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Pubic for the Public, a Memoir
Japanese Fresh Abalone, image credit: manufacturer.com
movies protraying naked pubises were banned from the public screen.
Pubic for the Public
I was fifteen when the "pubic" movies arrived at Hong Kong. No, it wasn't a mispelling. That's what we called those movies at that time. Prior to 1976, movies protraying naked pubises were banned from the public screen. Breasts, kisses, buttocks and couples copulating were all allowed, as long as the naked pubis was hidden away. When the ban was lifted, the cinemas were ready, and so was the ad industry. The first pubic movie was called "The Horny Professor". I didn't see it, not that I didn't want to. I hardly had the money, nor the guts, to stand in line for hours for a ticket. Nonetheless, I remembered coming across reviews on the movie in every newspaper and magazine. I believed some of the movie reviews were written following the reviewers big night out with the film importers. "You have to see it to believe it. Naked pubic shots appear almost every second minute. Make sure you're there early, or you simply don't get in." Before long, the whole class was talking about it. It was initially difficult, and subsequently impossible to admit that I hadn't seen it. For some obscure reason, the rest of the class sounded like they had watched it at least three times in the past week. It was important to try to learn everything I could about it during recesses and after school, without asking too many questions. It was easy to learn the plot of the movie, as if there were one. What was more tricky was who did which sexual act to whom. It's easy for me to laugh about it now. 'Mind you in those days, sex education was only taught in universities and international schools in Hong Kong. For boys of our conventional local school, our only sex education came from Miss Pang, our good-intentioned lady English teacher, who had the appearance and giggles, as well as drawings of a teenage school girl. I remembered that the penis she drew on the black-board looked like an unusually big chopstick, and that the vulva looked like an abalone. It took us quite a while to realize that the abalone had a slit in it so the chopstick did not have to puncture it to get admitted. At least that was more graphical and correct in details than what the guys from the other class learned. Their teacher illustrated the copulation act by putting an adaptor into the wall socket. So much for my first sex education lesson. Back to the pubic movie. In essence, I was really determined to fake my at least ecstatic, if not orgasmic, viewing experience of "The Horny Professor" without getting caught. I came up with this bright idea of making notes of the details after listening to the boys. For weeks, I was adding notes to this little spiral notebook. I rehearsed talking about various scenes in vivid details, in a natural speed, without sounding exaggerated or too humble. I was doing great and was finally given the much sought-after halo of the rebel. I was safe at the home base when the movie finally came off the local screen.
All was well, until my mother found my little spiral notebook. I could still remember the stories I made up to explain about the book and the unfair treatment I received for something I didn't do. But that can probably go into the next autobiographical exercise.