Campus Love Club by David Challon (Bedstand Books)/Campus Sex Club by Loren Beauchamp (Midwood Books No. F206) aka Robert Silverberg
I was reading Robert Silberberg’s Up the Line (1969) the same time I started Campus Love/Sex Club and noted a similarity between the two — they both have a light, humorous touch, unlike most Silverberg/Challon/Beauchamp/Elliott novels which tend to be dark and serious, whether it’s about time paradox, sex, alien invasion, or wife swappers.
In “My Life as a Pornographer,” Silverberg notes that when composing sex scenes “I could make use of my own [sexual] experiences, such as they had been at the age of 25 or so” and that seems to be the case here. The book has that sort of authentic feel, told in first person by Metropolitan College sophomore Jeff Burnside, who starts off as an awkward virgin and soon becomes a master of “making” the girls on campus.
Metropolitan is a lot like Columbia, Silverberg’s alma mater, where he attended before transitioning into a professional SF writer in the mid-1950s, but could also be NYU.
Jeff Burnside is a 19-year-old frustrated writer — his goal is to write for TV shows, although is parents expect him to go pre-med after his undergrad years. He writes a sex piece for the campus humor magazine and it is rejected because the editor can tell he has had no sexual experience. An editor at the campus newspaper, who happens to be a Don Juan determined to fuck every girl on campus, convinces him to move out of the dorms and get a $10/week room, where he can bring girls.
Jeff loses his virginity in 3 minutes with an Hispanic hooker who speaks no English. Then he asks the campus tramp out on a date, takes her home, and has fun all night. “I got three hours of sleep.”
His friend then feels Jeff is prepared to join a secret fraternity that has exsited on campus for 20 years, cocnisting of 15 select young men, each who can only stay in for 3 years, and each who sponsors a new member for initiation. There is an equal group of 15 young women in the sorority version. The code of this group of 30 people is that no member can deny the other sex and companionship — insuring that everyone has a new partner every night. On Saturdays, they get together for naked orgy parties, where they watch each other have sex with “Bolero” playing on the hi-fi (this long before the movie 10).
The initation for men: they must get it up 3 times in 150 minutes, and hve sex with 3 different female members. Each time must result in a full orgasm, which they witness. So a test of virility, and not being shy to have others watch, is at hand. For the girl: initation is to resist the best seduction at a male member’s hands — he can do whatever he wants, aside from actual penetration, and she must resist, be “dry” and cold. If she can resist for half an hour, she then must have sex with three men in a row to be a full member. As the head man, “Hammer,” tells them:
Each member of this group, once accepted, becomes one with the bodies of all other members, and hance, no member may refuse to cohabit with another member in normal heterosexual intrcourse […] Sadistic, masochistic, and homosexual practices may be indulged in, but only with the consent of both parties. (p. 89)
“Homsexual practices” in this context is lesbianism, not man-on-man, which would affront the alpha males of this clique.
Sounds outlandish, but Silverberg writes it convincingly because this is really a comic novel, so it fits in this world, where the narrator writes: “I gawped in openmouthed becrogglement” (p. 144). Whether Silverberg came up with this in his dirty mind or such a club did exist — either in rumor or deed — on Columbia is anyone’s guess. I must admit, however, I have heard of such things going on in real frat/sorority set ups (“no sister can refuse a date from one of the brother houses”), and today we can see videos online of such drunken parties.
While on the surface these kids seem cool and at ease with all the sex, they are not proto-free loveniks or polyamorus; Jeff learns that some of the girls have psychological problems and are masohistic while some of the guys are soul-less and sadistic, such as when one brings a prim and proper girl, having been drugged, to the club to have her virginity taken by all the men there, as the girls watch and cheer the defilement. The girl is Jeff’s love interest at the end — the usual sleaze book morality ending where the narrarator finds redemption for her sins in the arms of a good girl, and they get married, etc.
Ah, the wages of SIN — one Saturday night party gets raided by the cops, thus saving the group deflowering of the virgin, and the papers have a field day with the scandal. They’re all expelled. Jeff is told not to come home and he gets a place in Greenwhich Village and a job in a warehouse. Others enlist in the army. One girl finds our she is pregnant, not knowing which of the 15 men are the father, so she commits suicide. Everyone is shamed, their acadmeic career ruined, their futures as doctors and lawyers and newspaper editors altered for their wallowing i the gutter world of lust and debauchery. The strumpets and trollops of Metropolitan!
Reprinted as Campus Sex Club by Loren Beauchamp doesn’t make much sense as it is told from a man’s first-person POV. Small changes are evident, like the clas dates, which relfect the original 1959 publication to the 1962 reprint.
This art to the left was re-used in a 1966 Midwood Double with Norman King and Linda Michaels.
Another note about Up the Line since I mentioned it — there is more detailed sex in that SF time travel novel (and other Silverberg SF in the 1970s) than any of the early 60s softcores. E.g., here is how Silverberg describes a sex scene in Campus:
We went into the adjoining room and threw ourselves down, and Marge pulled me over on top of her so my body was pillowed on her softness, and I felt the hard bones of her hips pressing againt my hip bones, and the soft bulks of her breasts spreading out against my chest. Then she wrapped herself around me lik a carniverous amoeba, and I thrust my tongue deep into her mouth, and we became one. (p. 125)
Hot stuff, daddy-o.