Hot Pulp (1993) edited by David Caplan.
This is a collection of porn from the 30s.
Sorry, I mean, stories from 30s men’s magazines.
The editor explains (in this LaTeX-typeset introduction) how this little book came to be: He bought a sack of depression era pulps, and now he’s presenting a representative sampling.
And this isn’t very racy stuff. Nothing above the legs or below the tits is ever described, or even hinted at much, so this is less racy than early-30s Hollywood movies, really. Stronger censorship by newsstand distributors back then, perhaps?
There’s a lot of varying descriptions of various breasts, though.
The most striking thing about these stories is that they’re generally well-written. I don’t mean plot-wise or anything, but on a paragraph by paragraph basis. It’s mostly very professional, and much better writing than what I remember from my few forays into 30s sci-fi/fantasy short stories.
The content of the stories is slightly woman hostile. For instance, in this story, Lila is being working a guy into a frenzy to pressure him into marrying her.
So they enter into a bet where she’s being a stowaway on a boat. She hides in a “dark-skinned” “swarthy” man’s cabin, and is pressured into having sex with him. (Which she does.) And then it turns out that he’s a jewel thief, and she turns him in (and lies about what happened), and her object of attention is so impressed (and maddened by lust) that he finally proposes. The end!
I guess you could do a feminist reading of that story: She gets away with it, and marries a really rich guy and becomes a millionaire.
The stories are the main content in this book, but we also get a handful of “art studies” (i.e., naked women with strategic cover-ups).
And a smattering of covers.
I hate retelling plots, but one of the stories is just so bizarre!
Russell visits Paris, and bemoans how floppy the breasts of the dancers at a club is. Pierre shows him around, and Russell is very taken by a 17-year-old singer (with small breasts), and wants to get it on with her, but that doesn’t go anywhere. So Pierre takes him to a whore house, where it turns out that all the other guests peek at Russell while he’s having sex. Russell finds out, gets angry, buys the whore house, fires the prostitute he had sex with, and then announces to Pierre that he’s marrying the prostitute.
It’s a sort of feverish miasma of a story, but written so straightforwardly that the insanity doesn’t really hit you until it’s over.
Fortunately, there’s ads for books that tell you all the true facts about sex.
Finding any reviews of this book is difficult, of course, but there’s this from Amazon:
Often sold under the cover, these stories feature nubile young women engaging in activities that necessitated the removal of clothing, whether it be skinny dipping in the woods or cat fights in Paris. Not really explicit by today’s standards, these stories can still “do the trick” if you catch my drift.