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

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Venus by Request: Susan Ryder

US Edition March 1975


Agent Triple P is always keen to hear from his "readers" and so when this request appeared on the blog yesterday we felt that we had to grant it.


"If it's not too much to ask -- could we have the rest, or at least more, of the Susan Ryder 1975 spread? I believe -- though the vaseline treatment was so thoroughgoing it's hard to tell -- that she was the first to fully show a bare/shaved pubis in Penthouse"


A hint of what's to come


Here then, is Miss Susan Ryder from Penthouse March 1975. The Pubic Wars were still on at this time although Playboy was backing off a little (that would change a bit in 1976).


She was 21 when this pictorial was shot, by Bob Guccione himself


Over at Penthouse two trends were manifesting themselves: firstly the increasing use of soft-focus; the first really extreme example of which was Cindy McDee's set in July 1973.


Guccione really, really loved red flowers!



Susan's pictorial was one of the most diffuse so far and would set a trend for several years to come; although not everyone welcomed it.






Back in September 1972 Pet of the Year Tina McDowell had been photographed with just a little soft-focus; certainly not as extreme as Susan's here.





“Aw, c’mon Mr Guccione your Pet of the Year is a beautiful woman. Tina McDowell peeled off every stitch of clothing for you exposing her gorgeous mass of floss. And what did you do in your excitement? You got the whole damn lot of superb poses right out of focus!” said Mr Paul of Guernsey.





“Don’t confuse soft-focus with out of focus” replied Penthouse rather sniffily. Mr Paul would not have approved of this set at all, we suspect!





The second trend in the magazine was for increasing glimpses of the girls' labia. It's difficult to award the prize for the first girl to flash her bits but there is a strong argument for Lynn Carey in December 1972; although the most unequivocal shot is probably of Avril Lund in March 1973.





Even by March 1975, however, it was not a given that the Pet would display her bits. There were a lot more spread leg shots but, given how bushy girls were in those days, mostly nothing was revealed.


In the UK Susan's pictorial appeared the following month in Volume 10 Number 1


Over in Britain, where Penthouse had originated, however, there was some nervousness over this increasing explicitness. For the UK market the pictures of the girls were being airbrushed or cropped to remove anything too risque.




Above we see a picture of Susan as it appeared in the UK edition. Her nether regions have been carefully blurred. Below we have the same picture as it appeared in the US edition; Susan's divided mound is clearly visible.





In addition two of the pictures in Susan's set were deemed so racy that they were left out of the UK magazine completely, as we will see.




This bold shot shows that whilst not completely shaven Susan is wispier than many of the other girls from this period and has definitely trimmed herself.




Guccione was always trying to push the envelope over what could be shown in Penthouse and there is no doubt that he knew exactly what he was doing with these photographs; some of the most explicit to have appeared yet.




The next two pictures didn't appear at all in the UK edition where they went straight to the (censored) centrefold.




It can't be a coincidence that Guccione dialled back on the soft-focus for Susan's smooth, plump pussy shot. A picture that is making a statement and is a clear precursor of the direction Guccione would be going over the next few years as his war with Playboy ended but within four months he would have a new battle on his hands with the arrival of Larry Flynt's Hustler.


Susan's Centrefold

5 comments:

  1. You've got WAY too much time on your hands. lol

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  2. OMG! I had this as a teenager. very familiar with her.lol

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    Replies
    1. Same here, always thought it was Susan Dey from the Partridge Family going by a different name.

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  3. My favorite centerfold as a teenager growing up. She showed me what a pussy was all about.

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  4. Beautiful woman, quite exquisite, but that soft-focus style does her no favours. I didn't like soft-focus then and I don't like it now. Wouldn't it have been great to see crisp, clear, glorious versions of these lovely pictures? Why did they do this? No artistic merit as far as I can see.

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