Cinema Sutra: Barbarella

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The movie: When the opening credits feature a lithe young Jane Fonda removing her space suit in zero-grav, you know you’re in for a treat. Barbarella (Fonda’s character in the film) is a whimsical sci-fi adventure wherein director Roger Vadim (who later married Fonda, as he had Brigitte Bardot, having launched her career as well — jerk!) finds every occasion to get his future wife in something skimpy or suggestive. Barbarella is very light-hearted and fun, so sit back and enjoy the silliness — and don’t miss Fonda getting the ultimate turn-on from the full-body sex toy, the “excessive machine.”

The scene: Apart from the weightlessness of it all, it’s a pretty conventional strip tease. And though there’s apparently no gravity, Fonda herself certainly has plenty of magnetic pull.

What you need:
• a space suit
• a zero-gravity environment or a reliable pulley, rope, and harness

The mechanics: Okay, I included this scene mostly just to round out the three-week striptease series and to remind everyone of this cult classic. But if you and your partner are very advanced role-players (or work at NASA), you might one day find yourself wanting to disrobe in (simulated) deep space. For home zero-grav, you’ll need to get a pulley properly anchored to an overhead beam, a rigger’s harness, and quality rope (make sure you do the research and buy professional products; this is not something to half-measure). But once the carpenters leave and you have your zero-grav simulation, let the fun begin.

As Audrey Hepburn made clear in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, classiness can be all about the gloves. Small surprise, then, that Fonda begins by taking off her silver mittens and twining her long aristocratic fingers to wonderful effect.

From there, I think we have to give bonus points to the space-suit designer for the detachable legs. (If you’re using a pulley and rope at home, you’ll need them to release just below the harness). And, really, what makes better use of zero-grav than doing some Esther Williams upside-down kicks with beautiful gams and cute black-cotton briefs?

Just so we don’t lose track of whom the lovely legs belong to, next comes Fonda’s fishbowl headpiece, lifted off with an excellent, Charlie’s Angels hair shake (another reason motorcyclists should wear helmets!).

Then go the arms — also detachable — and finally the cuirass (at home you won’t be able to get this off), revealing a delectable, not-quite-obscured naked Fonda (the panties seemed to disappear between cuts). And now that that’s taken care of, welcome to Barbarella!

Lesson we learn: Striptease in deep space is hot as hell, but zero-grav is tough to come by. In a harness at home, there’s no way you’ll be able to recreate Barbarella’s motions, though you can still do a few things with the limited mobility afforded you (don’t forget to arch your back and hook your ankles around the suspending rope). It might all be more trouble than it’s worth, but just as space is the final frontier, perhaps space stripping is the final frontier of role-play.

Click here to read — and learn — more in Nerve’s Hollywood Sex Scene Database.