Linda Lovelace & Her Loops

11 Sep

For many, it started with one film, the film. Linda Lovelace was a no-one before Deep Throat, but upon its release, the whole world knew who she was. Yet what many don’t know is that Lovelace had quite a prolific career and gained a significant amount of notoriety by starring in a number of 8mm loops before going on to do the infamous feature. Shot in dirty motel rooms and sold underground or on the streets of New York, this is where her career in pornography, or her private hell as she referred to it later on in her life, began…

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The start of Linda’s pornographic career begins on a sunny Florida day in 1970. Linda Boreman (her real name) was staying at her parents, recovering from a bad car accident (which included a lacerated liver and a broken jaw, the scars of which were always cleverly hidden or as best as in her films and pictorials). Lounging outside the house in her bikini, Boreman was spotted by Chuck Traynor, a then bar owner and pimp who was driving past her family house. Approaching her, he offered her a joint and a ride in his car, and that was it. They became an inseparable couple and within a few weeks they had moved in together. She, by admission (a lot of which is in her first book Inside Linda Lovelace), knew nothing about sex, whilst Traynor was physically possessive, very rough and promised to use hypnotherapy on her to help her deep throat, a technique he’d taught her after studying it whilst in the Army. It seemed to ‘work’ and eventually Traynor was pimping Boreman out to customers in one of his clubs. In 1971, the couple married.

That year Traynor had an idea; he’d move them to New York City where he would try to sell Boreman’s skills and services to Xaveria Hollander, the famous author of The Happy Hooker and a successful call girl and brothel owner. After moving to New Jersey, Hollander turned her down, and so Traynor moved on to plan number two; loops.  Loops, also known as stag films or peeps, were short films shot on 8mm film cameras that were illegal and sometimes funded by the Mafia. They’d be shot in dingey, dirty apartments with an ‘anonymous’ cast and crew and were then usually sold privately or shown in peepshows.

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Above image courtesy of Eric Danville at The Complete Linda Lovelace

Chuck ended up meeting Bob Wolfe, a successful 8mm producer, and eventually introduced him to Linda. They started working together, using an apartment on 48th Street and a guy named Rob Everett as Linda’s partner, and Wolfe would wind up directing five of the eight loops she filmed (another one directed by Gerard Damiano and the other two by Traynor). The loops they shot are pretty impressive, and its very clear to see Boreman’s appeal. Not overly stunning but naturally pretty in a girl-next-door way, Boreman has charm and, more importantly, is really up for it. You can tell in her face and the way she moves that she’s enjoying what she’s doing and the girl really does have talent. after watching a few of them, it seems hardly surprising that Deep Throat happened when it did. If the film was never made, I think Linda would have eventually become famous anyway from escalating projects off the success of the loops. Initially the short films started out as basic hardcore loops, with Linda doing lesbian scenes and getting involved in a threesome. After a while, the content of the hardcore loops started to cater for more select fetishes. In one loop Traynor had Linda quite literally fuck a foot (which is actually rather impressive to watch and quite easy to find on the internet if you’re interested), whilst another was entitled Piss Orgy and the most infamous one involved a session between Linda and a dog, cryptically named D-1 and D-2 (but also known as the more convenient Dog Fucker and Dogorama). Need I say anymore. All were successful on the Manhattan 8mm scene with Dogorama released into some ‘raincoat theatres’ (porno cinemas) whilst the other loops were eventually released in cinemas as poorly edited compilations with titles such as The Confessions of Linda Lovelace and Linda Lovelace Meets Miss Jones (a film which spliced together scenes from another famous porno The Devil in Miss Jones).

In later years, Linda would completely denounce her career, saying she was forced into prostitution and pornography by Traynor and was, on occasions, held at gunpoint until she finished her work (the bestiality loop being one instance). On the other hand, Traynor has always said that he never forced her into anything, and that she was free to leave at any time. Even Everett and other people she had worked with in the past have said that she ‘loved’ what she did and was always willing to do anything (even Dogorama, with some internet rumours purporting that more than one bestiality loop was made) with none of them seeing any violence against her. It’s a very difficult side of the story to navigate, one that I might explore at another time…

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If vintage erotica interests you, or you’ve never seen Lovelace in anything prior to Deep Throat, her loops are well worth checking out. They’re available on most porn websites and are pretty much stag quality, i.e. grainy picture, jump cuts, blurry from wear on the film itself, however most videos seem to be a compilation of different scenes from different loops cut together (which tend to have an added soundtrack of 70s music so if you hear that you should instantly know you’ve got yourself a mixed video) so if you’re wanting to see a certain loop in its entirety, you may have to visit a few websites. That said, I’ve never seen D-1 or D-2 and don’t intend to so don’t ask for any advice one that one (The Foot or Open Pussy, Insert Foot isn’t that bad).

Traynor and Boreman would wind up meeting with loop director Gerard Damiano, who was at the time shooting a picture called Changes, through Linda’s loops. Damiano had seen a few and eventually directed Linda in one, which also starred future Deep Throat co-star Harry Reems. Damiano was already quite taken with Linda when they met and was also impressed by her skills and ended up writing a script for her. That script would go on to become Deep Throat and the rest, as they say, is history…

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