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Category Archives: Times Square

Christmas Classic For Kinksters!

It’s funny, I was just belly-aching the other night that I hadn’t gotten any comments on my blog lately, when the next day I saw that I had indeed just gotten a new comment, and quite a nice one, on my story DEPARTMENT STORE DOMINA which can be found by clicking above on the link COMPLETE SHORT STORY just under the logo.

“I cannot tolerate sexual harassment of college girls by my department store Santas!”

 

Here’s the comment. Thank you, Gina!

Funny how the Internet can sometimes take us to a place totally different than where we first intended to go. Gina has a point about the candy cane, too; it probably could have been teak instead of rattan, painted the bright holiday colors. Painful either way, though, no doubt, when applied to a miscreant Santa’s buttocks.

Spurred by Gina’s comment, I hunted down the quote she was looking for, too, and I put a link to the answer in my reply to Gina’s comment on the short story page.

It’s a holiday story, yes, subversive in some ways I guess, but melancholy and horny in the manner I often feel around the holidays. Check it out, and if you like it, maybe to go to Amazon here and explore some of my ebooks too. I have a new one out, BLONDE MEETS BOOKWORM (here is a link to a free preview) that has some of the same introspective yet erotic feel, although it takes place in the summer.

And as you can see when you look at this new book as well as my entire “Irv O. Neil Erotic Library” here, I’ve moved on from crudely drawing my own covers in the old school style of sleazy Times Square porn pamphlets to instead purchasing rights to beautiful images from a stock house! You can see the portfolio of talented artist kharlamova, whose image I used for BLONDE MEETS BOOKWORM, here.

It’s not a femdom story, as most of my ebooks are, but it has some kinky elements toward the end, as you’ll see…

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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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Blonde giantess flashes her gat in Times Square…

I wish I could love Times Square the way I used to love it, when it was awash in sleazy gritty appeal. Long gone. Sigh…

It looks glitzy here (50th Street and Broadway this summer of 2017) but it’s oh so “family-friendly.”

What about us solitary souls, us dreamers and wanderers? It’s not so much for us anymore…

One afternoon I had a coffee in an Eighth Avenue food court as I read a lovely crumbling paperback by Jerome Weidman about a young writer getting started in the 1930s…full of colorful dialogue as Weidman depicted the striving of Jewish-American immigrants in the challenging fabric of the big town…

Last weekend I saw how construction had revealed, at 47th and Seventh Avenue, in the heart of Times Square, this old brick front between all the signs and I wondered, what went on in behind those windows back in the day?

I know that in the early 80s, a girlie magazine photographer used to have his studio right around here. I wondered if those perhaps were his windows? Even if they weren’t, it’s a nice thought…

I went to Penn Station earlier this month, eight blocks below Times Square, to catch a train. I had a book with me. As I sat in the waiting room, I saw how some girls had placed their doll companions on their suitcases…

Then I went back to reading a story by John O’Hara about a guy who’s looking for a big card game…he never finds it.

I love John O’Hara’s stories.

In the old days the giant signs in Times Square were called “spectaculars.” I don’t know if they still are, but I think this billboard of Charlize Theron, in her recent movie Atomic Blonde, would qualify for the moniker. Lookit the giantess flash that roscoe! A dangerous doll with a gat.

So I guess there still are things for me to love in Times Square! 😉

 

 


Note: you can click on any pic to enlarge it.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2017 in New York City, Times Square

 

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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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Times Square lipstick and fingernail fetish billboard!

June 2017: Giant stern ladies in Times Square stare down at us mere mortals in all their lipstick fetish and talon-nailed glory! I love it!

Click on the picture for the full effect. This is an ad for a show on TNT.

Now, the only thing better would be something like this on a billboard!!

Goddess Lycia (visit her sites here and here) is one of the most fascinating online dommes and a real favorite of mine. She creates some brilliant and truly addictive audio and video erotica. And yes indeed, the lipstick and fingernail fetishes are two of her prime specialties…among her other virtuoso capabilities to entrance & befuddle the susceptible male mind! 😮

 


Images of Goddess Lycia are used courtesy of Goddess Lycia and are ©Goddess Lycia.

 

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Vanessa Williams in playfully stern auntie mode…

I snapped this pic in the subway the other day…

To me she’s saying, “Naughty, naughty. I caught you doing bad things & now I’m going to chastise you.” Okey-dokey, ma’am! 😉

 

It’s an advertisement for a new program about the battling female co-hosts of a daytime talk show. But what I like is how Vanessa Williams looks like she’s in a playfully stern auntie mode, wagging her forefinger at us like the ladies do in those British femdom videos, ladies who are so good at reproving naughty boys before putting them over their laps for a little bare bottom spankie-wankie… 😮

Somehow the seedy background of the subway wall seems to work with this. I could have snapped the advertisement on the street, but this is more interesting to me.

I’m sorry, Miss Vanessa, I promise never to do it again…whatever it was that I did! 😉

 

 

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Looking forward to Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman!

Nice big billboards a few blocks uptown from Times Square. Click on the pic to see it larger.

I just hope the movie is good cheesy fun, and not pretentious noisy baloney like I find many superhero movies to be!

I don’t see many films in theaters anymore, preferring cable or DVDs (and VHS too on occasion) but I think I might actually plunk down some drachmas for Wonder Woman! That Gal Gadot looks like quite a gal…

You know how the old saying goes: “Whaddaya go see the show for? The DAMES!”

Yep, that’s me, old-school Uncle Irv…bring on dames whether they’re wearing stockings or wielding swords, it’s all good!

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2017 in New York City, Times Square

 

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