Refinements In Love is a hardcore effort from Carlos Tobalina that
bills itself as a cross between the Mondo films, I am Curious Yellow, and hardcore. I see nothing in common with the Mondo films or the I am Curious
films. Actually, it is a series of hardcore scenes tied together and justified
by the "redeeming social importance" of a mockumentary about changing sexual
mores which zeroed in on the hypocrisy of then-president Richard Nixon.
Some years earlier, Lyndon Johnson had commissioned a panel of 18 to study
pornography and its effects on society, and to recommend appropriate
report advised that all laws regulating pornography for adults be removed
because the pornography was not only harmless to adults, but often strengthened
marriages. The panel suggested that the government exercise no control of
sexual-oriented material other than to restrict the public display of certain
kinds of porn, and to take steps to keep it from minors. The commission also
strongly advocated detailed sex education for all school students.
By the time the majority report was ready, Nixon was in office. The lengthy
report, which contained a great deal of research study data, was leaked to the
press a few days before the official release, and the administration went
postal. The Nixon camp tried to suppress the report, and then the President
very strongly against it, declaring "I have evaluated that report and
categorically reject its morally bankrupt conclusions and major
recommendations." In other words, he made it clear that the "Dick" in
"Tricky Dick" simply stood for "Richard."
The film, in a supposed interview, discusses the stupidity of Nixon's
actions, and suggests that it was unscrupulous politicians, trying to excite the
voting public by creating a threat to "American Values," who were the cause of
the ridiculous moral restrictions and persecutions in the US. The film ends by
zooming out from a contented post-coital couple, showing these words:
IF SEX IS OUTLAWED, ONLY OUTLAWS WILL HAVE SEX
To which we would have responded, "Right on, brother. Power to the people." Years later, when the libertarian zeitgeist of the seventies had dissipated,
President Reagan formed his own study group, the Meese Commission, which
dutifully found porn harmful and proposed ways to combat it.
Wrong on, brother. Power back to The Man.
The politics are used to justify a rather routine sex film. Rene Bond, and
several early porn actresses do show everything, and oral and vaginal sex is
clearly shown, but the film stops shy of anything too kinky like money shots or
anal. The best surprise for viewers is a scene with Rene Bond before
her breast enhancement. I had previously thought her hard core career started
after the boob job.
There was plenty of product placement, including baby oil, baby powder,
cigarettes (the film was against them) and water beds. There was even a song
about bouncing together on their water bed. The film was down on telemarketers,
suggesting disconnecting the phone before sex. It advocated getting medical help
if necessary to improve your sex life, but cautioned against quacks, giving the
example of a doctor who "uses his body as a tool" to give his nympho patient her
first real climax and cure her.
The original was not in good shape, but the DVD producers did the best they
could to remaster it, resulting in a watchable transfer. Unfortunately, there
was nothing they could do to change the fact that this was not a good hardcore
sex film to begin with, and the redeeming social merit is not strong enough to