Reviews

$pread Magazine
     Shakti Ziller

In 9 1/2 Years  Behind the Green Door,  readers are taken back to 1980s San Francisco and  into the world of  Simone Corday, a stripper working during the heyday of the  infamous  Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theater. Opened as an X-rated movie  theater  by brothers Jim and Artie Mitchell, the O'Farrell was and remains one   of America's oldest, most notorious adult-entertainment establishments.  This  nightspot  was the major force behind the normalization of lap  dancing in  strip clubs nationwide. Corday's memoir is a lengthy peek at  the  lives of  the theater's management and employees, most notably her  lover of ten years,  Artie Mitchell.
 

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The Village Voice
     Tristan Taormino

Brothers Jim and  Artie Mitchell  are sex-industry legends. They're the best known for  producing several porn films (including Behind the Green Door)  and  running the infamous strip club, the O'Farrell Theater. Opened in  1969, the  O'Farrell occupied a unique place at the center of a  burgeoning San Francisco  sexual subculture. It featured rooms with  different themes, live girl/girl  action, and stage shows, some of which  were less standard striptease and more  avant-garde performance art.  Nina Hartley, a house dance at the O'Farrell in  the mid-80's, says it  was freewheeling, open, and laid-back: "What made it  special was that  there was live, hardcore lesbian sex. ...I loved that it was  so easy to  get some action every week. All I had to do was ask one of three or   four women if they wanted company onstage. ...At least one woman per  week would  say yes, so I was like a kid in a candy store." Behind the  scenes, the  brothers hosted outrageous private parties where special  guests were treated to  fisting, bondage shows, and orgies. The theater  attracted celebrities, rock  stars, politicians, artists, writers,  including Hunter S. Thompson, who spent a  great deal of time there  during Hartley's era researching a book called The  Night Manager that was never published.

The brothers  constantly pushed the envelope when  it came to how much contact dancers could  have with customers. It was  one of the first clubs to offer live sex shows --  without glass  separating the dancers from the audience -- and also nude  lapdancing  (until both were outlawed). The San Francisco mayor and district   attorney repeatedly attempted to shut down the Mitchell brothers,  conducting  stings, raids, and arrests. The two spent a fortune  defending themselves and  won more than they lost. By many accounts, Jim  and Artie were both inseparable  best friends and frequently warring  siblings.
 

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Read the review in San  Francisco Magazine, Henry Jones

Read the review in The San Francisco Weekly,  Hiya  Swanhuyser

Read the review in The San Francisco Chronicle, Reyhan Harmanci

Read the interview in the Danish newspaper Politiken, Ida Jeng

Read the interview in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Sarah Phelan

There are too many resources on sex, the sex  business, and writing for me to mention, but here is a list of some  valuable sites:

Charles Gatewood graciously allowed me the use of  one of his post-modern pinup photos for my  bookcover.  His books,  prints and  videos, plus a gallery of his images are available at http://www.charlesgatewood.com/.  His photos document  the history of the alt-sex community for the last 40 years.

The Center for Sex and Culture hosts a wide array of classes and events, including the  monthly Erotic Reading Circle. Its site is sexandculture.org. The Center thrives because of the efforts of its founder, the accomplished   author, speaker, and performer, Dr. Carol Queen. www.carolqueen.com

Good Vibrations, which is more than just the  premier San   Francisco Bay area & online sex-toy emporium.  It was  established by Joani Blank in 1975 as a friendly, "clean,    well-lighted" alternative to conventional "adult" bookstores.  They also    offer books, videos, community events, and classes.  http://www.goodvibes.com/ 

Jen Cross facilitates   supportive erotic writing classes and workshops. Her site is www.writingourselveswhole.org/

Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., Porn Star and Prostitute  turned Sex Guru and Performance Artist, has  written several books and  co-directed and appeared in the terrific Annie  Sprinkle’s Herstory of  Porn --ANNIESPRINKLE.ORG.  Annie appeared as a star at the  O’Farrell when I was dancing there.

Susie Bright is a   prolific author, speaker and editor of the popular Herotica seriesShe blogs at Susiebright.com.   Susie appeared in Behind the Green Door, the Sequel.

Nina Hartley, sex-positive  porn star, performer, speaker and author of Nina Hartley’s Guide to Total Sex, has  a blog at www.nina.com  Nina began dancing at the O’Farrell,  appeared in the Mitchell Brothers film The  Grafenberg Spot, and has frequently appeared as a star there.

Deborah Sundahl is a sex educator, author of Female Ejaculation and the G-spot, and  director/producer of a video series on the subject.  Her site is www.deborahsundahl.com.  Deborah danced at the O’Farrell in the 80s  and appeared in two Mitchell Brothers films. 

Jamie Gillis is a legendary porn star and director.   He developed the “On the Prowl” Gonzo porn series.  His site is www.jamiegillis.com

Spread Magazine is written by and for sex workers of all genders,  sexualities, and backgrounds, and their allies. Its site is http://www.spreadmagazine.org.

www.Diaryofapeepshowgirl.blogspot.com is written by Chelsea O'Neill .

Recent Books about Stripping & Porn:

Strip City, a  Stripper’s Farewell Journey Across America,  was written by journalist/novelist Lily Burana.  She danced at the  O’Farrell in the early 90s,  and was a named plaintiff in the class  action suit against the theater. Lily’s  blog is at www.lilyburana.com

Candy Girl, A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper, was written by  Diablo Cody, who worked in clubs in Minneapolis, and since then has become  a screenwriter, and appeared on David LettermanHer blog can be read at diablocody.blogspot.com/

How to Make Love like a Porn   Star, A Cautionary Tale is the best-selling memoir by mega-star Jenna   Jameson.   Jenna’s site is at www.ClubJenna.com. 

Lapdancer, by photographer/writer Juliana Beasley, was published by  Powerhouse Books.

Heather Hunter made star appearances at the O’Farrell.   She wrote a novel, Insatiable:  The Rise of a Porn Star, that was published this summer.  She is now a hip hop artist and painter whose  site is www.heatherhunter.com/ 

Recent Books  about Burlesque:

Pretty Things, The Last Generation of American  Burlesque Queens was written by Liz Goldwyn, who also produced and  appeared in an HBO documentary of the same title.

Burlesque and the Art of the  Teese/Fetish and the Art of the Teese, by Dita Von Teese.  Her website is www.dita.net/