Robert Silverberg is best known for writing science fiction and is a multiple Hugo and Nebula award winner. His first published novel, a children’s science fiction book called Revolt on Alpha C was published in 1955, and he won his first Hugo for “best new writer”. Over the next several years Silverberg estimates he wrote a million words a year, mostly for magazines and Ace Doubles. When the market for science fiction became glutted in the early Sixties, Silverberg adopted several pseudonyms and began writing in other fields.
Perhaps the most interesting (and certainly the most unethical) of these alter-egos was the supposed psychiatrist and sex expert Dr. L.T. Woodward. Published by Monarch, Lancer, and Belmont in cheap paperback editions, the basic modus operandi of Woodward’s dozen or more books was to write titillating soft-porn stories and compile them as actual psychiatric case studies (sexposés).
Sex Fiend (1961) explores the world of sex crimes. Many of these crimes end in murder like in the chapters entitled “Teenage Thrill Killers” and “The Peeping Tom Murders.” Doctors taking advantage of their patients are also detailed. And don’t forget the ladies! The dangers presented by nymphomaniacs and violent lesbians are also addressed.
Sex and Hypnosis (1961) touts the power of hypnosis to “cure” everything from frigidity to homosexuality. From the back cover blurb:
“A frigid and frustrated woman who is now able to respond fully to her husband’s embrace…
A once practicing homosexual who is now happily married and the father of a family…
A desperate, impotent man, now amazingly restored to his full sexual power…
A young wife who had her baby painlessly , but fully conscious and with no anesthetic…
These are some of the people whose intimate stories are told in this book…People whose emotional frustrations and physical sufferings were relieved by the amazing new science of medical hypnosis — which brought them normal sexual satisfaction when every other treatment failed!”
Sex in our Schools (1962) is a voyueristic tour of underaged sex disguised as a wake-up call to parents. From the back cover:
“EVERYTHING FOR KICKS
There is a sickness in our society today. Parents neglect their children, or else order them about so sternly that they rebel. Sexual and social mores are changing. “Everything for kicks” is the motto of our younger generation as they ignore self-discipline and flout recognized authority.
Sexual liberty is a natural outgrowth of such rebellion. Girls who have had several lovers before they are Sweet Sixteen, boys who could give many older people lessons in love — these are the children we see so frequently today.
There is no simple solution. BUT unless we want to be overwhelmed by a rising tide of illegitimate children and emotional cripples, we will have to start finding some answers, says Dr. Woodward in this penetrating study of what makes our young people tick.”
Sex and the Armed Forces (1963) may well be the worst of the lot, beginning with the fallacious cover blurb, “A Doctor’s [Silverberg's only degree was a BA in English from Columbia] confidential report on the sexual behaviour of men and women in military life.”
One chapter details the rape of a young service woman described as “a tease who wanted to remain a virgin until marriage.” Due to her flirtatious behaviour the rapist was given a suspended sentence and the victim was discharged as unfit for duty. It’s a sad story that should come with a lesson about the appalling state of military justice. Instead the chapter is concluded with a summation by a noted “psychiatrist”:
“…I’d say the best that could have happened to this girl is what Daniels (the rapist) did to her. Maybe he smashed up the complex of neuroses centering about her virginity, and left her free to live a normal life.”
“Dr.” Woodward would go on to write about virgin wives, divorced women, masochism, sadism, lesbians, nymphomaniacs and suburban swingers: