Archive for third sex

21 Gay Street – Sheldon Lord aka Lawrence Block (Midwood #55, 1960)

Posted in Lawrence Block, lesbian pulp fiction, pulp fiction, Sheldon Lord, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , on April 25, 2010 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

First, 21 Gay Street is a real address:

In Block’s novel, the brownstone apartment complex at the address in the center of most of the action.  Joyce Kendall, fresh from Ohio and a graduate of Clifton College (setting of many Andrew Shaw campus Corniths), ready to start her job at Armageddon Publishing, rented the place sight unseen from an ad in a paper. She wanted a furnished apartment when she arrived in Manhattan, prepared to take the publishing community over by a storm.

She meets three neighbors: Terri Leigh and Jane Fitzgerald, two lesbians who live and love together; and Pete Galton, a former PR writer now taking time to write his first novel, which isn’t coming along as he had hoped.

Joyce is disappointed in her job — Armageddon does not publish literature but pulp magazines in the true confessions, romance, and men’s adventure genres.  She thought  she would be a first reader of manuscripts — which she is — but mostly she does letter typing and filing.

Joyce is lonely and bored.  ane and Terri have third third sex eye on her — she’s cute, she is unattached, is she gay or in the closet?  Jane incites Joyce to dinner.  When Jove makes the moves on her, she freaks out and runs to another neighbor, Pete, who has been rude to her. She asks Pete to take her to bed, so she knows she is a woman desired by men.

Pete takes her to a wild party, instead. An orgy in fact.  Joyve drks several juice drinks spiked with qualludes.  She blacks out and later learns that she had sex with dozens of men, including Pete, whose bed she wakes up in.

A romance happens, despite the sordid encounter at the orgy.  They click.  Pete knows his novel is trash and worries about money.  Joyce tells him he could write cofessioons romances and make $150 a story.  She knows what her employer wants, so he writes to order and starts a career as a pulp writer, with pregnant Joyce at his side.

A sappy tale but not bad.  The lesbian aspects are not as prominent as the wonderful Paul Rader cover suggests.  The sex is almost a tad more explicit than your usual 1960s Midwood, too.

A B-minus.

Unnatural by Sloane Britain (Midwood #47, 1960)

Posted in lesbian pulp fiction, Midwood Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

I wonder how a lesbian author felt having to, for marketing and legal reasons, have “Two women sharing a love that was unnatural” and “forbidden love in the twilight world of the third sex” on the cover of her novel, especially when she was also her own editor.

Unnatural is the story of Allison’s wandering maze through the lesbian world, and her love for Lydia, a woman who has made Allison her submissive in a D/s relationship.

Is this the same Allison in These Curious Pleasures?  Do the events in this novel take place before the other?  Britain doesn’t say, but it’s possible.  The Allison in Pleasures is hesitant to get into a serious gay relationship with another woman because of past bad experiences, and Unnatural is all about Allison’s bad sexual experiences.

The first is a rape by her boss at her first job in New York. She has come to the Big Apple with Big Dreams.  She does secretarial work and her boss had taken notice of her.  He calls her into his office, plies her with booze, and then makes his move on her…she is frozen, not knowing what to do.  She’s a virgin.  She lets him fuck her.  When he sees the blood on the couch, he freaks out, saying he would never have done it had he known.  Worried about repercussions, he gives her $100 and tells her to go home and look for another job…

Continue reading

Campus Queen by Ursula Grant (Midwood 33-682, 1966)

Posted in Midwood Books, pulp fiction, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Rader - Campus Queen

As often is the case with me, I initially acquired a copy of Campus Queen because of the nifty Paul Rader art.

Campus Queen fits a double-bill for my wanting to read/review sleaze books that are lesbian or college-set for the next week or two — this one is set on campus at a city university that is an “Ivy League” and seems that it could be Yale or Brown.  And there’s lesbian action — bi-sexuality if you want to get technical.

Previously, I suggested that “Ursula Grant” was one of Julie/Joan Ellis’ pen names, like Linda Michaels and Randy Baker that are Midwood exclusive.  This was upon a quick look at the prose, and there seemed to be some Ellis-like sentences.

Now that I have read it, I know Grant is not Ellis. Have no idea who Grant is, pen name or not. Grant is not a man in drag, this I am almost certain; this reads with a touch of sensitivity that (and I could be wrong) has the female pen all over it.

Grant seems to have only written three stand-alone novels and a couple Midwood Doubles…in fact, I’m, guessing Campus Queen was meant to be a Double because it’s short — 138 pages and small trim size book, is about 35-40K words.[1] For some reason, Midwood made this a book of its own — and I have several 1966 [2] Midwoods that are short and small sized (e.g., March Hastings’ Barbie), so perhaps these were trying out new formats as publishers are liking to do. (The very early Midwoods were digest-sized like Nightstand and Newstand Library, then switched over to standard mm ppbk.)

Campus Queen is an elegantly-written co-ed/dorm/lesbian story that’s not all that original yet still a joy to read.  Nancy Malone is a 19-year-old undergrad wo is eager for experience and shares a dorm with Elizabeth, who has traveled the world and went to boarding school, where she learned, among other things, lesbian sex.

Both girls date guys, and talk about their experiences.  Elizabeth tells her how men from different countris are in bed — Greeks are rough, French are gentle, etc.  They share the same bed because it’s winter and cold, and their bodies are close, but it seems innocent.  One night, Nancy says she wonders what sex with another woman is like and Elizabeth says it’s great, she’s done it, do you want to try?  Nancy is shocked at first but she gives in to twilight sin:

Boldly, she rose to meet her roommate’s naked body\[…]Elizabeth began to move her hands and herRader Girl 2mouth danced over [Nancy’s] body [which] glistened with caresses, her breasts and her belly glowing with warmth […] Nancy discovered the primal rhythms and let her body pick its way to movement, let her hips slowly revolve, let her legs thrash until her heels dug into the mattress […] She was on a rollercoaster that was climbing to the dizzying heights of that first big hill […] She heard herself scream, fingernails digging into Elizabeth’s back and clinging for dear life. (51-52)

Had this little book been published in 1959-61, that third sex scene would have been less descriptive.  And a man does not write lesbian sex like that.

So begins their life as lovers, and like lovers in a cramped living situaion, they fight and bicker.  Elizabeth likes to have sex with many boys and Nancy doesn’t mind.  They don’t compete over men, until Nancy corsses path with

Timothy Forrest, visiting professor in literature, was [the university’s] catch for the year and one of the most celebrated poets in the country.  At the age of 21 he had published his first volume of poetry and became the center of a full-blown literary controversy.  The critics who thought he was prodigiously brilliant had fought vrbal duels in the literary quarterlies with the critics who found him precocious. And dull. (63)

Nancy meets him at the commons and he seems interested in her and she wonders why some famous poet, only 25, would like her.  She says she and her rommate wanted to take his class next semester but they cannot because they are nit juniors.  He says he can swing it to get them in and he does.

Elizabeth is jealous that the poet likes Nancy…she decides that she wants the poet and this angers Nancy.  There is arguing, hurt feelings, but in the end — as these books often end — Nancy winds up in bed with the poet/prof and “it was good. It had never been so good.” (138)

I look forward to reading Grant’s other Midwoods, especially Boss Lady

Grant - Boss Lady

Notes

1. For those interested, most Midwood novels were 50-60K words (200-240 manuscript pages, 158-184 book pages), and pay was $1000-1200, depending on who you were, your history with the company, how well your books did.  Midwood Doubles clocked in at 40K words (140-160 manscript pages, 120-130 book pages) and paid $900. Midwood Triples were 30K words (100-120 manuscript pages, 90-110 book pages) and paid $750.  Info courtesy of Barry N. Malzberg, who wrote some Midwoods as Mel Johnson.

2. It’s always curious to read a book published the same year one was born…puts things into perspective.

Robert Silverberg’s Lesbian Novels: Sin Girls by Marlene Longman, Diary of a Dyke by Don Elliott, and Twilight Women by L.T. Woodward, M.D.

Posted in Don Elliott, Loren Beauchamp, Midwood Books, Nightstand Books, pulp fiction, Robert Silverberg, Vintage Sleaze Paperbacks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2009 by vintagesleazepaperbacks

Sin Girls

Sin Girls is Nightstand #1514, the 13th book William Hamling published in early 1960, written by Robert Silbverberg. Seems Hamling wanted a female pen name.  The second Marlene Longman, however, Lesbian Love, was penned by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and tends to be pricey among colletors, up to $200 as seen here.

Lesbian Love - Longman

Harlan Ellison wrote the purple prose cover copy, and I am sure he had a laugh when composing this:

This is the most powerful novel you will ever read on the subject [lesbian desire], written by a woman who is, hersefl, A TORMENTED LESBIAN!

Robert Silverberg: tormented lesbian!! At the Silverberg Yahoo Fan Group,  Silverberg himself commented: “That blrub is incorrect…I was the happiest of lesbians.”

Sin Girls is the story of Leslie — nice pun there, and one woman says, “Hey, that’s a man’s name!”  It opens with Leslie awakened by a nightmare she has every night, remembering the man who raped her when she was a teenager, taking her virginity violently.  She is in bed with a one-night stand in a hotel that caters to lesbians looking for intimate encounters.  In the morning, the other woman says how much fun she had and hopes they will hook up again, but Leslie informs her that she only has one-nighters: no emotional entanglements, no names if she can help it.

Leslie is cold-hearted, seeking only physical relief. It’s a front.  We find out she was not always that way; she has become distant and aloof  from a scarred heart broken too many times.  First, there was the rape, and her boyfriend’s not wanting anything to do with her after (similar to the set-up of Connie by Silverberg’s Loren Beachamp). The rape left her afraid of men, so she turns to women — the common lesbian element (along with a bad loveless marriage and incest) in lesbian pulp fiction by men, sometimes women (March Hastings).

Her first serious lesbian affair is with Laura, a woman 10 years her senior. They live together in what seems like dyke bliss.  Then Leslie has an affair with another young lesbian in Laura’s gay social cirle (with a lot of bull dykes and beanik queers), they get caught, and Leslie gets tossed out on the street.

She later moves in with three teenage girls who dress in leather jackets and jeans.  They have orgies every night, doing round-robin pussy eating, etc. (although not decribed as crudely, of course).  She finds the girls too cruel and sadistic to other people and leaves.  She has a series of short flings, the crosses paths with an older woman who runs an escort agency that caters to rich lesbian women.  Leslie is a gay call for a year, traveling all over the world with herisess and widowed dykes.

While in the Caribbean with a woman who likes to be whipped and flogged before sex, Leslie meets a young college football hero on vacation and falls in love.  She is “weary” of lesbian sex and wants something different.  She denounces her gayness and goes straight, intending on marriage, ending thus:

All that mattered was that the long nightmare was over, that she lay with a man and that with each move of his body he brought her closer to fulfillment, and that she was forgiven and that the bright sun  now rising overthe Caribbean heralded a bright new day, a brand new life just beginning… (p. 191)

This was typical of lesbian fiction — in order to not face obscenity charges, lesbianism was treated as a deviant disease, and the lesbian could not find happiness in the end with a same-sex partner — she had to either come to a horrible conclusion for her unnatural sins or repent her evil ways and find truth and beauty in the arms of an Alpha Male with a nivce big hard dick that provides “fulfillment.”  The nightmare here is Leslie’s years of lesbiana, and she is “forgiven” of such horrors by going to a man for salvation.

This also happens in Silverberg’s other lesbian novel from 1959, Twisted Loves by Mark Ryan, that I previously discussed.

Let us not cry homophobia today — this was a market demand and condition of the times, when being gay was “strange” (hence “queer” later on), referred to as “twilight women” and “the third sex” engaging in “the third theme” or walking down “the 3rd street.”

There were some other Silverberg lesbiana tales from Cornith/Greenleaf, like Flesh Boarder and The Initiates, with lesbian encounters in many other books, like Party Girl, Fires Within, Wayward Widow, etc.  Silverberg’s lesbians always look the same: mannish,smal breasts, short dark hair.  In two books, the same dyke shows up who writes children’s books as a profession.

Flesh Boarder

There is also Diary of a Dyke, a 1966 title from Cornith’s Pleasure Reader series, from Phenix Publications, one of the many shell companies Hamling used to keep the feds scrambling. (Sorry, no cover scan).  Diary of a Dyke is a journal over 3 months as a woman who likes sex with girls tries to denounce her gayness by sleeping with a lot of men, but she still prefers girls.  It’s a funny book, and at first I did not think Silverberg wrote it — in “My Life as a Pornographer,” he states he stopped writing softcore sleaze in 1964-5, yet there are many 1966-7 Don Elliots, either books that were in a pipeline or Silverberg just stopped his two-novels a month output but still penned the cccasional smut book for money or a need to whip one out.  Silberberg says no other writer used the Don Elliott name the way others did with J.X. Williams, Andrew Shaw, and Don Holliday.

Woodward - twilight WomenThere is also the bogus case study “non-fiction” book Twilight Women by L.T. Woodward, M.D., a pseudonym Silverberg used for a dozen books from Monarch Books, Lancer, and Belmont.  This one, like the other Woowards, is really a collection of short stories made to look like a doctr’s case histories of patients he has treated — in this case, women who are lesbians and need to be cured.  Each story delves into the why and how each woman went gay, or is bi.

I plan to devote a long blog, and a whole acadmeic essay, on the many faux sexology books published in the 60s, riding the tail of the success of the Kisney and Masters and Johnsons Reports, quetsioning the ethics of such, and whether or not such presentations of fiction as fact was “dangerous” or irresponsible — but hey, where there is a market…

…plus, I have done the same with my Dr. Mundinger-Klow titles for Olympia Press, so, er. um…..!

I have a huge stack of lesbian sleaze here that I will blog about over the next two months — Lawrence Block published a lot of lesbiana as Sheldon Lord, Dr. Benjamin Morse, Lesley Evams and Jill Emerson (his first sale was a lesbian book to Beacon in 1958, and many of his Midwoods had lesbian themes).  And I have lez books by real gay women like Randy Salem, March Hastings, Vin Packer, as well as William Coons’ pen name, Barbara Brooks.

Rader - Gay Scene

Warm and Willing

BUTCH

Hastings - 3rd Theme

Hastings - Heat of the Day

Ellis - 3 of a Kind

Hastings - Three Women

SATAN LESBIAN