Monday, 4 November 2013

'Mo Softcore, 'Mo Problems

Yesterday evening I took a disposable razor and, having used liberal amounts of soap and water on my face, covered myself with shaving gel and scraped off all facial hair apart from that which is abundant on my top lip. Essentially, I now have a Movember 'Mo.
Is this sexy? (Clue: No.)

I've done this twice before (and not always through laziness, although that is the usual reason). Two years ago, I was at college (fourth time around) and still managed to grow one, although I looked like a porn star from the Seventies when I did so. After I'd managed to stem the flow of blood from various bits of my neck yesterday, I inspected the damage and saw, once again, that I'd revealed a latter-day Ron Jeremy, which the led to the idea I had for this post.

Some porn stars have moustaches. I mean, why wouldn't they? Men grow facial hair; leave it for a while and you've got a moustache. But not many of them. Apart from the aforementioned Ron Jeremy, I can't think of any male porn stars with facial hair at all (although maybe one of you could help me out?). Peter North, Evan Stone, James Deen... I can't recall any scenes I've seen with any of those sporting even so much as a goatee, never mind a full moustache. Mind you, my knowledge of hardcore porn is limited, so let's move on to something I'm more familiar with.

Ken Kerr. Nice bloke. Lovely teeth.
Soft porn doesn't like hair. It genuinely doesn't. Back hair and body hair are more or less eliminated from most forms of softcore (apart from the earlier stuff), including pubic hair on the ladies... and facial hair on the men. I spent a while racking my brains for any characters in softcore that both have a moustache and sex. I could only think of a couple... besides things I think I may have seen in the past. I mean, I remember a slightly bearded guy in Compromising Situations once. Chad McQueen from Indecent Behaviour II has a slight bit of fuzz below hie bottom lip. I was looking for full-on, philtrum-covering hair.

In all honesty, the first place my brain went was Emmanuelle, specifically First Contact (or Queen of
Help! They've put Mario in soft porn!
the Galaxy if you want to call it that), simply because there's a character in it with a very obvious and totally ridiculous moustache. This man is called Richard, and he's an absolute idiot - played by Robert Nassry. Richard is the ex-husband of a character named Alexandra (Kimbra Westervelt), and Emmanuelle - in finest "I have a cunning plan, my lord" mode - plots to get them back together. How? Flowers? Chocolates? Fake notes? Frank, heart-to-heart discussion with mediation, education and support setup, outlining areas in a relationship to strengthen and build upon?


Nope, more effective. Haffron morphs into a clone of Richard and has sex with Alexandra himself.

I'm done here.

What confused me about this (apart from the completely ridiculous EVERYTHING) was the fact that real Richard doesn't have a moustache, while Haffron!Richard has one roughly the size of Nebraska. While you'd think Alexandra (being his ex-wife and all) may notice, the film casually glosses over that part, choosing instead to make a hilarious joke in which Haffrard claims that "this thing is itchy". Utter hilarity.

Straight to the point.
In reality, the only softcore that I can really think of, featuring moustaches without remarking upon them, is Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens from 1979, directed by Russ Meyer (who had a particularly fine 'Mo himself, actually). This cult classic has an awful lot of sex in it, mostly featuring the one female character (Lavonia Shedd, played by Kitten Natividad, RM's paramour at the time). The men she has sex with throughout are varied (and number half the population of Small Town, USA, in which the film is set). But every single one of them has a moustache. This is never even touched upon... it just is.

I doubt this is a stylistic choice. Moustaches were probably more popular in the Seventies. RM himself had one, Semper Fidelis (Michael Finn) and Mr. Peterbuilt (Pat Wright) also sport them in Beneath... as does Lavonia's husband, Lamar Shedd (Ken Kerr). In fact, the only men without moustaches in Beneath are the ones with whom she doesn't have sex - the exception being Rhett, but he's meant to be 14 years old and therefore wouldn't have one anyway.

And that's it. I can think of four characters in soft porn with noticeable moustaches. Four. And three of those are from the same film! Bearing in mind how much soft porn I've seen in the last sixteen years of my life, that's really not a lot!

So... why does soft porn shy away from moustaches (or, actually, body hair at all... the exception, again, being RM's films), particularly when they suggest masculinity? Is there something wrong with mouth fuzz, particularly when some girls I know have stated categorically that they find it incredibly sexy? I'm not a fan myself per se, but nevertheless, hair can't be considered totally unattractive...

Having thought about this, the best reason I can come up with is that a lack of facial hair is suggestive of youth, which in turn suggests virility. Yes, this may seem an incredibly questionable connection,
Let it shine! Let it shine! Let it shine!
and I agree. However, most men in soft porn are depicted as being somewhere between 25 and 40, with the majority in their early thirties (in terms of actor age; characters are rarely defined). Considering characters like Haffron, who's meant to be an alien roughly the same age as Emmanuelle (herself about 30, perhaps), or any of the Merry Men from Virgins of Sherwood Forest (apart from Friar Tuck), or the various boyfriends from Mirror Images II, et al., some suggestion of youthful vigour seems to be important. This isn't the case in younger characters, in which it seems to be implicit.


Mind you, this is only a guess on my part. Like I said, I don't particularly find the moustache a particularly attractive accoutrement. But, in most soft porn, they are conspicuous by their peculiar absence, leaving the characters with them (and beards, at that - grow a beard in softcore and kiss any hope of sex goodbye), and while I won't complain too much about that, it does make me wonder - for what it's worth - exactly why that is!

Any ideas? Answers on a postcard...!

1 comment:

Jilly said...

I may just be functioning on very little sleep, but I can swear I've seen James Deen with at least a bit of facial hair.

But you're right - staches in porn don't seem to be in vogue that much anymore. Which I find to be a good thing. They do tend to tickle during cunnilingus.