Classic Trash
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'The Joy Of Sex': The Original Hairy, Musky Edition

It came! It came! The original 1972 Joy of Sex. Thank you, Mohammed from Brookline, MA. May your positive Amazon ratings never go down. (Look at all the unintentional sexual innuendo we've already covered!) I especially would like to thank Mohammed for making my back-up plan obsolete: taking my mother up on her offer to "see if she can figure out what she did with her copy."

And now that it's here, and I'm looking at it, it's a little gross. But endearingly gross. For a much better and more exhaustive look at the merits and career of Alex Comfort, M.B., Ph.D., I would refer you to Ariel [...]

27

'Lace': The Correct Ratio Of Dates To Sexual Favors

When you Classic Trashers first requested that Shirley Conran's Lace be our next selection, I have to admit: I had, straight-up, never heard of it. Ever! Isn't that amazing? I mean, all I ever wanted, as a young girl, was to attend a Swiss finishing school, and then to become very rich and spend a lot of time enjoying liquid lunches at expensive Manhattan restaurants while engaging in vicious frenemy conflicts with my female peer group. I know, I know—it's like looking into a mirror, isn't it?

Now, this mother is a billion pages long, so let's push past the formalities, shall we? If you're squeamish, [...]

26

Let's Talk 'Hammer Of The Gods': Quaaludes, Sharks And Baked-Bean Baths

Full disclosure, my darlings! Not only am I reading Stephen Davis' SHOCKINGLY RAD Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga for the very first time (at the behest/demand of the dissipated-yet-charming Alex Balk), but my initial Led Zeppelin knowledge base was as follows: they are not the same people as Def Leppard, whose music was featured in the recent art film Balls of Fury. (I also have "Kashmir" and "Whole Lotta Love" on my iPod, and, although I would have been unwilling to swear to it in a court of law prior to reading this book, I could probably have identified them as the "Stairway To Heaven" guys.) I'm [...]

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'Peyton Place': The Reprieve

We were thrilled by the response to our announcement about the "Classic Trash" book discussion, but we were also on the receiving end of several irate complaints that one week was not sufficient time in which to both procure and consume the first selection, Peyton Place. Being not unsympathetic to this argument (we all have lives), we are therefore extending the period in which you can devour the book in question—tech freaks, take note, it's available on Kindle!—by an extra week. We will gather together in this spot on Friday, April 8th, to discuss. Also, if we may, a brief note of congratulations to our moderator, who [...]

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'Pet Sematary': A Reminder That Zombie Cats Make Terrible Pets

You're mad at me. I can tell. But hear me out. Remember how we were going to talk about the original, hairy, musky Joy of Sex? And it was going to be ACE? Well, apparently, when you're in Canada and you attempt to get a used copy of said august tome sent to you, it doesn't really work. People keep sending you the new version, EVEN CLAIMING IT TO BE THE 1972 CLASSIC, which, whatever, I know how to have sex, right? It's pretty endemic in the culture at this point. I want to see sort of unattractive people bringing their 1970s A-game to the table. That's what I [...]

27

'Fanny Hill': Weapons Of Pleasure

Oh, my darlings. If you've somehow managed to miss The MacGyver Rage Incident spawned by our last installment, please do catch up here. I have carefully sifted through our cultural detritus to ensure that John Cleland, author of this week's dusty gem, Fanny Hill, a.k.a. Memoirs Of a Woman Of Pleasure, has no similarly hyped-up, under-medicated relatives who might conceivably call for my blood to be spilled in an act of ritual atonement. (Prove me wrong, hyped-up, under-medicated relatives of John Cleland!)

Let's talk a little bit about said illustrious author first. When you initially learn that the novel was written in debtor's prison, you may imagine a [...]

32

Let's Talk 'Valley Of The Dolls': Barbs, Boobs And Revolting Kissers

It's Valley of the Dolls, everyone! This is definitely Gateway Classic Trash. It's that first friend who hands you two pills and tells you that what you REALLY need is just one good night's sleep; the next thing you know, you're doing European "art" films to support your loser boyfriend, and your bookshelf is stuffed with Themes And Variations On Flowers In The Attic. Valley of the Dolls goes down pretty easy, lovelies. I'm going to get the basics out of the way, and then you should all have at it in the comments.

I'm sure that some of you cheated and just watched the movie. And what do I [...]

46

Let's Read Some Trashy Books

The critical debate over whether "guilty pleasures" should actually be something to feel guilt about is as extensive as it is tedious, but the fact remains: trash is trash. That said, not all trash is equal. Some trash, either through flawless craft or extensive prurience or sheer cultural impact, enters a canon of its own. It becomes Classic Trash. These are the books you and your friends passed around in high school, the dog-eared volumes you were worried that your parents would catch you reading even though they surely had copies of their own. In celebration of these great and terrible works, we are thrilled to introduce a new [...]

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'Riders': Which Is Worse, Lousy In Bed Or Can't Ride?

This is MY FAVORITE, you guys! The reason this club even exists is just so we could read Riders. Because, embarrassingly, I am a member of the (in my case, completely un-talented) horsey set. I don't jump, or anything, because I'm a pussy, but my mare and I like to get dressed up super fancy-like and prance around dressage arenas pretending to be, you know, glorified merry-go-round versions of National Velvet. Generally: more squealing, substantially less cocaine.

But Riders is the greatest. It's the greatest even if you don't know who all these people are supposed to be based on, which apparently you would if you hotly followed the exciting [...]

61

Let's Talk 'I'm With The Band': Crocheted Bikinis, Jergens And Waking Up On Jim Morrison's Rug

I would like to think that Pamela Des Barres' glorious 1987 romp I'm With The Band: Confessions of a Groupie requires no introduction other than that offered in the foreword by Dave Navarro (!), but on the off-chance you're a young Amish person enjoying the freedom of Rumspringa, this is a super-famous memoir written by a super-foxy woman with very few personal boundaries and an enduring love of the popular rock and/or roll music. Who boffed a lot of singers. And bass players. And roadies.

If you're going to write a memoir about screwing your way through two decades (and you should! Send it to me!), the only [...]

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Let's Talk "Peyton Place": Abortions, Enemas And The Secret Sex Lives Of New Englanders

Welcome to "Classic Trash," my lovelies! This is all for you, obviously, so I'm just going to get us rolling with my OWN slightly manic observations on this precious, precious gem, and then turn it over to our delightful commenters. If you forgot to read it, or never intended to read it, or gave up in disgust, feel free to participate anyway! It's never stopped anyone from making public pronouncements on Peyton Place in the past, you know?

Fifty seconds into my (delightful, overdue) re-read of this novel, I found myself engaging in an unexpected bout of doublethink when my 15-year-old niece inquired politely as to what I was reading. [...]