Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: Sex and Politics in Early by Elaine Pagels

By Elaine Pagels

The disgust felt through early Christians for the flesh was once an intensive departure from either pagan and Jewish sexual attitudes. in reality, as Princeton professor Pagels (The Gnostic Gospels) demonstrates, the ascetic circulate in Christianity met with nice resistance within the first 4 centuries A.D.

Sex grew to become absolutely tainted, inextricably associated with sin lower than the lessons of Augustine. This afflicted sinner invoked Adam and Eve to justify his idiosyncratic view of humanity as completely scarred by way of the autumn. rather than being brushed aside as marginal, Augustine's grim outlook took carry, in response to Pagels, since it was once politically expedient. Now that Christianity had develop into the imperial faith, Rome sought after its imperfect matters to obey a powerful Christian country. This hugely provocative background hyperlinks the spiritual roots of Western sexual attitudes to women's inferior prestige throughout the centuries.

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Doris Wishman rode the nudist-camp wave, producing Hideout in the Sun (1960), Diary of a Nudist (1961), Nude on the Moon (1962), and Gentlemen Prefer Nature Girls (1963). Herschell Gordon Lewis filmed a series of nudist-camp films in Florida, such as Daughter of the Sun (1962) and Nature’s Playmates (1962). The production of a nudist-camp film was relatively simple and inexpensive. The movies were either shot on outdoor locations with models in the roles of nudists or compiled from footage of real nudists at real nudist colonies or a combination of the two approaches.

Because nudity or sex was often crucial to anchoring the films’ realism and did not seem to be purely exploitive, European movies successfully challenged the vitality of the Production Code. In 1966, Antonioni’s Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Festival, BlowUp, became the first film distributed in the United States by a member of the MPAA, MGM, which showed on-screen full frontal female nudity—two teenagers at that. The two unnamed girls (played by Jane Birkin and Gillian Hills) trade sexual favors for a photo shoot with the film’s main character, Thomas (David Hemmings).

This tactic involved considerable legal risks. Sexploitation was far from a strictly small-town phenomenon. In cities that did not ban them, sexploitation movies were mainly exhibited in run-down theaters called grind houses. Because skid rows supplied most of the urban audience, media accounts often equated the audience for sexploitation movies with white male, lower-class skid row loners and misfits. This marginal, impoverished urban space and its marginal inhabitants buffered sexploitation filmmakers from the constant threat of legal prosecution and ensured that their movies attracted less attention.

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