Saturday, June 09, 2007


Yes, children, there was a time when pornographic films didn't grow on trees. They were hard to come by (ugh) indeed. Deep Throat changed everything, and made athletic fellatio the ultimate fantasy for hetero males. The film grossed a ridiculous amount of cash, made porn briefly mainstream (my mother saw it, for Christ's sake--in a small-town PA theater), and resulted in equally venomous feminist and Fundamentalist backlashes. The stars became global celebrities and suffered terribly as a result. Linda Lovelace claimed she was coerced and forced into porn, joined forces with Gloria Steinem, then disavowed her coercion claim and started doing photo shoots in her fifties again. She died tragically in a car accident shortly thereafter. Harry Reems nearly drank himself to death before becoming a minister. The director and producers spent decades fearful that their mob financiers might decide to break legs--or worse.

Here is the whole sordid story, with the usual cast of innalectshuls commenting: Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Dick Cavett, Erica Jong, John Waters, Doctor Ruth. My favorite is Helen Gurley Brown discussing how wonderful it is to witness a spurting penis, and how rubbing ejaculate on your face is really good for you. Thanks, Helen, for the crippling and unforgettable image of you miming this behavior, talking about proteins and hormones. I can't get it out of my mind now.

Warning: the documentary features clips from the original, including Linda's trademark technique (which seems a bit quaint nowadays). If you object to such footage, stay away.

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