The Sporadic Beaver

Read All About It!

June 13, 2013

Tags: Adult Video News, XBIZ, Bloomsday on Beaver Street, Lexi Love, Eric Danville, Lainie Speiser, Mary Lyn Maiscott, Byron Nilsson, Hoop

Thanks to adult actress and CEO of Exotic Interludes, Lexi Love, the widely read porno "trades," AVN, GT XXXTREME, and XBIZ, have given Bloomsday on Beaver Street II a little ink today. So, click on the above links and read all about how Eric Danville, Lainie Speiser, Mary Lyn Maiscott, Byron Nilsson, HooP, Ray Fuld, and me, your host, Robert Rosen, will entertain you this Sunday, at 7:00 P.M., at the Killarney Rose on Beaver Street in New York City.

Or click here to see the helpful mention that Media Bistro has given Bloomsday on Beaver Street, where low culture meets high, and you never know who the hell is going to show up.

Spring Siege

March 20, 2013

Tags: StorErotica, Adult Video News, LA Weekly, Bloomsday on Beaver Street

Somebody sent me this "lol" image yesterday, but I didn't get it. "Why is the beaver a liar?" I asked. "A beaver wouldn't lie."

"It's not a beaver," the sender explained. "It's a groundhog. It's a joke about the weather."

Though it has been winter-like here in New York City, spring did begin today at 7:02 A.M--which means that the Beaver Street Winter Assault, as I've insisted on calling the latest phase of my ongoing media campaign, has officially concluded.

Regular readers of The Daily Beaver are aware of the three successes that have continued to fuel Beaver Street’s quest to reach a more substantial audience. Allow me to recap:

· A major interview in the December 2012 issue of StorErotica, a trade magazine that goes out to every book-ordering sex shop owner in the U.S.
· A rave review in the February 2013 issue of AVN (page 53), which is the first time that Beaver Street has come to the direct attention of its core audience—people who work in the adult industry.
· An extensive photo feature posted March 6, in LA Weekly, which trended #1, and brought Beaver Street to the attention of that much sought-after mainstream audience.

So, it’s time to declare victory and move on to Spring Siege ’13, which will climax on June 16, at the Killarney Rose, with the second annual Bloomsday on Beaver Street: Father’s Day Edition.

See you there!

Glossy

February 19, 2013

Tags: Adult Video News, Swank, Vanity Fair

You think Vanity Fair is a glossy magazine? Well it is. But when it comes to glossy--and I mean a smooth, sensual, oversized, light-reflecting cover, printed on coated, heavy-stock paper--Vanity Fair ain't got nothin' on Adult Video News. The printed edition of AVN is a work of art.

I hadn't seen a printed copy of AVN in over a decade, since I left the adult entertainment industry. So when the February issue, with a review of Beaver Street, arrived in the mail, its postmodern incarnation came as a shock--not because of the disorienting contrast between the quality of the package and the X-rated material inside, but because the mag had evolved from a standard trade publication, very much like Billboard, to a veritable coffee-table book. (And I now have it on display on my coffee table, right next to Vanity Fair.)

Of the hundreds of adult titles that I worked on over the course of my career, none of them came close to the production values of the current AVN. In fact, on magazines like Swank and High Society, the idea was to make it look super-sleazy by using the cheapest paper and the cheapest printing. It was a science: How cheap and sleazy could you go and still have people buy the magazine?

What AVN appears to be saying with its decidedly upscale production values is that despite the recession and the financial ravages wrought by the Internet, the adult industry is still alive and well, and is heading even closer to mainstream acceptance. And the $11.95 cover price is a clear sign that people in X have money.

Biggest surprise of all: There were my old friends from Swank, who are now in the video business, too, at #94 on the hot 200 chart with Anal Babes Gone Wild 3. I’m sure it’s a classy production.

AVN Reviews Beaver Street… and they like it!

February 5, 2013

Tags: Beaver Street, Adult Video News, reviews, Lou Perretta, Scott Garrett, Swank, High Society, Larry Flynt, Carl Ruderman

One of the odd things about the Beaver Street promotional campaign, which has been ongoing for two years, is that despite the coverage the book has garnered all over the cultural spectrum, in such places as Vanity Fair, Bizarre magazine, an academic site called H-Net, The Village Voice, Erotic Review, and Little Shoppe of Horrors (to name but a few), there hasn't been one review in any of the men's magazines that I write about in Beaver Street.

I suppose the primary reason for this lack of coverage is that Lou Perretta, who now owns two of the titles at the heart of the book, Swank and High Society, as well as every other porn mag except for Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler, is upset that I've blogged about the abysmal working conditions at his company and his campaign contributions to Scott Garrett, the Tea Party icon who represents New Jersey’s 5th congressional district. Perretta, apparently, has forbidden his merry staff, under penalty of termination, to so much as mention Beaver Street in or out of the office.

And I suppose that Playboy and Penthouse are not especially interested in books of any kind, and that Hustler doesn’t write about books unless Larry Flynt wrote them—though I’d think that Flynt would have gotten a kick out of my stories about his former rival, ex-High Society publisher Carl Ruderman.

Well, I’m pleased to report that a magazine read by everybody who’s anybody in adult entertainment has published a brilliant Beaver Street review in their February issue, which features a cover story about the “30 must-read books on the history of X.”

Adult Video News (AVN) has been called “the Billboard magazine of the porn industry.” It’s the mag that the mainstream media turn to when they need reliable information about smut. The review, “Walk on the Wild Side,” written by AVN editor Sharan Street, calls Beaver Street “brutally honest,” “compelling,” and says that it’s “a fascinating exploration of the common ground shared by [comic books] and pornographic magazines.” Street (Sharan, not Beaver) also does an excellent job of pulling out just the right quotes to give the reader a good sense of the book’s overall flavor.

I’d urge you all to read AVN’s review of Beaver Street. It made my day.

Gail Dines's Symbiotic XXX Embrace

February 4, 2013

Tags: Gail Dines, Adult Video News, S&M

I must admit I felt a pang of jealousy when I saw AVN's takedown of Gail Dines's takedown of both James Franco's documentary Kink, and the subject of the film, Kink.com, following a screening at the Sundance Film Festival.

According to Dines's original piece on Counterpunch.org, Kink.com, a company specializing in S&M videos, is in violation of international laws prohibiting torture. According to AVN, Dines is an idiot for saying that professional actors being paid to make S&M videos are committing war crimes and should be brought to justice. Dines, they suggest, seems unable to distinguish sexual fantasy from the coercive interrogation techniques that the CIA once used on members of al Quaeda.

I’m jealous because the only thing that might sell more books than a high-profile takedown of an author is a high-profile rave review of the author’s book. And make no mistake about Gail Dines: Though she acts as if her primary goal is the elimination of pornography—“body-punishing sex” is her favorite phrase—her primary goal is selling books, and she’s very good at it.

Dines, a professional anti-porn activist, has built her career on criticizing the porn industry. And in so doing, she has become locked in a symbiotic embrace with that industry: The more pervasive pornography becomes, the more Dines has to criticize; the more ubiquitous Dines becomes with her porno-bashing books, articles, lectures, and media appearances, the more curious people become about the “body-punishing sex” she professes to hate so much. If Dines were ever to accomplish her stated goal of putting pornographers out of business, then she’d be putting herself out of business, too. And that’s not going to happen.

So, when AVN publishes a piece like “Quick! Someone Tell Gail Dines That Porn Is Actually Fantasy!” and the graphic for that piece includes the cover of Dines’s book, Dines, in the midst of her psychic orgasm, takes to her Facebook group, Stop Porn Culture, posts a link to the article, and says, in part, “I am so grateful to the pornographers for helping me understand that torture is just fantasy and sex play.” And Stop Porn Culture’s 1829 members follow that up with comments like: “Porn users are very entitled and do not like to be called out. They will grasp at anything that AVN says that allows them to maintain their dominance. They hate girls who are big meanies and make them feel ashamed!” And: “Someone (maybe their lawyers!) should remind [Kink.com] that they can go to ACTUAL prison for making people do that stuff.”

More books are sold. More pornography is viewed. And Gail Dines feels the satisfaction of a job well done.

A Gallery of Banned Books Week Performers

December 4, 2012

Tags: banned books, Adult Video News, Beaver Street, Google, Pam Katz, Joyce Snyder

Though I do my best to keep tabs on anything that pops up in the media having to do with Beaver Street or Nowhere Man, occasionally something slips by me. The photo to the right is one such example. Taken two months ago at the Banned Books Week event at the 2A Bar, in New York City, this shot of me sitting next to the Beaver Street character I call Pam Katz (real name Joyce Snyder), was posted on the Adult Video News website. But Google, apparently, finds the AVN site objectionable, and has deemed this major media organ unworthy of searching.

The photo, along with a gallery of the people who read from forbidden books having to do with sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, was finally brought to my attention. So, if you click here, you can see such performers as porn star Lisa Ann, Penthouse editor Lainie Speiser, Linda Lovelace expert Eric Danville, and Lez Zeppelin vocalist Shannon Conley reading from books that you might not necessarily find in a routine Google search.

I, incidentally, read from J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.

Banned Books and Bloodsprayer

October 4, 2012

Tags: banned books, Bloodsprayer, Adult Video News, Beaver Street, The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger, Fifty Shades of Grey

October has always been a good month for me, publicity-wise. It was in October, 13 years ago, that the first item about my John Lennon bio, Nowhere Man, appeared in Entertainment Weekly magazine, and ignited a firestorm of publicity that put the book on best-seller lists in five countries.

Judging by what happened yesterday, this October appears to be keeping true to form. The day began with an excellent piece in Adult Video News about banned books in general and the Banned Book Week event I'll be participating in tonight, at 8:00, in New York City, at 2A in the East Village. I've never before taken part in a group reading with a porn star, so this should be both interesting and raucous. The porn star, Lisa Ann, best known for playing "Serra Paylin" in the Hustler video series, will be reading from Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James. I'll be reading from The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger. And it's FREE. See the full lineup here.

Then the day ended with The Bloodsprayer posting part 2 of my epic Beaver Street interview. If you’re undecided about whether or not to come tonight, allow me, as I did with part 1, to boil down part 2 to the top 5 pull quotes.

“In the 60-odd pages Traci Lords devotes to porn in her book, in virtually every case she leaves out the Five Ws—who, what, where, when, and why—saying she was drunk and stoned the whole time and forgot everything that happened.”

“A normal company would have put Mario Puzo’s and Stan Lee’s typewriters in a glass case and employees would have been required to genuflect every time they walked by. But at Swank, it appeared as if the Goodman family didn’t want Martin Goodman’s sacred name sullied by the stench of his son’s smut.”

“The amateur exhibitionists are putting the professional studs and starlets out of business.”

“I say in the Beaver Street prologue that I wrote the book ‘to understand the cumulative psychic effect of having spent 192 months immersed in XXX and wondering if I’d ever get out alive.’ So, yes, writing it was cathartic.”

With any luck at all, I’ll be equally provocative tonight. Hope to see you at 2A.

On David Foster Wallace and Footnotes

May 12, 2011

Tags: David Foster Wallace, Adult Video News, Beaver Street, pornography, Traci Lords, footnotes

David Foster Wallace. Photo by bjohnson.
The late David Foster Wallace was no stranger to the porn industry. Writing as Willem R. deGroot and Matt Rundlet for the September 1998 issue of Premiere, Wallace’s satiric takedown of the Adult Video News awards, “Neither Adult nor Entertainment,” was laced, as was most of his work, with hilarious footnotes. Wallace pushed the use of annotation to the limits of comic absurdity in a way I’d never seen, and by so doing, he paved the way for me to do the same thing in Beaver Street.

My footnotes, I think, add a new dimension to the book. As an example, I'll quote from the footnote on page 156, which describes the people on fringes of the adult industry who magazine editors could no longer work with in the aftermath of the Traci Lords scandal:

“These ‘marginal’ photographers and models were the people who made porno interesting, gave it what passed for a soul, and delivered the true grit and unvarnished reality of American sexuality—like the plumbers from St. Louis who sent in sleazy Polaroids of their naked girlfriends splayed pink on rusting lawn chairs in junk-strewn backyards; the garbage men from Detroit who submitted strangely erotic images of tattooed dancers with oversized clits posing on grungy toilets; and the postal workers from Pittsburgh who shot exhibitionist housewives shaving their pudenda for cheap thrills and a taste of ‘trailer-park celebrity.’”