Ayla The Prehistoric Porn Star

Ayla - cover art from The Valley of Horses by Geoff TaylorTake any pre-loved paperback edition of Jean M. Auel’s The Valley of Horses and let it fall open. I’ll bet you a pair of mammoth hair underpants that the pages will automatically flip open to one of the many “dirty bits”.

I was 14 when I first read The Clan of the Cave Bear, quickly followed by The Valley of Horses and The Mammoth Hunters. I think I can safely say that Auel’s books were the filthiest thing that I’d ever read, aside from a few clandestine glimpses of Penthouse. While Cave Bear only has a very brief sex scene (and an awful rape scene at that), the latter books are just chockers with long, detailed, flowery and exceptionally explicit sex scenes.

Of course, you’ll be wanting an example.

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“His manhood was throbbing eagerly, impatiently, as he shifted position to slide down between her legs. Then he spread open her folds and took a long, loving taste. She could not hear her own sounds as she lost herself to the flood of exquisite sensations coursing through her as his tongue explored every fold, every ridge.”

That’s from the three page extravaganza that is heroine Ayla “sharing pleasures” for the first time with the ridiculously well-hung Jondalar. It’s preceded by no less than five other extended sex scenes as our hero shags his way across Europe, delighting virgins and older women alike with his attentive lovemaking skills and monster schlong.

Auel’s prehistoric world of Cro-Magnon people is female-centered and matriarchal. It’s quite a utopia. The mystery surrounding sex and pregnancy means that “sharing pleasures” has very little to do with reproduction or even relationships. Monogomy exists, but there’s also the option for a woman to get it on with any man she chooses, especially during religiously sanctioned orgies.

In these books, the men know how to give women pleasure. It’s a requirement. There are special ceremonies where young women lose their virginity with plenty of care, attention and joyous feasting. Teenage boys are taught how to have sex properly by older women, thus ensuring that everyone knows where the clitoris is. Oh, and everyone has simultaneous orgasms, every single time.

So. I was 14. It was quite the sex education. And it later proved to be terribly confusing when I lost my virginity and didn’t immediately encounter “paroxysms of inexpressible pleasure” as expected.

Still, those books made for fabulous stroke material, and there was the added bonus that one could pretend it was serious literature, what with the well-researched prehistoric context and all. I even reviewed The Mammoth Hunters for a Year 10 English assignment which, when I look back at it now, was quite a dodgy thing to do. I did get decent marks for it, so I can’t complain.

The series was also available in the school library. As I recall they were even more heavily borrowed than Judy Blume’s Forever. I suspect this situation would not be likely in the US, but in 1980s Australia it was not a problem.

Auel’s subsequent books are just as heavy on the sex, but are unfortunately extremely boring. I think I’d rather have a tooth pulled than drag my sorry arse through The Shelters of Stone again. Even so, if you’re up for a good read with copiously over-romanticised sex, you could do worse than visit Ayla’s prehistoric world. For me, she and Jondalar remain my first ever “porn stars.”

By the way, the cover art is by the wonderful Geoff Taylor.

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