April 21st, 2009

Naughty Victorians

Setting: Late Victorian or early Edwardian England

A comfortable and (more or less) respectable male novelist, who has probably never written anything likely to Bring a Blush to the Cheek of the Young Person, is about to be seduced by a not-so-respectable male colleague who writes scandalous, lascivious books with titles like The Curious Sofa.

I'm hoping that someone can tell me something about the production values of pr0n, circa 1900. Where was it printed, how was it sold, how was it described (by people who read and sold it, and by people who considered themselves too proper to do so), and was there anything about the appearance of a pornographic book that immediately, before you even opened it, marked it as porn--like the binding or type of paper?

I've Googled "Victorian porn," which got me information about My Secret Life, "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon," an interesting-looking book on Modernism, Mass Culture, and the Aesthetics of Obscenity, and several references to the British Library's legendary, closely-guarded collection of porn, but nothing to my purpose.

mariage during the regency

Setting: Regency England

Search terms: "regency marriage", "regency marriage bed", "regency sex", "regency bedrooms"; also I've been all over the Jane Austen Information Page, Jane Austen's World, The Jane Austen Society of North America, Nancy Regency Researcher, and a bunch of other Jane Austen/Regency research sites (and there are lots of them).

I have been all over the internet on this one and I'm getting nowhere, so maybe you guys can help. All I need to know is if an upper class married couple would typically keep two separate bedrooms and if they'd be considered odd for sleeping in the same bed some/most of the time. Does anyone know?

ETA: If anyone has a good resource that discussed regency marriage in general, I would be very much obliged. I can find all sorts of information about courtship, marriage ceremonies, marriage laws, divorce laws, but nothing about the day to day ins and outs of the marriage itself.

Working a GLBT helpline

I'm writing about a fictional GLBT helpline, set in today's Los Angeles. I've never called any kind of helpline, and I wouldn't want to waste resources calling one now just to find out, but I'm having trouble approximating the kind of dialogue that one would follow to engage the caller in a conversation.

The person calling the line is a straight-identified woman questioning her sexuality.

I'm wondering what kind of scripts are you given when working on such a hotline - I know that once you're engaged with the caller, the conversation would be specific to their problem, but I imagine that volunteers would be trained in skills such as using open questions and being calm and friendly. What's the opening line when you take a call? Do you give your name? What sort of questions do you ask to make the caller feel safe and to encourage them to open up?

I've googled various combinations of "helpline", "helpline transcript", "counselling script" and "GLBT. I've looked at the websites of various GLBT helplines, and obtained lots of useful information but nothing this specific. I've also checked under the psychiatry/psychology tag and the homosexual tag for this comm.

I think, though, this is something that might be better answered by people who have actually worked or called these lines. Any information you'd be willing to share about your experience would be gratefully received.