Old School Erotic Lit

This is soooo not my usual blog. For one, there’s no books to review this time since I’ve been a little busier than usual. (Although I’m working on about 3 ARCs right now for some amazing authors.) However, I recently visited the Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas and found some photos that I took of old school books from the mid-20th century. They actually have quite the extensive collection of old-time erotica in their lobby if you are waiting to the enter the museum and have a few minutes to look through the shelves. (BTW, if you get a chance to go to the museum, I highly recommend you go. It’s an amazing account of the history of sex and how it’s been perceived throughout history and within different cultures. It’s found at 3275 S Sammy Davis Jr Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89109 in a strip mall area behind Circus Circus.)

Some of these covers are quite blasé and don’t have any pictures. That may have been due to the sensitivities of the time, but I think it would be fun to kind of imagine the kinds of people that may be in these books based on the title and it may be fun to reimagine these covers using today’s modern covers.

#1-Let’s start with Sally’s Orgy by Mel Cohen. I like to imagine Sally as someone who has a lot of friends and is very popular. I don’t know why, but I feel like she wears a sweater set. I imagine a cover with her holding books while walking home from school. In the background is a convertible of randy college gentleman and maybe a sullen bad girl with a nose ring looking on.

#2- Stonebag Orgies by O.D. Speed. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m thinking OD Speed may be a pen name. This cover description makes me think of hippies playing guitar around a campfire. I actually appreciate that this title has a picture and it looks like there’s some back-arching, nipple sucking and the panties are coming off while the garter stays on. For whatever reason, when I think of garters, I think of Kevin Costner knowing how to handle them in the movie “Bull Durham.”

#3- Close Cousins translated by A. De Granamour. I think “enough said” could be used here. I foresee a shirtless ripped man such as we see nowadays on modern covers, a lovely young woman with long, rippling hair…and a family reunion in the background with grandparents with scandalized looks on their faces.

#4 Doctor’s Orgy. I imagine this cover being a smoking hot doctor with a six-pack sporting an open white coat and a stethoscope around his neck while 2 or 3 nurses and a masked surgeon wearing rubber gloves linger in the background.

#5 Palace of Lust by Lisa Fanchon. This is an anomaly for the time. I feel like this cover and description is perfect. If we put this in modern form, I’m not sure we’d get quite the tickle that the old version gives us. We can’t exactly put a guy rimming one chick while she blows him and has another woman giving him a reach around on a cover nowadays. Good for Oliver.

#6 The Haunted Gay by Eric Foster. I guess this title sadly goes to show the way gay people were thought of back then. I really don’t feel like this cover fits either since a bunch of male hands going for a voluptuous female doesn’t scream “gay” to me. If done today, I’d say we get a couple of nice male models on the front with maybe some fog rolling in to indicate a haunted cemetery or something. I definitely think this would be paranormal romance today which is probably a completely different direction than the original.

#7 Lastly, we have Skin Flick Queen by Robert Moore. I’m honestly wondering if this is about Linda Lovelace. If anyone knows for sure, please reach out and educate me. It looks about the late 60s or early 70s and may be based on her in the very least. If this was a modern story, I’m seeing a campy cover photo with a woman in lingerie maybe covering her mouth like she did something naughty with a film crew in the background.

I think one of the things that fascinated me the most on this is how most of these books were written by men. Today, women are overwhelmingly the authors of erotica and contemporary romance. However, I imagine that was incredibly taboo back then. It’s pretty interesting to imagine that women wouldn’t have felt comfortable with or gained a writing contract with this subject matter back then even if they had dared to try it. Bravo to the trailblazers that did it, and I don’t say that sarcastically. It probably took balls as big as boulders to write smut and tell your parents you had taken up writing erotica as a career on your day off from doing the laundry.

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