Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography

Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography

by Robert Rosen

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781900486842
Publisher: SCB Distributors
Publication date: 12/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 587 KB

About the Author

Robert Rosen is the author of the international bestseller Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon. His work has appeared in a wide array of publications all over the world, including Uncut, Mother Jones, The Soho Weekly News, La Repubblica, VSD, Proceso, Reforma and El Heraldo. Over the course of a controversial career, Rosen has edited pornographic magazines and an underground newspaper; has written speeches for the Secretary of the Air Force; and has been awarded a Hugo Boss poetry prize. Rosen lives in New York City with his wife, Mary Lyn Maiscott, a writer, editor and singer.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1:

How I Became a Pornographer.

Even now, thirty -five years later, I can

see myself sitting in the Mini Cinema, on Forty-Ninth Street and Seventh Avenue,

just off Times Square. I was a twenty-one-year-old college senior-a veritable

innocent-transfixed by grainy images on a movie screen. I was watching

a chubby, though not unattractive, young woman, a "Danish farm girl,” as she'd

been described, being fucked by her dog, a collie named Lassie. It was only my

third porn flick, but it was definitely the most interesting one yet. Unlike Deep

Throat, which I'd seen a few months earlier and found shocking and bizarre,

though hardly erotic, or It Happened in Hollywood, which featured a sex scene

with Al Goldstein, the obese, barely functioning publisher of Screw magazine,

Animal Lover was real and intimate… too real. The dog and the woman were

hot for each other, familiar lovers, fucking with passion, as if there were no camera present. The woman would go on to make love, somewhat less successfully,

to her pig and her horse.

An alternative City College newspaper called Observation Post, or OP, had

sent me to the Mini Cinema to review Animal Lover; the editors felt that the

film was a work of artistic transgression worthy of critical attention. And based

upon the merits of the dogfuck alone-"the most erotic scene in any of the

porn movies I've seen”-my critique was positive. Reading it today, however,

I'm struck only by my naïveté and the fact that I didn't even come close to capturing

the deranged essence of what was really happening in the film. But that

didn't matter at the time.

Soon after my Animal Lover review was published in OP, the staff anointed

me editor-in-chief-because they believed, in those waning days of the Vietnam

War and Richard Nixon, that, based on this callow bit of critical writing,

I was well qualified to carry out the paper's newest mission. Though OP was

founded in 1947 by World War II veterans and evolved in the sixties into a

radical journal of antiwar politics-the voice of the SDS and Weather Underground-

by the time I enrolled at City College, the paper had mutated into a

blunt instrument primarily used to test the limits of the First Amendment. OP

had become a student-funded incubator for an emerging punk sensibility soon

to burst into full flower; it was an anarchist commune whose members performed

improvisational experiments with potent images and symbol

Table of Contents

Authors Note ix

Prologue A Kid in a Candy Store 1

Chapter 1 How I Became a Pornographer 5

2 The Invention of Phone Sex 11

3 I Found My Job in The New York Times 17

4 High Society 21

5 The House of Swank 43

6 The Secret History 67

7 Natural-Born Pornographers 85

8 The Accidental Porn Star 103

9 Divas with Beavers 117

10 So You Want to Talk About Traci Lords? 129

The D-Cup Aesthetic 165

Epilogue The Skin Mag in Cyberspace 173

Final Words The Naked and the Dead 185

Appendix A Prelude to Modern Pornography 195

About the Author/Acknowledgments 205

Index 207

About this book 214

Customer Reviews

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Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Marty-NewYorkCity More than 1 year ago
Although reading a book on pornography is not something I'd normally do, once I started Beaver Street, I couldn’t put it down. It’s an autobiographical adventure, and it carried me along on a tantalizing ride into an industry that I knew little about. It’s also an historical account and an important source of information for what is now an online empire without any standards and which nobody has any control over. Yes, there always has been and always will be pornography. But 20 years ago, before the internet, it was not as exploitative or violent, and it didn’t have the negative impact on society that it has today. I discovered so many intriguing layers of players, each one with a unique take on the subject. There are executives trying to legitimize a raw industry. There are critics and government officials trying to sanction and control an uncontrollable business, often with comical results. There are the mechanics of a porn shoot and so much more. In summary, read Beaver Street, but don't judge it anymore than you would any other honest, historically significant work. It's about where we were and what we've become.
AikiMIke More than 1 year ago
Mr. Rosen tells his personal history which was primarily inside the porn magazine world. There is very little insight into the people who worked in the trade beyond the editors and publishers of the various magazines. If you are interested in the backstory of the actors and actresses, find another source.