J.B.S.Haldane once said, “I suspect that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of, or can be dreamed of, in any philosophy.” I don’t think he was talking specifically about pornography, but on occasion, I come across (as it were) a publication which defies belief. ‘Jail Babes’ is from the delightfully twisted mind of Larry Flynt’s Hustler Publications, a man whose stable of smut documents the warped and perverse state of the American nation as it careers towards the third millennium. Even by his standards, though, this is strange stuff, playing like a combination of ‘True Crime Illustrated’, ‘Bizarre’ and ‘Razzle’, bringing together jail-house confessions, factual pieces on misdeeds and their perpetrators (with some gruesome crime-scene and autopsy photos), and pictorials of women who are allegedly either ex-cons, or even more implausibly, have been let out on work furlough for the day in order to take part in the photo-shoot.
Of course, the important word here is “allegedly” and, as with anything to do with the porn industry, you’re well advised to take the whole shebang with a pinch of salt, not least the lurid and florid text which accompanies the pictures. However, it’s readily apparent that most of the models are not going to be getting calls from Hugh Hefner in the near future, the quality ranging from not-too-bad, down to the skanky ho level. It’s probably the latter who are the more interesting, from a veracity point of view, as well as the photographic: you’re a million miles from soft-focus, air-brushed cheerleaders here and the words, with their tales of abuse and felonies, become disturbingly plausible.
Flynt is, however, a hard-nosed businessman and wouldn’t have published the mag if there wasn’t an audience for it. “Bad Girls” exert a particular fascination on most men, though most would stop short a little way before convicted criminals. Not all though: the appeal of convicted killers is well known, and there exist Internet sites, such as www.prisonbabes.com (and its male equivalent, www.prisonpals.org) devoted to putting those on the outside in touch with those inside. The appeal of that does escape me – I’ve had my share of psychos already – though I suppose you will always know where your woman is… But the disturbing thing is that while the Prison Babes site goes into great detail about the dames, it notably omits to mention why they are behind bars, a somewhat pertinent fact, I’d have said.
That is probably going a bit further down the road than ‘Jail Babes’, which allows you the chance to examine them up-close and personal, without the risk of a fork in the eyeball. And if you’re going to leave pornography lying casually on the coffee-table in your lounge, then better get in a few copies, ‘cos you’ll probably find this magazine will mysteriously evaporate whenever friends call round…
Single issues are $6.99, annual subs to the UK are $39.95. Visa and Mastercard accepted – preferably your own…
PO Box 5743,