Monday, March 03, 2008

You know how to whistle, don't you Steve?

In this day and age, the word "subtle" isn't what it used to be. We discuss sex openly, chat about toys, positions and lovers, even the number and intensity of orgasms with often distressing candor. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, of course. However when I was lucky enough to score an early peek at "MAN OVERBOARD" by Lara Diamond, I was reminded why I adore old movies. Why the "noir" genre appeals to me so much, with its truly subtle sensuality that oozes sex rather than flaunts it. Go get this novel, my friends. It's fabulous!!!

But it also made me somewhat wistful for that age when women were "dolls" or "dames" - treated as something special by those guys who let their eyes roam over hips and curves with lustful appreciation. When car doors were opened without even thinking about it. When long gowns were expected for evenings and pants were something men wore to work. Sure, this is the glamorous take on the thirties and women have earned the right to stand shoulder to shoulder with men. No arguments from me on how right that is. Gender equality is a worthy goal and we should continue our battle to achieve it.

But...we've sacrificed something on the journey, I'm thinking. We've lost the art of subtle seduction. We've reached a point where sex is represented by a mostly naked model in skimpy silk and wings. Where commercials show people in bed and movies aren't considered complete unless somebody gets naked at least once. Nipples and breasts are all over the place and nudity is getting to be commonplace along with personally intimate sexual details. It's the twenty-first century, and mostly I'm okay with all this. I write hotly explicit sex scenes that readers seem to enjoy and I have fun doing it.

However, there are one or two moments when I think back to some of my favorite old films - the "Noir" films that linger at the top of the classic movie lists. And I wonder if we'll ever recapture that ability to be seductive with our clothes ON. If you don't think that's possible, then I invite you to check out the movie clip below. This is one of the HOTTEST scenes ever filmed, IMHO - sparks are leaping between Bogart and Bacall. It's in the eyes, the expressions and the dialogue. They're dressed but there's not a doubt in anyone's mind that the only thing they're thinking about at these moments is sex.

Lauren Bacall was (I think) nineteen when she filmed this particular movie. Yet to me, she exudes more flat-out sexual appeal in these few seconds than all the dimwitted blonde celebrities of today, combined with every Victoria's secret model ever photographed. If I had the choice to be a sex Goddess for the twenty first century, or a siren of the thirties - well, I know which one I'd pick.

And I defy a man to walk away from my question...."You know how to whistle, don't you Steve?"


Ciana Stone said...

Oh Sahara, I'm with you babe! While I enjoy all of the "in your face" openness of today's woman on sexuality and the way we embrace more explicit content in our books and films, I miss the days of old when there was as much heat in a look as in two people yanking their clothes off and going at it. When a kiss meant as much as a two hour session in the sack and when getting a woman naked was something to work for.

Bacall and Bogart definitely had the heat index high in this film and yeah, they did it fully dressed and without a single touch.

And as my neighbor (an older man who vividly remembers these oldies said). When Bacall said "Just put your lips together and blow" every man in the theater was glad it wasn't time to stand up and leave.

Now that was powerful stuff.

Thanks for the reminder, Sahara!! I think I may have to dig out some old DVDs and have a classic movie fest. I feel the pull :)

NathalieGray said...

Oooh, I love those movies. I was in love (still am) with Yul Brynner even back when I was 12. In Anna and the I (or is the The King and I...the first version anyway), he had this way of looking at the heroine, when he'd approach and stick his hand out to dance. Brusque but oozing sensuality. And fully clothed. Man! Whew!

Dani said...

I have to totally agree with this. I may love the steamy sex scenes, but I do like the older movies and the way just a look could cause a man to tremble (yes, I may be young, but I watched a lot of these movies with my Gran).

One of my favorite movies is Houseboat with Cary Grant and Sophia Loren. Just the way they looked at each other in that movie you could tell that there was more on their minds than just what they were saying.

N.J.Walters said...

I love the openness of today's world, but sometimes less is more.

Sally Painter said...

I love it all! (g) Did you really expect I wouldn't? It's a true artfrom to find that in-between and balance! Great post, Sahara!