Cafe Flesh (1982)

Cafe Flesh (1982)

“You don’t have to be ashamed; there’s nothing wrong with just watching.”

In a post-nuclear dystopia, the world is divided into “Sex Negatives” (those who become ill from sex) and “Sex Positives” (those are still able to enjoy it). Sex Positives are forced by the government to have sex in nightclubs, where envious, masochistic Sex Negatives flock to watch them.


  • Adult Films
  • Dystopia
  • Nightclubs
  • Nuclear Holocaust
  • Science Fiction

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary points out, this is truly the “thinking person’s [p.] film”, a rare instance where sexual acts actually makes sense in the context of an adult movie. He writes that while it’s “obviously not for all tastes”, the “acting is very good, the characters are genuinely interesting” and “it is witty, provocative, and erotic”. In addition, the film has a somewhat compelling plot: a Sex Positive pretends to be a Sex Negative in order not to alienate her SN partner or “damage his ego”. As pointed out in Time Out’s Capsule Review, this early-’80s film is remarkably prescient of the AIDS epidemic, which similarly segregated “positive” and “negative” sexual partners from each other.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • An authentically intriguing premise
  • Visually interesting, “highly stylized” sex scenes

Must See?
Yes. This is on a par with The Devil in Miss Jones (1973) as one of the most creative and thought-provoking adult films ever made. Discussed at length in Peary’s Cult Movies 3 (1988).



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