By all means, keep your mind in the gutter, because the title “Full Service” means exactly that, and in the most erotic sense. Whatever your opinion on sex, you'll find plenty of juicy, graphic bits to chew on, and plenty more to make even the most open-minded person wince.
The book is told from the perspective of (now 88-year-old) Scotty Bowers, a bisexual ex-Marine who came to Hollywood after serving in World War II. And the career he just happened to get into? Sleeping with and/or arranging sexual encounters for many famous celebrities. (Well, not only celebs, but he knows what people will want to hear about and mostly sticks to them.)
As Bowers tells his story, your jaw will drop open at his honesty and the characters and adventures he has along the way (and even his life before Hollywood). It also gives you a little insight into the schizophrenic history of America. This was after all, the 50s, a time of strict censorship, when the squeaky-clean, suburban lifestyle was worshiped.
That history becomes particularly evident when Bowers discusses his alleged friendship with Alfred Kinsey, the professor who conducted groundbreaking research on sexual behavior. Bowers relates how he assisted him in gathering data, particularly after Kinsey complained about how he couldn't find any women who were willing to speak only about their sexual experiences. (Eventually, the ex-King Farouk of Egypt gets involved.)
Such research was apparently made even more difficult by the fact that sexual imagery, or pornography, was once actually hard to come by and even a punishable offense. Today it almost seems laughable, but if the vice squad was tipped off, they could apparently raid a home and take any material they deemed obscene. Anyone present could be arrested and would have to explain themselves to a judge.
But back to some of those juicy details. The love story of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy? Bowers claims it was all a ruse concocted by the studio to conceal Hepburn's lesbianism. (He claims to have set her up with over 150 women.) He also has something to say about another famous love story, that of Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII, who famously abdicated his throne in order to marry Simpson. Bowers states that both of them were mostly homosexual, although they reportedly enjoyed sex with each other and other members of the opposite sex as well. Apparently Edward abdicated to avoid the even greater scandal that would've resulted had his lifestyle become public knowledge.
Bowers goes so far as to say that the shenanigans the stars got up to were even more raunchy and scandalous today. Of course, nowadays with the Internet and TMZ, it would be nearly impossible to keep any of this a secret, but in those days studios were able to keep most of it under wraps. But with the advent of the 80s and AIDS, the fun quickly came to a halt, and Bowers no longer felt comfortable arranging sexual encounters when he couldn't guarantee anyone's safety.
But of course, the big question: Is it true? No one seems to be able to definitely prove that either way, although research shows that people mostly seem inclined to believe him. While the book is graphic, it doesn't seem meanspirited. In other words, the final verdict seems up to the reader.
If nothing else, this memoir certainly serves as a nice little antidote for nostalgia. Reading this book, you get the feeling that sexually, we haven't changed much. What has changed is how open we are about about our most basic needs and desires.