To escape her boring life as a housewife - at least for a few hours at
a time - Betty (Barbara Lance) has taken to writing and has already
published a few articles in housewife magazines ... but that still leaves
her unfulfilled. So her literary agent Stacey suggests to write erotic
short stories, which after some initial hesitation Betty virtually throws
herself into - and Stacey turns them all down. Basically, Betty's stories
lack imagination and experience. So Stacey suggests that Betty would
"live a little" to get into the swing. Betty is happily married
Betty's first attempt to gather some experience by simply
watching some friends fuck ends with her running away because she's too
full of inhibitions, but her acquaintance with a young girl, Tenny, leads
to her meeting Tenny's uncle, who is, let's say, sexually very liberated.
Betty soon starts having an affair with him, and he opens her up to all
sorts of sexual play, including three- and foursomes, lesbian sex, even
As much as Betty enjoys having sex with all these people in
all these ways, she feels bad for cheating on her husband (Howard Muniz),
so she persuades Tenny to have an affair with him - to which Tenny agrees
only if Betty watches them having sex.
Seeing her husband have sex with
Tenny almost breaks Betty's heart, and yet she can't stop, well, fucking
around - and that almost breaks up their marriage.
a transitional Joe Sarno film: While his early efforts were (for its time)
very steamy dramas that showed very little to nothing in terms of actual
nudity (again a sign of the times), his later efforts would push softcore
sex to the very boundaries (actual hardcore porn just wasn't a place he
wanted to go). Desire under the Palms though was made at a time
when censorship was just beginning to loosen, which might explain that the
sex scenes all look a bit awkward and simply lack the elegance of Sarno's
later sex films while not being nearly as on-target as his earlier more
Not really the film Sarno will ever be remembered
for, but for his fans at least interesting to watch as it shows his
evolution as a director.