A hetero female’s take on Adult Theatre history, ABS and the modern war on gays in the USA

Hogarth, William   1731 before and after

Hogarth, William
1731 before and after

I like Adult Movie theatres for my own reasons but what I do not enjoy is seeing civic dictatorship by religious people, a small number of people deciding for the whole and making criminals of us all – particularly those in the gay community. At some point in our history we decided to force some kinds of sex down the dark alley: hookers, queers, kinky. I argue that we wanted some of, if not most sexual activities, including homosexuality, to be out of sight and out of mind but now people are going into those places and demanding it stop – and making it illegal. Shame is a public tool used in the USA and by attacking a person’s sexual activity we then attack them as an individual.

So you are thinking, I am a straight heterosexual being, so what do I care about all this; I don’t go to adult theatres anyhow. Their sexuality affects your sexuality – or you wouldn’t write ‘straight’ every time you post online for a hookup. Not only that but once all the queers are gone and their glory hole and nighttime ‘cruising’ park activities, whose sexuality do you think will be next? Kinky? Poly? Swingers?

Right now swingers clubs, couples spas or couples only theatres and some strip club activities are all fine and safe till they aren’t – I have not yet been to a swingers club that allows same sex couples, considering a large number of swinger men identify as bisexual. The strippers in this state (Indiana) have to cover up their nipples with pasties or nail polish under a health code. Soon made in California pornography is going to require all males to be wearing a condom, but eventually that won’t really matter because there are people who want sexual insertion to be blurred out on the internet. They have already started deciding what you can and can’t see online.

You might have to put yourself back into a time when marrying your high school sweetheart, working for the family business, having 3 kids, a dog, car and house were the social expectations. You either had gone to war or were about to go off to Europe but no matter where your boots ere on the ground being a homosexual was not tolerated. The history of Puritanical rule of law is not my concern today, it is the introduction of adult theatres onto an American landscape and how we are still unable to talk and understand human sexual behaviour as a people.

Early adult entertainment theatres in the 60’s gave way to the adult theatres of today. At first the public theatres were showing sexploitation films, which amounts to what we see today in our homes on TV as gratuitous titties, sexual violence towards women, or sexual simulation but by the time the 70’s came along adult theatres had made the move to full feature sexual adult films including homosexual movies. They did not simply crop up overnight like an unplanted flower, this movement of public adult sexual entertainment came from a much darker corner of our sexual history and isolation that we consciously chose to target. 

pompBefore we could easily acquire super 8 films in our homes there was paper, pen and paint. I would hope that we are all familiar with Roman whore houses and the paintings on the walls of Pompeii.  In these paintings we can see that male on male contact was happening, the whore had her place within society and though sex was pleasurable and it was acknowledged that everyone did it – sex was given some reverence through particular deities and ritual but most importantly the common use of medicinal cures and offerings of the venereal variety regardless of your social standing or gender.

Pen and paper can topple governments, comfort someone in isolation and inspire: including imagery. I like to believe that somewhere there was a scribble on a cave wall of a woman in sexual congress with beast or man or both but I have no evidence of that. What we do have evidence of are Greek vases and stone art from around the world that depict sexual activities even of the homosexual variety. Later as entertainment and political satire, some the equivalent of today’s smear campaigns, courtly lives included the artistic depictions of sexual acts and were commonly available. Some sexual paintings were not tongue in cheek or meant to shame or embarrass a certain social class rather a public acknowledgement of what goes on behind closed doors. In 1680 Aristotle’s Masterpiece, a sexual manual, became erotic entertainment during the Enlightenment era and was subsequently banned till the 1960’s.

Aristotle_2442086bSo it stands to reason that as soon as we are able to put down words or imagery of a particular human act, like hunting or gathering food, it would have included sex and all its many facets – even homosexual – and some of us wanted to see it because we identified with it or it excited us. Then came along puritanical laws where not only owning homosexual erotica but taking part in such acts was now illegal and even Oscar Wilde served his time in prison for it. Until the 1980’s the American Police officer was schooled to treat personal vibrators as illegal contraband in some states.

With the invention of cameras came the invention of paying to see it: for a nickel you could peek into a picture box and have 30 seconds of glory with a boowoman in her bloomers. Risque for the time to be sure but lucrative: sepia trading post cards of female mental patients in sexual poses or topless are still highly viewed with titillation. Technology does not only encourage expression but helps one capture it. As soon as American households had a video camera we began to see an underground movement to service the desire for banned or specialty products: the home movie, pictures, and magazines. These no longer had to be imported, now they were homegrown and at a cost and available, it was you, your wife, a hooker, the neighbors or even a male lover.

During the 30’s homosexual and hetero sexual acts were filmed and sold or shared amongst hobbyists. You had to know what you wanted, where to go and how to obtain this material. This must have been a wonderful technological advancement from black and white pictures which were also illegal to own. I know we like to think Betty Page as this great American Kink Goddess but she was just modeling underwear, dancing around and allowing herself to be photographed in posses with fetish items: I don’t believe she herself was kinky but rather a girl that needed a job.

How many young men remember spending alone time with mom’s new Sears Catalogue? I would say a few. Unfortunately social tolerance does not move as quickly as the availability of adult material and to be gay was still something a man had to cope with alone, though he loved his wife and children, he might never have had an opportunity to experience his sexuality unless through imagery.

So we have these movie theatres that are now showing man on man love and one only need walk through the door to find that when the velvet curtain is pulled back we are not so alone after all. I am not gay nor am I a man, but regardless of gender or time period I truly believe that on a human level we are social animals that just desire to belong. Having even one person who can ‘understand’ us or even available to listen can make a monumental impact on us, our feelings of isolation and alienation, and this includes sex. I wasn’t upset when Pee Herman was arrested in a porn theater – he was my beloved childhood star – but pissed off that this basically ruined a whole life of work and a career.

I have no problem in saying that adult movie theatres have an important marker in homosexual history that allowed a man anonymously to view and or physically take part in sexually pleasing acts. I am saying it still has one! Of course this then becomes a community, but aren’t all social movements for rights and acceptance started behind closed doors and in the dark?

I am only writing my opinion and what I know – I am angry and fearful, I know that my kink sensibilities aren’t socially excepted either, nor am I demanding we go out find an book store guy and tell him we got his back. It is the inability in an individual to apply empathy to a situation or person even if we do not agree with their choices and look at a bigger picture that angers me: and then incite hate in others with their piety. Those are the people I feel should be targeted.

I live in Indiana, a horribly economically depressed state that is a big bright buckle on the Bible belt. I think it is wonderful that God and the baby Jesus play an important role in your life and I know you want what is best for your children and this country. I just think that given a choice I would rather my police force, my tax dollars,  out working on shutting down meth labs, cruelty to animals, children, and oh I don’t know stop violence against women, throw that imagesmoney into education instead of harassing a few lonely consenting adult guys that go into a place and touch each other.

Today being gay isn’t illegal but acting on it has legal implication given current state laws and city ordinances: I fully understand that being gay in an adult theatre is not what is illegal, it is being naked, having men touch themselves in public (though it is a private building?) and other men and performing sexual acts but what is driving local Adult Bookstores in Indiana and elsewhere to close up glory holes, to have weekly raids, undercover police stings?

There are righteous women, men and queers that sit outside Theatair X in Clarksville Indiana, they are armed with cell phones and cameras, they will stand across the street and video tape people walking into the building, they then call the police and complain about sexual activities though they are not in or on the premises. I can understand how a police force feels under pressure. Would I go into that theatre? No. These women started a group that actively encourages other people to do the same in their area – I am not posting a link to them here – but they have videos on youtube.

On November 12 2012 3 people were arrested in the theatre: their names can be found online. A female police officer was sent in after a phone call complaining about sexual activity “ The female officer was approached by two men and are charged with patronizing a prostitute” and on January 2 2013 4 men were arrested in what is explained as a continued priority by police to go in and make arrests. Their names, and faces are posted online as is are the list of charges.

How is the owner supposed to offer services to patrons including hetero sexual couples that might just want to go in and watch a movie together and NOT engage in a sexual act, a safe place to do so – why would you go with those people outside and across the street? With the police busting in through the door? The people who take part in this fetish do not mess with people who are not up for it, they aren’t going to ruin a good deal.

Glory Holes are covered up under city ordinance that fall under the health and food safety code – any place having them open once told not too is fine under the act, even if the owners did not place the holes there themselves. College Street Adult Bookstore in Bloomington Indiana has a lovely new posh four story condominium next door, how long do you think till those living in that building , what is best described as Bloomington’s ONLY ABS, want it closed?

MV_ 2012.01.22.W7.02_thumb[1]Do not get me started on queer v queer anger: certainly not all these men are out of the closet, some of these men are married and wives unaware, and not all gay men are on the side of gay men because what I can best explain as ‘pottery barn or American eagle’ queers don’t much like the old drag queens anyhow. Gay communities have their own little social tiered system and there is nothing more hurtful and mean than a fucking angry gay man, trust me, I know.

Having incentives for couples to visit adult theatres are common, there are couples nights and discounts, but some of those hetero couples like to fuck in the theater – it is what they are there to do – I have yet to find a couple that have been arrested along with the hetero sexual men who were waiting in line with their dicks out for their turn. So is there a double standard here? Having couples go in do not make a business more legitimate, it is still after all public nudity non? If my tits were out and someone was touching them wouldn’t that get me the same charge?

The reality is, we know the majority of people who frequent these places are men, we know what is probably going on and I feel that gay men are the intended target or rather gay sex but as a woman who does walk into the back room it affects me what is happening.




One comment on “A hetero female’s take on Adult Theatre history, ABS and the modern war on gays in the USA

  1. kdaddy23 says:

    Let’s face it, the only legal sex in America is married sex and by that they mean man and woman. Anything else is considered immoral and since some states still have the old laws on the books, technically illegal even if it’s deemed to be unenforceable. Our culture continues to struggle trying to maintain our very ancient morality even in the face of constant changes in the human sexual dynamic.

    Let’s face this, too: People want to have sex and they are becoming less particular about who they do it with and even where they do it and, really, if the morally right want to raise hell about this, um, maybe they shouldn’t hang out in such places or make it their business to know who is fucking whom? Because as long as legal and consenting adults are doing whatever, whenever, and with whomever, what’s the big deal?

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