Erotic depictions of women in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography from the dawn of man to the present.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Centrefold Venus of the Month 55: Patti, December 1974

Triple P had a comment from Chipster asking for more redheads, which is something we are very happy to comply with.  Agent Triple P's first proper girlfriend was a redhead and ever since then we have thought that there is something magical about them.

This particular redhead comes from over forty years ago and featured in the sixth issue of Larry Flynt's Hustler, which had been launched that July.  Flynt launched the original Hustler as a four page black and white newsletter to publicise his chain of Ohio based Hustler strip clubs. 

In 1972 he expanded this to a 32 page black and white magazine which he christened The Hustler News.  The extra pages allowed him to feature pictures of naked girls, who were all, initially, strippers from his clubs, as he could pay them a lot less than the going rate for magazines such as Penthouse. Later in 1972 he changed the name of the publication to, simply, Hustler.

In his first issue he wrote: "Anybody can be a playboy in a penthouse but it takes a man to be a Hustler". Flynt targetted his magazine at the average American male, not the sort of high income college-educated group that Playboy and Penthouse seemed to be aimed at.  He didn't believe that anyone read Playboy for the articles and just thought that these were an excuse to justify buying magazines by people who really only wanted to look at the pictures.

The girls in the first issue of Hustler could have dropped straight from the pages of Penthouse with their gauzy photography and self caressing.  They weren't quite as attractive, however, and the print quality of the magazine in the early days wasn't a patch on Penthouse or Playboy.

Originally, Flynt had visualised the magazine as a naughtier version of Playboy but while he struggled to get the funding together to launch the magazine, Penthouse had become much more explicit than Playboy, with the latter still battling in this period to become equally visually racy.  Therefore, what was being displayed in 1972 when he launched The Hustler News was very different from what was on show in 1974.

The magazine was far from an instant success, however, and Hustler struggled financially in its first year.  Given the increasingly revealing shots in Penthouse, where glimpses of labia had been shown since 1973, then it is not surprising that over the first few months of the new magazine Hustler got bolder, issue by issue.

Unlike later editions of the magazine, where a brief paragraph of text accompanied the centrefold pictorial, at this stage they were still using Penthouse-length descriptions of the model and her supposed life.  Unlike Playboy, where these often bore some semblance to reality, the Hustler Honey had an entirely fictitious piece.

Patti, according to the text was born in Tokyo, the daughter of American military parents.  However, really this was just an excuse to have a great long exposition about how orientals were more natural and less ashamed about sex than Americans.  

It was very much the sort of sexual liberation piece seen in Penthouse at the time. In essence the girl is supposed to be saying "I am not posing for this magazine to supplement the money I make stripping at one of Larry Flynt's clubs but believe sex is a beautiful thing and that I am a girl who does not think her naked body is shameful."

In the final shots and centrefold of her pictorial Lary Flynt had Hustler "go pink" for the first time in a nationally distributed magazine in America. Not content with showing subtly lit hints of their models' genitals Flynt had got Patti to show everything, including her anus. in brightly lit shots.    

Her centrefold was even more explicit, complete with separated labia.  So Patti was a bit of a barrier-breaking redhead, her pale coppery curls framing her defiantly displayed vulva in a way that would become the norm for men's magazines from that point on.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bond Girl Venus 6: Monica Bellucci - Licence renewed!

You can never have enough Monica!   No, these aren't recent announcements about Monica Bellucci's casting as the new Bond girl in Spectre but date, instead, from 1996.

My friend S just sent me these two clippings which show that back in 1996 Monica Bellucci was being considered for the role of Paris Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), to the extent that she had already been announced by the French press.

Bellucci in Dracula

The then 32 year old (not 26 as the newspaper said) Bellucci had appeared as one of Dracula's brides in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) one of her first post modelling acting roles.  Triple P remembers being so impressed by her brief appearance in this film at the time that we went out and researched who this gorgeous creature was.

Bellucci in L'Appartement

By the time Tomorrow Never Dies was being cast she had appeared in L'Appartement, her breakthrough acting role for which she was nominated for a César Award.  She actually did a screen test with Brosnan but the producers went for the better known Teri Hatcher, then appearing in Lois and Clarke: The New Adventures of Superman, in the end.  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy birthday to me with Champagne glass dancing Venuses

It's Agent Triple P's birthday today although at my age I don't feel much like celebrating (although thank you to the Hotel Zaza in Houston for sending me a voucher for a free cocktail. Sadly, 4,841 miles is a long way to go to pick up a Vodka Martini).  However a couple of bikini-clad young ladies dancing in a Champagne coupe would certainly brighten up the day. 

These two ladies are Roseann Williams and Tara Glynn at the Criss Cross club in Los Angeles (we think) in 1968.  The following year Tara made an appearance in Here's Lucy, a TV show starring Lucille Ball which I can remember from the time! Roseann appeared in two films I have actually seen: Point Blank (1967) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972), although she was uncredited in both.  One of the aims of this blog is to celebrate those lovely women from the past who did not make it big but surely improved the world around them for a brief moment.  So on our birthday we will drink a toast to Roseann and Tara for these two pictures, recalling a brief moment in time.  The girl in the foreground of the bottom picture looks lovely too!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Venus with a snake 14: Laura Harring

We haven't had a Venus with a snake for a very long time so, given our particular friend S has just bought one as a pet, we thought we would put another one up.  We have never thought that S was particularly interested in snakes unless in the form of belts, boots or handbags, but there you are.

Anyway, today's Venus is Mexican-born actress Laura Harring who is best known for her appearance in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001) a film, we confess, that we have never seen.

She lived in Mexico until she was ten years old before moving to Texas.  While living there she sustained a head injury in a drive by shooting at the age of 12 when she was hit by a stray bullet.  She went to school in Switzerland when she was sixteen.

She returned to Texas and started entering beauty pageants; winning Miss El Paso and then Miss Texas.  In 1985 this culminated in her being chosen as Miss USA, under her real name of Laura Martinez-Herring, at the age of 21.  She was the first Latino to win the competition and the first winner not to have been born in America. 

After this she travelled in Europe and India, working as a volunteer and helping to build schools and plant trees.  As a result of winning the competition she was spotted by a film producer and cast in a TV movie about the Alamo; the first of many acting roles.

She married Count Carl-Eduard von Bismarck-Schönhausen, the grandson of Otto von Bismarck, the man who unified Germany and gave his name to the famous battleship.  She met Bismarck-Schönhausen through his brother at her school in Switzerland and although she divorced him in 1989 she retains the title of Countess von Bismarck-Schönhausen. 

Laura Harring 2014

Now fifty years old and having suffered a lot of criticism for putting on weight a few years ago she now looks stunning, snake or no snake.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Non centrefold Venus of the Month 41: Jean Raymond, January 1976

We sometimes have requests for older ladies to be featured in Venus Observations so here we present Jean Raymond who, according to her pictorial, was 42 at the time was photographed.

Jean is none other than the ex-wife of Paul Raymond, publisher of Men Only and numerous other magazines from the seventies onwards.  Her pictorial appeared in the January 1976 issue of his Men Only.

Jean Bradley was a dancer from Nottingham when she met Raymond, working on a show he was promoting in March 1952.  By that summer they were having an affair.  She refused to move in with him, however, unless he married her, which he did in November 1952.  Their daughter Debbie, later to be heir to Raymond's publishing and property empire, was born in 1956.

When Raymond opened his Revuebar club in Soho in 1958, Jean was very involved in the show productions and choreography

Jean poses on Raymond's car outside his Wimbledon home in 1967

By the turn of the decade Raymond had spent £ 25,000 on a 14 room house at 8 Drax Avenue, Wimbledon, not far from where Agent Triple P lived in the late eighties.

Over the years Raymond had more and more affairs and eventually left Jean and moved out of the house in Wimbledon.  In 1970 he hooked up with a vicar's daughter called Julia Harrison who was auditioning for one of his shows.  Under the name Fiona Richmond she would become a a big part of his life and magazines.  Jean, who still hoped for a reconciliation with Raymond, hounded Richmond and tried to get her to give up Raymond but eventually sued for divorce in 1973, citing Harrison/Richmond.  She asked for £250,000 from Raymond.  It was one of the biggest divorce payouts in Britain to date.

Although things had been very acrimonious between Jean and Raymond at the time of the divorce, by 1975 things were rather more convivial.  Living in Miami, she would return to London a number of times a year to see her children and have a drink with her ex-husband.

On one of these occasions she ventured that she still had a better body at forty two than most of the girls in his magazines.  Raymond said he had had requests for older women in the pages of his publications and suggested he take some nude pictures of her himself.  Surprisingly she agreed.

Raymond shoots his ex-wife for the pictorial

He paid her four times the usual rate for models in his magazines and the shots were taken in the Wimbledon house they had shared together.  Given her age and their relationship the pictures are surprisingly explicit, especially as shots of models' labia had only been appearing in Men Only for a couple of months at that point.

The relationship between Jean and Raymond did not stay so warm and she also became estranged from her daughter Debbie.  When Debbie died, in 1992, following a drugs overdose, Jean blamed Raymond and his lifestyle.

In January 2002 Jean was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died just three weeks later at the age of seventy.  She had been a key part in Raymond's success in those early days, however, and despite her walnut brown Florida tan her appearance in 1976 still showed an enticing and sexy woman.