The sad and unfortunate passing in January of Juliet Carr (aka Juliet Anderson, Aunt Peg) brought back a flood of memories and emotions from a time when the constellation of adult stars was so much smaller than it is today, and yet, through the haze of memory, so much brighter.
Long before the word MILF entered the American lexicon and was quickly bastardized by the porn biz to mean anyone over 23, Juliet Anderson dominated the “older woman” oeuvre with her personification of “Aunt Peg.” Saucy, sassy, and yet sophisticated, Aunt Peg came across as a younger, hotter, and definitely prettier version of Angela Lansbury. The combination must have hit a nerve because she soon became a bona fide superstar in movies like Aunt Peg Goes Hollywood and Aunt Peg’s Fulfillment.
It could be said that the 39-year-old Anderson, who entered the adult film industry at an age when most performers would have long since retired, was the original “cougar.” This did not go unnoticed by a callow Texan who treasured his Swedish Erotica catalog almost as much as he did his 1972 Cutlass Supreme. While it was not uncommon for my friends and me to occasionally drop by the Fine Arts Theater near SMU to check out the latest X-rated features (this was the Golden Age of porn, after all), what we really loved were the cheap, cheesy loops produced by Golden Girls, Diamond Collection, and especially Swedish Erotica. And since none of us dared to enter a sticky, glory-hole-ridden peep-show booth, we had to be satisfied with the tome-like Swedish Erotica catalog, which was basically a 300-page full-color compilation of the loop box covers. Every page was identically constructed: the purple, black, and white Swedish Erotica logo at the upper left, followed by the title, a brief synopsis, and a hardcore shot from the movie, all set against a distinctive yellow and red background. It was a gaudy, wonderful world unto itself.
Though the early loops appeared to be European fare, there soon emerged a mid-’70s Northern Californian milieu populated with relatively good-looking people who were incurable voyeurs, nymphomaniacs, or just good ol’ folks who dropped in on each other for the occasional fuck. All the guys were hairy and owned a blow dryer. All the women wore bright scarves and stockings (even though pantyhose had long since displaced the garter). Seka was originally called “Sweet Alice,” then “Dottie Seka.” Paul Thomas was “Phil,” then Paul, then Phil again. John Leslie and Joey Silvera got to keep their first names from the get-go. And then there was, of course, Juliet Anderson, who soon morphed into Aunt Peg.
Though the hardcore photos were of obvious concern to us, we could not help but also be enamored with the breezy, inane synopsis that described the action in each 10-minute loop. They tended to go like this: #713 “PHIL’S FROZEN WAFFLES” Horny Phil is shopping for frozen waffles and starts thinking about Sweet Alice’s big tits and the blue scarf she always wears and surprise, he gets so turned on that he fucks the box of frozen waffles right there in the store. He gives them a creamy filling. Someone taps him on the shoulder. It’s Mr. Whipple, the toilet paper guy. Mr. Whipple makes Phil pay for the waffles and then Phil goes home and feeds the waffles to Sweet Alice and then fucks her on top of a chicken coop. Any flat surface will do.
While my peers invariably put Seka at the top of their fantasy wish list—keep in mind this is the mid to late ’70s, when Farrah Fawcett was considered the apex of beauty—I found Juliet Anderson’s Aunt Peg persona oddly compelling. Many years later, when I had the opportunity to meet her at an awards ceremony in New York, she was still alluring. When I worked up the courage to speak to her, she at first seemed almost demure as I gushed my appreciation for how she had brightened my youth. When I casually mentioned that I was almost 25, I saw her face change: she cocked her head, her lips curled upwards slightly, and her eyes narrowed as she gave me the once over, head to toe. This was a look I recognized. This was not Juliet Carr. This was Aunt Peg—and she was checking me out.
It was almost as magical a moment as when John Waters offered me a Kool cigarette, and one I will never forget. We now live in a world where beautiful porn stars are plentiful, heralded by the media, and available in all sizes, colors, ages, and kinks. Today porn is literally everywhere. That’s a good thing, I suppose, but I can’t help but reminisce about the days when there seemed to be only a handful of brave women willing to fuck on camera. To horny post-adolescents, these weren’t just porn stars; they were our heroes. And it’s a shame we lost one of the greatest heroes in January. Wherever you are, Aunt Peg, I just want to say: Thanks for checking me out.
Tony Lovett, publisher and editor-in-chief of AVN, writes a monthly column. This article originally appeared in the March 2010 issue.