LOS ANGELES—As far as 71-year-old Raquel Welch is concerned, we live in a "culture where we’re all sex addicts, literally," with the result that people now equate "happiness in life with as many orgasms as you can possibly pack in, regardless of where it is that you deposit your love interest."
In a long interview with Men's Health magazine, the ultimate sex symbol of her day—and maybe any day—who, by the way, looks about as good at her age as anyone should be allowed to look—ended it with a blistering attack on the current "era of porn," which she says is at least partially responsible for our collective preference for "pre-fab" sex.
"You have these images coming at you unannounced and unsolicited," she said, probably referring to the internet. "It just gets to be so plastic and phony to me. Maybe men respond to that. But is it really better than an experience with a real life girl that he cares about? It’s an exploitation of the poor male’s libidos. Poor babies, they can’t control themselves."
Adding vivid meat to the bones of her argument, she continued, "I just imagine them sitting in front of their computers, completely annihilated. They haven’t done anything, they don’t have a job, they barely have ambition anymore. And it makes for laziness and a not very good sex partner. Do they know how to negotiate something that isn’t pre-fab and injected directly into their brain?"
Welch refused to back down when the interviewer, Eric Spitznagel—who really had no counter to Welch's claims—nonetheless pointed out that she risked coming off "as a little over-the-hill cranky and prudish."
"I’m fine with that," she said. "I don’t care if I’m becoming one of those old fogies who says, 'Back in my day we didn’t have to hear about sex all the time.' Can you imagine? My fantasies were all made up on my own. They’re ruining us with all the explanations and the graphicness. Nobody remembers what it’s like to be left to form your own ideas about what’s erotic and sexual. We’re not allowed any individuality. I thought that was the fun of the whole thing. It’s my fantasy. I didn’t pick it off the internet somewhere. It’s my fantasy."
Spitznagel tried playfully to get Welch to at least acknowledge the many scenes she herself has made that provided their own special blend of race car fuel for the febrile imaginations of multitides of young men, but she wasn't biting, preferring instead to give the filmmakers credit for understanding "what was sexy and what wasn’t," for knowing "how to be sexy without being profane about it, and without being too graphic."
Considering how utterly ingrained in the culture Raquel Welch was, and probably still is, as the epitome of a sex symbol, it's impossible to fault her too much for being sensitive on the subject of graphic sexuality, but it's still a shame she had to revert to the sex addiction canard, and even worse that she had to resort to that old "the most erogenous zone is the brain" line, which was first used one million years B.C.
It was also a little amusing to see that the linked advertisement placed immediately at the end of the interview on each page of the 3-page Raquel Welch interview is for Testosterone Transformation, "the natural way to boost your testosterone."
Image: Raquel Welch, in 2008, courtesy of IMDB.