The porn business has changed so incredibly much since I first got into it. It’s like a totally different animal.
I started in this field in 1974 by contacting a company that published porn novels, and after showing them a ten-page sample, I got an assignment. Two weeks later I gave them a completed novel, written while sitting on the same strong desk chair that I am sitting on as I write this blog. I concocted my story to some illustrations they’d given me. I got a check for $150, and now I was a published author.
In 1974, $150 could pay for my month’s rent, with $50 left over!
I’ve since lost my only copy of that first book, entitled The Screaming Virgins–it was S&M week at the smut factory (there was a different theme to follow each week) and I wrote about temporary office workers tricked into being sex slaves at a “castle” in the Catskill Mountains of New York state. But I have a copy of my second novel, 1975’s The Punk Stud and His Women. My original title was Go-Go Girl Orgy Week, which I think was equally good. They gave me the pseudonym “George Sussman” instead of the one I chose, “Norbert Klinger.” Anyway, I recently discovered that this book can be purchased for $40 at a site called vintagesleaze.com.
The nice thing about this cover is that it accurately conveys the feeling of the young guy, awed with desire at the possibilities inherent in the uninhibited raunchiness that was New York in the 1970s.
In its listing, the Vintage Sleaze site runs the first line of the book under the cover: “Lester Bloom drove slowly down the dark street.” That name, Lester Bloom, became one that I used frequently–as a character in stories, as a pseudonym, and even as a character in an X-rated movie I wrote for Vivid Entertainment entitled True Blue. In fact, the actor Tyce Bune did quite a good job in the role of Lester, an overly introspective, romantic porn screenwriter who has a crush on a hardcore starlet.
“Lester Bloom drove slowly down the dark street.” Funny how a line I wrote thirty-seven years ago could so perfectly encapsulate a lot of the mood of what I would write in the future–encapsulate the melancholy that underlies a lot of my writing, in spite of the fact that my stories are also horny and sometimes quite funny, too. I definitely believe humor and erotica can go together, if used in the right proportions.
Well, this was a pleasant little excursion into the past. I can see myself in my cheap hotel room on the Upper West Side, cranking away at my novels on my Olivetti portable, making three copies–the original, and two carbons. Remember carbon paper in those days before copiers were cheap to use? Yes, I’m sitting on the same chair, a nice solid simple chair, but now in front of a Macbook Pro.
I’ll continue with these porn memories again soon…
Do you have fond recollections of porn in the old days, too, as a fan or creator?