If you watch porn for long enough, mainstream movies start looking downright prudish by comparison. While sex scenes in mainstream cinema can be incredibly hot (‘9 1/2 weeks’, ‘Body Heat’, ’50 Shades of Grey’ and even ‘When Harry met Sally’ jump to mind) if you’re used to the naked ham-slamming-orifice-gaping-face-slathering of porn, you may find yourself cursing the director of a Hollywood hit for not using that crotch’s-eye view camera angle you’ve come to know and love. Watching a Hollywood sex scene requires some…wait for it…imagination. But it wasn’t always that way! I’m here to let you know that there ARE mainstream directors out there who’ve crossed the line into on-screen sex and as you may have guessed, most of them are in Europe. Laughably known in the industry as ‘unsimulated sex’, here’s some of the movies that have been released where you could see, ya know…actual fucking and potentially end up with an unsimulated erection.
The first movie released in US theaters that featured explicit sex was ‘Blue Movie’ (also released under the simple, self-descriptive title ‘Fuck’) by acclaimed artist and socialite-weirdo Andy Warhol. Billed by Warhol as a movie about ‘Vietnam and what we can do about it’ the movie had no script, no plot, and some would argue, no point. It centered around a couple in a New York City apartment enjoying a blissful afternoon alone, discussing the Vietnam war and occasionally having sex. A movie with “unsimulated” sex in 1969 really didn’t need a plot…it was a first and by definition, was breaking new ground. New porn fans were made during the summer of love, and we all have Andy Warhol to thank for it.
By far the most well known movies that featured ‘unsimulated sex’ (in some release versions) were the Emmanuel movies. I remember them well since none of the girlfriends of my youth would let me rent them. The film stars French hottie Silvia Kristel as a bored socialite who travels to Bangkok to enhance her sexual awakening. The movie features a scene where a Bangkok woman smokes a cigarette with her pussy… That should awaken something, even if it’s just morbid curiosity.
Also well known in the US is Bob Guccione’s nasty Roman epic, ‘Caligula’. Because it had some big stars in it, I risked taking a date to this movie thinking we’d leave all turned on and I’d get lucky. After making it through all the stabbing, slashing, disemboweling, raping, fisting, vomiting, beheading and bludgeoning, any sex scenes that didn’t include buckets of blood were welcome emotional relief as we geared up for the next assault to our senses. But with all that gratuitous gore, there was no time to work up anything resembling sexual heat. We finally got up and left during the scene where Caligula cuts off the testicles of a recalcitrant bound guard and feeds them to his dogs….about 15 minutes before the end of the movie. And no, there was no sex for me that night. I’m lucky she ever went out with me again. In the intervening years, I have never had the stomach to revisit and try and finish the damn thing. Much to the dismay of the original director, Guccione spliced hardcore sex scenes with porn girls into the final release because… well he’s a pornographer (Penthouse) and he has a reputation to uphold after all. Watch it at your own risk.
Any discussion of porn in the mainstream must include the movie Deep Throat. Released into adult and so-called ‘art’ theaters in 1972, the tale of a sexually frustrated woman whose clitoris is located deep in her throat caused a sensation and garnered mainstream attention, briefly launching what was termed ‘porno-chic’ – an upper-middle class interest in hardcore pornography. Released originally as ‘unrated’, Deep Throat was quickly banned in many jurisdictions, but not before becoming a pop cultural meme which was eventually resurrected by Washington Post managing editor Howard Simons when he used it as the code name for a white house insider who leaked information about the Watergate scandal. This begs the question: How many other porn titles have played a role in bringing down a sitting president? Let’s just say it’s a short list. Deep throat also ushered in ‘the golden age of porn’ after similarly theatrical hardcore movies like ‘Behind the Green Door’ and ‘The Devil in Miss Jones’ were released soon after.
‘Alice in Wonderland’ was an ‘erotic musical comedy’ which to this day is a limited genre at best. I don’t even want to imagine any of the current crop of porn girls attempting to belt out a show-tune, but it somehow worked in this goofy sex romp. Not surprisingly, the movie is based on the popular Lewis Carroll’s original tale but includes Alice’s sexual awakening as she makes her way down the rabbit hole. The film was released in 1976 and included a full-on lesbian sex scene in it, yet still made to into theaters…briefly. Once word got out that gorgeous starring actress Kristine De Bell licks an unsimulated crotch in it, many theaters didn’t want to show it. Three wonderful minutes of rug-munching were quickly edited out and it was re-released with an ‘R’ rating. It went on to rake in 90 million dollars making it one of the highest grossing sort-of adult films of all time. The x-rated version is a real collector’s item today…bring your wallet if you can find one.
Even though 1997’s hit docudrama ‘Boogie Nights’ doesn’t technically have any explicit sex acts in it, it does stand alone for being the first movie with an ‘R’ rating that got away with showing a humongous half-hard penis. It wasn’t a real penis, but let’s not split pubic hairs here. Mark Wahlberg as porn stud Dirk Diggler doesn’t reveal the fleshy monster until the end of the film, but there are enough hot scenes throughout to generate a few unsimulated boners along the way, which for a movie that won an Oscar and a truckload of other awards makes it pretty cool in my book. Plus, Nina Hartley playing a porn star in the film isn’t just good casting, it’s REAL good casting! Now go and have yourself a happy unsimulated holiday!