Blow Me

Ottawa XPress – Shotgun – April 21, 2005

Pardon me, but when I was flipping through the paper for show times to see the documentary film Inside Deep Throat, all I could think about was the real provocative cock-sucking I was going to get to see on the big screen.

I had heard about the other famous porn flick Beyond the Green Door, and how it was pretty vulgar and raunchy. Could Deep Throat be that delicious? I was so excited to see a penis throbbing five feet tall, being gulped in surround sound.

But that all changed when I read the movie fact sheet Bruce Ward put together for the Ottawa Citizen. There in my Saturday morning paper was a deflating quote from the lead actress, Linda Lovelace, post-Deep Throat: “It was the most degrading and terrifying time of my life,” she said. “Every time somebody sees that movie, they’re watching me being raped.” I second-guessed my enthusiasm.

To go or not to go? Knowing this information, was I a shallow perv? Or am I the curious and open female who wants to learn more about how porn evolved? That Saturday morning, I found myself agreeing with many Shotgun readers in the past who have argued against pornography and I felt a bit embarrassed for being so gung-ho about a silly sex movie. But I went.

And I have to tell ya, I think Lovelace and her claims about rape are a bit of a crock. Here’s why: In the documentary, we see how Lovelace switched from enjoying her stardom and denouncing censorship when the movie was first released to shitting on it when the buzz faded. “Why the 180?” is what Shotgun is taking aim at.

Ward’s fact sheet indicated that the 1972 skin flick “caused a national uproar in the U.S. and went on to become the most profitable movie in history.” High-profile people and celebrities were lining up to see it. Everyone wanted a piece of it. Even the mob was involved and controlled the lucrative profits. And as fast as police were trying to shut it down, it was popping up at cinemas all over the United States. Truckloads of men and women defended it, protesting against censorship that threatened to ban it in every town.

But those sexually expressive supporters and feminists were then replaced by feminists such as Gloria Steinem and Andrea Dworkin. They were against this portrayal of Lovelace-and I imagine that extended to all women-in dirty movies. In 1983, Dworkin helped draft legislation that defined pornography as a civil rights violation against women, which wasn’t an entirely bad thing. But the law was inspired by Lovelace’s appearance in Deep Throat and the actress’s whole beef about being coerced into showcasing on film her amazing ability to take a man’s large penis past the gag reflex and all the way down her throat.

Dworkin passed away this month. But when she was alive, in 1986 she looked like Gene Simmons with a bad case of water retention. She was also a lesbian. What the fuck does she know about blowjobs?

Let’s hear what heterosexual guys say about blowjobs. For this to work now we have to try to see men as just normal dudes and not patriarchal devil-spawn who are out to fuck every girl in the ass before they take over the world with sports bars.

According to the Hite Report on Male Sexuality, many men really appreciate a good blow job: “Coming in a woman’s mouth and having her swallow it is something special. I don’t associate fellatio with the ‘degrading of woman’ aspects that I have heard about it. A man in love loves his woman’s cunt and a woman in love loves her man’s cock and the oral caresses are just a magnificent way of expressing it.” Good chap. But where did he hear that fellatio is degrading, I wonder?

And then some men don’t care much for it. These guys prefer the “oneness” of holding their partners when they orgasm. Other men fear a woman’s teeth will gash their manhood. And another dude admitted, “I’ve always had this suspicion in the back of my mind that the guy who gets off on fellatio is secretly a classic male chauvinistic pig who likes to see the submissive female down on her knees.” Not again?!

Shotgun is taking aim at two issues here. The first is the assumption that all chicks who do porn were forced into doing it. That’s not very feminist to think it impossible that a woman would want to have sex in front of a camera for money. The second bit is the presumption that deep-throating is filthy. Why does female sexual prowess have to downward-spiral into subjugation?

It’s sad, but while Lovelace was paraded about the television talk show circuit by Gloria Steinem, Deep Throat’s male star, Harry Reems, and his big hairy cock were falling into severe drug and alcohol abuse. Like, really bad. In the documentary, Reems laments how porn filmmakers would pick him up drunk and stoned from some party, drop him off at the set-use him sexually-then cart him back home abandoning him there to rot until the next shoot.

Tell me, who spoke up for Reems? But apparently Lovelace had it worse? Ah, blow me.

– Sylvie Hill