The second quarter of 1979 had Playboy presenting Miss November 1977, Rita Lee, hanging out her washing on the cover.
Disco fever was still holding sway in music and so Playboy managed to persuade a number of second rank disco queens to disrobe, including the mysterious Amanda Lear (above). These pictures went some way to persuading people that model, muse for Salvador Dali and singer Lear was not, in fact, a transsexual born as Alain Tapp (although these rumours persist). French, with British nationality, she may or may not have been born in Saigon or Hong Kong in 1939, 1946 or 1950. Lear had a very successful musical and TV career in Europe. She is still recording and still acting and even appeared in Jean-Paul Gaultier's catwalk show in September 2012.
Playmate of the Month was Missy Cleveland. Born Amanda Cleveland in 1959 she was one of the Playmates discovered by the 25th Anniversary Playmate Hunt and was encouraged to enter by her mother.
The perkily-nippled Missy had small roles in a number of minor films in the eighties and is best remembered as the girl in the shower in the film within the film slasher movie sound engineer John Travolta is working on in Brian de Palma's Blow Up (1981). Sadly, she died in 2001 at the age of only 41 after an adverse reaction to some medication.
The final pictorial had Playmate of the Year, the spectacularly-tressed Debra Jo Fondren, photographed by J Frederick Smith in a fine pictorial which had her nearly, but not quite, flashing her bits.
The shiny girl on the front of April's Oui is twenty year old Nelia Cozza. We will see more from this pictorial when we get to 1980 but if you can't wait we have already featured her pictorial here.
More South Seas-style exotica with Vanessa shot by Erich Klemm in a set of nice but modest shots.
Oui's centrefold girl Julia followed the recent tradition of less explicit poses but a more revealing centrefold as shot by Jeff Dunas.
No bits on show either for the elegant Pascale by Andre Valmont as Oui continued to follow Playboy in moving away from the more explicit shots they had featured in previous years.
Béatrice in Moonraker (1979)
Oui's fourth and final pictorial was one of many in men's magazines that year that featured the girls from the forthcoming James Bond film Moonraker. Béatrice Libert was one of Hugo Drax's girls and was quite easy to spot in the film because of her gamine, short hair cut. Pictures from this session appeared in quite a few magazines of the time but they didn't exactly lead to a major film career as she has just two more movie credits to her name.
Gallery had backed off on the labia shots too but offered up this enticing Canadian, 22 year old Judy Warren from Toronto.
Penthouse's April edition had a typical boudoir-style cover by John Copeland featuring Jeannie Butler of whom we would see (a lot) more of inside.
The first girl we find inside is Ginger Barton, shot by Stan Malinowski. Decorated in full-on black lingerie and high heels she is shown in one of Penthouse's classic faux masturbation shots of the type that Playboy, Oui and Gallery were backing away from.
Pet of the Month was the stunning Concetta Ardigo who we will see again in 1981 when there would be all sorts of problems between her and Penthouse. The stunning, Miami born 5'11" beauty had been modelling for Italian Vogue when she took the $4,000 to be Pet of the Month. Her pictures by Albert Bricco, in his only Penthouse pictorial, make much of the potent interaction between a riding whip and an assertively displayed pussy.
Speaking of assertively displayed pussy, the third and final pictorial in Penthouse in April 1979 was of Jeannie Butler by John Copeland who had produced some of the most explicit model shoots for Penthouse to date.
Jeannie's spread labia shot was up there with what Hustler was doing at the time.
However Jeannie surpassed herself in this shot where she has put the tip of her finger into her cunt. She was only the second girl to do this in Penthouse since Suzanne Saxon back in October 1976 and it still wouldn't be a common occurrence for some time. Suzanne takes us from the world of faux masturbation to actual masturbation with one probing finger tip.
There was more delicate pussy self-penetration in April's Chic, Larry Flynt's "up market" (compared with Hustler anyway) publication. This was what Bob Guccione was having to contend with in his battle with Flynt. This young lady, Kelly, will reappear in Penthouse the following month.
Clive McLean gave Hustler a suggestive cover for their April issue. Inside, in the editorial, Larry Flynt, facing his third obscenity trial in Georgia, bemoaned that fact that it was always him and not Hugh Hefner or Bob Guccione who always ended up being prosecuted. The reason for this, he opined, was that while "Hustler deals with sex in a candid manner, it is also a political magazine that published many things the Establishment doesn't want to see in print."
Nothing to do with the fact that he was printing more and more explicit couples pictorials, then. These were now far more graphic than those appearing in Penthouse at the time, for example. Hustler knew what it was selling, as shown by the use of a couple in this subscription advertisement in the issue, rather than a solo girl as Oui, Playboy and Penthouse used.
More even more assertive penises were on display in Hustler's Third Annual Erotic Movie Awards with none of the carefully concealed members of previous years. The fact that both examples were being firmly gripped could indicate that they were not, in fact, fully erect but were just being held erect and therefore could conceivably fulfill Playgirl's 45% "angle of dangle rule" which they hoped would see them prevent any obscenity charges. We'll see another example further on in the magazine.
From male display to female display we had this photograph by Robert Reiff illustrating an article on anal sex, with the moistly inviting object under discussion dead centre of the image. This, despite the fact that male/female anal sex was illegal in many states at the time. Illinois stopped sodomy being a felony as early as 1962 when they adopted the Model Penal Code but it was ten tears before some other states followed. Even by 2003 ten states still had anal sex between consenting adults of the opposite sex classed as a felony. It was only in June of 2003 that the US Supreme Court made a ruling in the case of Lawrence v Texas that essentially invalidated all state level sodomy laws. In Britain although homosexual anal intercourse was legalised in 1967 heterosexual sexual intercourse wasn't legalised until the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994.
The only solo girl in the April issue was Brigitte, photographed by James Baes, who has her lit up like a Zeppelin in a searchlight. Target acquired!
Hustler had featured couples as their centrefold pictorial subject before but this was a more unusual girl/girl pairing. Saturday Afternoon Fever had Hustler jumping on the disco bandwagon with a dance teacher and her pupil photographed by Suze Randall. Having a model touch the other one's labia like this was still not happening in Penthouse's girl/girl pictorials.
"A firm believer in the Disco Fever Theory, Suze outdid herself with this month's centrefold," noted Hustler's editorial that month. Indeed, the dark haired girl's probing fingers seem to have taken the blonde completely by surprise. This shot was way ahead of anything that Penthouse had had in a girl/girl set, let alone in the centrefold.
More angle of dangle issues in the couples pictorial which was Hustler's take on Sleeping Beauty. Although the man is erect it could just be that is because the young lady is holding him up in that position. Deniability again, if challenged in court. The debate continued in the letters pages of the magazine. "Some fellows may object to the inclusion of males in Hustler, because they know their women will be making odious comparisons," wrote the obviously self-confident Stewart Manville from New York. Whereas name-withheld-by-request from California implored the magazine to "stop putting male-female spreads in Hustler" but on the basis that she was a lesbian and didn't want her friends to think she was going straight!
This outtake shows that he isn't quite as stiff as he appears. These pictures were taken by Matti Klatt who had just joined Hustler and is still working there. A German from Hamburg he moved to London in 1974 where he met Clive McLean, who became a great friend,. When Klatt moved to Los Angeles in 1979 he found himself working alongside McLean at Hustler. Since McLean's death he has taken over the reigns of directing Larry Flynt Productions' Barely Legal DVD series, which McLean created.
Pink Flamingo (1979)
Finally, Hustler that month proudly trumpeted the fact that they had a female writer for the first time (something that Cheri had been making a feature of for some time) and they coupled her story with an illustration by a female artist. The artist was none other than Olivia de Berardinis before she had developed her distinctive airbrush style. It is a graphically explicit painting very much at odds with her pretty, tasteful pin-up style today.
Since 1984 she has been contributing pictures to Playboy, now very much as the successor to Vargas in the earlier years of the magazine. At this point in 1979 she was still painting in a conventional illustrative way but by the following year her style of depicting single women, often with some fantastical elements, was starting to evolve. This would continue, with her work becoming more delicate and feminine during her ongoing partnership with Playboy.
To illustrate Playboy's article on the Secret life of Marilyn Monroe art director Tom Staebler had model Cheryle Larsen Monroe-ised for the cover.
Playboy was still running its regular (although not monthly) feature on X-rated films so we got this unusually graphic shot from China Cat featuring John Holmes. The added frisson, compared with Playboy's faux-fucking features of the past, being, of course, that they really are doing it. Incidentally, the same feature included a very unimpressed review of future X-rated classic Debbie Does Dallas; with the issue seeming to be that Playboy obviously was miffed that someone else had cottoned on to the erotic potential of cheerleaders.
There was more boy/girl passion in a pictorial featuring the work of Playboy photographer Ken Marcus. Many of the shots had appeared in the magazine before but this assertive oral one had been shot for a pictorial that was never published. Perhaps it was a victim of Playboy's move to a less visually explicit approach a few years earlier.
Speaking of explicit, Michelle Drake becomes the first Playmate of the Month to flash her labia for some time, especially in this fetching shot of her from the rear.
Michelle, who was part of the Singing Playmates group, went on to have a few bit parts on films in the early eighties. Here she is decorating the set of Richard Gere's American Gigolo (1980). She then moved behind the lens and still works in film production.
Playboy loved its foreign film starlets mainly, of course, because they were much more likely to take their clothes off than American ones. So in a review of Foreign Sex Stars we got this splendid shot of French actress Catherine Serre who would appear as another one of the background Bond girls in Moonraker that year.
Oui continued in featuring cover girls who didn't appear inside the magazine: one of the most annoying things men's magazines could do; especially given that 70% of sales in the US were impulse purchases rather than regular buyers or subscribers. This lady is Care Felix from Santa Barbara. She later had a few acting roles including a couple of appearances in Hill Street Blues in the mid eighties.
Oui's first young lady in the May edition was Irina, photographed by Frank Gitty. Keeping up the Moonraker theme it was said that she acted as Lois Chiles' body double in the film. She may have or it may just be that Playboy Enterprises had just been paid by the film's producers to keep mentioning the movie.
Centrefold that month was English model Quinn who posed for this fetching up the skirt shot by Jeff Dunas and held a bunch of flowers big enough to keep Bob Guccione happy.
Romy also gives a quick flash in a set by Eric Muller. In a way Oui's approach to the display of labia was more honest than Playboy's at this point. While not going for the aggressive spread legs poses of Club, Penthouse and Hustler they didn't shy away from completely from the odd "inadvertant" flash such as this whereas Playboy employed all sorts of odd lighting effects to disguise their girl's bits.
Finally, we had a mild boy/girl set which purported to be from the set of an Italian spaghetti western but was not. Still, the pictorial, by Scott Hooper had one or two nice shots such as this bath time one.
Gallery's pictorials were looking increasingly indistinguishable' from Oui's and they were using the same photographers. Here Siwer Ohlsson gets Julie Kapp looking nicely chiaroscuro.
The Genesis girls were still showing their bits, as demonstrated here by Ingrid from their May issue. Someone in one of the comments on our last Pubic Wars post asked us why some of the magazines were retreating from their earlier explicitness. You would have expected this sort of thing to have gone on a steady curve of more and more explicit pictures since the first pubic shots in the early seventies but, as this series is showing, this is far from the case. Over the next few years Playboy, for example, would get less and less visually explicit only for the pendulum to swing back again in 1983 and 1984 and then swing back again before another push towards more explicit pictures in 2000-2001. A big conservative backlash was brewing in the US and some of the magazines couldn't afford to lose revenue by getting banned or sued especially as responsibility for what was deemed obscene had been passed down to the local rather than the Federal courts. The short answer, however, is that it was those magazines that relied mostly on advertising revenue (Playboy) for their income that were being the most careful and those that made their money from cover sales (Hustler) that were pushing the envelope.
Most Penthouse Pets in the seventies appeared in the centrefold of the magazine and never appeared anywhere else but Club's May edition featured, under the name of Jackie, Miss January 1978's Carrie Nelson helping her labia get a sun tan.
In Penthouse itself we had Lynda Clarke, who would be Pet of the Month in June, on the cover.
That month's pictorials opened with Natalie Farris photographed by Earl Miller. This shot of Miss Farris irrigating her nether regions has some resonance for Triple P as we had an Italian girlfriend who enjoyed the feeling of water from a tap, bidet or shower on her bits and arsehole. In fact she could orgasm just by being in contact with one of these watery streams, which was always entertaining to watch, especially in the large bathrooms of the Hotel Excelsior on the Via Veneto in Rome.
May's Pet of the Month was one of those all to common Penthouse girls who came, posed and disappeared: Brieanna Bujold. Brieanna was an atypical looking Penthouse Pet but her fine selection of up the skirt shots and naughty smile make her a memorable one. Cute!
The final pictorial in the May issue contained this fine abstracted study of Marianne Walters, by Paul Stanley, depicting her bursting out of a very small pair of knickers. This is a shot which would lose all its impact if it was of a girl with a shaved pussy.
Although Marianne Walters was her real name she became better known in the seventies and eighties as Kelly Nichols. She started out in the film industry as the body double of Jessica Lange in King Kong (1976) although she later said that she had to sleep with an assistant director to get the job.
Escapade magazine April 1978
Elite magazine August 1978
As well as the nude modelling Marianne's next cinema job was as one of the victims in the notorious The Toolbox Murders (1978). Her image was even used on the poster for the film, although her hair was made black rather than the red it was in the film.
Marianne Walters in The Toolbox Murders
In the film she is depicted as masturbating in the bath before going into her bedroom where she is attacked by the masked "toolbox murderer". She is then chased around her apartment and shot with the nail gun before being finished off at close range.
This was one of the original banned "video nasties" in Britain. Films on video in the early eighties were not subject to certification in the UK, unlike films shown in cinemas. A rush of American and Italian horror films being issued on VHS in the UK in 1982 got the press in a right tizz. As a result a member of parliament introduced a private members bill which became the Video Recordings Act in 1984. This gave the British Board of Film Censors (renamed as the British Board of Film Classification) the job of certificating video releases.
Any videos which didn't have certificates and which were deemed as obscene ,could then be pursued by the Director of Public Prosecutions. They drew up a list of 72 "video nasties", of which The Toolbox Murders was one, and started to prosecute distributors. In fact The Toolbox Murders was never prosecuted but it wasn't released in the UK until 2000 with nearly two minutes of cuts (on its theatrical release in the UK before the (uncut) video was released six minutes had been cut.
One of the scenes that was cut in the 2000 UK video release was the sequence where Walters is shot in the head by the nail gun at close range.
To boldly go...Ron Jeremy explores alien Marianne Walters in Ultra Flesh (1980)
By 1980, following her Penthouse pictorial, she had made her first hardcore film, the sci-fi spoof (complete with Star Wars style rolling credits) Ultra Flesh. She was uncredited in the film although she had a sex scene with a young (and thin!) Ron Jeremy in only his 12th film, who also had an uncredited role as a gardener.
In Seasoned Players 8 (2009)
In 2009 she appeared in another hardcore scene, her first for 25 years. We will see more of her in 1979 magazines.
Hustler continued with its recent practice of just showing parts of its cover models. This image was by Matti Klatt and may or not have been in celebration of mother's day, which was discussed in that month's editorial, or it may have just been a nice picture of a girl in a lacy garter belt.
There was more upfront action in the pictures illustrating that month's selection of X-rated films including this one with Simone Sinclair getting to grips with Bill Berry in Hot Honey.
There was more undoubted rampant action in the issue's first pictorial called Hayloft Harvest photographed by Suze Randall. This was a particularly effective couples set with two attractive models (the man is porn star Mike Ranger) who genuinely looked like they were enjoying themselves, which is always the key to successful pictorials such as these. In the final two page spread the man is patently fully erect without any hand holding needed. Furthermore his glans is nuzzling right into the girl's pussy in the closest Hustler had come to a couple actually doing it so far. The pictorial was popular with the readers. "I couldn't believe that Hayloft Harvest pictorial in May! Fantastic! It;s about time! Now that you have got it up and touching let's get it in!" said the excited JW from San Geronimo, California.
However not every reader was happy, and not because they didn't want to see couples pictorials, either. Hustler published letters from four readers who objected to stick on blue dots that had been put over all the penises in the pictorial. "You really blew it with those stick-on blue dots that covered parts of the Hayloft Harvest photo-set," said Jack Bridgewater of Beaver City (surely not?). "I found to my amazement that every picture that showed a penis was censored with peel-and-stick blue dots," wrote Pamela Betts of Reseda California. Hustler replied that they never self censored but that some wholesalers did this in "areas where sexually explicit material is repressed."
This outtake from Hayloft Harvest, (you can see the complete pictorial on our Seduction of Venus blog here) which wasn't published in the magazine, shows the young lady with the tip of the man's cock actually in her mouth. This would have been way over the line on newsstands at the time and for years afterwards there were many shots of girls in couples pictorials shown with their mouths open like baby birds waiting for a worm but a worm they couldn't yet swallow.
It was back to a single Hustler Honey that month after the previous edition's double header. Pamela was photographed by James Baes getting her finger right into her hot spot in a shot that was bold even for Hustler at the time.
Even more outrageous was her next picture where she is shown joyously pissing all over herself in a shot that pre-dated Bob Guccione's first pissing Penthouse Pet, Andrea Kurtz, by exactly eighteen years. The experiment was not repeated however.
The final pictorial for May, The Long Hello, was also a couples one, this time by Clive Mclean, but the man seems a little less eager than the chap in Hayloft Harvest, although he is stretching his talents in this one to reach his juicy friend.
June was the Playmate of the Year issue and showcased Monique St Pierre by Richard Fegley in a specially commissioned dress from Bob Mackie, who also provided Cher with some of her wardrobe.
The first pictorial featured a set of hand tinted black and white shots on the theme of French Dance Hall Girls by the very talented James Wedge. British photographer Wedge trained at the Walthamstow College of Art and the Royal College of Art. He started work as a milliner and was soon selling his hats through Liberty, Fortnum & Mason and Harrods. In the late 1960s he set up a couple of boutiques on the King's Road in Chelsea which were popular with the likes of the Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
In the seventies he became a top fashion photographer producing striking images for many of the fashion magazines as well as this iconic poster for the trendy Biba store in London in 1974. Today he has returned to his first love, oil painting.
Playmate of the Month was the gorgeous Louann Fernald who we have featured on these pages before. Ms Fernald now obviously regrets her Playboy appearance or, at least, the fact that the pictures are so easy to find, thanks to the internet, today and wrote to Triple P urging him to go vegan (unlikely). Presumably this enticing transparent knickers shot is one of those she would like to forget. Shouldn't have used her real name!
Playmate of the Year Monique St Pierre was, despite her name, from Germany and her pictorial by Richard Fegley included this shot which demonstrated a trimmed bush.
Oui's cover girl for June (or so they claim) was Heidi Klat from Switzerland shot by Phillip Dixon.
There first girl that month was Yvonne, photographed by John Kelly. Although she does flash a hint of her labia in one shot it is this one, where the sunlight catches the golden hairs on her thighs, which we think is the best in the pictorial.
Likewise, Märta, again gave Oui a labia displaying centrefold but it is this sensuous pussy cupping shot by Jeff Dunas that has the most erotic charge. There hadn't been a self-caressing shot like this for some time in Oui.
Marie Claire, in the magazine's penultimate pictorial, offers up Oui's most explicit labia shot for some time. She is, as was usual for Oui at this time, a breath robbingly beautiful woman photographed by Jeff Dunas again.
Last but by very no means least we have Rinah whose impressive upper works demonstrate that she is, in fact, none other than Joyce Gibson.
After a long break, Oui reintroduced the Aslan pin-up in June. While they were missing from Oui back across the Atlantic the publishers of sister magazine Lui had continued to include them every month. Perhaps the American editors couldn't see the purpose of a picture which was so representational as a photograph would be just a effective. Still, we like them and will do a piece on his pin-ups in the future. They are just particularly French.
For Gallery's June issue British photographer Leslie Turtle gets Grace Webber to flash a bit more than usual.
Penthouse's cover for June featured the four candidates for Pet of the Year and also the first glimpes of uncovered nipples since the cover of the Pet of the Year playoff issue in June 1976, although these pictures were not as bold as those. All the pictures of the playoff Pets came from their original pictorials, however.
Their first girl was an enticing redhead, Jeannie Anderson, who was photographed by Earl Miller in actress Mary Pickford's old house. This nicely composed voyeuristic shot was the highlight of the pictorial.
Lynda Clarke was Pet of the Month and was another Penthouse Pet who disappeared after her appearance.
Alana Wilson by Ronnie Hertz
The final model that month was Alana Wilson photographed by Ronnie Hertz. The magazine said she was Australian but as the pictorial gave credits to clothes providers in Amsterdam and it was by a Dutch photographer you can't help thinking she is in fact Dutch. She's certainly got her finger in the dyke in this one!
Dutch Playboy Playmate of the Month Linde van de Leest from May 2004 by Ronnie Hertz
This was Hertz's second and final pictorial for Penthouse after Furgive and Furget in January 1979. Now one of the biggest names in Dutch photography he is still photographing beautiful women although they are more likely to be dressed these days as he shoots portraits, fashion features and advertisements. That said, he did photograph a couple of centrefolds for Dutch Playboy in 2004.
An assertive cover for Hustler of a young lady exploring inside her shorts and a trailer for a "shocking pictorial" inside.
The X-rated film review section continued the recent trend for rather more explicit photographs than were appearing elsewhere in the magazine such as this one from The New York Babes.
The first pictorial that month was the one trumpeted on the cover which actually spoiled the surprise of the fact that one of the two Las Vegas showgirls in the set by Clive McLean was actually a transsexual. Response was positive with one reader saying he had taken out a subscription as a result. Obviously this sort of cross-gender pictorial was more acceptable than the other couples pictorial that appeared that month, as we shall see.
Becky, Hustler's Honey for June, was rather more conventional than the spraying Pamela of the previous month. Her pictorial being shot by Suze Randall meant that there was all the curious labia spreading that was one of the photographer's characteristics.
It was the final pictorial which was to cause stir, however, as Hustler had another interracial couple in Black 'n White by James Baes. "Why do you disgrace your magazine with niggers in it? asked someone who wouldn't disclose their name, in a letter to the magazine's September issue. "We put black people in Hustler, The niggers are in your twisted mind," was Hustler's rather good response. Given the comments after their previous interracial couples pictorial in May 1978 Eugene from Detroit "thought it would be years before an interracial spread would be seen again. I'm very pleased that the ignorant hatemongers of this world have not changed your policy."
Next time we will go onto the second half of 1979.