Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Xaviera Hollander - "The Happy Hooker"

Hands up all those read some of her books during the seventies.  I did.  And they were among landmark books about sexual frankness, though with authors now following the "Fifty Shades of Grey" line of writing, they might be considered old hat.  One point about "...Shades" is that the basic premise of the plot, sexual perversion, bondage, etc is the plot to the "Story of O" by Pauline Reage`.

    Xaviera Hollander was born on June 15th 1943 to parents of mixed heritage in Soerabaja in the Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia, and spent her first three years in a Japanese internment camp.  After the war, her family moved to Holland, and in her early twenties, she moved from Amsterdam to Johannesburg, where her stepsister lived.  Here she met and became engaged to an American, John Weber.  But the romance ended, so she moved to New York where she worked as a secretary for the Dutch Consulate in Manhattan. She quit this job in 1968 and worked as a high class call girl, getting more than $1000 a night for her services to wealthy clients.  She soon became so successful she started her own brothel known as the "Vertical Whorehouse".  She enjoyed great financial success but in 1971, the NYPD shut her down and she was deported.

    She wrote her memoirs, assisted by author Robin Moore, but the book itself was written by a woman named Yvonne Dunleavy.  It was Moore who came up with the title "The Happy Hooker".  She claimed that she never asked for cash but her clients gave her plenty of money and numerous gifts.  Right.  She lived in Montreal for some years during the seventies, marrying an antique dealer.  She was also the advice columnist for adult magazine "Penthouse" for 35 years.  She also wrote a number of both fictional and non-fictional books.  In 1997, she announced that she had become gay and had a long relationship with a Dutch woman poet named Dia.  She married again in 2007 to Dutchman Philip De Haan.  She probably blazed a path for the likes of Heidi Fleiss to follow.