Archive for call girls

Too Hot to Handle by Orrie Hitt (Beacon, 1959)

Posted in Beacon Books, noir fiction, Orrie Hitt, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , on September 12, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This may be one of Hitt’s darkest novels. The keyhole peeper cover suggests this might be a peeping tom book but it’s not. Too Hot to Handle focuses on one of Hitt’s pet themes: young women in the 1950s who, out of bad circumstance, need, and blackmail, wind up as call girls, street hookers, or nude models.

Kay comes from the wrong side of town, Orchard Street, the red light district of sin and booze and crime. At fourteen, she is seduced by a friend of her father’s named Lucky. After teaching her all about sex, he tries to enlist her as a call girl for his operation. She had no idea he was a two-but pimp. She refuses.

At nineteen, she gets a job in a law office and winds up marrying the boss’ son, Burt, much to the boss’ chagrin — Kay is from Orchard Street, she’s not Ivy League class as he had hoped for his son, who just finished law school.

Burt tries opening his own office and they are poor, struggling, unable to meet rent on their West End Avenue apartment. To make matters worse, Kay’;s mother gets stomach cancer and the hospital wants to be paid or else no care and surgery (perhaps a political statement on Hitt’s part about the lack of universal health care).

Kay meets a married woman named Iris who seems to have a lot of money; she tells Kay she secretly works as a call girl for this “rich” old woman, Mrs. Gordon, who only deals with high-end executive businessmen who pay top dollar for the best girls — $100 an hour, when most hookers can only get $10-15 (and 100 is like $1500 in 1959 money).

Kay is facing too mnay bills — rent, groceries, her mother…so she does it, and finds she likes it after a few drinks until later when the guilt sets in. The men give her high marks — she’s so on sexual fire that she’s, yes, too hot to handle; when she tries to quit, Mrs. Gordon threatens to tell Burt what Kay is doing, so Kay is blackmailed into staying a call girl, although she does like the money. She also has a lesbian fling with Iris, after a bad drunk night when she has sex with five businessmen and passes out and they leave her alone in the room, and she didn’t get paid.

She felt the pain and she knew that he was taking her. She moaned, crying for herself and what she was, and she felt his lips on her mouth, lips that were filled with the wildness of passion, lips that became more furious…

She remembered little after that, except that men came to her, and went away.

“Wonderful,” she heard one of them say.

She didn’t know who said it and she didn’t care. She was earning money, earning it the way some girls did on Orchard Street, and that’s all she knew. (pp. 86-87)

Iris dies in a botched abortion (a common occurrence in Hitt’s and other sleaze books) and Kay has to hire a young girl, Debbie, to take care of her mom, only Debbie seduces Kay’s drunk father and blackmails Kay – the dad either goes to jail for rape or pays $2500 to settle.

The atmosphere of this novel is bleak and depressing, more than the other books Hitt did with this theme. Kay is faced with no-way-out situations.

When she wasn’t working or with Iris she would drink alone and it was then that a wave of disgust and self-pity needled her. She was married to a man that didn’t give a damn  about her. She was a call girl. And, if that wasn’t enough, she was a lesbian. (p. 100)

This is true “sleaze” because none of the sex is exactly sensual but acts of drunken desperation and sad loneliness. Sex becomes nothing more than a business transaction for Kay, and soon she’s working sidelines at bars, having men every hour, her husband finds out and leaves her, and Kay keeps drinking more and more until she’s a complete lush and gets arrested by the vice cops…

After reading a slew of Hitt duds (to be expected from any prolific writer) this one was a vibrant read and enforces our contention that Orrie Hitt is a long lost pulp master who needs to be revived…and soon will be from Stark House which will issue an omnibus edition next year (with an introduction from Michael Hemmingson).

Expense Account Sinners by Don Elliott aka Robert Silverberg (Nightstand #1558, 1961)

Posted in Don Elliott, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , on August 1, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Some of Silverberg’s best softsores are set in the corporate workplace and all the sexual shenanigans that happen there, found in Savage Love and Company Girl (Mark Ryan), The Bra Peddlers (John Dexter) Convention Girl and Woman Chaser(Elliott)…

In Expense Account Sinnes, Llyod Burks is Vice President and Public Relations Manager for an electronic firm…but he is more VP of Cal Girls and Good Times.  His job is to entertain VIPs from the government and other companies that are potential clients for electronics parts, meaing millions of dollars of contracts. 

Burks job is to show these buyers a good time, which means getting them call girls and partying it up.  To show the buyers he too is having a good time, Burks often has to sleep with one of the call girls too.

Burks makes 26 grand a year, good money for the early 1960s, a top exec job.  He lives in the suburbs with his wife, Miriam, and their two children.  He likes to see himself as a good husband, nine years of devotion, and he only sins for the good of the company…he never spends the night with a hooker, he always comes home.

Then he finds out one of the owners of the company has been phoning his wife Miraim and trying to get her to have an affair (similar to Company Girl).  This bothers him.  This bos even tells Miriam about the call girls and she doesnt believe him…until Burks secretary, Jean, tells her the same…seems Jean has harbored a secret love for Burks for a while, and when he rejects her and has her transferred, she decides to get revenge…

Here Burks is ready to call it quits with call girls and be a monogumous husband, and all his birds come home to roost…

He is indeed an expense account sinner…aprops title.

Tis is one of the best of the Don Elliotts, a great read about cause and effect and redemption.  The back cover copy, penned by Harlan Ellison in Ellisonesque flamboyant manner, is spot on…

The Many Faces of John Dexter #8: Sin Psycho by Harry Whittington (Sundown Reader #512, 1964)

Posted in crime noir, Harry Whittington, John Dexter, noir fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , on July 7, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Of the few “Missing 38″ I’ve read so far, Sin Psycho is the best, next to Sharing Sharon. The title is misleading, surprise there — the protagonist isn’t psycho, she’s desperate to save her family from the pit of poverty.

Ginny is a beautiful housewife who lives in the suburbs of Boston. She has two kids and a husband, Bob.  Bob, however, has been laid up sick in bed for months by an unknown illness, keeping him from his manager job at a bank.  They’re running out of money, and the bank that owns their mortgage is close to foreclosing, and the milkman can’t keep extending her credit even though her kids need to eat.  The elctricty will be turned off soon and although Bob is bed-ridden, he’s always horny…she’s cold, but when he touches her, she changes, she turns into a fiery sex-crazed naughty housewife…

But they need money and none of the jobs she’s offered will help pay enough…

Then her friend Aggie, who seems to always do well, lets her in on a secret, to help Ginny: Aggie really works for a beauty salon in Boston, but the salon is a front for a call girl service where a number of desperate housewives work out of…

And Ginny is desperate. And she does like sex. And men do find her attractive…

She’s nervous with her first client, but he’s grateful to have her because she seems to actually like the sex and have real orgasms…

Eventually she gets into the swing of things, and not only does she like the sex, and the adventure of being with strange men once or twice a day in their hotel rooms or homes, she likes the money… because she now can pay the bills, keep the bankers happy, feed and clothe her children, and have some left over to spend on herself.

She tells Bob she works at some office. When Bob gets well and goes back to work, he wants her to quit…stay home again…but she finds it hard to quit. She has become addicted to the life: the sex and money and excitement of strangeness…

One client, a rich old man, likes to pretend she is Martha, his dead wife…

Some like rough sex, and some like torture…when she gets a man who beats the hell out of her, she knows she’s gone too far, with a broken niose and swollen eye and bleeding…

And then she gets arrested by the vice cops (the cop had been one of her customers) and all goes to hell, exposed…

An interesting little story.  Whittington delves into Ginny’s psyche well, and tells of her sexual “affair” with a twenty-five year old Navy guy who rented a room from her parents, and she was ten years old. Whittington handles the pedophilia smoothly, we’re never quite sure if she had sex with the guy but we assume so, and Ginny never feels it was wrong.  All her life she has been trying to find a man just like that first lover…

Highly recommended, if you can find a copy — the Whittington Corniths are rare.

The Promoter by Orrie Hitt (Beacon Books #142)

Posted in Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Hitt - Promoter

I may have become a fan after reading this 1957 novel by Orrie Hitt.  The (great!) cover art and cover copy is misleading — it seems to indcate that it’s about a sleaze merchant in female flesh but it’s not, really, or: the guy on the cover is not the narrator.

The narrator is Bill Morgan, a freelance magazine writer who specializes in pieces for car magazines.  He heads into a small New Jersey town to interview a church minister, Dr. Call,  who has boys re-build cars, believing it keeps them off the streets and getting into gangs and crime.  There he meets the minister’s daughter, Judith Call, who is on her way out of the small town with her dreams for New York City and the high life.  She uses the distraction of the writer being there to slip out and run away.

Dr. Call and the church elders wish to hire Morgan for an information job — they have heard about sleaze tabloids, the selling of nudie pictures, an underworld of sex and sin in New York, but in their isolated lives, they have no idea if it is hyperbole or true.  They want to know the truth, what kind of people are behind such sleaze, in order to keep their young ones away from it all.  Morgan takes the job — and oh, the minister tells Morgan that his daughter ran away to NYC and would he find her?

It has a Big Sleep set-up feel — the wayward teenage daughter, the naive older man with money, the taking of nude photos.  It is obvious Hitt was influenced by Chandler, as many were at the time.  Hitt’s style is smooth, but his sentences can get convoluted, not unlike Chandler.

But it has a different angle — Morgan becomes a detective, but he’s not a private eye, he’s just a writer.  But he’s hardboiled and tough enough, and knows his way around the streets.  He does’t know about the syndicate sex world, mobbed up, bogus model agencies that lure young women into being prostitutes and sex toys, drugged up and chewed up by a strange cabal of rich people — remidned me of the movie Eyes Wide Shut in some ways.

In the 1950s, still photos of women naked or partially undressed was a curious business — it’s what Betty Paige fell into.  Hitt seemsHitt As Bad as They Come to have tackled the subject in a few other books: As Bad as They Come and Sin Doll, probably more, he seems to write a handful of books on the same subjects, like peeping toms.

Morgan sleeps with half a dozen women in the process — like all hardboiled heroes, the dames and dolls just throw themselves at then, even if they are all slutty models and drugged up babes.  Morgan has an odd sense of justice, wanting to take the sex rackett down — his motive: the ghost of love.  The woman he was to marry died in a skiing accident a few years ago and he is emotionally messed up still.  The minsiter’s daughter happens to look like a younger version of that woman, and she seems to have vanished without a trace after meeting some man about a secretarial job.

He finds her in a mansion one night at a syndicate sex party — many young women, drugged up on pills, are there to be used by a bunch of men, photographed…and Judith Call is there, drugged out of brain, taking one man after the other.

He saves her.  Bullets fly.  In the last sentence, we are told of an unlikely marriage.

Unfaithful Nympho Wives: Unwilling Sinner by Loren Beauchamp and Man Mad by David Challon (Robert Silverberg)

Posted in Loren Beauchamp, Midbook Books, Robert Silverberg, Uncategorized, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Beauchamp - Unwilling Sinner

Beauchamp - When She was Bad

Two books about unfaithful nymphomaniac wives, by Silverberg’s Beauchamp and Challon pen names.

Midwood published Unwilling Sinner in 1959 and then reprinted it a few years later as And When She Was Bad. It’s told in the first person by Ellie, a small town upper New York state girl, nineteen, and a nympho…she’s been a nympho since she was fifteen, although her parents and anyone who first meets her think she is a sweet, virginal kid.  The boys in town know otherwise: all they have to do is start touching Ellie and she’ll fuck them.

She is ashamed of herself — her actions, her reputation. But she cannot help herself; every time a man touches her, a fire builds up inside and she needs sex, only to feel dirty, shameful, and sin-ridden after.

A new fellow comes to town to take over the grocery store for a syndicate: Dick, twenty-seven (is the name supposed to be a pun?). He asks Ellie out for a date.  He has no idea about her rep. She tries to keep him at bay, to not lose control.  They fall in love. They get married…okay, so a nympho marries Dick, haha.

In her new home, while her hubby, Dick, is at work, Ellie gets vistors: the boys she has slept with. They know she cannot say no, and they blackmail her: if she doesn’t give in, they will tell her husband about her sordid past.

So it goes on for months: five boys round robin, visiting her 2-3 times a week. One brings a friend who whips her with his belt.

Then her husband walks in on her with one of them — to add insult to injury, he is beaten up by his wife’s lover, who laughs about it.

He wants a divorce.  There’s a problem — she’s pregannt and doesn’t know who of the five men and her husband could be the father.  She tries to kill herself by jumping in front of a car going 50 MPH.  She doesn’t die, she breaks some bones and ribs, and loses the fetus.

In the hospital, a doctor determines why she’s a nympho.  It is outlandish and I have no idea if there is any medical truth to this, but seems she has a tumor near her adrenal gland, and whenever she gets emotionally worked up, the tuimor presses on it and releases too much adrenaline, which causes the fire in her, the “unnatural” need for sex.  This may be as absurd as Deepthroat, a woman with her clit in her throat.

I just checked online, and it seems that such a tumor by the adrenal gland is indeed a cause for nymphimania.  You learn something new every day.

So the doctor says he can cure Ellie and Dick decides he will not divorce her, knowing her promiscuity is not her fault.

BTSilverberg/Beauchamp usually create sympathetic characters but I could not side with Ellie in this. She disgusted me.  Remidned me of Jay MacInernay’s Story of My Life – a 1980s Breakfast at Tiffany‘s that fell short; at least we cared about Holly Golightly.  Ellie is just a dumb hick kid, and the story was not as engaging as other Beauchamp Midwoods.

I don’t have a cover scan for Man Mad by David Challon, Silverberg’s pen name (along with Mark Ryan) for Bedstand Books.  This is Chariot Books #143 — I thought Chariot might be an imprint of Bedstand, but according to Sin-a-Rama, was a short-lived company.  I have found only one other Challon with Chariot.

Man Mad‘s front and back covers do not coincide with the novel.  On the front is a lusty GGA, on the back a real photo of some go-go dnacing stripper, with men and women watching her, and this blrub: “What happens when anymphmaniac marries for love” and “compulsive sex turned her life into a nightmare.”

The protagonist, however, is Paul Edmonds, a publisher in his late 30s.  He has an “open” marriage with a wealthy woman, similar to the situation in Beauchamp’s Love Nest (Midwood).  His wife, Elissa, has to have many lovers, and he has his; she’s not as much a nympho as she can’t stand to be alone and, in her aging, needs men to like her.  Her money, invested into Edmonds small company seven years ago, has turned his company into a large publishing house, and made him rich and powerful in the literary community.

This is a pretty good novel, bordering on fine literature about the publishing industry, like Bright Lights, Big City or Elbowing the Seducer. I had a hard time putting this one down.  Edmonds falls for a young actress; his wife’s current lover, a playwright, also falls for her.  There’s a lot of jealousy going around.  When Edmonds is lonely, he hires a high class call girl, Harriet, to spend time with.

It has a semi-happy ending…Edmonds finally decides to divorce his wife and the actress sort of says yes, she will be his next wife…

This is a novel Silverberg should be proud of, but he probably doesn’t even remember writing it.  It is defintely one that should be reprinted.

Party Girl by Don Elliott (Robert Silverberg) Nightstand #1509)

Posted in Don Elliott, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Party Girl

One of the early books Silverberg wrote, as it is the ninth one of the line: 1509 — he wrote the first one, Love Addict: 1501.

Love Addict A novel about heroin and sex and what a woman will do for her dope.

There are no drugs in Party Girl, except booze, but it’s about what women will do for money, small money, large money — women come to New York in the late 50s looking to dance or sing or act on Broadway, and get suckered by shady sleazy agents and promoters. Money becomes a drug later on…

In Party Girl, all sex leads to tragedy. There is no love — there is only desperation, fear, loneliness, loss of hope, loss of humanity.

Laura Haynes is a gorgeous Kansas farm girl who comes to the Big Apple looking for her chance on Broadway.  She’s 22, full-figured, a virgin and naive. That all goes away when the first agent she has a meeting with has her get into a skimpy outfit and then rapes her.

Shocked, Laura wanders around NY, in pain from the rape, and collaspses. A girl helps her. The girl, Marilyn, is a streetwalker.  Laura roomates with Marilyn.  After a week of looking for work, Laura decideds to become a streetwalker.

But she’s too good-looking for $10 tricks.  She soon gets the attention of a powerful, high class pimp who runs an upscale call girl service. He puts her up in a Westside apartament, buys her clothes and jewrely, gives her a $500 advance.  He promises her $500 a week (about $5K in 1959 money) plus whatever tips she makes;  and she has to work every night, with four days a month off; each afteroon she gets a call where to meet a cleint — bankers, lawyers, businessmen in town.

Within months, she is wealthy, putting money away…with tips, she is making $30K a year, and figures she can retire by 27.

Of course, she meets a fella whom she falls in love with — not a client, just a guy…typical call girl story falling for a common joe who falls for her too…

…and he finds out the truth about her and kills himself over the pain of it all…

…and Laura has a gun…

It’s a damn fine story — professionally paced, with a few illogical parts that the writer didn’t think out right, but that’s okay.  The sex is cold and sad, even the drunken lesbian sex between Laura and Marilyn.  I would nto say this novel is not “erotica” but a morality play on the sins of the flesh, a la 1950s morals.

The dialogue reads like a 1950s black and white movie too, with the sweeping soundtrack, but an ending akin to Sunset Boulevard.

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