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Magnificent 1956 historical novel deserves to be read and remembered!

I recently read an excellent novel called The Three Legions by Gregory Solon. It takes place in 9 A.D. and is basically about how the German tribes revolted against the Roman legions which had conquered them a few years previously, culminating in a huge and devastating forest battle. It was published in 1956 and I had picked it up at the flea market a couple of years ago in a nice rare paperback edition for just a few bucks.

 

As I started reading it and examining the cover closely, I realized by the signature that it was done by the great Mort Künstler, veteran artist of the 1950s and 60s men’s adventure magazines and now an historical painter of great repute.  In fact I got to meet him briefly at a gallery showing of his men’s magazine illustrations a few years ago, and he was very friendly and personable.

Now, I like the cover as an image but it’s actually a red herring, as covers often could be in those days. It gives the book a kind of trashy aura that the text doesn’t have at all. “With a barbarian beauty lay the fate of 30,000 Roman soldiers” goes the heavy-breathing and, I must admit, exciting coverline. So when I began reading the book initially I thought it would be a fun kind of lurid historical epic; but I was pleasantly surprised when it quickly turned out to be an example of one of my favorite kinds of fiction: an intriguing combination of history with solid, complex characterizations, some thoughtful philosophizing, psychologically astute romance, and all beautifully written to boot. The author was a World War 2 veteran who flew 175 missions with the Ninth Air Force as a tailgunner in his early 20s, one of the most dangerous of all assignments; and he was awarded the Silver Star (it was difficult to find any information about Solon, but I got this from a short obit I located online). I wondered as I read if the novel was emotionally autobiographical about the experience of being a young soldier, transplanted from the author’s World War 2 life to that of a Roman legionary.

But the cast of characters in this compelling book—which would have made a fantastic movie back in the 50s days of epic sword-and-sandal cinema—is not limited to the young legionary, and covers the range of generals, commanders, tribunes, centurions, German female captives, German princes, kings, and tribesmen, and even a scribe/historian and a cameo by Augustus Caesar. It’s an epic story that combines the courageous with the tawdry, the heroic with the cowardly, the vile with the noble, all described with compassion and insight. There’s a beautiful German captive who’s desired by both the young virginal legionary and the melancholy but masterful commander of one of the legions; but the triangle is resolved in ways that are totally unexpected and uncliched. There’s a brute of a centurion who fights like a madman in the final battle even while his body is ravaged by disease; a foppish general who is more interested in how his armor looks than he is in fighting the Germans; an officer who lusts for a command in spite of the fact that he is too fearful in combat to be effective as a leader. And there is very tragically and memorably an embittered legionary, a career soldier, who taunts the young legionary about his inexperience, but then later himself suddenly commits a grievous act of drunken stupidity that echoes through the second half of the book. In short, the human condition is examined in the story of the three legions that found themselves suddenly attacked by the Germans they thought had become, if not their friends, then something like allies. Through its depiction of the Roman army and its adversaries The Three Legions shows the beginning of the decline of the Roman civilization, but despite this weighty angle it never forgets to be an exciting, visceral, and gripping story. Look for it at your library or on Amazon, as it is a novel well worth reading and remembering. I immediately ordered Gregory Solon’s second novel, Let Us Find Heroes, via Amazon, and am in the middle of it now.

I’ve been perusing many more interesting novels and non-fiction over the last few months, and I’ll be writing about them here too. I hope to give some good recommendations people might not otherwise have heard of.

Erotica is my trade, and good writing of many kinds is my pleasure.

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Posted by on October 31, 2018 in Erotica

 

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The unattainable fruit of his sin!

Should she damn him or thank him? When Ginny’s husband Rafe strays for the first time in their eight-year marriage, she punishes him by transforming herself from a nerd into a mouthwatering blonde hottie whom he can’t possess. True, it wasn’t right for Rafe to cheat on her, but his sin did provide Ginny the initial impetus for an amazing transformation…and to truly torment Rafe, newly gorgeous Ginny simply refuses to have sex with him, although she allows him to masturbate sometimes while he watches her work out…

This is the plot of my sexy crazy and funny new femdom erotica ebook REVENGE THRU FITNESS, available worldwide in the Kindle stores on Amazon. Read it on your phones, Kindles, laptops, and tablets. Check out the free sample here!

Her desperate husband comes up with an idea to bring them back together. It involves a little pink sock…

 


The incredible cover image, a stock photo which inspired me to come up with this storyline, was done by photographer “indiraswork” whose portfolio can be found here. Check it out!

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2018 in Amazon.com, ebooks, Erotica, Femmes Fatale, Kindle

 

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The “sex workers at work” genre in films and fiction…

One of my favorite sub-genres of film and fiction is the “sex workers at work” story–examining the mundane details of the jobs people do in erotic businesses. (By “sex work” I mean the most general use of the term, including all kinds of adult endeavors including stripping.) I thought about this when I saw an interesting film the other night from the 1940s: Glamour For Sale, about the women working for escort agencies and clubs.

This film was shown on Turner Classic Movies during its Anita Louise day as part of TCM’s August 2018 “Summer Under the Stars” programming.

It wasn’t a great movie, but I loved one detail of how the B-girls operated the drink hustle, as explained by Anita Louise’s character: they would get brandy in a glass, and soda in a second glass. They’d sip the brandy with a straw, and then move the straw to the soda glass and let out the brandy. That way they didn’t get drunk. When the waiter came by, he would take both glasses away and, if the customer agreed, bring a fresh pair of brandy and soda glasses to the hostess. It was hoped that the customer would never be wise to the fact that the hostess was not actually imbibing the expensive drink.

This practice degenerated in the 1970s and early 80s, when I was going to strip clubs that heavily featured the drink hustle: the dancer (who would hustle drinks when she wasn’t onstage) would sip her champagne but then spit it, literally and obviously, into a second, and empty, tall glass. (For some reason or other, I remember how those tumblers were made of frosted glass.) In this way it was clear that the thing the customer was actually paying for was her time, and not the “champagne.” Unless the girl chose to actually drink it, which occasionally happened too.

Two of the X-rated films I wrote in the 1990s were of the “sex workers at work” genre: Masseuse 2 and Masseuse 3.

This was one of my most personal screenplays, inspired by Japanese movies about brothels such as Mizoguchi’s Street of Shame. The masseuse’s story enabled me to explore my own feelings about working in the erotic business.

 

This won Best Film in 1998 from the X-Rated Critics Organization. It has some intense scenes exploring femdom themes.

 

In both of these original stories (not related in any way to the original hit The Masseuse or to each other except in title) I tried to weave as many little details about the actual work of masseuses as I knew into the dramas. I guess I succeeded as the films were very successful and continue to be watched more than twenty years after they were made. I even had a small and funny little role in Masseuse 3 as a lapdance customer. You can find it at this adults-only link here under the scene title of “Sexy Chicks Eat Pussy and Finger Each Other.”

Also, my scripts for Sweetie Baby and Boom Boom Valdez depicted both the jobs and personal lives of topless dancers and, in the case of former, a waitress at a strip club:

And of course my psychological suspense novel Fate of a Stripper (see sample here)  includes all sorts of details about the stripping profession which I gathered from the dancers themselves through the many years I hung out in those clubs, and through the hundreds of hours of interviews I did with strippers for various adult magazines.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, one of these days, I wrote yet another story examining some aspect of the erotic trade…

 

 

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Mostly kinky, but with a dash of vanilla!

You guessed it–I’m talking about my writing in the title! 😉 We can discuss my personal life another time, or you can just read a few of my femdom ebooks to get a sense of that—my predilections, that is, if not all my actual experiences. 😮

So here’s a little update on what I’ve been working on lately…

I pride myself on being a versatile erotica writer. My freelance jobs include everything from articles to fiction to interviews to reviews to video/model descriptions to social media (Twitter). And whatever other new interesting projects that come up in the ever-evolving world of erotica.

With the decline of the adult magazine business, I’ve concentrated on my online work. One enjoyable assignment recently was the copy for the webcam chatroom site MistressCamShow.com. I wrote the copy for many sites like this, but I particularly like the heading of this landing page copy, which was fun to write. Fun to read aloud, too…

I also work well with tags and keywords and SEO (Search Engine Optimization), blending them all seamlessly into the paragraphs to lift the sites in the Google rankings. The subject matter of my recent writing is mostly kinky, but with a nice hearty dash of vanilla, too: a recent project on the vanilla end of the spectrum (and I like the flavor vanilla, by the way) was writing all the copy for the excellent new pretty girl site EroticDesire.com.

 

Shifting from lovely young women in the open air to those tightly bound on the floor of a mysterious warehouse, I’ve also done a lot of video descriptions for the provocative BDSM women-in-bondage site FetishPros.com:

I obviously still like to do magazine writing when I can get it. Most adult magazines have ceased publishing, but here and there I find a print publication I can write for. Nothing like having copies of your work to hold in your hands! One of my specialties is doing interviews (I estimate I’ve done around a thousand over the years, primarily for magazines such as Leg Show, Black Tail, Swank, D-Cup, and Fox), and a recent one I’m proud of was with the online dominatrix and clip producer Princess Sheridan, in a recent issue of Forced Womanhood magazine, issues of which you can find here. This publication focuses primarily on the “forced feminization” fantasy, which I discussed with Sheridan, as well as her other femdom interests in a broad survey of her career. Here are the first two pages of the piece…Sheridan always makes me think of feisty Pre-Code Hollywood actresses like Barbara Stanwyck, transplanted to the modern world of kink. One of the most memorable people I’ve ever profiled. (Her website is here.)

 

As of this writing (early August 2018), I’m involved also in the editing of the upcoming issue of Forced Womanhood, as well as doing a very exciting new feature interview for it, about which I’ll write more in a few weeks when it hits both the brick-and-mortar and digital newsstands.

Another of my ongoing assignments is doing the daily Twitter for the femdom site DommeAddiction.com here. I write about the various dominatrices the site covers, ladies largely involved in the BDSM video clip scene. The DA Twitter can be found at @DommeAddiction here. A few samples…

 

Finally, as ever, I write and sell erotica ebooks on Amazon…Blonde Meets Bookworm is the most recent. And I continue to promote my psychological suspense novel Fate of a Stripper on Amazon too. You can find them all here at the U.S. Kindle store, and they are also available at the Amazon Kindle stores worldwide.

 

So that’s a quick update on some of the things I’ve worked on recently. I’m always ready for new and interesting challenges in my trade—erotica. You can contact me via the email address in my full portfolio elsewhere on this blog here, or via Twitter at @irvoneil here.

I look forward to helping you with your projects!–Irv

Awaiting a hamburger at the diner. Pic by my good buddy Dave!

 

 

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Hail the Great Tower of the Mighty Queen!

A few months ago I entered an online contest at the Westgate Gallery in Los Angeles; the task was to come up with a storyline for a sexploitation film of which there only remained a title and a poster. To my delight, I won, received some store credit, and got to pick any poster I wanted. Not surprisingly for me, given my love for the ancient and the lurid, I selected something from the sword-and-sandal genre: Slave Queen of Babylon, Italian title Io Semiramide (for Semiramis, the legendary queen of the title).

A poster worthy of an epic film! Dig that mighty tower, and her obedient minions in the shadows behind her.

 

I’ve never actually seen this entire movie; it’s posted on YouTube, but only in Italian, so I figured I’d wait until a dubbed or English-subtitled version showed up. Although we can get a lot from the visuals in these movies, I like following the nuances of plot through the usual pithy dialogue in these flicks…

Anyway, although I tweeted about this contest and poster after I won last April, I never got around to blogging about it until now. The poster is very large; from top to bottom, it could take up almost the length of a wall; but I hope sometime to rearrange my apartment and have it framed and displayed, and then invite my friends over to join me in worshiping Semiramis. 😉

Here’s a little quote from an old book telling you about this mighty lady:

That tower in the poster looks a lot more interesting than the ones going up in Manhattan nowadays! Maybe we need a reincarnation of Semiramis to work on the skyline here before it just becomes stuffed with more boring glass phalli.

Be sure to check out the Westgate Gallery. They have a lot of cool stuff!

 

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Alicia Silverstone’s cute bare behind…

I’m so grateful they haven’t gotten rid of all the sexy sights in NYC’s “family-friendly” tourist-obsessed Times Square.

I snapped this pic on Eighth Avenue a few months ago, just across from the New York Times Building on Eighth Avenue.

I must say Alicia Silverstone has a nice bottom! I wonder what all those families thought about it…

 

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2018 in Erotica, New York City, Times Square

 

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Oh those Leg World days!

On the fetish femdom scene there is more than a little nostalgia about the glory days of Leg Show magazine, primarily under the editorship of Dian Hanson, who has since gone on to work for Taschen Books and their line of historical erotica tomes. I wrote for Leg Show from about 1995 through around 2003 or 2004, so I got to participate in that fondly missed era with my fiction, often illustrated by the British master of femdom art, Sardax; and I did many interviews with everybody from leggy softcore horror movie scream queens to imperious dominatrices.

But from 2004 through the beginning of 2010, I was also the editor of Leg World, a much lower-budgeted magazine but one into which I poured my quarter century of experience in writing for and editing magazines, as well as my decades of fascination and personal experience with femdom and fetish.

 

To use a Hollywood analogy, budget-wise, if Leg Show was MGM, Leg World was Poverty Row. But I put my heart and soul into it, and I think you’ll see in the intensity of these typical covers–for which I selected the shots, wrote all the lines, and supervised the layout–that I gave the readers their money’s worth starting with the covers themselves. I always aimed to show enough to the readers on the covers so that, if they wished, they could have a good time with them before they even opened the magazines; and since these periodicals were puritanically shrink-wrapped for display on the newsstands, I felt duty-bound to let the customers know exactly what they would find inside…once they shot their first loads for the covers! 😉

With my art director and talented group of contributors, both writers and photographers, a memorable magazine came into being with each issue. I didn’t have enough budget for art, or I would have asked Sardax to work for Leg World too (see his fabulous work here). Instead I illustrated fiction with carefully chosen photos from the archives.

 

So if you run into Leg Worlds at flea markets or online, take a minute and check out these lovingly crafted collectors’ items. If you’re into legs and feet and femdom, I think you’ll enjoy the mix of amazing pictorials and evocative stories. I poured my passion for editing images–I’d originally moved to New York City to get into the film business–into editing and even occasionally directing the shoots of erotic pictorials. In recent years, I’ve transferred my coverline writing passion into the writing I do for my personal Twitter and the feed for the femdom website Domme Addiction. There I happily conjugate my nouns and verbs in the service of celebrating the dominant female much as I did in Leg World.  🙂

 

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