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Sex education

Aufkläringsfilme - education - sex film - sex hygiene films - sex manual

Helga - Vom Werden des menschlichen Lebens (1967) - Erich F. Bender

Kärlekens språk/Language of Love (1969) - Torgny Wickman

Sex hygiene film [...]

"We can even go way back in history to Mom and Dad, a boring pseudo sex documentary from the forties brilliantly hyped by the great-great grandfather of exploitation, Kroger Babb. Since the film contained footage of an actual birth of a baby, Mr. Babb realized this was a chance to legally show full-frontal female nudity." --John Waters, Crackpot: The Obsessions of John Waters, (New York, Vintage Books), p.14,

Medicine show

But this was not Hollywood promotion. In fact, Hollywood spent 20 years campaigning to get rid of movies like Mom and Dad. This was the last wave of the 19th-century medicine shows -- part biology lesson, part sideshow, part morality play, part medical "shock footage" -- and to this day many old-timers regard it as the purest and most successful exploitation film in history. It played continuously for 23 years, still booking drive-ins as late as 1977, and grossed an estimated $100 million. --Joe Bob Briggs, http://reason.com/0311/fe.jb.kroger.shtml, Nov 2003

Sex manuals [...]

Sex manuals such as the Kama Sutra are some of the best known works of erotic literature. The Ananga Ranga is a lesser known one, aimed specifically at preventing the separation of a husband and wife. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotic_literature

In spite of the existence of ancient sex manuals in other cultures, sex manuals were banned in Western culture for many years. What sexual information was available was generally only available in the form of illicit pornography or medical books, which generally discussed either sexual physiology or sexual disorders. The authors of medical works went so far as to write the most sexually explicit parts of their texts in Latin, so as to make them inaccessible to the general public. (See Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis as an example).

A few translations of the ancient works were circulated privately, such as Sir Richard Burton's translations of the Ananga Ranga and The Perfumed Garden.

Married Love by Marie Stopes, published in 1918, was a ground-breaking sex manual, although it was limited in the detail in which it could discuss sex acts.

David Reuben, M. D.'s book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask), published in 1969 was one of the first sex manuals that entered mainstream culture in the 1960s. Although it did not feature explicit images of sex acts, its descriptions of sex acts were unprecedentedly detailed.

The Joy of Sex by Dr. Alex Comfort was the first sexually explicit sex manual to be widely published. Its publication in the 1970s opened the way to the widespread publication of sex manuals in the West. As a result, hundreds of sex manuals are now available in print. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_manual, Feb 2004

Oswalt Kolle

Image sourced here.

Image sourced here.

Image sourced here.

Oswalt Kiolle
Oswalt Kolle (born October 2, 1928) is a German sex educator, who became famous during the 1960s for his numerous books and films on human sexuality. His work was translated into all major languages, while his films found an audience of 140 million worldwide. He was awarded the Magnus Hirschfeld medal in 2000.

A widower since 2000, he has lived in Amsterdam since the 1970s with his three children. He is an admitted bisexual. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswalt_Kolle [Aug 2005]


see also: Germay - sex education - sexual revolution - 1960s - 1970s

Aufklaerungsfilm [...]

Germany in 1919 was a country that had been devastated by the war, four years of slaughter, famine, civil unrest, a civil war and runaway inflation. The country was in dire need of change. The Council of Peoples Representatives in 1919 abolished the military censorship that had been in effect since 1918. The council believed that the numerous political parties causing unrest would use the screen to spread their political views instead of battling in the streets. The political parties continued using the streets and beer halls to spread their message, but, having nothing to fear from government interference, the film industry decided to take advantage of the abolishment of censorship.

Every film studio took advantage of the situation, and there was a sudden increase in "Aufklarungsfilme" films pretending to be concerned with sexual enlightenment. Conrad Veidt was featured in "Es werde Licht" ("Let There Be Light") which dealt with the problems of human sexuality. When released 1918, it caused quite a stir since it dealt with subjects that were avoided in polite conversations. Many of these films were destroyed by the Nazis as they attempted to ban any exhibition of any controversial film which had no place in "The New Order" of Hitler's Germany. The German civilians, stifled by four years of military censorship and military control, as well as the demobilized soldiers not adjusted to civilian life, flocked to the theaters. --John DeBartolo http://www.silentsaregolden.com/DeBartoloreviews/rdbopium.html [Sept 2004]

White coaters [...]

In the first year or two of the '70s, before all-out XXX action could be shown, many sexploiters produced phoney educational documentaries about sex known as 'white coaters' because the action was often presented by 'actors' posing as doctors in full medical garb. Under this guise, they were able to graphically depict various acts. Sweden's Language of Love 1969 was the first and most earnest of it's kind. BTW, this was the flick De Niro takes his date to in Taxi Driver 1976. "Dirty. Beautiful. Artistic. Trashy. Obscene. Erotic." So bellows our narrator looking like a low rent game show host in Erotography (A History of Pornography Through the Ages) 1971 where he walks us through a make shift museum of what looks like pages torn from an erotic art library book. Many were like travelogues investigating European countries amorous ways like Pornography in Denmark 1970. Following the lead of these pseudo sexual pics focusing on Sweden and Denmark, came Sex Freedom in Germany 1970 an expose of Teutonic kinks. Sexologists the Kronhausers chime in on the debate between what is erotic art and what is pornography. We are shown a still outrageous peformance piece by controversial shock artist Otto Muehl. On Christmas Day 1969 at an art school Muehl’s troupe performed Oh Tannenbaum. A Happening with a Christmas Tree, pissing, live sex and the killing of a pig. It caused quite a stir locally. We visit Anima, a kraut-rock duo consisting of a nude woman head to toe in black body paint, free forming on a drumming and a kookie guy jamming out with various clanky noisemakers. Next a hippie commune eat, wear and make out with food. A connection between sports cars and sex is made. We see a hippie 16mm orgy freakout smoker in the making. With a rock score by Apocalypse. Is there Sex after Death? 1971 parodies these sex ed mondos with man-on-the-street interviews and faked scenes at an experimental sex clinic. Written, directed and hosted by the famous prankster Alan Bell. Britian's Naughty! 1971 entertaining explores the differences between the Victorian Era and the Sexual Revolution. --Tom Fitzgerald ©1998-2002AD/Last updated Dec 26th http://www.pimpadelicwonderland.com/eye.html [Oct 2004] In those shadowy few years before hardcore pornography became fully legalised in the States, filmmakers had to get their racy material past the censors by showing explicit sex acts in an 'educational context'. As a result, mock documentaries like Pornography in Denmark (1970), The Art of Marriage (1970) and Teenage Sex Fantasies (1972) reared their heads. As expected, these features were little more than standard sex films with some tacked on introduction hosted by a supposed doctor or psychologist (almost always wearing a white coat and usually spouting a European accent), who explains to the horny audience - who just want to get to the action - that what they are about to see will enrich their understanding and appreciation of the mysteries of lovemaking. --http://www.hippocketsleaze.freewebspace.com/photo4.html [Oct 2004]

Kärlekens språk/Language of Love (1969) - Torgny Wickman

A modern advanced film about sexual education an behaviour based on the clinical research made by famous American and Swedish doctors. The film centres around a panel; Inge and Sten Hegeler, Maj-Brith Bergstroem-Walan and Sture Cullhed, all well known, reputable experts, who have devoted their scientific studies to the various fields of sexual life. The film deals with all kinds of problems connected with the sexual relationship of people. Whilst every question is discussed by the panel., the film illustrates; the difference between male and female sexual organs and their functions, positions, and authentic coition whereby a split screen system is used enabling us to see the various reactions in different parts of the body. In connection with this as well as in other parts of the film, diagrams and animations are used to simplify the understanding of the complicated reactions which occur when a person is under sexual stimulus. The panel also discusses the role of sex in society, the question of prejudices and taboos, sex in clothes, sex in art, etc. etc. -- Stefan Nylen via http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064563/

This film is best known for being the one that Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) goes to see in Taxi Driver (1976) --http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064563/

Anatomie des Liebesaktes (1970) - Hermann Schnell

Anatomie des Liebesaktes (1970) - Hermann Schnell
image sourced here.

"Anatomie des Liebesaktes" is a sexually explicit film with a healthy attitude. I think we Americans are prudish deep down inside and so we react more strongly than Europeans to anything sexual. It taught me that a film can be truly erotic and not "dirty."

I happened to be an American student traveling in Stockholm in 1970 and went to see what I thought would be some "great Swedish porno." A lot of young people had this image of Sweden as the sex capital of the world and were just dying to see a real porno film. Oh well, what do you know about life when you're 20? This particular theater was showing eight films of a sexual nature. Six of these were only a few minutes long, all in very grainy film stock, showing various sex acts including one featuring two Lesbians.

There was one American film, maybe about an hour long, the story of a sexual pervert who uses prostitutes and drugs, and finally blackmails a single mother into sex by threatening her son's life. I can't remember the name of this masterpiece, but the only person who had even a hint of acting ability was the villain. And yes, he got his comeuppance in the end.

The year before I saw "I am Curious (Yellow)" in California. That was the first "mainstream" movie in America to show real intercourse. We Americans reacted as you might expect. It was banned in my native Pittsburgh after a committee of civic and religious leaders previewed it three times and decided it had no socially redeeming value. And young people managed to get far enough out of town to see this Swedish import.

"Anatomie" was a whole different dimension. The few spoken parts were in German with English subtitles. It was by no means "pornographic' or prurient, featuring a young couple who goes to a sex therapist to improve their marriage. It was really very artistic and truly erotic. As part of "the sexual evolution," the message was that you can enjoy sex. The couple made love using various techniques to the music of Ravel's "Bolero." This was a decade before the movie "10." --http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065397/ [May 2005]

Damaged Goods

Damaged Goods (1914)

Although DAMAGED GOODS is one of the 50% of films made before 1950 to be lost, it is worth commenting on it here to express its importance in telling about venereal diseases before film and literature dealt with that subject regularly. The film deals with Sexually-Transmitted Diseases as contacted to a young student by an older girl. The story deals with a young college graduate who doesn't know what to do with his future. He is applauded by his parents and their friends at their Los Angeles home. One night, he meets an older woman who is a friend of his parents. Since the woman's husband is not home, the graduate drops her off at her house, then she ends up inviting him inside and seducing him. (Sound familiar?) The film could be entertaining today...if it survived. Richard Bennett stars as the college graduate(yes, that is the same Richard Bennett who played Major Amberson in Orson Welles' THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS [1942]). Anyhow, don't despair film buffs! Preservationists like Brownlow, Shepard, and the UCLA film preservation committee have salvaged hundreds of films once thought lost. One day, this artifact might turn up in somebody's basement or some long-forgotten film vault in some old forgotten Hollywood studio. One can only hope... --http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0003815/ [May 2005]

Damaged Goods (1937) - Phil Goldstone
During the late 1930s and into the '40s, this film was constantly revived on the roadshow circuit with a spicy ad campaign and a new title: "Forbidden Desires". Surviving publicity material shows plenty of lascivious appeal but mentions nothing about the film being about venereal disease. --http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028754/

Both movies are based on a play by Eugène Brieux (1858 - 1932)

Eugène Brieux
Eugène Brieux (January 19, 1858 - December 6, 1932), French dramatist, was born in Paris of poor parents.

His plays are essentially didactic, being aimed at some weakness or iniquity of the social system.

Les Avariés (1901), forbidden by the censor, on account of its medical details, was read privately by the author at the Théâtre Antoine; and Petite amie (1902) describes the life of a Parisian shop-girl. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eug%E8ne_Brieux [May 2005]

see also: sex hygiene

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask (1972) - Woody Allen

    Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask (1972) - Woody Allen [Amazon.com]
    A collection of vignettes, loosely based on the book by Dr. David Rueben, written and directed by Woody Allen, Everything contains some very funny moments. It's easy to forget that the cerebral Allen excelled at the type of broad, Catskill, dirty jokes and visual gags that run amok here. It's also remarkable how dirty this 1972 movie really was--bestiality, exposure, perversion, and S&M get their moments to shine. The Woody Allen here, who appears in many of the sketches, is a portent of the seedy old Allen of Deconstructing Harry. Although the final bit, which takes place inside a man's body during a very hot date, is hilarious, most of Everything feels like the screen adaptation of a '70s bathroom joke book. Still, a must for Allen fans. --Keith Simanton for amazon.com

Educational Archives, Vol. 1: Sex and Drugs (2001) - Various

Hell's Highway - The True Story of Highway Safety Films (2002) - Various [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Generations of American children sat in dark classrooms and absorbed wisdom in the form of 16mm educational and social guidance films. Through the flicker of dim projector bulbs and the warble of optical soundtracks a blueprint for better living in the Atomic Age was spelled out in no uncertain terms. Now just as you remember them, Fantoma presents these collections of sex education & drug prevention films. Learn all about the dangers of marijuana, the perils of heavy petting, the difference between boys and girls and the joys of menstruation. Films include: LSD: Insight or Insanity, It's Wonderful Being a Girl, Narcotics: Pit of Despair, The ABC's of Sex Ed. for Trainables, & Marijuana (with Sonny Bono).

Rereading Sex: Battles over Sexual Knowledge and Suppression in Nineteenth-Century America (2002) - Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz

  1. Rereading Sex: Battles over Sexual Knowledge and Suppression in Nineteenth-Century America (2002) - Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz [1 book, Amazon US]

    In 1839, a young physician named Charles Knowlton challenged the prevailing argument that birth control was somehow "against nature." "It is also against nature to cut our nails, our hair, or to shave the beard," he wrote. "What is civilized life but one continual warfare against nature?" While many agreed with Knowlton's views, others found his support for contraceptives dangerous or even obscene, since it would certainly encourage the young men and women who yearned for sexual intimacy without any consequences. Conflicts between those committed to sexual knowledge and those determined to suppress it form the foundation of this well-researched study. Horowitz (The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas) argues that 19th-century Americans did not have a single, dominant sexual culture; rather, competing groups of Americans fought for their own definitions of sex in courtrooms, in the press, in churches and in politics. Americans were "engaged in a complex four-way conversation about sex": there was the "American vernacular sexual culture" (with its "earthy acceptance" of desire), evangelical Christianity (which was more prudish), "reform physiology" (whose adherents focused on healthy bodily functions) and a "new sensibility" (which viewed sex as life's central act). Horowitz offers a sharp and insightful scholarly examination of these conflicting frameworks, steeped in 19th-century history, cultural politics, religion, legal battles, science and medical practices. Her work addresses conflicting attitudes toward sexual knowledge, erotica, birth control, masturbation, abortion and obscenity laws, previewing the passionate cultural battles that continue to grab headlines today. 86 illus. --Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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