The Goddess of Love

How former schoolteacher Ella Patterson turned her earthy sex guide into an underground best seller

Martin was a fine young athlete, and Ella set about pursuing him. She flirted shamelessly and wrote sexy, passionate love letters.

"She was very creative," he says, chuckling. "If she doesn't attract you, she will scare the death out of you."

Ella's efforts certainly bore fruit. The two have been married 17 years and have three children, ranging in age from 12 to 23.

The husband has long since resigned himself to his wife's energies. "I don't want to sound like I can't control my wife, but when she knows what she wants, she will not stop until she gets it. As a matter of fact, she drives me crazy."

Patterson admits her book has stoked considerable curiosity about her intimate encounters with Martin. And she is determinedly mum about them.

Martin Patterson says even executives at the ultra-conservative EDS have inquired about his sex life after hearing about his wife's book.

He figures that's understandable. "When a person reads the book and begins wondering about the person who wrote it, your first thought is 'Geez, what a freak,'" he says. "But I have to keep a little mystery."

Ella won't reveal which games she's played, either.
"We [she and her husband] agreed long ago that we were not going to go there," she says. "I am not going to let a newspaper article get me in trouble with my husband. I haven't been married for 17 years by making those kinds of mistakes."

But surely, if the book reveals anything about the Pattersons' secret life at all, it's that Ella's husband Martin is a happy man.

"He says he is," Patterson replies with a husky laugh. "He smiles all the time.

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