Archive for July, 2016

The History of Sex – Part 214 – Sex & Star Trek

Posted on: July 28th, 2016 by Madison Lake No Comments

When Star Trek The Original Series (known by Trekkie superfans as TOS) burst onto the scene in 1966 it was a fresh, sexy new SciFi show that shook up the television industry.  It was the first show with a multi-racial, multi-gendered, and multi-generational cast.kirkuhura

Star Trek TOS was always revolutionary in its sexual politics.  It latched onto the mid-60s free love movement and assumed that in the future our universe would be even more sexually open than the present day, literally going “where no man has gone before.”  It featured women beyond the scope of housewives and girlfriends, casting them with (gasp!) real jobs like head of communications or even leader of a far off (apparently more progressive) planet.  And naturally, Captain Kirk was trying to woo them all!

In a truly revolutionary moment, 1968’s episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” featured a kiss between Captian Kirk and Lt.Uhura, the first inter-racial kiss ever shown on American television.  The behind-the-scenes story reveals that NBC wasn’t sure if they would actually show the kiss on TV and made sure to shoot an alternate kiss-free version of the scene.  But William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols knew that this was an important scene to air and they deliberately flubbed the shooting of the kiss-free version.  Nichols recalls Shatner even crossing his eyes, making the kiss-free scene unprintable!

Star Trek TOS was happy to push boundaries, featuring inter-species relationships and kisses between more than just white and black actors but white and green ones! kirk-alien-green

Star Trek The Next Generation (known by Trekkies at TNG) followed suit in terms of its inter-racial and inter-species relationships but not so much in its free love attitude  TNG is often considered the more mature and mainstream version of the outlandish and rebellious TOS.   

Series creator Gene Roddenberry promised to feature an LGBT crew member in the new series but died before it happened.  Many Star Trek actors (both TOS & TNG) have addressed the lack of LGBT representation on their show and have no valid reason for it, especially because the future their show represents is supposed to a be a very diverse and inclusive universe.

sulu-star-trek-beyond-john-choWhen J.J. Abrams was hired to reboot the franchise in 2009 he immediately addressed the issue stating that he was “frankly shocked that in the history of Star Trek there have never been gay characters in all the series”.  That being said, it took him until his third Star Trek film (“Star Trek Beyond” which opened last weekend) to right this wrong.  Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu a character famously played by George Takei in TOS is now the first openly gay character on Star Trek.  Abrams admits that making this latest incarnation of Sulu (now played by John Cho) a gay man with a loving husband and daughter was an homage to Takei who came out as gay in 2005.  Ironically the kiss between Sulu and his husband was cut from the final film.

Hopefully the next reboot will continue to go where no man has gone before and push the boundaries of sexual politics to show us a future that is an even more diverse and inclusive version of our universe.

  

The History of Sex – Part 213 – Mr.Pretty Woman

Posted on: July 21st, 2016 by Madison Lake No Comments

This week we mourn the loss of Garry Marshall who died quietly at age 81 on Tuesday.  He was a beloved writer, director,poster producer and actor who has been working in Hollywood since the late 1950s when he was only 25 years old.  Our parent’s generation know Marshall best for his TV work on Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple and Mork & Mindy while our generation knows him best for his romcoms, Runaway Bride, The Princess Diaries, Valentine’s Day and most famously, Pretty Woman. 

This fan favourite is what today’s article will focus on. No matter what Mr.Marshall made before or since, Pretty Woman is what he is probably most famous for.  The film was originally titled “3,000” (as a reference to how much Vivian the escort cost for a week) and was a much darker premise.  After an intense hunt for the lead actors (Al Pacino, John Travolta, Dennis Quaid, Sandra Bullock, Demi Moore, and Molly Ringwald were all potentials) Garry chose the practically unknown Julia Roberts as the young escort and the already dashing Richard Gere as the lonely wigbusiness man. 

For those of you who haven’t seen it (have you been living under a rock?) Pretty Woman is about a man (Edward) who needs a lovely woman by his side for business meetings, he finds a naive young prostitute (Vivian) and hires her to help charm his business partners, at first Edward & Vivian pretend it’s only a business arrangement but (SPOILER ALERT!) they fall madly in love and (hypothetically) live happily end sceneever after.  The film does not claim to have any basis in reality and it has been criticized extensively by sex workers who claim it is a far fetched fairy tale.  Like most romcoms, Pretty Woman IS a fairy tale and even ends with a Edward waving flowers and calling out “Princess Vivian!” from a white horse, in this case a limo, and  rescuing the poor maiden from a life of squalor.     

garry & juliaEveryone on set said that Gere and Roberts had fiery sexual chemistry from the get-go and its because of Roberts’ convincing allure that that Gere took the role at all.  Roberts was very shy and nervous during the filming of the sex scenes and Marshall supposedly got into bed with her and Gere to talk her through it and massage the tension vein that was popping on her forehead!  Another moment when Marshall used his famous hands-on directing style was when Vivian is watching “I Love Lucy,” Marshall was off camera tickling her feet with a feather getting her to laugh out loud in true Julia Roberts fashion.   

The film’s dark subject matter was made lighter by the choice of director and actors and that is probably why it remains one of the most famous romcoms of our generation.  It introduced America to Julia Roberts and her signature smile and solidified Garry Marshall as one of the funniest and most talented romcom directors of his time. 

Closed till August

Posted on: July 19th, 2016 by Madison Lake No Comments

Happy Summer. I’ll be back the beginning of August to carry on with our adventures. Till then, have a glorious summer one and all.  

Music Monday

Posted on: July 18th, 2016 by Madison Lake 1 Comment

Wilbur Gilroy has been sending me music to post on our Music Monday blog for months. I’m so darn picky, but here’s one of his suggested tunes to start your week. Enjoy…and thanks Wilbur!

Contrary to the screaming, arrogant pumpkin head we see on TV these days, Donald Trump was once one of America’s most handsome and eligible bachelors.  This week’s History of Sex will take a break from politics and look at the history of the wives of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.    wedding 1  

Ivana Zelníčková was born in Zin, Czechoslavak in 1949 and was an avid skier as a child. She was so successful that she was chosen as an alternate on the Czechoslavak Olympic Ski team in 1972.  Ivana earned her masters degree in Physical Education from Charles University in Prague in the early 1970s and soon after moved to Montreal to teach skiing and start modelling.  She was married to Austrian skier Alfred Winklmayr when she was just 22 but only to help her escape the communist bloc.  In 1976 Ivana’s modelling took her to New York and there she met the young (and not yet orange) Donald and were married the next year.  The New York power couple had three children: Donald Jr, Ivanka, and Eric.  trump + ivanaIvana was definitely not a stay at home mom, she was heavily involved in Trump Hotels, redesigning the interiors of many of them and famously acting as president the Plaza Hotel in New York.  The couple were happy publicly, fought publicly and divorced very publicly.  The Donald’s affair with 23 year-old model Marla Maples was on the cover of every gossip magazine and he even brought her on holidays with his family, putting her up at a hotel nearby so he could visit her.  One day on a holiday in Aspen, the two women met and confronted each other on the slopes, Ivana is rumoured to have warned Marla, “You bitch, leave my husband alone!”  Not long after this scandalous event Ivana won a $20 million divorce settlement. 

marla-maplesUp next, that very same mistress, American-born pageant winner Marla, married Donald in 1993.  At their wedding, Ross O’Donnell (who now publicly feuds with Trump) and OJ Simpson (no side note necessary) were in attendance.   Marla was born in 1963 in Cohutta, Georgia.  Her Mom was a homemaker and model and her dad was a real estate developer. She was homecoming queen at her high school prom and in her 20s she became an actress on Broadway, in films and as a celebrity guest on WWF Wrestlemania.  She and The Donald has one child together, Tiffany (named after the jewelry, so classy) who is the least active of his children on the election circuit these days.  The not so happy couple was divorced by 1999 after less than a decade together. 

melaniaTrump’s third and current wife, Melania Knauss (nee Melanija Knavs) was born to a poor family in Yugoslavia in 1970 and became a model in her teenage years.  Like the wives before her, it was her modelling career that brought her closer to Donald.  At 18, her career had taken Melania to Milan, then Paris and after that Trump Town, aka. New York City.  They first met at a swinging party at The Kit Kat Klub during Fashion Week in 1998 when he was separated but not yet divorced from Marla.  wedding 3At first, she refused to give him her phone number but his charm (?) obviously paid off and the couple wed in Palm Beach in 2005.  The wedding was lavish and over the top, in true Trump style, and was attended by some huge celebrities including Barbara Walters, Heidi Klum, P.Diddy, and even his current rivals, the Clintons!  Melania famously wore a $200,000 Dior dress designed by John Galliano.  Those who know the model report that she is just as intelligent as she is beautiful.  She speaks English, French, German, Italian, Sloven and Serbo-Croatian and studied architecture in University before dropping out in first year.  She and Donald have one child together, Barron William who is now ten years old and often likes to wear a suit and tie, prompting his mom to call him “mini-Donald”.  These days Melania is mostly seen by her husband’s side at various presidential campaign stops and has publicly called him a “genius” and that his win would be very good for the American people. 

We’ll see about that…