Saturday, December 29, 2012

Three's Company by Mindas

It's four months since we posted our last Penthouse Love Set, the racy Easy Riders by Earl Miller,  This pictorial appeared in the same issue, May 1976, and was the first time that Penthouse had put two couples pictorials in the same issue.

They couldn't have been more different in style, however, with Miller's passionate and explicit pictorial contrasting with the much lighter tone of Three's Company by Mindas.  Mindas's only other Penthouse credit was for the pictorial of Derna Wylde which would appear in the September issue.  Was it a pseudonym?  A combination of Miller and Dunas, possibly?  Who knows?  It certainly shares some of the rather annoying "comedy" aspects of Miller's Auto Erotic from the previous month's issue.

The text is really just an excuse to put in as many food related (for some obscure reason) double entendres similes and euphemisms as possible.  The concept behind this being that the man was pursuing the women at dinner but they got the upper hand in the end.  Hence, no doubt, the appalling over acting by the male model in this shot.

It is the dream of many (most?) men to end up in a sexual situation with two women at the same time and this was Penthouse's second pictorial featuring this scenario, after the similarly named pictorial Three in Love from February 1975.

What men want (or rather what men's magazines seem to think they want) is two adoring females who will pander to the man's every whim and, hopefully throw in a bit of lesbian action as well.  This, however, is not always the reality of the situation.

The girls in this pictorial, for example, are not interacting with each other sexually at all (unlike Three in Love and, indeed, most Penthouse threesome's pictorials) but are entirely focussed on the man.

The girl in blue manages to inject a bit more believable passion into her performance whereas the blonde seems to just find the whole situation hilarious.  One observation we would make is that the girl in blue  has remarkably hairy legs, visible through her stockings in the picture above.  Something that is rarely seen even in seventies magazines.

We mentioned Triple P's first experience of a threesome in passing in our recent Centrefold of the Month posting on Connie Lynn Hadden.  Our new girlfriend had asked Triple P, really rather early on in their relationship, if he wanted to have sex with two women at the same time.  Of course, depending on your definition, it could be argued that it is impossible to have sex with two women at the same time but this was not an argument we remember having at the time trying to sound, simultaneously, both interested and diffident.

Triple P's girlfriend, C, had her eye on another girl in her college but it was the other girl who suggested Triple P's presence.  All three of us drank quite a lot of wine one evening in C's room in college but all felt rather inhibited due to the non-spontaneous nature of the occasion.  Nothing, therefore happened, even after C stripped down to her underwear to reveal some very uncharacteristically fancy lingerie.  Instead C and the other girl just got into a discussion about lingerie and stockings whilst Triple P finished the wine.

C was nothing if not persistent, however, and so organised another post-dinner rendezvous for the three of us.  This went better as it was a Saturday night and we had all finished our academic work for the week.  It's hard to concentrate on potentially kinky sex when you know that you should be writing an essay on administrative law instead.  Things started much better when both stripped off their outer clothes to reveal full-on boudoir lingerie and stockings.

Triple P was soon made to feel overdressed and did, of course, thoroughly enjoy the two girls removing his clothes, although was very embarrassed by his aroused state in front of the other girl who he hardly knew.  The whole thing didn't go as planned for C, however, as it became obvious that the other girl was more interested in Triple P than having lesbian sex with C.  There was a little half-hearted, clothed, breast fondling between the two girls (they kept their lingerie on throughout whereas Triple P had been stripped completely) but what the other girl wanted was to "see you two do it".   This we did and the most exciting aspect of the evening was having the other girl guide Triple P into C's sopping pussy.   But when she asked whether she "could have a go" with Triple P, C suddenly got very protective and she said "not this time".  But there never was another time.  C decided that the potential negatives of a rival outweighed her burgeoning lesbian desire.  The problem of threesomes always being, of course, that one person always feels left out. It was fifteen years before Triple P got involved in another such performance.

So we leave our threesome with the man giving one girl a good seeing to and the other nowhere in sight.  It wouldn't be long before Penthouse had another boy/girl/girl threesome pictorial, however.  In fact just two months, in their special bicentennial issue in July 1976.  This we will look at very soon.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Happy Christmas to all our readers!

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by or, particularly, taken the time to comment this year.  Many more seduced Venuses next year!

Hope you all get the Christmas kisses you want!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mars and Venus: allegory of peace by Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée

Here, as our 100th post on this blog, is a gently seductive piece by French painter Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée (1724-1805).  Painted in 1770 it shows Mars and Venus, rather racily for the time, in bed together.  No doubt the use of the word "allegory" in the title helped to make this more acceptable.  The whole atmosphere of the picture is determinedly post-coital and  Lagrenée has Mars pushing aside the (beautifully rendered) drapes around the bed to reveal the naked hidden treasure within. Your eye is immediately drawn to Venus' pale body; her skin painted in much lighter tones than Mars'.  Venus has tamed Mars, as his abandoned sword and helmet attest, through love (or, perhaps, sex).

Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée

Lagrenée won the Prix de Rome at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1749 and went to Rome to study under Carle van Loo, a Rococo rival of Boucher and teacher of Fragonard as well. He was received into the Académie in 1755 and from 1760 until 1762, he directed the Saint Petersburg Academy at the Russian court. When he returned to France he became a professor at the French Académie and although he painted some large official commissions it was generally his smaller works which were better received and more popular with collectors.   This painting, for example, which now hangs in the J. Paul Getty museum in Los Angeles, is a comparatively modest 40 inches by 30 inches in size.

Another, even more racy, Lagrenée painting after Christmas.
Bottom of Form

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Funny Valentine: Updated

One of the new pictures

One of the most popular posts on this blog is Stan Malinowski's pictorial My Funny Valentine from Penthouse's February 1976 issue.  When we originally posted it we only had the UK edition of the magazine but have subsequently acquired the US version which is some four pages longer.  We have scanned the new pictures, put them in the order they were in in the original pictorial and put the extras, which were not in the feature as published, in the second half of the post.  It's still a radical fetish piece even today and the high heel in the eye one still makes us wince!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

More Lovers by Brad Holland

We have featured a couple of American illustrator Brad Holland's works before.  Here is another of his deliciously erotic illustrations from Playboy's Ribald Tales; this time from January 1978.  People actually kissing in erotic art is not that common.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lovers by Jean-François Millet.

 Pair of lovers

In some ways it is something of a surprise to discover that the French realist painter Jean-François Millet (1814-1874) produced erotic works.  His pictures of peasants toiling in the landscape are far from the passion exhibited in the two drawings here but then again if he saw sex as a natural part, and perhaps a brief escape from, the hard life of the peasant (such as his parents) then perhaps it is not such a surprise after all.  The pencil drawing above, which is the the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, is a passionate depiction of rear entry sex, which may be designed to echo the ways of the animals in the fields over which Millet walked, collecting material for his paintings.  The girl has a wonderfully ecstatic expression and her arm disappears between her legs, surely reaching for her lover's member.

Nymph and satyr

This is another pencil drawing showing a nymph performing fellatio on a goat legged satyr or even, as some would have it, the devil.  One of Millet's friends was Honoré Daumier whose ability to draw figures was much admired by Millet who copied his approach to figure work.  Daumier produced his own erotic works and it would be interesting to know if the two artists shared their erotic works with each other.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lesbian lovers by Fameni

The fourth most visited post on this blog is two women enjoying tribadism (above), a lovely watercolour by an artist we didn't know until someone kindly left a comment saying that the artist was Fameni.  We have subsequently discovered that he produced at least one more painting of women indulging in tribadism which is this energetic display below.

It turns out that, not atypically for erotic artists, we know virtually nothing about this artist other than the fact he (we assume it's a he) may have been born in either 1885 or 1888.  One other thing is that he may have illustrated an edition of the Marquis de Sade under the pseudonym Leporini.  We can assume from the two names used that perhaps he was Italian but even that is not necessarily a safe assumption.

Much of his erotic art features groups rather than couples with other regular themes relating to younger girls and rape; some of which is quite nasty.  He does not seem to have indulged in the spanking and whipping pictures so popular in the first third of the twentieth century.  In this picture a woman is being serviced by a much younger girl (these turn up quite a lot in his pictures) whilst their friend spots that they are not alone.  

His lesbian output is meager but quite effective.  To what extent these pictures are illustrations to stories rather than stand alone works we also don't know, but many are particular enough to look like illustrations.

Of all the new ones we have discovered we particularly like this simple, pen and ink soixante-neuf drawing.  He has captured the curve of the women's legs (particularly their thighs) very well, we think.  More from Fameni another day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lovers by Brad Holland

This wonderful picture is by Brad Holland one of America's very greatest illustrators, who is not as well known as he should be.  From the late sixties until the eighties he illustrated the Ribald Tales section of Playboy, which re-told classic erotic tales.  The passion in this illustration is palpable.  Little touches like the girl's hand reaching down to feel her lover's penis enter her vagina make it a devastatingly erotic work without it being overly explicit.

His pen and ink work is equally accomplished and has the feel of the classical masters, even though he actually dropped out of the Art Institute of Chicago to work in a tattoo parlour.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Easy Riders by Earl Miller

After his somewhat disappointing couples pictorial Auto Erotic in April 1976, Earl Miller returned to the pages of Penthouse with a return to form the following month.  Appearing in the May 1976 edition Easy Riders also appeared, in an edited form, in Volume 11 Number 3 (June 1976) in the UK edition.

This was Miller's third couples pictorial in a row for Penthouse and after the rather lukewarm Auto Erotic he manages a more convincing relationship between his two models in this one, recapturing some of the passion of The Duel but with more of the atmosphere of Jeff Dunas' Love in the Afternoon with its convincing couple.

The text accompanying the pictorial makes no mention of either model's names, whether real or fictional, and instead rambles on in a rather women's romantic novel style: "There is a certain magic in a silence shared with someone close...The way she looks - the secret, subtle things you notice again, as if for the first time."  Quite.

The romantic atmosphere is mirrored in the early photographs in the set, as exemplified with this telephoto shot of the couple kissing on horseback. Agent Triple P notes the classic doughnut highlight (or bokeh ) of a catadioptric lense in this one, indicating it was probably taken from some distance.

These intitial photos are all shot outside using late evening light, producing a nice, warm colouring to these pictures.

Here we get our first look at the girl's literally outstanding nipples which her young man enticingly frames with his fingers in the shot below.

These two are the first pair of blondes to have appeared in a Penthouse couples set, although, as we can see from this picture, the young lady is certainly not a natural blonde.  Such explicit pussy stroking by the man was still unusual and this was really only the second such example in a couples pictorial.

For the rest of the pictorial we move inside to a room with a view, where our couple are soon entwined on the floor.  Agent Triple P didn't have proper sex until he went to university (although there had been some other lesser activities before then) where he found himself very constrained by the small single beds in college.  Indeed, at one of the women only colleges if the girl had a male visitor in her room in the evening then the mattress had to be put into the corridor outside, on the basis that it would prevent any untoward activity.  It didn't work, of course and this,coupled with the small beds, led to Triple P's predilection for floor level activity, rather than being confined to a bed.

This shot gives us a very explicit view of the lady's rear end and it was, in fact, the first time that the woman had displayed her labia in a boy/girl pictorial in the magazine.

Here she is flashing her, really rather prominent, bits again as they cuddle up on a chair.

Faux cunnilingus follows and this nicely composed and sensual photograph was the last picture in the UK edition of the magazine.

This faux fellatio shot didn't appear in the UK issue, however, which was two pages shorter than the American edition.  Neither did this shot (below) where the combination of testicle caressing and prominently displayed labia would probably have been too much for the UK edition.  What really made it the raciest couples shot in Penthouse so far, however, was the man having the tip of his finger on the girl's anus.  Far too naughty for Britain, especially as there had only been one glimpse of anus in the magazine so far.

So, a much more sensual pictorial by Miller this time, with added explicitness compared with previous equivalent pictorials.  For the first time there was another couples pictorial in the same issue but this featured only Penthouse's third threesome pictorial which we will examine another time.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Girl/girl photographs by Didier Carré

Didier Carré is a French photographer who specialises in explicit art photographs of women.  There are many, many photographers producing black and white "art" shots of naked young ladies but Carré differentiates his by taking fashion model-quality women and photographing them in late nineties Penthouse-type poses.

Carré studied classics and photography and then did his national service in the French navy, working as a photographer.  He then got a job as assistant to the official photographer of the French National opera.  Carré opened a black and white photographic laboratory in 1991 and immersed himself in the science and art of black and white photographic printing.

In 1998 he started photographing naked women in his particularly frank and reveling style.  He published his first book of photoraphs, Stainless Ladies in 2005. "I always work with the complicity of my models to get them to express a tasty mix of indecency and insolence," he said.

Carré uses natural light or, at most, one lamp to light his subjects, giving his studio shots a distuinctive shadowed look.  His fresh-faced girls are often photographed in paired pictures as a portrait and then in a more overtly sexual pose.  No doubt, Carré, being French, would say that it says something about the hidden, latent sexuality lurking within every woman which is not immediately apparent.  Or maybe it's nothing more complex than the joy of getting attractive women to spread their legs and display their cunts.

Most of Carré's women are photographed solo and we shall put some up on our Venus Observations site, shortly. We have already posted one of his pictures there, although at the time we didn't know the photographer.

He does occasionally produce girl/girl images and we include a few here.  Apart from the top one these pictures are all from one series of two ladies called Eva and Nikky, although which one is which is anyone's guess.  Both are exceptionally lovely, however.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Myrtocleia and Rhodis by Milo Manara

The works of Pierre Louÿs (born Pierre Louis in Ghent, Belgium in 1870) have inspired many erotic artists over the years. His 1894 collection of pastiche Sapphic poems, Les Chanson des Bilitis, inspiring everyone from Debussy through Suzanne Ballivet and Paul-Emile Bécat to the photographer David Hamilton. In 1896 he published his first novel, Aphrodite—mœurs antiques ( Aphrodite -Ancient Manners ) which described the life of a courtesan, Chrysis, in ancient Alexandria and is a take on the Pygmalion story. The book was a best seller, becoming the biggest selling novel in France at the time, although it was banned in the US. These two characters, in the painting by Milo Manara, are the musicians Myrtocleia and Rhodis who are lesbian lovers.

Manara produced fifteen watercolours to illustrate the Humanoid Publishing's 1999 edition of the book.  The publishers divided the novel into four parts and had different artists illustrate the different sections.  Manara illustrated the first part and his pictures (unlike some of the artists that followed) closely follow incidents and descriptions in the novel.  Manara (born 1945) uses a number of different styles in his erotic comic strips and illustrations but his watercolour style, as used here, is softer than his harder edged comic strip style. The picture at the top is a clever composition with the darker skinned girl dominating the centre of the painting, framed by two curtains.   The fact that her face is hidden takes your eye down to the blonde girl who would otherwise have been a subsidiary element in the composition.  It brings the crucial physical contact points of a tongue and three hands, into the heart of the composition.

They first appear in Chapter 6, The Virgins. "Now a light sound of footsteps palpitated upon the soil and two young girls appeared, one dressed in yellow, the other in blue."  This picture illustrates the line where Rhodis (in the blue) asks Myrtocleia (in yellow) to remove the iris  flowers woven around her legs.  "She knelt by Rhodis and detached the two garlands, then the three flowers placed higher, putting a kiss in place of each."

This picture illustrates Rhodis (a flute players) and Myrtocleia (a singer) who have been performing at an orgy in the palace.  One of the other girls had been ravished during the orgy but Myrtocleia had intervened to save Rhodis from a similar fate.  The two declare that they are going to bed together.  "Myrtocleia took her in her arms and both were silent together.  the wind mingled their hair."

Here the two girls have encountered the heroine of the novel, Chrysis., who whisks them away.  The girls tell her that in their own country of Ephesos they would be allowed to marry and even adopt children.  Chrysis, "discovering on her bed the two Ephesians...she leaped between them, separating them, clasped them with a sort of amorous fury, and her long golden hair enveloped the three young heads."

Effectively sensuous stuff.  More of Manara's lesbian lovers another time.