Monday, 10 September 2012

Venus Revealed: The Pubic Wars 9 1977 part 4

After the pussy-packed July edition of Playboy, August's issue was much less explicit, although the cover had a nicely enticing shot by Phillip Dixon of December 1971's Playmate Karen Christie.  Christie, a former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, had got fed up with his two-timing and moved back to Texas where, at this point in time, she was working as a fashion model in Dallas.

McGuire, Olson and Russell in the rapids

The first pictorial in the issue was one of those typical Playboy "adventure" ones where a group of girls and some random men sail, swim, camp etc.  This one was photographed in the Grand Canyon and featured Playmate of the Year Patti Mcguire, Hope Olson (October 1976) and a Bunny Girl from Chicago, Cindy Russell.  Never shy about spreading her legs it was McGuire who flashed her bits at Richard Fegley's lens, however.

Julia Lyndon

Playmate of the Month, the statuesque (36-23-32!)  Julia Lyndon, displayed her bits as well in this black and white shot.  Julia was far more than another dumb model (one of her favourite composers was listed as Respighi, which indicates very fine taste!) and was compiling a  yellow pages of trendy shops and restaurants in San Francisco at the time of her pictorial.  Julia came from a wealthy family and her father was president of a plastics corporation in Akron, Ohio.  Her sister is actress Sydne Rome, which Playboy was not aware of at the time of her shoot.  When last heard of Julia was running a restaurant in South America.

Next came a long pictorial on the film Madame Claude (1976) directed by Just Jaeckin, the director of Emmanuelle (1974).  Playboy were obviously expecting it to be the new Emmanuelle but it wasn't, probably because the convoluted political plot got in the way of the soft core sex. This tastefully orgiastic picture shows that Playboy hadn't entirely backed off on the lesbian theme, as their advertisers had wanted.

Lenka Novak

Finally, we had the result of Playboy's Playmate photo contest; the winning shot, by Dan Kupersmith, being of 20 year old Lenka Novak.  Novak went on to have a brief career in exploitation films appearing in such classics as Vampire Hookers (1978), The Great American Girl Robbery (1979) and Coach (1978); one of two films where she played a cheerleader.  The biggest film she appeared in was the early John Landis helmed, Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker, episodic comedy Kentucky Fried Movie (1977), where she had a role in the Catholic High School Girls in Trouble segment.  We'll see her again as she made the cover of Oui in December 1978.

Lenka, under the name Olivia Elliott, had been the Pet of the Month in the UK edition of Penthouse in November 1973.  This was the first time that the UK edition used a Pet who didn't appear in the US version.  She appeared in many other magazines in the UK, USA and Europe as well.

The venerable Cavalier was jumping firmly into the fashion for lesbian pictorials by this time and their August effort, Twofers, had quite a lot of pussy on show, including this naughtily effective finger-framed one.  The accompanying text, however, as was often the case in magazines featuring girl/girl sets, refers to them both having boyfriends to show that they aren't lesbians really.

The Larry Flynt published Chic continued with its distinctive large format pages and a minimum of one photo per page, often having one picture across two pages.  Inside, elegant European-looking women (the kind you would expect to find in Oui) spread their legs and showed everything.

In the August issue we have this study of a young lady diddling herself with the heel of her boudoir-style slipper.  Obviously  a lady who really loves shoes but a demonstration of how Chic was successfully mixing explicit raunch with top production values.

Jocelyne's cunt from Chic

Yaffa's cunt from Chic

Chic was also using full page close ups of the girls genitals in a way that the other magazines were not at this point.  They presented them as a thing of sexual beauty in their own right without the issue of distracting breasts and faces.  Flynt had successfully objectified the cunt making the woman almost irrelevant.  Not the sort of approach that Hugh Hefner would have approved of, let alone feminists!

Larry Flynt was well aware of the effect of his genitally-focussed pictures as this amusing advertisement from  the same year demonstrates.

August's Oui had it's fair share of carefully lit labia but was becoming increasingly soft-focus in many of its pictorials, enabling it to be more explicit than Playboy once more but still tasteful.  They managed to not go the way of Penthouse and, especially, Hustler, where the genitals became the entire focus of the pictures   and kept the revealing of this part of the anatomy almost incidental.  Unlike Playboy and Penthouse, however, it kept the bared nipples on the cover.

The issue of how to keep all that unruly seventies fluff nice and neat is solved with this fine photograph by Frank Gitty of a lady known as "Tequila" giving herself a comb.

Miranda, in the same issue, flashes her labia quite a lot in a very Penthouse soft-focus sort of way.  Here she also indulges in some equally Penthouse -style faux masturbation.  This is the sort of shot that Playboy was now eschewing meaning that Oui was, once more, the more visually explicit of the two stablemates.

Oddly, Oui's couples pictorials were now less explicit than they had been previously but this fine set featured some good implied copulation in a train carriage.  Unlike previous couples pictorials in Oui there are no visible penis or labia shots.  On the other hand many of the couples pictorials in the other magazines had the couples caressing each other but didn't put them in such aggressive sex positions.  Here, however, the lovely English model Felicity Buirski appears to be getting a good seeing to.  This pictorial was shot by Jeff Dunas at Horsted Keynes station on the famous Bluebell Line heritage steam railway in Sussex, England.

The August Penthouse had its normal four pictorials but it was the cover that caused a stir depicting, as it did Margaret Stockton draped in the American flag.  "I am writing to express my strong objection to your misuse of our country's flag on the cover of the August edition of Penthouse", wrote LS from California in the November issue. "I find your August cover entirely inappropriate, to say the very least about it" ,added Michael Fisher, a US Army policeman. AK of Chicago said, "I, as an America, was appalled by the cover of the August issue..."  Oh dear!  Penthouse did not respond but at least they printed the letters.

Rebecca Davenport/Deanna Baker

A rare treat was in store for those Playboy aficionados who wondered what the girl next door had between her legs (if Patti McGuire hadn't already shown it to them) in the elegant shape of Rebecca Davenport.  Miss Davenport was, in fact, Playboy Playmate of the Month for May 1972, Deanna Baker.  You can see both her full pictorials here.  Twenty-seven year old Deanna was the first Playboy Playmate to appear in Penthouse.

The Pet of the Month, Barbara Corser also, oddly, had a link to Playboy as well.  We particularly like this shot of her by Earl Miller as her pussy revealing pose is almost (but not quite) justifiable given that she is taking off her stocking.  1977, as we have seen, saw the girls' genitals starting to take centre stage (a situation that remains to this day). Initially the situation was about not concealing them or retouching them out if they happened to be revealed by a particular pose; something that gave a nice peek-a-boo surprise element if a glimpse of labia appeared.  Now, however, the girls bits were being positively displayed as the main focus of many the pictures. What a lovely display Mr Miller gets from the elegant Barbara here, however.  Lost in her own typically Penthouse reverie it's almost as if she doesn't know she is flashing her bits.

Barbara was born in Munich, Bavaria, and had appeared on the cover of Oui back in October 1975 in a splendid shot of her perched on a bannister.

Before that, however, she had been the Playmate of the Month in Playboy's German edition where her 36-26-35 figure was perfectly displayed in her centrefold for July 1975.

Penthouse's third dark haired girl that month was Jasmine Elliott whose splendid black bush couldn't quite hide her splendidly pink clitoris.

Anna Noble in August 1977 Penthouse

The final pictorial was on the girls of the new James Bond film The Spy who Loved Me (1977).  Although Triple P prefers Sean Connery's Bond this particular example of the Roger Moore canon has the most resonance for Triple P.  It was the first Bond we went to see without our family.  In fact, we took a lovely girl, A, who we had met at our archery club.  She certainly qualifies as Triple P's first girlfriend and although we didn't go anything like "all the way" (as it was excitedly referred to at school) with her she was something of a tease and there was certainly some mutual caressing of (clothed) nether regions during the course of watching this film one afternoon at the cinema. It was the first time we discovered that girls got hot and damp down there when they got excited.  Certainly exciting was the girl who featured in more than one picture in this pictorial on Bond girls, the ravishing Anna Noble.

Anna as Mayfair centrefold girl in May 1975

Noble was a very active glamour girl in the mid seventies, appearing in Mayfair, Men Only, Fiesta, Knave, Club International, Game and many others as well as continental magazines.  Noble's inclusion in the Bond girls article was a bit of a cheat as she only appeared as one of the "silhouette" girls in the title sequence, rather than the main film itself, but who would want to miss out on such a fine study of her with a banana?

Anna in Men Only July 1975

Anna had a completely awesome bush and also one of those neat pussies that don't reveal her bits so however much she spread her legs she revealed nothing.  Most of her pictorials appeared in 1975 and we wonder whether these factors effected her ability to get work in the genital-displaying period afterwards.

The splendidly bushy Anna Noble

She appeared under a number of different names including: Anna Esquivel, Elena Royale, Diane Amanti, Caroline, Sonia, Rachel and Veronique.  These shots of her (from Mayfair in 1975) are interesting as they show a completely untrimmed bush with an enticing trail of hairs leading right up to her belly button and fluff down her inner thighs.  These days this sort of display would only appear in specialist magazines and would provoke horror amongst the younger generation.  We have to say that we find it quite sexy, however!

The image which Triple P remembers Miss Noble for the most, however, is her appearance on the cover of this record in a striking blue dress.  We well remember seeing this on the shelves of WH Smiths, where it always seemed to be prominently displayed.

Playboy's September cover highlighted one of their regular pictorials on college girls from across America.  The big ten is one of America's athletic conferences; organised so that different universities can compete against their regional local peers.  The Big Ten covers the mid-west including Illinois which was, of course, Playboy's home state.

Before we get to the students, however, there is the little matter of September's Playmate, the spectacularly tressed Debra Jo Fondren, to deal with. Shot by Robert Scott Hooper, in the first of his two Playmate centrefolds, he gets Debra Jo to flash her bits in this cheekily revealing shot.

For a magazine which had promised its advertisers that it would be much less explicit there is a lot of pussy on display in the Big 10 student pictorial.  Nicholas de Sciose often produced some of the more radical shots for Playboy and this one of Cynthia Benedict's sumptuous rear end is no exception.

In this shot by David Chan of Gail Palmer her wispy stocking does little to conceal what's between her legs.

Sciose's photo of Tobi Lee has her finger probing her labia in a strongly auto-erotic shot.  Not a very girl-next-door pose this, considering she was a student and not a professional model. This picture would still have been very at home in Penthouse at the time.  Whether this naughtiness was an attempt to hold the slide in the financial fortunes of Playboy is a matter for discussion.  The Pubic Wars had hit Playboy badly as regards circulation and although that was only part of the malaise in the organisation, that month Playboy President Derick Daniels would sack 70 of Playboy's staff in an attempt to contain costs.

Across at Gallery, which had gradually been getting more and more explicit, they had this young lady in a similarly pussy touching pose.

Larry Flynt's Chic continued to offer up barrier pushing explicit pictorials using top models and top photographers.

For their September issue they had their centrefold feature shot by a young up and coming photographer called Arny Freytag  Shortly afterwards he would move across to Playboy, getting his first Playboy cover for December 1977 and his first solo Playboy centrefold credit for December 1978.  He would eventually shoot more Playboy centrefolds than anyone else.  This picture of Georgia ignores the eyes that were considered so important at Playboy relying on a naughty-looking tongue and the tactile effect of droplets of water on her face and sand on her breasts for its (successful) erotic charge.

Freytag's centrefold for Chic demonstrates his characteristically complex lighting (he would sometimes use as many as fifty separate lights on his Playboy centrefolds).  Georgia's twisted body profiles her very perky nipples and the towel and cropping on the right of the photo effectively remove her arms and legs from the picture leaving just her head and torso as the centre of attention, like an X-rated Venus de Milo.  The picture is composed in thirds to match the three pages of the gatefold: face in the first section, then breasts then anus and genitals  Each section would work as a study on its own.  It is an interesting example of what a Playboy photographer could do given no restrictions as to what could be shown.

September was always the "special anniversary issue" for Penthouse in the US and this was their eighth birthday.  They celebrated in the editorial trumpeting that they had overtaken Playboy's circulation to become the biggest selling men's magazine in the world.  They couldn't resist a swipe at their rivals saying, "Penthouse embraced the concept of a maturing, liberated society that saw women as less than plastic perfect, that watched Playboy's perennial girl-next-door grow up and acquire honest-to-goodness, real-life fuckability....Penthouse threw away the airbrush (and) provided sex without the lectures (no doubt a reference to Hugh Hefner's Playboy Philosophy series).  They also promised a "Stimulating array of September sirens" and they certainly delivered on that promise.

First off, Penthouse presented another girl/girl set; the first for some months.  Called Pas-de-Deux it was photographed by Earl Miller. The accompanying text was an extract from Pierre Louÿs' The Songs of Bilitis so didn't reference the models at all.  A sexy and successful pictorial the two girls were originally dressed as ballet dancers and convincingly indulged in some passionate caressing.  There were a notable number of faux cunnilingus shots in this one, although on closer examination the tongue isn't exactly where you might imagine.

Up the skirt with Lucia

September's Pet of the Month was Lucia St Angelo a really very beautiful girl from Rome (according to Penthouse, anyway).   Photographed by Dieter Schmidt (in the first of his Penthouse shoots) the vast majority of the pictures in her pictorial are what would now be called "upskirt" pictures and very erotic they are too.  One of Penthouse's most elegant, sexy and effective Pet pictorials for some time.

The final one of "September's sirens" was  a rare ethnic model for Penthouse, Diana Rose Hardy  photographed by Enrique.  Penthouse here gives us its wettest looking pussy so far as it ups the ante in its battle with Hustler and its clones.

Diana's ecstatic looking masturbation photographs look to be the closest to the real thing in the magazine so far.  One finger on her clitoris and another probing at her vaginal entrance it was Penthouse's ultimate visual expression of female self-love to date.  Nether this one, nor the one above, appeared in the UK version of the magazine, it must be said.

Diana in her blonde phase in the early eighties

Diana Rose Hardy posed for other magazines such as Hustler and High Society in the late seventies and early eighties by which time she had, somewhat bizarrely given her Asian looks, died her hair an unconvincing blonde colour.  We prefer her with black hair.

Speaking of Hustler, at this time they came out with the first edition of what Playboy would later call a "newsstand special" called Hustler Rejects. By then the third highest circulation men's magazine they claimed that after three years they had "accumulated a backlog of near-Honeys who've never appeared in the magazine".  

Alex by Suze Randall

These women, they claimed, did not meet publisher Larry Flynt's high standards but "even our rejects are better than 99% of the women you'll see in most other men's magazines."  The introduction to this publication went on to say that the reason's for a photo set being rejected were usually not to do with the attractiveness of the women although they admitted that "some unattractive women had been shot in the hope that we'd get some usable shots."

The rumpled looking Sparky

Instead, a list of other problematic issues to do with bad sets, problem costumes, sunburnt models etc. were rolled out.  One of the girls in the magazine, Sparky, shot by Clive McLean, had her pictures rejected because "her rumpled jumpsuit detracted from her erotic contortionist poses".  Frankly, we don't think that anything can detract from her erotic contortionist poses.

Sara by Bob Veze

"If you know what to expect from Hustler you'll know what to expect from Hustler Rejects," concluded the introduction before taking a last swipe at the competition:  "No Vaseline-smeared lenses or airbrushed women - just the hottest and most accessible girls in the world."

Janet by Diana Hardy

If by "accessible" they meant girls displaying their increasingly wet-looking cunts then that certainly summed up the content of the magazine.  This damp damsel was photographed by Diana Hardy.  She is the very same Diana Rose Hardy that posed in that month's Penthouse (above).  She was only a part time model and was more often to be found behind the scenes working as a make-up artist, set designer and wardrobe stylist before becoming a successful photographer in her own right.   She died in 2008.

Interestingly, compared with later editions, there were no girl/girl or couples sets in this.  There were increasing numbers of pictures of girls parting their own labia to display their pinkness but not so many shots of anuses (compared with Chic, for example); this one of Bucky by Bob Veze being a rare exception.  By the following year's issue much of this would have changed as we shall see in the future.

Next time we will look at the last quarter of 1977.

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