|Feb 1 2024
More sleaze from Beacon-Signal, this time in the medical sub-genre, with Elaine Dorian's, aka Isabel Moore's 1962 effort The Sex Cure. We last saw her when we read her 1961 novel Love Now Pay Later, which was marketed as sleaze but was actually rather ambitious. There's more deceptive marketing here. The Sex Cure has a certain amount of eroticism, but what you mainly get is the serious tale of a philandering doctor trying to change his ways after his latest girlfriend almost dies from an illegal abortion.
This is not, strictly speaking, entirely the doctor's fault. He'd given his girlfriend money and sent her to a reliable practitioner, but she'd kept most of the cash, went cheap on the procedure, and it cost her. To the doc's dismay, because she'd had to speak to police about the incident, his name is out and his reputation is ruined. There's more to the book, as well as numerous characters and subplots, but is it worth reading? Well, as a pure drama it's nothing special, and it isn't erotic enough to be sleaze, so we can't recommend it.
However, it does have an interesting backstory. Apparently it was based on actual goings-on in Cooperstown, New York. The story goes that when Dorian moved there in 1961 the locals learned or already knew that she was a novelist, and in their zeal to cozy up to a local celebrity passed along the town's gossip. Dorian repackaged much of what she heard into The Sex Cure, and when the townspeople got wind of the novel's contents they were displeased. You can read the entire story at New York Magazine here.