Have you seen, even heard of “Bike Porn?”
I myself had not, until I was invited to an event called Bike Smut in Philadelphia.
At the beginning of the event, a video was projected onto a large screen with a man riding on a bicycle through city streets, naked. The host stood in front of the screen and announced, “Ladies, gentlemen and the great people of Philadelphia. Start pumping your pedals. We’re in for a wild ride!” He was right.
“What exactly is ‘Bike Porn?’” one might ask. I would define Bike Porn as pornographic materials including, showcasing, or about bicycles. “Could something that strange be entertaining, sexy or artful?” one may continue. The answer is yes.
Bike Smut was comprised of about twelve short films covering a vast array of genres and styles in bike pornography. Several sexual appetites were accounted for, including, but not limited to homosexuality, heterosexuality, pansexuality, bisexuality, even hair fetishism and, of course, “bike-sexuality.” The collection represented an international body of filmmakers, with most of the pieces coming from North America and some from Europe (Germany and Switzerland). The Porny Express, the group who produces Bike Smut, is touring this work throughout North America and has been doing so for the past seven years.
What has sustained the Porny Express and their cause? Furthermore, what makes “Bike Porn” a burgeoning cultural phenomenon? Maybe it has to do with the significant history of bicycles.
Bikes were introduced in Europe in the nineteenth century and ever since, biking has become a global pastime. Most importantly, they transformed the way people traveled, making transport immensely swifter, but bikes also revolutionized fashion, especially for women.
As early as 1894, women began documenting their changing fashions for bike-riding. In one article from that year, a long skirt with ankle-buckles was advertised for safe, easy pedaling (Lewis, Jone).
Although the costuming was still quite modest (with heavy wool to cover most parts of the body), this trajectory in anatomically revealing fashion continued, and today has resulted in tight, spandex costuming for all sexes. This fashion showcases the curves and splendors of the human body, exposing its inherent sexuality. Bicycles only exaggerate that sexuality, causing legs to exhibit athletic prowess while, possibly, stimulating erogenous zones that meet the seat. Therefore, the invention of the bicycle, shifting our fashions and agency to travel, has been a leap towards liberation.
There is also a reference to Futurism in witnessing bicycles intermixed with sex, a movement which also fetishizes machinery. Yet in most of these films, bicycles, rather than recalling sleek, sterile fascism, revealed effervescence and youth. After all, as the films in Bike Smut were not shy about reminding us, one must be at least somewhat fit and agile to ride.
As previously noted, there were a plethora of styles represented in the screening. There was the romantic film where two men meet through checking out each other’s bikes. There was the Western with its classic John Wayne soundtrack underscoring three women stripping and grinding on their bicycles. Two films took place in a bicycle repair-shop, one with a classic, gay hard-core anal sex scene, the other with a hair-fetishist buzzing off a tied-up customer’s long hair, and at least five films included a group of women engaging in bike-sexual foreplay.
Regardless of each film’s style, there was something laugh-out-loud funny about all of them. In one stand-out film, a woman masturbates and uses her vaginal secretion as bike lubricant. In the gay, anal sex scene, one cannot explode into laughter when the guy being penetrated from behind begins turning the pedals of a stationary bike in front of him. The comedy in each film made up for a lack of professionalism in the production values, making the do-it-yourself nature of the event that much more charming.
Although some might classify an event such as this as obscene or artless, I beg to differ. Oddly enough, something brilliant happens when bicycles meet sex. Bikes, when used in these films most effectively, gave way to the playful side of sexuality, reminding viewers what great joy can be found with the release of endorphins while bike-riding.
On a personal note, Bike Smut allowed me to recognize the absurdity and wonderfulness of sex through my laughter. I can honestly say that not only have I seen “Bike Porn,” but my understanding and appreciation for bicycles has grown that much deeper. Therefore, I strongly believe in these films as an artful force for good, encouraging us to connect with our earth, each other, ourselves and our bikes. Needless to say, what a great way to encourage exercise!
Learn more about Bike Smut and see when it's coming to a location near you!:
Lewis, Jone J. "The Bicycle And Health (1894)." The Ladies' Standard Magazine Apr. 1894:
n. pag. Print.