Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Last Straw/Be-troughed/The Sensuous Bathtub by Fred Enke

Time for a girl/girl set from Men Only (and later Club in the US) featuring two friendly cow girls have a bath in a horse trough.

This pictorial first appeared in the UK in Men Only Volume 41 number 6 for January 1976.  The following month it appeared in Club in the US for their February 1976 first anniversary edition. In Club the pictorial was called Be-troughed rather than The Last Straw, as in Britain.

Just over a year later, in April 1977, pictures from this shoot also appeared in Stag.  Some of the shots I have flipped so they match the Men Only/Club aspect) and there were some additional ones not in the Men Only or Club pictorials, so I am including them here in chronological order of the sequence but their provenance is marked as such.

Quite often Men Only and Club would have different text accompanying the same pictorial but in this case the text is the same for both and tells the story of Serena and Agnes who meet in a lesbian bar.


The strange thing about the text is that it is virtually a short story, including dialogue but the whole thing is set in New York.  There is absolutely no mention of a farm, ranch or barn to tie in with the location of the pictures.  It's almost as if it had been written for another pictorial.


Anyway, whatever the disconnect between text and pictures, our denim clad lovelies are soon stripping off their jeans for a bath in the horse trough. 



Men Only had quite a few girl/girl pictorials in 1976, unlike, for example, Penthouse in the UK which was nervous about some of the more explicit lesbian shots appearing in the US edition.  At this point, Men Only's photographers were getting some nice passionate shots from their models.  Later on the magazine's girl/girl pictorials would consist of two girls just posing with each other rather than interacting with any sense of sapphic passion, as here.


It must be difficult for you if you are a model and have no interest in the same sex but have to pose for these girl/girl sets.  I once read an interview with actress Laura Gemser, who said she just wan't attracted to other women physically and found lesbian scenes very difficult. 

In this set the two girls look convincingly into each other,however, which helps the erotic charge no end. This bold, for the time, anus flashing shot is the only extra picture to appear in Club which wasn't in the original Men Only pictorial.


In Stag the girls are called Julie Algrave and Greta Lemaze.  Interestingly, the accompanying text has them meeting in New York as well but then moving to a farm in Vermont, as if the Stag editors had read the original piece but then tried to make it fit the pictures.  The Men Only/Club pictorials don't have them completely naked in the trough, as here. 

The last two shots in the Men Only/Club pictorials have the two girls out of the trough and in the straw, which seems a bit silly when you have just had a bath but there you are.




Finally, Stag have more pictures of the girls in the straw with  a nice kissing shot to finish.  This is a good set with the girls looking like they are enjoying themselves and the sunny, outdoor setting makes a change from the boudoir approach that Men Only used for most of their other girl/girl sets in 1976.  More Men Only girls on Venus Observations soon.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tenndresse from Les Chansons de Bilitis by Georges Barbier

This lovely illustration is by French artist Georges Barbier (1882-1932).  Barbier didn't have his first exhibition until he was 29 years old but it was a great success and led to a career doing book, magazine and fashion illustrations.  He also worked on theatrical set designs and costumes, including for the Folies Bergère.  He also designed glass and jewellery.  He died, comparatively young, at the age of 50.

These pictures come from a 1922 edition of Les Chansons de Bilitis by Pierre Louÿs.  This work consisted of 143 prose poems with a lesbian theme which Louÿs claimed were translated from the works of an ancient Greek female poet and courtesan called Bilitis, who was a contemporary of Sappho.   At the time they were first published, in 1894, they were accepted as translations of genuine ancient texts but in fact they were all created by Louÿs inspired by an encounter with a dancing girl in Algeria.  In fact the dancing girl in question, Meriam ben Atala, even received a dedication as 'MbA' in the book.

It's theme was controversial, not least because his treatment of lesbians is non-judgemental and sympathetic whereas most lesbian characters in French literature had been portrayed in a less positive manner.  Baudelaire (who was the subject of a censorship trial in 1857 for his work Les Fleurs du Mal, over lesbian themes) had referred to them as "damned women".  Many books which tried to address lesbian themes or had lesbian scenes were banned in France in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Louÿs got away with it by his erudite, sensuous and elegant writing and the fact that people believed that they were reading a translation of a genuine ancient text with historical distance making the whole thing acceptable.  The same applied to his novel, Aphrodite, published two years later and also featuring lesbian characters in Ancient Greece, 

The first illustration in this post accompanies the following text from the poem Tendresse:

Ferme doucement tes bras, comme une ceinture,
sur moi. Ô touche, ô touche ma peau ainsi!
Ni l’eau ni la brise de midi ne sont plus
douces que ta main.

Aujourd’hui chéris-moi, petite soeur, c’est
ton tour. Souviens-toi des tendresses que je
t’ai apprises la nuit dernière, et près de moi
qui suis lasse agenouille-toi sans parler.

 Close your arms gently, like a belt,
on me. O touch, O touch my skin so!
Neither the water nor the midday breeze are not anymore
as sweet as your hand.

 Today cherish me, little sister, it is
your turn. Remember the tenderness I
Taught you last night, and get close to me
Who is tired, kneel down without speaking.

The wonderful Art Nouveau illustrations by Barbier complement the text perfectly.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Why Should We Do It In The Road? from Chic, June 1978

After a number of art posts on this blog it is time for another magazine pictorial. I had hoped to post the next Penthouse Love Set but there is a slight technical problem with some of the pictures which I hope to remedy shortly.  

So it is back to Chic and their June 1978 issue and a pictorial called Why Should We Do It In The Road, photographed by Matti Klatt. There are, basically, four types of couples pictorials in men's magazines.  Firstly, and most common, is the one involving the same models in some sort of single location  Then there are ones which tell a more complex story over multiple locations (popular in Penthouse).  Then there is the pictorial where different sets of models contribute just one or two pictures each with a certain theme (popular, at one time, in Playboy),  This one, however has the same models in different pictures and settings illustrating one theme; in this case different and more exciting places to have sex.  The first picture has a nurse and rather immobilised looking patient.

This next one is set in the zoo,with our couple as zookeepers. This has the addition of a, not very convincing looking, gorilla joining in the fun. This shot clearly shows that our adventurous young blonde has what would then be a very unusual bald pubis.

Here we have a couple of students in the library.  This one resonates with me because I did. once, when at university, have a girlfriend in the college library late one night, although I didn't enjoy it much as I was so worried about being discovered.   This particular lady loved doing it in places where you might get caught.  She found it exciting but I found it stressful!  

The lady is now in an art gallery where she is about to be taken by one of the security guards.  This wouldn't work these days as galleries all have closed circuit television everywhere.  Unless, of course, he is the guard in charge of the closed circuit TV.

This is also a very unlikely place for an intimate encounter.  Even in our local supermarket, past midnight, the place is full of Polish shelf stackers. It doesn't have a very convincing set, either.  Who puts cereal with washing powder?  In fact this is supposed to be what Chic call a superette; the term in some parts of America for a small supermarket.  If it is that small why do you need a big trolley?  A bit more contact in this one, with the blonde getting her rather lovely breast sucked while she assertively grabs his cock.  This is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, example of a penis in a Chic pictorial.

This is supposed to be a lift, which seems a popular place in pictorials and videos for frantic coupling.  I can't say that I have ever been in a lift that takes long enough to be able to even get going.  I have had a few quick gropes in the lift of the Inter-Continental in Montreal because the first floors there aren't part of the hotel, so you whizz straight through them before there is any chance of anyone stopping the lift. Here. at least, the man's equipment is arranged in such a way that you don't have what readers at the time would call 'limp dick syndrome'.  He could be erect and that is enough to maintain the illusion.

Finally, our couple are at the bus stop and she  has a good, firm grip on him here, in the most explicit couples shot in the magazine to date.

While really an example of the dreaded 'comedy' pictorial one or two of the shots display some arousing passion.  After this, couples pictorials, which had been rare up to this point in Chic,  (except girl/girl ones) would become more of a regular feature.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Leda and the Swan by Giovanni Boldini

I have just done a post about Italian artist Giovanni Boldini over on Venus Observations.  Here is his version of Leda and the Swan.

The Greek legend of Leda and the Swan, has the God Zeus, in the form of a swan seducing or raping, depending on the version, Leda, the daughter of the King of Aetolia.  Obviously not too traumatised by the event that night she also had sex with her husband and in due course gave birth to two eggs which produced Helen (of Troy),  Clytemnestra, and Castor and Pollux.

The subject has enabled artists for centuries to produce images of ecstatic looking women in copulatory poses while claiming that they are just illustrating an acceptable classical subject.  Boldini's version is certainly at the more explicit end of the scale, with the swan between Leda's legs, its feet grasping her thighs as it presses its nether regions into her groin while she looks appropriately overcome.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Idylle Printaniere by Fyodor Stepanovich Rojankovsky

Following on from our earlier Rojankovsky posts here and here, we present his erotic masterwork, Idylle Printaniere (Spring Idyll or sometimes known as Paris Spring).  Originally it was entitled De Montparnasse a Pigalle which gives you an idea of the geographical journey undertaken in this story without words. Montparnasse was the bohemian artistic and intellectual heart of Paris in the twenties and thirties.  Pigalle, around three miles slightly northeast of Montparnasse and the other side of the Seine, always had (and still does) a rather racier reputation; the Moulin Rouge is located there, for example and it was prime spot for prostitutes, brothels and the sellers of the famous saucy postcards for which Paris was notorious.

These pictures were published as a portfolio of prints limited to 516 copies in 1933.  Although Rojan (as he often signed himself) produced a number of erotic illustrations in the thirties and late forties, many were not published as they were often original works for private collectors, like the Swiss actor Michel Simon, who amassed a large collection of erotica in his rambling house in Noisy-le-Grand near Paris.

This is certainly a series rooted in the Paris of the Art Deco period and begins on the platform of a Parisian Metro station as a man in a long raincoat and Homburg hat spies an elegantly dressed. pretty woman.  He is checking out her neat derriere and well turned ankles in this, the opening picture of the series.

The couple are now in the carriage and the girl fiddles with her blue beret as the man talks to her.   She is wearing one of the fashionable fur wraps of the time made from the pelt of an animal which would include its head and sometimes its legs and feet,  One of Triple P's girlfriends had such a thing when he was at College  

Whether it is a coincidence or a personal choice, she gets out at the same Metro station as the man.   Montparnasse and Pigalle are on the same Metro line.  They are now posed very close to each other and already look like a couple out on the town together. 

Above ground, the girl is now even closer to the man and he has his hand on her back, They are standing outside the entrance to the Metro station, depicted by the characteristic cursive Art Nouveau decoration designed by Hector Guimard.  Rojankovsy was born in 1891 in what was then called Mitau ,which is now called Jelgava in Latvia (Agent Triple P has been there!), then part of Russia but lived and worked in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Poznan, and Germany before settling in Paris in 1925.  This picture can really only depict Paris in the thirties.

The girl is quite happy to get into a taxi with the man and he seems to be appreciating the tightness of her skirt as she clambers into the back.

Once inside the taxi, the girl has her skirt provocatively hiked up, revealing her stocking-clad thighs while the man toys with her knee.  Rojan, who had already started his successful career illustrating children's books, was excellent at conveying character in the faces of his subjects and here the man looks quietly smug while the girl looks delighted with the turn of events.

The man is getting bolder now, as he explores the back of her soft thigh above her stocking.  The girl, here has more than a passing resemblance to the writer Anaïs Nin, who would have been living and cavorting with Henry Miller in Paris, not far from Pigalle, at the same time as these prints were published.

Mademoiselle appears to have forgotten to put her French knickers on today, as she submits, elegantly, to the gentleman's questing hand.  The background really gives the idea of a busy Parisian nighttime street just using a few lines and shapes.

The girl's pale haunch is the centrepiece of this picture as the man indulges in some intimate probing.   Mademoiselle seems to be imploring for more.  The drawings are in pencil with watercolour and coloured pencil highlights.

The man now  has one hand between her thighs and the other fondling her rear. Rojan is excellent at capturing the sinuous form of the girl in these taxi pictures.

Not surprisingly, all that stroking, fingering and squirming about have got the man's attentions up, as he proudly displays to Mademoiselle, who appears to be taking the opportunity for a bit of a breather here.

Back to it here, as she lies across his lap as his gloved hand continues to probe between her thighs.

Plunging off the seat in an acrobatic head down pose he delicately slips his now un-gloved finger into her and admires her lovely posterior.  His cock is still admiring her as well and he has taken his hat off as well as his gloves..

They have arrived at their destination; an hotel or, more likely, what the French would call a maison de passe; a place where you could rent rooms by the hour.  There used to be an hotel close to the City, which offered this useful facility, where Triple P used to sometimes go at lunchtimes, with a lady colleague, for a quick one.  The girl, amusingly, looks like she has been caught getting up to no good, while the man pays the taxi driver.  The animal head of her fur stole is clearly depicted here.

A gentle pressure on her waist sees Mademoiselle guided into the hotel room.  She looks a bit anxious but he gives her a reassuring look.

She rests her head on the brass bedstead as she waits, pensively, for the man to undress.  Is she having regrets or looking forward to it?

But no. she is pleased to see him and pulls him down for a kiss.  Her right hand stocking has slipped down to her ankle, adding a nicely dishevelled element to her look.

The man is happy to help her remove it completely which is one of the great physical pleasures in life, we think, especially if the stockings are silk as hers would be, no doubt.

Mademoiselle pauses to remove her outer clothes and display her pert bottom to her new companion.

Still wearing one stocking, she clasps her partners erection, looks at it, raptly and strokes the inside of her thigh as he contemplates her enticingly displayed nether regions.

Time for a little more exploration, as the man delicately fingers her.  Triple P read once that the biggest change in sexual practices in history has happened over the last hundred years or so, with the concept of foreplay, partly because of an increasing understanding that women want rather more than being flung on their backs and fucked straight away. Certainly, there is a nice sense of mutual exploration and caressing in these pictures.

Mademoiselle's breasts are revealed for the first time as he tugs at her flimsy chemise.  Now, she boldly fingers herself for his delectation.

Now freed of most of his clothes, his cock understandably rampant, he lays into Mademoiselle with his tongue as she looks gratefully ecstatic.  Her raised foot catching on the drapery is a nice little touch.

He has climbed back onto the bed once more and is tenderly kissing her face and squeezing her breast.  She looks like she may have had an orgasm already, due to the attentions of his flicking tongue.

Mademoiselle now reciprocates, squatting on the floor and sucking his knob into her dainty little mouth.  Has she done this before or is it all a new experience for her?  The former, we suspect.

He has her on her back on the bed, her legs spread, wantonly.  He wonders whether she is wet enough as he slips a finger into her pretty little cunt.  Goodness, yes!

All of this has been leading up to this moment as he penetrates her for the first time, delightedly watching his manhood sliding in and out of her pink petals.  Mademoiselle is watching nothing as she is being transported to another place.

Time for a change of position and a new visual delight for him, and more ecstasy for her, as he takes her from the rear.

Mademoiselle now takes charge, squatting astride his hips and gently guiding him back into herself for another bout.  She takes a firm grip on the bedstead.  She is planning to be quite athletic.  What cute dimples she has!

At last, all passion is spent but she remains astride, cuddling up to him.  He looks exhausted as, perhaps, he took on more than he expected!

This is a delightful sequence of pictures, drawn with great delicacy by Rojankovsky.  The story presentation looks forward to some of the Love Sets pioneered in Penthouse in the seventies.  Bob Guccione lived in Paris for a time so perhaps he saw this or similar picture postcard sequences while there,  This set is highly collectible today and you would need several thousand pounds to buy one of the original portfolios; even a modern print reproduction costs over £200.