I’ve spent much of my career working in cyber-security on a self-employed basis, which, from time to time gives me the luxury of being able to walk away from the corporate machine for a few months and follow my other passion: writing. I completed my last assignment at the end of Jan-20, and initially I thought I was going to begin work on Ferret #2. It turns out that I’m going to write Pornofish instead.
Over the years I’ve told many tales about my childhood, growing up in a northern fishing town. Compared to the cotton wool in which today’s youngsters are wrapped, the events of my pre-teen years are positively heart-attack inducing. Anyway, this is an aside – I’ll be publishing more about the real 1970s and some of the things we got up to in due course.
As the title of my forthcoming novel suggests, it involves porn and fish. To be fair, it’s about 99% fish and 1% porn – but as ‘fishporn’ is suggestive of something that Jacques Cousteau (a 70s favourite of mine) might watch, Pornofish it is.
I remember when softcore porn started to appear on the scene in the early 1970s. To us kids, there was no such thing as softcore and hardcore porn – we simply had mucky books or nuddie mags. Our dads kept such stuff well hidden and certainly didn’t show it to our mums. Sex was something to be embarrassed about, and performed in the dark. Anything hardcore was locked safely away, never mentioned and treated like the Crown Jewels. I remember the first time I saw hardcore porn – I was about 14 and a school friend of mine whose dad was a fisherman showed me a black and white magazine featuring men doing unspeakable things to ladies. I was shocked. I was even more shocked when he produced another mag that featured men doing it with an assortment of animals!
As memories are liable to corruption over time, I find myself in a position where for the sake of authenticity I must research the history of printed pornography in Great Britain. In the period in which I’m interested (1973/74), the easily available magazines were more fashion shoots with the odd flash of breasts. Full nudity was frowned upon, but that boundary was being pushed by the release of films such as Deep Throat (1972), Behind the Green Door (1973) and the Devil in Miss Jones (1974). The US releases left little to the imagination, but the UK versions had all the naughty scenes censored. The commercial success of these films opened the floodgates and ushered in what’s known as the Golden Age of Porn which ran until 1984. In 70s America, porn was shot on the East Coast – mainly in New York – using stage actors and actresses, who fearing for their livelihoods, used pseudonyms. Naturally, anything that happened in New York attracted the attention of the Mob, which led to some pretty interesting situations and a fear that the erotic movie business would become fully Mafia controlled. A landmark legal case in 1973 changed the ground rules for erotic movies by declaring that nudity and sex must be justified as part of the story-line, rather than the sole objective of the movie. This effectively kept porn out of mainstream cinemas, forcing it underground. With the advent of the video camera and cheaper movie production, the porn industry moved out to the West Coast, employing sex workers (strippers and escorts), resulting in the porn industry we see today.
Back to 1973. I remember people talking about Danish nuddie mags. This was what everyone wanted, and I’m pretty sure that Denmark was the country of origin for the mags I saw aged 14 and subsequently spent twenty years wishing I hadn’t. Logically, this means that Danish smut comprises the porno half of pornofish (haddock being the fish part). Now we need to know a bit more about the history of the Danish porn industry. You know those questions that you wish you’d never asked, and wish even more that you didn’t find out the answer to? Well, this is one of them.
Without further ado, let’s see what Wikipedia has to say about Danish Porn:
The first country in the world to legitimize pornography was Denmark in 1967. That year, the country legalized pornographic literature. Subsequently in 1969, it became the first nation in the world to legalize pictorial and audiovisual pornography.
People in Denmark have had free access to it ever since. There still are a few regulations: for example, pornography must be placed out of the eyesight of children, and it may not be sold to persons under the age of 15.
Prior to 2015 there were no specific restrictions against animal pornography and such affairs came under animal cruelty laws. If no harm or pain has been inflicted on the animal, such acts are not illegal. This changed in late April 2015, when Denmark passed a new law, making sex with animals illegal. This lack of legislation has allegedly made Denmark a center for the production of animal pornography. This accusation, however, was dismissed as a myth by Det Dyreetiske Råd, a legal council, which in November 2006 published an extensive report on the topic of animal sex.
So there you have it. It’s only in the last 5 years that the Danes have outlawed sex with animals. Prior to that, presumably as long as there were plenty of kisses and cuddles afterwards, everything else was on the table. I guess that the undeclared Golden Age of Danish Animal Porn which ran from 1969 – 2015 is finally over after 46 years. The moral of this investigation? If you’re Welsh or a Kiwi you’ve been unfairly smeared for sheep-based proclivities. It was the filthy Danes all along, with their fake accents, fake teeth and ginger wigs giving you sturdy patriots a bad name.