to define our own realities and speak our own experiences. We can believe it was on him, as the adult, not to have sex with her, and we can understand the context for his actions without excusing them.

I had sexual contact with a lot of men inappropriately older than me when I was 13 and 14. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26-year-old men. Sometimes I initiated it; sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes I felt coerced; sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes I was forcibly raped. Sometimes these men used the power that they had as musicians I admired to appeal to me. Sometimes I was manipulated. Sometimes I wasn’t. I wanted to be loved; I wanted to be desired. I felt that sex was all I had to offer. This is clearly based on my own history as a survivor of child sexual abuse. You learn early on how to be used, how to offer yourself. That is what grooming does.

Were these men ethically wrong? Yes.

Do I feel that I was abused? Only in the situations where I felt forced or coerced. Which, again, was not all of them. Some of those relationships, even with uneven power dynamics involved, felt real, and mutual, and loving. I look back on them and don’t know how to feel about them. They are part of my life.

Were they pedophiles? Some of them. Some of them had a history of going after inappropriately young girls. Some of them didn’t. Some of them found themselves with me as an anomaly. Not everyone who commits statutory rape is a pedophile, someone who seeks out such encounters and has a significant pattern of doing so.

Others, including Mistress Matisse & Alex Morgan, added to the story on Twitter, addressing the issues of age, consent, and victim’s rights:

When does a child become adult enough to consent?

In some cultures and points in history, a girl was considered a woman when she began her menstrual cycle… Of course, with today’s diet, toxins, and changing parenting styles, adopting such a stance would make some six year old girls legal adults. And what about boys? When would they be considered adult men?

Do two fumbling 14 year-olds having sex make it less abusive simply because neither of them can know better under the law?

We should all seem able to agree that a victim’s opinion matters ~ but even there, people disagree. Many voice the “If she was too young to consent, she was too young to know better at the time ~ and whatever her memory of the event, it is permanently flawed by her age and trauma” sentiments.

These are complicated ideas, fraught with strong feelings. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be struggling with them. On the contrary. We should endeavor to struggle through these nuanced issues because of the strong feelings evoked.

In a rather odd way, even after death, Bowie continues to challenge us, make us take a look at what rules ought to be bent or broken.