Just one month after their previous girl/girl set, Penthouse came up with another one which was also, like the previous set The Friends, photographed by Jeff Dunas. This was their sixth specifically shot (we don't count Mirage as it was just pictures from a book) girl/girl set since their first, Two Women, in 1970.
The July 1975 issue of Penthouse was certainly their most soft focus yet. Indeed, the cover shot of Jane Hargrave, that month's Pet, was one of the least soft focus shots in the magazine. Dunas' pictures only worked because of the superior paper stock that Penthouse used compared with most of its rivals.
The story for this one is of two old friends meeting on the beach and discussing what it would be like to be castaway on a desert island. It's not actually mentioned in the text but the suggestion is, from the clothes, the car and the interior, that perhaps this is a period-themed shoot, which would make it Penthouse's first.
"For the friends at the beach, the summer warmth is a soothing balm, and as they talk they become gently aware that their long relationship is about to embrace new horizons of sensual enlightenment." Ah yes, the famously breathless Penthouse girl/girl pictorial text style is in full flow again. "They know that they are about to bestow upon each other those same private and personal favors usually reserved for their lovers."
Firstly, however they have to negotiate the technicalities of kissing when one of them is wearing a large hat. Kissing shots were still rare in girl/girl pictorials.
This location, with its distinctive swimming pool painting (seen above), would be used in another girl/girl pictorial, Gemini II, but this time by Earl Miller, for the January 1979 issue. The difference in the photographic treatment between 1975 and 1979 can be clearly seen in this shot from the Earl Miller pictorial below.
Charlotte and Emily in Gemini II for January 1979
There is a credit in the pictorial for the provison of the Art Deco furniture which suggests that it was all brought in for the shoot. There were also separate credits for hair, make-up, the vintage car and, most bizarrely "men's hair and beard design." Given that the only man appearing in the shoot is the chauffer in the photo with the car, and his back is to the camera, this was surely a credit too far!
Inside, the girls, who are not named once more, have a companionable drink. We are surprised that they didn't give a credit for the wine glasses as they are rather splendid, although anachronistic for the suggested period.
The lingerie on display here suggests the nineteen forties rather than the Art Deco period and the car looks nineteen thirties so perhaps they needed a credit for an historical advisor.
Its all very pretty and floaty and diffuse in that mid-seventies Vogue way. One difference between this shoot and Dunas' pervious girl/girl pictorial is the lack of any close-ups of the girls; they are all largely shot from a distance.
It's only in this one that we first get any of the overt lesbian action that we saw in The Friends. This nipple sucking shot is, however, somehwat more explicit than those mouth to breast shots in that pictorial; the most explicit so far in the magazine.
Here we have something else that hadn't been shown before; the first hints of attention being given by one girl to the other's bottom. Both her mouth and hand aren't quite solidly contacting the area in question yet but it's getting very close.
In the picture of the two girls on the bed (below) we have the first Penthouse girl/gil picture where one girl is actually positioned between the legs of the other. It is interesting to see how Penthouse was gradually making its lesbian pictorials more explicit with each one. Was it a conscious decision or just a natural evolution as they pushed at the percieved boundaries in the market?
"At their apartment, among familiar things that seem somehow different, they stretch on the cooling linen and travel together into secrets once shared with their men." Yes, its the old they're not really lesbians point again.
So here, intentionally or not, we have the first example of a photograph in a pictorial in the magazine of a girl with her hand on the other's pussy. Interestingly too, as this rather indistinct shot demonstrates, they had yet to show any girl's labia in one of their girl/girl sets, despite the depiction of these becoming more common in their solo pictorials.
The next girl/girl set would have to wait until December, traditionally a month when Penthouse would push the boundaries of what they would show and that would certainly be the case for the 1975 issue. Before that appears, however, we have another boy/girl set from November 1975 to post.