Lesllie Bovee, Late Night in 1977 – Podcast 108

Lesllie Bovee, Late Night in 1977 – Podcast 108
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There’s a saying that goes, “Tragedy plus time equals comedy.”

We’ve adapted that to say, “Golden age adult film plus time equals The Rialto Report.” And that’s because we’re particularly interested in how people who were involved in the birth of adult film remember that period with the benefit of time and hindsight.

But occasionally we wonder: what would it be like to go back to, say, 1977? And listen in on a late-night chat with one of the biggest stars of the era?

This episode of Rialto Report is a little different – it’s not a story, and it’s not an interview that we’ve done ourselves. Rather it’s an eavesdrop. A chance to be a fly-on-the-wall almost 45 years ago.

It’s a conversation with adult film actor Lesllie Bovee at the height of her career. She was one of the biggest stars in the growing X-rated film business, and was based on the west coast at the time. She’d recently made hit films such as Eruption (1977), Maraschino Cherry (1977), and SexWorld (1978).

She talks about the X-rated business and her feelings towards it in an unfiltered way. The conversation took place late at night, and both Lesllie and her interviewer are a little high. But it’s a rare glimpse of what it felt like to be making sex films, and stripping in clubs, at a time when it was still all rather new, unfamiliar, and undiscovered. At different points, Lesllie sounds confident, curious, and self-conscious – a contradictory mixture that is a little like the industry was back then.

The conversation is with Carl Esser, a journalist, adult film screenwriter and composer (he made his XXX debut on the 1975 film Carnal Haven directed by Carlos Tobalina), and he also went on to date Lesllie. (For more details on Carl, you can read our article here).

This conversation wasn’t made to be broadcast, so it’s not a professional recording, and the sound quality is variable. As a result, we’ve added a written transcription of the conversation below for you to read, and have included previously unpublished photos of Lesllie as well.

This is late night with The Rialto Report. And Lesllie Bovee. In 1977.

With special thanks to Sky Esser.

This podcast is 56 minutes long.

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Lesllie Bovee in 1978

Carl:

Why did you want to do pornography movies?

Lesllie:

I had a boyfriend who was encouraging in that respect, but I met him through dancing, and so I was already into a sexy field. And I just took it to its logical conclusion. But the thing that really, really started me off on it was the time I was arrested for lewd and indecent exposure while wearing a full bikini, pubic hair sticking out of the top. Well, that was bad enough. It was actually just harassment. It was happening every other weekend, and two girls were getting taken over the week to jail for lewd and indecent exposure.

But when I got to the jail cell, I was asked to take off all my underwear, and was allowed to wear only the dress that I had on top. When I was released from my jail cell, twelve hours later, my underwear had disappeared. I checked. They were not being held for evidence. They’d been stolen by the policemen. I mean, that’s really hypocritical. It was so hypocritical it made me mad.

But the thing that really, really pissed me off, was when I… I ended up going to a jury trial on this. Now that’s embarrassing in itself. Taking a young girl, who’s doing nothing but dancing, and subjecting her, in front of twelve people, trying to make out what I did evil, and unlawful even. Unlawful. I mean, that’s outrageous. My policeman, the one that arrested me, was caught lying. So my case was dismissed. But had I been convicted, I would have stamped on my passport “pervert,” and I wouldn’t be allowed to go into certain countries.

Carl:

Pervert?

Lesllie:

Pervert. Yeah. They stamp it if you’re convicted. You are a pervert. So I mean, those are really heavy fines for something that is absolutely ludicrous. The fact that I’m lewd and indecent because I showed a part of the body that the Good Lord gave to me. So I had become missionary-like in my zeal for the fight against hypocrisy in sex. I mean it’s absurd.

Carl:

That’s why you got into pornographic films?

Lesllie:

Well, that’s one of the main reasons that I felt strongly enough to get into the industry of sex on screen, yeah. I felt that I could contribute to the world by being a young, pretty, sexy, intelligent woman, who had the guts to get up on screen, and fuck, and not be ashamed of it. And I love it.

Carl:

Are you trying to show how to fuck?

Lesllie:

No. I’m just trying to show how much… but honestly I give, how there’s nothing wrong with it. That it’s a normal function, that people do get off on it visually. I do get off on sex in front of the camera.

Carl:

But aren’t you trying to do better than average fucking, when you’re on camera?

Lesllie:

Oh, yeah!

Carl:

So in a sense, you’re trying to show idealized sex.

Lesllie:

Well, uninhibited sex, yeah.

Carl:

Is that your ideal?

Lesllie:

Yes, indeed. The less inhibited it is, the hotter it is. The hotter it is, the better it is. God damn. And that means not pointing your toes, and flaring your nostrils, and baring your teeth. Not worrying how I look on camera all the time while I’m fucking, because I don’t worry about it in bed.

Carl:

Right. That’s right.

Lesllie:

And that’s in fact where the heat comes from. That’s what’s communicated to my audience.

Carl:

In fact, there’s nothing wrong with having your hair a little bit mussed.

Lesllie:

No. It’s to the point where I don’t really care. It just means I was involved.

Carl:

Is there anything wrong with the medium?

Lesllie:

Oh plenty. Plenty. But in the year and a half that I’ve been in it, I’ve seen a vast improvement already. One of the big problems is the people that make… the filmmakers themselves, the producers, the directors, the money men. Their consciousness is really low, yet they cater to what they think the mass of their audience wants. And the average age of that audience, probably in their eyes… is about the intelligence of a maybe 13 or 14 year old, if that old. So then they think they have to put a lot of kinky sex in, to make it far out, to make it unusual. I don’t like kinky sex. I mean, I’m not the only one.

Carl:

What do you mean?

Lesllie:

Well, kinky… B&D, bondage and discipline, S&M, sticking a snake up your pussy. I guess that’s okay by some people, but for me? That’s a little weird and unusual. You know, just give me an old dildo or a cucumber any day and that satisfies me. Or a cock, of course. Or a tongue, or a finger.

But you know, things that you don’t have to go out of your way to think about doing. The natural, animal kind of thing.

Carl:

Still, animals don’t wear stockings and garter belts.

Lesllie:

No, but they have their own sort of adornment, don’t they? Birds have plumes of a certain color, and they’re strategically located, their coloring, you know? And so, it’s the natural attraction. People might say that a woman’s tits and ass are her natural attraction. Well, maybe so. But as long as we’re unclothed, why not adorn ourselves, and make ourselves as pretty as we can for our people?

You know, early tribes people used to dress up themselves, so I think it’s sort of a known that we want to please, and look as nice and as good as we can for our lovers, to get him to fuck us, and to get that cock hard, and say, “Hey, move over here. Come get us.”

Carl:

Do you think men should be concerned with their appearance?

Lesllie:

Only in that they should be clean. That’s probably personal. I like clothes on a man when I’m out with him, that sort of reveal his body, the way I like a woman to dress, you know, show off her body. But in bed? I just sort of like a massive man all over me.

Carl:

What are the guys like that you’ve worked with in porno movies? Are they really super studs?

Lesllie:

Yeah, yeah. They are. They have an ego that is large enough to allow them to get their cock hard in front of a camera, because that’s really a hard thing to do. You know, there’s a lot of things working against them. There’s lights, there’s directors, there’s insensitive directors… some people are just insensitive on the set, you wouldn’t believe. That’s one of the big drawbacks, and that’s one of the big problems with pornography and filmmaking then. And they have to be able to control their cumming, their orgasm, sometimes for an hour and a half, you know? And that’s really a long time. And then they have to cum, almost on cue, and the director gets as much footage as he wants of the sex scene. He says, “Okay, can we have a cum shot now?” And most of the men I’ve worked with can get a 30-second cue for a cum shot. I mean, that’s pretty studly.

Carl:

Do you have an opportunity to get acquainted with your leading men before you fuck them?

Lesllie:

All too often, no. But I myself try and get the name of the person I’m working with, and contact them at least a day or two before we go on the set, to talk to them, and get to know them, and see if I can head off any problems that there might be between us.

Carl:

Do you think it would be helpful to fuck them before the movie?

Lesllie:

No. No. Most of the time, not. It’s interesting, at first I thought, “Gee, that would be nice.” But now? Maybe it’s the business I’m in, I don’t know. I sort of like the excitement of fucking somebody new on camera. It adds a certain excitement that you don’t get with someone you’re a little more familiar with. And besides, I run into most of these men… you know there’s only a few people that do this type of work, so you run into the same people fairly often. And I don’t know, it becomes like a relationship that develops on the set, not off.

Carl:

What advice would you give to a young man who would like to become a porno king, but is afraid he might lose his erection on camera?

Lesllie:

Well, first off, I’d have somebody take pictures of him at home, and see if he can hold up just under that much attention. Then, if he can-

Carl:

With a Polaroid.

Lesllie:

With a Polaroid, sure. Then, if he can handle that… make sure, of course, that he’s into group sex, because there’s going to be people standing around watching, so you’ve got to be able to stand other people watching you. Then if you can pass that? Venture forth! I don’t know… From there… Good luck. Try and talk to the director, and try and tell him… Or tell the girl, especially… talk with her. Yeah, that’s important. Talk with the girl, if you’re new, and sort of tell her what you like, and what’s helpful, and what’s not helpful. You know?

Carl:

In other words, don’t be inhibited in the expression?

Lesllie:

Oh, no. It’s really important to talk on a porno set.

Carl:

And what about the lights? He should be accustomed to bright lights.

Lesllie:

Right. And heat, excessive heat, because the lights are quite hot.

Carl:

None of the comforts of home.

Lesllie:

None.

Lesllie Bovee

*

Carl:

So, what do you think is the proper way to set up a sex scene, if you were directing?

Lesllie:

Well, I would talk to the two people on the set and ask them if there’s anything… any drug that they might like, to help relax them a little bit, as long as they don’t let it get in the way of their performance. You know, I mean, you have to be trustworthy, and know your drugs well enough. Try and set up a reasonable temperature in there. It’s a little bit hard to do. Talk to them beforehand. Tell them what kind of movements you would like, what angles you would like to see on the camera. If the guy’s professional enough? He can usually give the camera what they want. And just, as I say, talk it all out upfront, and then once you start shooting… just let the people be. And make your cameramen do the moving. Don’t make your couples move. Let them just do their thing. I would just leave the couple alone, and just get what I could of them.

Carl:

So, block it out, sketch it out beforehand, the general things, how you want the cum shot and where.

Lesllie:

Exactly.

Carl:

And what positions you want them to go through in advance, just get out of the way.

Lesllie:

Exactly. I think a couple should try and fuck as much, as close to a home situation as possible.

Carl:

So that they’re the most comfortable, I imagine?

Lesllie:

Exactly.

Carl:

What are some of the scenes that you see in pornos that you would rather not see?

Lesllie:

I hate cars. I hate scenery, skylines. Buildings. Buildings I hate. I hate stop signs. I hate to see people dialing telephones. What a waste of time. I hate to see… I don’t mind somebody walking, if it’s a girl, and she’s got something sexy on, you can show her walking all you want. Boats. That’s just filler footage. Those that don’t advance the plot. Things that aren’t sexy. I hate to hear bad music, I hate bad music.

Carl:

What kind of music should be playing during the sex scenes?

Lesllie:

Compatible music. Music that maybe the couple would play at home, if they really were fucking. That’s a good guideline.

Carl:

How much sex proportionately should you have?

Lesllie:

Well, that’s hard to say, but I think almost every shot should have something sexy in it. If it’s a girl with a skirt on, or a girl walking with her tits moving. Something erotic, sensual. I like to see slow buildup to a sex scene. I like to see the foreplay. I like to see people dancing for each other, or people just sitting there and touching each other. The petting, you know, the boyfriend. And then the gradual buildup to the heat and the heavy fucking, the way it is in real life.

Carl:

What about cum shots?

Lesllie:

I don’t know. There’s something in this industry that says every cum shot has to be outside of the woman. And I love cum shots when they’re outside of the body, but not all the time. They’re not natural. You know, I’d like to see a little reality. Cum shots are good when someone’s getting head and he cums, you know at… Or sometimes…

Carl:

Cum on your tits, cum your face.

Lesllie:

Right. Or he’ll say, “I want to cum on your ass,” or something, you know? Or sometimes I’ll cum, and he’ll say, “I want to see my cum tonight. I haven’t fucked in a few days.” And of course, I always love it when he’s got a lot of cum, so I like to give him some head. I love cum on my face.

Carl:

Why do you think some girls don’t?

Lesllie:

Oh, they’ve been trained not to.

Carl:

What have they been told?

Lesllie:

It’s unnatural. It’s dirty. It’s creepy, it’s perverted. I mean, how can it be perverted? A man cums because he’s supposed to cum. You might as well enjoy him cumming.

Carl:

What are some of the fantasies that you’d like to see on a porno that haven’t been put up there yet? You haven’t seen them.

Lesllie:

Boy meets girl, they fall in love and they fuck. I know that doesn’t sound like a fantasy, but in my genre, it is at this time. Because all they give us is sort of weird, far out, intricate stuff. They don’t give… I’d like to see some reality, simplicity. I’d like to see a heated lesbian scene. You know, they’re always so pretty. They’re always so concerned with making them beautiful, soft because they’re women. And well, I want to tell you, I don’t many lesbians that fuck very soft. They get very intense. They get as hot as any man and woman do.

Carl:

Hotter sometimes.

Lesllie:

Hotter yeah, because they don’t get that cock very often. And you know, you never see a girl fucking on screen with a strapped on dildo. Some people think it’s gross, but it’s a reality. I wouldn’t mind seeing that. Sort of gets me hot. What else would I like to see? Oh, I don’t know. Any real fantasy that comes from somebody’s head, rather than the ones that the producers and directors think everybody would like to see.

Carl:

So you don’t think the-

Lesllie:

No more formula fantasy, please.

Carl:

You don’t think the bulk of the audience is into these weirdnesses?

Lesllie:

No. And if they are? It’s only because they’ve been so exposed to it that they begin to become heated the way my boyfriend and I do when we watch a monster movie on TV, and we see a monster and we start getting hot, because in the moment we know there’s going to be a sexy girl. And you know, it’s that type of a thing.

Carl:

Right.

Lesllie:

And you take what you can get. But I don’t think it’s natural. I think it’s a learned taste.

Carl:

Do you think that there’s any inherent danger to the culture from continuing to present sex in association with violence?

Lesllie:

Yeah, I do. Because we see these sex violent crimes all the time. And I think they’re directly related to the violence that we see on TV in connection with sex. And sex and violence… Everybody says it like it’s one word. I mean, they’re two totally different ideas.

Carl:

Some people say sex is an act of violence, simply because of the penetration.

Lesllie:

Oh, well. My God, such a violence. The world should live on that kind of violence. All I know is when I’m penetrated by a cock? I’m just heated, and warm, and the world’s right. And I don’t want to hurt a soul.

Carl:

So it’s just a metaphor for violence, and that’s not the same thing as getting punched in the nose, right?

Lesllie:

Not the same at all, no. I don’t like pain much. But I sure love fucking.

Carl:

How do you think pain gets associated with sex?

Lesllie:

It probably started back in the puritan days, puritanical days, when sex was so stringently put down that it became a form of sex to spank people. And in order to spank them, you had to take their pants down. And when you took their pants down, if they were old enough… even if they…

Carl:

So you think people used punishment as an excuse to titillate themselves sexually?

Lesllie:

Yeah, because a whole culture of people grew up being beat up daily.

Carl:

So, how did people associate sex with say the bathroom? Pissing and shitting and stuff?

Lesllie:

I think maybe somewhere in their early development as babies, they were arrested in a certain time, like defecation is a child’s first sensual pleasure, I think I’ve been told. And then pissing, and then-

Carl:

Yeah.

Lesllie:

It goes on up the line. And somewhere along the line, their development was arrested, and it-

Carl:

Not only that, but their parents are saying “filthy, disgusting,” about sex, and about bathroom functions. They use the same words to express their disgust-

Lesllie:

I see what you mean.

Carl:

… or their disapproval.

Lesllie:

That’s true.

Carl:

Also, for many people, the bathroom is the only place where sex can occur, because for an adolescent growing up, you know where else can they go to jerk off? So you have that association too. When our earliest childhood associations with sex often get imprinted. People seek those experiences again and again. So some people get hot when they get in a bathroom, simply because they were hot so many times as an adolescent that-

Lesllie:

Bathtub freaks.

Carl:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Then there’s that nasty thing too. Some people have been told, and punished so often for being nasty, that they think that being bad, naughty, doing anything that’s wrong is somehow sexually exciting. And confuse two kinds of excitement. The excitement of disobeying authority, and the excitement of sex. So, people like that can get into self-destructive traps. You know like where they-

Lesllie:

You’re tripping out, honey.

Carl:

All right. I’m trying to get you to talk. Jump in and say yes or no, and take off. Like what do you think about the word voyeur? It’s usually used disapprovingly as someone who is-

Lesllie:

Well, that goes back to the seeing thing. Doesn’t it?

Carl:

But what about peeping? How is that different?

Lesllie:

Well you’re doing something… you’re seeing something you aren’t supposed to see. And for instance, going back to your parents won’t allow you to see them nude when you’re young, so it’s a natural inclination and natural desire to see someone undressed and naked, if it’s set before you that you shouldn’t see them. So, it ties and becomes a wrong, a nasty thing to do, and it’s a sense of pleasure at the same time.

Carl:

Mm-mm.

Lesllie:

I think.

Carl:

So, you think that if people were not told that it was nasty, they wouldn’t creep around in the dark?

Lesllie:

Right. Exactly. They would go openly to someplace where they could watch somebody.

Lesllie Bovee

*

Lesllie:

Yeah, there’s an honesty in rock and roll now, as well as then, that pornography has in it. In the early days of rock and roll, there was a definite lack of sophistication. So what I’m saying is, we’re on the same threshold that rock and roll was back in its early days, just prior to its acceptance. People were doing it more and more. It was first, just a few people, and then it became a common thing, and now, everybody is into rock and roll. Even the very hardcore that were against it in the beginning. And I think the very same thing is happening in pornography. We’re seeing more and more acceptance as couples coming more and more to the theaters.

You know, when I was in Chicago, I did a personal appearance, four different nights, four shows a day, and the two evening shows… It’s a very huge theater. It has a balcony. One of those old, big theaters. And in the evening, the audience was made up almost exclusively of couples. So, that right there, is proof that it’s becoming more widely accepted.

Carl:

When you dance nude in clubs, how does the music you dance to help you with your act?

Lesllie:

Well, it’s absolutely vital in that, it’s important as to what kind of music I choose. First, that’s to set a mood, because there’s lighter, happier music for a girl who has maybe a snappy personality. For someone who’s a little more down to earth. Not really sexy, but a little closer… they do sort of a disco-type thing, more black, because of the rhythm involved. And the really sexy girls really get into their music, because it sort of underscores what their movements are.

But sound is all important when you’re looking at an image that’s not talking to you. It’s communicating to the movement, and of course, this interpretation of the music, which makes my kind of dancing so interesting.

Carl:

How does it affect you, while you’re dancing?

Lesllie:

If the music’s wrong, I can’t give to the audience what I’m trying to. In other words, if it’s music that I’m not comfortable with, if it’s too fast, I feel like I’m a clown doing a juggling act and dropping all my balls, you know? Because I don’t know what to do to really fast music.

Carl:

What are you trying to do?

Lesllie:

Well, I’m trying to come across in a sensual, sexual manner. My message is sex. And it’s not just to give, it’s to relate to the audience, and for something to happen, to connect between us. It’s as if I was doing a dance for each man at home, personally. And it can be daring. You can dance to a whole audience at once, just simply by communicating with your eyes, and your body.

Carl:

So, it’s a kin of mating dance, generalized?

Lesllie:

Oh yeah, definitely. Sure. Yeah, I mean before I dance… When I first come into the club? The audience is very cool towards me, because they have nothing to relate to, and I’m just another girl coming on work. But after my dance, I want to tell you how many dates I get offered, and that’s just simply because when I was dancing on stage I was saying, “Choose me. I can do this in bed.” And they do.

Carl:

That’s the message of your dance then? Is “I would be really good in bed.”

Lesllie:

Sure.

Carl:

If you were lucky enough.

Lesllie:

Who, them or me?

Carl:

The audience.

Lesllie:

Yeah.

Carl:

But is your dance act, in any way, pornography?

Lesllie:

I’m not sure I understand the true definitely of what pornography is. I know that’s what-

Carl:

Well, legally, they usually say that, “It is solely intended to arouse prurient interest.”

Lesllie:

Yes, then I… Yes. Yes, I’d have to say, definitely, that’s what I’m after, is to arouse those prurient interests. Bring them to surface.

Carl:

But you don’t think there’s anything wrong with prurient interests?

Lesllie:

Absolutely not, because what’s happening is these men are out for the evening. They’re looking for that. They’re looking to be aroused. They’re looking to get a little sexual excitement. So, in a sense, that’s my job, and I’m working there because I enjoy getting them excited, as well as myself. I’d rather see them in a club, watching me dance, then out on the street raping somebody. I know that sounds trite, but it’s really true.

Carl:

There are people who maintain that pornography, or a sexual entertainment incites people to acts of sexual violence.

Lesllie:

I think they’d like to believe that, but I think it’s quite the reverse. As ‘Taxi Driver’ proved, that a man who didn’t get any attention from anybody, went out and became an attention getting… you know what that theory’s all about. The same thing with someone that is deprived of sex, if they are deprived constantly, a frustration sets in, and when there’s frustration, something has to happen to relieve that tension. So I think, then the rapes occur. Then the people just go, “I must have it.” You know?

But if it’s in a free society such as ours? If they can go avail themselves of it, either through a massage parlor, or a house of prostitution. Or if they’re not that heavily into it, but just want a little stimulation, come watch me dance. That’s much healthier than saying, “No, it doesn’t exist. Ignore that feeling.” It’s so basic. It really blows me away that people can even think like that. They’re not honest with themselves.

Carl:

In what other ways would you say the average audience member is inhibited or uptight?

Lesllie:

When I’m dancing… especially when I’m working at King Henry VIII, which is a bikini club, topless club… the clientele that they get are a little straighter, businessman, that I don’t think there’s really quite… He’s halfway honest with himself, in that he can admit the fact that he wants to go out and have a little sexual enjoyment. But when I dance at that club? I get down, I get hotter. I get more to the point of sexuality in my dancing. And I’m often made fun of by the other girls, kiddingly… and called “nasty”.

Or I have customers say some stupid joke right in the middle of a really heated moment, out of embarrassment. I think they just feel that some reason they have to respond, and they don’t know how to respond honestly. So their response is mocking. Or they refuse to look me in the eyes. Or they’ll just sit there and laugh, and smile back… Well, the smile’s not so bad. It’s more the grin that sort of gets me off target. Or the ones that talk. The ones that talk to you in the middle of a performance, who can’t bear that much heat, and somehow have to turn you off and start talking to you in the middle of a set.

Again, it’s the honest factor. “Nasty” simply is truth. What I’m showing them is what is a true human being can be when they decide that they’re going to seek this sexual pleasure for the moment. It’s going to be what they’re going to do for the next eight hours, or whatever…

Carl:

And they don’t feel guilty about it.

Lesllie:

Yeah, guilt. Guilt. Guilt’s a strange thing. I think all guilt is… is again, the inability to admit the truth. Or actually, it’s what’s been handed down to us from generation to generation… and from generation to generation from the churches… Well, since America’s been established, sex has been a taboo, and I think that’s because of the puritanical background that it was in the churches.

Carl:

Well, the standard rules of behavior regarding sex that, as you say, handed down by the church, and generally accepted by conventional, straight society as morality. Sexual morality. One of these says that you are not supposed to look at other people doing sexy stuff. Can you figure that one out?

Lesllie:

Well, all I can say to that is that I think that comes from the childhood, when you can’t look at mom and dad running around nude, you know? I mean, if you can’t even look at your own parents running around nude, then pretty soon you get the idea you’re not supposed to look at yourself. And, lordy, if you can’t look at yourself, then you’re going to have a great deal of problem watching someone out there. The eyes seem to be the last part of the body that is… We can talk about sex. We can hear about sex. We can read about sex. But we can’t see sex.

Carl:

I’ve assumed that comes down to they don’t want people to see it, because they’re afraid people will then want to do it. Just like they don’t want children to see it because they’re afraid children…

Lesllie:

Well, I think… I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe along down the line when we become accustomed to it. But right now? We just have a problem of even getting them to look at it, because it’s so entrenched in their minds that, “It’s terrible to look at anything like that.” I don’t know.

Carl:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). The eyes are sinful. Let’s say that humans are different from animals, and they shouldn’t behave like animals.

Lesllie:

Well, in certain ways… Most animals don’t kill the way humans do. So, in that respect, I think if we would kill the way animals do, out of necessity only, and that if your life is threatened, or you have to eat something… something along those lines.

Carl:

Animals have sex.

Lesllie:

Well, likewise. Animals go around having sex without thinking about it twice. It’s the normal, innate thing to do.

Carl:

Won’t God punish them?

Lesllie:

Well, I don’t know. They’re still around, and I haven’t seen any of them condemned to death.

Carl:

Well, the religious people say that the reason animals can do it that way is because they don’t have a conscience.

Lesllie:

A society can think any way it wants. I love that animal instinct in me to fuck, because it’s the one time I know that I’m doing something right. Totally and absolutely right.

Carl:

Answering natures call.

Lesllie:

Exactly. I mean, originally maybe, they didn’t want you to fuck too much because you would get pregnant all the time. But now that there’s a birth control pill around, and I’ve made a conscious choice to take the pill. And now that I’ve made that choice, I feel free enough to fuck anybody that I want. And I think I’m discriminating within my own limits.

Carl:

What about VD?

Lesllie:

Well, sure. There’s always that possibility, but you know even really clean people get it. Okay, bud, it’s no big deal. If you take care of yourself, and you have regular doctor care? I don’t know… I’ve been exposed to VD twice, and I’ve never had it myself. I don’t know what that means. But that’s twice in all the years I’ve been fucking… which is what? Seven?

Carl:

Don’t ask me.

Lesllie:

Yeah.

Carl:

Well, let’s get into that. I need to talk later on my own about VD. I wanted to ask you if you weren’t worried about getting it from your costars. And, of course you know that-

Lesllie:

They’re as careful as I am.

Carl:

… ordinarily, or you could get VD from guys through discharge. This discharge, if he even knows about it. If he doesn’t know about it? You can see it if you look.

Lesllie:

Yes, I see what you mean. It’s true. But they’re as careful as I am, because they’re professional, and you don’t want to go around giving it to other people. A certain amount of pride in being clean enough to take care of yourself and know the symptoms. And warn others.

Lesllie Bovee

*

Carl:

Do you always, never, or sometimes, or usually get involved, when you’re fucking on camera? And do you cum?

Lesllie:

Well, I hardly ever cum. That’s a fault of the medium that producers, directors don’t care, because you can’t see a woman’s cum shot. It’s ridiculous. You can see it in her face, you can see it in her body, and it can be as exciting as a man shooting. But I almost always… not always… but almost always get very involved on a set. The times that I don’t get involved is when the producer, director, and/or my sex partner is getting in the way somehow. You know, not allowing the heat to come through.

Carl:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lesllie:

Or giving too many directions. That type of thing.

Carl:

I see.

Lesllie:

But almost always.

Carl:

Now you talked about the excitement of the cum shots, you know when men shoot. What about that tight closeup of the genitals.

Lesllie:

Oh, I hate it. I hate it so much. You know, that doesn’t tell me a thing to see two genitals. I mean, everybody in the world, and everybody in the world has a cock… men and women, respectively. And you know when you’re in tight on people? You lose a really lot of valuable information that you get when you pull back. Like you can see how intense a man or a woman is feeling by the angles of their body… what their face is doing, their faces alone are more interesting. You know, give me a tight up of her face, or maybe from about chest high up. I like to see tits and a face together. But the face is very expressive, you know, what it’s doing.

Carl:

And why not a full shot?

Lesllie:

Well, I said I like a full shot as well, but I said, if you’re going to give me a tight shot of a genital or a face, I’d rather see the face, as opposed to the genitals.

Carl:

More expressive.

Lesllie:

More expressive. But I prefer a whole body most of the time because so much is going on. Especially if two people have good bodies. The curves of the thighs, and the ass, and the tits, and the waist. You know, everything that they do. The way they move. It’s really, incredibly insane to lose all that information for the closeup of genitals.

Carl:

Right. Animals are probably programmed to respond to the whole animal, the way it looks, the way it smells.

Lesllie:

The way it smells, sure.

Carl:

I mean, the way it moves. And not just to the bullseye.

Lesllie:

And when you watch, when you pull back and get two whole people, if they have really good chemistry, just watching what’s going on between them… because often they have eye contact… that’s incredibly hot.

Carl:

Yeah. Can you foresee a time in the future, when things will be straightened out? They’ll do it right?

Lesllie:

Yeah, I do. I think it’s happening. We’re seeing things like… At first, it was ‘Last Tango in Paris’. And then another big one, ‘Don’t Look Now’, is a fairly big one with Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland. It was pretty explicit, no insertions, and you didn’t see any genitals, but boy, they were doing it right on. And then there was ‘A Sailor Who Fell From Grace’, and now ‘A Star is Born’ with Kris Kristofferson.

Carl:

‘Shampoo’.

Lesllie:

‘Shampoo’, yeah.

I mean, there’s just a lot of movies. The straight industry is meeting us, you know? And because it’s coming from the top, it’s advancing the porno industry that much more quickly, because people are becoming more interested in the types of scripts, the type of sex that they’re giving us. The general awareness is being risen. Is arising. Arising.

Carl:

Do you think pornography can be an art? And if so, what kind of art?

Lesllie:

Music is an art. Dancing is an art. Filmmaking is an art. Golfing is an art. So why not sex an art? I forgot the rest of the question…

Carl:

Golfing is a game. But the others, true are-

Lesllie:

Yeah, but there’s an art in getting it down right.

Carl:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). But usually they define art as going beyond getting it down right, into saying something to people about life?

Lesllie:

I see.

Carl:

And do you feel that pornography can say something to people that way?

Lesllie:

Yeah. Sex in itself is valid, isn’t it? In the Roman days, they had sexy parties all the time. Orgies, and people that danced for them. Yeah, it’s very valid. It’s a part of our life that-

Carl:

People call that decadent.

Lesllie:

Decadent! Is it decadent to fuck to have a baby? No. Then why is it decadent to fuck for pleasure? Because when you were fucking to have that baby, you still… it was pleasurable. Not just because you were having a baby it was pleasurable, but because the act itself is pleasurable.

Carl:

But what about group sex?

Lesllie:

Well, that’s just five times as pleasurable… or however many people you have. 10 times, you know. That’s just people really letting down all at once, and the more bodies the better. And minds too. I mean, it all goes together. An orgy isn’t just sex. It’s a communication of people, talking to one another, sharing their source of pleasure. It’s like going to a regular party, only more fun.

Carl:

Do orgies in real life work out as well as they do in the movies?

Lesllie:

Hardly. Rarely. Our society has a long ways to go yet. There’s etiquette in sex, the same way there’s etiquette in eating. Just because somebody has an orgy, or goes to an orgy, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t discriminating. It just means that they’re less discriminating. Or they have less inhibitions, and are more open to more people. More receptive to more people. But there are still animal attractions. And often at these orgies, you get men… unfortunately are the culprits in this case, but they’ll come up and say, “You. I want you now.” And they haven’t talked to you. They haven’t asked, or even considered that you might not want them.

Carl:

What do you talk about at an orgy?

Lesllie:

Usually sex, naturally. I mean, that’s what you’re there for. It’s all common. Dancing. Probably almost anything that you’d talk about at a regular party. But eventually, it comes down to sex.

Carl:

What kind of conversation might you have at an orgy about sex?

Lesllie:

Oh, I guess you’d probably get into the tools that are inherent to an orgy. You’ll find people will get together and talk about the kind of vibrators they like or don’t like, and why they like them and why they don’t like them. Maybe why they like one kind of a cock better than another. Or even more important, why they think this guy is a better fuck to them than this person. You know, I mean, yeah? Just normal things that are sexy, and of interest to most people, I think.

Carl:

What advice would you give to people attempting an orgy? Inexperienced orgy-

Lesllie:

Well, choose your friends, choose the people that you know are sexual, that’s not going to turn anybody off. For instance, you don’t want a 300-pound man there. I don’t know any woman that’s going to relish fucking him unless it’s a 300-pound woman, and the chances of them getting together aren’t likely. Too fat.

Choose music. Oh, music is so important. It’s amazing how many places you go, parties, orgies, anything, where people have music that’s totally incompatible to the type of mood they want to set.

Carl:

What kind of music is sexy music?

Lesllie:

Oh, it’s individual. But I think anything that sort of sinuous, or jazz. I don’t know, I’m not versed well in music to really express myself the way I’d like to.

Carl:

Well, just name some names of who you’d like to hear.

Lesllie:

Oh, all right. Kenny Rankin, James Taylor. Jazz artists like Weather Report. Tomita. Tomita’s good. I like sort of abstract music that doesn’t draw me in too much. That allows my mind-

Carl:

Instrumental rather than vocal?

Lesllie:

Yeah, right. Not too frantic. I don’t like frantic music when I’m fucking. It takes away my concentration. I like something that’s sort of the same beat that I’m into. My body beat. Films are helpful at an orgy.

Carl:

Porno movies?

Lesllie:

Yeah! You bet. I think so, because sex is… People should take the time to cultivate their juices, to get themselves excited. And I can’t think of a better way than to have some movies with some people real live, doing it before you, to…

Carl:

How do you keep the people from being detached and critical of the porno movies?

Lesllie:

Try and involve them. Start masturbating yourself. That’s one good way. Men and women alike. If you masturbate and get involved with what’s happening on the screen, you aren’t going sit there and laugh, and be critical. You’re just going to get involved because then some people are doing the very same thing that you’re going to end up doing yourself.

Carl:

How do you say no to somebody you don’t want at an orgy?

Lesllie:

It’s a difficult question to answer. I don’t know. I guess it depends on the person. If the person’s a little bit sensitive… I don’t know. That’s a hard one. I’ve never been great at that. If they’re sensitive, if you just be honest with them… “I’d rather not right now.” Or, “I’d rather not ever.” Or whatever it is, but communicate so you don’t have them…

Carl:

Is it a little bit like what you have to do when somebody asks you to dance and you don’t want to?

Lesllie:

Yeah. Yeah, I think so. It’s always an awkward moment. Nobody likes to reject anybody.

Carl:

“Maybe later?” And saying something like that?

Lesllie:

Yeah, you just put them off. And if they’re sensitive? They aren’t going to try and try again. And if they aren’t sensitive? Then they’re the people that force you to say, “Look, I just don’t want to fuck you.”

Lesllie Bovee

*

Carl:

What do you think women want to see more of in pornos, as opposed to men?

Lesllie:

Well, women like storylines, and they like a lot of romance, and a lot of soft, gentleness. They like a lot of throw rugs in the bedroom. The niceties. But we are creatures of comfort, so that makes sense, doesn’t it?

Carl:

Yeah, it’s not the women who like to see it done on a garage floor, right?

Lesllie:

No way! They’d like to see it the way they’d like to be getting it. So again, there’s a bit of reality that we could bring to the screen. I mean, how many men take their women out and fuck them in a phone booth? Who needs the novelty? Not me.

Carl:

Do you think women, in general, are treated well in pornos? The characters?

Lesllie:

No, I don’t. No, not at all. Unfortunately, being a woman, I find it all too often that I am, to coin a phrase of my friends, “a piece of Kleenex that he’s used and discarded,” as soon as I’ve been fucked. And I mean, that’s insane. I don’t think that many men do that with their women. I think after they fuck them, they’re as grateful as the women are to the men.

Carl:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lesllie:

In the pornos all the time, they’ve got the women coming up and saying, “Oh, Harry, I just have to suck your cock!” I mean, how many women just have to suck anybody’s cock? They get into it when they’re heated enough, and then they say, “Oh, honey, let me have it. I want it.” But I mean, they don’t come up to somebody cold and say, “Oh, I must, I must.” And then the guy just goes, “Get away, broad. I’ll talk to you later.” That’s not real.

Carl:

So, why do you think they do that?

Lesllie:

I think that’s men projecting their own fantasies. And I’m not sure it’s… Maybe it’s a male fantasy, but I think it’s one that’s been projected more than is real.

Carl:

You don’t think then, that basically most men are hostile toward women and-

Lesllie:

Not the men that I’ve met.

Carl:

… want to put them down?

Lesllie:

No. Not the men I’ve met.

Carl:

Isn’t it possible that that hostile stance is merely a pose to cover their own insecurities-

Lesllie:

And desires.

Carl:

… and fears, and desires?

Lesllie:

Because men jump very quickly. Men are quicker to respond sexually than a woman anyway. So it is really more likely that the man would come up to the woman and say, “Oh, honey. God, please?” I mean, that’s the reality of it.

Carl:

Do you think it’s particularly American, this porno hero who is so-

Lesllie:

Oh, God.

Carl:

… disdainful of women?

Lesllie:

Yes. Americans have no class sometimes. I just can’t believe it. Yeah, it is. It’s a macho trip, you know? It’s the male-domination thing, I think.

Carl:

In other words, a guy is more masculine, in proportion to how little he gives a shit about the woman?

Lesllie:

Well, according to society. When in truth, every real woman knows that the man that’s the most man is the gentleman.

Carl:

Or, at least the one who-

Lesllie:

Or relates to women.

Carl:

… likes women enough to-

Lesllie:

To show them.

Carl:

Right.

Lesllie:

Yeah. Well, that’s gentle to me.

Carl:

What about the size of some of these guys that you’ve worked with?

Lesllie:

Some of them are too big. John Holmes. You know he really is. He’s uncomfortable. I can’t get it on with him two days in a row because my insides just can’t accommodate him comfortably. I hurt. The other big ones? Yeah, I love a big cock. I think most women do, if they’re really into sex. But I’ve worked with some just really average-sized men that are equally as exciting. Johnson says it all the time, “The size doesn’t matter. Just the quality of their fucking.” And in truth, it is.

Carl:

Johnson?

Lesllie:

What is it? What’s those people? The book?

Carl:

Masters & Johnson?

Lesllie:

Masters & Johnson.

Carl:

What about women? Do they seem to put you together with women a lot?

Lesllie:

Yeah, I get put together with a woman in every film I’m in. And again, they’re working on a formula thing. I don’t mind lesbianism. I really like other women. But I think lesbianism should be intricate to the plot, and not just part of… just not part of the formula.

Carl:

Mm-mm.

Lesllie:

As I said earlier, the sex scenes with women are always a little bit cold and flat, because the other women I work with are generally too concerned about their looks. Or are afraid to really get heated the way they would with a man with another woman, for fear that they’ll be put down.

Carl:

You sound like a method actress.

Lesllie:

Really? I had no idea. Why?

Carl:

Because you talk about it not mattering what you look like, as long as you’re really involved.

Lesllie:

Well, that’s reality. And I guess if method acting is honest? Then, yes. Not lying. It’s very important.

Carl:

Where does a porno queen go, after she starts… the bloom is off the rose?

Lesllie:

Well, I think you bow out gracefully.

Carl:

After first playing a few madams?

Lesllie:

Well, I think the first time-

Carl:

Or sexy mothers?

Lesllie:

… they ask me to be a madam? I’ll just get right on out.

Carl:

Oh, no. You haven’t met any young madams, but… So, you figure to work in it until you’re about what? How old?

Lesllie:

I figure one or two more years at the most.

Carl:

Really?

Lesllie:

Yeah.

Carl:

And then what?

Lesllie:

I’m not sure. I would think what I’d like to do is I’d like to get my own nightclub, I think. Because I know what I’d like to see: what kind of girls I’d like to see; what kind of arrangements I’d like to set up, as far as music, having cassettes, things like that; what I expect of my girls. A lot of ideas. After that? I don’t know. My dancing is something that I am seeing a career in right now, and future happening. I do the dancing so I don’t have to take every film that comes along. It allows me to be a little pickier, and choose work that I’d be more proud of than others.

And the dancing, I think I can carry on for a little longer, maybe than the sex. I don’t know. Although they go hand in hand, when the body goes? It goes all over.

Carl:

Would you like to continue in porno movies in some other capacity-

Lesllie:

Producing. Yeah, I’d love to make a porno of my own. Wow. With all my ideas? I mean, I’ve thought about them so carefully, my boyfriend and I, and we really care about the industry. We really think that it’s really void right now of people who have thought this thing all the way through. What they’d like to see, and how they’d like to see it done. What kind of quality they’d like to come into. Yeah, I’d love to get into that as producing, directing.

Carl:

You’d like to direct a porno?

Lesllie:

I don’t know about that yet, but I think I can see the day where I would like to. Yeah. I mean, I know what I want.

Carl:

Well, I think we-

Lesllie:

Covered it.

Carl:

… just about exhausted the subject.

Lesllie:

We did.

Lesllie Bovee

*

  • Posted On: 25th July 2021
  • By: Ashley West
  • Under: Podcasts

23 Comments

  1. Ryan · July 25, 2021 Reply

    Absolutely bloody fantastic!

  2. Tokio Joe · July 25, 2021 Reply

    Leslie is one of the truly legendary figures from the XXX biz back in the 1970s.
    The fact the TRR is STILL finding priceless artifacts like this almost half an century later is amazing.
    SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD

  3. Bob Norris · July 25, 2021 Reply

    Yes, Lesllie and Carl are high but that just makes this even more (unintentionally) hilarious at times…. viz her comments on fat people at orgies!

    Entertaining and informative.

  4. Jeff Robertson · July 25, 2021 Reply

    Awesome rare interview Carl Esser and Leslie bovee from the 1970s x-rated film industry keep up the good work thank you

  5. Adam · July 25, 2021 Reply

    I absolutely loved it, Leslie is one of my favorite stars from that Era. I was really hoping they would be able to do an interview with her today, does anyone know what she is doing right now? Or if she would ever consider doing an interview?

  6. Alan G · July 25, 2021 Reply

    I was shattered to hear Leslie say that most movies were made for men with the intellect of a 13 year old!!! 🙂

  7. Roger Wade · July 25, 2021 Reply

    It’s too bad Bovee never got a chance to direct her own movie(s). One of the many charms (and ultimate sadnesses) of the ’70s porn scene is the sense of aspiration- they were going to make capital-A art and change the world by making porn part of the mainstream. I think they only sortakinda succeeded… but maybe that was enough.

  8. Andrew · July 25, 2021 Reply

    Great piece!
    I would love a podcast on Angel, Sharon Thorpe, Nancy Huffman, and all my favorites.

  9. Tony R · July 26, 2021 Reply

    Great find! Leslie is an all-time favorite, watched her dance at Show world and Melody seemed super cool when I had the chance to chat with her. Hope that you could track her down if she’s interested in a interview.

  10. Jeff C · July 26, 2021 Reply

    It is exciting to see an interview with Leslie Bovee on the site regardless of when it was done. She is a personal favorite from the 1970s era. The intelligence she showed in her performances is on display here. Her idealism is also on display, but that did not last. In one of the magazines digitized by the website, there is an interview with Bovee detailing how she became disillusioned with the adult film business by the late 1970s. It is a shame that production opportunities did not open up in the adult industry to the female performers like they did for the men. Candida Royalle seems to be the only one who sustained a career as a creator.

    There is so much to say about that discussion between Bovee and Esser. I agree with many points.

    – Girl/girl scenes in mainstream films can be awkward when not part of the story structure.
    – Having women be characters with agency in their own pleasure enhances a scene.
    – Sex is a form of communication.

    I do not recall seeing much on The Rialto Report about Honey Wilder. A recent watch of Naughty Girls Need Love Too reminded me of how intense she could be on the screen.

    Keep up the good work, Rialto Report. It is much appreciated.

  11. Milkman Dead · July 26, 2021 Reply

    I don’t even know why, but of all the stars of this era I’ve always wondered what Ms. Bovee is up to these days. It would be really cool to hear her present day take on this interview.
    I have little doubt that Ashley and April have tracked her down and that she’s just not interested in revisiting this period in her life. If the internet scuttlebutt I’ve read about her is true, she’s put this period of her life well behind her and isn’t nearly as liberal as she once was.
    Whatever she’s up to, I hope she is well.

  12. Richard · July 27, 2021 Reply

    Great work Rialto! A friend that was in the business, told me Leslie found religion, and wants nothing to do with her past. She still left many individuals with happy memories. All the Best to Rialto and Leslie!

    • Markus · July 30, 2021 Reply

      If that’s true, and it wouldn’t be the first time in the industry this has happened, that would be true irony: Because in the interview she blamed the churches for people not being able to enjoy sex. One thing that sets humanity apart from most animal species is our ability to enjoy sex and have sex just for fun. Churches, not religion, have and still do try to take that away from us and replace it with guilt.

  13. Scott · August 1, 2021 Reply

    I enjoyed listening to Lesllie. She makes some very interesting points (at the time anyway) and I was struck by how well thought out her rationale was in various things. Seems very intellectual. It would be great to hear her interviewed in the present day. But whatever her feelings may be on the past, I hope she is doing well in her life today.

  14. James Alexander · August 6, 2021 Reply

    Once again, you folks outdo yourself’s with another great podcast. I read as well, the CJ Lang bit, and am I smelling a podcast with CJ????!!!!! Whatever, luv your show!

  15. TM · August 8, 2021 Reply

    I also got a kick out of the whole ‘fat people’ comment. While it did make me chuckle it also turned me off to her as well.

  16. Paul H. · August 8, 2021 Reply

    Thanks for the interview and photos! I’ve been a fan of Leslie Bovee since she appeared in magazines in the 70s

  17. Ron Martin · August 18, 2021 Reply

    Lesllie was the 2nd or 3rd film star to dance at the Melody
    (that year, probably). She never danced S.W.
    I mention it, because it was she who introduced the $10- Polaroids with fans. That, because tips were dismal.
    The dollars were going to “box lunches”, which she would not consider.
    Imagine the business acumen! Tens of millions of dollars were created with a simple sentence, ” Do you think they would like a picture with me?”
    One of the most polished and professional people in the industry.

  18. C B · October 28, 2021 Reply

    Oh, I adore this Leslie Bovee! Ive heard her name forever, of course, but knew nothing about her. Smart, sensitive with a fine, healthy sexuality. And, the only other female performer I ever heard say they like facials, but maybe we had different reasons. I thought it looked like nasty fun, and preferred it to getting a mouthful. I wish I’d had the chance to meet her.

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