‘Laura Meets Jeffrey’: An X-Rated ‘Literary’ Love Story

in Nonfiction by

James Wolcott in “Vanity Fair”:

“Jeffrey Michelson’s reflections on fighting and fucking are like a bolt of bourbon, a careening chronicle of orgies, S&M, hanging and banging with the stars, and related calisthenics.”

Anka Radakovich in “British GQ”:

“Laura Meets Jeffrey” is a fascinating nonfiction “erotic memoir.” Jeffrey Michelson chronicles the wildest, most intense sexual scene in New York City’s history. This book is raunchy, dirty and disgusting. I couldn’t put it down.”

Norman Mailer from his foreword:

“Objective, funny, salacious, and perversely—dare I say it—uplifting!”

For Valentine’s Day, I offer you “Laura Meets Jeffrey,” a hot, wild, real-life memoir.

I do so, however, with a warning. Reviewers have called it “undeniably brilliant” and Norman Mailer called it “literature,” but this erotic memoir by Jeffrey Michelson and Laura Bradley has also been labeled “a filthy, dirty, well-written book with a lot of heart.” It’s for those who are accepting of, or eager for, stories of BDSM, prostitution, orgies, whippings, drugs, and what some might call explicitly—or exquisitely—detailed pornography.

 

(Full disclosure: I helped edit this book. It was a licentious job, but someone had to do it. Also, just before he passed away, Norman Mailer suggested I do so because I’d known both the authors for decades.)

This epic sexual odyssey begins in 1980, when Laura meets Jeffrey at an upscale brothel in New York City where she is working to pay off her husband’s gambling debts.  Jeffrey and Laura share an apocalyptic orgasm, explode in thermonuclear lust, move in together, and explore every permutation of sex the city of sin and the decade of excess has to offer.

These two libidomaniacs with off-the chart sex drives are made for each other. Laura, 27, is a flower child, lingerie model, and high-class party girl. Jeffrey, 33, got his start in 1970 when John Lennon appointed him advertising designer for the Beatles’ Apple Records. Next, Jeffrey created the world’s largest selling explicit sex magazine, “Puritan.” In his spare time he’s an amateur boxer.

Laura is exploring her submissive/slave side, and Jeffrey, although hesitant at first, becomes her master. For almost four years he brings to life her outrageous fantasies as they dive into threesomes with porn stars, orgies with the rich, public whippings at sex clubs, and anonymous glory hole gangbang sex in dark adult bookstores.

The book’s reportage is sprinkled with essays on anal sex, S&M, spanking, boxing, masturbation, and the cocaine epidemic. Plus, it includes a monograph almost worthy of a master’s thesis on the five basic social classes of orgies in New York from 1971 to 1981, as defined by catering, clothing, jewelry, music, hairstyles and sex practices.

Making non-sexual guest appearances are celebrities Jeffrey worked for (John Lennon, Yoko Ono and George Harrison), and Jeffrey’s boxing nemesis Ryan O’Neal. Our lovers get high with Timothy Leary, interview Norman Mailer, hang out with Jerzy Kosinski, and as part of a camera crew, film Steve Van Zandt’s wedding featuring Bruce Springsteen and Little Richard.

Mailer, Jeffrey’s longtime friend and boxing buddy, guided him through the first draft, bequeathed the book’s foreword, and made the inspired suggestion that Laura add her side of the story. This turned one man’s bawdy memories into fact-checked journalism, and added a needed layer of consensualism to this grand collection of excessive lust.

For an extra helping of literary chops, the introduction to Laura Meets Jeffrey is written by famed journalist Legs McNeil, co-author of the best seller, Please Kill Me, the oral history of punk music, which has sold over half a million copies.

Published in 2012, Laura Meets Jeffrey was well reviewed and became a cult classic in both the US and the UK. It’s arguably the best written, most detailed and accurate account of that golden era of hedonism just before AIDS slammed the door shut forever.

Laura Meets Jeffrey is now available for purchase.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Image courtesy of goodreads.com

Jeffrey Michelson is a journalist, media wizard, former Apple Records advertising designer, former sex magazine editor, and enthusiastic spokesperson for an era when drugs were hip, rock was exploding & sex didn’t kill you.

Two geniuses shaped Jeffrey’s life. In 1967, he was houseboy and sparring partner to Norman Mailer and they remained close friends. In 1970, John Lennon chose Jeffrey’s ad campaign for his album Imagine and asked Jeffrey to design Apple Records’ media. In 1976, Jeffrey created Puritan and guided the explicit sex magazine to respect with outstanding photography and revealing interviews with heavy hitters like Mailer, Timothy Leary, Tennessee Williams, Terry Southern and Hunter S. Thompson.

In the mid 1980s in London, Jeffrey fronted the cult-favorite rock band Max & The Broadway Metal Choir. In 1984 he also produced Artcore, a hard-core erotic coffee table book photographed in Paris, London and Los Angeles. While shooting in L.A. he was arrested for pornography and faced a mandatory three-year sentence until the California Supreme Court ruled he was not only “not guilty” but “factually innocent.”

Jeffrey retired in 2009, after two decades of directing TV commercials, to work on his horse ranch, grow organic vegetables, and finish his book, Laura Meets Jeffrey.

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Joanna Poncavage had a 30-year career as an editor and writer for Rodale’s Organic Gardening magazine and The (Allentown, Pennsylvania) Morning Call newspaper. Author of several gardening books, she’s now a freelance journalist.

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