Solo Sex

Posted by guest blogger Miriam Webster

 

As many of us are currently spending a lengthy stint without sexual partners as we practice social distancing during this pandemic, I’ve been reflecting on eroticism that does not involve physical engagement between people.

Non-in-person sex work (via phone or the internet) and viewing pornography can play a huge part in helping folks through this necessary dry spell - though, of course, the coronavirus relief package explicitly excludes applicants who earn money from performances, services, or depictions “of a prurient sexual nature” from being eligible for loans. (There has been an increase in internet censorship and policing of consensual sex work and sexual materials under this administration done in the name of decreasing sex trafficking and exploitation. SESTA/FOSTA, which passed in March of 2018, directly led to the shut down of sites that enabled sex workers to operate more safely, porn companies and performers having their personal data deleted from their private drives, and the major social media platforms increasing their content restrictions and banning countless users. The currently-proposed EARN IT Act looks to extend internet surveillance under the same guise, further putting at risk sex workers and other marginalized groups who would likely be targeted and increasing the possibility of additional sexual content restrictions on social media platforms, as well as compromising the privacy of all internet-based communication and data.)

There are countless ways of sexually engaging with others through distance, many via technology - such as swapping nudes, dirty talk (see our recent blog discussing the Old Reliable audio collection), video chatting, sexting, video games, and even internet-controlled sex toys - through which each individual involved may be physically alone. And, of course, there is also a wide array in the realm of sexuality in which the inspiration for excitement doesn’t necessarily come from another person at all: object fetishism, autoeroticism, and more. A plethora of imaginal and tactile erotic experiences can be explored while physically by one’s self.

One fascinating cinematic look at solo sex and object fetishism exists in Czech artist Jan Švankmajer’s 1996 film Conspirators of Pleasure, which follows several characters’ independent fetishistic rituals. One man builds a masturbation machine with many motorized hands attached to televisions, which he operates during broadcasts of a lusted-after news anchor. Another man creates homemade sex toys - rolling pins covered in materials of different tactile natures like tacks and fur - which Švankmajer live-action animates rolling all over the man’s body. A couple of neighbors create effigies of each other, which they violently torture.

 

Stills from Conspirators of Pleasure
Images from Conspirators of Pleasure

 

In some of these scenarios, the object of desire is a person represented by the masturbation object, while in some, the contraption and/or tactile materials seem to be the objects of desire, themselves. But in each scenario, the rituals are performed in isolation.

Though best known as an animator/filmmaker, Švankmajer works in a wide array of mediums, including poetry and sculpture, and uses all to grapple with tactilism. From 1972 until 1979, he was banned from directing films by the Communist government of Czechoslovakia, who considered his films subversive. During this span, Švankmajer went into extensive exploration of the sense of touch and tactile art, including writing a book, Hmat a Imaginace (now translated and available in English as Touching and Imagining), “of which he produced five copies in 1983, all with ‘tactile’ covers. Featuring rabbit fur along the spine and a hand shape cut out of sandpaper on the front, these copies circulated as samizdat, that is works which were clandestinely produced and distributed to evade officially imposed censorship.” This book details Švankmajer’s Surrealist experiments with touch and tactile art and “is a kind of alchemist’s philosophical treatise.”

 

An original copy of Hmat a Imaginace
An original copy of Hmat a Imaginace

Švankmajer tactile poem and sculptures
A Švankmajer tactile poem and three tactile sculptures

 

Upon his return to filmmaking, he brought what he had learned about tactilism into the medium through content, concept, and technique, trying to create synesthetic experiences for viewers. “Film animation is just another alchemical aid to the performance of a magic ritual in which Švankmajer summons the immanent vitality that resides in the inert material... This capacity for metamorphosis extends to moving images… Švankmajer’s work explores the idea that both direct and indirect tactile experience is mediated by the ‘tactile’ imagination.”

The development of a new personal relationship to touch is described in Švankmajer’s poem “The magic ritual of tactile initiation,” featured in Touching and Imagining, which concludes:

Make the cold warm and the soft hard!
Make the loose compact!
Make the course slimy!
Make the hurtful pleasurable!
And vice-versa!
So that the eye will not perceive and give touch timely warning, constantly confuse his utilitarian habits of touch by disorientation, mystification and panic!
Bear in mind that our entire body is a unified erogenous zone!
Do not smooth down the crumpled sheets!
In winter kick off the bedclothes!
On hot summer nights crawl under a heavy quilt!
Do not scorn masturbation!
Do not have your old shoes re-soled!
Do not urinate before going to bed!
“Be repulsed by all objects yet touch them all!
Learn to love insects!
Tire yourself out!
Only when Touch is freed from its utilitarian context, not constantly forced into a self-conscious moment, will it reach the point where it transmutes the barrier of its identifying existence, and without being aware of it, becomes the language of the poet.


Eroticism is frequently a focus of Švankmajer’s work, as he observed that “if there does exist one aspect of human perception where Touch still has a position dominant over all others senses, it is in the field of eroticism.” The realm of pornography extensively explores “indirect tactile experience” and the sensations this depiction evokes in viewers, also striving to inspire corporeal responses.

Countless approaches to solo sex can be found in pornography. Object eroticism is certainly common, from fetish magazines eroticizing attire and materials such as leather and rubber, to the use of sex toys and such things as household items, balloons, and food as tools for self-pleasure.

 

Stills from Mansize & Food Sex
Stills Michael Zen's Mansize (top) and the Bijou Video compilation Food Sex (bottom)

 

The object in question’s sexual appeal may stem purely from the physical sensations it creates and one’s tactile relationship with it, or from a more symbolic place of connection or memory. And inanimate objects, themselves, can seem to carry inside them their own energetic life. As Švankmajer said, “a strong emotion leaves an indelible imprint on the objects touched.”

Erotic inspiration can be found in the natural world. Director Peter de Rome’s lovely short porn film, Green Thoughts (1971), features a man who becomes stimulated by the plants in a conservatory. Porn star and sex educator Annie Sprinkle has recently been spearheading an “ecosexual” movement, reframing nature as “your lover, not your mother” in an effort “to make the envirnomental movement more fun and diverse.”

 

Images from Green Thoughts
Images from Green Thoughts

 

Acts of self-pleasure may be performed not just as the result of the absence of a sexual partner, but because one’s own self or body or personal sexual technique are, themselves, the source of excitement. Many Bijou titles feature examples of this: enthusiastic solos, autofellatio practitioners, people jacking off to their own reflections, fantasies of self-fucking (brilliantly staged in Jaguar’s Grease Monkeys and in the short film Double Scorpio featured in Hand in Hand’s Private Collection), and intricate autosadism rituals (as in the Jason Steele segment of Big Bear Men and the sounding demonstration in another Private Collection short, Penetration).

 

Nick Rodgers seducing himself in Grease Monkeys
Nick Rodgers seducing & fucking himself in Grease Monkeys (1979)

Jason Steele in Big Bear Men (left); sounding film Penetration (right)
Jason Steele in Big Bear Men (left); the sounding film Penetration (right)

 

One of the true masters of inventive autoerotic practice in porn is “Sultan of Solo Sex” Scott Taylor. Taylor never performed a full partnered sex act in any of his films (the closest is perhaps in Surge Studio’s Strange Places, Strange Things, in which he and another man wildly enlarge and distort their cocks together with vacuum pumps), but he did many solo jack off sessions, as well as self-sucking and creative bodily play. In the Steve Scott masterpiece, Turned On! (1982), Taylor performs a remarkable display of dance and movement, in which he stuffs his own cock and balls up his ass. Al Parker stated, in a Manshots interview, “Even though Scott only has sex with himself, I think he is one of the most erotic people in this business, because you can’t pay somebody to be as crazy as Scott Taylor is in a movie.”

 

Scott Taylor
Scott Taylor


Scott Taylor in Turned On!
Scott Taylor's performance in Turned On!

 

Another artist of self-fucking in classic porn is Chris Burns. Having well-earned the title “the Ultimate Bottom,” Burns certainly can take it from others, but just as aptly can dish it out upon himself. In Steve Scott’s Dangerous (1983), he exchanges dirty talk over the phone with Rick Faulkner (who beats off in a phone booth) while he shoves massive dildos up his ass. Jason Bleu’s fascinating S/M video, Black on Red (1987), takes us into the interior life of the submissive, as Burns literally bends over backwards to punish himself at the feet of and worship a mature dominant, who stands over him throughout the tape's runtime, nearly silent and umoving, like a remote God. Burns, here, performs nearly all of the actions upon himself, shoving more enormous toys (as well as enema tubing) up his ass, putting sounding rods in his dickhole, piercing his nipple, and shaving his pubic hair off with a straight razor.

 

Chris Burns in Black on Red
Chris Burns in Black on Red

 

Not requiring a partner to explore one’s own body and sexual interests can be a liberatory element of sexuality. Illustrations of this can be found in some of the feminist pornography of the ‘80s and ‘90s, which encouraged women to learn about their bodies and personal sexuality - for example, the classic 1992 instructional, How to Female Ejaculate, and the odes to self-pleasure in Annie Sprinkle’s Sluts and Goddesses: How To Be a Sex Goddess in 101 Easy Steps. I’ve personally found developing solo kink practices to be useful and exciting. I taught myself how to do play piercing by practicing on my own body, with the help of online technique/safety tips and instructional video examples. This was a helpful way to learn (without risking fucking up an early attempt on someone else’s body), but maintaining this as a solo practice has also served as a way for me to engage with sadism and masochism on my own, without being reliant upon a partner for outlets.

Some porn makers depicted solo practices as a part of the exploration of various types of safer sexual expression during the AIDS crisis. Artist Michael Goodwin, whose late '80s Goodjac video series focused on handjobs and masturbation, brought creativity, playfulness, and enthusiasm to his documentation of solo sex.

 

Solos from The Goodjac Chronicles & Goodjac Too
Solos from The Goodjac Chronicles and Goodjac Too

 

And we can take eroticism outside of the tactile entirely. There’s the far-reaching imaginal realm of fantasy, which can draw eroticism from endless places. There are erotic responses to music and other audio, such as the visceral and abstract sound textures and vocal intimacy explored in ASMR videos, popularized over the past decade, which for many enthusiasts are not erotic, but can be for some. And there’s spiritual yearning, which can often take on an erotic coloration.

One may find eroticism with and without other people; erotic touch with and without other people; eroticism with and without touch. Perhaps we can use this time away from parntered sex to find ways to connect with our own erotic imaginations and to deepen our relationships with our own bodies, whether by nurturing their health (as a part of the project of collective health) or developing our solo sexual practices, whatever the tools and objects of erotic excitement may be.

Tags:
pandemic social distancing solo sex autoeroticism self-pleasure eroticism phone sex pornography porn companies politics Covid-19 coronavirus internet surveillance censorship social media sex work sex workers sex workers rights SESTA/FOSTA EARN IT Act internet sex cyber sex internet censorship marginalized communities sex and politics Old Reliable Old Reliable audio dirty talk object fetishism fetishism sexting cybering nudes sex toys Czech film Conspirators of Pleasure Jan Svankmajer film art art theory animation film history art history Surrealism sex machines alchemy tactilism tactile art sculpture poetry 1970s 1980s 1990s Communism touch synesthesia vintage fetish magazines fetish magazines leather rubber balloons food Food Sex Mansize Michael Zen Peter de Rome Green Thoughts ecosexualism The Erotic Films of Peter de Rome Annie Sprinkle sex educators environmentalism environmental movement solo masturbation autofellatio Grease Monkeys Jaguar Films Double Scorpio Penetration Private Collection Hand in Hand Films Surge Studio Big Bear Men Jason Steele autosadism automasochism Nick Roders Jack Deveau sounding kink fetish S/M BDSM fetish porn S/M porn Scott Taylor Strange Places Strange Things vacuum pumps Steve Scott Al Parker Turned On! Turned On dance Chris Burns Jason Bleu Black on Red Dangerous Rick Faulkner shaving piercing play play piercing needle play piercing dildo enemas vintage gay porn classic gay porn vintage porn classic porn feminist porn lesbian porn queer porn art porn Pink Label 1970s gay porn 1970s porn 1980s gay porn 1990s porn 1990s gay porn 1980s porn stars 1980s gay porn stars How to Female Ejaculate female ejaculation Goodjac Michael Goodwin The Goodjac Chronicles Goodjac Too AIDS crisis ASMR erotic art erotic poetry erotic audio fantasy sexual fantasy sex and religion sex and spirituality bodies health sadism masochism vintage porn stars classic porn stars porn stars sex education feminism balloon fetish
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If You are in Self-Isolation and Need to Find Some Pleasure...

Posted by Madam Bubby

 

I just consulted the office's copy of the 1960s chapbook, The Guild Dictionary of Homosexual Terms.

These are a few of euphemisms for something you can always do if you are in self-isolation; as Helen Reddy sang, "My best friend is myself," and adding to that, your right or left hand or whatever you use for maximum pleasure:

Ball off, beat off, come your mutton, come your turkey, flog the bishop, jerk the gherkin, manualexercises, pull the pudding, squeeze off, whank off

Note the food imagery, which makes sense, as both are sources of primal pleasure, and the "end result" of jacking off can also be delicious, depending on what turns you on.

And Bijou Video is here to help you in this area. In fact, we sell a series of video and audio which were specifically tailored to autoeroticism: David Hurles' Old Reliable series. Now mostly straight "rough trade" might not be your cup of tea or whatever liquid you imbibe, but these studs talk dirty to the camera and play with themselves and flex muscles and smoke.

 

Old Reliable catalog page
Vintage Old Reliable catalog page

 

But most significantly, their focus is on you and your cock in these pioneering solo jack off videos.

I can recommend an audio of one nasty (in the most enticing, exciting way sense) stud Tom V. (Audio clip at link.) He's straight, and you can always skip the tracks about "pussy" if that's not your thing, but the track about an incident when he was in jail ... it could certainly fuel even more fantasies. He's also got a rough, gravely voice, so despite the fact he is one macho guy visually, the voice itself could be enough to whank off to.

 

Tom V. Old Reliable Audio

 

We carry many Old Reliable series videos on DVD and streaming and several Old Reliable audio collections on CD.

Please note that we are still selling online at Bijou World and our ebay store, our streaming site is running, and we will still be taking phone orders during our regular business hours, 10 am to 6 p.m.

Our mission at Bijou Video has always focused on spreading joy and pleasure as part of a healthy, nonjudgmental philosophy of sexuality, all kinds of sexuality.

We intend to continue that mission during these life-changing times.

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Featured

Ear

 

Shirtless guy with sexy ears


I enjoyed sex with this guy off and on for some time in the nineties (both “vanilla” and BDSM), and one time when we were making out in his van he began to blow in my ear. The action itself doesn't really get me a woody, but as part of the whole erotic foreplay it definitely added something to the experience as a whole. 

Now, the ear itself doesn't strike me as being particularly erotic, but what it is supposed to do, transmit sounds, can add so much excitement, especially in BDSM sensory play. I used to like (and still do, but I am the “binder,” not the “bindee”) being bound and hooded and hearing the dominant sound of boots walking around the dungeon, For me, the sound of power is the sound of hard-heeled boots, and I've noticed lately that men's boots and shoes usually possess rubber heels to mute the sound. Why? I wonder, when the same does not apply to women's footwear (that's another blog). 

And of course there's dirty talk, which can occur even in more conventional sex scenes. Or doing it with music in the background. It takes great mental concentration and keen listening to try and time your orgasm to the climax of Wagner's Liebestod (I know from experience.) 

Overall, some people experience reality through hearing, some are more visual, some are more tactile. Still, what about more directly physical interactions with the ear itself? 

Blowing in the ear combines both a tactile and a hearing sensation, but then there's also guys who like to nibble on the ear (something my cat does, in her case a sign of affection as well as impatience, play with me, feed me). 
 

Ear nibbling

Maybe it's getting down to something really primal, the nibbling, but the ear of course features significantly in so many other cultural contexts. 

As a child, I was fascinated by the pointed ears of Spock, and all those elves and fairies sported them as well. Perhaps just changing slightly a feature of the ear was enough to evoke images of otherworldly power and knowledge. (And to set the record straight, Tolkien's elves, regardless of the movie's visualization of them, did not have pointed ears. See Appendix F of The Return of the King.) 
 

Spock's ears

 

Legolas' ears


And let's not forget the legendary Carol Burnett who would tug on her ear at the end of each show (one time I remember she pulled an earring off while doing so!). It originated as a signal to her grandmother because Carol in her early days at the Gary Moore Show couldn't shout out, “Hey, Nanny, are you watching?” She always knew her beloved “Nanny” was watching her famous granddaughter, and even after Nanny passed, she kept that signal as a way of connecting with that memory. 
 

Carol Burnett tugging her ear

Cutting off the ear was a punishment in the medieval and early modern periods, especially for offenses regarding religion. For example, in the seventeenth century the Puritan William Prynne was condemned to this punishment for heresy by the Anglican ArchbishopWilliam Laud, interesting, for one might think the other side would want him to hear their version of truth. But perhaps Laud thought it was appropriate because he led the faithful astray because they heard the Puritan's sermons. 
 

William Prynne

Are you still listening? One can hear, but not listen, so often in this frenetic culture where words disappear in cyberspace in a nanosecond. 

Take the time to really listen, and maybe try and remember and share your own unique, erotic ear experiences (but save the earwax stories, ew! I recently experienced an issue with that substance). 

And Bijou Video offers unique “dirty talk” audio CDs from those Old Reliablerough trade guys in the Sexcessories section of our website.

 

Check them out, along with other auditory delights at BijouWorld.com and BijouGayPorn.com
 

Old Reliable CDs

 

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Talking Dirty: Is It Taboo Any More?

 

Museum of Euphemism cartoon

Are euphemisms for sex or bathroom actions becoming dead words?

 

Now, when types of slang words that have been stigmatized as obscene have become pretty much prevalent in a majority of social situations, why, to use another euphemism, beat around the bush?

In fact, that sound that bleeps out the offending words seems to be occurring more and more on television (on some reality shows, that sound seems to drown out the dialogue), perhaps showing we don't bother to even code anymore language that refers to those taboo sex/bathroom actions.

Too bad, I say, from just a creative standpoint. The richness and humor of coming up with ways to convey pooping and fucking ... it was a linguistic freedom that flourished within oppressive constraints, and some of the words mockingly confronted such oppression.

Here are some awesome euphemisms from The Big Book of Talking Dirty:


The Big Book of Talking Dirty


catch a horse (20thC) (Aus.) to urinate

fie for shame (19thC) the vagina; from the image of the vagina as something shameful

four­legged frolic (mid 19thC) sexual intercourse

gentleman of the back door (18thC) a homosexuality

get one's hair cut (20thC) to visit a woman for sex

give the Chinaman a music lesson (20thC) to urinate

give one's gravy (19thC) to give someone an orgasm

hundred­and­seventy­fiver (1990s) a homosexual (para. 175 of the German penal code outlawed homosexuality)

massaging the one eye'd monk (1990s) masturbation


Euphemisms for masturbation

One a much more serious note, there's one taboo area I still think we still use euphemisms for, because, in a time when any sign of aging can supposedly be quick­fixed by botox and billions of dollars are spent on prolonging life (not to be confused with finding cures for diseases): death. We're more and more uncomfortable with it, even when it happens naturally.

Often the young try, like the young of generations past, to sublimate their fear with a carpe diem attitude, or they end up scapegoating older people, inflicting a social death upon them, because they see in them their own future.

We all fuck and piss and shit and die: that's the reality all human culture confronts in a myriad of ways.

How many ways can you say that?

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