(Copyright - 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)



It was either the best or worst of times.

Real estate was soft, penises were hard, morals were loose, and a lost generation of wayward young exhibitionists had converged upon the metropolitan underbelly, ripe for action.

Terri could not have been more than 18, a chestnut-maned callipygian cupcake whose humid eyes bubbled with diseased vitality.  I had not known her for even an hour and already we stood naked together, anticipating our moment of merged mucosae

These were the glory days of commercial concupicience?a time when libidos ran wild, if not free.  I was being paid one hundred 1974 dollars by director Lech Kowalski?downtown Manhattan's  answer to Roman Polanski'to commingle my flesh with Terri's beneath the 16mm camera's unblinking gaze.  For an additional $100 consideration, Lech was also using as the film's location my dreary Greenwich Village apartment.

Terri and I awaited our cue to play a scene of "bloody?, sexually explicit psychodrama in the loosely  scripted opus  New Loops?which was conceived by its director as an X-rated lampoon of the sexploitation thrillers then popular in many of the crumbling beaux arts movie palaces lining New York City's once-notorious 42nd Street.

Special effects was off-brand ketchup: grand guignol on a beer budget.  It was nothing short of form following dysfunction.

At 22 febrile years of age?and the product of era when relentless sexual exploration was widely touted as the key to a better life?I could not have imagined a sweeter gig.

From earliest adolescence, I had been transfixed by the interplay of dirty art and arty dirt?and their visual power, unrivaled except by religious relics, to produce glandular responses.  All this and less was mine at last. 

Urban civilization had broken down into two opposing tribes, the voyeurs and the exhibitionists?each feeding on the others? paraphilia .

Skin magazines celebrating an emergent pornutopia were side-by with  Life and Time  on suburban newsstands. Garish storefronts and marquees with flame-orange exteriors sprouted seemingly overnight in virtually all of America's increasingly derelict downtowns and post-industrial  outlands.

Jism flowed likefossil fuel  as peepshows and other "adult? "entertainment? enterprises gushed dollars for the mob and other laissez-faire capitalists  of the day. . 

The zeitgeistly message was "Do It!??closely followed by its corollary, "Fuck It!?

Rejoicing in the discovery that I wasn't alone in my conviction that the sex that mattered most was the sex that happened onscreen?I moved eastward to Manhattan, determined to go through the looking glass.

Fortuitously, the boomtown climate offered a place before the camera's prurient gaze for even a modestly endowed dreamer like me. 

Despite director Lech Kowalski's blunt filmic disinterest in orchestrating acts of arousal as a mafia subcontractor he was obligated to reel in  a certain amount of hardcore sex for theatrical exhibition.  In the years to come, the sleekly enigmatic Lech would attain a certain global cultdom for his Sex Pistols tour documentary, D.O.A; in the meantime, he had a demonstrated flair for eliciting scenes of maximum degradation from his 'talent?, as well as always bringing in his pornos under budget.

In pursuit of this worthy objective, my Greenwich Village living room had been festooned with swaying chains, bondage devices and other dungeony brac-a-brac in a bargain-debasement milieu of Gothic creepiness.

Cables snaked throughout the premises, lighting units dangled from trusses, and Lech's camera crew huddled around the Arriflex awaiting the maestro's signal.

Also colonizing this already suffocating mise-en-scene was a clutch of carnal cosmopolitans including the highly recognizable  and semi-legendary screen stud Marc "Mr. 10 1/2? Stevens?whose genitalia would be eternalized in at least one Robert Mapplethorpe  still life?and top-heavy temptress Darby Lloyd Rains, an overly expressive blonde who went on to attain brief renown in the ponderously scripted crotch-opera Memories Within Miss Aggie.

Elsewhere in the apartment, lesser-known porners made themselves at home. In the kitchen, fixing herself a snack from the contents of my refrigerator, was "UltraMax?, a hard-living,

'...Terri slid a practiced hand between my butt cheeks and deftly stroked my personhood...'

late-thirtysomething Jewess with maternally sagging teats?who, because of, or despite,  her robust appetite for fellatio, was usually cast by porn directors as a cheap, plentiful  source of tragi-comic relief.   In the livingroom, a tousle-headed young toff named Jimmy Sweeney had stripped down and was nonchalantly airing his weighty equipment on the sofa as he smoked a joint?peculated from my carefully hidden stash, as was the small film cannister of coke from which "Mr. 10 1/2? and Darby Lloyd Rains were taking liberal toots.  

Nothing was sacred here?not even the profane.

Terri bore her ketchup like a pro.  Beneath the dribbling red condiment, her skin'translucently newt-like as was so often the case with urban adventuresses back then?glowed with dewy perspiraton.   She had barely even acknowledged my existence, but when Lech called out, "Places everyone!? Terri slid a practiced hand between my butt cheeks and deftly stroked my personhood.

Despite her youth, Terri was already an experienced "B-girl?, or bit player on Manhattan's porno circuit.


Terri looked up at me with the kind of liquid eyes usually reserved for long-lost Prince Charmings, or dying calves in hailstorms, and fitted her ample lips upon mine.


Terri and I went tumbling onto the set like two bobcats in a burlap bag, our extremities tangled, her mouth on my unit, my tongue inside her welcoming aperture.

Through Terri's legs, I could glimpse the director grinning fiendishly.

?Lick her ass!," commanded Lech.

I had never publicly licked anyone's ass before?or privately, either.

Without missing a beat, Terry rearranged her posterior, providing a direct line to her astonishly well-groomed anal pucker.

Terri's practiced lips kept me aflame as I tried to ignore the sound of Lech's chortling and focused instead in the not unpleasant task assigned me.

Simultaneously, manacled to the wall and shrieking blasphemies in the soundman's  direction was another non-pro: a friend of the mafia financiers to whom Lech was beholden?and who had agreed to play a "wraith? in exchange for a  one, that is, to Mr. 10 1/2.   Fortunately or not, this scene would be left on the cutting-room floor.

In the meantime, Terri and I writhed beneath the hot lights in a briny welter of ketchup as Lech guided us through a series of sodomitic postures.  Occasionally the camera was stopped and an assistant would thrust a light meter between our thrusting bodies.

With the mob associate affixed to my wall emitting such utterances as "Love is the law!? and "Get thee behind me!??plus  the sudden, flickering  luminance  of a strobe light upon Terri and me'the distractingly multi-sensory overload was such that every last molecule  of my youthful glandularity was required to approach orgasm.

Lech's experienced eye detected my ejaculatory onset.

 ?Keep it going?, he urged us as he moved in with the hand-held Arriflex S for the stipulated  "money shot". 

?We've got some good energy here...don't lose it.?

Terri, clearly no stranger to the money shot's importance, expertly swept her hair aside so that nothing stood between our act of oral-genital congress and Lech's camera.

?Don't get any on the lens?, he cautioned.

Just as my essence was about to pour forth for all to see, I experienced a frozen moment of recogniton:  So this is what it feels like onscreen.

Then everything went black.

I had gone through the looking glass. 

Lech's film was still being edited when, a couple of months later, I ran into his spectral soundman, Marc Slater, in Times Square.  It was the week that President Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace. Nihilism was in the air.  Do what thou wilt was the whole of the law.  Freelance soundman Slater was, at that moment, earning $7 an hour passing out promo flyers for The Intimate Room at 701 Seventh Avenue, one of the many $10 brothels then common in the vicinity. 

Times Square's shimmering streets of slime were a neon-drenched arpeggio of human frailty. Some aphorist once observed that there was a broken heart for every light on Broadway. By 1974, the inventory came to include hookers of every sex lining The Great White Way's  sidewalks?a hyperreal nightscape of skells, grifters and psychopaths swaying and gibbering in every doorway. 

Civilization was in a fucking shambles, but high-sensation urban esthetes like Marc Slater and me had dreams that could not be denied. 

Slater handed me a flyer promising "full service and total satisfaction." Obviously he did not recognize me with my clothes on.

As the crowds eddied and swirled around us, I handed the flyer back to Slater, saying, "New Loops, man! Don't you remember?  Jane Street??

I detected a glimmering of recognition behind his smoked lenses.  Then he broke out in a jagged smile: "Right!  You're the dude who splooged on Lech's fisheye lens.?

It turned out that Slater, one of the earliest Lech Kowalski disciples, was about to begin production on another darkly ironic porno satire.  And just to keep his Mafia investors happy, the working title of Slater's self-referential, Luis Bunuel-like   tragedy of manners was going to be In The Pink. Was I interested in helping out as a production assistant?

As befitting an emerging young hyphenate, film director-brothel publicist Marc Slater specialized in unknowns.  And the sexual personae he had rounded up for In The Pink  were destined to remain that way.

For his talent, Slater had scoured downtown's loose constellation of pre-punk nightspots?coming up with a platinum-blond waitress from Max's Kansas City and a narcoleptic coat-check girl from

'...a penis
only slightly more average
than my own...'

Club 82.  Also there was first-timer Lynn Leibowitz, a delicate-boned graduate student at Columbia University, who had answered Slater's  ad in The Soho Weekly News.  All three of the women came equipped with boyfriend-like attachments.

The set was on lower Fifth Avenue in an unrenovated loft accessed by an ancient, cage-style lift.

Lynn Liebowitz's boyfriend Brad?a pleasant-enough fellow with a penis only slightly more average than my own?had, anticipating the twin possibilities of stage fright and performance anxiety, abstained from sex for a week, in hopes of producing a memorable money shot.  What happened instead was that Brad-- no sooner than Slater called "Action!?-- let fly a pearlescent gout of erectoplasm across his girlfriend's  back.

The director's annoyance was unmistakeable. Orgasms were time, and time was money. And money was life. And life was art. 

As I handed Lynn a towel, our eyes met briefly and I reflected on her resemblance to practically every female I'd ever bedded or lusted after in college.  While I rolled out the props for the next scene, starring the Max's waitress and her bisexual boyfriend, I noticed that Lynn was watching me as she wiped Brad's exudate from her body. 

Slater brought on the waitress from Max's?who by any measure was a succulent specimen of post-modern femininity?and her boytoy with the veiny appendage.  By the time this twosome had finished their obligatory fucky-wucky, and Slater's camera had reeled in a successful money shot, Brad?who had been intently observing from the side?was ready to try again.

Offstage went the divan and the shojii screen, out came the Turkish rug.  Brad trotted over with the mannered athleticism of a star athlete being brought into play. He joined Lynn on the rug.  

 ?Places everyone....?, directed Slater.

 ?Camera rolling. Speed....ACTION!?

Brad, clearly nervous in the service, popped his wad almost immediately.

A sepulchral silence descended on the set.

Slater came over to where I stood.  I realized that I was still holding Lynn's towel.

 ?I need you for the money shot?, he said, almost pleadingly.

 ?But...they're  a couple?, I answered,  not wanting to appear too eager.  

 ?Bollocks?, sneered Slater. "On my set, there's no such thing as a couple. Now get your ass out there.?

Clearly this guy was a chip off the old Kowalski.

Tossing aside teeshirt, jeans and sneakers--I joined Lynn Liebowitz on the rug.

Up close, she was truly the kind of woman who drove undergraduates to slit their wrists, with that downy navel-to-pudendum meridian of hair so highly prized back then in the groves of academe.  Moreover, there was a tenderness, an ingenuousness to Lynn that was altogether lacking with Terri, who had vanished after our New Loops scene without so much as a goodbye.

?Here?, urged Lynn, "let me blow you.?

As her hand and lips worked me over, and I was just beginning to slip into the now-familiar porno trance, I overheard one of Slater's assistant's say in a hoarse whisper, "I swear this guy could be the Elliot Gould of porn!?

With the microphone boom dangling intrusively over our heads like a swollen sprig of heat-seeking mistletoe, Lynn and I were put through various stations of the carnal cross.

I was just beginning to forget that we weren't alone when I felt the rising sap.  Evidently, it showed in my expression, because the camera dollied in as I extruded a ropy spume of jizz.


 'that's the money, honey?, announced the director. "Break for lunch.?  

Lynn scampered off to her boyfriend.  The dampness of her most intimate sexuality still lingered upon my flesh.   I did not shower that night.  The next morning-- ripe with the memory of this woman-- I found myself desirous of more. I rang her up. Apparently she had given the matter some thought.

 ?I enjoyed fucking you the other day?, she said carefully. "But my heart belongs to Brad.?

 ?I thought we had something special going...?

 ?We did?, she replied. " And my advice to you now is-- forget it ever happened.? 

Thirty years later, I?m still trying.

In the meantime, there was the matter of Lech Kowalski's  world premiere at The Capital Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey, a gilt-edged deco ruin from a vanished era.  The mafia, abhorring vacuum, was milking the Capitol's cash-cow possibilities as a porno cinema that booked national rock-n-roll  acts on weekends. 

Up on the theatre's marquee, in lopsided letters, was the caption: "World Premiere Tonight: NEW LOOPS!!".    At street level, however, it seemed business as usual: a trickle of lonely males?a subclinical category once euphemistically known as 'the raincoat brigade?? spanning the generations from pimpled adolescents to crusty old dukes. 

A chauffeur-driven limousine pulled up to the curb, and out stepped New Loops? 'stars??including second-tier  smut siren Darby Lloyd Rains and professional erotomorph Marc "Mr. 10 1/2? Stevens.  There was no Hollywood-style fete to greet them, nor a single member of the press.  

In the theatre's lobby, Lech, weighted down by one of the very early video PortaPaks, recorded the entire spectacle as the Capitol's luckless porn patrons dove for cover.       

Cautiously, we took our seats in the vast, nearly empty, rank-smelling auditorium.   The lights went down, and Lech Kowalski's disquieting homage to anti-sexualty rolled: a grainy glandular gumbo accompanied by a deafening sound mix of shouts and groans.

Before long, scattered members of the audience were stamping their feet and shouting indignantly for their money back.  Someone launched a carton of popcorn at the screen.  A soda can followed.

I heard someone shout "Find new actors!? "  and realized they were referring to me. 

When the lights came up 55 minutes later in the near-empty auditorium?I noticed that the movie's other castmembers had already slipped away under cover of darkness.

And providentially-- because of my onscreen garnish of ketchup--no one recognized me as I furtively exited the world's first, and only, screening of New Loops.   ##  



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