Brigitte Maier and Lasse Braun
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Lasse Braun (born Alberto Ferro; January 11, 1936 – 16 February 2015) was an Italian pornographer, film director, producer, screenwriter, novelist and researcher.
Braun earned a law degree from the University of Milan (1956–63). He initially accumulated the funds for his lavish productions from the profit gained with so-called loops, ten-minute hardcore movies sold to Reuben Sturman, who distributed them to 60,000 American peep show booths
Braun was born into a wealthy, aristocratic Italian family as Alberto Ferro, and was destined to become a diplomat, following in his father’s footsteps. He passed all of his law exams at the State University of Milan (1956–63), and while preparing the defense of his doctoral dissertation entitled Judiciary Censorship in the Western World, its contents and underlying radical ideas provoked so much controversy that it was promptly dismissed.
Braun placed himself firmly in the tradition of 18th century pornographers such as Rétif de la Bretonne, who was the first author to coin the word “pornography” in his plea for the institutionalisation of brothels in Le Pornographe (1769) and to describe a comprehensive range of sexual variations in L’Anti-Justine ou les Délices de l’Amour (1798).
Another source of inspiration for Braun consisted of the Priapistic rituals and orgiastic festivals of the Dionysus cult, as well as ceremonies in veneration of Aphrodite (Porne), the goddessof lust and patroness of courtesans. According to Braun, censorship itself is obscene, and the suppression of sexual desire by the political and religious establishment over the centuries has only led to psychological damage and frustration. In his 740-page novel Lady Caligula, Braun goes against the grain by portraying Caligula as a brilliant character, instead of the deranged emperor described in Edward Gibbon‘s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and in I, Claudius.
Having withdrawn from the world of pornography out of disappointment with the purely commercial approach of American distributors and the resulting inferiority of video productions, Braun has dedicated himself to writing scientific works on sexology (L’impeto di Venere, dealing with the G-spot) and on anthropology, erotic historical novels such as Lady Caligula (both in English and his native tongue, Italian), erotic thrillers, a study of prostitution, and his autobiography.