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Vintage Smut Writer: The Exclusive Irv O. Neil Interview

Have you ever wondered — even dreamt — about what it would have been like to be working in the golden age of smut? I know I have. So I’m delighted to be able to dish with author Irv O. Neil. …At least that’s one of his many names. I’ll let him fill you in.

Irv O. Neil

Irv: Irv O. Neil, that’s the name I’ve mostly written under for 25 years, although I have also written under Neil Wexler (my real name) for occasional articles and my porn screenplays from 1987-2003. My other pen names over the years include Lester Bloom, Norbert Klinger, and Leo Berman, as well as “George Sussman” which was a name given to me by the publishers for one of the porn novels I wrote in 1974-75, The Punk Stud and His Women.

Let’s start with a brief overview of you, your career…

Irv: Grew up in Chicago as “nice Jewish boy” and very good student academically with side interests in monster movies, sword and sandal films, and Playboy magazine on the side. Made some 8mm monster movies as many kids did in the 60s. Loosened the shackles of middle-class conformity with my education at ultra-progressive Oberlin College 1969-1973 and New School for Social Research 1974-75 for my bachelor’s degree in communications, studying literature, writing, and film (both production and film history).

The Pink Stud & His Women

I moved to NYC in 1973 to break into freelance writing. In 1974, got into writing porn novels distributed by Star Distributors where I wrote four novels: the aforementioned Punk Stud and His Women, Teasing Teenage Daughter, The Screaming Virgins, Young Michael’s Seductress, as well as assorted stories in paperback smut anthologies. Then I got into magazine story writing, which paid better ($100/2000 word story as opposed to $150/160 page novel!).

I did magazine writing for low-rent porn mags like He & She, Stud, Brute, then moved up to better quality porn mags like Swank, Stag, Club, Club International, High Society. I wrote fiction, articles both porn and general interest. One highlight: I interviewed Art Amsie for High Society article King Pinup (under yet another byline, Irving Wexler) around 1977 or ’78 and Art turned out to be the cornerstone of the revival of interest in pinups — he was an influential dealer and collector, friend of artists like Gil Elvgren, and a friend and photographer of Bettie Page.

I freelanced and did temp office work also to make ends meet in late 70s when I got burned out on porn writing (happens occasionally).

In 1981, I became staff writer for Game and Partner magazines, general interest porn mags; then editor of both in 1982. As a staff writer for those magazines, I basically learned the editing trade from a talented female editor who called herself “Doc Silver”, until she left the company. For Partner, in 1982, I did my first porn star interview with top star Veronica Hart.

Next, I went to Swank Publications in 1983 where I became editor of For Adults Only, Stag, Swedish Erotica, Adult Movies, Adult Video, and various one-shots like Seka and Vanessa and phone sex mags or “confessional letters” mags… I commissioned and/or purchased shoots with top stars of the day like Taija Rae, Vanessa Del Rio, Ginger Lynn, Annie Sprinkle, Cara Lott, Gina Carrera, Christy Canyon, and others. There were interviews and backstage sessions with feature dancer/strippers like Keisha, Susie Nero, Trinity Loren, Megan Leigh, Cameo, Kayla Kleavage, and others. I worked as assistant director/non-sex actor on Raw Talent 3 in late 80s as well as did small non-sex roles in films I wrote. Did some modeling in Leg Show, Leg Action, and Juggs in late 90s. (“Character modeling,” I should say, without taking out my privates which the world was not waiting to see.)

Cheeks Magazine

I originated Cheeks (“The Magazine That Understands The Power of a Woman’s Bottom!”) in 1988 and edited it until 2005 when it became a pick-up (reprint) mag. A labor of love for this butt-fancier. Edited Girls Over 40 from 1988-2008, early mag devoted to older women pictorials.

In 1993 Swank Publications was sold to a New Jersey company now called Magna Publishing (I can’t remember if it was called that then) and I commuted as a freelancer out there to continue editing Cheeks, Girls Over 40, Sex Acts (hardcore boy-girl and girl-girl photos and stories), and another labor of love, Leg World (2004-2010). Also freelance wrote for the many mags there like Swank, Leg Action, D-Cup, Just 18, Genesis, Club. Magna, in recent years, has bought up many magazines and I continue to work with them whenever my services as a writer are needed. I’m no longer editing, as many titles have been discontinued there with the downturn of the porn magazine industry because of all the free stuff on the Internet.

From 1989-2007, I worked as a freelance writer for other mags at other companies which are gone now: Fox, Gallery, Black Tail, Oriental Dolls, Leg Show, Big Black Butt, Juggs, among others. Wrote fiction and hundreds of Q&A-style interviews with dominatrixes, strippers, porn stars, and even B-movie queens like Julie Strain and legendary burlesque dancer Tempest Storm. With the exception of Fox and Gallery, which were bought by Magna, those other titles are now discontinued.

As I mentioned to you, I wrote a lot of screenplays too. Twenty-five were produced. These were for higher-budgeted X-rated films, better quality productions (as opposed to the “pizza man gets laid” genre) mostly from Vivid Entertainment, with top stars of their eras like Keisha, Nina Hartley, Christy Canyon, Barbara Dare, Angela Baron, Jamie Summers, Ashlyn Gere, Tori Welles, Chloe Nicole, and Taylor Hayes; male stars like Jamie Gillis, John Leslie, Joey Silvera, Mike Horner, Paul Thomas, Ron Jeremy, Richard Pacheco; and helmed by name directors like Henri Pachard, Paul Thomas, and John Leslie.

Boom Boom Valdez

Many are still on DVD, like Adultery with Nina Hartley and Mike Horner; Boom-Boom Valdez with Keisha; The Masseuse 2 with Ashlyn Gere, The Masseuse 3 with Taylor Hayes. I don’t know if Made in Germany with Angela Baron is still around…probably, though, on some DVD or streaming somewhere! Wrote one R-rated erotic thriller for Playboy cable, Other Men’s Wives.

Now primarily I’m writing copy and weekly newsletters for porn websites in Europe, such as DDF, and publishing my own line of ebooks at Amazon: “The Irv O. Neil Erotic Library.” (I know it sounds pretentious; but as I make clear on my blog, I mean it with a wink).

There you have it, SPS, the basic overview.

Whew! I am pondering just how to calm down enough to ask you a real question…

For many of us, your work in New York the 1970′s represents a Golden Age we lust after. Before we talk about it professionally, tell us what it was like at that time. Was it as exciting, as terrifically “dirty” as we imagine?

Irv: It was pretty raunchy. Alluring, exciting, surreal.

Eighth Avenue near Times Square was lined with streetwalkers, some of whom were really beautiful and sexy — amazing blondes in hot pants and platform shoes. I was smitten. Strip clubs, inexpensive massage parlors, hookers and dominatrixes advertising in Screw, porn movie theaters with live shows. The Melody Burlesque with the porn stars as feature dancers and where girls danced naked in your lap for a dollar — and with its infamous “Mardi Gras,” where customers lined up to eat out the dancers at a buck a lick (which I saw, but did not partake of — not appealing to my palate, you might say).

Is it hot in here, or is it just me? …In any case, we’ll take a little break and continue the interview next time.

Meanwhile, you can keep up with Irv O. Neil at his blogs, Erotica Is My Trade and The Horny Time Traveler, and at Twiter. His ebooks can be found at Amazon (UK).

Image credits: The Pink Stud & His Women, Cheeks.

Posted in Authors, Beefcake, Books, Films, Sex History.

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9 Responses

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  1. Irv O. Neil says

    Wow, I certainly kept myself busy! ;)

    Looks good, SPS. Thanks for interviewing me and I look forward to Part 2! Have a nice Memorial Day weekend.

  2. Irv O. Neil says

    Oh, I also want to mention to your readers that they can see a column I write most every Tuesday for a site, a piece which also occasionally draws on my experiences as a longtime porn guy as well as a fan of femdom. It’s at http://dommedose.com and the webmaster WR is a great guy and one of my biggest supporters online.

  3. Silent Porn Star says

    I’ll try to add that to the next installment, Irv :)

Continuing the Discussion

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