Archive for bi-sexual fiction

Strange Are the Ways of Love – Lesley Evans aka Lawrence Block (Crest Book #s336, 1959)

Posted in Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , on June 19, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Lawrence Block talks about this book in one of his writing tomes, how at age 19 he studied the numerous paperback lesbian novels on the market and wrote this one for experience and a paycheck. (The same year he published his first Midwood, Carla, coming up next.)

Strange Are the Ways of Love opens, and is almost similar to, 69 Barrow Street.  Jan, a graduate of Indiana University, comes to Greenwich Village for a summer stay at he aunt’s apartment on 54 Barrow Street.  She has secret lesbian yearnings, and has had some experiences, but feels tormented about it in mid–West America…she figures if she goes to the Village where gays are accepted, she might meet the woman of her dreams.

Instead she meets Mike, a singer/songwriter who sweeps her off her feet, confusing her with bi-sexual feelings, and through Mike she meets Laura, a gay woman who sweeps her off her feet, and thus we have the drama we see on the cover art.

This one is better than many of the very early Andrew Shaws that Block did for Nightstand, maybe because there was a solid market he wanted to crack rather than producing manuscripts fast.  It’s not an amazing story, and has a patent happy ending with Jan eschewing her gay feelings and running into Mike’s arms forever, as the market needs necessitated.

He only used the Lesley Evans pen name once — “Lesley” being a pun on lesbian.  His main female pen name would later be Jill Emerson.

Of Shame and Joy – Shedon Lord aka Lawrence Block (Midwood #29, 1960)

Posted in Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, Midwood Books, pulp fiction, Sheldon Lord, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , on March 29, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Set in Provincetown, Rhode Island, instead of the usual Greenwich Village Block/Lord gay novel, Of Shame and Joy is about three people looking for an answer to their lustful longings and need to for love and connection.

First there is Sheila, a tall blonde nymphomaniac who loves sex but cannot reach orgasm, so has more sex to try to. She is tormented by her own desires.

There is Maddy, a young dark haired lesbian disowned by her family who falls in love with Sheila on first sight, but when she approaches Sheila, Sheila is appalled by the advances of “a dirty queer.”

There is Hank, who rescues Sheila after a crazy drunken night of a gang bang, having sex with over a dozen men. He’s a 21 year old virgin and loses his cherry to Sheila and falls in love with her.

Seems everyone falls in love with Sheila, except Sheila can love no one

It is a little soap opera-esque, the broken hearts of lovelorn men and women in P-town, and while not as good as some of Block’s other Sheldon Lords, a fairly good read.  I’d give it a B-minus.

One ting I did like was it did not have that slease-era patent “lesbians are evil” ending; instead, it has a romantic, happy lesbian ending with plenty of alluded to oral sex.

69 Barrow Street – Sheldon Lord aka Lawrence Block (Midwood #24, 1959)

Posted in Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , on March 20, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

This Paul Rader cover is the first of his lesbian couples, which he did many more, most of them quite stunning.  Rader seemed to tackle the cover for most of the Sheldon Lords, but not always the reprints…

Another Lawrence Block tale set in Greenwich Village, his favorite setting for his sleaze books, and where he (still does?) live.  The building at 69 Barrow Street also appears in Passion Alley by Andrew Shaw.

This one is somewhat soap opera-esque about the love and sex woes of hipstes in the Village.  Ralph is a painter who lives with a somewhat wild and nutty lesbian, Stella.  Ralph sets his eyes on a new tenant, Susan Rivers, and so does Stella.

Ralph is looking for love but Stella just wants another woman to fuck, and she has a long list of them.  Susan, however is a recent lesbian the past two years, six lovers and no more interest in men.  So she fears Ralph’s interest, but she poses for him for a painting on the condition they are just friends. Of course, he slowly falls in love with her.

There’s a great reefer madness party Stella throws for 1 people where they all get high and have various sexual connections. One girl, Maria, keeps asking every man do do it “Greek style” with her but no one wants to. When Ralph asks her if it hurts she says she wants the pain.  Some BDSM and D/s comes into play here as Maria moves in and becomes Stella’s “bad girl.”  Maria calls Stella Mummy and Stella gets her kicks from punishing and spanking Maria.

Pretty bold  for a 1959 novel.  But like many lesbian themes books back then, the dykes had to be portrayed as deviant and disturbed, so Maria soon lapses into insanity with the D/s mommy/bad girl game, and Stella becomes homicidal-maniac jealous of Susan and Ralph.

There’s also rape in the book — a lesbian rape, and a drunken moment when Ralph attacks Stella when she taunts him about her making love to Susan, and he rapes his friend.

The novel falls into strange violence at the end like some of Block’s Andrew Shaw Nightstands tend to do.

Overall, a decent Sheldon Lord, but not in the same ball park of greatness like Candy, The Sex Shuffle, or  A Strange Kind of Love.

Duet by Laura Duchamp

Posted in Midbook Books, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , on May 27, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Duet

Laura Duchamp is often incorrectly credited to Robert Silverberg as one of his pen names, because it sounds close to Loren Beauchamp and both published Midwood titles.

Duchamp was a pen name of Sally Singer, according to Lynn Munroe’s site, who also wrote lesbian novels as March Hastings.  Most of Duchamp’s books are, from what I can tell so far, bi-curious novels, about unfulfilled wives turning to women for love, or women, such as Phyllis Campbell in Duet, trapped between their desire for men and their comfort with women.

Phyllis Campbell is 22 and works at a publishing company; she has a strange affair with one of the company’s male authors in his 40s, who writes teenage romances under a woman’s name, books Phyllis grew up on.  This is a stab at men writing women’s fiction, as many men wrote lesbian books, and Laura Duchamp (Sally Singer) is one of the rare actual lesbian writrs.

The sex with this male writer is cold and crude, emotionless, but Phyllis thinks this is the way of the world — her only sexual encounter was in college and it was quick and meaningless in a car.

Her second affair is with another writer, a rich older woman, Naomi Bannister, who writes high brow literature and has won every award and is taught in college; she is one of the elite class with two NY homes and a villa in France.  She soothes Phyllis after a brutal sexual enocunter with the other writer where the wroter lets another man have her for money.

The intimacy between the two women is tender and thrilling for Phyllis…but in the end she chooses a man she has loved and wants to marry, brushing off the year-old lesbian affair as a time of confusion.  Crushed, Naomi crashes her car — it looks like an accident but Phyliss knows it was suicide and she’s to blame.

A well-written, sometimes meldodramtic urban tale of bi-sexuality.