Sex Collectors : The Secret World of Consumers, Connoisseurs, Curators, Creators, Dealers, Bibliographers, and Accumulators of ',Erotica',
Though you might not encounter the subject in Artforum or stumble across it at Sotheby's, the thriving business of erotica is a mixture of sophistication and seduction, an underground world of eccentric artists and serious collectors.
In Sex Collectors, Geoff Nicholson hunts down an assortment of these obsessives around the world. From the Florida grandma with five million dollars' worth of sexual collectibles to Third Eye Blind's manager, who owns more than eighty thousand men's magazines, Nicholson celebrates these collectors and the occasionally beautiful, frequently bizarre, and always fascinating objects they have amassed.
He accompanies Linda Lovelace, the star of Deep Throat, as she is taken on a tour of a collection devoted to her. Days spent in the Kinsey archives reveal the cultural artifacts resulting from the sexual awakening of public America, as well as boxes with labels such as "Phallus with Agricultural Tools" and "Scarf Trick when Folded." Nicholson journeys to Germany to visit with the legendary Karl-Ludwig Leonhardt, sex collector extraordinaire of first edition volumes such as Flagellation pour couples pervertis and Tender Bottoms, erotic Picassos, and notes handwritten by the Marquis de Sade.
Throughout his exploration of some of the wildest collections in the world, Nicholson's discussion of collecting as an expression of self and psychology goes hand in hand with his gleeful discovery of the seventh giant phallus used in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, Hitler's creepily erotic personalized bookplate, and a woman who has a plaster cast of Jimi Hendrix's penis. Sex Collectors is a winning story of one man's attempt to collect collectors, to reveal the neuroses that drive some people to collect, and to have good, dirty, high-minded fun while doing it.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Simon & Schuster
June 01, 2006
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Sex Collectors by Geoff Nicholson
The usual throat clearing, my father's gnomic wisdom, anal retention, less than full disclosure, living with and without a sex collection.
I once had dinner in New York with Linda Lovelace. This is not a boast. It was some time ago, well before I'd thought of writing a book on sex and collecting, though I was certainly already interested in both subjects. The year was 2000 and Linda, who was then in her early fifties, was trying to make a modest comeback. My girlfriend, Dian, was the editor of a men's magazine called Leg Show, and Linda was in town to do a photo shoot for her. Linda wasn't prepared to take her clothes off for the shoot, or more precisely she wasn't prepared to take her clothes off for the sort of money Leg Show was willing to pay. Therefore Dian had arranged for her to be seen in a corset, high heels, shiny tights, and so on. This, I suppose, might have allowed Linda to square an appearance in a men's mag with her continuing professed antipornography stance, but my guess is she didn't need to square anything. She was a woman who could live with contradictions.
Linda Lovelace, real name Linda Boreman, was, as everyone of a certain generation will need no telling, the star of Deep Throat, a preposterously lame porn movie, made in 1972, about a woman whose clitoris is located a long way down her throat and who can therefore get satisfaction only from "deep-throating" men. There have been crasser premises for movies but not many, not even in porn. Yet the moment found the movie. American society was ready and eager to embrace hard-core pornography, and Deep Throat struck lucky. It became a hit, a must-see, a couples movie, even a date movie.
I don't think you can pretend that Linda Lovelace was the only or even the main reason for the success of Deep Throat, but she did what was asked of her, and it's apparent that the camera liked her a lot back then. On-screen and in still photographs from that period, her face had a lopsided, quizzical, hippieish laxity about it that was very much of its time, but still remains appealing today. In the early days she had a shaggy, let-your-freak-flag-fly kind of perm, trading it in for a then-more-fashionable yet somehow more staid feather cut.
She always looked as if she was enjoying herself in front of the camera. She denied this fervently in person and in print. She said she was hating every minute of it, but was acting as if she was enjoying it because her manager and husband, Chuck Traynor, had threatened to kill her if she showed any reluctance. If this is true, then Linda Lovelace was an infinitely better actress than anyone I've ever seen in a porn film.