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.
Silverberg/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.