MAY 11, 2012 8:00AM

More Porn Days

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Quest

I explained in my last blog how I came to work for the largest “porn mill” on the west coast in the 1970s during the height of the “sexual revolution.” I use it as an example of how we seldom fully appreciate the uniqueness of our experiences while we're living them.


The company for which I worked was 99.99% heterosexual, though their "Lesbian" magazines always sold extremely well. The fact is, of course, that the women featured in them were not lesbians, and the magazines were not directed to lesbians, but were strictly for the intellectual musings of straight men, who inexplicably seem to be fascinated by the thought of women having sex together. Very rarely…very, very rarely…there would be a picture in one of the company's innumerable other magazines of two men together. The company, naturally, offered nothing specifically aimed at the gay market. I'm quite sure it had never occurred to them that there was such a thing.

The company was owned by a husband and wife team in their 60s, who had been in the business for many years and who had made a very large fortune at it. The husband ran the publishing end, his wife the business end. The husband had his own strong, definite ideas of what was sexy, and they seemed to boil down to three irrefutable facts: 1) mesh stockings drive men into a frenzy of desire; 2) A woman’s sexual appeal is in direct ratio to how many rings she can cram onto her fingers; 3) A 30-year-old woman in pigtails, an elementary-school uniform, oversize dark-rimmed glasses coyly licking a lollipop is the epitome of sexual appeal.

I was fascinated to realize, in a short time, how astonishingly little heterosexual men know about the workings of the female body, especially as it relates to sexuality.

After I’d been with the company for a while, I suggested that perhaps they might consider putting out a few magazines aimed at gay men. The initial universal revulsion (except from my immediate boss Keith and his wife Iris) was somewhat lessened when I provided some facts and figures on the buying power of gay men. They were still revolted, but the prospect of making even more money than they already had overcame it, and I became editor of two new magazines devoted to gay sexuality which, although I was never privy to the degree of success of any of the magazines I edited, straight or gay, obviously sold well enough to keep them going.

I subsequently suggested a line of gay-oriented erotic fiction and, surprisingly, they went for that, too.

Finding suitable manuscripts to get the line started was something of a problem.

The top lieutenant to the owners was an outstandingly dour man not only totally devoid of a sense of humor but of any signs whatever of a personality. He had a college-student nephew…straight, of course…who had totally unfounded delusions of becoming a writer, and I was informed that this young man would be supplying me with the manuscript for a male gay novel, for which he was to be paid the then-princely sum of $1,000.

I insisted on seeing a rough draft first, and when I did…well, let’s just say I was somewhat less than ecstatic. This kid couldn’t write his way out of a torn paper bag, and judging from his writing "style" I had no idea how he’d gotten out of third grade. If I had come to the company with no knowledge of what men and women do in bed together, this kid was several planets past Jupiter in not having a clue about gay men.

I will quote you here one line from his manuscript, which is engraved forever in my mind. He was writing what I’m sure he assumed was the penultimate gay sex scene, and the line was (feel free to write this down): "They pressed their lips together and enjoyed it very much." Wow! Time for a cold shower!!

I immediately wrote the young man thanking him for his time, assuring him that he could keep his prepaid $1,000, and wrote the book myself.

Life ain’t always easy, but sure can be a lot of fun.


Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please take a moment to check out his website (http://www.doriengrey.com) and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (http://bit.ly/m8CSO1 ).



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Comments

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porn is visual. pictures, pictures, pictures. erotica is literary. what you describes sound more like the latter than the former.
ps try keiko alvarez on here. best kept secret.