Book Review -- "Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography" by Robert Rosen (a.k.a.: 'Bobby Paradise')
(...all links NSFW / 18+ y.o. only -- as is this entire blog...)
Robert Rosen's "Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography" is an excellent account of the author's nearly two decades in the adult industry. Having served as an editor, author, and even performer at one point in the skin mag trade of the 80's and 90's, Rosen certainly provides a good deal of insight into what this particular slice of the industry was like during that time period. Indeed, his tales focus primarily upon the goings-on in the magazine worlds of "High Society", "Swank", "Stag", "D Cup", and related titles...so it's New York City that serves as the backdrop for essentially all of his adventures and not California. Detailed and intriguing descriptions and anecdotes from his life's work are presented, and his personal thoughts, feelings, and internal dilemmas are often exposed. This, of course, lends a distinctly "human touch" to the work that blends well with its decidedly seedy subject matter.
While many of the events are indeed limited to his own perspective and history, there is nonetheless a lengthy section of the book devoted to the subject of Traci Lords and the author's knowledge and opinions of the debacle that surrounded her scandalous exit from the industry. To be sure, he makes a host of valid points about this particular item and shines a fairly bright light upon it. Linked in part to this are further discussions of a variety of anti-porn zealots over the years. These are the people of public prominence who attempted to bring down the porn industry...failed...and ultimately ended up stewing in the public displays of their own (apparent) corruption and / or moral shortcomings. Actress Trinity Loren--largely as put in juxtaposition to Lords--also receives some noteworthy mentions in the text...(rest her soul). And, finally, the Appendix puts forth a nice timeline of historically-relevant events in the development of X...from cave drawings up through the beginnings of phone sex by "High Society" magazine in the early 80's. The latter being a topic also covered nicely and in depth.
What one won't find a lot of in this work are the details of the lives and histories of a variety of different actors and actresses. Certainly, plenty of names are mentioned at various points along the way, but the primary focus (other than where excepted above) is on the author's own story. Fortunately, it's an intriguing and dirty one that's well worth a read.