This post was entered June 2008, the early stages of the Salon.
Please read the following attendees story and perhaps you would be interested in following his idea in the last paragraph.
Thank you so much for doing the Erotic Literary Salon. It has encouraged me to look back at my early experiences with erotica and becoming sexually aware. I was thinking about my young life and my early exposure to erotica-discovering Playboy magazine in high school, and hearing some friend’s fathers talk about getting it “for the articles.” I also remember a little digest sized magazine called, I believe, Sexology Digest or something like that. The newsstand at52nd and Market had it, and I would pick one up, try to buy it, and be turned down because of my age. But the newsstand guy would let me look through at the newsstand.
I remember two articles clearly-one about a man who would pick up hitchhikers and then get turned on by not stopping and allowing them to go to the bathroom until they were about to burst. He found this sexually stimulating. Another article I remember was about a woman who constantly hired young men to do work around her house in the summer months because she liked watching hard bodies work up a sweat. She would watch them from her bedroom and then masturbate (or as they called it then-“pleasure herself” for hours on end, thinking of their bodies.
This is when I first became aware of the fact that women have sexual desires every bit as strong as mine. It is also when I first became aware of the word, “vibrator.” There were other early experiences. Seeing the movie ad for Sophia Loren in the film “81/2; man those legs and those garters kept me thinking and sweating for many a night. Seeing Tina Turner live-again. those legs. Seeing Tina was the first time I got an unexpected erection, and it was the first time I wanted a woman and knew what I wanted to do with her.
And there was the literature-or “smut ” as it was called in the late 1960’s. a friend pilfered copies of Fanny Hill and Autobiography of a Flea from his father’s library, and that kept us occupied for weeks. I read both books from cover to cover, and then kept re-reading the “good parts.” Harold Robbins’, The Carpetbaggers; also had some hot sections-and I could browse that book in a real bookstore-little shame attached.
All of this has got me wondering-how did people get introduced to erotica? What were their early experiences? Are there patterns that are common? Or do urban dwellers have different experiences than rural folks? Does gender matter? Ethnicity? Class?Age?
I think it would be great if people sent their recollections of their early exposure to things erotic-literature, pictures, conversations, etc. and how they were affected by it. I think that would make for some pretty interesting reading. (Now, where is that copy of Fanny Hill anyway?