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Category Archives: adult magazine business

The world of HBO’s “The Deuce,” as a NYC porn writer knew it…

I’m absorbed by this new HBO show, as it’s interesting to see the 1970s New York City sex business depicted in a continuing tv drama. The production is well-done with some good acting, writing, and clever production design, and for me it’s an entertaining supplement to the movie of personal memories that I carry in my head from my own experiences in Times Square over the years both as a fan and as a writer/editor for porn magazines and films.

Maggie Gyllenhaal as the hooker Candy on the stroll

 

The recreation of 42nd Street marquees is well-done, but…

 

…as far as I remember, the streetwalkers looked for customers on Eighth and Ninth Avenues, not on the Deuce. But the marquees definitely make for more vivid cinema.

 

Every inch of the neighborhood has some resonance for me. For example, the doorway shown below, on Broadway near 50th Street (I took this pic a couple of weeks ago) was in the 70s the entrance of one of the few “dime-a-dance halls” remaining in Times Square, where you bought strips of tickets to dance (and grind) with ladies…the tickets were no longer a dime then (that was the 1930s price), but if I recall correctly, around 1974 they were $29 a strip. Why $29, I never found out. I used the experience of going to that place in one of my porn novels which wasn’t very good except for the section set in the dance hall.

I can’t remember what the ballroom was called, though…the Diamond, perhaps? The Tango Palace and Satin Ballrooms were a couple of blocks down.

 

The Deuce helps me clarify my relationship with my own past. Unlike the characters in the show, I did not socialize in a bar with pimps, prostitutes, gangsters, or 8mm hardcore movie makers. I did patronize hookers, yes, on the street or in apartment brothels, but didn’t hang out with them otherwise; I would have, however, as I occasionally asked them to go have a bite or a drink–but they were only interested in making money from me as a john, alas. So my relationship to Times Square was largely as a customer and spectator; like a theatergoer who may see lots of plays on Broadway, but doesn’t hang out with the actors, playwrights and producers afterward.

Scenes on The Deuce where girls get in cars with strangers make my skin crawl. I feel frightened for them. In fact, when I went with a few prostitutes to cheap hotels back in the 70s, I was afraid that I would get hurt, or robbed, or beaten up. Loneliness as much as horniness drove me into their arms in those seedy rooms…and I always felt guilty about it. Oh how many unnecessary VD tests did I take to allay my neurotic fear that I would “punished” for my dalliances!! I always turned out to be okay.

The dirt, the garbage of the streets, the violence depicted on the show, and The Deuce‘s constant flow of “the-fuck-you-say” New York tough guy dialogue: these were not especially part of my experience there. Although while by now after 43 years as a Gotham denizen I have my own New Yorkese patter down pretty well, in the 1970s I was still mostly just a too-nice-for-my-own-good Jewish boy from Chicago and had only mastered one East Coast phrase: “Fuckin-A”. 😉 Does anybody still use that one? Haven’t heard it in ages.

My Deuce (or 42nd Street as I always called it then) was instead a kind of Smithsonian Institute of erotica, where I found mint-condition issues of John Willie’s original late-1940s Bizarre magazines for $3 each…

The clerk who sold it to me for THREE DOLLARS (very cheap even in the 70s) clearly had no idea what it was, and until I got it home & opened it, neither did I. The gorgeous cover got me buying it. And once I looked inside and perused its stylishly fabulous fetish contents, I became a lifelong John Willie admirer.

I also found copies of the fetish digest Exotique, and black and white photo pamphlets of models like Bettie Page or Tee Tee Red or Lynne Carter…and a lurid $1 novel called Growing Up in Pain which I studied assiduously to learn the structure of the cheap bottom-of-the-barrel porn fiction put out by Star Distributors so I could get a job writing the stuff myself.

42nd Street was my grade-Z movie source long before I got a VCR, a place where I could see triple bills of crazy schlock movies and enjoy wild audience commentary unlike anything I’d ever heard or probably will ever hear again.

For example, seeing The Thing With Two Heads at the Anco Theater, the venue furthest west on the south side of 42nd near Eighth Avenue, was the most hilarious ninety minutes ever…the audience was hysterically funny, talking back to the screen as the head of a racist doctor played by Ray Milland is grafted onto the body of a black death row convict played by Rosey Grier. Unfortunately, I also remember how smelly that decrepit old theater could be, too…

I picked up streetwalkers—and some of them were beautiful, knockouts, stunners. They peddled their wares on Eighth Avenue’s “Minnesota Strip” (so-called because of all the Midwestern-bred hookers who strolled there). As I worked up courage to select a pro, I ate souvlaki in the Greek joints and cheap chow mein in the Chinese joints and low-cost spaghetti in an Italian place on 42nd. I also went to massage parlors along Eighth Avenue and even as far east as 47th St. and 6th Avenue, on the edge of the Diamond District.

I found copies of my own porn novels on the racks for the first time in the bookstore next to the National Hotel at 42nd and Seventh, just a stone’s throw from the Golden Dollar topless bar, one of the bleakest clubs in the area. The titles of my books were The Screaming Virgins, The Punk Stud and His Women, Young Michael’s Seductress (wherein I wrote about the dime-a-dance halls), and Teasing Teenage Daughter.

I went to Show World Center at 42nd and Eighth, and Show Center at 47th and Seventh, and Show Plaza at 42nd between Broadway and Sixth, and indulged in fantasies with the one-on-one “booth babies,” the peep show girls who gave private shows in two-person booths separated by a glass panel and connected by a telephone for the exchange of all essential dialogue… 😉 . I still remember some of those ladies’ stage names: Blondie, Annie, Brandi, Olivia, and China. Upstairs at Show World, when I was in my “porn scribe” mode (as opposed to my looking-for-cheap-thrills mode), I interviewed X-rated movie stars backstage at the Triple Treat Theater and sometimes also photographed them there to illustrate my articles.

I went to the barmaids-in-leotard bars recreated in The Deuce which were on 48th between Seventh and Eighth Avenues: a joint like Club International (which ironically later was the title of a magazine I prolifically wrote for) and another one called Al Lang’s where, if I recall correctly, the suave-looking manager was always nicely dressed in a double-breasted suit. Up on 49th between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, I went to Tin Pan Alley (which I’ve read is the model for the Hi-Hat on The Deuce), and chatted with the barmaids there but I didn’t become friends with any of them although I tried to date one or two. I remember Nan Goldin, the famous photographer, briefly worked behind the bar at Tin Pan Alley in the early 80s. Somewhere around that time I was dating a girl who looked a lot like the character of Lori on The Deuce, I mean a REAL lot, as played by Emily Meade. In fact when Lori comes on-screen I feel kinda weird, because even her boobs (seen extensively in the second episode) look the same as I remember my girlfriend’s did…

Lori (Emily Meade) not only resembles my old girlfriend but her character even comes from the same Midwestern state, Minnesota…

On 42nd Street I went to the Roxy Burlesk to see strippers and watch hardcore Rene Bond movies like Diary of a Schizo wherein she played the titular role and made up her face to look like Raggedy Ann when she flipped out after too much sex. She was and is one of my favorite porn stars ever…check out this link, where I found her photo,  to learn more about her (NSFW, though, there are explicit pix there).

Her performance in the film Teenage Fantasies is legendary, as she cheerfully gives head & talks to the audience about oral sex.

 

I went to the Harem Theater on the north side of the Deuce toward Eighth Avenue for porn movies (as opposed to the bigger theaters where I went for kung fu, blaxploitation, horror, Harryhausen, and westerns) but stopped patronizing the Harem after some dude with a Derringer shot another guy in the audience. In the old big theaters I learned from experience to sit far enough under the mezzanine and balcony so that I wouldn’t get hit by flying cigarettes tossed down from above. Nobody ever put their hand on my knee or trying to blow me in a theater, but I also knew enough never to go to the men’s rooms in those places. I had a stronger bladder then.

I went to see burlesque both at the Follies at 46th and Seventh and the Melody (later the Harmony) Theater, watching dancers like Joey Karson and Therasita San Juan and Sonia Tokyo and Crystal Blue and Maria Krupa and Susie Nero and even the legendary striptease superstar Blaze Starr once. The Melody/Harmony was a whole world unto itself, too much to go into here…worthy of its own book or tv show. Check out this link to the adult industry history site The Rialto Report to learn lots more about it.

Through all those years, most of my friends were my fellow editors and writers, with some actors and artists too, often cynical about porn even as it fascinated us. We were all talented in our respective fields and many hoped for the main chance of opportunities outside of smut with more mainstream accomplishments. Some did, indeed, move on.

So, to sum up, in many ways, although I did mountains of magazine stuff related to the area and its workers, I was also always a fanboy and customer down on “The Deuce.”

The reality is my life is still basically on “The Deuce”, though…but rather the Deuce that exists in a different form, the Internet, instead of on a street. It’s the “The Deuce” as a way of thinking, you might say. With my writing about femdom and kink and webcam sites, for example, I’m still on the beat of the sleaze and the twists and turns of la vie psychosexualis.

What a tour I could give of Times Square! In fact, in one of the better porn films I wrote for Vivid Entertainment, 1997’s Masseuse 3, I created a character named Burt Lazarus who stands in front of the Show World Center as a kind of barker, talking about the area’s former tawdry glory. Unfortunately, in the way things sometimes don’t work out in the translation of screenplays to film, Burt’s scenes weren’t done the way I’d hoped, and the effect of his elegiac oratory didn’t have a chance to come across properly.

I could’ve done it better. So if some night you see me holding forth at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue about the vanished and vanquished splendors of smut, don’t be surprised! 😉

 


I made the screencaps above from the first episode of The Deuce.

 

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Erotic phantoms of NYC’s Eighth Avenue…

One thing that fascinates me is what existed in certain spaces before what is there now. I always remember the previous tenants, especially if they have some erotic or sleazy context… 😉

For example, the northeast stretch of Eighth Avenue between 45th and 46th Streets:

This used to have three notorious porn theaters: the Capri (where the parking lot is now on the left); and the gay-themed Eros and the hetero-themed Venus. I can’t help but see in my mind the facades of those vanished edifices superimposed over the hordes of tourists who now stroll by and patronize the restaurants and bar and open-air market that now inhabit those urban footprints.

A block up to 47th and Eighth, across the street on the northwest side, is a marquee for what is now a sightseeing business:

Previously in the 1980s this space housed the Hollywood Twin Cinemas, but even before that in the 1970s the mezzanine was utilized for part of a massage parlor. Back in the 70s (not now!!) the entrance way on the left (painted red now) led to an elevator that took you up to the mezzanine and the girls who were sitting there. But BEFORE that mezzanine was used, and even before the theater showed porn films, not the mainstream Hollywood fare that came in the 80s, the massage parlor was just a street-level storefront on the left where the glass windows of the Duane Reade drugstore now are in 2017.

The very space where those donuts now lay placidly in their display case was, around 1975, the entrance alcove of the massage parlor, where I met one blonde girl named Lydia with whom I first acted out femdom roleplay fantasies (foot and butt worship) and visited several times; and another blonde named Goldie who, on one particularly cold winter night, gave my lonely bones a friendly hug and rubdown, and warm interesting conversation in which she told me she was a descendant of an early American president! I re-created some of that dialogue in the first porn film I wrote, 1987’s Adultery.

This stretch of street was immortalized in the poster for the 1976 film Taxi Driver. Recognize that marquee?

Finally, across the street, where there now stands a Starbucks, a Staples, a medical clinic, a preschool, and apartments, there used to be low-rise buildings that had a fantastically sleazy porn shop, a used comic book shop, an infamous gay bar called the Haymarket, and perhaps most important for the history of pornography, in the center of the block at 776 Eighth Avenue there were located offices of fetish digest publishers back in the 1950s, which showcased the work of such legendary artists such as Gene Bilbrew. I don’t remember the titles offhand right now, but I remember seeing the address on the copyright pages of some vintage issues. If and when I stumble on them again, I’ll amend this post and add the titles. This is the block now…

Look closely, though, and perhaps you’ll be able to imagine, as I do, infamous 50s femdom fetish models like Tana Louise walking down the street in sexy 50s couture and maybe going up the long-vanished steps to editorial offices at 776 Eighth Avenue!

By the way, Tana Louise (as opposed to the actress Tina Louise, an entirely different performer) was one of the very first fetish models I personally ever saw in a magazine. In today’s over-saturated kink environment, it may seem incredible that she really blew me away with her witchy dominant aura, but back in the early 70s I don’t think I’d ever come across anybody quite like her, and I think I noticed her before I even saw Bettie Page, who never looked quite as ferocious to me in any case. I got this image from the cool site Java’s Bachelor Pad, so go here to see and read more about Mistress Tana too.

 

 

 

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Crushing on sexy Sixties British actress Margaret Lee…

I have the late-middle-age equivalent of a schoolboy crush on pretty and perky British actress Margaret Lee. Sometimes she’s blonde, or sometimes she’s a redhead, as you see in the pic below. She starred in many a 1960s Eurospy and sword & sandal movie. I collect and watch her old films when I can find them, such as SAMSON AND THE SEA BEASTS which I found at Sinister Cinema here. I initially found out about her in a book called Film Fatales: Women in Espionage Films and Television 1962-1973, by Tim Lisanti and Louis Paul, available on Amazon here.

Here are a couple of pix from the Samson movie which I snapped of Margaret from my tv screen. She was just tossed to the floor by a villain, but you can see the feisty gleam of defiance in her eyes.

I don’t know if that was her real voice or some other actress’s dubbing, but in some films she sounds a little like Audrey Hepburn. Which is extra-sexy coming out of Margaret’s voluptuous body.

 

The legs dangling over the pit while Samson fights with a crocodile are Margaret’s. She screams at the menacing reptile with some real Fay Wray-style lung power!

Although she finds herself in a “damsel in distress” situation, Margaret is no shrinking violet in this fun flick.

I’m making some more pix of Margaret from one of her spy movies, and I’ll post those soon!


You might ask, what does a post like this have to do with a blog called EROTICA IS MY TRADE? Well, these are the types of features I used to like to concoct for the adult magazines I edited and for which I wrote for more than four decades. But since sex publications have basically disappeared in the last couple of years, and I primarily work for hardcore websites and/or Twitter doing explicit porn writing, I’m just doing stuff like this for my own pleasure, and yours, on this blog. Practicing my trade, you might say, and having fun! I hope it’s fun and entertaining for you too.

 

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Surrender to the writer you NEED!

DON’T FIGHT IT. YOU’LL FEEL BETTER WHEN YOU ACCEPT IT. 

SURRENDER…SURRENDER…SURRENDER…

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YOU NEED A GOOD WRITER TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR PROJECTS. YOU KNOW YOU DO.

You’ve been fighting it, trying to save pennies, but you keep coming back to the fact that…

You need a reliable, creative, and versatile wordsmith and you need him now.

SO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER…

PUT YOUR MIND AT EASE with my dependable service and inventive prose, as well as my understanding of what is effective and memorable about erotic photography and video. I was basically a creative director for porn magazines for almost thirty years, overseeing every aspect of the issues I worked on. I would still be doing that, as well as writing for the Web, if the adult magazine business hadn’t essentially disappeared because of all the free stuff on the Internet.

So here’s what you do next. Check out these samples showing you the range of the things I’ve written just in the last couple of years, right up to the present. Click on the image to enlarge it. The first two are from the DDF Network, for whom I wrote from 2010 to 2015.

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Video description, DDF Network, October 2014

 

Introductory copy for Euro Teen Erotica at the DDF Network

Introductory copy for Euro Teen Erotica at the DDF Network

 

Erotic short story--click this link to read it: https://filthy.media/rebound-sex-or-love

A short story in my favored style of “Erotic Realism” which mixes sex with characterization

 

You can read the above story here, at the Filthy Media site. I also wrote, in a six month contract job that just ended in November 2016, over 100,000 words (coming to 300 pages) of erotic fiction (one hundred and twenty 800-900-word stories) for a major adult site, not under my pen name but under the bylines of various anonymous people writing in “sexual confession” style. Otherwise I’d post links of that work here too.

Some of the other writing I do now is on social media. I tweet at @DommeAddiction for the femdom site DommeAddiction.com. Here are samples of my tweets, in which I mix words with emojis and photos to good effect. My tweets have helped gained thousands of new followers for this Twitter feed since I started working for them in the spring of 2016.

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For a completely different change of pace for me—since previously I’d only written about femdom (females dominating males) when it comes to BDSM—I have recently written women-in-bondage copy for FetishPros.com:

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And on the stands as of this writing (January 2017), in the newsstand publication FORCED WOMANHOOD issue #82, is my new in-depth interview with the legendary crossdressing expert Veronica Vera, all about the “forced feminization” fetish:

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I’ve also done a lengthy interview with Miss Vera and her cross dresser academy, appearing around the same time in TRANSFORMATION #100.

 

Another article I wrote recently was a memorial/biographical piece about the late legend of erotic filmmaking Candida Royalle, who passed away in 2015. It was published in Penthouse FORUM January 2016 and is available in a digital copy here.

The article is "The Really Groovy Life of Candida Royalle," the title coming from something an old school friend of hers said.

The article is “The Really Groovy Life of Candida Royalle,” the title coming from something an old school friend of hers said.

 

And finally, here is the latest femdom erotica ebook I have just published, available at Amazon!

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So there you have examples of some of my recent, ever-versatile work. I write vanilla and I write kink of different kinds. You can also see more about my writing if you go to my portfolio WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU? right here on this blog. That’s where you’ll find my email address; it’s at the bottom of the portfolio. Or you can send me a direct message (DM) on Twitter @irvoneil.

Whatever your writing needs, I’m ready to help you fulfill them. YOU KNOW YOU NEED A WRITER LIKE ME. Video descriptions, short stories, tweets; or perhaps you’d like me to ghostwrite an ebook for you?

The possibilities are endless when I’m on the job, because…

EROTICA IS MY TRADE.

So hire the writer you NEED…NEED…NEED! 

 

~~And as you see, I can also write with a sense of humor! 😉

 

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Binge on femdom fiction ebooks this holiday!

All I want for Christmas, ma’am, is…is…to bury my face in your b-b-boobies…

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HAPPY HORNY HOLIDAYS!!!  😉

There is a real link for me between femdom fantasy and this particular season, as demonstrated by my ebooks such as SUBMIT IN THE SNOW and SHE MADE ME A CUCKOLD ON BLACK FRIDAY.

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My entire current library of Kindle ebooks—21 books, with 20 being femdom erotica and one being a full-length psychological suspense novel (FATE OF A STRIPPER)—would cost an American reader $60.79. The price would comparable in other countries. All my ebooks cost $2.99 except one (SUBMIT IN THE SNOW, which is 99¢), and are comparably priced elsewhere. A very affordable price for stories you’ll enjoy reading time and again! So if you’re a fan of erotically assertive women and idolize them as I do, binge on these ebooks and treat yourself this holiday to some of the best femdom writing anywhere.

They can be read on almost any device, including smartphones, tablets, Kindle readers, and computers!

 

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All these women on the covers, even though they are professional models, are accurate representations of their characters in the stories. Some of my earlier books have drawings on the cover, but they too accurately represent the characters.

What you SEE is what you GET! Oh yes!!

 

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STORIES YOU CAN READ AND ENJOY AS IF THEY’RE ACTUALLY HAPPENING TO YOU.

“What a writer should try to do is to make something which will be so written that it will become a part of the experience of those who read him.” ~~Ernest Hemingway: The Writer Observed

And to those femdom fans out there with a constant appetite for POV video clips (and who clearly have the seemingly limitless wallets to buy them and to tribute their stars huge amounts of money), I say: Supplement your erotica diet with stories! You’ll be glad you did. 

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Great erotic entertainment awaits you.

Scroll down for the links to the Amazon stores worldwide…

…and instead of just hearing the media report on the great sales on Black Friday of new televisions…

…let’s stun the world with HIGH EROTICA EBOOK SALES this holiday season!

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT TO YOUR FAVORITE PORN WRITERS!!

THANK YOU!!!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Germany

Amazon France

Amazon Spain

Amazon Italy

Amazon Netherlands

Amazon Japan

Amazon Brazil

Amazon Canada

Amazon Mexico 

Amazon Australia

Amazon India

 

 

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Lovingly lingering memories of Eighth Avenue sleaze…

Ah, sleaze fondly remembered. To start, here is a shot I took of 46th Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan on Sunday morning 9/25/16, looking northwest, with the new, recently completed, and rather monolithic RIU Plaza hotel in the middle of the picture.

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Once on the very site of that hotel stood two very interesting adult video stores, crammed to the tops of their shelves not only with standard hardcore movies but also intriguing exploitation and grindhouse flicks on VHS and DVD. Also there was the Full Moon Saloon near the corner, one of my favorite hangouts back in the 80s and early 90s.

I seemed to stop spending much time in bars after a good portion of the adult magazine business shifted over to Magna Publishing in New Jersey in 1993, to where I commuted frequently to assemble titles like CHEEKS, GIRLS OVER 40, SEX ACTS, and LEG WORLD. Formerly I did all my editing and writing in Manhattan, and life in New York felt strangely off-kilter when I had to reverse-commute to New Jersey. Even though, since I was a freelancer, I didn’t have to do it everyday like most  of my associates, nonetheless there was always something discombobulating about it.

The old building on the left side of the picture was known back in the day to some of us sleaze aficionados as the “TV Hotel,” as in “transvestite,” because many transgender women used to ply their prostitution trade there, after meeting customers at nearby clubs and bars in Times Square. This went on back in the late 70s, early 80s. Now for many years the building has been just a regular tourist hotel.

Additional factoid, but not visible in the picture: at the vantage point from which I took this photo once stood three adult movie theaters: the Capri, the Eros, and the Venus. They are long gone and the space is now occupied by respectable bars, restaurants, and an outdoor shopping mall. If you want to read the definitive book about these theaters and the area, check out the classic volume Sleazoid Express by Bill Landis and Michelle Clifford.

The moral of my musings is simple: these builders can transform the neighborhood but never erase the lingering memories of the locals. We exist in two dimensions simultaneously: the current world of a better scrubbed, more staid New York,and the landscape of its more uninhibited and colorfully tawdry past.

 

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A lovely ancient Playboy magazine…

The magazine Playboy was a big influence on my wanting to become a writer. Just like in the cliché, “I read it for the articles,” after I got done looking at the pictures I did indeed read the articles. Mostly the fiction, but the interviews too. The many finely wrought short stories that Playboy published inspired me to learn the craft of fiction, and the interviews taught me how to talk to people to get their stories, a skill that came in handy when I interviewed about a thousand porn stars and strippers from the 1980s through the mid-2000s for mags like Black Tail and Leg Show.

I went to the flea market in Chelsea today on my unending search for inspiration in print, and I found a lovely Playboy from January 1956.

Look at the clever cover collage of the bunny-eared photog looking in his camera viewfinder!

Look at the clever cover collage of the bunny-eared photog looking in his camera viewfinder!

 

This slender (72 pages including covers) but jam-packed issue has, among its charms, a recap of the first two dozen Playmates (including Marguerite Empey aka Diane Webber, Jayne Mansfield, and Diane Hunter (whom I interviewed decades later for Pat Reshen’s Over 40 magazine); cartoons by the legendary and tragic Jack Cole, creator of the comic book character Plastic Man and a frequent Playboy contributor, as well as fiction by Robert Bloch, Erskine Caldwell, and Herbert Gold. Probably the one name that most resonates with contemporary readers is that of Bloch, who of course was one of the great masters of horror fiction and created the original novel on which Hitchcock’s Psycho was based. And Caldwell was one of the biggest selling writers of all time with the paperback editions of his rural tales of lust and human folly.

I never cease admiring these beautiful vintage paperback covers!

I never cease admiring these beautiful vintage paperback covers!

 

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