On the night the world trade center went down Hitler belittled digital photography, telling me my digital camera was a toy. And although Hitler was right about a lot of things, he was dead wrong about digital photography.
Xtreme required me to do an interview of Adara. But my editor also wanted me to get pictures of her with the other half of the blonde duo that called itself Scandalous. But Hitler would have none of it. While Hitler belittled Digital Photography he told me flat out that he would not allow anyone to take pictures of Adara. With the exception of himself, the great Hitler. And as Adara told me during the interview, she must obey Hitler.
What really made Scandalous the most riveting feature act of its day, was Eddie Marshall’s expertise with lighting and special affects. Hitler’s skills were perhaps even more important to Scandalous success as Adara’s superlative dancing skills. But with Eddie, it all had to be his way or the highway. It had been his idea to have the blonde twin sister act in the first place.
And now that I think back twelve years after that interview I realize that Hitler was right about most things. Except when Hitler belittled Digital Photography.
For one thing I have learned that most women are absolutely unable to differentiate their best pictures from their worse. So Eddie’s insistence of having complete control over the picture taking process was right on target. I’m sure that Eddie also insisted that the two blondes comprising the Scandalous duo should totally respect his way of doing things. There could be no room for that petty jealousy that often arises between two entertainers. And from what I could glean from Adara while interviewing her, she could respect that. So when I asked her what the key to her success was, she just laughed and said, “Hitler.”
Back in September of 2001, I was using a Kodak DC-3 digital camera, which was a big step up from the Kodak DC-40 I had started off with in January of 1997. But it was still not up to the best Nikon film cameras most of the adult professional photographers were using. Less than a year later I spent the big bucks for the Nikon D-1 X.
The following year I once again ran into Hitle. This time at Nudes-A-Poppin. When I saw him carrying a Nikon D-1 X just like mine I couldn’t help myself. I even addressed him as Hitler, with no malice intended. “Hitler, I thought you said that digital cameras weren’t any good?”
“Times have changed,” Hitler smiled back at me and replied. The days that Hitler belittled Digital Photography were over.
Without doubt the American public views professional adult photographers as sleaze incarnate. But I see them as the true artists of today.
Forgive me if in my previous post I have seemed to be condescending towards the professional adult photographers shooting next to me. Some of them were, I believe, far superior to me for doing studio photography. Certainly those professional adult photographers had much more experience doing it than I did. Furthermore, they made their living this way, whereas I did a bit of everything–doing the writing, shooting pictures, polishing up my images, doing web site work–so I found myself a jack of all trades yet a master of none.
But as I mentioned in my last post, the best of my colleagues were oftentimes put at the greatest disadvantage when it came to doing the best stage action photography. And the most highly paid of those professional adult photographers were the ones that were at the greatest disadvantage.
I could shoot a thousand pictures in a single evening of entertainers doing their shows. And edit the images myself using a graphics arts program. Then send them directly off via internet to whoever I wanted to. For instance Xtreme Magazine or the Pure Talent Agency. And I could even show off my pictures to entertainers on my laptop between their shows right in the night club.
But the best professional adult photographers near me had to send their negatives to the magazines they were shooting for. Or have them developed elsewhere.
Which was a slow lengthy process during which they gave up control of what their final output was to become. Most of them wanted the latest digital pro cameras but found themselves stymied by the outmoded technology victimizing them.
Later these same professional adult photographers would be capitalizing on the new digital high tech with a vengeance. One of them would later start carrying around not one but two Nikon D-1 x’s just like mine. While another, who I had a huge amount of respect for, was just starting to get into digital by the time I was moving to Thailand.
But whenever I start thinking back of the professional adult photographers shooting near me in all those night clubs I keep fondly remembering him. He was a real pro, who made a good living by his photography alone. Whereas I was making my living farming of all things and was only doing my writing and photography as a lark. I remember back a long time ago before I knew better ogling all those erotic fully naked glossies in the magazine he was shooting for.
Back then I could visualize the professional adult photographer who actually did the work. He was dark headed and slender with a muscular build And he had beady eyes because only someone like that could produce such pictures.
Later, I’d find myself working side by side with him, and not just once, but many many times although never enough. Another photographer took the picture of me lying across the sexy woman. But I never met her before nor would I ever see her again. She was just one of many entertainers I would meet at Nudes-A-Poppin.
There are a hundred female and male entertainers all around me in the swimming pool area where Sunday’s shows are being performed. The Nudes-A-Poppin pageant is a two day affair with the competitions being held on a large outdoor stage next to the pool.
If you look closely you might be able to see a fence on the perimeter of this pool area. There is a crowd of paying customers just outside this fenced in area. I think it costs them $50.00 a person to get into the Ponderosa Sun Ranch. Ponderosa Sun Ranch is a nudist colony, but one weekend per year it hosts the Nudes-A-Poppin festivities. I am within the fenced in perimeter. Which means that I’ve not paid a dime to be here for one thing.
The customers outside the fence are allowed to come onto the Ponderosa Sun Ranch property only on Sunday. After they pay their $50 admission fee. The rest of us have been here since 6:30 on Saturday morning.
On both Saturday and Sunday mornings our day starts off with entering a small outbuilding on the property where we will spend the next four or five hours doing our release work. There’s only four or five professional adult photographers in the building. And I’m one of them.
Bob Ferguson is standing next to me. He’s the guru among us. He’s the old pro. So if we have any questions, he’s the man we will ask. The entertainers will start entering this outbuilding from around 7 a.m. on. So we have to be here until 11 or 12. Since there are to be no competitions until Sunday, this leaves all of us free to simply wander around the place taking pictures or just getting to know people.
Bob will be our fearless leader. All the entertainers know him. After all he’s been shooting their pictures for years and has developed quite a following. The more prominent among them have visited his private photography studio at least once.
He’s far from being the beady eyed, dark headed predator I had imagined when I used to ogle his stimulating pictures in “Cheri Magazine”. His hair has long ago started to grey, and he’s probably not as slender as he used to be. He is soft spoken and very accommodating.
One cannot help liking him. Upon entering this small building all entertainers must produce at least two id’s which will verify who they are and that they are over 18. There are four or five people working for the Ponderosa Sun Ranch who are here to assist the entertainers and to make sure that all the release work gets done properly. There’s a row of several long tables where the entertainers now sit. Here they have to fill out their paperwork.
Bob and I and the other professional adult photographers each have over one hundred releases handy.
At this point each of the professional adult photographers must make sure that someone gives each entertainer a copy of our magazine’s release. A copy of each entertainer’s id’s is made and this submitted to the people in charge.
My release has a space on it for the id number which is usually the person’s driver’s license. Each entertainer must now completely fill out five or six releases, which include mine and Bob’s. Once an entertainer fills out all her releases and gets up from the table it is our job to shoot pictures of her. Bob might be the first, or it might be me or someone else. But all of us professional adult photographers work together so that the whole process goes like clockwork.
When it’s my turn to take an entertainer’s picture I have her place the Xtreme Magazine release up in front of her (but not in front of her face. She also must show her number which identifies her when she’s up on stage the next day or even if she’s having her pictures taken as she wanders around the place.
I enjoy the company of the other professional adult photographers around me and as I have already mentioned there’s only four or five of us.
Outside the building the entertainers will be meeting a few other photographers. But Scarlet’s carefully screened all of the professional adult photographers. Who is the owner of the Nudes-A-Poppin pageant. Either that or it’s her parents who technically own it along with the Nudist Camp. But one can be sure that it’s Scarlett who’s the ramrod. And you don’t just show up here expecting to shoot pictures. It is up to Scarlett to determine whether you are worthy or not. Her primary criterion is that she has to think that you are able to provide Nudes-A-Poppin with some rather significant publicity.
I’ve been here before, the first time covering Nudes-A-Poppin for Exotic Dancer Publications and Xtreme Magazine after that.
Looking back on it all, I feel that I was among the elite of the elite. Only four or five professional adult photographers get to do their release work inside the little building. And I’m working side by side with Bob who’s simply one of the best.
One can just imagine the prestige a photographer gets with all the entertainers just by being with such a small group. Since there’s no entertainment scheduled once the release work is completed, the other professional adult photographers and I accompany Bob, who’s become our unofficial fearless leader in a pilgrimage about the place.
For the next hour or two Bob assembles groups of entertainers for group photos. There’s also outdoor games the women participate in. By mid-afternoon most of us are hungry so we wind up wandering off in our cars in small groups to visit various restaurants throughout the area.
That’s how I found Dirty Heather. She had ridden down with two men from Iowa. One of them would eventually end up shooting Pure Talent’s showcases about the time I had finished shooting them.
They invited me to accompany them to lunch at the Olive Garden, two girls were with them, so that’s how I started getting to know Heather.
One thing about Nudes-A-Poppin. It’s held at a nudist colony for one thing. So the nudist colony’s rules must be religiously adhered to. One of the rules is there’s no swimming in the colony’s pool unless one is completely nude. On at least two occasions I found myself in a group of men and women completely naked in the pool drinking with the people around me. One time it was with Bob and several of the other photographers along with several very well known feature entertainers. The other time it was with several attractive unknown strippers who just happened to have the hotel room next to mine.
Now I don’t know if this is another rule or not, but I’ve heard that the Ponderosa Sun Ranch’s property does not allow hard ons.
At least not in public. If true, I don’t know what the nudist colony does with the offending member. Does it chop it off or does it expel its host from the community?
I will say that I’ve never been physically stimulated in a single one of my several visits there as a photographer. Of course we professional adult photographers are always fully clothed at Nudes-A-Poppin. Except when we are in the swimming pool.
This is not the case with the entertainers. In fact we are so constantly surrounded by all those naked female bodies that it all gets to be very ho hum.
We aren’t allowed to get hard ons even if we felt like getting them so what’s the whole point? Oh yes. The point is to get as many outstanding pictures as possible.
So take a look at the picture at the top of this post again? The girl is one of the very few who’s got any clothing on. I’ve got a lot more pictures of me with my head on the laps of fully naked entertainers. But is there really a difference? Pleasure and Pain will be featured in my gun article on the Baikal 12 gauge shotgun and I’ve got pictures of me lying all over a fully naked Pleasure, but there’s nothing going on here. And there isn’t with the girl in this picture either.
The only thing is although I’d first meet Pleasure at Nudes-A-Poppin, I’d later become good friends with her whereas the girl in this particular picture I’d never see again.
She was very cute. But she simply never showed up at any of the adult industry events I’d later be covering.
But back to Bob. Bob was no doubt one of the finest photographers in the adult entertainment business. He was also one of the most respected. For instance Lolly Tops who appears in “Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World” with the SKS rifle, used to call me up every week just to see how I was doing and to exchange the latest gossip. But she’d also call Bob up about every week. For one thing she knew Bob could be very influential to an entertainer’s career. He was shooting for “Cheri Magazine” and when he wasn’t he was shooting a lot of promo for entertainers.
Promo is a term for advertisements for adult entertainers that are centered around one or more professionally done pictures. These pictures are usually done in a studio setting where special lighting and props are being used.
Whenever an entertainer told me Bob produced her promo, I knew she was pretty serious about her career. I suppose that if someone were to see pictures of me naked in the Nudes-A-Poppin swimming pool with all those naked women. That all kinds of thoughts would be floating around about all the evil things we were doing to each other.
The reality, however, was all too mundane. I no longer think of Bob having sex with all his models. I’m sure that a lot of people must think the same way of me that I used to have of Bob. The truth is that it really makes no sense to be fucking one’s bread and butter. All kinds of problems crop up starting with one’s getting a very bad reputation in the adult community. The truth is men like Bob are true artists, which brings us back once more to the Rodin sculpture.
The sculpture is of two completely naked figures, one male and the other female embracing one another. Now one could call this pornographic because it goes so far as to suggest a sexual act.
But it’s considered art instead. Yet I’ve had my web site removed by IX Hosting a few years ago without any warning whatsoever. The reason given was that I violated their service agreement by showing “adult content” whatever that means. And I showed a lot less of the female anatomy than Rodin and many other famous artists.
I will argue, however that artists such as Rodin, have performed a very valuable service for the betterment of humanity. Sculptures such as a Venus show the female body in an idealized state. And since they are idealized they give women something to strive for in a quest to improve their bodies. The same is true for men because with a Rodin sculpture they can visualize men the way the Greeks saw them. Strong in intellect and body alike.
A great misfortune for all of humanity would have occurred if great artists like Rodin and Michelangelo would have had adult service agreements imposed on them.
I really think that humanity would have lost the measuring rod such sculptures represent that influence mankind to attempt to measure up to the physical excellence represented by the sculpture.
Take a look at the Rodin sculpture again. Rodin sculpted the male figure with a sturdy chest. Without any traces of a sagging beer gut. Its arms are powerful while the legs are muscular yet not overly thick. As to the female, her waist is slender, her breasts ample and firm but not overly large. Her backside is trim and well proportioned. Her legs are firm and nicely tapered. She is built the way women God wanted women to look.
And if you don’t believe me just use Google. And see what you can dig up on paintings, frescoes and sculptures of Spartan women. Spartan women were not fat. They were wonderfully slender and beautiful.
Now one can say, as I already have that a Rodin captured men and women in an idealized state in his sculptures. And that in the real world men and women don’t really exist. But the artwork still survives that suggests otherwise in Sparta.
What we are stuck with today is the Gunny Sack example, and as long as we are stuck with adult service agreements and strip club closures for their not measuring up to the ill conceived standards of those who wish to hide the human body, we will have lost sight of the beauty of the human form.
More than ever, we need more nudity, not less of it while recognizing the true genius of photographers such as Bob, who are the real artists of their time.
Ideally photographing naked women can be pure art. As much as a Rodin sculpting the perfect body of a nude goddess. But where should such nudity end?
Shooting pictures of fully naked women came with the territory. About every two months I’d be driving somewhere new in the United States to cover the Pure Talent Agency’s feature showcases. Which I won’t describe here because I’ve already covered them at Amazon.com where you can buy my latest book. Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World. But you have to buy the book to find out.
For example, I traveled to Providence Rhode Island to shoot hundreds of pictures a night at Club Fantasies for Pure Talent while staying in the same hotel as the feature entertainers who were performing in the showcase. Three times I’d travel to Big Al’s in Peoria, Illinois to shoot Pure Talent feature showcases. I did at least one showcase at the Lumberyard Strip Club in Des Moines, Ia. (The place really is an adult night club). Later I’d return to cover Miss Nude World at the Lumberyard, and after that I’ve lost count of how many times I’d come back to cover numerous adult events such as SPEW (Sexy Professional Exotic Wrestling) for Big Daddy and Big Mike (the Lumberyard’s G.M.) There would be a feature showcase at Lafayette, Indiana for the Continental Agency, two feature showcases for Pure Talent at the Candy Store in Mobile, Alabama, two more feature showcases for Pure Talent in Philadelphia and Baltimore, and so on. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s no telling how many digital pictures I wound up taking, but it’s has to be 100,000 or so, and after shooting the Rhode Island Showcase I turned in my Canon G-2 digital camera for the Nikon D-1 X, Nikon’s top of the line professional camera which set me back over $5000 for the camera body plus another $1300 for my favorite lens. By then I had decided that within the limits of what I could afford the women I was shooting deserved the best. Furthermore I was shooting for Pure Talent while writing for Xtreme Magazine, and I was doing professional work with an amateur camera which I felt was like bringing a BB gun to a gun fight. The Nikon D-1 X with the lens I had gotten could easily deliver over 1000 pictures a night at a quality level the other photographers around me could not match. That lens was so fine that even today I marvel at how it was able to produce a Three D effect. The entertainers seemed to literally be jumping out of their backgrounds. Lesser lenses simply wouldn’t do it. During all of this I met so many naked ladies that I cannot begin to count them. Such superior results came not because I was the superior photographer. It simply took a lot longer for other professional photographers to catch up. Several of them were having their equipment provided by the magazines they were shooting for and it took awhile for such magazines to catch onto the fact that shooting with film simply was no longer competitive. Photographers shooting next to me had to keep reloading their expensive Nikon film cameras while I was able to shoot over two hundred pictures before I had to pull my memory card out and put a new one in, a process that took less than 10 seconds. Other photographers covering the same events I was covering were using lesser cameras than the D-1 X that were fitted with cheaper lenses. Even today, I can tell a big difference between the heavy 28-70 mm Silent Wave Nikon lens and my much newer 18 by 200 mm Nikon that has anti vibration and all the other bells and whistles that retails for around $600.
And now, with my publishing Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World, once again the question has come up over how much nudity I should allow in the pictures I was publishing?
For me, the naked female body can be a beautiful thing. While photographing naked women can be an artistic accomplishment that depicts what women should strive for. If they want to be sexy. But during the past thirty years or so the average American has put on over 25 pounds, and although the guys compose part of this average the women have been even worse. Meanwhile clothing styles have evolved into what I will call the gunnysack cut. For men most of whom have pot bellies once they reach a certain age and fat behinds, this amounts to a lot of extra material in the legs and seats of their pants. For women, garments have evolved into gunny sacks of shapeless cut. Oftentimes they are called suits. But make no mistake, these “suits” were designed to hide the human body. But for those who’ve got it, it’s best to flaunt it. So show it off if you’ve got a nice trim waist or finely sculpted back muscles (Leah Layne comes to mind here who I’ve featured with the Tec 9). As for naked breasts, if they look nice show them for God’s sake. Most people wouldn’t shirk away at all from a woman who’s breast feeding her baby in public. But for a stripper to expose her breasts on stage, that’s bad. And why is it bad? It’s bad because strip clubs are bad evil places in the eyes of many people. But which is really more beautiful, a trim naked stripper showing off a pair of nicely formed breasts or a woman who’s recently been pregnant, pulling her breasts out of her bloated body to give milk to her baby? If you ask me the reason so many are offended when a stripper shows off her body, is jealousy compounded by the fact that whenever a prettier, more physically attractive woman shows off her well proportioned body, that act of displaying her beautiful body acts as a sad reminder of the far less attractive woman’s shortcomings. So, for those who appreciate real beauty in the female body, nakedness is good while wearing gunnysacks amounts to a huge cover up for all the bad habits the Western world has gotten into these past thirty years such as gluttony, unwillingness to exercise, too much drinking, and the denial of what one has become. But now that I’ve said all of that, I’ll also contend that too much of a good thing is just too much.
Even today now that I’m living in Pattaya, Thailand which probably has the largest number of the best looking women in the whole world, if you were to take me into six Pattaya go go bars, a couple of my friends might be inclined to say that two of them are good because the go-go dancers are completely naked whereas the other four are just so-so because the women are partially clothed. But I could care less because I’m far more concerned with how beautiful the women are, are they friendly or not friendly, will I be treated as a number or are at least some of the girls more willing to put in a better effort to get to know me just a little, even if ultimately their bottom line goal is to make as much money off of me as they can. The same was true in all the American clubs I used to visit. In the U.S. not only was it important for a club to have good looking women, it was equally important for me to establish some kind of meaningful rapport with at least one of the girls. In the course of establishing such a rapport I’d start to look at the women as much more than strippers taking off their clothes–I’d look at them as real people who I either really liked, despised or was ambivalent about.
At Nudes-A-Poppin all 100 of the female contestants would be roaming around the outdoor nude beauty pageant completely naked. Here I’d first meet Dirty Heather, Darien Ross, Pleasure and Pain, Leah Layne, and Amy, all six of whom would later be featured in my Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World articles. The thing about Nudes-A-Poppin is that after a few hours and definitely by the second day all that nudity started to get a little too overwhelming and one would find oneself once again wishing to find women wearing at least some clothing. The problem was that any slight physical defect in a contestant’s naked body would detract from her overall sexuality. The whole thing would start to become just a little too clinical. The other thing that started to bother me about shooting women in the nude was when the nudity started to go just a little too far.
My personal feeling on the subject is that a woman’s privates should remain private. Now I really don’t have any problems shooting pictures of naked women from a distance or in such a manner that her private areas do not appear in the pictures. Here I must draw a distinction between showcasing a picture of the most exquisitely formed breasts and all those vaginal shots that get so much attention in practically all porn. A sculpture of a naked Venus by a Rodin or Michelangelo would be considered art while I’d consider a picture that displays a woman’s privates while she’s playing with a dildo to be grotesque. Such pictures diminish the real woman lurking inside the body that’s showing off its most intimate areas. As for ass shots, I see nothing wrong with taking pictures of a woman’s ass so long as the picture suggests only that her body is very beautiful rather than showing something else, that is the stuff of porn.
Once in awhile I’d be called upon to shoot pictures of an entertainer who’s sticking a dildo up her private areas. I can’t say that I was actually disgusted by someone doing a show that featured weird tricks with a dildo, but I was at least more than a little bored by doing those kinds of pictures. The same would be true about shooting pictures of women having oral sex during a shower show. Once again, I felt that those kinds of pictures diminish the women who whether they are pretending to get it on in during the shower show or really getting into doing the real thing. In fact this is exactly what happened that weekend when Lolly Topps and her boyfriend visited me during a photo shoot I was doing of her for the SKS Xtreme Magazine article. After doing the shoot with Lolly Topps posing with Vic Meyer’s SKS the three of us had dinner together and then I took them to one of my favorite St. Louis Metro East strip clubs. Danny and I were talking and enjoying our beers together when Lolly Topp came back from visiting the club’s restroom fuming. Lollytops announced to both of us that one of the club’s customers had tried to grab her breasts and that she had almost slugged the man on the spot. A few minutes later two of the club’s naked entertainers started to practice cunnilingus on each other in a shower show as the club’s male customers cheered them on. Lollytopps kept repeating over and over to us, “I can’t believe this. I’ve never seen anything like that done in a club before.”
Plainly Lolly Tops was just flat out disgusted. Yet how many times had I taken nude pictures of her? And while being announced at Club Maximus while competing for MS. Texas, not to mention at other adult events the M.C. would be announcing Lolly’s credits including her being a porn star. When? I’d like to know because if I can imagine Lolly Tops doing porn at all it would probably have to be with her boyfriend alone in a bathtub filled to the brim with bubbles as they proceeded to sail a little toy boat back and forth in between the bubbles.
I got to know Lolly pretty well, and whenever I was around her I’d get the most wonderful vibes that I rarely ever felt when I was around a woman. I’m not sure but I think it was during the Miss Nude World pageant that I fell asleep in Lolly Topps room for a few minutes while she quietly talked with one of the other entertainers. She was just good people and that’s the best explanation I can give of her.
I really don’t know what Lolly Topps is doing right now. I’ve been living in Thailand for seven years now. And although I talked just three days ago with Arianna a Del on Skye I doubt if Arianna could tell me what Montana Steel is up to even though both women are from Louisville and that when I first became acquainted with them they were rooming together in a hotel room Big Al was paying for during a Pure Talent Feature Showcase. But I had gotten to know Montana as a very intelligent personable woman who was as common, ordinary and unpretentious as they come. I sure don’t want to be publishing any pictures of Montana where men can gawk at the display of her privates. And so it goes. As a group these were some of the finest women I’ve ever gotten to meet. It’s been a real privilege to work with them on the Extreme Magazine photo shoots not to mention all the other times we got to work together.
So here we are. There are now three distinct versions of Extreme Guns and Babes for an Adult World. Although I’ve already mentioned that I tamed some of the pictures down in order to attract a wider readership, I’ve eliminated the display of a woman’s privates out of respect for both myself and the women who did such an outstanding job in the photo shoots. And I’ve gone even further by covering up all shots of a woman’s breasts even though I have no personal problems displaying them. What I wanted was for the totality of my models’ overall attractiveness to shine in the pictures in a book that will hopefully be around for a long time. Because if I can, if I ever had the talent to do it, I’d prefer for this book to later on be considered as pure art.
the Extreme Guns Babes for an Adult World is now published on Kindle. Hopefully I can finish a printed version in a month. Extreme Guns Babes for an Adult World is my fourth book and the first I’ve published on Kindle after publishing the printed edition.
The book has a lot of pictures. And since a book containing full color images is so expensive to produce I felt Kindle represented a far more affordable option. Extreme Guns Babes for an Adult World contains sensational pictures of sexy strippers. Carrying guns. And Kindle captures such riveting pictures much better than print ever can.
I think electronic publishing is the future, but I still want to have my own copy. That I can see, feel and touch of something that’s entirely my own.
That represents a combination of the best that I could do with camera, and Graphics Arts to design the book. But the pictures will be much smaller and they will be in black and white. So for most of you who are interested in this book, I recommend getting it on Kindle.
The title Extreme Guns Babes for an Adult World says a lot about this book. I produced the book within the context of the adult world. That is the adult entertainment world of strippers, topless dancers, feature entertainers and topless clubs. I did some of my photo shoots in topless clubs, And all of my models for Extreme Guns Babes for an Adult World without a single exception were strippers or feature entertainers. I wrote over twenty of my articles for Xtreme Magazine, a small adult magazine on the East Coast. And I shot all the pictures of the models in the articles. Some of the articles never made it into Xtreme for one reason or the other.
Jeremy was the reason I was able to write gun articles for an adult magazine. When I met Jeremy he was Xtreme’s editor.
Now he’s in charge of all four of Xtreme’s franchises and has to concentrate on making money for the magazine. When Jeremy asked me to write an article about my .454 Casul revolver, he was writing a large portion of Xtreme’s articles himself. There was the Horror Scope. And no, that is not a misspelling. Jeremy’s horoscopes were insanely funny. And when I first started out writing for Xtreme Jeremy was writing his “Adventures of the Backdoor Man in his Search for the Holy Tail” series. By the time he wrote “The Laundryman Pervert” which he did not dare publish in Xtreme, it was obvious that Jeremy was pretty far out there.
My article on my .454 Casul, a revolver that’s so powerful that it would often be used to hunt elephants and Alaskan Brown Bear, represented an abrupt departure from anything that could be expected from an adult magazine focusing on Tits and Ass. “The 454, One handed Buffalo Stopper”didn’t even mention women. There were no pictures or reference to them whatsoever.
I didn’t even include in my second second gun article either. For “The Israeli Soldier and his Uzi”
I went to a university’s library to find articles covering Israel’s Seven Day War. Although I actually put a couple hundred rounds through a fully automatic Uzi sub machine gun the article focused on the Historical reasons Israel would arm its troops with such a short ranged weapon. I did not bring female models into my gun articles until the book’s third chapter. And then I brought a young shapely PT’s stripper to my apartment for “The Roxy’s Bomb Girl and 007’s Walther PPK.
There are several aspects about the Extreme Guns Babes for an Adult World magazine articles that made them unique .
First, I never wrote them for an audience whose concern is only about guns. Since “Xtreme” was a free magazine that was distributed in topless clubs, I had to design it to appeal to readers who are less technically inclined than your typical gun magazines reader.
Since I have a keen interest in History I’d often write about the Historical context that caused each weapon to evolve the way it did. I’m sure the book turned out to be vastly different from what most from what people expected from a series of gun articles called Xtreme Weapons Babes in an Adult World.
For the most part the articles are all about guns just as one might expect out of any other gun article. True enough, I spent a lot of time choosing the models for the photo shoots accompanying the articles. There was also a lot of attention to detail during the photo shoots.
Not only from me, but also from the women posing with the weapons.
These are exotic entertainers after all and what most people don’t realize is the women are very professional when it comes to doing pictures.
Most women outside the adult industry will pose in front of a camera for two or three pictures tell their husband or boyfriend photographer, “That’s enough. ” But adult entertainers will shoot over two hundred pictures knowing full well that nothing less than perfection will do. And that the lighting for a picture can change at a moment’s notice. Or the slightest change of expression will ruin a picture. The photographer also needs to take the most favorable angles of the model to show her figure off to full advantage. Typically my photo shoots for Extreme Guns Babes for an Adult World would comprise between one and two hundred pictures.
Above all I wasn’t just some guy out to make a buck who’s snap up a couple of women to shoot pictures of them with guns. I was a gun nut myself who truly looked forward to doing each gun article as an opportunity to fully explore the potential of those weapons I was personally interested in.
Consider that my first gun was a 30-06 Springfield which I worked all summer for when I was just twelve years old. This was no pellet gun or even a .22.
It shot three and a half inch shells and it would penetrate right through a thirty inch tree. So when I’ was contemplating what weapon to cover next for Xtreme I’d start thinking about what gun I wanted to shoot next. Or which gun I had read a lot about, oftentimes from boyhood on,. And then I’d set about trying to find that particular gun for my next gun article.
When it came to the M-1 Garand, I went out and spent eight hundred dollars of my own money just so that I could personally experience all the great things about the M-1 that gave the American infantryman such a huge edge over his counterparts during the 2nd World War.
The same thing happened to me with the Springfield M-1 A. When I first wrote about the rifle for Xtreme I had taken Darien Ross all the way down to Vic Meyers’ farm so that she could model with his M-15.
Which was a fully automatic version of the M1’s successor. But I became so intrigued with my own article that I went out and bought my own Springfield M-1 A. Which is a commercialized version of the miliary’s M14 and M15’s.
The same would prove true with my M-16 article. Again, I took the model, in this case Arianna a del, to Vic Meyer’s farm where she poses with an M-16. But it wasn’t long after Xtreme Published the article that I bought my own M-16 in the form of an AR-15 which is the civilian version of the military weapon.
I think everyone involved had a terrific time doing those Xtreme Weapons photo shoots that were the heart of the gun articles.
The girls loved posing with the guns, oftentimes getting to shoot automatic weapons in the process. And since I didn’t have any automatic weapons which are illegal to own unless one has a specialized license to have or sell them, I was able to get anything I wanted because I could offer the gun dealers who had them a part in the photo shoots that centered around a very attractive personable adult entertainer.
It took a lot of far sighted fun loving people to get all those photo shoots and magazine articles done. Starting with an editor who wanted to produce something that was far more interesting than what all the other magazines were printing. And it took a group of women who’d be willing to spend a lot of their time getting to and from the photo shoots without receiving any direct cash reimbursement. And then there were the gun dealers. It’s not easy to find a 50 caliber tripod mounted machine gun and then one needs to set it up for the photo shoot. So I owe all of them a lot for all their hard work and time. This is the result of all that went into over two years of all that tremendous effort.
.There are two editions of Death on the Wild Side because I wanted the book to look a lot better. So I did the entire 2nd edition myself.
In 1995 I published the 1st edition of Death on the Wild Side. Back in those days I visited the strip clubs in the Saint Louis Metro East three times a week. I farmed 560 acres by myself while writing the novel. I kept very busy back then and today I am simply amazed that I could accomplish it all. Being at times a bit of a braggart and very much a showoff, back in the clubs I kept telling everyone, “Yes, I am writing a novel and I will have it published soon”, and true to my word, I did.
I was using film cameras back in those days so when I got around to putting the pictures together for Death on the Wild Side I had to depend on the quality of my cameras. And how good a job others could do processing the film and getting the pictures print ready.
Although I typeset the entire book myself using my Word perfect Word processor I looked over twenty-four different printing companies to see which one could do the best job at the best price. I chose Gilliand Printing Company to do the job. Then I ordered a large enough number of books so that I could buy in at a low enough cost. So that I could hopefully make some money out of Death on the Wild Side. Gilliand produced the novel’s covers based on my initial specifications.
With the book finished at last, it was time to decide how to sell it. Only then did I begin to learn the harsh truths of what I was up against. First off, a self published author such as myself could expect low profit margins. Even worse, the prospect of facing bookstores and other outlets that paid their bills 60 days or even later came as a shock. I got an even greater shock when I learned that oftentimes the author-publisher would not be paid at all. The next harsh reality was the issue of damaged books. And that I’d likely be responsible for any books one of my re-sellers claimed got damaged in his store.
This whole thing was starting to look like a very bad deal for me, and no fun at all. But I learned about these self publishing harsh realities in how to do books after it was already too late. After that truck dropped off a few pallets of books at my front door. I soon came contrived numerous excuses for avoiding the plunge into such self publishing unpleasantness. Such as cold calling book stores and acting as my own collection agency. I had to harvest corn, plant soybeans, supercharge my Miata sports car, etc.
Then I discovered the internet and said to myself…”Now that’s the way I need to go out and sell Death on the Wild Side.
But by discovering the internet I created a monster. Digital photography was a monster. Because it took me completely away from my original purpose of getting on the internet in the first place. Which was to sell books. I started doing a lot of digital photography because I could easily put whatever pictures I took up on the internet.
And because I was already visiting strip clubs on a regular basis I found that I had gotten very popular with strippers in the Saint Louis Metro East and certain club managers and owners.
The digital photography ended up paying huge dividends and to make a long story short, eventually I found myself writing two articles a month for adult magazines while shooting pictures in strip clubs all over the United States.
Oftentimes clubs and feature talent agencies were paying for my hotel rooms. And strip clubs were paying me several hundred dollars a night to hang out with the kind of people I always wanted to hang out with in the first place.
By then, I didn’t know if I should tell people I was a writer or a photographer. I was already Jack Corbett, which wasn’t my real name. And although I had started out as a writer by writing Death on the Wild Side, people had started calling me “the photographer.” So was I a photographer or was I a writer? For Xtreme Magazine I did both. But what was I really best at? And I was doing my own web site work as well.
I started to think of myself as a jack of all trades and a master of none. I wasn’t making a living doing photography. Most of my money was coming in from the farm. And when people would offer to pay me money for shooting weddings and other events I had no interest in, Id simply tell them. “No way.” Once in awhile people would ask me to shoot porn. And once again, I’d tell them, “I’m not into it and I’m not doing it.”
By this time I was starting to shoot a little video and my stripper friends and I started to concoct some really off the wall stuff while enjoying ourselves to the hilt.
I met my real Waterloo when my editor from Xtreme Magazine asked me to do a cartoon to go with one of my Dick Fitswell articles.
Jeremy was about to publish it in Xtreme. So I told Jeremy, “Look, I can take excellent pictures. And I can write well enough and I can do web site work. But there’s one thing I can’t do. I just can’t draw.” Jeremy asked me to try anyway. So I drew a cartoon and after Jeremy received it, he replied, “You sure were right, Jack. You really can’t draw.”
Eventually I ended up moving to Thailand. Where I started playing around with the idea of writing a few short stories some of my new companions.
When one of my German friends found out I was writing about a German builder I called “Herman the German” he started laughing his ass off, and from then on he kept asking me about how I was faring with Herman the German and the Fun House.
My German friend kept goading me on. So eventually I turned my little project into the novel that became, Welcome to the Fun House. It was while writing Welcome to the Fun Housethat I really started to investigate “Print by Demand Publishing” where I could turn out just one or two or for that matter two hundred books at a time with virtually no up front costs to myself.
At this time another one of my German friends, Ludwig Johner, a retired architect, was doing oil painting upstairs while taking care of his ninety year old mother who had Alzheimer’s disease. I felt Ludwig was truly an excellent artist with a really whacked out way of looking at life through his paintings and that’s when I decided that the front cover design for Welcome to the Fun House should be based on one of his paintings. I wound up producing the entire design of the back cover from scratch by myself.
When my first proof copies of Welcome to the Fun House came in I was astonished at how good the book looked.
To my eyes it looked far more attractive than the usual fare one finds in most bookstores. I had learned something after all from playing around with graphics arts programs such as Photoshop doing promo for strippers and doing my web site work. And that is when I vowed to turn out a new edition of Death on the Wild Side. Everything had just turned out so well with Welcome to the Fun House from the quality of the paper, the overall appearance of the book and the attractiveness of the text inside the book, but most of all it was the front and rear covers that made the book exceed my expectations.
The first big decision I had to make about the coming 2nd edition of Death on the Wild Side was who was going to be my cover girl. I had thousands of pictures to choose from that I had taken in strip clubs from Las Vegas, the Saint Louis Metro East. Indiana, and Texas, all the way over to the East Coast in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts and I had scores of entertainers to choose from. I asked myself, “out of all those entertainers, which girl most consistently photographed the best? In my heart, I knew who the girl would be before I even delved into all those pictures. So it didn’t take long out of those thousands of pictures for me to find the perfect shot.
When I received my two proof copies of Death on the Wild Side from Amazon I was stunned. The book was simply gorgeous.
My Thai girlfriend immediately said, “I want one. That one is my copy,” she said while pointing at one of the two books. She still keeps it close to her bedside.
It is as close to perfection as I could make it. As for its ultimate success or failure in the marketplace, only time will tell. After all, I might not be really all that terrific as an author. Who knows. Even so, if it were in a bookstore right now competing for space against all its competition, I am confident it would be crying out, “Look at me. Look at me. See how pretty I am.”