Xaviera Hollander

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Xaviera Hollander
Hollander in 2008
Xaviera de Vries

(1943-06-15) 15 June 1943 (age 80)
Known forThe Happy Hooker: My Own Story
Spouse(s)Frank Applebaum (m. ?)
Philip de Haan
(m. 2007)

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

Early life[edit]

Hollander was born Xaviera "Vera" de Vries in Surabaya, Japanese-occupied Dutch East Indies, which later became part of present-day Indonesia, to a Dutch Jewish physician father and a mother of French and German descent.[1] She spent the first years of her life in a Japanese-run internment camp.[2]

In her early 20s she left Amsterdam for Johannesburg, where her stepsister lived. There she met and became engaged to American economist John Weber. When the engagement was broken off, she left South Africa for New York City.[3]


In 1968 she resigned from her job as a secretary in the Dutch consulate in New York City to become a call girl,[1] making $1,000 a night[4] ($8400 today). A year later, she opened her own brothel, the Vertical Whorehouse, and soon became New York City's leading madam. In 1971, she was arrested for prostitution by New York Police and forced to leave the United States.[5][6]


In 1971, Hollander published a memoir, The Happy Hooker: My Own Story. Robin Moore, who took Hollander's dictation of the book's contents, came up with the title, while Yvonne Dunleavy ghostwrote it.[7] Hollander later wrote a number of other books and produced plays in Amsterdam. Her second book, Child No More, is the story of losing her mother. For 35 years she wrote an advice column for Penthouse magazine, entitled "Call Me Madam."[1]

Other ventures[edit]

Appearing on TV programme After Dark in 1989

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 semi-autobiographical film My Pleasure is My Business. Beginning in 2005, she operated Xaviera's Happy House, a bed-and-breakfast, in her Amsterdam home.[8]

Personal life[edit]

For several years in the 1970s, Hollander lived in Toronto, where she married Frank Applebaum, a Canadian antique dealer, and was a regular fixture on the downtown scene. She mentioned a lover named John Drummond, with whom she partnered for many years, co-authoring two books, including Let's Get Moving (1988) about their life together: "I went there with, who for years had been the love of my life, John Drummond, a wild Scottish intellectual who, at times, liked his whisky, beer, and wines too much. We had great sex, often up to three times a day — all that and he was about 17 years older than me."[4] During a 2018 interview, she revealed a darker side of the relationship with the man she called "the love of my life!": "The love of my life, 25 years ago, John Drummond, a brilliant and boisterous Scotsman with a 'Thatcheresque' accent had, especially under the influence of a few scotches, beers, or wine, become quite destructive towards me. He is the only one who managed to deprive me of my self-esteem or identity, temporarily. He used to say that a British man’s way of saying 'I love you' is to put his woman down."[9] Drummond is listed as one of her husbands.[10] Hollander claimed to have "turned gay" around 1997, establishing a long-term relationship with a Dutch poet called Dia.[2] In January 2007, she married a Dutch man, Philip de Haan, in Amsterdam.[11]

Other works[edit]

Hollander has been depicted in film five times:

She appears in at least two films:

  • My Pleasure Is My Business (1975, Al Waxman) as Gabrielle
  • Xaviera Hollander, the Happy Hooker: Portrait of a Sexual Revolutionary, a 2008 documentary directed, jointly produced, photographed and edited by Robert Dunlap. Hollander made additional contributions to the script.[12]

In 1989, Hollander made an extended appearance on British discussion programme After Dark, alongside Mary Stott, Malcolm Bennett and Hans Eysenck, among others.

A musical about her life was written and composed by Richard Hansom and Warren Wills.[13]



  • Robin Moore; Yvonne Dunleavy; Xaviera de Vries Hollander (1971). The Happy Hooker: My Own Story. Sphere Books. ISBN 978-0-900735-13-4. Moore took Hollander's dictation, and Dunleavy transcribed the results.
  • Letters to the Happy Hooker. New York: Warner Paperback Library. 1973. ISBN 978-0-446-78277-7.
  • Xaviera!: Her Continuing Adventures. New York: Warner Paperback Library. 1973.
  • Xaviera Goes Wild. New York: Warner Paperback Library. 1974.
  • Xaviera on the Best Part of a Man. New York: New American Library. 1975.
  • Marilyn Chambers (1976). Xaviera Meets Marilyn Chambers. New York: Warner Paperback Library.
  • Xaviera's Supersex: Her Personal Techniques for Total Lovemaking. New York: New American Library. 1976.
  • Xaviera's Fantastic Sex. New York: New American Library. 1978. ISBN 978-0-451-15104-9.
  • Xaviera's Magic Mushrooms. Sevenoaks, Kent: New English Library. 1981. ISBN 978-0-450-05064-0.
  • The Inner Circle. London: Granada. 1983.
  • Fiesta of the Flesh. London: Panther. 1984. ISBN 978-0-586-06195-4.
  • The Best of Xaviera. Sydney: Horwitz Grahame. 1985. ISBN 978-0-7255-1841-7.
  • Knights in the Garden of Spain. London: Grafton. 1988. ISBN 978-0-586-07432-9.
  • Child No More: A Memoir. New York: ReganBooks. 2002. ISBN 978-0-06-001417-9.
  • The Happy Hooker's Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex: 69 Orgasmic Ways to Pleasure a Woman. New York: Skyhorse Pub. 2008. ISBN 978-1-60239-240-3.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ross, Deborah (8 December 2012). "Xaviera Hollander: Is the Happy Hooker still happy after all these years?". The Independent. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b Che, Cathay (20 August 2002). "The Happy Hooker gets the girl". The Advocate: 80–3.
  3. ^ Hollander, Xaviera (1971). The Happy Hooker: My Own Story. Sphere Books. ISBN 978-0-06-001416-2.
  4. ^ a b Woodson, Bert (18 April 2014). "Interview: Xaviera Hollander, the Happy Hooker". Feminine Collective. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  5. ^ "5 Police Corruption Scandals that Rocked New York City". New York Post. 28 December 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Notorious New York City brothels: 'Manhattan Madam' Kristin Davis supplied hookers for clients including Eliot Spitzer". New York Daily News. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  7. ^ John Cassidy, "The hell-raiser", Sydney Morning Herald, 9 December 2000, Good Weekend, p. 80
  8. ^ "Xaviera Hollander's 'Happy House Bed&Breakfast'". xavierahollander.com. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Living in the Netherlands Archives". Expat Guide to the Netherlands | Expatica.
  10. ^ "Xaviera Hollander". www.nndb.com.
  11. ^ Faber, Judy (2 January 2007). "Happy Hooker Gets Hitched". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Documentary,The Happy Hooker: Portrait of a Sexual Revolutionary". www.xavierahollander.com. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Happy Hooker Musical". www.xavierahollander.com. Retrieved 10 December 2018.

External links[edit]