Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lust in Space by Earl Miller

The next Love Set in Penthouse, Lust in Space, would be their sixth and final group pictorial of the seventies.  All of these, apart from the very first, Bawdy Bathers, would feature two women and one man.

It appeared in the October 1978 issue and was photographed by Earl Miller.  With the arrival of the two big budget science fiction films of 1977, Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind many of the men's magazines would present science fiction themed couples sets over the next few years.  In fact, Penthouse, ahead of the trend, had already had one, 2076, in their July 1976 issue.

More importantly for Bob Guccione, the space-themed pictorial matched with the preview of his new science magazine Omni, which launched that month.  The idea of his wife, Kathy Keeton, this mixture of popular science, science fiction and the supernatural ran until Keeton's death in 1997 and after carrying on as a web only presence for a few month essentially folded in April 1998.

 We have a few outtakes from the pictorial but will incorporate them into the main post, this time, rather than adding them at the end.

The text tells the story of an astronaut who has had to beam down from his spaceship to the surface of the planet Nymphon in the Phi Delta Pubis quadrant.  The text seems to have been more inspired by Star Trek than Star Wars.  Anyway the astronaut passes out as soon as he reaches the surface of the planet.

Needless to say, when the astronaut regains his consciousness he finds himself in the presence of two beguiling aliens.  Penthouse would present more exotic aliens in the future but these were the first and they certainly look striking.   Perhaps their bald look was inspired by publicity shots of Persis Khambatta, as alien Ilia, in Star Trek The Motion Picture, which would premier two months later, 

The two aliens recover the unconscious astronaut and take him to their space base.  Eschewing the normal metallic foil and plastic look they seem to have decorated their dwelling with embroidered panels in the manner of a bedspread.

This was a large couples pictorial with twenty photographs spread over twelve pages giving the photographic editors plenty of space to tell the story properly.

Whatever, our be-feathered alien chicks (perhaps they are related to the bird people from Buck Rogers) soon have our astronaut's helmet off and set to work on his spacesuit.

However, they have time to take a break and indulge in some avian-girl teasing.   Their abbreviated leather costumes owe more, perhaps, to fantasy than contemporary science fiction but the two (unnamed) models carry them off beautifully.

Next, the two space chickens brandish what the astronaut, in his first person narrative, describes as whips although the tails don't really seem to have the requisite stiffness to be successfully invigorating.

Men's magazines at the time were really only just dipping their toes into the BDSM water, which had yet to become a more mainstream part of visual erotica (Penthouse's pioneering fetish pictorial My Funny Valentine had not been followed up).  Still, the aliens go through the motions of beating and then insisting on some whip kissing,  It's not quite as convincing as that shown in the previous boy/girl/girl pictorial (also by Miller) Any Sport in a Storm (trooper) from November 1977.

Rather more extreme is this shot of our astronaut being abused by the heels of the space babes' shoes.  This is certainly the first male/female S&M shot  involving shoes in Penthouse.

This auto-erotic shot reveals that the girls' outfits, being made from straps are divided at the crotch.

This fact explains how the astronaut is able to, apparently, penetrate them while they both keep their clothes on.

The astronaut's penis is never visible in this shoot and in these pictures he is covered by the girls' whips.   This is likely because the astronaut is played by Earl Miller's assistant, Tom Swanson, not a professional model.

The final sequence has the space babes dispensing with their abbreviated costumes and revealing their nether regions for the first time.  The astronaut watches as they indulge in a little light lesbian pussy caressing before he teases them with their own whip.

Finally, after a nice bottom kissing photo, we get the most explicit sex position shot of the pictorial which also includes, unusually at this time for a Love Set, a strong anal shot.

This is a visually striking set and the girls, whoever they are, look very good indeed despite the (well done) bald/feather effect.  As was usual for group pictorials at this time it's not quite as explicit as the conventional couples sets of the time.  The light S&M element and fantasy setting is a precursor of many of the Love Sets from the nineties.

PS: Space Buggy has pointed out this illustration from Guccione's own Omni magazine, dating from 1980.  It is obvioulsy based upon one of the pictures from the pictorial (sixthe from the top).


  1. Thank you very much for posting this awesome pictorial! This was the first b/g/g pictorial I have seen in my life (possibly the best too!) and this does bring back a lot of fond memories of my childhood, and will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you for posting - I am eternally grateful.

  2. Not a huge favorite, but fun to look at.
    I'm positive one space babe is Susanne Saxon.

  3. I remember seeing this pictorial for the first time, and it immediately reminded me of this painting.

    I was sure the pictorial must have been inspired by the painting, but the painting evidently appeared in "Future Life" in 1980, two years after the pictorial.

    1. Thanks so much for that. Obviously the artist used the magazine as a reference. I will put it in the post!