The Orgasm Addicts front cover

The Orgasm Addicts front cover

by Nelson Johns
Published in 1968 by Classic Publications

I purchased this book knowing absolutely nothing about it other than its title.  Judging from that, I assumed that I would be in for a predictable ride into the horrors of nymphomania and/or sex addiction.  Not otherwise very exciting, but for some reason I bought the book anyway.

When I actually had the book in my hot little hands, I noticed the cover blurb promising “The confession of young married people whose sexual pleasures could be achieved only by brutality and pain, SADISM and MASOCHISM!”  That promise warmed my twisted little heart, and I was glad to have avoided a ho hum nympho expose.

“The Orgasm Addicts” is the life story of a married couple, Nelson and Lana.  Though the book only lists one author, the narrative was written as a dialogue.  Frustratingly, it’s often difficult to tell when narrator from the other.  However, the tone is conversational and the prose reads easily.

Nelson reveals himself a masochist and Lana a sadist.  As Nelson recounts his childhood, we learn that Nelson could never quite live up to his father’s expectations of what it is to be a man.  As Nelson grows apart from his father, he grows closer to his mother. In fact after Nelson’s father dies, they grow so close that only Oedipus (and perhaps Freud) would approve. Though Nelson grows into a successful real estate agent as an adult, his life story represents an near flawless archetype of a submissive male’s life story as it was (and still is) perceived in the popular consciousness.

Nelson’s wife Lana’s childhood also represents the archetypical background of a sadistic (man-hating) woman Lana too grew up in a “broken” home.  Her father died when she was little and her uneducated mother had to work hard to feed Lana’s five siblings.  Lana’s introduction to sex came from the landlord via a rape.  Soon enough she discovers the power of her sexuality and uses it torment boys at every opportunity.

Neither Nelson nor Lana is able to find anyone they want to marry until they meet.  When they do finally meet and date, their shared passion causes them to be hopelessly enamored of each other.  The rest of the book is dedicated to the ebb and flow of their marital relations.

After they marry, they turn their back on their kinky sex interests. Their passion wanes and their sex life becomes predictable when it’s existent at all.  They eventually rediscover and embrace their respective kinks and grow close again. Expanding their horizons of sexual discovery, they begin to meet other similarly perverted people through correspondence clubs. These encounters cause them to both accept and reject the notion that they’re all alone in the perversion.

And that’s that. Only it’s not.  Despite the confusing and distracting prose previously mentioned, this is still a good book.  While virtually every bit of this tome is clearly fiction designed to scandalize and arouse the reader, there are passages interspersed throughout that suggest a personal familiarity with a sadomasochistic relationship. Especially heartening for me was the passage where Lana discusses the deep respect they hold for each other in terms both endearing and romantic. Later in this same passage is a plea for sexual acceptance that may be the most eloquent I’ve ever read.