We wouldn't normally post another Penthouse couples set so soon after the previous one but we have had a plethora of recent positive comments for these and this one was already scanned, the pictures formatted and ready to post so here we are.
This piece, Love in the Afternoon, appeared in Penthouse's November 1975 issue (Volume 10 Number 9 -December- in the UK edition). We have sourced pictures from both magazines to get the best quality possible. This pictorial has a duel photographic credit which is most unusual for Penthouse. It is not clear if Mr Scott took, for example, the clothed shots or the scenes on the beach or even, perhaps, the shot of Stonhenge, which is some way from the other locations in the shoot.
The Rising Sun Hotel today with the path the couple are shown walking down in the picture at the top
This couples pictorial, for the first time, is shot at recognisable locations; in Devon and Wiltshire in the west of England. This makes it very likely that the models are British as well, although we are not given any names, real or imagined, for them. The accompanying text is just a mood piece describing the joys of getting away from it all to have sex. The picture at the top of this post shows the couple in front of The Rising Sun Hotel in Lynmouth, Devon. Triple P once spent an entertaining holiday in Lynmouth, a very pretty fishing village with a monster 1 in 4 hill which needs negotiating if you are going to drive out of the place.
This picture was shot at Stonehenge in Wiltshire which is en route from London to Devon so maybe the team stopped off there on the way. The picture illustrates a very good point one of our correspondents made today in that instead of the mechanical couplings in such magazines now (and including Penthouse itself from the late nineties) these early couples stories were more about giving the impression of a genuine loving couple. Part of this, dare we say more feminine, approach to these pictorials must have been influenced by the work the same photographers were doing for Bob Guccione and Kathy Keeton's Viva womens magazine, which had similar pictorials.
Taking the trouble, in establishing photographs such as this one, to build a relationship between the two models strengthens the erotic charge of when they are photographed naked together and, as Bob Guccione well knew, makes the voyeuristic approach that more potent. This is something modern magazines don't bother with. The key to successful erotic photographs of couples is to build the illusion that they actually really like each other. This piggy-back shot does that perfectly. Oui magazine had some success, at this time, of photographing celebrities with their actual partners. They looked like they were pasionate about each other because they were!
There are three main locations for the sensual action in this pictorial; the first being a Devon beach. We would imagine that the water may not be that warm!
In this pictorial, the figures are largely shot from a distance; there are no close-ups of their faces. We can telll that the young lady is exceptionally beautiful, however, and the man has a toned physique which must have been rather unusual in the pre-gym fixated seventies. Penthouse realised that its male models needed to be as attractive as its female ones; something usually forgotten in pornography.
It's always brave of the models to pose for scenes like this in public, espcially in not very tolerant seventies Britain!
Kissing is a vital part of what couples do but appears relatively rarely in erotica; possibly because for many it is actually more intimate than genital contact.
This was the first time the UK edition had shown a man's penis in one of their couples pictorials. Previous such shots had been cut from the British version or the pictorials were never shown at all in the UK magazine. Some readers did write in complaining about the presence of men in the magazine, however.
The second location is Exmoor National Park and the photographer raises the passion level in this sequence.
Our young lady grasps her companion's groin in a shot which was much more sexually assertive than any that Penthouse had shown so far. Having them both smiling adds to the erotic appeal too, of course.
Here is the first lovemaking pose in the pictorial, daringly shot outside in front of Devon's Watermouth Castle. It's actually the first girl astride shot that Penthouse had in one of their couples pictorials. Other shots of their couples embracing were positioned in such a way that their genitals could not have been in contact. Here Penthouse is saying 'look they are actually doing it!' or, rather, that is the implication.
Another shot of the man's penis in what would be a record breaking pictorial for the magazine as regards the depiction of the male member. There were definitely two camps over this issue, something that Oui magazine had also discovered, as initially their couples pictorials were more explicit than Penthouse's. Some felt that the depiction of naked men in a man's magazine was just wrong; they bought the magazine for pictures of naked women. There were implications that anyone who enjoyed such pictorials was a homosexual. Others felt that the couples pictorials were arousing and, an important point this, that their wives and girlfriends liked them too.
Of course, as we have observed elsewhere, the majority of erotica throughout history has involved the depiction of couples. It is really only since the invention of photography that pictures of solo women became the subject of the majority of erotic visual material. To have a magzaine with a very high sexual content like Penthouse (c.f. Playboy which was more a lifestyle magazine with a few pictures of naked girls) without showing people apparently having sex would have been rather odd.
Although Penthouse had shown some nipple licking before this breast/penis contact was a first. It should be remembered that, at this time, magazines like Penthouse had to be concerned about legal accusations of indecency. After all it had only been five years since the first appearance of pubic hair in a newsstand magazine; something which earlier had defined what was indecent and what was not in both the UK and the USA. A shot such as the one above was at the very edge of what was permissable at the time. One technique that Penthouse would get very good at was to show a penis in such a way that it wasn't obvious if it was erect or not in order to have some defense to any accusation. Given the picture of the man on the beach we would think it pretty safe to say that he is at least partly erect in this picture which, again, would make it a Penthouse first.
The final and most explicit couples pictures in Penthouse to date were shot in an interior setting. Perhaps the Rising Sun Hotel itself? The passionate embrace above demonstrates why Penthouse called these pictorials "love sets" as they did try (and often achieved) to convey a feeling of genuine sexual attraction between their models. This was no doubt helped by the fact that they used models and not pornographic actors and actresses (of which there were plenty around in the seventies) as they did in the late nineties when the magazine went hardcore. It has been suggested by some of the photographers from this time that in posing for these softcore pictures the couples did sometimes get carried away. There is one recorded example that we know of from this period. A pictorial called Swinging in the Grain appeared in Penthouse in September 1979 and recently released outtakes have shown that the couple got very friendly indeed during the shoot. We will come to this pictorial in due course but will continue our chronological exploration for now.
The UK edition of Penthouse slightly blurred the man's penis in this picture making it unclear whether the girl was touching it or not which, as we can see from the picture from the US edition, she patently was. Of course, the next step after showing a man's penis was getting the girl to be shown touching it and this was the most blatant example so far in the magazine.
Again, they had shown nothing like this head to groin shot so far in any of their other pictorials. In cupping his balls she is also scoring another first for Penthouse. This really was the first pictorial that genuinely gave the impression that real sexual encounters had taken place which made it that more erotic.
This is the first implied rear entry shot the magazine had shown in one of its pictorials and again, the impression is of actual sex, rather than the simple caressing which had dominated previous pictorials in the magazine.
This final shot from the magazine shows him again looking quite excited and who wouldn't be with a such a lovely creature on your lap. Again, this image was blurred in the UK edition. His hand between her legs is yet another first for this racy pictorial.
So this set was really the first to show a couple apparently lovemaking and is made all the more effective by the apparent chemistry between the two models. After all, erotic scenes only really work, for Triple P anyway and also his correspondent today, if the protagonists look like they are actually enjoying it. It is their arousal that is arousing. Today's tattooed pornstars going through a series of loveless looking gymnastics in harsh lighting show how far the quality of erotic photography has deteriorated since the seventies and eighties.
More seventies couples soon!