Reviews of 9 1/2 Years Behind the Green Door



$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:

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

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. 

Jen Cross facilitates   supportive erotic writing classes and workshops. Her site is

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   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  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  Deborah danced at the O’Farrell in the 80s  and appeared in two Mitchell Brothers films. 

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

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

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 

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 

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

Reviews of Alice In Ultraland

"An exciting look into the world of burlesque dancer, Alice. Corday incorporates a supernatural touch to this adventure as Alice and her friends set out on a voyage throughout California where they meet ghosts, ghost hunters, and the banshee of the Moulin Rouge. Wicked fun with an amazing cast of characters." — San Francisco Book Review 


The first thing that comes to mind is that this book is fun. A really fun story about a girl named Alice who works for a strip club, aka burlesque theatre, called the Moulin Rouge. The owner, Sally Hyde, along with her son, Tommy, is making some changes and planning on upping their game to transform the Moulin Rouge into Ultraland. I absolutely love the punny title of this book as well as the way Alice really does seem to slide down the rabbit hole…or rather to Tahoe. Upon being hired at Ultraland, Alice discovers that Deidre, her best friend who got her the job, has been dating Tommy and is madly in love. Through a series of events, Alice finds herself with a group of other ladies from the club and a few surprising supernatural guests who live at the club, taking a trip to Tahoe to find a secret something that one of the ghosts had hidden long ago.

I really loved the characters in this book. Alice seemed like a very normal, good-head-on-her-shoulders-type of gal, while the other dancers were very fancy and outspoken. Tommy Hyde is a very big playboy, although we find that he is not very fond of the creatures from another realm. One ghost was an Olympic hopeful who died tragically and goes to see his girlfriend in one part of the book.

Another part of the book that was fantastic was the description of the theater. With its velvet drapes, sconces, and chandeliers, the reader can only imagine what it would be like to step onto the stage of Ultraland. The author paid much attention to detail, from the decor to the costumes and acts the women would be performing, which I enjoyed reading about. The best part of the book was that it was written with class. The author’s main focus was not on the dancing itself but about the characters, their relationships, and their development throughout the story. Some of the ghosts were quite funny. Being from the San Francisco Bay Area, I appreciated the author’s description of the various neighborhoods. From the Tenderloin to Burlingame to Half Moon Bay, I was able to say that I knew where all of those places are in relation to each other, and it made the story easier to visualize.

Overall, this book was an easy-to-read story with colorful characters and a beautiful backdrop. The plot was simple to follow but believable sans ghosts. I truly enjoyed reading Alice in Ultraland.

San Francisco Book Review 

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