Robert Rosen

Author of “Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography” and “Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon”

“Robert Rosen was in the trenches of the porn industry for years, and he clearly took copious notes with his one free hand. His history of modern porn is entertaining, insightful, and hot.” —Michael Musto, The Village Voice

Beaver Street is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Strand, Powell’s, Left Bank Books, McNally Jackson, and Quimby’s. You can also download it on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, and all other e-book formats. Check out five full chapters in the Headpress “flip book.”

For sixteen years Robert Rosen worked behind the X-rated scenes of such porn magazines as High Society, Stag, and D-Cup. In Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography, Rosen blows the lid off the lucrative and politically hounded adult industry, providing a darkly engaging account of its tumultuous decades—from the defining Traci Lords scandal and the conception of “free” phone sex to the burgeoning success of smut in cyberspace in the twenty-first century.

This is an excerpt from my interview with Kendra Holliday, editor of The Beautiful Kind, conducted at Shameless Grounds, a sex-positive coffeehouse in St. Louis. I’d gone there to begin a promotional tour for the U.S. edition of Beaver Street. In this clip, I explain my so-called “experiment in participatory journalism”—posing for an X-rated photo shoot to gain insight into the mind of a porn star. Click here to see more interview excerpts.

Kate Copstick and Jamie Maclean of the Erotic Review were among the people I spoke to about Beaver Street when I went to London. In part one of this very British interview, which took place in a pub a couple of blocks from their office, we discuss over a few pints of lager the impact on the porn biz of cruder tastes, cheap technology, and free online smut. Click here to see the other parts of the interview. Click here to read Jamie Maclean’s review of Beaver Street.

At the 2:20 mark in this segment from the Rew & Who? Internet TV show, the conversation turns to Beaver Street, and later to the book I’ve recently finished, Bobby in Naziland. Click here to see more Beaver Street interviews, promo videos, and the Nowhere Man segment from Rew & Who?

In Beaver Street, I write about my officemate at Swank Publications, who’s both the managing editor of For Adults Only magazine and a professional actor who specializes in playing Nazis. (He’s probably best known as The Weeping Nazi in the premiere episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien.) In the book I call him “Henry Dorfman.” Since Beaver Street was published, he’s asked me to use his real name—Paul Slimak—and has done a series of promotional videos for the book playing his favorite character, renegade Nazi Erich von Pauli. Erich von Pauli on Beaver Street: Episode 3 (above)—featuring Agnes Herrmann as Diana Clerkenwell—caught the attention of Village Voice columnist Michael Musto. Click here to see more von Pauli videos.

In this video, I read the opening section of “Being Rich” and all of “Chapter 27” from my book Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon. The latter chapter is my eyewitness account of Mark David Chapman’s sentencing hearing. Lennon’s killer believed that by murdering the ex-Beatle, he’d write the missing chapter of J. D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye in Lennon’s blood. This video was shot by Michael Paul at the 2A bar in New York City’s East Village, on October 15, 2013. Click here to listen to the entire reading. Click here to learn more about John Lennon and Nowhere Man.

In Part 1 of my Sleazoid Podcast interview, I discuss everything from my days as the editor of a radical student newspaper at the City College of New York, at a time when the energy of the anti-war movement was giving way to an emerging punk sensibility, to my tenure as an editor at Swank Publications during Porn’s Golden Age.

Praise for Beaver Street

“Enormously entertaining... Beaver Street captures the aroma of pornography, bottles it, and gives it so much class you could put it up there with Dior or Chanel.” –Jamie Maclean, editor, Erotic Review
“Whatever twisted... fantasy you might’ve had, you can bet that Rosen once brought it to life in print.” —Ben Myers, Bizarre
“Shocking… evocative… entertaining… A rich account that adds considerable depth and texture to any understanding of how the pornography industry worked.” —Patrick Glen, H-Net
Beaver Street is a surreal, perverted mindfuck.” —Kendra Holiday, editor, The Beautiful Kind
“A confessional for-adults-only romantic comedy with a rare, thoughtful twist... riveting.” —David Comfort, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Well researched, smartly written, surprisingly funny… a one of a kind tour through a fast-disappearing underbelly of American popular culture.” —Matthew Flamm, Amazon
“An electrifying journey through porn’s golden age.” —The Sleazoid Podcast
“Beaver Street is funny, sad, disgusting and hopeful in equal measures.” —Synergy magazine (Australia)

Quick Links