B y S t a c e y R i c h t e r
PRURIENT INTEREST HAS gone high-tech right here in Tucson with the release of Temptations Showclub '95, the debut CD-ROM from P.C. Productions Inc., a Tucson-based publishing company.
This CD-ROM (which retails for $35, though you can buy it directly from the production company for $25. Call (520) 722-4187 for more information.), aims to simulate a strip-club excursion, from the moment you enter the building to when they finish taking it off.
When you start up the program, point-of-view graphics lead you to a burly guy who greets you at the virtual door. If you say you're under 18, he ushers you to the virtual street. But if you're of age, you enter a barroom and select one of six scantily-clad women to dance.
The action here is R- rather than X-rated. The dancers take off their tops but keep their g-strings on. One of them seems to be holding a riding crop, but she doesn't do anything with it except wave it around. The women are all pretty, and they all do pretty much the same, classic striptease to the same throbbing club music, with slight variations. The dancers are elastic, professional, and they slink through the bland choreography with routine sexiness. The only anomalous section of the interface is the shower option, where you get to, yup, watch two young women manage to keep their hair dry as they help each other shower.
P.C. Productions has other CD-ROMs in the works, including an informational title about Tucson and Southern Arizona, and another featuring male strippers. (If only it were male strippers disseminating information about Southern Arizona!) Though one local adult book store carries Temptations Showclub, the primary market, as for most CD-ROMs, is mail order and computer stores. These disks aren't really intended for connoisseurs of soft-core porn, they're intended for people interested in computers--big, fancy computers with a 486 DX2 66 processor or better (Pentium recommended), eight megabytes of RAM; Windows 3.1 (though it's designed to run with Windows '95) and a quad-speed CD-ROM. "Your average person who goes into an adult bookstore doesn't have a computer," comments Mike Warhurst, president of P.C. Productions.
The company is splitting the net profits with the six women in the CD-ROM, all of whom work in clubs in Tucson (although only three actually work at Temptations), and the big thrill of this particular example versus others is that the dancers are local. There's a slim but actual chance you could run into these women in the supermarket.
Of course, you may not recognize them since the quality of this CD-ROM and CD-ROMs in general is extremely low compared to, say, videotape. There are dissolves and multiple camera angles in Temptations Showclub, but the image is grainy and the motion isn't always fluid. Warhurst warns, "The better your machine, the better it's going to run." You'll need a computer running Windows, preferably Windows '95. If you have a Macintosh, sorry. You'll just have to get yourself some other soft-core CD-ROM.
And there are plenty of others out there. Warhurst says he was inspired to make Temptations Showclub by another CD-ROM, Texas Tabledance, an example of the genre of such low quality that he felt certain he could do a better job. One good thing, though, about Texas Tabledance and similar CD-ROMs is that they're truly interactive. Temptations Showclub claims to be interactive, but all you really do is choose a dancer with a simple click. Other CD-ROMs on the same theme give you an option to tip, or to request the dancer remove a particular article of clothing.
While these features may get in the way of the flow of the thing or seem a little silly, the fact is interaction is the only feature that really recommends a CD-ROM. The image quality is poor; any videotape looks better, and there are plenty of R-rated videotapes with subject matter just as sexy. The smoky, seamy pleasure of visiting a strip club is lost when you go virtual. On a computer, there's no stuffing real dollar bills into real panties. So why get a CD-ROM?
Warhurst admits that much of the appeal is in the gadgetry. "It's a way to show off the multi-media capabilities on your new computer that's slightly risqué, but not pornographic," he says. Temptations Showclub has full-motion video, color, lighting effects--lots of features that show off what your computer can do. In other words, the advantage of CD-ROMs over other media is that CD-ROMs are nifty.
Which reminds me of a joke: A computer geek is walking down University Avenue when he sees a frog by the side of the road. "Kiss me!" the frog says, "kiss me and I'll turn into a beautiful princess!"
"Wow," the computer geek says. He picks up the frog and keeps walking.
"Kiss me!" begs the frog, "kiss me and I'll turn into a beautiful princess and I'll be your girlfriend and do whatever you want me to!"
"Cool," the computer geek says, and keeps walking.
"Hey, what's your problem?" asks the frog. "If you just kiss me I'll turn into a flesh-and-blood princess and be all yours and we'll live happily ever after!"
"Hey look," says the guy, "I'm a computer geek. I don't have time for a girlfriend. But a talking frog is cool!"
Temptations Showclub may not have the zip of visiting a strip club, and it may not have the production values and actual sex of a porn video, but hey, a CD-ROM is cool.
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