Friday, January 30, 2009

Centrefold Venus of the Month: Joelle Corio, Penthouse October/November 1966

Due to a request from a reader (we're frankly amazed that there are any at all!) we present all of the  pictures of Mlle Joelle Dorio from Penthouse from 1966.

This was the fourteenth issue of Penthouse and was labelled October/November.  As the magazine was launched in march 1965 this should have been the twentieth issue but Guccione was struggling to get an issue out a a month at this point.

They had been having  problems with printing enough copies, due to the high demand for the new magazine. Penthouse wouldn't manage 12 issues in a year until 1968.

These pictures were taken in Corsica by Philip O Stearns, the magazine's art director. Although this was the fourteenth issue Joelle was only the thirteenth Penthouse Pet as the first Pet of the Year, Amber Smith, had also been Pet in September 1966 as well as her original pictorial in October 1965. In the first year the Pet of the Year replaced the Pet of the Month and wasn't in addition to her as in later years.

This was the first time Penthouse had shot a pictorial abroad. The magazine must have been making money! This picture is also  the first time a Penthouse Pet had been photographed in water!

Joelle was from Brittany and was nineteen when these pictures were taken. Rather depressing to think that she would be over sixty now!

There was lots of nonsense about this being her horse and it being called l'Aiglon (eaglet) which was a nickname of Napoleon's son.  All too much Corsican coincidence, we feel.  Never mind, there's nothing like a naked French girl astride a stallion.

Here is Joelle displaying the sort of extreme tan lines that Agent DVD likes so much.

This is a nice painterly photograph!

It's really nice to see a Penthouse Pet outside somewhere obviously warm instead of the waterfall at Virginia Water or Richmond Park as they had inflicted on the poor girls previously!

A nice smile to finish!

We never expected to find any more pictures of Joelle as most of Penthouse's early Pets were amateurs and never posed again.  In fact, early on, they could only be Pet of the Month if they hadn't posed for another men's magazine.  But here, in Men Only from July 1967 we have another centrefold pictorial featuring the lovely Joelle.

Now the Penthouse pictorial was shot in Corsica and claimed Joelle was of Breton stock.  The Men Only pictorial says she is from Corsica but now lives in Paris where she works as a model and actress.  Both could be correct, of course.  

Anyway, here she is skipping about in fishnet tights and a mini dress and acting as a distraction to artists.

Here she is looking pensively Gallic inside.  These pictures were taken by the great French photographer Serge Jacques of Paris-Hollywood magazine fame.  He also took some famous shots of a young Brigitte Bardot at the Cannes film festival.

Amazingly Jacques is still taking pictures of beautiful, naked women having worked for just about every major men's magazine and having been working for six decades.

Jacques manages to get some lovely smiles out of Joelle and here she is just the sort of fantasy French woman you would want to see having a cup of coffee in your apartment in the morning.

Men Only's centrefold girls were all shown in black and white, apart from the centrefold shot itself at this time.  Penthouse had gone full colour a year before and, indeed, Joelle's Pet of the Month pictorial was only the third all-colour one.

So here she is in her lovely colour centrefold shot displaying her 38-25-36 figure to splendid effect.

Venus revealed: The Pubic Wars 5

Laura Misch, February 1975

NOTE:  This post has been replaced by my series of the Pubic Wars which goes into the matter in far more detail.  Just look at the appropriate section in the sidebar to the right.

Whilst Playboy decided not to follow Penthouse down the exposed labia route it came up with an approach that has since stood them in good stead by enabling them to show enticing spread legs shots without being too explicit: see-through lingerie. Here, Playboy Playmate of the Month for February 1975, Laura Misch, gives us Playboy’s first spread legs centrefold whilst remaining relatively modest.

The following month, after four months of modest Playboy type poses Penthouse came back with Susan Ryder in a new soft-focus style which would be characteristic of Penthouse for over a decade. Whether this style was a clever way to get more explicit shots through or was just Guccione genuinely following an impressionist bent is not clear. We suspect a little of both.

Marguerite Cordier August 1975

The rest of 1975 saw Penthouse following this soft-focus approach as some of the girls showed their bits and some didn't. Increasingly, too, Penthouse was showing soft-core faux masturbation shots like this one of Marguerite Cordier from August 1975. You can't help thinking that Penthouse wouldn't have come up with something this bold without the vaseline on the lens approach.

December and January were often the issues where both Playboy and Penthouse would push the limits of what was acceptable (coming as they did just before subscription renewal time) but Penthouse's Miss December 1975, Susan Waide’s, pictorial was rather modest by the Penthouse standards of the previous few months, when a lot of soft focus labia had been in evidence. This all changed with her centrefold where the soft-focus had been dialled back and Susan was shown in all her glory.

Susan Waide, December 1975, gets her bits out in crystal clear clarity
Playboy hadn't quite retired defeated and in January 1976 gave us Daina House indulging in some very un-Playboy like self appreciation.

Daina House has a little feel in January 1976
This was nothing compared with 22 year old French Canadian Laura Favie's pictorial, however. There was no more waiting by Penthouse after pushing a boundry. After Susan Wade's clear pussy centrefold Laura had this full page picture.

In March 1976 we got Playboy's final salvo in the Pubic Wars shape of Anne Pennington. Anne's sister Janice had been one of the first Playmates to show her fur in May 1971. Anne showed a lot more than Janice however, flashing her bits in several photos including this one which would really be the high water mark for Playboy explicitness for many years to come.

Anne Pennington gives us a very naughty shot for Playboy in March 1976

Just to show that Playboy wasn't going down without a fight we have Patricia Margot from May 1976 who flashes her bits as well.

Patricia Margot, May 1976

Playboy's Debra Peterson also had some pretty bold poses in June but they were nothing compared to Penthouse's Miss June Anna Grimwood. Anna was an English girl who had been flown to Rome for her pictorial whilst Bob Guccione worked on Caligula there.

Anna Grimwood pictured with Caligula scripwriter Gore vidal and star Malcolm McDowell. They think they're making Art!

In fact, Anna's pictures were taken in Caligula screenwriter Gore Vidal's Rome apartment. It's not clear if Anna appeared in Caligula or not. We suspect not as her pictorial said that the film hadn't started shooting at that point. The other dozen or so Pets who did feature flew out to Rome the following year.
Anna does really, really naughty

Whatever, Anna's pictorial was the most explicit Penthouse had ever done. She was the first Penthouse Pet to do the pussy from the rear pose and in her rear-end masturbation shot became the first Penthouse girl to show her anus.

Anna's centrefold takes no prisoners

Playboy decided not to compete in this area and the girls who did show a glimpse of their labia disappeared. They only resurfaced in Hefner's magazine in late 1983 and 1984 when Playboy was facing a challenge from cheap pornographic videos for the first time.

For Penthouse 1976 was undoubtedly the year of the pussy culminating in two extreme photographs. Firstly, non-Pet Colleen carney in the August 1976 edition presented what looked very much like Penthouse's first aroused labia.

Suzanne sticks it in

Secondly, in October 1976 Suzanne Saxon was photographed with the tip of her finger actually in her vagina. It would be a long time until even Penthouse was bold enough to try this again.

The final unanswered shot of the Pubic Wars, at the tail end of the seventies, would be from Amber Ramsay, photographed by John Copeland for December (traditionally a Penthouse barrier pushing month) 1978. Petite ballet dancer Amber was photographed squirming around on a staircase and quite unexpectedly had this one shocking shot of her with a pink, wet pussy.

An excited Amber Ramsey
There is probably a need for just one last episode to bring the subject up to date!

Look & Learn style Venus: Lady Godiva

The first Look & Learn we owned, from 1967

Agent Triple P learnt much of what he knows about the world from the splendid magazine Look & Learn which he subscribed to from about 1967 until 1978. Indeed, much of our current knowledge about science has never really progressed beyond that period leaving us still believing that a Brontosaurus (which now no longer ever existed!) needed to stand in water to help support its weight. We should have had a Mars mission years ago, domestic robots and all sorts of other splendid things predicted for the world of the future (i.e. about 1999).

The best thing about Look & Learn, for a budding artist like Triple P, were the wonderful paintings on the cover and inside.

Artists Like Ron and Gerry Embleton and Angus McBride were the top illustrators of the time and produced some memorable covers with even more memorable headlines such as this one by Gerry Embleton entitled "captured by Chinese bandits!", one of my favourites.

We are lucky enough to own an original McBride, painted for Look & Learn of another famous woman from British history, Boadicea (none of this revisionist Boudicca nonsense). Best of all was the brilliant comic strip The Trigan Empire illustrated by Don Lawrence, original paintings of which now sell for thousands of pound. Sadly, the magazine folded in 1982 but recently a company acquired the rights to the magazine and the illustrations and came out with a 48 issue reprint of selected articles which Agent Triple P was very happy to be a founding subscriber to.

So we were amused to find this picture of Lady Godiva which has a real Look & Learn feel to it. Perhaps if Britain had been more like France in the 1960s Look & Learn would have used more naked women in their paintings! No doubt it would have looked something like this:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Equine Venuses: Lady Godiva on camera

As we have noted the image of a naked girl on a horse is a strong one and sometimes pops up in photography, but not as often as you would think. Probably because not only do you need a girl who's happy to take her clothes off but you also need a girl who feels comfortable on a horse. We have a few examples in our collection:

Bo Derek (whatever happened to her?) in Bolero (1984)

We were never entirely convinced by Bo Derek. She had rather thin lips for our taste and her body was a bit straight up and down, apart from having her bust stuck on the front in an unconvincing way. I think it is a bust/waist/hip proportion problem. Her shoulders were too large for her hips to look right.

Secondly, we have Joelle Dorio, Penthouse Pet of the Month for October 1966, photographed by Philip O Stearns in Corsica. Joelle presents an altogether more harmonius prospect we feel.

Here is Liz Stewart, Playboy playmate of the Month for July 1984 on her horse on a rather gloomy looking Californian beach. This is what the beach always looked like in Baywatch, as it was always filmed in the off-season. Brr!

This young lady demonstrates the danger of searching "naked girl" and "horse" because although she looks quite presentable here the rest of her pictorial promised that she would be "interacting" with the horse. Er, yes. Not really our thing. She's probably a German.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

American Venus: Gloria Root

Gloria's centrefold

In our research for our Pubic Wars articles one of the pioneering young ladies featured was Gloria Root who was Playboy Playmate of the Month in December 1969. Gloria is widely regarded (well, by Wikipedia) as being the firts Playmate to have shown a few strands of pubic hair in her centrefold. Agent Triple P's research, however, shows that there are several other claimants to that particular first. Nevertheless Gloria was a pioneer and gave us these three naughty-for-the sixties shots.

A very classical Venus (Venusian?) pose from Gloria

Now, contrary to some people's opinion Agent Triple P has never been of the view that women are some sort of lower and inferior order. Rather the reverse, in fact, having been brought up in, essentially, an all female household with an extended family of very strong women. Yet many people are surprised that female models, particularly if they do nude work, are likely to be anything other than on the dim side. These people would not expect a Playboy Playmate to be a successful businesswoman in any area other than, say, producing porn films or designing lingerie. So Agent Triple P feels that he should (whilst admittedly appreciating their charms) give kudos to a number of pin-up models who have gone on to something other than the singer/actress area.

Gloria M. Root was born on 28 May 1948 in Chicago, Illinois. A petite girl, 5'2" and seven and a half stone, she worked for a telephone company but left after doing Playboy and travelled to Greece with her Playboy fee and her boyfriend where she was imprisoned on a drugs charge (which she always claimed was a frame-up). On returning to the US she went to Rhode Island School of Design and received both a bachelor of fine arts and a bachelor of architecture. She moved to California and gained admission to UC Berkeley's School of Environmental Design, where she received a masters in architecture and a masters in city planning. Gloria established her own firm, Planning Analysis & Development, in San Francisco in 1980 which she headed until 1998 when she moved to New York. In New York, Gloria managed the Strategic Planning Services division of the large architectire firm, Skidmore Owings & Merrill. She returned to San Francisco in 2002 to become project manager of Auberge Resorts followed by a senior position with RBF Consulting. She also sat on many planning committees for the Mayor of San Francisco, and was a member of the Board of Directors of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research where she held positions on the Executive Committee and Advisory Committee.

She died of cancer on January 8 2006 and her obituary (which did not mention her Playboy appearance) noted that she was a foodie, a dancer, a skier, and a runner. "Of all her accomplishments, however, the power of Gloria's mind was the most remarkable. Few possessed her ability to probe and debate current events with such intellectual horsepower and insight".

So brava, Gloria, not only did you have just the sort of look and form that Agent Triple P likes but you dared to bare at a time when this was almost unheard of and then went on to make a successful career in a very technical area.

A pin-up with power!