Vintage Erotica: The Crazy Ladies by Joyce Elbert

October 10, 2013

So my husband found a book for me off a "free" bookshelf at a coffee shop here in L.A.  Here it is.  The Crazy Ladies by Joyce Elbert, published by Signet in 1970.

Yowza!

In case you can't see it, the blurb across the top says
"THE FIRST REALLY GREAT DIRTY BOOK." -Cosmopolitan
Here's the back cover copy:

THE BOMBSHELL NOVEL
ABOUT THE FREE-LOVING GIRLS
OF PILL-AGE NEW YORK

SIMONE, the fun-fur model.  She could give the Marquis de Sade lessons in kinky sex....
LOU, the fashion writer.  She's making it big in the high-priced world of haute couture, half-men, and one-night stands....
ANITA, the stewardess.  She's stalking the international love jungle for the rarest prey of all--a husband....
BEVERLY, the housewife.  She's sick of the suburbs--and very curious about how the other half loves....
They're four crazy ladies looking for a new kind of high....but are they ready for that super-swinging expert in sexual geometry, Robert Fingerhood?

But wait!  There's one more blurb.

"Philip Roth, bow your head.  Irving Wallace, eat your heart out.  Joyce Elbert's back in town." --Boston Herald-Tribune

I would commit a few felonies for a blurb like that.  I am enjoying this book immensely.  It's as campy as Valley of the Dolls, but in scope and depth (ahem), it's much more cerebral than a lot of new erotica I've read recently.  Let me share a passage I read this morning.

Then, toward morning, Robert awakened and started to make love to her again, and somehow it was all intermingled, Robert's hands upon her, Jack's hands upon the controls.  They were fused together into one unshakeable grip, and she knew all over again that she should not have gone to bed with Robert out of despair, because the mechanics of physical satisfaction were never enough if the emotional satisfaction was missing.  She had learned that from experience.  She should have remembered that when you loved a man you brought to bed a quality of exhilaration that was its own exciting reward.  It wasn't just what the man did in bed, it was how you perceived him before he did it that made the essential difference.  And although Robert was a passionate and tender lover, objectively a better lover than Jack, it was Jack whom she loved, Jack whom she wanted at the very moment that Robert's body was pressed tightly to hers.

This right here.  This is an essential idea for me as I set up a male protagonist.

It wasn't just what the man did in bed, it was how you perceived him before he did it that made the essential difference.  

Reading this book is enjoyable on so many levels.  If you know anything about what happened to Joyce Elbert, drop me a line.  I'm fascinated to know more about her.