Monday, January 31, 2022

Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex: "Lesbian Understanding" (1973)

Some lovely original art accompanied this article when it was first published.

NOTE: This article continues my coverage of Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex (BearManor Media, 2021).

The article: "Lesbian Understanding." Originally published in Hellcats (Calga Publishing), vol. 2, no. 1, January/February 1973. Credited to "Ann Gora." 

Excerpt: "A certain number of lesbians are highly disordered, as are homosexual men. They are acting out a role in an unhealthy mental condition, and they are not enjoying themselves. On the other hand, there are women who are frank about lesbianism and see no harm in a lesbian orgy situation. There, they are permitted to act as they please with who they please. One thing is certain, lesbian orgies are on the increase and they are an important sociological phenomenon."

Stephen King used this photo of his agent, Richard
Manuel, for his "Richard Bachman" novels.
Reflections: Ed Wood's fans know that he used pseudonyms frequently in both his film work and his literary work. It's never been totally clear to me, however, why he used pen names on certain projects and not others. And is there any connection between particular aliases and particular projects? For instance, does the use of Eddie's most famous pseudonym, Dick Trent, indicate anything special about a film, novel, article, etc.? Stephen King famously wrote several novels under the name "Richard Bachman," but I don't see any obvious connection between the Bachman novels, such as The Running Man (1982) and Thinner (1984), that separates them in a meaningful way from the rest of King's work.

But there is one Ed Wood pseudonym that may have some real significance. I'm currently making my way through the chapter of When the Topic is Sex devoted to lesbianism, and I soon noticed that nearly every article in it was attributed to "Ann Gora." In addition to being a pun on Eddie's favorite fabric, the name gives the (false) impression that an article was written by a woman. It's my working theory that Eddie called himself "Ann Gora" whenever he felt that having a female author would lend credibility to some work.

Take today's article, "Lesbian Understanding," as an example. As the title indicates, this article's ostensible purpose is help the average straight male reader "understand" lesbians a little better. I'm not sure how effective it would have been at that goal. Eddie is in "no-research" mode here, completely winging it and quoting zero experts. The closest he gets to making a specific factual claim in this article is: "Statistics show there are fewer lesbians than male homosexuals. However, such statistics might be misleading." Where these "statistics" might've come from is anyone's guess.

Eddie gives lesbianism pretty much the same treatment he gave sadomasochism in the previous chapter. Namely, he tries to maintain a serious, scholarly, and (above all) impartial tone, as if he's delivering a report in front of the class. But, in doing this, his messaging is very contradictory. Based on this article, I can't tell if lesbianism is widespread and normal or some kind of vaguely-frightening deviation from the norm. Like his S&M articles, Ed Wood's lesbianism articles are basically pleas for tolerance and understanding. But they also make these subjects seem alien and even a little threatening. Perhaps Eddie himself hadn't made up his mind about these topics.

Relatively late in the article, Ed asks some important questions: "What are the facts of lesbian life? Why do women become homosexuals? How do they make love?" He doesn't really get around to answering these questions, per se, except to indicate that women are more attuned to each other's physical needs than men could ever be. 

The fact that women have sexual needs and desires, just the same as men, must have been news in 1973. Ed writes: "Women have the same drive that men have, and women seek satisfaction of it." Did people not know this? It's important to keep in mind that "Lesbian Understanding" is nearly 50 years old. A lot has changed over the last half-century, both in terms of information and morality. It's easy for us to read an article like this and scoff at how out-of-touch it is, with its talk of "dykes" and "fluffs." But maybe Ed Wood was cutting-edge for a straight male pornographer of this era. As an example, check out this passage:
However, the lesbian has also been maligned, the cruel stereotype of a cigar-smoking leather-jacketed DYKE being often the media portrayal. And yet, in reality, the average lesbian may be even more difficult to spot than a male, especially when we consider that there is much more bisexuality among women than men.
So at least he's calling out the hurtful, harmful stereotypes. That's kind of progressive, right?

Next: "Time Out for Pleasure" (1975)

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex: "The Housewife/Lesbian" (1973)

Being a housewife isn't all bake sales and PTA meetings.

NOTE: This article continues my coverage of Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex (BearManor Media, 2021).

The article: "The Housewife/Lesbian." Originally published in Gemini (Gallery Press), vol. 2, no. 1, March/April 1973. Credited to "Ann Gora." Ed Wood's resume claims he wrote this in 1972.

A Letnze book from Pendulum.
Excerpt: "So far my husband suspects nothing, but I have been tempted to come right out and tell him. Since Clara and I have been making it with each other, we've met several other women, housewives like us, who have similar outlets for their homosexual desires. A few of them have even organized clubs that meet on Saturday afternoons, while others sneak off to a lesbian bagnio a few blocks away. What's really amazing though, is that many of these women have actually told their husbands what they're doing and their husbands are not upset."

Reflections: With this article, we leave behind the topic of sadomasochism and embark upon the portion of When the Topic is Sex devoted to lesbianism. Specifically, "The Housewife/Lesbian" is about women who experiment with same-sex love affairs despite being involved in heterosexual marriages and having children. Keep in mind, Ed Wood is writing this for a straight male audience, so his version of lesbian love is the kind most likely to fuel men's fantasies—think bored, big-boobed housewives rubbing suntan oil on each other while their husbands are away at work.

In fact, Ed Wood attributes many of these lesbian dalliances to sheer boredom. Even with their housework and child-rearing duties, these women simply don't have enough to do all day while the menfolk are making money to support their families. So the gals inevitably turn their attentions toward each other. Hey, you have to do something after Match Game '73 goes off the air.

Tonally, "The Housewife/Lesbian" reminds me somewhat of Ed's script for Steve Apostolof's Drop Out Wife (1972). In that film—and other Apostolof softcore romps—women complain to each other about how useless men are, especially as lovers. This article echoes that sentiment: "The lesbian feels that men simply don't know how to make love." When it comes to pleasing a woman in the bedroom, who knows better than another woman?

In the interest of fairness, Ed Wood presents the cases for and against lesbian housewives. One woman reports that her marriage has never been better. She explains in detail:
Since Clara and I began having our sexual affairs it has affected my marriage marvelously. It's been like a shot in the arm. I feel much more intimate with Tom and our sex life is better than it's ever been. In fact, most of the time he has to hold me off, instead of the other way around. I don't know how a psychologist would explain it, but I think that, by having an outlet for my homosexual needs I have somehow lifted a great weight off my heterosexual nature. 
Uh huh. But Ed immediately follows this with testimony from a woman who is wracked with guilt and shame for the way she treats her husband and children. She wonders aloud where her lesbian tendencies come from. Genes? Chromosomes? She even suspects she may be a product of an anxiety-plagued age, saying that "the bomb-laden, fear-ridden environment" is possibly to blame.

One thing that briefly flummoxed me about this article is that Ed Wood repeatedly cites a book called The Gay Girls that he attributes to someone named "P.M. Vd. Leinze, Ph.D." I couldn't find any author, pornographic or otherwise, named Leinze and thought Ed must be making this up. But, no, the last name is just slightly misspelled. It's actually P.M. Vd. Letnze, Ph.D. This Letnze person is the author of such adult paperbacks as The Cherry Pickers (Impact Library, 1967), The Ultimate Orgasm (Impact Library, 1968), Oversexed Broads (Pendulum, 1968), and, yes, The Gay Girls (Erika Press, 1970). That last one is subtitled Scalding Case Histories of the Fiery Passions That Roil.

Incidentally, changing "Letnze" to "Leinze" is something Ed Wood did in his original article. Here's the relevant portion as it appeared in Gemini magazine:

The article erroneously cites Leinze rather than Letnze.

You'd think, since Letnze had at least one book out from Pendulum, there might be more of an effort to make sure the author's last name was spelled correctly.

Next: "Lesbian Understanding" (1973)

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex: "The Movement" (1973)

This logo almost manages to be obscene.

NOTE: This article continues my coverage of Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex (BearManor Media, 2021).

The article: "The Movement." Originally published in Savage (Gallery/Pendulum), vol. 2, no. 2, June/July 1973. Credited to "Dick Trent."

Excerpt: "Some love does cause a measure of pain, in fact most true love does have that measure of pain. But once more the pain must turn to pleasure. How can one tell a dark cloud if there had never been a light cloud to measure that depth by? How can one tell real pleasure if there had not been pain or displeasure?"

A respectable-looking '70s sex book.
Reflections: Generally, in the 1960s and 1970s, when people spoke about joining a "movement," they meant some social or political cause. Civil rights became a movement, for instance. Antiwar protesting became one, too, as did feminism, gay rights, and environmentalism. The term could also be applied to religion, as in the "Jesus movement" of charismatic Christianity.

It's unclear exactly what Ed Wood meant by the title of his 1973 article "The Movement," since the term is used only in the headline and then never again. What I can tell you for sure is that this story has little to do with politics or religion. Instead, the article seems to be about the willingness of young people to explore the wonderful world of sex, ignoring the warnings and prejudices of previous generations. America's youngsters just aren't satisfied with boring, missionary position sex. They want to try out different combinations and fetishes. The closest thing the article has to a thesis statement is: "Thus the sexual revolution was borne by the young who were strong willed enough to want to know . . . and were strong willed enough to do something about it."

Bob Blackburn has helpfully organized When the Topic is Sex into themed chapters, and he's placed "The Movement" into the section about sadomasochism. That's fair enough. S&M definitely gets some play here. As in previous articles, Ed assures us that the "pleasure from pain" fetish is quite common and normal. Sure, it can be taken too far, but there's no reason why it can't be part of a healthy sex life. Daring us to cast the first stone, Ed asks, "Who of us in the deep throes of the sexual act hasn't bitten the nipple of a lusty breast a bit too hard and caused the girl to squeal . . . ?" But "The Movement" is bigger than mere nipple-biting, so Eddie describes various things to try at home, including peeing on each other or riding your lover around like a horse. 

For this article, Ed Wood quotes liberally from a book called The Sex-Life Letters (1972) by Dr. Harold Greenwald and his wife, Ruth Greenwald. It's a collection of letters from real people about their actual sexual lives. Now here is a book that has lived a double life of its own. Greenwald (1910-1999) was an eminent psychotherapist who was known for his expertise on the psychology of prostitutes. Consequently, there is an edition of The Sex-Life Letters from Crown Publishers that make it look like any other mainstream, respectable book about sex on the market in 1972. 

But The Sex-Life Letters was rereleased the next year and branded "A Penthouse Book," referring to Bob Guccione's raunchy adult magazine. There's even a version that boldly declares it to be "from the pages of Forum." This was the Penthouse spinoff infamous for publishing letters from readers about their own alleged sexual experiences. These letters, dubious though they might have been, eventually proved popular enough to merit a spinoff of their own called Penthouse Letters. Maybe the respectable version of the Greenwalds' book didn't sell well enough, hence the rebranding.

Next: "The Housewife Lesbian" (1973)

Friday, January 28, 2022

Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex: "Interview with a Sadist and a Masochist" (1972)

Enjoy this early '70s typography.

NOTE: This article continues my coverage of Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex (BearManor Media, 2021).

The article: "Interview with a Sadist and a Masochist." Originally published in Passion Annual (Gallery Press/Pendulum Combos), 1972. Credited to "Dick Trent."

Excerpt: "And I literally make him kiss the asses of the guests . . . all of them, men and women alike. And when that's done we strip off the dress or the blouse and skirt and he's made to kneel down in the old bra and filthy panties and wash their feet with his tongue. Oh, how he cries, and how my thighs twitch to get at something." 

Reflections: Even though Ed Wood has already conducted several mock interviews previously in this collection, "Interview with a Sadist and a Masochist" is unique for several reasons. For one thing, Eddie portrays three roles here: the interviewer, a masochistic man named Henry, and Henry's sadistic lover, Marsha. What's more, the interviewer is repeatedly identified as "Ed" throughout the body of the article, even though the byline says "Dick Trent." The following brief excerpt will give you an idea of how this article was originally formatted. As Bob Blackburn points out, "Ed" could be short for "editor." (But it could also be the author's sneaky way of getting his name into the article.)

An excerpt from "Interview with a Sadist and a Masochist." Note that Ed Wood identifies himself as the interviewer.

Character actor Wally Cox.
Beyond that, this is a deeply and memorably strange article that manages to stand out from the stories surrounding it. And when you're talking about the written works of Ed Wood, that's quite an achievement. After giving us a brief history of torture, Eddie sits down for a chat with Henry and Marsha, who have been a happy couple for two years. Henry loves to be punished and humiliated, and Marsha is more than happy to dole out the punishment and humiliation. "This is their jolly kicks," Ed explains with his usual stilted syntax.

In some ways, Henry and Marsha are like something out of a cartoon or a comedy sketch. He's the stereotypical henpecked male, and she's the equally stereotypical domineering female. I would not have been surprised if Marsha had starting beating Henry on the head with a rolling pin. Whenever Marsha scolds Henry or tells him to shut up, he meekly responds, "Yes love." I pictured him looking and talking a bit like character actor Wally Cox (of Mr. Peepers fame).

At first, it seems like these two are your garden-variety sadomasochists. They're into roleplaying, for instance, with Henry having to be Marsha's maid and even wear a frilly uniform when he cleans. They're also into discipline, with Marsha saying she likes to spank her lover's "pink little bottom" when he transgresses. Sometimes they'll have guests over, so Marsha can humiliate Henry in front of company.

But, as the article progresses, we learn that these two are into some weird, weird stuff. Gross stuff. Marsha makes Henry clean the toilet with his bare hands. She also makes him wear her oldest, dirtiest panties, but only after she's broken them in for a few days. At one point in the interview, Henry says, "You'll make me lay down and open my mouth and you'll squat over me." In a word, yuck.

That's something Eddie's fans will have to get used to when they read his writing. This kind of nausea-inducing material doesn't appear much in his movies, even the pornographic ones, but Ed had a definite fixation on bodily functions and gross-out humor. Sometimes, he just likes to roll around in the muck. "Interview with a Sadist and a Masochist" is one of those occasions. 

Next: "The Movement" (1973)

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex: "If You're in the Market for S-M" (1973)

I think you'll find the whips and chains in Aisle 7, ma'am.

NOTE: This article continues my coverage of Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex (BearManor Media, 2021).

The article: "If You're in the Market for S-M." Originally published in Savage (Gallery Press), vol. 2, no. 1, March/April 1973. Credited to "Dick Trent."

Excerpt: "We have heard of the husband who is completely dominated by his wife, yet they live together thirty years or more. If the man didn't like what was happening to him he certainly wouldn't stick around all his life. And since sex is the motivating force of the universe, the man is sticking around  because his sex life . . .  his sex thrills . . .  overshadow all else."

Louis Jordan had some thoughts on marriage.
Reflections: Anyone who has read Rudolph Grey's Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr. (1992) knows that Ed Wood had a violent temper and would abuse his wife Kathy physically during their near-constant arguments. This abhorrent behavior was witnessed by multiple friends and neighbors, several of whom are quoted in Grey's book. When I spoke to actor David Ward on the telephone several years ago, he confirmed it personally but said he never did anything to intervene. 

The Woods' tumultuous marriage reminds me of a jazz song from 1948 called "Pettin' and Pokin'" by Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five. The lyrics describe a couple, Jack and Jill, whose marriage vacillates between love and hate with dizzying speed. In this union, though, both couples are capable of physical violence. "He holds her hands as long as he's able," Jordan explains in a proto-rap style, "but when he lets go, she bops him with a table." Various concerned parties, including a reverend and even the bride's mother, try to intervene but only end up being injured themselves. Jordan assures us that Jack and Jill "are in love" and "having a good time."

Ed Wood wrote about both sadism and masochism often in his short stories, novels, and films, with whipping being a particular favorite topic of his. When Dr. Vornoff (Bela Lugosi) whips his assistant Lobo (Tor Johnson) in Bride of the Monster (1955), that may have been the first time Eddie worked his fetish into one of his film scripts. The 1973 short story "2 X Double" is about a married couple who eventually incorporate S&M elements, including whipping, into their lovemaking. But perhaps Ed Wood had a masochistic side, too. Remember that in Love Feast (1969), he is the one playing the submissive role during the infamous humiliation scene. He even describes himself as feeling "like a whipped dog."

"If You're in the Market for S-M" is typical of the nonfiction magazine articles about sadomasochism that Eddie was writing for Pendulum/Gallery in the early 1970s. Once again, he explains to his readers exactly what this fetish is and where its name originates. What's unique about this one is that Eddie does more philosophizing and moralizing than usual. He writes: "We have to, whether it lays heavily on our minds or not, accept the notion that there is a cruel streak in man and this cruelty may become linked with one's sexuality for better or worse." The article cites other examples of man's taste for cruelty: football games, horror movies, and even the public executions of yesteryear.

What I have to wonder is whether or not Ed Wood recognized this sadistic tendency within himself. In this article, he actually gets a little preachy on the topic. Or a lot preachy. "Western civilization ought to be ashamed of itself when it comes to the matter of cruelty," he declares. "The whole of mankind has been responsible for atrocities of the first magnitude; but what makes it even more horrendous is the fact that thousands of people took real pleasure in administering the torture or being on the receiving end." Was he conscious of the fact that he was administering pain? Perhaps he felt his cruelty toward Kathy was excusable because he did not do it for his own pleasure or gratification.


Next: "Interview with a Sadist and a Masochist" (1972)

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex: "The Sado-Masochistic Saturnalia" (1972)

I had to censor this image a lot before I could use it.

NOTE: This article continues my coverage of Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex (BearManor Media, 2021).

The article: "The Sado-Masochistic Saturnalia." Originally published in Savage Sex (Pendulum Publishing), vol. 4, no. 1, February/March 1972.

Excerpt: "Today, with the resurgence of group dancing, the orgy spirit seems once again to be on the increase. Dancing has long been recognized as a process by which sexual release is accomplished, not through sexual activity, but rather through the purgative effects of the dance itself. There is an historical background upon which the nature of the orgy rests. It is not merely the sensual abandonment of self-centered hedonists."

Recycling, Three Stooges-style.
Reflections: Just about every Saturday afternoon, I watch reruns of The Three Stooges on the cable channel MeTV. The Stooges made 190 shorts, each averaging 15-20 minutes apiece, at Columbia Pictures between 1934 and 1959. Longtime Stooge fans know that Columbia cut corners by recycling footage, gags, and even entire plots from previous films. Heavenly Daze (1948), for instance, was remade as Bedlam in Paradise (1953). The studio even had the gall to remake a classic Curly Howard short, What's the Matador? (1942), as Sappy Bull Fighters (1959) with Joe Besser in the lead role. This ended up being the final Stooge short ever, so the long-running series actually ended with a remake!

Ed Wood was not quite so shameless when it came to recycling, but he was not averse to chewing his cabbage twice if need be. As I made my way through the short stories in Blood Splatters Quickly and Angora Fever, I found a few examples of Eddie reusing plots and dialogue. "Detailed in Blood" is a retread of "The Gory Details," while "Those Long Winter Nights" contains a scene that is nearly identical to a sequence in The Snow Bunnies (1972).

This same kind of déjà vu occurs in Ed's nonfiction articles. "The Sado-Masochistic Saturnalia" offers essentially the same reading experience as "Pain & Pleasure = Sado/Masochism." Since "Saturnalia" was published a full year earlier, I guess that makes "Pain & Pleasure" the ripoff, even though it appears first in this book. Either way, you get a lot of the same ideas in both stories. To wit:
  • Sadomasochism is a common fetish, and its practitioners tend to be average, everyday people living in the suburbs.
  • S&M provides a convenient outlet for the anger and hostility we all have as human beings.
  • This fetish can be incorporated into orgies or "saturnalias," but it is certainly not welcome at all group sex events.
  • Today's "swinger" parties are reminiscent of the orgies of ancient Rome.
This begs the question, what is new or different about "The Sado-Masochistic Saturnalia" to distinguish it from the other article? Well, for one thing, Ed writes a little bit about how even fetishists might discriminate against each other. "Blacks are prohibited at some orgies," he explains. "In many groups, long-haired men are not allowed. There are groups that won't allow anyone to participate who looks square. Yet they allow whipping and spankings."

The part of the article I find most interesting is when Ed Wood talks about the violence that permeates modern American society. As prolific as Eddie was in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he actually does not comment on the Vietnam War all that often. He doesn't actually mention the war by name in this article, but it must've been on his mind when he wrote this passage:
Today's society is one of violence. Wherever we turn, we see it. Even on television, we see nothing but bloodshed. Recent complaints and pressure have caused the networks to cut back the overt violence, but even at that it is apparent that bloodshed is what people want to see. Take a look at any professional football game or boxing match on T.V. Wars go on around our country and we are oblivious to the bloodshed and suffering. In fact, we watch battles being fought on T.V. newscasts, and seemingly enjoy it. Likewise we watch telecasts of riots in the streets.
At this juncture in the article, Ed has basically forgotten about sadomasochism or saturnalias and is just venting about whatever happened to be on his mind that day. To me, that's one of the gifts of When the Topic is Sex. It gives you some real insight into the muddled mind of Edward D. Wood, Jr.

Next: "If You're in the Market for S-M" (1973)

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex: "Pain & Pleasure = Sado/Masochism" (1973)

For some masochists, Coca-Cola is the real thing.

NOTE: This article continues my coverage of Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex (BearManor Media, 2021).

The article: "Pain & Pleasure = Sado/Masochism." Originally published in Fantastic (Gallery Press), vol. 2, no. 1, February/March 1973.

Excerpt: "What is very often difficult for the layman to understand is just how close love and hurt can be. Most of us are familiar with the expression, it's easy to hurt the one you love. Consequently one might wonder whether or not it is possible to turn that saying around and come up with the concept that it's easy to love the ones you hurt. This becomes a very interesting thought to both the sadist and the masochist . . . either way the coin turns."

Reflections: This article is Ed Wood's treatise on sadomasochism, i.e. "sexual pleasures associated with either giving or receiving pain." Although the topic is a bit salacious, especially by 1973 standards, Eddie attempts to maintain a serious, even scholarly tone throughout this article. "Pain & Pleasure" definitely finds Ed in his professorial mode. (No giggling, class.) Were it not for some of the wilder details—like the story of an unfortunate masturbator with a Coca-Cola bottle stuck in his rectum, necessitating a trip to the emergency room—this article might even seem a little dull or dry.

Really getting into the spirit of things, Eddie tortures his readers with this extremely painful metaphor right at the beginning:
Many marital sex standards, for years, has revolved around the expression, it doesn't matter where you get your appetite, as long as you eat at home! However, speaking sexually, this rule puts a man and a woman at the mercy of whatever happened to be in the kitchen instead of seeing to it that the husband and wife's appetites, individually, were appeased by thoughtful shopping at a sexual supermarket of singular desires.
Sexual supermarket? Ouch! I'd have to imagine that food was scarce in the Wood household circa 1973, so perhaps Eddie was just hungry when he wrote that passage.

Freud had some thoughts on sadism.
Ed does his best to explain where sadism and masochism come from. You see, we humans have a great deal of pent-up anger within us, but modern man has "no symbolic forms of release for those urges." Hence, some of us take out our hostility on our partners in the bedroom. It's all very natural. Isn't sex already a little primitive and violent, Ed argues? Well, the sadists and masochists just take it a step further. "Pain & Pleasure" stops short of fully endorsing the S&M lifestyle, but the article almost reads like a plea for tolerance for a maligned and misunderstood subculture—a Glen or Glenda (1953) for the whips-and-chains crowd, if you will. As he explains:
Sado/masochistic behavior is an activity which had an extremely black name in the past; certainly more so than today. It is mentioned in conjunction with masturbation but only to a point that both are a rather unique sexual practice . . . neither are uncommon however. 
Just as he did with cross-dressers in Glenda, Ed stresses that sadists and masochists are otherwise-normal members of society who just happen to have one little sexual quirk. Perhaps even your friendly neighborhood milkman enjoys being tied up and beaten with a hairbrush occasionally. 

To give this article some scholarly credibility, Ed Wood includes a rather lengthy quote from Sigmund Freud, who apparently said that sadists were "incomprehensible." I could not correlate this passage with any of Freud's texts available online, but the famed neurologist originally wrote in German, so perhaps Eddie and I were consulting different translations. Many or most of Ed Wood's citations in When the Topic is Sex have proven to be genuine.

Throughout this article, Ed Wood uses the term "saturnalia" interchangeably with "orgy." I'd heard of the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, but I didn't know the term (when used in its lowercase form) could be applied to any generic gang-bang. Actually, Ed informs us, sadomasochism is generally frowned upon at orgies, unless the event is exclusively devoted to that particular fetish. An all-S&M orgy sounds like it could get messy quickly. I'd hate to be the one to clean up afterwards.

Next: "The Sado-Masochistic Saturnalia" (1972)

Podcast Tuesday: "The Whistleblower"

Shirley Kirkes, Henry Winkler, and Ron Howard on Happy Days.

We're back, baby! That's right. Our magnificent Happy Days podcast, These Days Are Ours, has returned for 2022. We took a few weeks off for the holidays, but now we're recording again. If you remember, we were in the middle of covering Season 7. That's when the show's ratings were tanking, and Ron Howard had one foot out the door. Fun times, fun times...

Actually, the episode we're covering this week, "Ah, Wilderness!," is a lot of fun. It was the first Happy Days episode to premiere during the 1980s. That decade would not be particularly kind to the long-running sitcom, but at least Happy Days started on a good note. The plot is fairly standard. Richie (Ron Howard) insists on taking his friends, Ralph (Don Most) and Potsie (Anson Williams), on a camping trip so he can prove that he has "leadership potential." Naturally, Fonzie (Henry Winkler) tags along, too, and all four young men bring their current girlfriends. Richie worries that Fonzie will try to take over the whole trip. As it happens, Fonzie turns out to be Richie's only advocate when the other campers threaten to mutiny.

What makes "Ah, Wilderness!" extra special is that one of the girlfriends is played by a very young Julie Brown, the singer-songwriter from Van Nuys who lit up MTV in the mid-1980s with songs like "The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun." Just like Cassandra Peterson, who appeared in the episode "Burlesque," Julie was just a few years away from her breakthrough when she guested on Happy Days.

But what else did we have to say about this memorable episode? Find out by downloading the latest installment of These Days Are Ours: A Happy Days Podcast

Monday, January 24, 2022

Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex: "There Are Different Words" (1974)

Time for a vocabulary lesson, Ed Wood style.

NOTE: This article continues my coverage of Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex (BearManor Media, 2021).

The article: "There Are Different Words." Originally published in Boy Play (Gallery Press), vol. 3, no. 1, January/February 1974. Credited to "Dick Trent."

Excerpt: "We thought it might be interesting for this issue to give some of the words which are descriptive of the ways of homosexual life. Perhaps many of them will be new to most . . . and for those who are in the know, at least it can be a refresher course in this specific mode of sexual expression."

Reflections: "There Are Different Words" is the first of three sexual glossaries contained within When the Topic is Sex. Ed Wood was seemingly very interested in slang terms, so he must've enjoyed compiling these lists of definitions. As I've said before, he concludes Bloodiest Sex Crimes of History (1967) with just such a glossary. "There Are Different Words" is very similar to that one, even containing some of the same terms ("catamite" and "coitus inter digitae"). What makes this one different is that it was written for Boy Play, one of Gallery's gay-themed magazines, so all the terms in it are theoretically related to homosexuality.

In the Urban Dictionary era, when slang terms are no longer so mysterious or elusive, an article like "There Are Different Words" might seem awfully quaint and outdated. But back during Ed Wood's day, this kind of information was not so easily accessed. Think back to Glen or Glenda (1953), when Dr. Alton (Timothy Farrell) has to define the word "transvestite" for Inspector Warren (Lyle Talbot).
DR. ALTON: Let's get our stories straight. You're referring to the suicide of the transvestite. 
INSPECTOR: If that's the word you men of medical science use for a man who wears woman's clothing, yes. 
DR. ALTON: Yes, in cold, technical language, that's the word, as unfriendly and as vicious as it may sound. However, in actuality, it's not an unfriendly word, nor is it vicious when you know the people to whom it pertains.
Also during this era, homosexuality was not nearly so accepted as it is today. Gays were considered to be outside of mainstream American society. Slang could have been a vital way for gays to recognize each other in social situations. If you knew the meanings of certain specialized terms, you were part of the in-group and could be trusted. If you didn't, you weren't and couldn't. This isn't unique to homosexuals. Lots of subcultures do this, as do professions. Doctors have their own specialized terms, lawyers have theirs, etc., etc. Vocabulary is a way for groups to define themselves and keep others out.

John Waters' Mondo Trasho (1969) ends with a scene in which two gossipy women (Mink Stole and Mimi Lochary) use dozens of obscure slang expressions while describing the movie's hapless heroine (Mary Vivian Pearce). This was where I first heard the term "dinge queen," which also turns up in "There Are Different Words." Unlike John Waters, Ed Wood actually provides a definition: "A male homosexual who prefers a Negro as a love companion." I've transcribed the entire Mondo Trasho scene here.

Anyway, the main reason to read an article like this today is to find the craziest, weirdest, and rarest terms. I'll give you a few of my personal favorites: "almond rock," "basket shopping," "blueberry pie," "crushed fruit," "gazooney," "lavender boy," and "toilet queen." You'll probably have favorites of your own. Interestingly, Ed Wood defines "easy meat" as "one who can be led easily into a homosexual act." I don't think that was Frank Zappa intended with his 1981 song "Easy Meat."

     
Next: "Pain & Pleasure = Sado/Masochism" (1973)

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex: "Origins of a Fur Fetishist" (1971)

Wouldn't you like to run your fingers through this fur?

NOTE: This article continues my coverage of Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex (BearManor Media, 2021).

The article: "Origins of a Fur Fetishist." Originally published in Ecstasy (Pendulum Publishing), vol. 3, no. 1, March/April 1971.

Excerpt: "The sights, sounds, smells and sensations of that day, as personally experienced by that little boy, were to stamp his character forever afterward. They were to become intertwined with some of Europe's greatest literature which seemed to be both history and fiction but which was actually heavily tainted by the deep-seated algolagnia of the author."

Reflections: Bob Blackburn compiled When the Topic is Sex the same way he put together the previous two Ed Wood collections, i.e. by following Eddie's own writing résumé. If a story or article appeared on that résumé, Bob did his best to track down the magazine in which it originally appeared. When Bob bought the March/April 1971 issue of Ecstasy, for example, he was probably looking for the short story "The Last Void," which eventually turned up in Angora Fever (2019).

But not all of Eddie's magazine work made it to his résumé. As my colleague Greg Dziawer has reminded us again and again, publisher Bernie Bloom had Ed writing all kinds of text for the Pendulum/Calga magazines, everything from photo captions to editorials. When Bob got his copy of Ecstasy, he discovered an uncredited article called "Origins of a Fur Fetishist" and concluded that it must've been Ed's. After all, Eddie was writing a lot of articles about fetishism back then, and fur fetishism was a particular specialty of Ed's since it was a kink that he himself possessed. Who else would have written something like this?

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
If it is indeed Eddie's work, "Origins of a Fur Fetishist" stands out as one of the more coherent, even elegant examples of his nonfiction articles. This one focuses entirely on a specific historical figure: Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836-1895). Now, Eddie has fixated on other real-life personages in his work, returning repeatedly to the lives of Albert Fish (1870-1936) and Elizabeth Báthory (1560-1614). Offhand, I couldn't remember Eddie writing more about Sacher-Masoch in any of his full-length books, although he does use the obscure term "algolagnia" (sexual pleasure derived from giving or receiving pain) in Bloodiest Sex Crimes of History (1967).

Sacher-Masoch is primarily known for two things: writing the 1870 novella Venus in Furs and being the namesake of the term "masochism." So this nobleman obviously had fetishes for both fur and pain. How did he get that way? Well, it all goes back to his boyhood experiences with his aunt, the Countess Zenobia. The article describes her colorfully: "a statuesque and commanding woman in her middle thirties—a passionately demanding female who had never been sexually satisfied or emotionally controlled by her insignificant husband." She sounds like someone who was specifically created to be a character in an erotic story.

As a boy, Leopold loved to rummage through his aunt's wardrobe, fondling the furs and sniffing the nightgowns. (This is probably the most Wood-ian passage in the entire article.) Once, while doing this, he quickly had to hide in the closet as his aunt entertained a lover. Again, the description of the events is colorful: "When the strange man was on his back, the Countess Zenobia mounted him like a Valkyrie astride a magic horse and rode her steed in a violent gallop as though toward some mighty battle." Uh huh. Magic horse. Got it.

Anyway, the countess and her lover were themselves surprised mid-coitus by the "small, frail" count. Irritated at this distraction, Zenobia quickly took to smacking her husband around, all while young Leopold watched from the closet. The lover was so horrified that he immediately departed. Then, still nude, Zenobia discovered Leopold hiding in the closet and began spanking him. This entire incident is highly reminiscent of a memorable passage from David Lynch's kinky and violent Blue Velvet (1986), so much so that I have to wonder if Lynch deliberately referenced Sader-Masoch. Even the title of Lynch's film suggests a fetishistic fixation on a particular fabric.

You can see how this kind of incident might have an effect on a young man like our hapless Austrian friend. According to this article, though, Leopold's kinks were confined to his imagination and his writing. "Leopold von Sacher-Masoch was never a debauchee in sexual matters," the author assures us. Wouldn't that be a strange twist of fate, leading a vanilla sex life and having a famous kink named after you anyway? He never even contracted syphilis!

Earlier in this review, I described this article as "elegant." That quality really comes to the fore when, after having told the Countess Zenobia story, the author gives us a brief but vivid biological sketch of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. A few chosen phrases, which I suggest you read aloud:
  • The puzzle could not be complete for its construction carried on throughout his mature life and the image was always a mixture of his own dreams and the strange personal frustration the world and his selection of sexual partners thrust upon him.
  • The brilliance, the wit and the dash of the past had been replaced by a certain melancholy that hung over Europe like a grey cloud.
  • Those whispered bedtime stories told in hushed and mysterious tones that implied even more than they actually state were all Gothic tales of frenzied erotica and ruthless cruelty. Although illiterate, [Leopold's nurse] was undoubtedly a narrator of superlative talent for the tales she told formed a rich and macabre tapestry woven of all the sensuous and barbaric, tragic and wild elements latent in the tribal memory of a strangely primitive people.
Both the syntax and vocabulary of these passages are highly unusual for Ed Wood. Perhaps, on the day this piece was composed, Eddie was in the mood to write something more elevated and poetic than usual. As I've said, he had a number of modes or styles as a writer and could switch between them when necessary.

I regret to say that "Origins of a Fur Fetishist" takes a strange and disturbing turn at the end. There is a passage involving very young children and the things that "ignorant and primitive" people have done to them in the past. Rather than describe this material further, I will let readers of When the Topic is Sex discover it for themselves. Forewarned is forearmed. 

Next: "There Are Different Words" (1974)

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex: "Witchcraft in America Today" (1971)

Witches today can't hold a candle to the ones of the past.

NOTE: This article continues my coverage of Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex (BearManor Media, 2021).

The article: "Witchcraft in America Today." Originally published in Lesbo Lassies (Calga Publishing), vol. 3, no. 2, April/May 1971.

Excerpt: "It can be seen from these Hippie witches that witchcraft is anything but dead in this country and has over recent years been undergoing quite a revival. Many of the modern-day witches, involved as they are in terrorist actions, would like to see nothing better than authority overthrown and destroyed."

A 1969 album by the band Coven.
Reflections: America's young people were definitely trying to find their own way in the late 1960s and early 1970s, rejecting the values of their square, uptight parents—whose actions had led to the Vietnam War, polluted cities, racial segregation, and the Nixon presidency—and trying to form a groovy new culture to call their own. There were many avenues for them to explore, including music, drugs, sex, fashion, hairstyles, art, and politics. Hippies famously got into all of those things, often combining them.

But what of religion? Some youngsters aligned themselves with the evangelical "Jesus movement," anointing Christ as the ultimate hippie. The Son of Man was, after all, known for having long hair and a beard, wearing sandals, promoting peace, and rejecting capitalism. Others, however, weren't down with the J-man. They went in the exact opposite direction, embracing Satanism and witchcraft. I'm not sure how seriously they took it. The rock band Coven seemed fairly sincere in their beliefs, but Victor Luminera's film Psyched by the 4-D Witch (A Tale of Demonology) (1973) makes the whole "hippie witch" phenomenon look like a joke or a gimmick.

"Witchcraft in America Today" is Ed Wood's attempt to make some sense of the fad and explain it to others in his own demographic, i.e. horny middle-aged men who just want to know what kinky things the youngsters are doing these days. This is one of the articles in When the Topic is Sex for which Ed did no research. Not a single book or author is cited, though there is a fleeting reference to the then-recent Charles Manson trial. Ed feels, however, that it is important to make some distinctions when talking about this subculture: "While the Satanists use sex and drug to pervert and deprave, the Hippie witches use the same tools simply because they enjoy them and feel that they are the natural thing to do."

Ed's arguments are all over the place. At first, he suggests that the witchcraft revival comes from "the largely Negro areas of the big cities," but then he switches tactics and focuses on "hippie witches," who tend to be young, attractive, white females. Eddie suggests that a typical hippie witch will be "thrown into such fields as political and social reform" and is frequently seen "at the student demonstrations, using her skills to bring others over to her way of thinking." He even mentions a political organization called W.I.T.C.H., whose acronym stands for Women's International Terrorist Corps from Hell. I thought this was purely a product of Eddie's imagination, but there is evidence that W.I.T.C.H. was a real organization and staged protests against abortion laws "using street and guerilla theater."

Surprisingly, considering this article was written for a magazine called Lesbo Lassies, Ed downplays the sex angle in "Witchcraft in America Today." He doesn't ignore it, though. He simply states that modern hippie witches feel that sex is "a natural part of life" and therefore practice it without restrictions, guilt, or hangups. In this way, witchcraft may offer a refreshing alternative to Christianity. As Ed explains:
Certainly the evil interpretation of Satan has only come about as a result of Christianity and its doctrines. Because to the church, sex was a cardinal sin, therefore the sexual practices of the witches seemed like a monstrous blasphemy against God. In fact, the sex orgies that the church so condemned were basically nothing more or less than fertility rites, a joyous thanksgiving to nature for the gift of life and fertility.
If that doesn't sell you on witchcraft as a lifestyle, nothing will.

Next: "Origins of a Fur Fetishist" (1971)

Friday, January 21, 2022

Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex: "Madam Had a Peep" (1972)

She likes to watch.

NOTE: This article continues my coverage of Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex (Bear Manor Media, 2021).

The article: "Madam Had a Peep." Originally published in Illustrated Case Histories: A Study of Voyeurism (Calga Publishing), vol. 2, no. 1, April/May 1971.

Excerpt: "I've never been caught and I don't expect to be. I'm actually not doing anything which could cause anybody any harm. And if they leave their window shades up, I suspect they want to be watched anyway . . . and there isn't any psychiatrist in the whole world who can tell me I'm some kind of a nut. I know a lot worse who do things that are monstrous. What's the harm in catching a little peep?"

Michael Myers was another young voyeur.
Reflections: "Madam Had a Peep" combines two of Ed Wood's longtime obsessions: (1) voyeurism and (2) women taking on traditionally male roles. We've all heard of Peeping Toms, but what about Peeping Thelmas? Yes, Ed Wood tells us, it may very well be a woman looking through the keyhole at the local motel. Doesn't that blow your mind? A new frontier for sexual equality!

In this article, Ed pretends to interview one such peeper, a fictional young woman identified only as Tammney M. I don't mind Eddie's pseudo-interviews, but I wish that—just once—he had staggered out of his apartment long enough to talk to a real person, one whose speech cadences aren't exactly the same as his own and whose anecdotes are based on real-world experiences.

Anyway, Tammney fills us in on how and why she does what she does. You see, her first sexual experience was with the school bully. "I wanted my first one to be big and tough," she explains. The whole ordeal was so unpleasant that she vowed forever after to be a watcher rather than a doer. She started by watching her sister and her boyfriend make love in the living room. Come to think of it, that's exactly how Michael Myers started in John Carpenter's original Halloween (1978). 

Now, as a "nearly thirty" adult, Tammney likes to pick out a secluded spot and watch couples having sex—gay, straight, lesbian, it's all good. She gratifies herself through masturbation, either "out in the field" or in a "completely dark room." Her low-budget sex toys include hairbrushes and douche nozzles. She points out that she does not use a mirror during this process, however. That makes her stand out from many of Ed Wood's other characters. I have not written enough about how important mirrors are in many of Ed's short stories, novels, and articles. Suffice it to say, a full-length mirror was nearly as important to him as an angora sweater.

"Madam Had a Peep" is a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a female voyeur. Tammney points out that she's avoiding sexually-transmitted diseases as well as unwanted pregnancies. Ed does have a warning for Tammney: "Diseases come just as easily from a finger, a hair brush and a douche handle if one hasn't prepared a sanitary flush." So keep peeping, America. Just play it safe.

Next: "Witchcraft in America Today" (1971)

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex: "A Thought on Fetish Love Objects" (1972)

Today, Ed Wood has something on his mind.

NOTE: This article continues my coverage of Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex (BearManor Media, 2021).

The article: "A Thought on Fetish Love Objects." Originally published in Young Beavers (Pendulum Publishing), vol. 6, no. 1, March/April 1972. No author credited.

Excerpt: "Fetish love-objects are as varied as the mind might conceive. Some say the hair fetish comes from the thought that Christ was crucified while wearing a hair shirt . . . thus a double meaning . . . hair and religious values."

Reflections: The term "love-object" is used so frequently in When the Topic is Sex that I can't believe I hadn't noticed it as one of Ed Wood's trademarks earlier than this. It definitely belongs on the list. And now, Eddie has devoted an entire article to it. You might guess that a "love-object" is a dildo, vibrator, or some other marital aid, but that's not necessarily what Eddie means. In the context of this article and others, it's any inanimate, non-living object that arouses sexual feelings in a person. Here, he focuses specifically on clothing and hair.

Predictably, Eddie's take on hair fetishism is a little warped. He says that a woman with long, flowing hair might wrap her luscious locks around her lover's genitals or even use "the hair upon her own body for her own pleasures." Not being a hair fetishist myself, I can't really say whether this is how it works or not. He also describes a young husband driven to violent rage when his wife gets a short haircut.

Actually, a more accurate title for this article would be "A Handful of Half-Baked Ideas Vaguely Related to Love Objects." For some reason, Eddie spends several paragraphs talking about how newlyweds reveal their fetishes to one another. It doesn't always go well, as Ed illustrates with this example:
There was the story in one of the syndicated columns of a major newspaper recently about the newlyweds who got to their hotel room, stripped, then when the girl was about to put on her wedding nightie the new husband took it from her and put it on himself. Shocked, the girl screamed down the building and the fellow raced out of the room never to be heard of again . . . except in the divorce courts.
Anyone halfway familiar with Ed Wood's own biography will be immediately reminded of the director's disastrous, short-lived marriage to actress Norma McCarty, who couldn't abide Eddie's cross-dressing. Brief as it was, the Wood/McCarty marriage led to some of the more memorable anecdotes in Rudolph Grey's Nightmare of Ecstasy (1992).

Kathy Wood and Paul Marco discuss Ed's marriage to Norma McCarty.

These stories were dramatized for Tim Burton's film Ed Wood (1994), but unfortunately they landed on the cutting room floor.

As with other articles in When the Topic is Sex, "A Thought on Fetish Love Objects" cites several works by other authors. First up is The American Dictionary of Sexual Terms (1964) by Blake Roger. According to Blake, armpits are a "classic" fetish. Go figure. This glossary-style book is very real and easily found today on the secondary market. Eddie concludes his own book, Bloodiest Sex Crimes of History (1967), with what he terms "the hottest sex glossary ever compiled." (Ed's list even includes the little-used "ecouterism") I wonder if he cribbed much from Blake Roger?

Even more interesting, Ed mentions an article by Sylvia Lazio called "Queer for Hair" from the January 10, 1971 issue of The National Bulletin. I can't pinpoint this exact article, but The National Bulletin was a sex-themed tabloid published in the early 1970s by a New Rochelle, NY-based company called Beta. It combined nude cheesecake photos with salacious articles like "Perverts Make the Best Athletes" and "Is America Losing the Sex Race?"

Ed Wood also mentions an article by Buzz Torin in The National Spotlite. This was another Beta publication—same format as Bulletin, very similar content. It cannot be a coincidence that Eddie would mention two Beta tabloids in the same article. Maybe, as someone working in the adult magazine industry, Ed Wood kept, uh, abreast of what the competition was doing. But you'd think that Bernie Bloom would insist that Eddie plug other Pendulum/Calga titles instead!

Next: "Madam Had a Peep" (1971)

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex: "Sorcery and Sex" (1970)

The greatest combination since peanut butter and jelly.

NOTE: This article continues my coverage of Ed Wood's When the Topic is Sex (BearManor Media, 2021).

The article: "Sorcery and Sex." Originally published in Wild Couples (Pendulum Publishing), vol. 1, no. 2, February/March 1970. No author credited. Also known as "Sex and Sorcery."

Excerpt: "During the Communion, we partake symbolically of the Master's flesh and blood. The transubstantiation bit, you know? The liquid is prepared according to rigid specifications. Seven parts semen, one part blood, one part urine. And the donor has to be a practicing warlock. Our donor tonight had to shoot his load five times to fill the chalice. It left him looking a bit peaked, too."

Reflections: I think Eddie would have very much enjoyed Stanley Kubrick's final film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999), had he lived to see it. Hell, he'd probably have wanted to make the low-budget knockoff version for the home video market. The centerpiece of that film is a mysterious ritual—held in a mansion and attended by the wealthy and powerful—that combines sex with elements of Catholicism and various pagan religions. Although carried out with a great deal of pomp and ceremony, this ritual is essentially an orgy.

At first, I thought "Sorcery and Sex" was a short story about just such a sex ritual and wondered what this piece was doing in When the Topic is Sex alongside Ed Wood's supposed nonfiction articles. As I read further, however, I realized that this article was being presented as a bit of investigative journalism. The premise is that Ed, apparently acting on behalf of Wild Couples magazine, has been allowed to attend a black mass and later interview the high priestess, Cybele, about what it all means. (It turns out she's really a housewife named Melissa, by the way.) There's a lot of history behind this so-called "Black Mass," and the priestess mentions the Druids, Stonehenge, Zoroastrianism, and Faust during her interview.

Ed's naturally a bit squeamish about the strange ritual—especially the parts where the celebrants spit on a cross and drink semen from a chalice—but he's simply allowed to observe. "I learned later that visitors are exempted from the dark rituals," he explains. Whew! That's a relief, huh? In a weird way, this article also reminded me of the Universal horror film Cult of the Cobra (1955) in which a group of thrill-seeking American servicemen sneak into a meeting of a strange, snake-worshipping cult and witness much more than they bargained for. While that film is nowhere near as explicit as Eyes Wide Shut, the cult ritual does have an element of sex, particularly an erotic, snake-themed dance routine. For 1955, it's pretty hot stuff.

An erotic dance routine from Cult of the Cobra (1955).

Pagan sex rituals are fairly common in the Ed Wood canon. Again, we need only look to films like Orgy of the Dead (1965) and Necromania (1971) for similar scenes. The 1972 short story "The Witches of Amau Ra" is another variation on this theme. Ed really gets into the pageantry of it all, the chanting and the props, like inverted crosses. Who knows? Maybe the ritual described in this article—Cybele balks at the term "orgy"—would have been a typical Tuesday night at Anton LaVey's house circa 1970.

For me, the point at which this article makes the great leap into absurdity is when our intrepid reporter starts interviewing the high priestess. He lets us know that Cybele's robe is hanging open, giving him a good look at her anatomy. Then, after reciting a couple of incantations (written at about the intellectual level of dirty limericks), Cybele causes the reporter to have what he calls "the most incredible, mind-bending orgasm I have ever had in my life." At this point, "Sorcery and Sex" has essentially become a ghoulish Penthouse letter.

By the way, this is at least the second article in When the Topic is Sex to mention tooth loss. In "Use That Four Letter Word," Ed writes that the wrong choice of vocabulary might result in getting your teeth knocked out. And in this story, Cybele brags, "People learned not to annoy me or they might find their teeth falling out the next day." Obviously, Ed Wood was missing many of his own teeth by the time he wrote this story. If you want to know how he lost those teeth, read The Unknown War of Edward D. Wood, Jr. (2017) by James Pontolillo. 

Next: "A Thought on Fetish Love Objects" (1972)