Category Archives: hedonism

Gratuitous nudity #12

Strip-tease en erotiek

Dutch translation cover

Huguette Delorme

French original cover

Yesterday, I went to Tuf Tuf, a not-so-reputed second hand book store on the South of Antwerp, my neighbourhood. It’s a real drag to hunt for books there: not enough space, books not arranged alphabetially, battered copies. But sometimes gems are to be found, I picked up a copy of Midnight Movies there once. Aside from this, they specialize in erotica. I spotted two Georges Pichard books yesterday priced at €86 each. I don’t think I’ve mentioned the canonical Pichard here before, his work is super-relevant today, as the good people at have brought his ultra-pornographic vision to life.

Back to the subject at hand, me at Tuf Tuf yesterday. I bought Moderne Liefde, an anthology of short stories which previously appeared in Playboy Magazine (with a story by Borges, whose only hint at eroticism I’ve yet seen has been in his story Ulrica), Striptease en Erotiek[1] (a Dutch language translation of Strip-tease et érotisme[2]), De Leidraad (Le Lien) by Vanessa Duriès, and Erotiek by Francesco Alberoni.

Above, I’ve shown you the covers (above the translation I bought, below its original) of Strip-tease et érotisme, the actual object of this post.

Histoire et philosophie du strip-tease : Essai sur l’ érotisme au music-hall, as its full title reads,  was written by François des Aulnoyes, to my knowledge one of the very few books he’s written. The book deals with striptease, what makes it interesting is that it was published in 1957, strictly speaking a couple of years before the sexual revolution. The text is hogwash and very briefly invokes Lucien Lévy-Bruhl, Émile Durkheim, Vilfredo Pareto and Freud, these are the only sources mentioned. Its historic overview also mentions Janine Jan and Anne Bruneau as 19th century predecessors to French striptease.

What makes the book interesting are the photographs by Roland Carré, see the cover shot of Huguette Delorme above. Like I said, the pre-sexual revolution mode, with all reference for example to pubic hair airbrushed away (this was the pre-Photoshop-age).

Following models are featured: Melody Bubbles, Clara Saint-Honoré, Sheiba Scott (very sexy), Vera Bell, Japanese model Yoko Tani, Flora Balmoral, Ketty Rogers, Luce Aubertin, Rita Renoir, Tony Teaser, Lola Stromboli, Sidonie Patin, Dodo d’Hambourg, Dora Bell, Magda (of the Concert Mayol), Kitty Tam-Tam, and Rita Cadillac.

Who was Roland Carré?  The only person I know who can answer that question is Au carrefour étrange.

Gratuitous nudity #11 and Icon of Erotic Art #32

sophie dahl by modelvancouver

Sophie Dahl, i-D, 1997

Sophie Dahl first came to my attention with her Opium (perfume) ad[1].

Today, following a link that started[2] at Trevor Brown‘s blog, which celebrated Takashi Itsuki‘s acrotomophiliac eroticism, which backlinked[3] to the new magazine Coilhouse (amazing new magazine, started as a blog in Aug 2007), I arrived at the photography of Nick Knight. On his site, one finds this image[4] (first published in i-D, 1997), which frankly, leaves me sick with desire. Just what is it that brings on this sickness? It’s the softness of her skin, the presumed quality of her fatty tissue, the pot belly and the pear-shaped breasts. And the nails. Amen.

This is a first for my series, where an image is both an instance of gratuitous nudity and an Icon of Erotic Art.

The bawdy origins of rock and roll

“You probably don’t doubt that the origins of rock and roll are bawdy in nature. You’ve read Gershon Legman and his fellow travelers to take note. You know why Scheherazade was not killed by the king.


Yet you don’t know American record label Federal Records and their 1951Sixty Minute Man[1], on which a male singer boasts of being able to satisfy his girls with fifteen minutes each of “kissin'” “teasin'” and “squeezin'”, before “blowin'” his “top.” The single reached #1[2] on the R&B chart in May 1951 and stayed there for a 14 weeks. “Sixty Minute” defined what was to become rock and roll which has always been about wine, women and song. —The bawdy origins of rock and roll, Sholem Stein, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1998, in a Pleasantville review.”

Note by the editor: “Big Long Slidin’ Thing” is another example in the category “dirty blues,” an often-overlooked category in rock and roll historiography.


Sixty Minute Man,” “Big Long Slidin’ Thing[3] and “Number One” (the Patrice Rushen song, which I managed to sneak in by footnote) are WMC #72, 73 and 74.

Gratuitous nudity #8

Lest I be accused of too much theory, it is time for some gratuitous nudity, number 8 in our series[1].

Love in the year 2000, in Paris Tabou

Source: [Bxzzines]

This picture, taken from an unknown issue of Paris-Tabou, comes our way via Bxzzines[2], the blog on French obscure magazines.

This particular photo depicts a nude female embraced by a robot. The title is “L’amour en l’an 2000”, love in the year 2000. If we consider the robot as dressed, we can categorize this picture as belonging to the nude female/dressed male trope, should this notion to be far-fetched, it can still qualify to shed light on the sex and science fiction trope.

Paris Tabou was a French pin-up magazine published from September 1949 until 1953. Possibly taking its name from the Tabou Club, it published pin-up girls and stories by such authors as Boris Vian, who contributed L’Amour est aveugle, published in its first issue in 1949). Illustrators included the Italian Gino Boccasile.

Do not be surprised if it turns up at the excellent blog PonyXpress[3], the author of which has just favorited it at my Flickr stream[4].

It must be spent, willingly or not, gloriously or catastrophically

Furthering my research on Georges Bataille‘s general economy[1], helped by Valter‘s kind comment, it occured to me that the Marxian notion of surplus product is very similar to Bataille’s excess. The two notions and can only lead to wasteful spending such as luxury or war.

Thus, we read on page 21 of volume 1 of The Accursed Share:

“The living organism, in a situation determined by the play of energy on the surface of the globe, ordinarily receives more energy than is necessary for maintaining life; the excess energy (wealth) can be used for the growth of a system (e.g., an organism); if the system can no longer grow, or if the excess cannot be completely absorbed in its growth, it must necessarily be lost without profit; it must be spent, willingly or not, gloriously or catastrophically” (v. 1 p. 21).

If the “excess energy” or “surplus product” is spent “gloriously”, we call it luxury, if spent “catastrophically”, it is war. Notions that connect are pure war by French philosopher Paul Virilio and the military-industrial complex.

While researching The Accursed Share, I also happened on the blog with the same name[3] by Nick Srnicek and Kieran Aarons, which features two astounding photos, a shot of Cairo with the Pyramids as backdrop [4] by unknown (credits anyone?) and a photo[5] by German-born photographer Michael Wolf belonging to his “densities” project.

Everything feels fucked up. The environment, the economy, war, terrorism, …

It is time for WMC #54


You Can’t Always Get What You Want“by Soulwax

I may have dismissed Philip Sherburne‘s piece on the current state of beats too quickly in my recent comment.[1]

The piece came my way via Simon Reynolds[2] a couple of days back:

Philip Sherburne addresses the malaise in electronic dance culture (i didn’t know the economic side of it had gotten that parlous) and convenes a kind of brain trust to come up with remedies.” —Simon Reynolds

And thus starts Sherburne’s piece:

Everything feels fucked up. The environment, the economy, war, terrorism, …” Philip Sherburne [3]

Regarding the economic side Sherburne says:

“Still, dance music is suffering from some very real maladies, many of them economic. Record sales are declining– labels that once could confidently move 1,000 copies of a 12″ single now struggle to sell 250– and legal downloads, while presumably growing, aren’t taking up the slack.”

As I said in my comment I find it hard to imagine that beats are going out of fashion.

Witness these beats set to The Stones‘s “You Can’t Always Get What You Want[4] remix[5] by Belgian dance-punkers Soulwax. Listen for the choral arrangements by Jack Nitzsche.

Regarding beats going out of fashion from a theoretical point of view.

The beat is a celebration of dance, dance is a celebration of hedonism. Hedonism flourishes in economic booms. Today is an era of poverty. Beats do not fit in poverty. Perhaps. But. Counter example one: the beats of Lindy Hop during Depression America. So evidence inconclusive, but if I had to investigate I would follow the economic boom/malaise route.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want” in its original Stones version is WMC #54

Henry Scott Tuke @150

Sunbathers by Henry Scott Tuke

Sunbathers by Tuke

Today would have been Henry Scott Tuke‘s 150th birthday. Tuke, (12 June 185813 March 1929), a British painter and photographer, is best remembered for his homoerotic paintings of naked boys and young men, which have earned him a status as a pioneer of gay male culture. His nude adolescent boys were depicted doing everyday activities; his images were not overtly erotic, nor did they usually show their genitals.

Do not disturb

“Can desire, the anticipation of pleasure, ever truly be photographed? No one has done it as well as Chas Ray Krider, and no one has equaled his blend of salaciousness and subtlety.” — Esparbec, writer, Paris 2007

Enter Motel Fetish

A new book by “Motel Fetish” Chas Ray Krider

[FR] [DE] [UK]

Chas has a blog with photos like this one. His latest book, Do not Disturb, was published by French imprint/bookseller La Musardine. For a good Esparbec cover, click here.

Introducing August Darnell

[FR] [DE] [UK]

August Darnell aka Kid Creole (Montreal, Canada, 12 August, 1950) is a Canadian musician who has been involved in several dance-oriented projects in New York in the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s. Projects include Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band[0] (led by Darnell’s brother Stony), Don Armando’s Second Avenue Rhumba Band[1], Gichy Dan’s Beechwood #9, the “mutant disco” of Aural Exciters and, of course, Kid Creole and the Coconuts[2], as well as “solo” projects involving Andy “Coati Mundi” Hernandez[2,5], Taana Gardner[3], Fonda Rae[4]. and Lizzy Mercier Descloux[5]. Some of the more (and less)obscure offerings of Darnell have been released on an music compilation in 2008 by Strut Records as Going Places: The August Darnell Years 1976-1983.

Click the number to listen to the tracks, not all tracks are Darnell projects, but also just of the artists mentioned.

Fonda Rae in Machine’s “There but for the Grace of God Go I”[4] is world music classic 38, and has an interesting bit of music censorship history behind it, perhaps more on that later.

2 x Rita Cadillac = 2 x guilty pleasures

Rita Cadillac

“Ne touchez pas à l’animal” (1971) by Rita Cadillac via au carrefour étrange

“É Bom Para o Moral” (1984) by Rita Cadillac

The first Rita is French, she was an exotic dancer of the generation of previously mentioned Rita Renoir, the tragedienne of strippers. The title of her single reads “Do not touch the animal”.

The second Rita is Brazilian and her song translates as “It’s good for the moral”. It’s an outrageously uplifting Euro-dance song of the same mantle that holds Lou Deprijck, the virtually unknown but at the same time one of the most successful Belgian music producers ever, of whom I’ve given you guilty pleasures #7 and Que Tal America.

What Lou and Rita share is a love of the Brazilian thing, logical for Rita since she is Brazilian, logical for Lou since he loves party music and Brazilians have been very apt at producing party music.