RSS

Monthly Archives: August 2013

Check out Vintage Mania in New York City 8/31/13!

This Saturday in New York City, very close to the southern end of Central Park, it’s Vintage Mania, a fantastic memorabilia show offering all the delights listed on this flyer:

Admission is FREE on 8/31/13 for the first show at the new location!

Admission is FREE on 8/31/13 for the first show at the new location!

Here are some of the things you’ll find there:

Vintage VHS and DVDs!

There will be THOUSANDS of classic movies, obscure and well-known!

There will be THOUSANDS of classic movies, obscure and well-known!

Girlie mags and movie memorabilia!

These mags are like little time machines!!

These mags are like little time machines!!

Wild sleaze paperbacks from the 1950s!

That's a Gene Bilbrew cover on the left, Paul Rader cover in the middle!

That’s a Gene Bilbrew cover on the left, Paul Rader cover in the middle!

Maybe you like Sherlock Holmes…or 1950s pinup digests?

You never know what you'll find at this great monthly memorabilia show!

You never know what you’ll find at this great monthly memorabilia show!

Or maybe you’d like to pick up those convenient Taschen Icon editions of John Willie’s Bizarre or the works of Eric Stanton?

No sophisticated library should be without these volumes! ;)

No sophisticated library should be without these volumes! 😉

And you can catch up on the amazing story about Zena, the girl with the world’s most gigantic breasts, in a perfectly preserved sex tabloid from 1991!

You'll want to browse for hours in this paradise of vintage collectibles!

You’ll want to browse for hours in this paradise of vintage collectibles!

So look for me and a great assortment of dealers this Saturday, August 31, 2013, at VINTAGE MANIA, at the Holiday Inn at 440 West 57th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues! 10 a.m to 5:00 p.m. FREE ADMISSION! See you there!

Love old paperbacks with all those shady ladies!! (This one sold, but I've got more!!)

Love old paperbacks with all those shady ladies! How about you?

POSTSCRIPT: Well, it’s 6:30 p.m. on 8/31/13 as I write this postscript, and the Vintage Mania show is over now. If you missed this fun show, don’t worry–you can check out the next one at the same location on September 28th, only four weeks away; the flyer above lists the upcoming dates of all future 2013 shows!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The early bus to Cleveland for skin flicks…

The other night I went out and did a little drinking with a friend of mine–more drinking than I have in quite awhile. I’m not in training, you might say, and I got a bit hammered…when I got home, I fell asleep in my clothes on my futon couch, and then I woke up in the first light of dawn and had a sense of memory of over forty years ago…

When I was in college and my friends and I would drink (and we had to drink a LOT because the only beer allowed in that dry town was 3.2), I would end up falling asleep in my clothes, often on the sofa in the dorm lobby. Then I’d awaken at dawn and often decide it was time to catch a bus out of our little college town into the big bad city of Cleveland. It was a two and a half hour trip to Cleveland, but I would pick up a copy of the top newspaper The Plain Dealer and tantalize myself with the ads for the skin flicks that would be showing at the Standard Theater on Prospect Avenue, not far from the bus depot…

This is a movie I saw at the Standard circa 1970. (The ad is from a Raleigh NC paper, tho.)

This is a movie I saw at the Standard circa 1970. (The ad is from a Raleigh NC paper, tho.)

The Standard was a big old movie theater that showed softcore skin flicks like Teenie Tulip, directed by a pre-Deep Throat Gerard Damiano. It told about a girl treated for sexual repression by a daffy psychiatrist. There was a scene at the end where she masturbates (softcore style) with a banana (sucking the fruit quite obscenely) that literally took off the top of my eighteen year old head…

You can read more about this amazing movie here. And here. I got the poster here.

Here is a photo of the interior of the Standard. You can buy reproductions of it here.

Many times from 1969-1972 I walked thru this very lobby toward the bliss of softcore sinema!

Many times from 1969-1972 I walked thru this very lobby toward the bliss of softcore sinema!

I usually got into Cleveland’s bus depot before the Standard opened for its first show, however, so after having a little breakfast at a cafeteria I went across Prospect (if memory serves correctly) to the fabled Kay’s Books, the greatest bookstore I have ever been in, where I bought copies of things like Truffaut’s interview volume with Hitchcock, which I still have in all its tattered glory to this day.

I remember stacks and stacks of old pulps mags for 25¢ each! Too bad I wasn't interested in pulps then.

I remember stacks and stacks of old pulp mags for 25¢ each! Too bad I wasn’t interested in pulps then.

You can read a fantastic article about Kay’s Books here. I got the photo of the store here.

I remember standing on the platform near one of the shelves in Kay’s and seeing a novel written by Errol Flynn. It was my first inkling that the great swashbuckler was also a scribe. Here’s the book that I believe I saw, the image of which I found here.

Flynn was and is one of my cinema heroes.

Flynn always has been one of my cinema heroes.

These forays into Cleveland, which started out in a vague haze of hangover which always cleared up once I finally sat my ass down in the Standard, were some of my treasured experiences of my college days. It was watching softcore skin flicks that gave me a taste for “alternative” cinema, with the cheesy but uninhibited dialogue and scenes alerting me to a world of other possibilities than mainstream entertainment.

I can’t remember the film, but in a casting couch scene in one skin flick, the producer asked an aspiring model if she had any theatrical experience. When she said no, he said, “Well, maybe you were in a play in Hebrew school, something like that?” Trying to give her every opportunity to show she had SOME experience to qualify her to be in his show and get sexually harassed by him!

Nobody talked about “Hebrew school” in mainstream movies back in the 60s. I think I knew then that sinema was to be part of my life… 😉

And it was in the Standard Theater that I got my introduction to hardcore sinema, too. As I said, the films shown there for most of my attendance were softcore, without explicit insertion of Tab A into Slot B, but then one day probably in 1971 or 1972, they showed a coming attraction which started off with the gigantic widescreen image of a woman’s mouth (about six feet across) descending on a man’s meat (about ten feet high). I might actually have rubbed my eyes and sworn off alcohol for a brief moment, because I could not believe what I was seeing. But it was real. The hardcore era had begun.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Erotica

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Closely guarded virginities…

What a summer. Between the broiling NYC heat wave of a few weeks ago and various personal things I’ve been dealing with, I’ve been too distracted to write here for several weeks. But the prodigal porn scribe has returned!

At least I’m able to escape from my stresses by reading vintage paperbacks, one of my true pleasures. The last few weeks were fascinating as I “time-traveled” via a novel back to 1945 Boston’s famous honky-tonk district Scollay Square, where hot dames cavorted with sailors during and after World War 2. Here is the district below, as seen in a photo I found here.

Bars, burlesque houses, hot sheet hotels...

Bars, burlesque houses, hot sheet hotels…

I was reading the late Pearl Schiff’s 1952 New York Times bestseller Scollay Square, in this beautiful 1953 Signet paperback with a wonderful cover by Stanley Zuckerberg…

This cover beautifully captures the feeling of the book.

This cover beautifully captures the feeling of the book.

This well-written and entertaining novel tells about an upper-crust Bostonian girl who tries to very independently make her way as a fashion illustrator, leaving her stuffy family life to get an apartment near the disreputable Scollay Square. She gets involved with a sailor and the first half of the book is about how she resists going to bed with him. When she finally does, she essentially becomes enslaved to her need for him and can think only of satisfying her hunger, tossing her career away.

The other main character is an Italian-American girl who, coming from a poverty-stricken background, hangs out in the Square, teases guys and let them buy her drinks, until she finally meets a Midwestern sailor to whom she wants to give herself in love and marriage–but who seems out of reach because of the difference of their religions and backgrounds.

I’d heard about Scollay Square from an older friend of mine who grew up near Boston, and I knew about it also because one of the most famous burlesque houses in America, the Old Howard, was located there. There’s a brief scene in the book where two of characters see a show at the theater. Here is a picture of the stage of the Old Howard that I found at this site.

This is the show the two characters on the book's cover go to see.

This is the show the two characters on the book’s cover go to see.

Unfortunately the trip to the burlesque show comes at a time of emotional stress, and the characters don’t really enjoy the performance. What stands out in the scene is how the musicians in the pit read pulp magazines while the comedians are doing their sketches and schtick between the strip acts that obviously require music.

The uptight mid-20th century attitudes toward virginity and female sexuality pervade the novel and provide quite a contrast to today’s more relaxed erotic philosophies. But author Schiff is very modern and prescient in how she depicts, with compassion and without judgment, her characters’ struggles to deal with their physical desires and society’s expectations of what to do about them. I recommend this book, especially if you want to see and feel how differently women thought about sex and virginity in the 1940s.

As a porn writer who has been looking at models exposing their vaginas professionally for the last 40 years, I find it fascinating and even stimulating to look into the thought processes of long-ago ladies who kept their labia behind closely guarded curtains.

Pearl Schiff’s Scollay Square is definitely worth reading for its depiction of the era and a famously raunchy section of Boston that was demolished to make way for government buildings a half century ago.

Here’s one last shot of the Old Howard that I found here!

Let's hurry into the theater and catch the show! ;)

Let’s hurry into the theater and catch the show! 😉

————

Stanley Zuckerberg was one of the best artists to work in the paperback field. I found the scan of the Scollay Square cover at this awesome Flickr page. Check out his other amazing paintings!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 18, 2013 in Erotica

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,