This story is not nice. It's really not nice. On a scale of how not nice something can be, this would not even appear because it isn't nice enough to...moreThis story is not nice. It's really not nice. On a scale of how not nice something can be, this would not even appear because it isn't nice enough to appear on such a scale. But some of us aren't nice people. This is a story for us.(less)
If the Marquis de Sade had had a sense of humour and written fairy stories, he might have produced something along these lines. Since he didn't, I sup...moreIf the Marquis de Sade had had a sense of humour and written fairy stories, he might have produced something along these lines. Since he didn't, I suppose we'll just have to make do with this.(less)
Australian biologist Jeremy Griffith has attracted a fair bit of attention over the years with what he claims to be a liberating first principle biolo...moreAustralian biologist Jeremy Griffith has attracted a fair bit of attention over the years with what he claims to be a liberating first principle biological explanation for the human condition, i.e. our species' capacity for good and evil.
For a time I was a supporter of Griffith's theories. Why would I not be attracted to the idea that some great riddle had been cracked which would lead to an end to all of humanity's problems - a reconciliation between the left wing and right wing in politics, between science and religion, between men and women - an end to war, poverty, mental illness? With his first book - Free : The End of the Human Condition - Griffith really laid on the hard sell, but the book was genuinely deep and full of references to the fossil record and primate behaviour. Back then I was prone to depression. Reading that book hurt like hell. They say that the truth hurts, so this seemed to be in its favour.
If you want a brief, concise and well-presented introduction to Griffith's theory and what he thinks it means for humanity, this second book - Beyond the Human Condition - is the one to read.
The first thing to acknowledge is that Griffith spends little of his time in the book arguing from reason. Much of the text consists of quotes from some of his favourite writers, most notably Laurens van der Post, as well as the Bible. He also paraphrases from popular songs the lyrics of which he wasn't able to obtain the rights to quote. This is not a scientific approach. The fact that Bruce Springsteen once said something in a song does not constitute evidence.
"As the quotes in this book reveal, all I have been able to add to the perception/soundness of Jesus Christ and Sir Laurens van der Post is the biological reason for the repression of our soul."
So how credible is this biological explanation for the human condition? Let's first summarise its essence.
Most animals compete for food or mating opportunities. Because our proto-human ancestors lived in the fertile environment of the Rift Valley in Africa their nurturing period grew longer. The mothers were nurturing their infants for genetically selfish reasons, because they contained their own genes. But to the infants this seemed like selfless behaviour. Not knowing anything about genetics, they thought their mothers' cared more about them than about themselves. And so they learned that this was the way to be - they became "love-indoctrinated". This led to the flowering of our ability to reason about the world, because we could think holistically rather than have our view of the world fractured by the us and them duality inherent in competition. It was also the origin of our soul or conscience, our instinctive sense of what was right, because learned behaviour over many generations becomes encoded in the genes.
So now we had a rational mind and a genetic orientation towards selfless behaviour. But the rational mind needed to experiment. Some of these experiments would have led to behaviour which contravened the genetic conscience, which would give the message that we were doing something wrong. Unable to explain our need to experiment with self-management, we became frustrated and eventually angry with this genetic conscience. This led to anger at anything which reminded us of it, such as nature or, if we were men, women. This was the origin of our dark side. And yet we were not villains, we were the greatest of heroes for defying the oppression of our idealistic instincts and taking on self-corruption in order to find understanding of ourselves, which eventually would lead to the understanding of how we became "upset" in the first place, and with that understanding would come liberation from our condition.
I'm no scientist, but I can see two problems with this theory on a level which can be examined through observation of behaviour and through introspection.
If our conscience was learned through being exposed to the nurturing behaviour of mothers, then it should share the qualities of that nurturing behaviour. Griffith gives the analogy that our conscience is like the genetically-encoded flight path of a bird. Such a flight path is presumably rigidly dictatorial as it remains the same year after year. But the loving behaviour of a mother is anything but rigid or dictatorial, it is flexible and improvisational. She is engaged in a dynamic relationship with her offspring which is tolerant of most behaviour as long as it is not dangerous for them. So how does the infant develop from this a rigid dictatorial and unforgiving genetic blueprint for behaviour?
Is it really credible that our conscience is stored in our genes? Why is it that what makes us feel guilty varies from person to person and culture to culture? Why do some people appear to have no conscience? Is it not more likely that the conscience is learned, that it is a part of our ego, the part where we store our expectations about ourselves?
Griffith aligns love and idealism. But are these not contradictory phenomena? We say that the purest form of love is unconditional love, and what is idealism but the placing of conditions on our acceptance of ourselves or our acceptance of others? Idealism can all too easily consist in hatred of all that is not viewed as ideal.
He is right to identify idealism as something oppressive, but he does not go far enough.
He has said that his first book "grew out of my desperate need to reconcile my extreme idealism with reality." He views much of "upset" human behaviour as "an attack on innocence", including consensual sex. He believes that recreational, as opposed to reproductive sex, began during the time of Homo Erectus when men, angry at women's criticism of their lack of ideality, began raping them, something which was later civilised into something which could be considered an act of love between men and women. He doesn't seem to give any acknowledgement that orgasms feel good in and of themselves, hence masturbation. This in spite of the fact that he often points to bonobos, who spend a large part of their time rubbing genitals with members of both genders, as an indication of what our Australopithecine ancestors might have been like.
Griffith views himself as an innocent. He says that the rest of us want to attack innocence. He says this has been necessary because innocence is oppressive, and that we are heroes for having taken on the job of fighting back against that oppressiveness. Would it be unfair to describe this as an appeasement strategy?
I think that idealism is the heart of the problem, the root of all evil. This is kind of what Griffith is saying, but not quite. He thinks idealism was the problem only as long as we didn't understand ourselves, and now he thinks he has made such an understanding possible, thus making idealism no longer a problem.
I think idealism is a kind of conceptual virus which has plagued humanity. Now this doesn't mean that we are wrong to want peace and togetherness and kindness and to want to be less selfish. This is the insidious nature of the negative feedback loop that is idealism. It advertises itself as the road to Heaven when it is actually the road to Hell. The harder we strive for the ideals, the further they recede.
This is because the good things we want can only grow out of love, and the foundation of love is unconditional self-acceptance. Throughout our lives our self-acceptance is being undermined by criticism, rejection and by the condemnation implied by those apparently unreachable ideals. The oppression of our conscience, of those ideals we find so hard to meet, or, if we are religious, that perfect God who makes us feel like pathetic worms for our lack of perfection, all of these things can build up a seething pit of resentment in us towards those who seem to be more in tune with the ideals than ourselves. Sometimes, unable to acknowledge this well of darkness in ourselves, we project it onto others, going into battle against the terrible other.
If love is the answer, then what is love? Love is a mode of communication characterised by openness, honesty, spontaneity and generosity. Fear, of others and of the darkness within us, causes us to become rigid, to adopt character armour, which is the barrier to love. All we need to open up to the love which will bring us the peace and togetherness and freedom from our ego-prisons that we desire, is to feel safe enough to put aside our armour. Our armour is our egotism. And it is our alienation, that which blocks us from experiencing the world as it really is and from thinking honestly about ourselves and that world.
It is true that we have always needed a way to love the dark side of our psyche. But love is not appeasement. Love doesn't bolster our ego by saying, "You're a hero." Love releases us from our enslavement to that ego, by saying, "You are forgiven now, and you will be forgiven always." This was the essence of Jesus' message. If God is a mythological figure representing the creative principle of the universe, which in human affairs takes the form of love, then every time we realise we have made a mistake, as long as we are honest about it, God is there to forgive us. This is not some supernatural assurance. The creative principle of the universe works through evolution. Deviations from the norm are what lead to new and wonderful things. Nature is no dictator, insisting on some kind of perfection. And all human discord can be healed by love, which does not judge. At the moment our self-acceptance is conditional and therefore our love for others is conditional too. But in time the barriers to unconditional love will melt away, and then all is forgiven. Love is the sea that refuses no river.
Griffith is a major critic of what he terms "pseudo-idealistic" movements - environmentalism, socialism, the New Age Movement, "political correctness", etc. He sees them as superficial and escapist, because they don't address the deeper psychological issues. This is fair enough up to a point. But he sees them as being so powerful in the world now and so dogmatic that they might shut down the search for understanding altogether. He quotes George Orwell :
"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face [freedom] - for ever." 1984.
To emphasise the danger he also quotes from the Bible (with his own extrapolations) :
"'He [the self-deception that accompanies superficiality] will invade the kingdom [of honesty] when its people feel secure [when superficiality becomes popular enough], and he will seize it [the kingdom of honesty] through intrigue...Then they [those pushing self-deception] will set up the abomination that causes desolation [the superficiality that leads to oblivion]. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant [self-deluding superficiality will seduce the exhausted], but the people who know their God will firmly resist him [the less exhausted will not be deceived].'"
Daniel, 11:21, 31, 32.
"'So when you see the 'abomination that causes desolation' (spoken of through the prophet Daniel) standing where it does not belong [claiming to know the way to the new age] let the reader understand... For then there will be great distress [mindless superficiality and its consequences], unequalled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equalled again. If those days had not been cut short [by the arrival of the truth], no-one would survive.'"
Matthew 24 and Mark 13
These passages, and the emphasis and interpretation Griffith puts on them, deserve closer examination. Sometimes we see in our enemies a reflexion of a truth we are hiding from ourselves.
"He [an extreme idealist] will invade the kingdom [the establishment] when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue [disguising his insistence on the ideals with a cloak of pretend science]... Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation [idealism]. With flattery [by telling us we are heroes] he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant [technically, those who have broken from the agreement to follow the precepts of the gospel, but probably more broadly those who have been dishonest, judgemental or unloving], but the people who know their God [those who understand the true nature of love] will firmly resist him.
Now lets look at the passages from Matthew and Mark. In Mark it says "...standing where it does not belong..." but in Matthew it is more specific saying "...standing in the holy place...". If "the abomination that causes desolation" is idealism, then in what way might it have been put "in the holy place"? "Holy" means "whole" or "of the whole". Griffith identifies idealism with holism. He puts idealism in the place of holism. Idealism, being founded on a dualistic split between good and evil, cannot be reconciled with holism. Holism is necessarily pragmatic.
So why the talk about "great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equalled again"? Certainly we live in very troubled times. How is this related to the presentation of a theory that we are genetically idealistic?
If idealism has been the poison virus contaminating the human race throughout its history (ever since it arose in the experimenting mind of one of our ancestors), then to nail it down to our very bodies themselves is the final straw. No escape, no defence. The enemy is within!
Just after that in Matthew 24:19, Jesus says : "How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!"
Griffith believes that infants are born with an instinctive expectation of an ideal world, thus they will be damaged by their mother's lack of ideality.
"In every generation, individual women had a very brief life in innocence before being soul-destroyed through sex. They then had to try to nurture a new generation, all the time trying to conceal the destruction that was all around and within them. Mothers tried to hide their alienation from their children, but the fact is if a mother knew about reality/upset her children would know about it and would psychologically adapt to it."
I'm sure that being a mother is a tough job to begin with without this kind of unfounded pressure. I don't believe infants are born expecting anything particular, and what they most need is a relaxed mother. If love is open, honest, spontaneous and generous communication, it will be impeded by feelings of anxiety or guilt. And being sexually repressed won't help either.
You might say, "But how can this bring great tribulation to the world when hardly anyone has actually read it?" Every book written is in some way an articulation of a broader and deeper social current. We could look at Griffith's books not so much as a wind blowing us off course as a weather vane in which the direction of that wind is indicated. They are a crystallisation of the pathology of idealism which has plagued us down the centuries. Job's prayer was : "Oh, that my enemy had written a book!" Through Jeremy Griffith, idealism has done just that.(less)
In this direct sequel to Confessions of a Lady Courier, our intrepid heroine Rosie finally makes it to Europe where she meets up with her posh and pro...moreIn this direct sequel to Confessions of a Lady Courier, our intrepid heroine Rosie finally makes it to Europe where she meets up with her posh and promiscuous friend Penny. Together they are responsible for the comfort and wellbeing of a motley party of British tourists, though damage control is their main activity when customers start engaging in drunken orgies, a pyromaniac starts burning down the accommodation and their sex-crazed Latvian coach driver decides to take them on an unscheduled excursion behind the Iron Curtain.
A European package tour provides a fine setting for this kind of story - a broad scope for outrageous adventures and plenty of crude cultural stereotypes. There is even a gothic horror parody when the tourists stay overnight at Schloss Badschweinfart with mad scientist and vampire Count Fred N Stein. Then there is a battle royale with Yugoslavian nudists, accidental enlistment of the entire party into the Red Army and a crawl through the down market end of Parisian night life (unable to afford a trip to the Crazy Horse Saloon, the tour manager has arranged a visit to the Crazy Whore's Saloon instead).
One of the highlights of the Timothy Lea adventure Confessions of a Film Extra was the character Ken Loser, a joint send-up of British auteurs Ken Russell and Michael Winner. In this book, the author takes a swing at Federico Fellini with the appearance of sleazy, self-impressed master of the Italian cinema Spinola Spaghetti who is currently working on "his latest masterpiece -- the fourteenth sensitive exploration of his own childhood that the great man has made."
"I lika to have very ugly people in my films -- in fact, I lika to have everybody in my films! The actresses, the continuity girl, the carpenters -- in fact, you knowa how the clapper boy got the clapper in the first place ----?
"I don't wish to know that," says Penny.
Spaghetti continues unabashed. "I lika the fatta one over there." He is pointing at Mrs Betts who is dripping ice-cream on to her chest and tucking it out of sight between her generous breasts. "How she lika to scamper round the sand dunes and acta like nutty woman? In alla my movies I have mad woman. Very sad, very big tits."
"I've seen them," says Penny. "Why do you do that?"
"I lika girls with big tits," says Spaghetti, drawing closer to Penny. "All the movies is about me, and I like girls with big tits. Is very simple. Now, why you no stop questioning my artistic integrity and come upstairs? I may be old man but I very dirty old man."(less)
This is the third book in this series and the first one for which I'm writing a review. Author Christopher Wood created a sensation with the series of...moreThis is the third book in this series and the first one for which I'm writing a review. Author Christopher Wood created a sensation with the series of books he wrote as Timothy Lea, beginning with Confessions of a Window Cleaner in 1971. In 1974, he started a similar series with a female protagonist, Rosie Dixon, beginning with Confessions of a Night Nurse. While the two series are quite similar, with an emphasis on cartoonish slapstick, sexual encounters in unconventional locations, verbal humour including lots of double entendres, and the central device of a character moving from one occupation to another, Rosie is far from being a female version of Timmy. Sure both are accident prone and have a sympathetic nature, but Timmy is an unashamedly randy working class lad. Rosie is more middle class, and has an archetypal middle class attitude to sex. And this is what provides a lot of the humour. Sex outside of a committed relationship just isn't quite proper, and it is very important to Rosie to be proper. On the other hand, her adventures always seem to lead to her either being seduced by charming but heartless men who get her intoxicated first or, more often, molested by sexually insatiable lechers. All too often the success of the venture in which she is engaged - a venture which is far more likely to profit someone other than herself - relies on her sacrificing herself to slake some man's lust, and she "takes one for the team". But, she is able to reassure herself that, as long as she is having sex forced on her or is giving in to it for the greater good, her honour is intact, even if she is sometimes a little disturbed by the fact that it elicits in her feelings which almost verge on the pleasurable. Her friend Penny, on the other hand, is from an upper class family, and her uninhibited and unrestrained appetite for sex is something Penny finds frankly appalling.
This time around, Rosie has taken on the job of travel courier for a gentlemen who makes Timmy's brother-in-law Sidney Noggett look positively respectable. Jeremy Rafelson-Bigg (the first of a slew of pseudonyms he uses to try to avoid unhappy past customers) sends Rosie to manage a bus tour to Europe, her only co-worker being the bus driver, Jaroslov Hammerchick, who claims to have flown for the Polish airforce at the age of thirteen (originally he says nine), and whose major hobby other than mechanics would appear to be rape. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong, Rosie's long suffering family have to put the tourists up for one chaotic night and poor Rosie bravely battles on while being molested by various men, all in the line of duty and with no evidence that she will even end up being paid. It's like a bawdy version of The Perils of Pauline except that there is never a handsome hero to come to Rosie rescue. She just has to muddle through on her own.
What makes these books work is that they are so cartoonish. Comic novels based around rape and sexual harassment might seem a dubious idea, but none of it comes across as real. The men are like the larger-than-life lusty rascals you might find in The Decameron or The Canterbury Tales (I'm not sure as I've only seen the movie versions). And Rosie comes through all her ordeals as unscathed as The Three Stooges.
A major source of humour in the Timothy Lea books is the Cockney rhyming slang. Rosie's not a Cockney so you don't get that here, but there are some puns and Rosie does, like Timmy, use some funny terms for genitals.
This book deals with Rosie's difficulties actually getting out of England. The tour itself takes place in the next book Confessions from a Package Tour.
Here is a sample of Rosie :
It is with a terrifying sense of self-doubt that I realize that my whole moral equilibrium is in the balance. It is all right to submit to the base lust of sex-mad males when you have a reason totally disconnected with personal gratification. But in my case, the reason has now disappeared. The pocket python precipitously pushing its purple promontory past the portals of my private passion palace can now proffer no pertinent excuse for its presence. And if it has no excuse then I, by the same token, have none. It would be horrible indeed if the warm sensations now sluggishly fannying out from my abused quarter were to yield me a gratification of the flesh rather than of the mind!(less)
I think books should be judged within the context of what they set out to be. Wrestler Bitches is a tasteless fetish porn novel. It doesn't have a sop...moreI think books should be judged within the context of what they set out to be. Wrestler Bitches is a tasteless fetish porn novel. It doesn't have a sophisticated plot or much character development but it totally commits to its raunchy action.
Stan and his twin sister Ann team up with their old school friend Judy to establish The Pussy Punching School. They love nothing more than inter-gender wrestling and boxing, usually leading to sex in the ring, with the loser catering to the winner's whims.
I'm not sure exactly when this was written, but it must have been some time in the 1980s. Mention is made of wrestler Candi Devine (referred to in the novel as Candy Devine) who, according to Wikipedia, debuted in 1980. It may well have been influenced by Andy Kaufman, who was wrestling women as part of his comedy act in the early eighties. But, with its theme of bonding through brutal fighting it prefigures Chuck Palahniuk's 1996 novel Fight Club. While Fight Club is a dystopian novel, Wrestler Bitches takes a pornutopian approach to the subject matter. The catharsis of beating the shit out of each other in the ring brings men and women (and women and women) closer together, and each becomes a convert to the big happy Pussy Punching family. For all the violence and name-calling, the tone of the relationships in the book is mostly warm and playful.
The basic plot revolves around how Stan, Ann and Judy manage to set up the school, buying a disused schoolhouse and persuading the local authorities to let them set up an institution where people can come to fight and have sex in the ring either with each other or school instructors. This actually proves to be pretty easy as several of the councillors as well as the Mayor and the Chief of Police and his wife all happen to be sex wrestlers themselves in their spare time. The only conflict in this novel takes place in the ring.
The fact that it is all so ludicrous is what makes it work so well. It's too unbelievable for the scenes of men and women beating each other to a pulp as a form of foreplay (or Stan engaging in incestuous play with his twin sister) to be disturbing, and yet the sex and violence is real enough to provide for plenty of visceral thrills. Good porn writing is distinct from good erotica writing. While the later eschews vulgarity, the former wallows in it. And, when an author fully commits to it and has a certain eloquence in the way he describes the gross physicality of the sex act, porn can be just as sexy.
At the beginning of the novel there is a reference to the characters having been introduced in Book 1. I'm not sure what that was. The cover has the word Girlfriends in big letters over the title, so maybe there was a series. With this kind of literature it can be hard to determine bibliographic details.
I recommend this to readers who are turned on by girl-on-girl cat fights or having sex with tough women who can beat the crap out of them. It may also help if, unlike me, you actually know what a Half Nelson is.(less)
At first I thought this British Film Institute Publication might be a little too academic, but the idea of an overview of British trash films which gr...moreAt first I thought this British Film Institute Publication might be a little too academic, but the idea of an overview of British trash films which grew out of its author's obsession with the obscure Hammer film Prehistoric Women (1966), in which Martine Beswick plays the animal-skin bikini-wearing leader of a female tribe that worship the white rhinoceros, seemed too much to resist. And, yes, it is quite an academic work, reflecting repeatedly on aspects of class conciousness and "cultural capital", and extensively referenced with footnotes citing a wide range of works of film criticism. But it is a must for those of us who are fascinated by the more arcane and eccentric byways of British film.
The notion of trash therefore involves a complex matrix of associations closely bound up with class and power. But trash has positive connotations too, insofar as it possesses an anarchic uncivilised immediacy that is uncontaminated by the bourgeois realm of art. Trash challenges the socially imposed authority of top-down high culture, which so often feels alien to everyday experience and desires. Trash culture, from this point of view, can be revalued as the cultural Id, the Unconscious Other of repressed middle-class taste.
Hunter does raise some interesting questions about what we get out of watching particular kinds of films. And it is amusing how he acknowledges that film taste can be a somewhat fragile ego-prop :
Cultists are more than happy to be in the 2 per cent minority who either love or hate a film, and to take pride in their contrariness. Yet it can still be an uneasy experience to hate or be indifferent to a film that others love and admire, in case this indicates that one lacks the cultural capital to appreciate the film; it may even shake one's sense of identity, which, after all, depends to some extent on possessing a coherent, socially valid and emotionally satisfying set of implicit aesthetic criteria by which to negotiate the cultural choices that define who we are.
While I can identify to some degree with that attitude - there are probably some popular films I pride myself on not liking and many obscure films with less obvious appeal which I pride myself on loving - I'm not sure that I tend to worry about such things as much as the author. To me the world of trash cinema is like a foreign country, the reason for watching the films is the thrill of discovery, the visceral charge of seeing some violence or gore and the voyeuristic pleasure of seeing some naked starlets. Cultural edification doesn't really come into it, beyond perhaps a certain mind-expansion which comes when we are taken outside of our conventional world. I don't feel the need to defend watching George Harrison Mark's Come Play With Me (1975) any more than I would the average Jean-Luc Godard movie. Occasionally one sees an "art movie" which actually moves or inspires, but I find that a lot of the time I'll watch such movies in the same spirit I might do a cryptic crossword. Unless I'm moved or inspired and come away with a different view of myself or the world, then having my brain tested by trying to decipher the political or philosophical message some auteur is trying to convey is no more valuable to me than having my private parts titillated and my sense of the absurd tickled by a dated smut film. I suppose this is one of the advantages of not being a professional film academic. I can simply like a film without needing to think about whether there is some way I can defend its cultural significance in an article for a distinguished film journal.
But the real value in this book is the films and film-makers to which it introduces us. Did you know that there was major controversy in Britain in 2004 because the British Lottery money helped to fund a gross-out sex comedy called The Sex Lives of the Potato Men? Have you ever heard of a sleazy horror film called Killer's Moon (1978), about a bunch of middle-aged male escapees from a mental hospital high on LSD, given them as a treatment, who attack a bunch of school girls while believing that everything they are doing to them is a part of a dream - a film to which feminist novelist Fay Weldon contributed extra dialogue? What about Michael (Death Wish) Winner's feminist vigilante film Dirty Weekend (1993)? And we get to meet the flamboyant Antony Balch, who made experimental films with William Burroughs, managed a number of cinemas which he programmed with a heady mix of art films and smut and who directed the cult classics Secrets of Sex (1970) (a film which apparently mocks the heterosexual men at whom it is aimed while being filled with eroticised young men reading gay literature) and Horror Hospital (1973). And there is a look at a series of over-the-top art films such as Joseph Losey's Boom (1968) Anthony Newley's Can Heironymous Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (1969), Derek Jarman's Jubilee (1978), Ken Russell's The Lair of the White Worm (1988) and Peter Greenaway's The Baby of Mâcon (1993). All this plus Hammer prehistoric and sci-fi epics, gory horror and some surprisingly downbeat sex films.(less)
"These Hellkittens know how to party," Donna says. "I feel dirtier than a pigsty in July."
This is liable to be the reaction also of discriminating smu...more"These Hellkittens know how to party," Donna says. "I feel dirtier than a pigsty in July."
This is liable to be the reaction also of discriminating smut readers. With the use of the present tense to give a sense of immediacy and the staccato sentences to conjure up an attitude of Mickey Spillane-like toughness, Asia Aguirre has created an erotic short story with a vintage feel. It has camp appeal with its tale of switch-blade wielding bikini-clad bad girls. But the mix of violent power games and raunchy sex really delivers the erotic goods. These girls throw themselves into sex with an all-consuming enthusiasm, and Aguirre describes it in a way which is both delightfully dirty and seductively sensual. At times she even achieves a touch of the jazz-influenced transcendence found in the writing of the Beats.(less)
This book consists of a series of extended, badly-written sex scenes strung together on a very thin plot line. In that sense it is pretty much what we...moreThis book consists of a series of extended, badly-written sex scenes strung together on a very thin plot line. In that sense it is pretty much what we would expect from one of the old porn paperbacks. But what makes this one stand out from the crowd is just how bad the writing is. It had me laughing hysterically and reading passages out loud. Passages like this :
The tongue was now whiplashing at a quicker pace than ever as he kept up the devastating impact that he was registering time and again with great repetition over her breasts.
Even funnier is the dialogue. These characters talk all the way through sex, narrating what they are doing and what is being done to them as if it were a sporting event. This dialogue is clumsy, repetitive and unsexy. And Parkins has all of her four main character over-use one particular expression :
"I'm on fire with sensation, baby, oh, am I ever on fire. Do I ever love it. Do I ever love what you're doing to me?"
Does Ursula Parkins ever write bad dialogue!
This is the tale of two women and two men who travel on a bus from Los Angeles to Chicago. Ellen Powers has divorced her husband Ben and is now planning to move to Chicago to live with her sister. Tami Stevens is making a trip to New York to visit her mother in Long Island, leaving her husband Ed behind in Los Angeles. Along the way Ellen will hook up with a shy two time divorcee named Ron Stacy. And Tami will find herself submitting to the dominant sexuality of tough gangster Burt Kilburn, who doesn't know he is being followed by the FBI.
Just before she heads off to catch the bus, Ellen is visited by her ex-husband who suggests they have one more sex session for old time's sake. She agrees, but rejects his pleas for them to get back together permanently. Tami's husband also begs for a little sex from his wife before she departs. It's a little bit disconcerting that both women simply put their clothes back on over all that sweat and other bodily fluids and head off for a long bus ride. Personally, I think a shower might have been in order.
I've given this book three stars because it has significant entertainment value. I don't recommend anyone read it looking for sexual titillation. I'll admit that there were a few brief moments which I found somewhat arousing, but that probably says more about what's wrong with me than what's right with the book.
And don't think that I've given all the funny passages here. I've avoided anything graphic and there is a lot of dialogue and description in the book which is very graphic. Parkins has a way of using a couple of medically correct terms for a part of the anatomy which is shared by both males and females and is sometimes involved in sexual activity. When used in the description of passionate sex scenes these terms tend to be more gross than erotic, and this makes for some hilariously unsexy passages.
Here are some more tasty tidbits :
"I'm hot all over."
"And that reflects more than just the July temperature."
"That's only the beginning point at this stage, darling. Yes, what is really getting me hot is the way that I feel from the beautiful action that's been developing since we jumped into bed together."
* * *
Now he was tearing off his shirt, which made her begin to feel titillations between her legs.
* * *
"Oh, honey now I'm completely naked," she laughed. "Just the way you want me."
"That's right. It's a crime to ever have to put clothes on a girl like you."
"Leave it to you to come up with a quip like that."
"Right on! I'm the original dirty young man."
* * *
Now those fingers were working with precision skill, and as they did so her whole body came unglued with passionate excitement.
The body was trembling with great zeal from all the beautiful finger efforts that he was putting forth against her breasts.
Olympia Press have done us a service by making this book available again after all these years.(less)
Novelty erotica is all the rage. There are even stories involving girls having sex with dinosaurs. But what we need to know is if there is more to a s...moreNovelty erotica is all the rage. There are even stories involving girls having sex with dinosaurs. But what we need to know is if there is more to a story than a wacky high concept. Does the fun stop when you finish reading the silly title?
Fannie Tucker has come up with some outrageous concepts for sex stories, but she also knows how to get us invested in the bizarre scenarios as her heroines' try to make sense of what is happening. And she finds erotic possibilities where you never would have expected them.
The first, and sexiest, story involves a teddy bear which comes to life. He's a raunchy little bear. Imagine if someone did a porn version of the movie Ted and you'll have an idea of what this guy's like. What gives the story its special erotic kick is that the sex takes place within the context of the long-standing intimacy of a girl and her teddy bear. She just never knew he felt that way about her.
Next we have a young dancer on a children's television show who stays behind one night and discovers an unforeseen side to Dongo, the giant puppet who is the star of the show. This one's kind of spooky, but in a way that doesn't detract from its sexiness. Is there a man in the puppet outfit or is he some magical being? He speaks to her in the same kind of rhyming talk he uses in the show, e.g. "Dancer girl, close your eyes! Dongo has a fun surprise!" There's a bit of light bondage and lots of dirty talk in rhyming couplets. Not everyone's idea of an erotic fantasy, but not like anything else you'll have read.
The third story is about a sex robot. This is a less novel concept. I've read sex robot stories before. Hell, I even wrote one. One potential short-coming with a robot sex story is that one presumes that only one of the parties is capable of enjoying the interaction. What is a sex robot but a highly sophisticated vibrator? Tucker does what she can with the idea. It's a fun read, but not as interesting as the other three tales.
And we finish up with a garden gnome gang bang. This one is pretty much exactly what you expect, but these little guys are an endearingly cheeky trio. There is a height issue of course and at one point one of them has to get down on all-fours while the other two take turns standing on his back so they can do the deed. And their ejaculate is rainbow coloured.
If you're bored with erotic stories where cheerleaders seduce their handsome millionaire stepdads, you could do worse than to sample Fannie Tucker's titillating Twilight Zone.(less)
This tale of a spontaneous sexual encounter at a fair is beautifully and sensually written. So real you can almost smell the candy floss and feel the...moreThis tale of a spontaneous sexual encounter at a fair is beautifully and sensually written. So real you can almost smell the candy floss and feel the warmth of every caress. A must for all fans of classy erotica.(less)
The subject matter here consists of two college-based erotica cliches - a female student having sex in the classroom with an older professor and roomm...moreThe subject matter here consists of two college-based erotica cliches - a female student having sex in the classroom with an older professor and roommates tentatively becoming lovers. It's a sexy read though. The scene with the professor doesn't really ring true but the girl-girl scene does.(less)
Wherein lies the sexiness of the nerd. I remember the movie Revenge of the Nerds where it was revealed that the nerds were great in bed because, while...moreWherein lies the sexiness of the nerd. I remember the movie Revenge of the Nerds where it was revealed that the nerds were great in bed because, while the jocks were obsessing over football, the nerds were obsessing over sex. On the other hand, there is the cliche that nerds think of nothing but Star Trek and computer games. If all the attendees at a comic book convention were laid end to end for most of them it would be the first time goes the classic joke.
Nikki Palmer has done a great job of honing in on the sexiness of the geek. These characters are mostly very unsure of themselves. They are shy, and shyness often has its roots in the enormity of repressed sexual desire. The geeks in these stories are opportunities for erotic bliss just waiting to happen.
Frannie just wants someone who doesn't mind the fact that she has no breasts. She finds a shy geek who is surprised to be the subject of her lust.
Priscilla isn't a geek herself, but she has a fetish about them. She's the prize in a computer game tournament. Priscilla's enough to get any red-blooded male playing obsessively with his Play Station hoping to meet the challenge.
Becky is a computer nerd who plays a very sexy game on a guy she cybers with.
Norman and Nelson are inexperienced lab partners who secretly fall in love with each other, but being sexually inexperienced they decide to seek out strangers through a computer dating site to experiment with before admitting their passion. What happens is not exactly unexpected but it is plenty of fun.
Tara is a girl who has a craving for a computer tech at her work, so she wears no panties and gets him to crawl under her desk to service her computer. It's the oldest trick in the book and, not surprisingly, it works a treat.
There is a warm generosity to these stories. Everyone gets more than just sexual satisfaction, they also get a warmly emotional happy ending. Erotic stories about insecure characters can be more exciting and joyful than those in which one of the lead characters is too full of pride over his or her sexual prowess to really open up and have fun with a partner.(less)
This is a very good first story. Theatrical costume manager Donna doesn't expect her curviness to light such a fire in a handsome actor. When it does,...moreThis is a very good first story. Theatrical costume manager Donna doesn't expect her curviness to light such a fire in a handsome actor. When it does, the results are warmly and playfully romantic and sexy.(less)
American International Pictures made some of the wildest of all movies - from the black and white juvenile delinquent and monster movies they churned...moreAmerican International Pictures made some of the wildest of all movies - from the black and white juvenile delinquent and monster movies they churned out in the fifties through the grimy biker flicks, stylish Edgar Allen Poe adaptions and goofy beach party movies of the sixties and on through a myriad of genres in the seventies, eighties and beyond. With titles like I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Invasion of the Saucer Men, X - The Man With the X-Ray Eyes, The Thing With Two Heads, The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini, The Mini-Skirt Mob and Blacula, these are films that show you don't need a lot of money to entertain an audience as long as you have imagination and a sense of humour.
Mark Thomas McGee provides an entertaining and informative account of how the magic happened. And the book also contains a useful filmography to aid you when you start obsessively hunting these films down.