Next up for review is a classic piece of, what I believe the old timers called, "pornographic garbage", from that age before the Internet and when you had to go to the store to get your porn the old fashioned way, the 80's, The Chamber Of Pleasures by Opal Andrews. It was kind of a treat to get a hold of this book, since I grew up on Bee Line cheapies and "letters" magazines. And as I began reading the story I found myself doubly delighted, because it seemed that Andrews was writing the same kind of story that I, myself, have always tried to tell. Unfortunately, like the 80's, nothing last forever.
The Chamber Of Pleasures is the story of Victoria, sole child in a poor family who goes to live with her Aunt Isobel, to relieve her parents' financial burden. Soon after moving in with her aunt Victoria's parents commit suicide, leaving her with her strict and somewhat domineering aunt, who decides to rename her Tori. Soon she learns a secret about her rich and dominant aunt, she's actually a submissive sex slave to her neighbor, Erik Parker, and his servants, Lois and Miles, a fact she learns by sneaking out one night and viewing the goings on through Parker's basement window.
The things she has seen through the basement window begin to give Tori ideas, fueling her need to masturbate, and masturbate often. Then her aunt goes back to Tori's home to take care of her parent's estate, and in her absence Parker and his servants kidnap Tori, teaching her that the chamber of pleasures is anything but.
The story starts out with a slow and steady pace, and looks very much like something other than trashy/shock fare, all told in diary form (mostly from Victoria's point of view). Once she's kidnapped what was an above average story begins to fall apart and becomes a gratuitous series of rape scenes (mainly anal), that our heroine flip-flops between loving and hating. Her life and actions after being released from her captors further devalues the beginning quarter of the novel. The faux Victorian style that Victoria writes in is slightly charming at first, but begins to get annoying after a while, even to the point that Lois makes fun of it during the period she had seized the diary and is relating what is happening to her during her imprisonment.
Of course it goes without saying the narrative provides plenty of unintentional humor as modern Tori attempts to describe sexual situations in a refined style. Andrews gives us such gems as:
"The poor mistreated ripe melons of her breasts jiggled and bounced and swung wildly."
And this line describing Lois and Miles engaging in oral sex:
"But now, even as I stared, the menacing cylinder of steely sexual flesh throbbed and jerked before the face of the kneeling Lois."
While masturbating Tori massages her breasts, noting:
"Without my awareness my own hands caught and massaged my bosom's soft round bulges, unconsciously crushing and worrying the swollen tips until I find them still tender as I write this..."
In describing herself giving oral sex Tori says:
"I ate him then, sliding my mouth and face up and down the big throbbing red pole of his sex until my forehead and strained, tautened cheeks glistened with sweat from my exertions."
Wait! His pole of sex was red???
Then there's this line describing anal sex:
"Ummm-m-m-mmm," I sighed, smiling as I felt the big solid prick slide up and up into the often opened and probed but still tight hot hole that leads up into my bowels."
Yes, kids, I shit you not. Above is an example of the extreme lack of commas in the 1980's.
Of course Ms. Andrews is not above giving us a nice and romantic line. Like this one:
"He opened my thighs as he'd have pulled apart those of a suddenly coy whore."
"I squealed and drummed my heels on the bed when his tight furry balls gushed their sperm deep into the receptacle for his masculine offering."
Later on Tori is not afraid to take charge:
"I impaled my own rectum on the great shaft just as it started to spew forth its liquid lust!"
Wouldn't that fall under post-mature lubrication more than premature ejaculation?
Finally, she knows that her lover has the ability to produce some strong swimmers, as she says:
"But we soon had him nestled between the cheeks of my bottom, pumping and pumping and soon he sent another lake of liquid seed up to meet that he had poured down my throat."
All in all The Chamber Of Pleasures is not a totally terrible work, although it is not all that great, nor does it advocate Safe, Sane or Consensual BDSM. It was pretty obvious from the beginning of the novel that Opal Andrews could craft an interesting and engrossing story, but unfortunately once it got to the sex the story became as cheap and tawdry as any badly made porn film from the era. In the end The Chamber Of Pleasures gets Three Stars from me.
You can get your copy of The Chamber Of Pleasures here:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-chamber-of-pleasures-opal-andrews/1107746992
Lurk for it if you dare to brave horrible faux Victorian dialogue.