Erotic Memories – The Happy Hooker

I was a very late developer as a teenager, painfully shy around boys, gawky and awkward. Whilst my classmates were busy drinking and snogging under motorway bridges, my close-knit group of geeky fellow virgins and I would play board games and jealously gossip about what they might be getting up to.

That doesn’t mean we weren’t interested in sex – far from it. We’d giggle our way through my friend M’s collection of porn films, muting the dialogue and making up our own. M, who “of course” later turned out to be gay, had a marvellous selection of erotic and pornographic material, from videos to magazines and books, which he would furnish the rest of us with occasionally like a celibate pimp.

My parents were very liberal, and I had received a pretty good sex education from them, but I was consumed by teenage hormones and wanted more. I therefore devoured most things on their bookshelves in the vain hope that some of the adult novels might contain racier passages.

Sadly, it seemed that my mother had not succumbed to the lure of the 80s bonkbuster, so I never read things like Riders or Lace, but instead had to make do with reading and re-reading things like passages from John Fowles’ “The Magus“, or the chapter on Sex in Desmond Morris’s “The Naked Ape“. These works tended to focus either very much on the romantic or the biological side of sex, and didn’t really teach me anything new.

One day, however, M lent me a book that really opened my eyes. It was The Happy Hooker, by Xaviera Hollander (not to be confused with the book about crochet with the same name!).

Written in the early 1970s, it was the memoir of a Dutch secretary who moved to New York in the swinging 60s and worked her way up various brothels to become one of the best known madams in the city, and it was certainly a revelation to me.

In it I read about lesbianism, bondage, spanking, golden showers, swinging and even a famous passage involving a German shepherd…I read it and re-read it, marvelling at the obvious uninhibited enjoyment of sex that clearly came across in all the anecdotes, and yes, I masturbated furiously to it.

(Reading various reviews of it now, the main thing that stands out is that apparently it’s badly written, but that actually the sex stands the test of time.)

Of course, eventually I had to give M his copy back, well-thumbed, and hopefully not too sticky… (I wonder if he ever disinfected it before and after lending it to others?!). I didn’t think of it again until I came across an audio cassette version a few years later, read by Ms Hollander herself.

I found that cassette again at the back of a cupboard over the weekend, in what was my “original” sex toy box.

I don’t suppose anyone out there still has a tape deck?



(That got your attention didn’t it?)

It’s #boobiewednesday on Twitter – the day where thousands (?)/millions(?) of women (and some men) change their avatars to a picture of their chests in honour of breast cancer awareness (now, personally, the old cynic in me is not entirely convinced of the point of this exercise, but I am digressing slightly).

I make no bones of the fact that my bra size has always been firmly in the “small” camp, and I thought I had come to terms with this fact…until I was confronted with the regular Wednesday array of heaving bosoms that suddenly filled my timeline. For the first time in a long time I developed a slight complex about being under-endowed. Completely ridiculous at my age, I told myself! Yet there it was…that sulky jealous teenage reaction of “oh put your tits away” as I realised it was Wednesday.

At first I joined in – desperately padding my bras with chicken fillets and experimenting with maximising camera angles. Then I ignored it for a while, pretending it wasn’t happening, all the time gritting my teeth and complimenting the spectacular racks, all the time feeling slightly uncomfortable about the whole thing until I realised exhibitionism really wasn’t for me and quietly stuck to my shoes avi.

These days boobiewednesday seems to have trailed off in my timeline somewhat, partly down to some unfollowing (not necessarily to do with the boobs!), partly down to what I can only assume is  a general loss of interest. There are of course plenty of accounts that still cater for the boob lover out there – Wednesday or no Wednesday – so I don’t think the lack of my fried eggs on the timeline really constitutes a great loss.

The ironic thing is that I went to get myself measured at the weekend, and was told that I had to go up one back and one cup size. “No more A cup, please” said the nice lady in M&S! Of course I should be pleased, but part of me was secretly disappointed. Whilst I am still very much below average, I feel aggrieved that I can no longer trot out the “shopping in the my first bra section” jokes. Plus, let’s face it, the reason I have gone up a size is that there’s now another body image thing to start worrying about – the onset of middle-aged spread.

Happy boobiewednesday.