The Sporadic Beaver

Izzy Singer on the Radio

November 15, 2012

Tags: Izzy Singer, Irv O. Neil, Beaver Street

If you've read Beaver Street, then you're familiar with a character I call "Izzy Singer," a magazine editor and "porno intellectual" who took me under his wing when I went to work for Swank Publications. Izzy, as I explained in the book, showed me that pornography could be "a form of high art that required specialized knowledge and talent to produce."

Last year, I wrote about how Izzy, writing under the pseudonym "Irv O. Neil," had begun publishing on Kindle his short stories about female domination. And I said that one story in particular, "Learning to Be Cruel," had shocked me because Irv/Izzy was clearly writing from the heart, and the story gave me the feeling that he may personally enjoy having sexy young women treat him in the degrading manner that he so graphically and realistically described.

Over the past year, Irv/Izzy has published a number of other such stories on Kindle and has begun to attract some well-deserved attention. This week, along with three other fetish writers, he appeared on a Blog Talk Radio show, In Bed with Dr. Sue. For nearly two hours, they discussed their craft, the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon, and took calls from listeners. It’s an interesting look into one of the darker corners of the publishing biz and a rare opportunity to hear a Beaver Street character speak. You can listen here.

The Real Life of a Beaver Street Character

July 15, 2011

Tags: Amazon, Kindle, Learning to Be Cruel, Irv O. Neil, Izzy Singer, Beaver Street, sexual humiliation, pornography

There’s a lot of talk in the writing biz about Amazon’s Kindle, not all of it good. But one thing is undeniable: Kindle has given authors the ability to publish their work at no cost, distribute it globally, and collect royalties on it—without the need of a traditional publisher. In short, it’s changed the rules of the game, and like it or not, e-books, Kindle or otherwise, are the industry’s future.

With that in mind, I downloaded the free Kindle app for PC, invested $2.99, and read a short story titled “Learning to Be Cruel.” Why? Because “Irv O. Neil,” the author of this deranged bit of semi-autobiographical fiction about a middle-aged freelance writer who’s sexually humiliated by a gorgeous young Chinese woman, is “Izzy Singer,” one of the main characters in Beaver Street. It’s his first venture into the realm of Kindle.

In the years that I toiled in pornography, I published a lot of Irv/Izzy’s work in magazines such as D-Cup. But I’ve never read a story of his like this one—due to censorship regulations, I wasn’t allowed to publish stories about humiliation and degradation.

“Learning to be Cruel” shocked me, probably because I got the sense that Irv/Izzy is writing from the heart, and may personally enjoy having sexy young women treat him in a manner similar to what he graphically and realistically describes in the story. (I shall not enumerate the details here.)

Though not my “cup of sleaze,” as Irv/Izzy might say, this skillfully rendered tale has given me additional insight into a character in my own book, showing me a dimension of his personality that even after 27 years, I never fully grasped.

“Learning to Be Cruel” is not only a good companion piece to Beaver Street; it’s the brave work of a man who has mastered the short story form. Or perhaps I should say, a man who’s been enslaved by it.