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My Favorite Porn Films: Nostalgia Edition

04/09/2013 05:03 pm ET | Updated Jun 09, 2013

In the '70s, if you wanted to see a porn film, you'd have to go to Times Square or to a handful of legit movie theaters uptown. There you'd find creepy men in trench coats who would masturbate a few rows in front of you as you watched a flick. (You didn't even have to pay extra for that!) Yes, it was tawdry, but also a little bit hot. There were always some couples in attendance, who were likely cheating on their spouses with one another. The vibe in the theatre was one of unabashed, raw sexuality.

Today, however, all you need is your laptop, a decent porn site like YouPorn, and the world of porn is at your fingertips. No need to worry about strangers enjoying themselves in your sight line.

Though I prefer the modern means of porn viewing -- privately and at home -- I'm sometimes wistful for the slower, less immediate method of porn consumption. The porn films I like best are the ones I saw in those public spaces in the '70s and '80s. What can I say? I'm a sucker for nostalgia.

When it comes to porn, there's still a lot of heat packed in some of the famous oldies but goodies. Here's a list of my 5 favorite porn films from the pre-Internet era:

1. The Devil in Miss Jones (1973)

This was the first porn film I ever saw and I remember it well. I was 13 or 14 at the time and went with a group of older friends. I didn't know what to expect from an X-rated film. I was shocked, embarrassed, self-conscious, and excited all at the same time. Some of the film's images stayed with me for years. The original film was so good, they remade it in 2005 with porn starlet, Jenna James.

The plot -- yes, porn movies can have plot -- is sexy and hilarious. It revolves around Miss Jones, a lonely spinster who commits suicide by slitting her wrists in the tub. Because she has lived a "pure" life until her final transgressive act, Miss Jones finds herself in afterlife limbo. She cannot get into heaven because of her suicide. Angered that this one indiscretion has disqualified her from a perfect afterlife, she begs a devil to let her become the embodiment of lust here on earth. And she makes up for lost time with everyone and anyone and anything -- including a snake and a bowl of fruit.

2. Debbie Does Dallas (1978)

This porn classic follows a group of high school cheerleaders that need to raise money so that Debbie, the captain of the team who has been granted an audition for the Texas Cowgirls, can get to her tryout. Initially, each of the girls goes about the fundraising legitimately, but when they realize they are running out of time, they start using their sexuality. Most resort to deeds like showing their perky breasts to a lascivious boss for ten bucks. The fee escalates for thing likes touching and licking -- you get the idea. As a young teenager, I often fantasized about using my body to arouse an older man and get paid for it.

3. Insatiable (1980)

Marilyn Chambers was so damn sexy in this film and legendary porn star, John Holmes gives a can't-miss performance. Chambers showed an unusual degree of pleasure onscreen, becoming the embodiment of the movie's title. She was either a really good actress or was seriously enjoying her work. Watching someone like her getting so aroused is a real turn on.

To quote the older woman said in When Harry Met Sally -- "I'll have what she's having!"

4. Where the Boys Aren't (1989)

Frequently, I find that watching the hot girls getting it on without any help from the boys can be lots of fun and is quite sensual. This is why I particularly enjoyed Where The Boys Aren't. (The title really says it all.)

In this film, an adult filmmaker can't seem to find any actors for his new movie. As he frets and searches, his actresses use their downtime to amuse one another--no penis necessary. Honestly, that's sometimes quite a relief for us girls!

5. The Fashionistas (2003)

This is a big budget, beautifully shot, slick film with some really good hardcore sex scenes. The protagonist is a fashion designer who creates bondage wear and desperately wants to get involved with and learn more about the world of S&M. There's lots of leather and whips; and for all of you new BDSM practitioners (inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey) it might give you some naughty ideas.

But be warned -- it's over four and a half hours -- so perhaps it would be best to divvy up the pleasure over a few evenings. Despite its running time, the film was so successful it spawned two sequels.

Happy viewing!