Dr. Suzy and the LAPD

When they write the weird history of sex in the 1990s, the month of January ’98 will get some pretty interesting citations. I don’t just mean Zippergate, or whatever your local paper is calling the happenings in DC. On the night of the 31st, while everybody’s eyes were on Washington, the Los Angeles Police Department raided the Beverly Hills home studio of Dr. Susan Block and her producer/husband Maximillian R. Lobkowicz, first sending in two undercover agents who masqueraded as a couple in need of sex therapy.

In case you haven’t made the acquaintance of Dr. Suzy and her darling butler Max, let me introduce you now. Dr. Suzy has a public access TV show, radiocasts via the Internet, is a noted author (Good Vibrations carries her delightful book The Ten Commandments of Love and Sex), has been featured on HBO a couple of times, and does telephone sex therapy. Max oversees the Dr. Suzy empire and has a long history as a sex publisher. Dr. Suzy’s eccentric-yet-effective style is a real attention-getter — she hosts her show from her bed, dressed provocatively, and invites guests to her show to hop right in with her. I’ve had the pleasure of getting in bed with Dr. Suzy a number of times — she gives great interview, and I visited her after the publication of my books Exhibitionism for the Shy and Real Live Nude Girl. Indeed, what better source of PR for an exhibitionist author than an exhibitionist talk show host?

But scantily-clad guests may have been part of what led the police to Suzy and Max’s studio door. Apparently the horde of cops who arrived to back up the undercover officers — one of whom assaulted one of Dr. Suzy’s guests, reportedly without first identifying himself as a policeman — were under the impression that they were going to find a brothel on the premises, since why else would there be so many lingerie-clad women around? “They’d been watching the station for the last three months,” said Max (on company time, no doubt) when I called to ask him about the incident. “The concept that if a woman dresses this way she’s a whore is outrageous,” he continued, fuming. In fact, trendy Los Angelenos like to put on fetishy or skimpy clothes and visit Suzy’s show (which she calls a “speakeasy”) just for the thrill of it. The cops didn’t find any prostitutes — their accusation, after all was said and done, was that Max had no permit to film public access shows. (It turns out such a permit is not even necessary — and it certainly shouldn’t take over a dozen officers to claim that it is.)

Ironically enough, the show was host to some interesting characters when the cops showed up. KCOP-TV was on hand — their newsman Robert Kovosic was there doing a show about public access television (Dr. Suzy’s show is one of the most popular Southern California public access programs). The guest assaulted by the undercover officer was a KLSX radio personality, Chuck “Nastyman” Naste. First Amendment attorney Jeffrey Douglas, who works with the Free Speech Coalition, was also present, as were other artists and media personalities. (The LAPD has already had cause to regret Douglas’s presence — he’s spent the week on the phone with the police team’s higher-ups. And Naste, of course, should be having his attorney call on the hapless LAPD for some answers — or maybe even some damages.)

The police department seems to be trying hard to back out of the whole situation, said Max, “but of course, they don’t like us much — with scantily-dressed women talking about revolution.” Perhaps the crowning irony as far as I’m concerned: at the time of Naste’s assault, Dr. Suzy was presenting The Dr. Susan Block Pornography Production Award to none other than independent prosecutor Ken Starr, presumably for the salacious effect his work has had on our daily papers recently. Coincidence? You be the judge! Maybe Hillary Clinton’s warnings about a vast right-wing conspiracy aren’t so far-fetched after all!

To see what all the fuss is about, visit Dr. Suzy’s web site, where you’ll find info about her broadcast schedule (including how to tune her in on the web) and her other projects — including an on-line erotic art gallery that sounds fabulous. It’s all at http://www.drsusanblock.com. Getting to know Dr. Suzy may convince you that the LAPD needs all the sex therapy from her it can get. But next time, if you ask me, they should just hire her as a consultant.

Dr. Carol Queen

Carol Queen has a PhD in sexology; she calls herself a "cultural sexologist" because her earlier academic degree is in sociology: while she addresses individual issues and couple's sexual concerns, her overarching interest is in cultural issues (gender, shame, access to education, etc.). Queen has worked at Good Vibrations, the woman-founded sexuality company based in San Francisco that turned 35 years old in 2012, since 1990. Her current position is Staff Sexologist and Good Vibrations Historian; her roles include representing the company to the press and the public; overseeing educational programming for staff and others; and scripting/hosting a line of sex education videos, the Pleasure-Ed series, for GV’s sister company Good Releasing. She also curates the company's Antique Vibrator Museum. She is also the founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture, a non-profit sex ed and arts center San Francisco, and is a frequent lecturer at colleges, universities, and community-based organizations. Her dozen books include a Lambda Literary Award winner, PoMoSexuals, and Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture, which are used as texts in some college classes. She blogs at the Good Vibes Magazine and at SFGate's City Brights bloggers page and contributes to the Boston Dig. For more about her at carolqueen.com.

You may also like...