Dildo Diaries

Given the Supreme Court's landmark decision invalidating state sodomy laws, docu "Dildo Diaries" is stuck in the unfortunate position of beating a newly dead horse. Nonetheless, this look at ridiculous governmental anti-sex measures -- particularly in the Lone Star State -- is an amusing item that, one hopes, will someday soon make young viewers scratch their heads in amazement at the Bad Old Days described therein. Fests and educational tube slots are signaled.

Given the Supreme Court’s landmark decision invalidating state sodomy laws, docu “Dildo Diaries” is stuck in the unfortunate position of beating a newly dead horse. Nonetheless, this look at ridiculous governmental anti-sex measures — particularly in the Lone Star State — is an amusing item that, one hopes, will someday soon make young viewers scratch their heads in amazement at the Bad Old Days described therein. Fests and educational tube slots are signaled.

Expanded to feature length from earlier 8 and 23-minute forms, pic sometimes seems uncertain of its focus, digressing to tour such novelties as a sex toy factory, the Minneapolis “Museum of Questionable Medical Devices,” and a Las Vegas porn industry convention. Main theme, however, is the loopiness of various Texas obscenity bills that have rendered felonious select private, consensual acts — notably anal sex. Footage from 1993 Texan House of Representatives debate on outlawing such “deviate sexual intercourse” is duly comic.

As frequent commentator here Molly Ivins notes, these laws (usually introduced by extreme-right politicos from remote areas) get passed simply because less rabid legislators are afraid an opposing vote will make them “look like a sodomite.” Texas law forbids purchasing of sex toys — for their obvious purpose, that is. One can freely buy dildos and other “marital aids” so long as an agreement is signed alleging that the “educational models” purchased will be used strictly for “artistic, scientific or educational purposes.”

The evasive spiel a store clerk must deliver to customers, lest she be arrested, is shown in one believe-it-or-not sequence.

Pic sometimes gets too cutesy in its eagerness to laugh at content — which requires no such rib jabbing to come off as absurd. Sequences of ex-porn thesp and current “Doctor of Human Sexuality” Annie Sprinkle singing silly pro-sex songs are particularly gratuitous. Tech aspects are OK.

Dildo Diaries

Production: An IA Films, RoadTrip Prods. presentation. Produced by Laura Barton, Judy Wilder. Executive producer, Bill Kirkner. Directed, edited by Laura Barton, Judy Wilder.

Crew: Camera (color, Beta SP), Barton, Wilder, James Eiland. Reviewed at San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, June 19, 2003. Running time: 63 MIN.

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