Xaviera Hollander  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Xaviera Hollander (born 15 June 1943) is a former call girl, madam, and memoirist. She is best known for her best-selling memoir The Happy Hooker: My Own Story (1971).

Life and career

Hollander was born Vera de Vries in Soerabaja, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), to a Dutch Jewish father, a doctor, and a mother who was of French and German descent. She spent the first three years of her life in a Japanese internment camp.

In her early 20s, she left Amsterdam for Johannesburg, South Africa, where her stepsister lived. There she met and became engaged to John Weber, an American economist. When the engagement was broken off, she left South Africa for New York.

In 1968, she left her job as the secretary of the Dutch consulate in Manhattan to become a call girl, where she made $1,000 a night. A year later she opened her own brothel called the Vertical Whorehouse and soon became New York City's leading madam. In 1971, she was arrested for prostitution by New York police and was forced to leave the United States.

In 1971 Hollander published a memoir, The Happy Hooker: My Own Story, Robin Moore co authored with her on this book and came up with the catchy title Happy Hooker while Yvonne Dunleavy wrote the book. The book was notable for its frankness by the standards of the time, and is considered a landmark of positive writing about sex. Hollander details in the book her life as an open-minded girl. She states that during the start of her career she did not ask for cash in exchange for sex, but her partners voluntarily gave her money and other presents.

Hollander has since written a number of other books and produced plays in Amsterdam. Her latest book, Child No More, is the heartfelt story of losing her mother. For 35 years, she wrote an advice column for Penthouse magazine called Call Me Madam. For several years in the 1970s, Hollander lived in Toronto, where she married a Canadian antique dealer and was a regular fixture in the downtown core.

In the early 1970s, she recorded a primarily spoken-word album titled Xaviera! for the Canadian GRT Records label (GRT 9230-1033), on which she discussed her philosophy regarding sex and prostitution, sang a cover version of The Beatles song, "Michelle", and recorded several simulated sexual encounters, including an example of phone sex, a threesome, and a celebrity encounter with guest "vocal" by Ronnie Hawkins. Xaviera's Game, an erotic board game, was released in 1974 by Reiss Games, Inc. In 1975, she starred in the somewhat autobiographical My Pleasure is My Business. For at least 8 years, beginning in 2005, she operated Xaviera's Happy House, a bed and breakfast within her Amsterdam home.

Hollander says she "turned gay" around 1997, establishing a long-term relationship with a Dutch poetess called Dia In January 2007 she married a Dutch man 10 years her junior, Philip de Haan, in Amsterdam. In the meantime an entire musical about her life has been written and composed by Richard Hansom and Warren Wills. Also a documentary has been released by Robert Dunlap called Xaviera Hollander, a portrait of a sexual revolutionary.


Hollander has been portrayed in film four times:

An X-rated film, The Life And Times Of Xaviera Hollander, was also produced and released in the early 1970s. But as of the middle of August 2012, it was not known exactly who impersonated Hollander in that film.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Xaviera Hollander" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools