The Sporadic Beaver

Happy Anniversaries

January 25, 2013

Tags: Edwin Meese, Meese Commission, Traci Lords, Beaver Street, History of Modern Pornography, Nowhere Man, Vanity Fair

Anniversaries are useful things when it comes to promoting books, and many books are published to coincide with particular anniversaries--because there's always an upsurge in media attention, especially when those anniversaries have round numbers. November of this year, for example, is (shockingly) the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination. Beginning in the fall, you can look for a flurry of expensively produced volumes about John Kennedy, and don't expect to be able to pick up a newspaper or magazine--assuming you still physically pick up printed matter--without reading some kind of article about the latest book, TV show, or commemoration.

I've been conscious of the importance of anniversaries since Nowhere Man was published right before the 20th anniversary of John Lennon's murder. There's no question that the media attention surrounding that event was instrumental in putting the book on best-seller lists. Ever since, I've been seeking out anniversaries anywhere I can find them.

There are plenty of Beaver Street anniversaries to celebrate, though for the most part the media tend to overlook them—even though they are events of genuine historical significance. 2011, for example, was the 25th anniversary of the Meese Commission on Pornography and the Traci Lords scandal. I don’t recall hearing anything about either one of those events. In fact, Edwin Meese, arguably the most corrupt attorney general in the history of the United States, has managed to squirm back into the news, his corruption unmentioned as he mouths off about ways to impeach Obama. And this month, January 2013, is the 30th anniversary of free phone-sex, the first fusion of erotica and computers, and the beginning of the Age of Modern Pornography. Please clue me in if you’re aware of any commemorations. And while you’re at it, please join me in spirit on April 11 to celebrate the day, 30 years ago, that I began working in XXX. (Yikes!)

Amid all these anniversaries, there’s one personal anniversary that somehow escaped my attention: On January 12, 2011, Beaver Street was mentioned in the media for the first time, in the February UK edition of Vanity Fair, the one with Justin Bieber on the cover. This is significant because here it is, two years down the road, and Beaver Street continues to garner media attention. How rare is it that people are still talking about a book two years after publication? Trust me, it’s rare. And it is cause for celebration. You are cordially invited to join me in spirit as I toast to my ongoing promotional campaign.

Toppermost of the Poppermost

October 29, 2011

Tags: Beaver Street, History of Modern Pornography, Amazon, bestsellers, pornography biographies, Sleazoid Podcast

Last night, after six months of nonstop promotion on two continents, Beaver Street surged, albeit briefly, to the top of the heap. True, the heap in question is Amazon UK's Bestsellers in Pornography Biographies. But it is a heap that includes such classics of the genre as Jenna Jameson's How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Ron Jeremy's The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz, and Annie Sprinkle's Post-Porn Modernist.

I’ll take my number ones where I can get them.

This sudden surge, I imagine, can be attributed to my two recent interviews on The Sleazoid Podcast, as well as word of mouth. As I’ve been saying all along, Beaver Street is a page-turner. Once you pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down, even if porn isn’t a subject that particularly interests you. Because the subject matter of Beaver Street goes far beyond porno. Don’t take my word for it. Read some of the Amazon reviews. Or just buy the damn book and see for yourself.

I’ll also go so far to say that this is going to be the first of many number ones, brief and otherwise, in numerous categories both on Amazon UK and Amazon US, when the book is published here in March 2012. How do I know this? I just do. Call me a prophet.

In the meantime, I’ll take a day to quietly celebrate Beaver Street's first visit to the “Toppermost of the Poppermost,” as a certain British rock band used to say.

Gettin' Down and Dirty with the Boys at the Sleazoid Podcast

October 28, 2011

Tags: Sleazoid Podcast, Beaver Street, History of Modern Pornography, Traci Lords



In the second and final part of my Sleazoid Podcast interview, I discuss two of the key events at the heart of Beaver Street.

The first is my experience posing for a porn shoot, which I explore in a chapter called "The Accidental Porn Star." This was both an effort to gain insight into a porn star's state of mind, and an experiment in participatory journalism. I wanted to take journalism to a place it had never been before, and no real writer had ever stepped in front of a camera and reported on what it was like to have sex. More interesting than this sordid act of exhibitionism, however, was my colleagues’ horrified and disgusted reaction to what became known as "The Five Dollar Blowjob."

Then I examine America’s sexual schizophrenia in the chapter titled “So You Want to Talk About Traci Lords.” Why, I ask, did the government treat as a victim a juvenile delinquent with a fraudulent passport and driver’s license who systematically sought work in the porn industry, and treat the photographers and filmmakers who hired her as criminals?

For links to more Beaver Street interviews, articles, and reviews, click here.