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From wild sex to lesbian trysts, we lift the lid on the saucy Kevin Bacon drama I Love Dick — and an angry Brit academic

AS titles go, this one really nails it.

New eight-part comedy-drama, I Love Dick starring Kevin Bacon and Kathryn Hahn, tracks the very peculiar relationship between a woman, her husband and Dick — an artist she falls in lust with at a dinner party.

Kevin Bacon’s raunchy new show I Love Dick is based on a true story

But this isn’t just some telly flight of fantasy, it is based on a true story.

And the inspiration (and object of the sexual desire) for I Love Dick was a British academic.

Dick Hebdige made his name at Birmingham University — and is now suffering a major sense of humour failure.

Show tracks the peculiar relationship between a woman played by Kathryn Hahn, her husband and an artist she falls in lust with
The show is based on a real life academic Dick Hebdige who is not best pleased with the fame

And it’s not surprising, since I Love Dick is rich with anecdotes about sex in all its wild and unusual glory.

The TV series was adapted from a controversial 1997 book of the same name by female American writer and filmmaker Chris Kraus.

Her part-memoir/part-novel of more than 200 pages of letters the author wrote to the celebrated cultural studies professor but never posted, became a cult hit and was hailed as a feminist masterpiece.

Hebdige, who has written leading books on punk culture and reggae music, met Chris and her then husband, professor Sylvère Lotringer on a December night in 1994.

He’d recently emigrated to teach in California and the three of them had dinner together at his home near Pasadena.

It was a stormy night and Dick invited them to stay overnight on the sofabed. They chatted, nothing happened and the couple left after breakfast.

Hebdige later described their meeting as ‘genial, but not particularly intimate or remarkable.’

Yet something had awoken within Chris. As she writes: “I don’t care if you want me. It’s better that you don’t. It’s enough that I want you.”

Believing Hebdige had flirted and made ‘continual eye contact’ with her over dinner she began to fixate on him and talked with her husband obsessively about the evening.

Finding his wife’s arousal exciting, Sylvère suggested she put down her feelings in a letter addressed to Hebdige, to remain unsent.

Dick sites down for dinner with Sylvere played by Griffin Dunne
Chris played by Kathryn Hahn falls in lust with Dick over dinner
The pair begin a strange affair including the husband Sylvere
Chris, hubbie Sylvere and object of desire Dick

Sylvère even penned his own notes to Dick and soon the couple’s love letters began piling up.

In an early note Chris writes: ‘Being in love with you, being ready to take this ride, made me feel 16.’

A later one says: “We’ve just had sex and before that spent the last two hours talking of you.

“Since you’ve come into our lives our house has turned into a brothel.”

Over time the letter writing project helps Chris become more sexually confident and she confesses: “My entire state of being has changed because I’ve become my sexuality: female, straight, wanting to love men and be f***ed.”

When the letters were published in her 1997 novel, Chris was credited with sparking a trend for women to open up more honestly about sex in first-person blogs.

The book also claims that she and Hebdige slept together at least twice after her marriage to Sylvère broke down.

She eventually handed Hebdige the letters and the academic — who is currently professor of media studies, film and art at the University of California — confessed he was “gobstruck” at her fascination.

Artist Dick stands with his horse in a small town street
Dick stands smouldering in the doorway
Kevin Bacon's character stands on the Texas ranch
Topless Dick cradles a young lamb

But he was furious when she published them in her book.

Although Chris never used Hebidge’s last name and changed the physical description of him, it soon became common knowledge that the British scholar was the inspiration behind the work.

She admitted: “I wrote these crazy letters to Dick. My life changed, I woke up, the letters turned into essays, and, eventually, I realised that I had written a book.

“Everything that happens in it happened first in life.

“I called Dick up and asked if he’d like to write an introduction. Nothing in the book was aimed against him: it could be presented as a joke that we’d cooked up together. He declined.”

Hebdige slapped Chris with a legal warning to stop publication and when that failed he branded the work “beneath contempt”.

Professor Hebdige, now 66, has commented only once on the novel telling an American journalist: “This book was like a bad review of my presence in the world.

“If someone’s writing gets read only because it exploits a recognisable figure, then it really is a despicable exercise.”

Chris played by Kathryn Hahn stands in a shadowed doorway
Chris' raunchy letters featuring her desires for Dick hang over her bed
Chris and Dick on the porch of the Texas property
Chris turns her back on Dick after an intense scene

But while the author Chris is bemused by Hebdige’s hostility, Bacon, who plays Dick, says he has some sympathy with him. He said: “It’s a question of living your life, and something kind of comes out of the blue to turn you into a public persona when you haven’t made that choice.

“But when it comes to a celebrity, like for myself, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We have spent a lifetime trying to create this lack of anonymity.”

The star also admits delight at playing a sex symbol at 58, joking: “I certainly don’t mind being objectified at this age.”

But the sexually explicit nature of the TV adaptation of I Love Dick is sure to infuriate the high-minded academic all over again.

In one scene Hahn, who plays Chris, and her husband, played by Griffin Dunne, romp passionately on her bed while she imagines Dick sitting in the room directing the action.

In another she pleasures her husband while he thinks about watching her argue with Dick.

Chris cools off in the pool
Chris and Dick exchange words at a party
Kathryn Hahn's character on the set of the dark comedy I Love Dick

Getty Images
Kathryn Hahn stars in the Amazon Prime Show[/caption]

Getty Images - WireImage
Kevin Bacon plays Dick in I Love Dick[/caption]

Best selling book the show is based on

Another moment has a sexy redhead analysing hardcore pornography while livestreaming herself naked in the desert.

Elsewhere a lesbian tryst unfolds in graphic detail inside an old caravan, and another woman intones: “I want to have the kind of sex that makes breathing feel like f***ing.”

The success of the new TV show, created by Jill Soloway, who was also behind Amazon’s transgender hit Transparent, has again thrust Professor Hebdige into the limelight. Although he failed to respond to a request for comment from The Sun this week.

But just as Chris says in the drama, she is “on a mission to obliterate the walls around my desire and will not be muzzled.”

And with the show now drawing global attention, it seems she will have her wish whether ‘Dick’ likes it or not.

  • I Love Dick is available on Amazon Prime.

 

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/3652849/from-wild-sex-to-lesbian-trysts-we-lift-the-lid-on-the-saucy-kevin-bacon-drama-i-love-dick-and-an-angry-brit-academic/