Monday, July 27, 2015

Cute!: Animals in Porn

I have written previously about my "book of lists"--notebooks filled with time-stamped tropes of an unusual nature in adult film. My general rule is that the trope be "unexpected" in some way vis a vis our expectations of porn, yet as the word "trope" suggests, these images and incidents are not actually that unheard of. Thus the lists constitute lab notebooks (thanks to my buddy, alphadachs, for pointing this out) that highlight the diversity of porn and the myriad ways in which it defies the monolith it is reputed to be. In the past, I have written up a couple of these lists, most popularly the one on flaccid dicks--so popular in fact, I wrote a sequel. I also wrote up my list of food in porn (eww).

Today, I take on animals in porn. No, not bestiality, you sickos. My list exclusively documents animals in non-sexual situations. Sexual interaction between human and animal is taboo in Western society, illegal to depict on film in most countries, and thus holds special sexual power. The appearance of an animal in a porn flick generates a combination of amusement and titillation similar to the appearance of animals on America's Funniest Home Videos. Animals generally do whatever they want to do, and in low budget genres there is unlikely to be a handler, creating a sense of risk. In amateur productions, the animal is likely not even supposed to be there. Moreover, the appearance of the animal offers a taboo invasion of the generic pornotopia. Essentially, we say "holy shit, look! An animal!" We laugh, we feel a little shocked. Indeed, an entire blog is devoted to indifferent cats in amateur porn suggesting another kind of appeal: we find sex fascinating, while animals are generally indifferent to the humping of two human bodies. Sex between humans is nothing to them, except perhaps an inconvenience or a curiosity worthy of a quick investigation. Below, I document a variety of narrative uses of animals, some of which certainly encroach on the sexual but which primarily serve a non-genital function in the film.

NB. I have excluded cat appearances--I'm saving them for an all-cat extravaganza.


Ultra Flesh (Dir. Svetlana, 1980)
It makes sense to kick this off with a snake--apparently the non-human animal that people are most comfortable watching sexually interact with a human on film. I mean, Georgina Spelvin cavorts with one in the beloved classic The Devil in Miss Jones. There's even a scene in Fantasy World where a stage performer plays Eve and the snake licks her clit. I guess snakes are so reptilian, so unlike a human, and perhaps phallic in some way that audiences are comfortable seeing them in sexual situations? Regardless, in this XXX sci-fi classic, the snake is used by two little people as a weapon designed to terrify a woman (Lisa DeLeeuw) into submitting to sexual assault. "Just keep it away, just keep that snake away--I'll do anything!" she cries, as they taunt her with the python. Curiously, the scene cuts away before anything sexual occurs.

The Switch is On (Dir. John Travis, 1985)
Jeff is about to leave home for The Big City, but prior to embarking on his super hot bisexual adventures he must tearfully say goodbye to his mother--and more importantly, his dog Taylor. This is one of my favourite animal appearances in porn. Jeff rough houses, cuddles, and kisses Taylor in a scene designed to demonstrate the gravity of this naive, good-natured country boy going out into the world and leaving his boyhood behind. There's nothing sinister in the scene--it's just really sweet. Considering the special status of dogs in a certain variety of porn, it's always notable when they appear in a non-sexual role in adult film.

Bimbo: Hot Blood Part I (Dir. J. Angel Martine, 1985)
Oof, this is a travesty of a film, especially for the Stallone enthusiasts amongst us. Nevertheless, Bimbo does feature an unusual animal appearance that will please the rat enthusiasts amongst us. It's not every day you see rats in porn, and as a proud former member of the UK National Fancy Rat Society, I was pretty stoked to see them featured here. In the context of this film, rats are used to signal the dire and lonesome conditions of the POW camp. Think The Green Mile or even Castaway. Lonesome men in dire conditions seek out whatever companionship they can find. In this case, however, the rat is cruelly discarded in favour of a blowjob...or perhaps a pork chop? The captor asks, "What would you do for a pork chop?" The POW, rattie in hand, answers, "Anything, anything." In the blink of an eye, his rodent companion is nowhere to be seen and the captor is sucking his cock. Talk about a fair weather friend.


Virgin Dreams (Dir. Zebedy Colt, 1977)
Notorious oddball genius, Zebedy Colt, shows up in a few lists (most notably flaccid dick, though I have yet to include any in blog posts--the flaccid dick list is long).  Nancy (the incredible Jean Jennings) is dreaming. The dream opens with her father (Colt) petting a macaw. The camera pans down to his shorts-clad crotch, as the hand of Nancy's mother (Gloria Leonard) snakes around to fondle his package, leading to a blowjob. Colt is notorious for disrupting pornographic pleasure, to the point where this strange introduction to fellatio (part of their daughter's dream, no less) is almost par for the course with Colt fare. (There's nothing about Wade Nichols naked on a motorcycle that disrupts pornographic pleasure, though. Thanks, Zebedy.)


Babyface (Dir. Alex DeRenzy, 1977)
Another director known for bizarre and taboo content, here DeRenzy uses bunny rabbits as part of the opening scene in which Dan, a construction worker, seduces a schoolgirl. Persuading her to come to his shack in the middle of a construction site to let him treat a scrape on her knee, he soon employs his cute white bunny rabbits (plural!) in his designs. "Cute little bunny. You like bunnies [...] don't you, you little girl?" he coos, gripping her waist. So begins the seduction that ultimately leads Dan to hide out in a male brothel catering to rich women. This scene is essentially a variation on the older creep offering to show a group of underagers his puppies...but with rabbits. On a construction site.


This piglet has been drinking milk.
The Resurrection of Eve (Dir. Jon Fontana, Artie Mitchell, 1973)
The orgy sequence from Eve makes an appearance on another blog post--the one about food, as a woman is shown hanging out while nibbling on a fried chicken drumstick. Also in this elaborate orgy sequence, a man is hanging out with a piglet in his arms. An oiled up swingers orgy ensues, and post cum-shot(s) the piglet is shown once again, this time cradled in the arms of a woman. Is the piglet (and its squeals) designed to connote gluttony and indulgence? or is it merely a symptom of how bat shit crazy the 70s were? I imagine it's a little of both.


Lost and Found (Dir. Eddie Powell, 2011)
Here is a movie that actually revolves around a dog--a super cute Boston Terrier named Boz who belongs to the super cute Allie Haze. Xander Corvus has a crush on Allie, so naturally he and his roommates steal Boz so Allie and Xander can fall in love while searching for the dog. While the pup in question is never shown in a sexual light, he is ostensibly the reason why the two protagonists fuck. I mean, he is on the cover of the movie for gawd's sake (in a somewhat questionable pose, too).


Naked Came the Stranger (Dir. Radley Metzger, 1975)
I could write a whole article about this film, focusing exclusively on the flaccid dicks. Seriously, there are a lot. However, also of interest is a bowl of oblivious little goldfish used as a backdrop to Phyllis (Mary Stuart) breaking up with her love bunny in a voice over "dear john." Why Metzger lingers on said goldfish during the break up, I can't say for sure, but it's a super cool shot.


Hanky Panky (Dir. Svetlana, David I. Frazer, 1984)
Another Svetlana title, and perhaps the only instance of an owl in porn. Considering how hip they are, you'd think they might show up a little more, but I suppose it's pretty hard to track one down for a porn shoot. Especially in an era of amateur porn, it's not like owls just fly into shot or accidentally appear in the background in the same way as cats. And, moreover, what sexual symbolism can owls offer pornography? Wisdom? In this context, the owl signals deepest nighttime, hoo-hooing from its tree and seemingly gazing in judgmental fashion as Jamie Gillis creeps up on the sleeping girls he is about to prey on. 

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