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Erotica : Storyline

Erotica, Brigitte Lahie stars as a stunning French reporter who Paul Raymond personally invites into Soho’s sleaziest sex locales. This experience convinces the young woman that she wants to be a stripper too. This slice of erotica features a lineup of Reyuebar Girls, as well as ladies from the pages of Men’s Only and Escort Magazine.

Document of an era

Paul Raymond’s final film is a gloriously trashy and breathtakingly erotic vanity project.

In the 1970s, Paul Raymond was Britain’s most successful porn impresario – an almost respectable figure who had, in previous decades, revolutionised the striptease industry and now ran the Raymond Revuebar, published several softcore magazines, promoted sexy stage shows and produced films – usually starring his mistress/muse Fiona Richmond.

In 1981, he combined all his interests in an extraordinary vanity project, the grandly-titled Paul Raymond’s Erotica, in which French porn queen Brigitte Lahaie played a journalist examining the sexy world of the Revuebar and Raymond’s glamorous lifestyle. Directed by Brian Smedley-Aston and designed to be several cuts about the usual British sex film of the era (a genre that was already on its last legs), Erotica instead is a mix of egomania, extraordinarily down-market softcore (one sex scene takes place in a refrigerated meat truck) and footage of the Revuebar, in which bored punters – in reality, Paul Raymond Publications staffers – watch dead-eyed men and women simulating sex amongst extravagant sets, in scenes that have all the erotic appeal of a trip to the morgue.

The film has heavily hyped, and – perhaps hoping to cash in on the success of The Stud and The Bitch – came complete with a soundtrack of instantly forgotten disco hits. It had moderate success on video, and European releases had more explicit sex scenes inserted.

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