Porn Pulse: Remember Those Campy T & A Lesbian Skin Flicks?

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Wolfe Video, a lesbian-owned label based in the San Jose, California area, offers this pair of surprisingly sensitive, if slightly campy lesbian melodramas.

Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, exploitation filmmakers produced what were then called “hard R” movies. These tales of psychosexual love featured titillating ad campaigns which made the films seem much raunchier than they actually were--you might call them "fake porn."

This genre began with filmmaker Russ Meyer's "nudie cutie" films which the naughty auteur made from 1959 into the 1970s. Meyer was fond of big busted women, and so his films focused on female breasts.

A lot of these films admittedly were drive-in sleaze, but there were a few hidden gems in the pack.

Barbara Peeters was a feminist filmmaker who worked in the exploitation genre at a time when mainstream Hollywood doors were closed to women directors. That Tender Touch, a “T & A” (tits and ass) film that Peeters made for a straight-male viewership, is actually a sweet story about two unhappily married women, best friends, who are inspired to enter into a sexual relationship with each other after they spot a lesbian couple holding hands in an outdoor cafe. Through each other, they find true love.

Sure, the late ’60s hairdos (you can literally smell the hairspray!) and the set designs are hilarious (remember muumuu dresses and shag carpets?), but the script touches upon many serious issues, including homophobia. This predecessor to “Desert Hearts” and “The Kids Are All Right” is well worth a look. Even though the acting isn't the greatest. OK, the acting is barely passable but for 1969, “That Tender Touch” is a surprisingly effective and progressive lesbian love story. One that features plenty of skin.

“Just the Two of Us” was produced in the mid-1970s, just as the market for these kinds of films was running dry. The film’s operatic theme song is a laugh-getter, but once again, viewers are treated to a sensitive tale of lesbian passion. Complete with gratuitous nudity originally meant for a straight male crowd but which might also appeal to lesbian viewers who want to see a little bit of female flesh.

Unrequited love is the theme here: think of Stephen Sondheim’s classic song “Not a Day Goes By.”

“Just the Two of Us” can be purchased directly through Wolfe Video. Both films can be purchased at Amazon.


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