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Working Blue: Smurfsex from Peyo to Porn

Sm**f buddies
Sony Pictures

The following piece contains many, many links that are NSFW.

Mere minutes into The Smurfs, evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) acknowledges an elephant that’s stalked the room for more than half a century: Papa Smurf, the white-bearded, Marxian patriarch of blue-faced laborers, has 99 sons and just one daughter. “Nothing weird about that, no, no,” he cracks, and then The Smurfs, which opens in theaters Friday, returns to its calculated blandness. Yet the wizard’s point stands: There’s something perverse about this picture.

In the 30 years since the Smurfs debuted on American television (and in the 50-plus years since Belgian cartoonist Peyo first inked Les Schtroumpfs), the series’ inexplicable oddness—the communist utopianism, the blueness, and especially the tantalizing gender disparity—has been its most enduring legacy, inspiring parodies on Saturday Night Live, Family Guy, South Park, and Robot Chicken. Donnie Darko took up the question of smurfsex for an extended, straight-faced non sequitur, and things get randier online, where full-blown Smurf-themed pornography has thrived.

From Grimm to Shrek, sexual subtext in children’s stories is nothing new. And cartoon pornography has a long and notorious history, from the sexually explicit shenanigans of the Tijuana bible comic books (Blondie and Dagwood, Little Orphan Annie and her frisky mutt Sandy) to fanboy art of spread-eagled superheroes and underage Simpsons. But the Smurfs are a special case. Regardless of intent—Peyo played innocent about sex, sexism, and race—the premise was porn-tastic from the start, positing a spritely all-male society led by a bearish elder. As told in both the American cartoon and Belgian comic, Smurfette was nothing but a man-molded sex object from the start, concocted by Gargamel as a crafty, raven-haired saboteur. When she decides to switch teams, Papa Smurf whisks her into his mushroom and magically transforms her into a “new and improved” free-spirited blonde in high heels.

Since the dawn of Internet chat rooms, when children of the ’80s grew into consumers, sharers and purveyors of pop-cult perversities, two paths have been pondered: Either the little village people are gay, or Smurfette is a very busy gal. Unsurprisingly, the majority of smurfsmut, like most agro-hetero porn, goes for the gang bang.

Something of an urtext for all manner of Smurferotica, Salvatore Cavaleri’s short story “The Sexual Adventures of the Smurfs” first appeared on the open-call Alt.Sex.Stories site in the early ’90s, and has been forwarded countless times since. It chronicles an annual “Smuckfest,” in which each blue boy has a go at Smurfette, with big Papa batting first. “As Smurfette’s moans and cries rise in pitch higher and higher,” writes Cavaleri, “the crowd gazes in amazement at the mighty mound of meat struggling to escape from Papa Smurf’s pants.” Once the elder is sated, others follow: “Backhand, forehand, underhand, in the armpit or behind the knee, the Smurfs erupt in a display of orgasmic prowess to shame the most devoted student of the Kama Sutra.” In the pornographer’s defense, such perversions aren’t that far from the lustful shenanigans of “Romeo and Smurfette,” an episode of the cartoon series in which an amorous Smurfette tells a village of squabbling suitors, “I could never pick just one of you—because I love you all.” (Needless to say, Smurfette’s too busy entertaining every Tom, Dick, and Smurf’s fantasy to pursue her own.)

Following suit, sexually graphic illustrations often feature Papa Smurf with a cock of Toulouse-Lautrec-ian proportions, while an ample-breasted Smurfette engages in various orgasmic engorgements (most memorably with Snap, Crackle, and Pop). On YouTube, users supply naughty audio tracks for the kiddie cartoon, while others grind together mangy, dead-eyed stuffed animals in simulated sex acts. In a rare Smurf-on-human variant, college boys are serially mounted by a whiskey-drunk, giant plush Papa. A fully live-action, Spanish-language adult video finally surfaced a few years ago, dutifully literalizing, with unevenly applied and saliva dissolvable body paint, the kind of hard-core debauchery that Cavaleri had conjured with mere purple prose.

Smurfsmut has even infiltrated American sex slang, with entries in the Urban Dictionary as varied and suggestive as “smurf hammer,” “smurf smuggling,” and, simply, “smurfing” (“the act of hitting someone across the face with one’s penis”). In fact, since it works in every tense and every part of speech, “smurf” nearly rivals “fuck” for linguistic versatility, which The Smurfs rather eagerly exploits. “Smurf me,” says one character, while Smurfette declares, “You smurfed with the wrong girl.” Though Smurfette’s coquettishness is downplayed in the film, it’s telling that America’s favorite tease-next-door, Katy Perry, was hired to give her voice; too hot for Sesame Street, but just right for the Smurfs. When the blast of a heating vent startles Smurfette into a Marilyn Monroe pose, the film cuts to five ogle-eyed males, one of whom asks, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Of course we are—that’s the smurfing idea.


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