Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nightstand Books

I've been known to track down obscure or forgotten authors on the recommendation of strangers. Usually the obscurity is merited. Almost always. Always. But I keep hoping. So I just picked up a book by a 1960s paperback original sex book writer. Novels, I mean -- the sleazy cartoony cover-art kind, where some zaftig bleach-blonde is leaning out of a window, doughy bosoms bare but somehow nippleless, embraced from behind by a man in a mask. Va-va-voom, daddio. Titles like "Flesh Is My End" and "Sex Gang" and "College for Sinners" and "The Twisted Ones." Hubba hubba.

The author is reputed to have been very, very good. He's called the best undiscovered writer in America. Died in the early 70s. Suicide. Manic depressive. Started writing in 1960, stopped in 1969. A man of the 60s.

I've read the first few pages. Not very titillating yet. But the real sex books didn't get started until the 70s. I riffled through a hardcore porn book once. I'd just moved into an apartment, and it was in the towel closet. It had incest in it. I think it may have had animals. That was 22 years ago, and I still feel a little unclean for having touched it. But this old stuff is of a different order. And this particular author actually had plots and characters, for all that he wrote a book every other month. If I write 800 words a day for this blog, and I may very well do that, that's a book every other month. A short book. For I am, you see, America's greatest undiscovered living writer! But you knew that already. Thing is, he's supposed to be very good. We shall see.

Two points. First, I noticed that the book had about ten dog-eared pages. And there I was, busily unfolding them when it struck me, why it'd been done. And I smiled. These were the good pages. Indeed they were! "'I'm always glad to oblige a beautiful girl,' I told her, running my hands over her jutting white breasts with their pointed crimson nipples." Man oh man! -- my lucky day! I'm just gonna need a few moments privacy, if you don't mind. ... "Her sloping shoulders were ivory white, and her breasts rose below them like two luscious handfuls. I cupped my hands over them, and found that that was just what they were." ... So she was very pale, and had breasts. Zowie! And it doesn't bother me at all, the fact that I know I'm holding a copy of a book that someone used to masturbate to, 48 years ago.

And the second point. This whole sex thing. I'm doing a bit of strength training again, nothing dramatic, but yielding steady results. Alas, one of the more, uh, salient ... no, that's an unfortunate word-choice -- one of the outstanding ... er, the more noticeable, uh, one of the effects of this sort of training is the aggressive activation of testosterone production, which is of course a muscle-building hormone, but which has, also, other prominent roles. The word I use is hypersexual. Not something I in particular have a lot of use for, saintly celibate, mostly, that I am. And the phenomenon has been confirmed by outside parties. So there you go then.

Gets me to thinking. Does the usage of these hormones for one purpose occur at the expense of some other function? Is it an either build-muscle or have-sex choice? Or is it a general activation of hormone production, which will be replaced regardless of how they're used. This latter, I think, is the case. It's not one squirt of hormones, made because you lifted something heavy. It's an open spigot, for days and days. And days. And, uh, nights.

So I've started doing Tai Chi again. Redirecting some pooling energy toward other, potentially more uplifting ... well, yes, uplifting purposes. Because the body doesn't stop at the top of the brain stem. The mind can have a say in what hormones do, where they go. All we need to do is give the chaos of the subconscious an organizing principle, and the bramble bush becomes topiary. That's my theory, anyway. I think you should trust it. I mean, I was right about how to make yourself horny, right? Can't deny it. These hot sexy 1960s paperbacks just get my motor going. Varrrooooom.


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