Caroline Munro. Of course, this has made its way online:
Greg Irons fan, I guess: he made me get rid of it and forbade any more Commies From Mars in his household. But I wasn't jerking off to Commies From Mars, anyhow - and it was the rude political content he found objectionable, not the sexual stuff, as I recall...
Warren magazines often had the odd sexually themed story, or suggestive panel, or glimpse of comic book nudity. Those were the years, understand, when I could brush up against a table at the right level and my dick would suddenly get hard; when frickin' tables can give you an erection, a magazine cover like this can all but make you stain your underwear:
When I bought Eerie or Creepy (also Warren publications), I would actually read the stories, but Vampirella - well, there was another reason I liked her. Warren publications knew their target market very, very well.Richard Corben. I would hate to guess the number of times I jerked off to images in his Den series, in Heavy Metal - sadly turned into the stuff of comedy in the film adaptation, with John Candy giving Den the voice and thought processes of an adolescent male, but played pretty much straight up as a heroic sex fantasy in the magazine. It would have to be in the hundreds, at least. I really, really liked the way Corben depicted the heft and curve of the female breast, and I enjoyed his hyper-real arbrushed art style... and I did read the stories, too! I don't have as much nostalgia for my masturbatory teenaged self as I do other aspects of my life - I would bet Cinema Sewer's Robin Bougie, by comparison, has a whole closetful of stroke material from his younger years - but I actually bought an old back issue of Eerie magazine based on my fond recollection of the Richard Corben cover art (and the story therein which it illustrates). I know that magazine is one I masturbated to, back in the day - and not just for the cover, though it's pretty remarkable, innit?
I would hate to think what 13 year olds jerk off to nowadays. I'm sure any adults who make art like the above, in magazines aimed at young people, would be viewed most suspiciously in the current climate - and rightly so, perhaps - but I haven't cracked the cover on an actual contemporary kid-oriented comic book in a long time; God knows what's in them now. I suspect that comics and other print publications that kids can get their hands on are far more regulated than they were during my pre-porn heyday (1980-1982). Also, they likely have less incentive to try to pitch themselves at horny youths, since kids today can doubtlessly find anything they want by way of stimulation online and don't need comics for their sexual content. (I bet the Sears catalogue doesn't get snuck into the bathroom very much these days, either). Besides, for those without access to the internet, there's a whole new class of magazine - from swimsuit issues to Maxim - that didn't exist when I was young. My masturbating to comic books at age 12 and 13 was a matter of deprivation, of making due, of being hungry for sexual stimuli and not having any other easy access to it; it was the equivalent of guys having sex with other guys in prison, because there weren't any women around (except, in my case, real ones, who were terrifying and mysterious and not at all interested in weird chubby kids like me).
Urotsukidouji movies and found them fascinating - but that shit doesn't turn me on; it amuses me, it startles me, it can be very oddly entertaining and revealing of the psychology of its authors - but good God, jerk off to it? Why? Why, when I have a girlfriend on the one hand and the internet on the other and a few pornos on DVD on the side? It's not like I have a tentacle fetish or anything. For an adult male to jerk off to cartoons or comic books... that's just wrong, isn't it?
This brings us to the point of the article.
Colin Upton in regards some of the stuff Bougie writes about/ draws. Bougie has a free-range enthusiasm for some pretty twisted stuff - from hardcore bondage to Brazilian fart porn to films and kinks I have not heard of, he pretty much seems fearless, unwilling or unable to censor himself, and disinclined to view pretty much anything that consenting adults get off on through a moralizing, condemnatory eye. While I could take sides with anti-porn feminists about a few of the films he writes about, for the most part, his content doesn't offend me - I'm just far more vanilla in my porn consumption, and in my sexuality in general. I read him talking about jerking off to Brazilian fart porn somewhere; I haven't even exposed myself to it, and have absolutely no desire to do so, and really do not feel like I'm missing anything.
On the other hand, his 2007 article on "The Public Sex of Sonan," about a Japanese teen who gets off on having sex in grocery stores and such, simply doesn't speak to me the way the other content does (though now that I've flipped through the book looking for an example of something I normally wouldn't read til last, suddenly I want to read that article... And I'm keen to read "Ted Bundy: Porn Made Me Do It," having just watched the compelling serial killer movie Riverman, with Cary Elwes as Bundy and Bruce Greenwood as a detective who interviewed him...)
Two things really struck me in flipping through the book, however. First, in regards all the drawings of masturbating nuns, Jesus with a giant erection, countless girls performing fellatio, a girl (on page 149) on her hands and knees, spreading open her asshole with both hands... this stuff is actually pretty healthy, I think. It doesn't make sense, given how normal and ubiquitous sex is, that we repress so much of it - that there is so much hypocrisy, so much dishonesty, so much confusion and obfuscation when it comes to communicating about sex in our culture. That girl spreads her asshole, and I think, "right on!" Even the illustration on page 93, capturing a scene from a Latin American film in which a woman is being forced to perform oral sex at gunpoint... while I find the idea objectionable, don't want to see the film, don't find the image arousing, and feel no impulse to produce such images myself - as a cartoon, it doesn't really bother me; and it seems valuable that Bougie doesn't restrain himself from representing such images. I think I'd rather live in a culture where representations of sex and sexuality, even in extreme forms, flourished aboveground and in the arena of public discourse, than in one where it was repressed and shamed and forced underground; that's where the real sickness starts, when shame and guilt and fear and confusion and the inability to communicate openly about ones thoughts, desires, feelings - however weird! - make people turn to perverse and private and often antisocial means of gratifying themselves - or where shame and repression lead to hatred and the desire to strike back... I see absolutely nothing of that in Bougie's work, even at its weirdest, and see far more grim a threat in the idea of government censorship than I do in the obsessive drawings of some horny nutcase with a pencil (I mean that in a good way, Bougie, really I do).
The second thing that struck me, though, was a comment Bougie made in an interaction with a fan, on page 47, where he proudly declares that what he makes is porn, not erotica, and says (in a little speech-bubble, beside a cartoon image of himself) that "jerking off to what I draw is the ultimate compliment." Suddenly my head did a little flip-around and I scanned the book again and thought, "Jesus Christ, are people actually jerking off to this stuff?" To hand-drawn pictures - DRAWN BY A GUY! - based on scenes from porn films, when they could simply go onto the internet and look at actual XXX?
I mean - Bougie's a very entertaining and talented artist, and some of his images (like the "All Night Dildo Session" on page 80) definitely have some heat to them... but jerking off to Cinema Sewer - really? The thought is utterly bizarre, and I reassured my gal tonight, on inviting her to the Cinema Sewer book launch this Saturday at They Live video (4240 Main, starting at 8pm), that I do not actually jerk off to comic books.
At least, not any more.