There’s a whole genre of erotica based around humans shapeshifting into animals and having sex with each other at Christmas time. Seriously, it includes such classic novels as A Mate For The Christmas Dragon, Prancer Claws, The Twelve Mates Of Christmas Book 3, and Bear Humbug! If you can only orgasm by reading about a dragon getting a handjob while singing “O Come All Ye Faithful,” the Internet has you covered:
In 1994, when Playboy released the VHS tape SENSUAL FANTASY For Lovers, that wasn’t so much the case. The internet was pretty new at the time, which, I assume, is why this VHS exists. Everything depicted in it is the pumpkin spice latte version of kink. In a world where you can buy a vibrator at Target along with potato chips and Baby Yoda dolls, SENSUAL FANTASY For Lovers has become an adorable reminder of perverts past.
The vibe of the video is somewhere between couples therapy and soft-core porn. It sort of explains what fantasies are to you as if the person watching doesn’t have a human brain and then shows a bunch of reenactments of grocery store paperback romance novel covers.
I can’t say that I know a ton about what was sexy in 1994. At the time, I was barely more than a twinkle in the eye of a man hoping to bang his wife in a racially insensitive costume.
The first section of the video is entitled “Games,” but it shows one game, which is pool. A woman makes a bet with her boyfriend that the game’s loser grants the winner “one erotic wish.” Foolishly, the man doesn’t invoke the usual genie rules for wishes, and when the woman wins, she uses her one erotic wish to wish for more erotic wishes.
She tells her boyfriend he has to be her sexual servant for the entire weekend, which is way more than one wish, and yet, like a fool, he agrees. We cut to the guy’s extremely ’90s house, and the woman shows up with his “uniform,” which is a banana hammock with a little tuxedo drawn on it and a bow tie.
This is where things get dicey for me. I’ve never understood why wearing nothing but a bow tie is considered a sexy thing for guys to do. If you’re fully clothed, bow ties are a nerd thing, but if you take off everything but the bow tie, now it’s sexy? Bow tie with clothes: lol who are you? Bill Nye The Science Guy? Pee Wee Herman? Bow tie without clothes: hubba hubba check out that hunk? WHY.
Is it because a bow tie is a remnant of a tuxedo? So the idea is the guy was so impassioned in removing his tuxedo that he didn’t have time to take the bow tie off? Can you even remove the tuxedo shirt without taking off the bow tie? I don’t think so, which means you’re either taking off the tuxedo and leaving the bow tie on purposely or putting on only the bow tie. It’s like bow ties are pasties for boys, and the erotic area they’re covering is the bottom of the neck? Is it just shorthand for, “Hey, I’m classy but also not wearing pants?” Much like A Mate For The Christmas Dragon, I’m never going to understand this.
Anyway, bow tie boy brings his girlfriend a glass of champagne to drink in the bathtub, which I’m much more on board with. I know many people who have learned the joys of drinking in the bathtub in 2020, but it ends up looking a lot more like a scene from Gummo than a Sensual Fantasy for lovers.
The segment ends with the couple having some missionary position sex during which, no joke, the man leaves his bow tie on the entire time.
We move on to “Pretending.” The section I’m sure many people watching this video and pretending to enjoy it nailed right off the bat. It shows a couple on a ranch that they establish belongs to the man’s uncle. The sexy therapist voiceover says that traveling to new locations can “transport yourself and your lover out of your everyday world where your imagination can carry you through new forms of sexual expression.“
In the same way that animals know when a bad storm is coming and get all freaked out and upset, I knew this was ending with these two having sex in a barn. “Let your partner watch you perform private acts as an enticing new twist to your intimacy. A shower provides a visual treat for your lover as your skin is transformed by the water into a glistening invitation that your lover may find hard to resist,” sexy therapist voiceover says, as the man strips down fully and sprays himself with a hose.
That is not a shower. Hose water is cold! And let me tell you why this man is hosing off after horseback riding; it’s because horses stink. They stink a lot, and their houses are barns where these two are about to have sex, and they make their houses stinky as well. Which is why laying on a horse blanket on a bale of hay while a horse watches -not nearly disinterestedly enough for my taste- is not sexy.
Maybe pretending is great, or maybe it takes something which is inherently great (sex) and combines it with something inherently terrible (improv). This is underscored even more in the next section, which is called “Film.”
All of the movies SENSUAL FANTASY For Lovers suggests for role play seem to involve a woman being psychologically tortured. The Sheik, the movie they show people role-playing, is about a woman being kidnapped by a sheik until she falls in love with him. They also mention Nine and a Half Weeks as a good contemporary film to recreate, which is an erotic thriller where Kim Bassinger stabs a dude in the butt.
“Pay attention to details, visit a thrift shop to find the unusual touch that will make your character come to life,” the sexy therapist says. Which just makes me wonder if there’s someone out there who’s like, “Sorry, but that star fleet uniform you’re wearing is red which is for command in The Next Generation, but I only acknowledge the original series where it was the color for operations. Also, you have two pips on your collar, which means you hold the rank of lieutenant, again not commander. I feel like you didn’t read any of my notes on the scenario and I cannot be expected to orgasm under these circumstances.”
The video wraps up with a section called secret desires. I’m not certain what the point of that section was. The scenario they showed was a woman who had her husband go to a hotel room and then constructed a sexual escape room for him. I spent most of it thinking how hard it must be to do an escape room with a boner. The whole time she’s on the phone with him, and she asks him to describe his wife, to which he responds, “she has the world’s greatest nipples,” leaving me to wonder if there’s a coffee mug for that.
The last piece of advice SENSUAL FANTASY For Lovers leaves the viewer with is to “Follow your desire and embark on the adventure of your own sensual fantasies.” An adventure that may send you on a sacred quest for the perfect bow tie for fucking, or the perviest horse to watch you. Go forth adventures! Go forth and do the weird stuff.
You can see more of Lydia’s fantastic Photoshop skills on Twitter.