Saturday, January 07, 2006
My Thirties (Part 1) Off To A Slow Start / Jerkin' At The Movies
My thirties (which was decade of 1970 to 1980) started pretty much as my twenties ended. I was still in a funk from the break up of my marriage to Margaret. My sex life consisted of nothing more than almost daily jacking off and occasional trips to the Mustang Ranch near Reno for a $15 or $20 blow job. Looking back, I should have done more looking for female companionship even if I had to resort to the bars as I did briefly after the Army. I still worked in a pretty much an all male environment at Travis Air Force Base so there were no opportunities to find a new love/sex interest there. I hadn't had much luck either in the local bar scene. I just wasn't meeting any women, even though I sure fantasized enough about them when I jacked off. Playboy magazine as well as the newly available hard core pornography became my best friend for visual inspiration for my compulsive masturbation!
Up until the early 1970's, hard core pornography was strictly illegal inthe United States and I believe most of the world. Men's magazines like Playboy did not even show pubic hair until the latter part of the 1960's. Nudist magazines were the first to break the pubic hair and genitals barrier in the early 1960's as I recall. By about 1963 "beaver" films with full frontal female nudity (some spread legged) were beginning to appear in the adult theaters that had previously shown only tits and ass material. Then various boy-girl or girl-girl films began to replace the "beaver" flicks. The only sex in these films was simulated. Erections and any kind of explicit genital or oral penetration were still taboo. Of course the old black and white "stag" films with hardcore sex had been around since the beginning of the movies but they were strictly under the counter and also totally illegal. I had only seen a couple of those stag flicks in the whorehouses of Juarez Mexico while I was in the Army. Around 1970 some new short, silent 8mm hardcore color films started appearing in the adult book stores. Some cities raided these adult book stores and seized and banned the films but it was the beginning of over the counter hardcore porn being available to the general public. The movies in adult theaters continued for a short time with softcore material even as the 8mm home movie hardcore films were more and more becoming available throughout the country.
It was in was in the larger, more liberal cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco that the hardcore films first made their way into the adult theaters. At first it was just short silent loops, similar to the 8mm movies available in stores. In fact sometimes those very same 8mm films were shown but 16mm soon became the norm for the theaters. Sound films also soon replaced the silent films. There were many police raids at the beginning, even in places like San Francisco and for awhile even the audiences were arrested along with the proprietors of the theaters. There were numerous court battles but within a year or so hardcore films were here to stay in most large and even middle sized cities in America. The quality of these early hardcore films was mostly pathetic with poor camera work and lighting, minimal plot and amateur acting...nothing more than "fuck and suck" for 10 or 20 minutes but the novelty of hardcore was enough to bring hordes of horny men (including myself) into these theaters time and time again. The short 16mm "loops" soon were replaced by full length 16mm features and finally 35mm features with "Deep Throat" becoming a major milestone and ushering in a new era of legalized (in most parts of the country at least) porno features. Linda Lovelace became the most famous cocksucker of all time. well until Monica Lewinsky came along! Linda, Marilyn Chambers, horse cocked John Holmes and the Mitchell Brothers (of "Behind the Green Door" fame) became household names, mentioned in Time Magazine and on the Johnny Carson show.
Some of the theaters were sleazy storefront joints and some were more luxurious former downtown and neighborhood movie palaces. The Pussycat Theaters operated a chain of originally soft core but now porno theaters that extended from coast to coast. The films themselves kept improving and soon looked as good technically as any Hollywood feature although the artistic quality varied considerably. Some were crap and some were artistic gems. Examples of the latter variety would be Henry Paris' "The Opening of Misty Beethoven" and the Mitchell Brothers' "Autobiography of a Flea".
The better films in the classier theaters attracted some male-female couples but it was mostly an all male audience which is no surprise I guess. On the hottest day of the year, you would see guys go in carrying jackets. The jackets were for putting over their laps while they masturbated of course. Jacking off was very common in those theaters. Most guys were pretty discreet but once in a while you would see some dude with an exposed cock, whacking it off in full view of anyone interested in watching. I readily admit I was one of the discreet masturbators in my early thirties. VCRs were still a few years away and for most of us and it was impossible not to get highly aroused by all that porno up on the big screen. You can only put up with a throbbing cock for so long you know! It was usually double features too and I sometimes jerked off once in each feature. In some cities, undercover cops patrolled these porno palaces and some poor bastards like Pee Wee Herman found that out the hard way...by being arrested. I never heard about raids or arrests in the places I frequented though and hopefully the cops were busy with more important things than busting some horny guy playing with his weenie in a darkened theater. I always used napkins to take care of my eruptions but you had to watch the sticky floors in those theaters...it wasn't Coke that was causing that stickiness!
When the VCR came along in the late 1970's, the end of the road was in sight for the porno theaters. It was much more convenient to buy a Betamax or VHS VCR, buy or rent the tapes and jack off at home. Better yet you could watch them with your wife or girlfriend and have your own fuck-a-thin when the fuck flick was over (or even before it was over!) No worries about being seen playing with your dick or worse being busted by some cop and charged with indecent exposure and lewd behavior. No more sticky floors or the smell of stale jism either (although the better theaters were kept quite clean.) One by one the adult theaters started closing as the porn industry began to move to videotape. Within a few years, only a few of the porno theaters were left and most of them switched from 35mm film to poor quality projected VHS video.
The artistic quality of the movies went way downhill at the same time. Thousands of titles were released each year on video with most of the budget put into the four color packaging (the tape box). It seemed like anyone with a camcorder, a motel room, a couple of whores and a guy whose dick would stand up for ten minutes could and did go into the video porn business. A few quality titles were produced but they were extremely hard to find in the tons of garbage that flooded the market. Nothing much has changed up until current times. The only difference is VHS has been replaced by DVD. The product itself is still mostly shit!
The golden age of the porno theater and quality porno unfortunately only lasted about 15 years but it was fun being part of it and I value those days sitting in the balcony of the old Pussycat Theater watching John Holmes slip his humongous dong to Annette Haven while I was whacking off under my jacket fantasizing it was me, timing my ejaculation to be simultaneous with Big John's. Ah yes those were the days! Well I didn't really intend to get in a history of porn but that was about the extent of my sex life in my early thirties...jacking off and watching porno in the adult theaters, sometimes doing both at the same time! Yeah I know...it's fucking pathetic!