Sex and the silver screen


From Caligula gracing the silver screen with hardcore sex…

If there’s one thing I missed out on by not being alive in the 70s, it’s the cinematic porn: porn made for the big screen that was meant to consumed in public, surrounded by other people. Now the local porn theatre is largely a part of a by-gone era.

In my ideal world, it would be perfectly normal to go out to dinner and catch a porno afterward. Then we might have a market for big movie budget porn. Sweeping, wide angle, cinematographic porn. Shot in gorgeous, exotic locations porn. Ambitious, stylistically experimental porn. Actually have an engaging plotline porn! But then the 80s came, bringing along with it Betamax and VHS, dashing any hope for a glorious future era of public porn. As it turns out, when it comes to hardcore sex, most people prefer straight to video and its attendant drop in budgets, scripts, and basically any semblance of quality.

I was reading about the demise of sex in Hollywood movies, by which the easy availability of pornography via media that can be consumed in private, i.e., television and the internet, has led to a second decline when it comes to sex on the silver screen. Turns out, we can’t even handle titilating sex scenes in the cinema anymore. Apparently, we prefer to consume grainy clips of genital penetration online, alone, in the glare of a laptop or softcore teasing in some kind of tv binge.


… to softcore Sparticus in your bedroom.

Why are we so intent on watching sex alone? It seems these days, the thing to do is watch porn with your partner. Come on. What about watching a little porn with your friends? Isn’t it more sociable this way? And why not enjoy a little public arousal with total strangers?

Now, I understand that most people consider sex and arousal a private thing, but I hate to break it to you that that ship has long since sailed. We might have scoured sex out of cinema, but I can still ride the subway in Toronto and be subjected to images like these:

burger king



I might as well be watching porno in public, yes? Frankly, I think it would be a lot more civilized to live in a society that celebrates sex en masse, in all its complexity, than one that uses sex to hawk fast food and jeans.

Do you know what else I supremely depressing? That the most expensive, widely viewed pornish media that’s being made these days, is probably in some music video set to some lame ass track:


The joy of the twerk, brought to you by Rihanna

You know, instead of a bunch of famous young women gyrating to bland pop music, instead of this morality baiting snoozefest, we could have had more of this:


My favourite hardcore film, In the Realm of the Senses

Porn that is gorgeous, emotionally intense and genuinely subversive. Porn that inspires the erotic imagination. Porn that is utterly unforgettable.

But no, we’ve decided that this kind of thing is too indecent for public consumption. And thanks to our hypocritical, puritanical mentality, the only public sexiness we’re going to get is this:


In which Terry Richardson helps us lie in the bed we have made

Sigh. If you want to find me, I’ll be renting another naughty Jesus Franco flick from the 70s and you’re welcome to join.