Marilyn Chambers died yesterday. One of the original porn stars, along with Linda Lovelace and Georgina Spelvin, she made porn films in the early '70s, back when everything didn't go, there was no anal sex or fisting (at least on the East Coast), and pornos actually had plots, however minimal. Her notoriety came from a commercial sketch of her that was used on the Ivory Snow box, at least until the soap company found out what else their model was doing.
Her best known commercial film was entitled Behind The Green Door, and although I may not have known it then, opened the way for me to understanding submission and its lure.
But her reputation was carried forward by the films she made of shows at the O'Farrell Theatre in San Francisco, where no holds barred sex shows were had, for a price. Most of these films never made it to DVD, and their grainy reproductions decreased in quality as the years went one. She exhibited a certain joyousness in performing, her lithe body often performing seemingly undoable tasks, and she seemed to be smiling all the time as she did them. My favorite was an anal fisting scene while standing on her head. Seriously.
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The other Marilyn's death puts me in mind of a surreal experience I had with Her. She and I have been together for longer than most of you, dear readers, have been alive, long before there was an internet where sex and porn were openly distributed commodities. To watch porn, we had to go to seedy theatres with seats with minimal cushioning and threadbare carpets, with poor projection systems and unknown smells. The movies were of questionable quality, and usually frequented by men only, each one sitting alone, usually with a coat over his lap. Ya get the picture.
All this changed for about a year in the early '70s, when Deep Throat first opened. Somehow the suit and dress crowd got a hold of this one, and it became "alright" for civilians to visit the local porn theatre. In New York, it was the World 49th Street, where lines stretched down the block to watch Linda Lovelace mash her nose into Harry Reems's pubic hair, swallowing his cock aaalll the way down her throat. And so She and I went one Friday night, and in truth it was a little boring, a little slow, but cute and quaint. When we came out there were a couple hundred people of the uptown variety waiting patiently on line for the next show.
But here's the surreal part. As She and I were walking down the stairs into the subway, two really tough looking guys are coming up. I'm born and bred here, and know how not to look someone in the eye and antagonize them, and so I take here hand and continue descending the stairs. One guy walks up right in front of Her, puts both hands on her breasts, and starts to feel her up. We alone on the stairs with these two guys, I'm half their size, and one guy is feeling Her up.
I put my hand on his arm, a categorical no-no, and say to him, "Hey man, that's my wife," and he turns to me and says,"Oh, sorry," takes his hands away, and continues up the stairs, like feeling Her up was a normal thing to do if She weren't my wife.
Ya can't make this stuff up.