Interlewd with the Great Gouda
July 31, 2021 8:03 AM   Subscribe

It’s quite astonishing to learn that Pac-Man was allotted 14-pages in a porn mag whose format was dedicated to nudity, dirty jokes and cigarette ads. Even more surprising is no one complained that he was. Writer, historical researcher and self-confessed vidiot Cat DeSpira unpacks an odd feature from the April 1982 issue of Oui Magazine in this blog post for her site Retro Bitch. [CW boobs and butts]

Trivia highlight connect the dots:

ᗧ•··ᗣ Oui also covered the rise of Atari in their September 1974 issue.
ᗤ···ᗣ Rip Taylor and Joan Rivers competed in The Atari Celebrity Pac-Man Olympics held on April 1, 1982.
ᗧ•··ᗣ The Pac-Man sounds on Buckner and Garcia’s hit novelty song "Pac-Man Fever" were recorded at a real arcade, and if you listen carefully, you can hear a man ordering a pastrami sandwich in the background noise.

Cat DeSpira previously 1, 2
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs (24 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
What a remarkable article to have discovered! The glossary in particular is just gold. I'm a gay guy so I'm not the audience but.. are the images in the article erotic? They just seem silly to me, perhaps the talent is having a hard time responding realistically to some construction paper cutouts of Pac-Man ghosts.
posted by Nelson at 8:15 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Nelson, they're really silly and not at all erotic beyond the nudity itself. They must have felt obligated to add them since it was Oui but they could have eliminated them and it wouldn't have mattered.
posted by tommasz at 8:29 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Some people think not reading the article began with the internet.
posted by adept256 at 9:02 AM on July 31 [6 favorites]


One wonders what kind of photo shoot accompanied the Gore Vidal interview.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:11 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Couldn't find the full Gore Vidal interview but this old site has thumbnails of two pages. One full of text, one with a poorly made illustration of a young Vidal giving you the finger.
posted by Nelson at 9:44 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


release the Pitfall Harry beefcake shots
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:04 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Paid placement, wouldn't you guess?
posted by jamjam at 10:22 AM on July 31


are the images in the article erotic? They just seem silly to me

It's such a fine line between erotic and silly.
posted by roombythelake at 11:40 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Consume an Energy Dot: Free-Base
posted by box at 12:47 PM on July 31


It's such a fine line between erotic and silly.

True. If you’ve ever encountered a... specialized pictorial for something that holds no particular interest for you, you discover this very quickly. Some twenty-five years ago, someone abandoned a monthly magazine in a shared space which I was a subsequent occupant of. One pictorial featured two young women disporting in the altogether: one picture showed them kissing, one picture implied (but did not explicitly depict) cunnilingus, and the remaining fourteen detailed toe-sucking in close-up HD glory.

Not my thing, but amusing (for someone like me) to find it as the centrepiece of a periodical.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:22 PM on July 31


Paid placement, wouldn't you guess?

Pac-Man did not need any advertisement in 1982. If anything, Oui was probably using Pac-Man to sell a few more copies of the magazine.
posted by Ampersand692 at 2:55 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


"are the images in the article erotic?"

I thought, for authenticity: consult my inner eighties teenager. First, establish a reference scale: so I said "who were your tens"? And he said X, Y, and Z. I googled those, and... they all seem sillier now than they did at the time.

We may never know.
posted by floppyroofing at 3:08 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Pac-Man did not need any advertisement in 1982. If anything, Oui was probably using Pac-Man to sell a few more copies of the magazine.

Hanna-Barbera's Pac-Man series debuted 7 months later in Nov. !982. There can be no doubt H-B was buying media placements all over creation in early 1982.
posted by jamjam at 5:08 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I'm a little skeptical the children's cartoon explains the presence of an article in this pornography magazine. Or that Hanna-Barbera had a marketing budget. Or maybe they did! That explains why could only afford to animate at 4 frames a second.
posted by Nelson at 5:58 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Did you ever see Oui on the stands, Nelson? It was a starter men's magazine about as explicit as Victoria's Secret. I'd say its demographic started around jr. high.
posted by jamjam at 6:28 PM on July 31


I've heard it described by a reliable source as "All the high-end nudity of a cadged Playboy but with sophistication, and that certain je ne sais quoi of the French."
posted by Cezar Golescu at 7:06 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I doubt that most of the terms in that glossary ever saw widespread use.
posted by JHarris at 7:22 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


My favorite photo shoot in that magazine is Golden “Goldie” Pelt from Oui September 1973. Yeah, the one from the cover. It's just so fun. (I ran a used bookstore for a while, and that cover really stands out.)
posted by Catblack at 7:42 PM on July 31


When I was 12 or so (in the mid-80s) my brother and I found a stack of porn mags hidden in my parents' attic, and it was a really confounding lesson about what adults apparently found sexually arousing.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:24 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


It was a starter men's magazine about as explicit as Victoria's Secret.

As someone who hit puberty about 1974 I remember Oui a little differently, and Wikipedia bears it out: it was Hugh Hefner/Playboy's attempt ...to differentiate the audience in mass-market men's magazines, in an attempt to answer the challenge brought by Penthouse and Hustler, with its more explicit photography. So more explicit than Playboy but still with an attempt to include socially redeeming articles. The explicitness was summed up by a friend at the time who always pronounced the name "OOOO-WEE!"
posted by TedW at 6:35 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


From TFA: See, years back I had ran across some rather crass vintage magazine scans of nude girls being ravaged by a rather endowed Pac-Man while he himself was getting caboosed by Blinky the Ghost. It was an image I’d have rather not seen.

I'm not sure I have ever wanted to both see and not see something so much at the same time. I lean toward "not see", but that leaves me with my imagination to fill in the missing pictures.
posted by TedW at 6:41 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


So more explicit than Playboy but still with an attempt to include socially redeeming articles.

And, by "explicit" they mean Oui showed pubes and maybe a bit of labia, both of which were verboten in Playboy for a ridiculously long, long, time. Teen boys in the 70s (at least in my neck of the midwest) largely abandoned Playboy as their hidden-under-the-mattress-adult-magazine-of-choice for Penthouse, because of this. Oui struck a more youthful/playful pose than either of them.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:02 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Even at the time--in the throes of puberty, during which, to paraphrase an old joke, even the crack of dawn held a certain prurient interest, and also when I was hitting the arcade games regularly--I saw this sort of article as the porn equivalent of Ethel Merman's disco album, the olds trying to stay hip and with it but knowing that they really had nothing to say about the subject, so they threw in some nudes so that you'd look anyway. These sort of crossover pictorial/feature articles weren't inevitably bad; I remember one in Playboy that featured Anne Carlisle from the cult movie Liquid Sky (previously and previouslier on the blue) that made a certain amount of sense because of the sexual content of the film. But this one? Proto-Rule 34, I guess.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:28 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


I’m betting Herbie Hancock was pretty good at Pac-Man.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:29 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


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