Early Porn Memories January 21, 2011Posted by Dev in Musings.
Tags: fetish, memories, movies, porn, Sears
Back when I was in my teens, the only way to get porn was to go into a shop and buy it – either that, or mail order. Both ways involved some effort and potential embarrassment, and of course cost money.
That may be true, but for those of us who realized we liked looking at pictures of half-nekkid men and women well before our teens—we weren’t in any position to go into a shop and buy porn because: a) we were too young; b) we didn’t know where the shops were (and had no way to get there even if we did); and c) we didn’t have any money. So what was an eight year old perv to do? Turn to the Sears Catalog, of course!
The Sears Catalog arrived at our house three times a year: spring/summer, fall/winter and the Christmas Catalog, dubbed the Wish Book in 1968. You could buy just about anything from the catalog, ranging from adding machines to xylophones. Many pages were devoted to men’s and women’s underwear, fueling early fantasies in our fevered brains.
I remember looking at both the pictures of men and women—maybe the women had a slight edge. All those foundation garments and girdles and bras—I didn’t know hot or sexy but they certainly caused a stirring in my mind. The men I remember being more bland and posed. A possible reason? I came across this tidbit from a former Sears underwear model:
There is a reason that the male models in the print ads appear to be eunuchs. All male underwear models were required to wear dance belts under the briefs or shorts being modeled. When worn, this impossibly snug garment obscured any bulge the model possessed. It was very uncomfortable, and it rigidly controlled the genitalia. The photographers were instructed that not a “dimple was to be seen.”
Apparently there was a scandal in 1975 where something was peeking out of a pair of boxer shorts. The head of the guy’s penis or a blemish? Conclusions are inconclusive although Sears denies that it is a penis. A spokesperson says it is “a blemish introduced during the reproduction process.” I wasn’t aware of this until today—by 1975 my Sears underwear gazing days were long over. But clearly, I was not the only person out there carefully scrutinizing the underwear ads. The picture above is from the 1971 catalog which was also a little past my prime—I had a boyfriend by then. The real thing was so much better—although he never wore any goldenrod matched sets. ‘Tis a pity.
Another book I furtively studied for hours was entitled The Importance of Wearing Clothes by Lawrence Langner. It had a chapter—complete with pictures—on nudism. Oh, how I loved to look at those happy people frolicking in the woods and fields! When Ab and I started discussing naturism (nudism) I realized this was a very long-held fantasy for me. Chastity popped into my head overnight, but naturism went back decades. It was a dream that was finally realized in 1998. What a great day that was!
As for porn movies, I have a memory of going to see Deep Throat at the theater with my boyfriend although details are fuzzy. Reading up on the film, I see that it came out in 1972, which would have been my senior year in high school. He was away at college so maybe we went together when he was home on break? Thanksgiving or Christmas? Either way, it obviously didn’t make much of an impact.
The one movie I do remember clearly is The Story of O which came out in 1975. I went to see it on a date with some guy I met at a frat party—I have absolutely no memory of his name. He invited me to “the movies” not specifying what we’d see. On one hand I remember being entranced by the movie: whips, chains, the scene near the end with O at the ball, naked except for her mask—it was unbelievably erotic. On the other hand I was royally pissed at my date, springing this on me without warning! Clearly his ulterior motive was to get me completely turned on and then seduce me. It didn’t work, though, because there was something about him that just didn’t click for me. He was very angry and that was—wisely, I realize, thinking back—the end of that romance.
A few years later I found a copy of the book on the shelf at a friend’s house. I read it in one afternoon, furtively, I suspect because I still harbored the thought that “good girls don’t read stuff like this.”
And maybe that is an advantage of the Internet as “the great porn equalizer.” By making porn as common as grass, we’ve realized that it is a pretty universal activity for men and women to look at and enjoy porn. I’ve realized I like erotic stories and pictures of men (probably not all that porny, as things go, but they fuel my imagination). Ab tends to like stories, too. But having so much available at our fingertips…some days I long for the simplicity of shapely derrières in the Sears catalog.