Oct 14, 2014

Fall 1982: A Porn Film for Halloween

I've seen a heterosexual porn film.

Just before Halloween in 1982, when I was a 21-year old grad student in English at Indiana University, Deep Throat (1972) was shown in the Student Union.  I don't know how the Student Activities Council managed to get such a thing shown without howls of outrage, but there it was.

Why did I go?




1. I wasn't out to anyone except my brother, and I was trying hard to maintain a heterosexual facade. I even bought Playboy magazines to leave lying around.

2. I wanted to fit in.  So when the other guys in Eigenmann Hall invited me with statements like "Awright!  We're gonna see some breasts!", I could hardly refuse.

3. College Avenue Adult Books sold In Touch and Mandate magazines, with pictures of naked men, but I had never heard of any gay porn films, so this was the only way I could ever see a film with penises.

Turns out that Deep Throat wasn't that bad.

It's a comedy, with humorous dialogue and parodies of self-help fads, and the sex is not much more explicit than the mainstream movies of the 1970s.  Linda Lovelace finds that she cannot have an orgasm through conventional heterosexual intercourse.   She sees a doctor (porn star Harry Reems), who recommends the alternative "deep throat."  It works, so she practices again and again and again.

With a series of enormously endowed men.

Eventually she marries the most super-endowed.

So: not much heterosexual intercourse, few naked ladies, and lots of penises.  What more could you ask for?

I'm not recommending that you rush out and see Deep Throat; we have other options now, thousands of all-male porn films, countless pictures of nude men on the internet.

But when you grow up in utter silence, where same-sex desire is beyond the boundaries of what can be conceived, even heterosexual porn can provide a glimpse of freedom.

See also: Peter Berlin; Do You Have Anything Gay?