Friday, May 1, 2015

In Memoriam: Bodil Joensen (September 25th, 1944-Janurary 3rd, 1985)

This is one of the most tragic and heartbreaking stories I've ever heard. I wish they would make a movie about her life but I fear that it would go to farce and prove to be more disrespectful to Bodil.
She was born in Hundige, Denmark to an absent father who was in the military and a very devoutly Christian, sexually repressed mother who would beat and whip Bodil for the slightest thing, even if she just talked to a boy.
When Joensen was 12 she was approached by a man who, according to Bodil, told her all about men, sex and animals. There are conflicting reports with some people saying the man raped her, others saying he nearly raped and still others saying they just talked. Bodil maintained in interviews that he never raped or touched her and they just talked however I did hear that the man had a bottle of chloroform in his possession and was jailed. When Joensen told her mother she was beaten and locked away, as her mother believed she had been raped. She even called Bodil a vile slut. After Bodil was let out of the room she had been locked in she, in a fit of anger, told her mother that when she grew up she would have sex with boars. In a later interview she said she told her mother this because it was the most vile, disgusting thing she could think of. Her mother was reportedly shocked and then believed Bodil to be allied to the Devil.
Shortly after this incident is when Joensen first turned to animals for affection. Her dog became her best friend, her companion and then eventually her lover and for the rest of her life she wore a locket with his picture in it.
When she was 15 she left home and worked on a farm. According to the farmer, Joensen was entranced by watching animals breeding and even found it wonderful to help with. Soon she left and set up her own breeding farm called Insemination Central. Before long both it and she became very popular, particularly because of her ability to handle aggressive animals like boars. Unfortunately jealous farmer's wives, who didn't want their husbands working with a single young lady began to gossip and spread rumors about her. Her friends later commented that she was "never given much of a chance by such people," and Joensen later stated that "9 out of 10 men wanted to fuck me and their wives hated me."
At the age of 17, with her business failing and needing a way to keep her farm and livestock, she entered the industry and did her first porn which was a light fetish film. When she was 25 she started appearing in bestiality films for director Ole Ege as well as numerous shorts and features for Color Climax Corporation. Between 1969 and 1972 Bodil had appeared in more than 40 movies!

In 1970, Shinkichi Tajiri filmed a documentary about Joensen that shows her living with the animals on the farm and includes shots of her caring for them, her affection for them and her sexual life. At this time she had a guinea pig, a dozen pigs, numerous cats, a mare, 7 dogs, 2 rabbits and a black stallion named Dreamlight. People who knew her at this time said that she seemed like a "very open, warm-hearted person, very at home with nature, and that when she plays her erotic game with the dog or horse, it is not only a sexual curiosity, it is an erotic play with animals she loves and who are devoted to her." The film, titled Bodil Joensen-en sommerdag juli 1970 is shot to the tune of Beethoven's Sixth Symphony and won the Grand Prize at the Wet Dream Film Festival in November of that year. This catapulted Joensen who became an underground celebrity and other filmmakers and tourists soon flocked to her farm.
In 1971 her film A Summer's Day was released in The United States under the title Animal Lover and shortly after this she began writing a column in Screw Magazine where she answered questions readers would write in.
It was around this time that Bodil became known as The Boar Girl because of the live shows she did with them and because she had done numerous films with them that were shot at her breeding center.
Bodil had a daughter with her partner Knud P. Andersen who was born in 1972. During this time Joensen allowed tourists to visit her farm and making films with her animals. Unfortunately her neighbors soon grew hostile and she was forced to move. This happened numerous times and with the changes in The Danish Porn Industry, Bodil wasn't able to transition into other films and her financial stability was soon lost.
Her friends began noticing a sharp deterioration in her after 1972 as well as physical and psychological changes such as depression. Bodil soon found herself doing sexual roleplay and live sex shows to survive.
By 1980, with little means of income and a mountain of spiraling debt, she was forced to do small scale live shows. Tajiri had this to say about her outcome: "Accepting the 'Grand Prix' at the first Wet Dream Film Festival was the worst mistake we made with our film, but we were too flattered by the response at the time to realize it."
In one of her last interviews, Joensen had this to say: " Things went completely out of hand when 'Spot' died. I started taking sedatives. But when someone referred to them as 'loony-smarties' I threw them in the fireplace. Instead I started drinking and eating excessively. I gained 30 kilos. Doesn't look well on something that was going downhill anyway. 'Spot' was a real German shepherd that I got from an animals hospital 10 years ago. She had been beaten. She never became anything but a little, weak dog. I've never been able to talk to other girls. I've always been with men. 'Spot' was my female friend. She understood what I said. Was happy when I was happy. Was sad when I was. When we were alone in the house without light and heat we went to bed together. Shared a biscuit. And then we talked, until we fell asleep. 'Spot' is the only living creature that has loved me for being just me. She didn't expect to get anything back. She soothed me when I was ill. I've experienced a lot with 'Lassie', and like him a lot. But it'll never be the same as with 'Spot'. Lassie has been unfaithful to me. He's an every-girls-dog. 'Spot' was mine. Completely mine. That's why I had such a shock when she died. And started drinking, and eating myself fat in no time. I live with my man for 10 years and my eight year old daughter. Still I feel like the loneliest human being now that 'Spot' is dead. In those days I earned easy money in a tough line of work. I fell and fell. 'When will I reach the bottom?' I often ask myself these days."
Before long Bodil was an alcoholic and no longer able to adequately care for her animals. In 1981 with Denmark's laws changing, her farm was raided and she was charged with sickening animal neglect. Reportedly the animals were starving and living in filth and, according to one report I read, a dead pig carcass was discovered and it had started to be eaten by the other pigs. Bodil was sentenced to 30 days in jail and all of her animals were euthanized. She never recovered from that.
After she was released she turned to prostitution to support herself, her daughter and Andersen, who was also an alcoholic and, even though she did not want to have sex with people, she did it in the hopes that she could get her animals back and it could be like it was before.
Doing any sexual favor for alcohol and tranquilizers, Bodil had this to say about her career in her last interview in 1980: "in my position it is hard to turn down anything, no matter how disgusting... for me, staying alive in the hooking business is hell."
On January 3rd, 1985, Bodil Joensen died from cirrhosis of the liver. She was only 40 years old. She is buried in a cemetery in Denmark with Andersen. The whereabouts of her daughter are unknown.
In April of 2006, the U.K. documentary The Dark Side Of Porn: The Real Animal Farm helped bring new interest to this amazing woman who had to suffer so much heartache and sadness until she just cracked.
Bodil, wherever you are, rest in peace.