“What’s amazing is how little has changed in porn over the years. Naughty’s shorts feature nearly all the hallmarks of today’s hardcore videos: Bad lighting, horrible sets, terrible acting, and ridiculous story lines…”
It’s easy to think that, here in the 21st Century, we’re pushing sexual boundaries as never before. Au contraire, mon frere! Lest any of us get too smug about our supposed superior sexual enlightenment, Strand Releasing offers a not-so-subtle reminder with The Good Old Naughty Days.
This collection of silent, one-reel European bordello flicks from the early 1900’s begins innocently enough, with a clip of a topless woman gingerly brushing her hair. Moments later, though, when two seamstresses fall enthusiastically into a “69” position and hungrily go to town, it becomes instantly clear this is no purely amusing anthology of soft-core T & A.
What’s amazing is how little has changed in porn over the years. Naughty’s shorts feature nearly all the hallmarks of today’s hardcore videos: Bad lighting, horrible sets, terrible acting, and ridiculous storylines – including teachers and their “naughty” pupils, workers and their “disciplinarian” bosses, exhibitionists with voyeurs peeping through keyholes. There is one difference, however. Unlike today, the porn of yesteryear was an all-inclusive affair; tall, short, fat, skinny, gorgeous or butt-ugly, all were welcome to participate.
Since the shorts were created to keep men occupied while waiting in brothels, there’s plenty of girl-on-girl action and group scenes. But, like all porn, straight or gay, the star of every film is the penis, which is licked, sucked, fondled and worshiped, by women, men – and in one case, a dog! – until the inevitable money shot.
Even by today’s standards, some of these films are quite daring (the Catholic church would have a field day protesting a few). Incredibly, there’s still a slight innocence to them, with many of the participants bashfully peeking directly into the camera. Make no mistake, though: Despite their current status as a historical document (or curiosity), these shorts were created solely to arouse. Don’t expect any highbrow subtext, and don’t be surprised to find yourself, um, responding to what’s on screen. After all, even in an art house, porn is, well, still porn.