Starting my career in erotica back in New York in the wild 1970s, I wrote porn novels for about two-three months from late 1974 into early 1975, until I got burned out. In that time I wrote four 160 page novels: The Screaming Virgins, The Punk Stud and His Women, Teasing Teenage Daughter, and Young Michael’s Seductress. I also contributed shorter pieces to anthologies supposedly edited by one “Dr. Gunther Klow.” Then I decided to stop because 1) it was becoming monotonous since the books had to be filled with sex more than characterization or plot; 2) I was afraid if I did it too long, I might end up making my career in porn and not going onto other things.
I did temporary office work for awhile, until one day I ran into the editor from the novel publishing house. He was standing in front of a coffee house in Greenwich Village, I can’t remember which but it was one of the famous ones. He told me he was editing magazines now and I could write a ten-page story for $100 instead of a whole 160 page novel for $150. After hesitating–because, once again, I didn’t want to get stuck writing porn–I decided it was better than doing temp work as a statistical typist, and I began writing stories. These were a couple of the titles I starting writing for:
What was good about writing for these mags was that the editors liked you to be inventive and not just concentrate on hardcore sex descriptions. One editor I wrote for used the nom de porn “Rod Steele.” He’d ask me things like, “Write a story about a bionic pussy!” So I wrote a story about a girl who could remove her vagina–on one side it looked like a pussy, and on other side, like a transistor radio. Needless to say, it alarmed her suitors.
Another time Rod asked me, “Write an article that proves women can squirt like men!” This was in the days before the “G-Spot” had been discovered and acknowledged, and I replied, “How can I prove that, Rod?” I can’t remember what his reply was, but he probably told me to make it up, so the beauty of it was, I got to write a pretty humorous piece that quoted non-existent scientists and research studies to prove something that, unbeknownst to most of us, was actually true anyway!!
Capers and escapades like this made writing porn a lot of fun, quite appealing to my sense of the absurd, and the steady flow of not-bad money made it even more alluring.
Rod Steele edited He & She, as I recall, and another editor did Brut. It was for Brut that I wrote my first femdom story called “The Mayor’s Boss,” about a politician dominated by his mistress or wife, I can’t remember which now. It was also for Brut, or maybe another title called Erotica (which I couldn’t find a cover illo for) that I wrote the first story that seemed to express something of what would become my own particular style of horny sex overlaid with melancholy neuroticism. The editor asked me write a tale that had the same gloomy mood as Roman Polanski’s then-recent film The Tenant, about a guy who becomes possessed by a malevolent spirit in his apartment, and I came up with “George’s Doll,” about a guy who treats a life-size rubber love doll as his girlfriend. He even takes her to the movies in his quest to treat her like a real person. When she accidentally explodes from a sharp edge in the tub when he’s giving her a bath, he puts his head in the water and drowns himself.
The editor liked it just fine…
I was living in a residential hotel at the time, and was friends with other young writers, and actors too. I got some of them into writing for the magazines as well. So eventually we had a little circle of smut scribes. Meanwhile, realizing that there were a lot of sex magazines around that needed material, I started looking to see what other publications I could work for–especially if they paid better than $100 a story. And I found one in particular: Club International, which paid $420 per story and sometimes ran three of my stories in a single issue! I believe I wrote “It’s Fun to Be a Whore” and I know I wrote “I Was Mauled at an Anti-Smut Rally,” which was accompanied by a very elaborate and memorable artist-rendered (as opposed to photographic) illustration. The editor was a guy who was always trying to figure out from your fiction what your specific sexual interests and fetishes were!
Oh, those were still good days for commercial short story writers (and artists too) as long as you didn’t mind spicing up your creations with sex!
To be continued…and if you want to see something I wrote last week, go to Domme Dose, a site concentrating on erotic financial domination, where you can savor my various insights into kink in the latest installment of my weekly column, “Notes of a Rebel Subbie.” You’ll find it here under the section called “Domme Pieces.” Adults only, of course!
To illustrate this entry, I borrowed the images from oldmags.com, a great site which has an encyclopedic assortment of vintage adult magazines for sale. I don’t work for them, but I’m acknowledging their amazing collection and suggest you to check it out here if you’re looking to experience the pleasures of girlie mags from “back in the day.”