Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Happy Hooker Gets the Girl: "Happy Hooker" Xaviera Hollander Tells All about Her New Memoir, Her Reissued '70S Sex Tome, and "Turning Gay" in Midlife. (Books)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Happy Hooker Gets the Girl: "Happy Hooker" Xaviera Hollander Tells All about Her New Memoir, Her Reissued '70S Sex Tome, and "Turning Gay" in Midlife. (Books)

Article excerpt

A generic hotel lobby, filled with dowdy couples in matching golf attire, is the last place one would expect to find the infamous Xaviera Hollander, author of the newly reissued 1972 cult classic The Happy Hooker. But there she is, sitting quietly on a beige sofa, almost blending in except for her dramatic eye makeup, diaphanous gypsy-style floral-print blouse, and butch companion, whom she introduces as "my slave girl of 28 years."

"Say hello and then say goodbye and go," she says mock-sternly. Hollander, who was born Xaviera de Vries, fondly watches the woman go. "She's a great help to me, but sometimes she teases me and provokes me to the point of anger, and I have to punish her," says Hollander. "So it's an S/M relationship, but it's a lasting, loving, lifelong bond, and no one can come between us." She pauses to flash a naughty smile, then adds, "Of course, she's not my girlfriend, just my slave girl."

Oh, yes, there's a girlfriend too. "I turned gay about five years ago," Hollander begins. "I always had women as a second dish, for when I was a bit fed up with men. But now I have a relationship with a woman, Dia, that I write quite a bit about in [my memoir], and we've been together five years."

Now men are the occasional side dish for Hollander, 59, whose sexual adventures continue. For instance, tonight this icon of carnal fulfillment has a poetic escapade planned that makes those Sex and the City girls look like downright prudes--a date with a man who lost his virginity to Hollander 25 years ago, when she was working as a prostitute in New York and he was just 18. "We've been E-mailing for two years now," she says excitedly, "so tonight we're going to consummate the act again after a quarter of a century."

Amusing, instantly likable, and whip-smart, Hollander is in possession of a life so unconventional and fantastical, it's more twisted than fiction. No wonder people seek her advice on sexual protocols each month in her Call Me Madam column, which has run in Penthouse for the past 30 years. To boot, she has published more than a dozen books of erotica in Europe, has just recorded a reflective spoken-word CD, and is a fringe theater enthusiast who regularly travels to the Edinburgh Festival and stages performances in her Amsterdam home, also a bed-and-breakfast, "or really a bed-and-brothel," she jokes. …

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