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Tag Archives: film noir

Pasta and erotica in Hell’s Kitchen…

Like many writers, I spend probably way too much time sitting on my butt. The heat wave we recently had here in NYC only encouraged that, keeping me indoors more than usual. But tonight was lovely outside so I made sure I took a walk after I finished my day’s cranking, and when I saw a Ninth Avenue coffee shop had an open window seat, I thought I’d treat myself to a pasta dinner instead of my usual Chinese combo takeout eaten in front of the tv at home.

The street scene was noisy and lively while I ate my salad and angelhair primavera, but I didn’t mind the clamor at all. Sometimes the very racket that makes me apoplectic when I’m alone sitting in front of my computer trying to write is soothing when I’m out amongst the human race again.

After my entree, I got some coffee and made some notes for tomorrow’s story writing for an erotica website…

I tear a piece of typing paper into four strips & sketch out a week of storylines on each strip.

I tear a piece of typing paper into four strips & sketch out a week of storylines on each strip.

 

When I looked up from my scribbling, the evening light on Ninth Avenue was pleasant…

StreetScene AtDinner

But I got to thinking about the movie I saw last night on TCM, Turner Classic Movies: THE DARK CORNER, a 1946 film noir that not only took place in midtown Manhattan and Times Square, but had its gumshoe hero live at the corner of 52nd and Tenth Avenue, right in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen when it really WAS Hell’s Kitchen!

Although I believe it was shot on the 20th Century Fox lot, this film brilliantly evokes NYC, especially its sounds.

Although I believe it was shot on the 20th Century Fox lot, this film brilliantly evokes NYC, especially its sounds.

 

So I thought to myself, why don’t I take a walk over there to see what building he was supposed to have lived in!

After I finished my coffee, I strolled west. Lo and behold, the corner where Bradford Galt, Private Investigator, was said to have resided in 1946 looked pleasingly ungentrified in 2016, and the building seemed quite like one where the brooding Mr. Galt (well-played by Mark Stevens) could have tangled with a murderous William Bendix in the film’s most exciting scene. (I highly recommend this movie.)

Most everything around it is gentrified now, but this building could well have been the digs for a noir shamus!

Most everything around it is gentrified now, but this building could well have been the digs for a noir shamus!

 

True, Hell’s Kitchen—a moniker once a notorious symbol of the area’s gangs and violence—is now mostly used as a colorful name and real estate selling point for the neighborhood—more juicy sounding than what it’s also called, Clinton (after DeWitt, I presume, and not Hillary or Bill). But when you’re aware of the history of the area, it never feels fully gentrified…and of course, when you personally have a noirish point of view when it comes to life in general, the spirit of Hell’s Kitchen lives on wherever you are!

With the right lighting in my apartment, and my fave fedora, I could be waiting for a femme fatale to show up!

With the right lighting in my apartment, and my fave fedora, I look like I’m waiting for a femme fatale to show up. Come to think of it, judging by the femdom erotica I write, I probably am!

 

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Learn the FATE OF A STRIPPER!

Inside some porn and erotica writers are the restless spirits of scribes who aspire to also prove themselves in the wider arena of words. I’ve written about this on my blog before, that other genres of writing–like literary, suspense, or crime writing–offer different and exciting challenges to my imagination.

And so, with FATE OF A STRIPPER, the new non-porn mainstream novel I’ve just published on Kindle, I’ve met that challenge. It’s a complex story, almost 250 pages long, that’s not simply about a stripper and her customer, but about the difficulty of love and the deceptions of desire. It’s about office politics, and family relationships, and the struggle to survive both financially and emotionally. I guess you might say I packed a lot into it, and it’s available now at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon CanadaAmazon France, Amazon Italy, Amazon Spain, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon Mexico, Amazon India, and Amazon Australia.

 

I look thru thousands of photos until I found this one, which perfectly evokes the stripper of the title.

I looked thru thousands of photos until I found this one, which perfectly evokes the stripper of the title.

FATE OF A STRIPPER tells about a middle-aged New York City guy named Vic Vanner who meets the sweet beauty of his dreams, but Valerie the stripper turns out to have some quirks to her personality, to say the least. Not that Vic isn’t a bit intense himself. Still, they give their all to the relationship–in their own ways–and they even start doing a stage act together in New Burlesque, the popular hip scene made famous by people like Dita Von Teese and which mixes striptease with performance art.

Vic is a romantic and unsure of himself with Valerie, especially since she’s much younger than he is. The situation is not helped by the cynicism of his father, who casts a skeptical eye on almost everything Vic does. Furthermore, Valerie has a thuggish friend named Tino who gives her an outlet for her aggressive tendencies. The way she figures it, if people get in the way of her relationship with Vic, she’ll have Tino take care of them. Tino’s willing to do almost anything for Valerie–as long as he gets to play with her feet…

Yep, FATE OF A STRIPPER is not a porn novel, but ye ole Uncle Irv couldn’t resist making one of the characters a little kinky like the guys in my femdom ebooks. It’s also set in the world of strip clubs and Times Square, two locations of human endeavor that I know a little something about.

Anyway, the situation builds to quite a violent climax, and if the New York Post covered it, the story of Vic and Valerie would be probably be entitled something like THE STRIPPER, THE SUCKER AND THE SLAVE. At one point I even considered using that as the title of the novel; it’s the headline Vic nightmarishly visualizes when he’s wondering what the hell is going to happen to him after Valerie goes over the deep end one dark night in downtown Brooklyn…

I’ve made no secret of my love for film noir and noir paperbacks, and so some of that has rubbed off on this novel as well. I hope you’ll read it, I hope you’ll enjoy it, and please let me know with short reviews on Amazon if you take the plunge and learn the FATE OF A STRIPPER!

You can just click through to the Amazon links above and read the opening two and a half chapters absolutely free!

By the way, months after I wrote the book, I looked through thousands of stock photography images for a cover, and I’m glad I was so thorough–because the image by wisky’ at 123RF.com really captures the way I saw the character of Valerie. Click this link to see his portfolio. I hope you agree!

 

 

 

 

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A “soundtrack” for Sardax…

I feel the work of an erotica writer (or call it smut or porn too, if you wish–I’m fine with them all) can sometimes be analogous to that of a film composer.

Often the writer creates a story completely out of his imagination and it is illustrated by an artist-rendered picture or a photograph. In that case, the illustration brings a visual dimension that the story can only suggest. But on other occasions, the writer is called upon to provide amplification for photographs, in the “girl copy” that accompanies pictures. The words bring a literary dimension that the pictures can only suggest, just as good film music brings extra dimensions to cinematic images. Soundtracks for movies use music and audio effects, and “literary soundtracks” for images use words to evoke emotions and fantasies.

Here are two examples of “girl copy” I wrote for a pictorial commissioned by me when I was editing Leg World. I called the model “Sandra Scarlett”–as far as I knew, she hadn’t picked a nom de porn, so I gave her one. The photos were shot by noted erotic photographer Jana Krenova.

Scenario is a reverse strip: Sandra primps for a date with “Stud Male” while naked “Slave Male” watches obediently in the bathroom.

“Slave Male” is represented by camera’s point-of-view, and “girl copy” expands scenario beyond bathroom.

The pictures of Sandra were taken for the October 2008 issue of Leg World, and Jana also shot Sandra for the cover (which you can see in my archives here.) Ms. Krenova did many terrific pictorials for me at Leg World and for Dian Hanson when she edited Leg Show. You can see more of Jana’s work on her own site, BestLegShow.com.

Sandra now also appears as “Sandra Sanchez” on HotLegsAndFeet.com and other sites for which I write newsletters and web copy at DDFNetwork.com.

I am a very big fan of classic film music, by composers such as Bernard Herrmann, Miklos Rosza, Alfred Newman, Jerome Moross, Franz Waxman, Erich Korngold, and Elmer Bernstein. I often listen to their music when I work, as well as to ragtime, house music, Big Band, and classical piano and symphonies.

Check out one of my favorite pieces of film music here, the opening credits from David and Bathsheba, setting the scene for a tale of exotic and dangerous Biblical romance. See this excellent movie if you have the opportunity.

Now this is what I call a movie poster!! And the music lives up to it.

Now, I recently had the pleasant experience of writing a story to accompany a picture by the noted British fetish artist Sardax on his site The Femdom Art of Sardax here. I used various details in the picture to imagine a story around it which was entitled “The Pit.”

Dreaming up a story for this picture was right up my alley!

A woman counting money…a barefoot woman reading…the color of a domineering woman’s blouse…my story took off from these things to imagine a sensual, psychological, and emotional experience for the man in the center of picture, in awe over the feet of the woman sitting above him.

One thing I like about Sardax’s work is that his mastery of expression and detail gives his work a narrative quality that is very appealing to a writer’s mind.

There are more than a few pictures on his site that have written accompaniments, these “literary soundtracks” which accentuate and bring extra psychological and emotional components to the images. Most of his pictures don’t have words, but the ones that do have some excellent and evocative prose.

It’s amazing how just a few lines or paragraphs underneath some of his pictures really expand on the already powerful fantasies he depicts through his skills with drawing and color alone. One of my favorites is “Lucky Man”:

In the copy that accompanies the picture, the young wife expresses her dissatisfaction with her older husband, and lays out a “contract” with five items which pretty much encase him in a cocoon of total slavery to her. She emphasizes:

“I am in charge. Your role in this relationship from now on is to obey me, and work to make my life easy and pleasant. Is that understood? Do you accept these rules?”

He is more than happy to acquiesce and feels lucky to do so, as the brief but potent story elaborates the “contract” point for point.

Sardax recently completed a series of gorgeous pictures illustrating the early femdom novel Venus in Furs, and they are some of his most dramatic and striking images. They are now on his site.

I hope to write more for Sardax, and of course will let you know here if and when I do.

Getting back to the idea of an erotica writer providing a “soundtrack,” one of my happiest accomplishments when I wrote porn screenplays from the 1980s through the early 2000s was to suggest the use of an actual musical soundtrack, of Rossini’s overture for The Thieving Magpie as the score for an X-rated movie I scripted in 1988, The Bitches of Westwood. The director, Ron Sullivan aka “Henri Pachard,” liked my idea and we had ourselves a very jaunty soundtrack which perfectly accompanied this porn take-off of the Jack Nicholson/Michelle Pfeiffer movie The Witches of Eastwick.

In this parody, the late John Leslie played the devilish role Jack Nicholson did in the original.

I think the writer Anthony Burgess, most famous for A Clockwork Orange, said that if he weren’t a writer, he would have liked to be a film composer. I feel the same way sometimes (although being a film director is even more appealing and was my original career “goal”). Anyway, give a listen to The Thieving Magpie overture here on You Tube and imagine it as accompaniment for a hardcore sex comedy!

(Well, holy shit. As I went to You Tube to find the music, I discovered that Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, the 1970 movie, used it too. That was a film I hated for its violence when I saw it and never watched again, but I wonder if after that the first time of hearing The Thieving Magpie it perhaps nestled in my subconscious for years after…until it seemed to me the perfect accompaniment for my own take on, shall we say, rambunctious devilish behavior?)

In any case, music has always influenced my work, whether overtly or subconsciously. When I worked for GCR Publications in the 1980s, I used to sit in my office and sometimes listen to Big Band music as I assembled issues of Cheeks, Girls Over 40, Stag, or For Adults Only. One of the associate editors said he always thought that the Benny Goodman number “Goodbye” (composed by Gordon Jenkins) well expressed my personality. Either that’s true, or I played it so many times in my office that it became indistinguishable from who I was. But my personality did partake then, and still partakes, of some of the melancholy embodied in the tune, which can be found here in a recording on You Tube.

This is a still of Benny Goodman from the 1943 movie “Stage Door Canteen” which I found on Wikipedia.

And this is me around the time I was always listening to “Goodbye,” playing dress-up at home in the “film noir” mode:

Pic was taken in 1985 or 1986 in my book-crammed apartment on West 46th Street in Manhattan’s Times Square. Moved out in 1990 to try a less “film noir” lifestyle in Astoria, Queens; didn’t like it, though.

Maybe I’m being a little harsh on myself. I shouldn’t call it “film noir dress-up” because I had a lot of vintage clothes (still have some of them, in fact) and donned them often, not as “costumes” but as my regular wear. In many ways, “noir” is the way I look at the world…as a place where people, even with free will, are too often puppets in the hands of destiny…where men are subject to the wiles of femmes fatale (truly)…and sometimes I call myself a “film noir” kinda guy. Anyway, this picture was taken in the 1980s when I lived in a Times Square walk-up where many years earlier in the 1950s prominent burlesque agents actually had their offices. (I discovered this recently by looking at the agency ads in old burlesque trade magazines and seeing the address where I used to live.) So it is very possible that peelers like Tempest Storm or Jennie Lee, or models like Bettie Page, at one time or other crossed the threshold of the very same apartment I dwelled in thirty years later! No big deal, just strikes me as kinda cool.

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I found the David and Bathsheba poster here, and The Bitches of Westwood boxcover here.

The images of Sandra Scarlett from Leg World October 2008 courtesy of Magna Publishing Group Inc. and Jana Krenova.

The use of “The Pit” and “Lucky man” pictures are courtesy of Sardax.

 

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The hypnotic power of lipstick teasing…

There was an interesting moment in the 1949 noir film The Third Man, which I watched tonight on Turner Classic Movies. The main female character, Anna Schmidt (Alida Valli, below) is awakened in the middle of the night by the International Police in post-World War 2 Vienna, to be taken down to headquarters for questioning about her forged passport. Several policemen of different nationalities wait while she dresses, and then as they all leave her apartment, one of the officers very solicitously says, “Your lipstick, mademoiselle,” and hands it to her.

A tiny moment, but it made me wonder about the officer and why he had such a desire to be solicitous. One could almost imagine an entire short story about that officer. Perhaps he wanted some contact, however brief, with this beautiful unattainable woman. Perhaps he simply saw himself as being kind. Perhaps he felt sorry for her being detained and wanted to assuage her dignity. Perhaps he felt it was his duty to remind Anna that, in her distress, she had made an oversight and forgotten this essential item. Or perhaps it gave him an erotic thrill to pick up, carry over, and give her the tube of lipstick…

Lipstick fetishism may be even more popular now than ever because of the Internet. There are many interesting clips online where models and dominatrixes tease the viewer in closeup as they apply and blot their lips.

I read somewhere that if a woman applies her lipstick in front of a man she is not already intimate with, it signifies that she is not interested in getting intimate with him at all. Perhaps it is a way of belittling him, of taunting him with her lack of interest in him as a lover, by performing this erotic act in front of him–as if she doesn’t care about its effect on him. I wonder if that’s true, or is just a generalization.

If done in front of a man a woman has no attraction to, the act of applying lipstick can be such a powerful spectacle that it is one of the most twisting and torturous of teases. The lips are painted in such a way to remind the man of the blush of the woman in sexual excitement…yet, performing the act signifies that she is uninterested in pursuing that excitement with him.

In the 1946 movie The Postman Always Rings Twice, Lana Turner applies her lipstick in front of John Garfield to make him think she’s not interested in him–even though she is. She does it as an act of contempt–knowing it will spur him to desire. Yet there is clearly part of her that does not, at first, want to get intimate with him.

Again, I don’t know if this is true or a generalization. I have been with women who applied lipstick in this way, and they were definitely not interested in me sexually (although they were my friends).

Pursed lips, like the ones above, are a powerful symbol of female judgment…and perhaps of arrogance.

But it is the image of the “kissy” lips below, the lips that combine the loving condescension of a maternal figure with the playfulness of a lover, that can truly engulf the eyes and loins of a susceptible man in a whirlwind of erotic confusion…or bliss!

It is no coincidence that one of the tools of the “hypnodommes” now popular on the Web–women who play the role, in video clips and audio files, of erotic hypnotists for submissive men–is lipstick teasing, the sight of which can put a man in a horny trance.

I like lipstick teasing. That’s the primary reason I put together this post–simply to assemble a sexy little gallery of delectable pictures I found around the Web. And my desire to do this was set off by that scene in The Third Man…an effect I’m sure the filmmakers did not intend.

Or did they…? 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Erotica

 

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Pinups and giantesses put a smile on my face…

I’m a kind of moody guy, and the last few days I seem to have lost my way a little. Perhaps it was the porno burnout I mentioned in the last post…

Not that I haven’t been busy. Check out my latest “Notes of a Rebel Subbie” column on the female domination site Domme Dose. This week my topic is “The Dominating Power of a Sexy Voice,” but it’s also about memories of the horny old days in $10 whorehouse apartments near Times Square. Naturally, the column is for Adults Only. (Just have to say that.)

I have a noirish vision of life. Noir movies and fiction seem realistic to me; the world often seems dark. But I wish I had a lighter view of things, and sometimes wish I were an artist instead of a writer, because art communicates so much more rapidly than writing, which takes a greater commitment on the part of the spectator…a commitment given far less generously these days, with all the distractions of computer, tv, iPad, cellphone, Internet, etc etc ad nauseum.

Anyway, when I say “artist” I really mean pinup artist, because I love them, and the best of them, like Gil Elvgren, give aesthetic pleasure and joy in equal measure. I found this nice Elvgren at a blog called Gimme More Bananas.

Sure, it's sentimental. But who doesn't envy that pup in her arms?

I spent a little time tonight looking around the Web for pictures of “women with male puppets” (that’s a topic for another post) but instead I found a lot of stuff about giantesses. Not many lady & puppet pix. But I located a great picture of Jessica Alba in the “Fifty Foot Woman” mode here. I think she is the best of the modern pinup models. Oh, I know she’s an actress, but I mostly just like to look at her photos. She really poses well, and her smile is as luminescent as that of an Elvgren gal.

If a huge woman has to menace the freeways, we couldn't do better than Miss Jessica.

I found a lot of interesting stuff about giantesses, so I’ll have to do another post about them soon.

Funny, it just occurred to me: whenever I’m blue, I always seem to end up surfing the Web for giantesses. Maybe I just wanna be scooped up in Mommy’s arms and be told that everything will be all right…you know I’m kinda Freudian by now, don’tcha?

 
6 Comments

Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Erotica

 

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