Vital Signs

The Wonderful World of Porn

So you thought writing hard-core pornography was an easy way to earn a living? You remembered your adolescence and those turgid paperbacks in which the vocabulary was strictly four-letter, the plot rambling and forgotten halfway through the book, and the characters' names changed periodically as though some of the chapters were lifted bodily from other books? You always suspected that these novels were the first literature produced entirely by computer? Well, you were wrong.

Yes, Virginia, there are real humans turning out such classics as Teacher Gets Taught, High School for Nymphos, and Dating Daddy. Names, of course, are changed to protect the guilty. The big porn publishers in New York and California like to hint that their stable (apt term, that) of writers includes a few serious authors who choose to relax with occasional well-written fantasies, which are ascribed to such fictional creators as "Rod Strong," "Fanny Fawn," and "I.M. Willing."

Although amateurs are encouraged to contribute their manuscripts—the publishers enjoy deflowering new writers as much as their fictional characters enjoy deflowering each other—there are rules. Hard-core pornography is a discipline. You can't just let it all hang out. One of the biggest porn publishers in New York advises new authors that they should write about "interesting characters in highly erotic situations."...

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