Hello again. I know it’s been a few weeks since I last blogged. I didn’t have writer’s block–I can’t afford writer’s block since producing 6000-7000 words a week of porn/erotica for websites and magazines is how I pay my bills. But, among other things, when I wasn’t busy cranking my smut, I got very absorbed in reading the novel Nana, Emile Zola’s 1880 blockbuster about a nineteenth century French courtesan and the men she ruined on her way to the top of the theatrical and social worlds of Second Empire France.
Nana was a long book, and I kept getting distracted from it by spending time browsing online; watching vintage movies on TCM (I particularly enjoyed two installments in the 1940s comedy-mystery series The Falcon, starring George Sanders); and leaving comments on favorite sites like FemdomArtists. But my dedication was well worth the time when I finally turned the last page of Nana and said, “Now THAT was a great book.” Sadly, I haven’t read enough of the classics in my life and I’m still playing catch-up. For more about my thoughts re Nana, check out my weekly column “Notes of a Rebel Subbie” at the femdom/financial domination website Domme Dose here.
Let’s see, what else have I been up to? I went to the yearly NYC vintage paperback collectors’ convention in mid-October, and that was fun. I came home with a few good books. In fact, one of the things I got was Nana’s Mother, a kind of prequel to Nana which tells the sordid story of her upbringing. Its original French title is L’Assommoir, which apparently is or was French slang for a dive bar where people basically knock themselves out drinking into a stupor. (I don’t speak French, and I got this information from the introduction to Nana.)
Here are some of the items I got at the paperback show:
The following week I went to another collector’s show and found this book:
Its original hardcover title was Loathsome Women, and it’s a curious volume wherein psychoanalyst Leopold Stein M.D. speculates on the idea that four of his female patients are not merely neurotic…but perhaps might actually be what were once considered witches! The kind of witches who would be tried and executed back in the Middle Ages and up to the Salem trials. He provides background on the history of witches which I found very informative, since I hadn’t read much about the subject before. And he makes a convincing case as to why people in the olden days might well have thought women were bewitching them. He also makes it understandable why, even though people don’t generally ascribe such supernatural or satanic powers to women today, that such notions still carry emotional weight on a gut level. Also, as Stein notes (and he wrote the book in 1959), nowadays the word “witch” is more often spelled with a “b” than a “w.”
I guess I have a kind of bookish existence lately…it’s partly a way to conserve money…but I really should get out and have some other types of fun one of these days. I keep telling myself I want to go to a professional dominatrix again…
It’s something I haven’t done in several years (although I’m always window-shopping online) but I can’t seem to work up the enthusiasm. Or the courage? Or, quite frankly, the money? (Because when I like a domme, I like to see her again and again, and that adds up in shekels. This is a problem when your erotic life costs money.)
On another front, next Tuesday 11/13/12, I’ll be one of the guests on “In Bed With Dr Sue,” an entertaining biweekly podcast at Blog Talk Radio here. Dr. Sue is a sex therapist who takes calls on the phone sex site Niteflirt. Her podcast is separate, and the show covers many provocative topics from foot worship to cuckolding to how to share your kinky desires with your partners. One particularly interesting show had the topic “What Do Dommes Really Think of Their Subs?” wherein she spoke with the beautiful and vivacious Queen Kitty from the Midwest.
The topic of the show I will be on is “Writers of Fetish Literature” and Dr Sue will be chatting with (in alphabetical order) Edward Cantor, author of the femdom novella Window Shopping and various femdom-themed pieces at his blog Writing for a Queen (his queen being the aforementioned Kitty); Louis Friend, the author of the short story collections Freedom Is Slavery and Life On My Knees, as well as the creator of the blog Prurient Interests; Angela St. Lawrence, specialist in sexy phone chat and a writer whose site Blistered Lips has many entertaining tales spanning a wide range of kinky behavior; and yours truly Irv O. Neil. (By the way, I don’t work for or with any of these folks, I’m just posting their links as a courtesy and to spread the word about good stuff to read. And of course if you want to check out any of my erotic ebooks, just click over here to the Kindle store.)
I’ve been reading some of my colleagues’ stories over the past week and they are very arousing and entertaining. I recommend you check them out, and listen to the show too. In fact, if you read some of the stories before the show, you might come up with some interesting questions to call in and ask us writers! Again, it will be on Tuesday 11/13/12 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time right here; and if you miss it, you can always catch it afterward in Dr Sue’s archives here. We’ll be discussing many of the questions people have about erotica and fetish writers, so if you love porn/erotica/smut, tune in! You can also hang out in the Blog Talk Radio chatroom during the show.
It’s a long time since I’ve been interviewed about my work on the radio; the last time was in the late 70s after I wrote an article called “The History of the Whorehouse” for the venerable men’s magazine Swank. I was nervous about that one because the radio host was known for being acerbic and attempting to bait his guests, but I managed to adopt a scholarly tone while still admitting I had actually been to brothels, so he wasn’t able to talk me into a corner. Anyway, I’m looking forward to this new experience in radio, this time of the podcast variety.
Actually in college around 1970 or 1971 I briefly had a radio show myself, on which I played ethnic music of various kinds and pretended I was interviewing experts on that week’s music (or, at least, persons of that week’s ethnicity). For example, when I played Greek music, I did both my own voice as the “host” and pretended I was interviewing someone like Zorba the Greek…people swore it sounded like I had two people in the studio.
My friends told me the show was entertaining–at least until it was cancelled by the station manager because I read aloud on the air, in a Transylvanian accent, men’s magazine ads for “rubber novelties.” (It was Romanian music night.) Alas, I didn’t have the foresight to have somebody record the shows for me. Too bad, because they would have been a fun artifact to have today. Ah, the carelessness of youth…
But there are always vintage paperbacks to enjoy!