Pulp fiction novels were wildly popular in the 1950’s and 60’s. These inexpensive paperback novels were filled with sex, some violence, cliches, and lots and lots of adjectives.
Stories with overtly sexual lesbian themes also became widespread during that time. They had provocative covers and seriously confusing synopses. They were billed as “Shocking!” and “Thrilling!” But what happens inside? Do the stories themselves make any more sense than the synopses do?
We went to the Lesbian Herstory Archives to investigate. The books tell tales of tropes we had hoped would have ended by now, i.e. a character hating men so she becomes a lesbian, and scenes that are still going strong, such as lesbians in jail cells. With some of them, we still have no idea what’s going on. Oh, well. The covers are still brilliant.
1. Dyke On The Loose
Steve was paying too much attention to his job, Julie thought, and not enough to the desperate desires of her willing young body. Nothing she could do could get Steve to stay at home with her…and she tried everything!
So finally Julie was driven into the twisted world of Lesbianism, a world she thought she’d left behind her. But the demands of her body had to be satisfied, and the torrid embrace of another woman was just the answer Julie craved.
Then one woman wasn’t enough, and Julie flew from woman to woman, from bed to bed, until it looked as if her marriage was beyond help.
A bold and provocative look inside:
When Julie’s husband couldn’t take care of her in the bedroom department, she sought love in the arms of other women — for only their voluptuous bodies and offbeat desires could satisfy her unnatural needs.
This is Julie’s Story — but it could be the story of any one of millions of housewives across the country. It is the bold, provocative tale of what happens when a husband fails his wife in the most important area of all — sex.
2. Gay Interlude
An honest and introspective look into a realm of emotion that no man may share. Here, in this bold and revealing novel, the author takes you into the minds and hearts of women caught in the hellish grip of lesbianism. This is a tender, thoughtful story, a story so personal that no matter how you feel now, you will have compassion for these women at the conclusion of the book.
A heartbreaking look inside:
THEIR AFFAIR HAD REACHED THE CROSS-ROADS
“I can’t go on like this,” Carol said.
Tab leaped from the bed. “What are you saying? What’s wrong?”
“Tab,” Carol wailed, “please try to understand.”
“I’m not gay!” Carol screamed, clutching her fists to her temples. “I’m not! I never was! I just can’t be, Tab, I can’t!”
Tab stared at the beautiful blonde girl. Her pulse throbbed and fear clutched at her breast. “Carol,” she said in a low voice, “Carol, I love you.”
“Stop it, Tab! Stop it!”
“I love you, Carol.”
“Well, don’t,” the girl screamed, beating at her head with clenched fists. “I can’t go on like this!”
“Come to me, Carol.”
“No!” The girl whirled and ran from the room, the sobs of anguish trailing her.
3. Lesbian Wife
Pat was slender, with practically no womanly breast features at all. She looked more like a man, except for her hair. Nature had played a dirty trick on her. Her body was a man’s with something missing; her desires were a man’s with something added. And she was determined to take her revenge on nature upon the bodies of pretty girls the world over. And she did it with all the savagery she could muster.
A worrisome look inside:
Mary had paid money for girls before, young luscious girls who would, for a price let a hunchbacked, young but not very luscious woman have them. But only part of this moment was familiar because there were other things torturing the desire in Mary. The platinum-haired whore could only hide part of her revulsion, then her greed made her peel down one shoulder strap. The size and solidity of the jutting white cone pinked with promise made Mary’s distorted body whip tight with wanting.
“Lovely darling,” Mary breathed. “Here — let me!”
4. This Can’t Be Love
An exhausting look inside:
Like fighting cats, the two women pounced upon each other. The impact forced them both to the floor where they rolled and kicked and scratched. Jan seized clothing, which gave way in her fingers, and she felt her own garments being torn from her body.
“She’s mine!” Jan cried, panting. “And you’re not going to move in.”
“We’ll see about that!” Arlene shouted back at her.
They renewed the attack. In a moment tatters of clothing fell about the floor. Blouses shredded first, then bras as the groping fingers pulled them loose. Naked to the waist, both women rolled and thrashed about.
5. Pagan Summer
A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY
For Muriel, it was the chance of a lifetime, being hired as a resident nurse and personal companion to the young socialite who had been widowed on her wedding night. Erin Lenox had the face of an angel and the body of a goddess and the shock of her tragedy had left her seething with unfulfilled needs and pathetically vulnerable and susceptible to any form of affection.
Muriel knew it was only a matter of time before she’d be able to show the girl a different kind of love … a different source of forbidden passion. And, once initiated, Muriel was confident that their roles would be reversed…she’d be the mistress and Erin Lenox, the slave.
She’d own that lovely face, that glorious body…and most of all, all that wonderful money!
A innuendo-filled look inside:
JUST THE TWO OF THEM
The beach was hot. Hot and deserted. Muriel sighed and looked down at the smooth-skinned girl lying on the beach mat. There as still need for caution. Someone could appear on the beach at any moment and discover them. For the first time she felt uncertain. Even so, her body ached to come into contact with that soft, feminine flesh.
“Muriel?” The cry was plaintive.
“Aren’t you going to give me a massage?”
For a long, thrilling moment, Muriel gazed down at the young girl. The silky-tanned skin. The rounded thighs that offered such warm invitation.
The young girl opened her eyes. “Muriel?”
“Please. Aren’t you going to…”
Silence. It was dangerous to feel this passionate. Muriel tried to fight her growing desire. Even the tips of her fingers tingled with excitement. “All right, baby, but not a massage. I know what you really want…”
6. Come Sin With Me!
THE TWILIGHT LAND between the sexes.
“I AM A LESBIAN”
A woman in love with women, yet driven by her erotic lust to even more degrading acts!!
A surprising look inside:
Jan felt Marion’s arms encircle her tightly and her lips press against her hotly as she murmured incoherent words…she pulled Marion’s hard, spare body to her and crushed her lips against the other’s seeking mouth with a passion that surprised her.
“Oh, Marion,” she moaned. “I never knew! I didn’t realize it could be this way.”
7. Sisterhood Of The Flesh
ONE OF THE GIRLS
That’s all Melanie wanted to be. To be accepted as a real woman — a full-fledged member of the human race.
But she had two major strikes against her. The first was that she was still a virgin, very far from being a complete, sexually adequate adult — not to mention the fact that men repelled her with their crude, gross, animal-like attempts to take her and bend her to their own rough needs.
The second was her color. The dark skin that kept her segregated, looked down upon…a second-class citizen.
She found one way to strike back at both barriers: by joining a group of girls who found complete ecstasy with each other — who cared nothing about skin coloring, and who had no need of male brutality to supply them with the utmost in fulfillment.
It looked like paradise to Melanie…but she overlooked the serpent in Eden!
An exciting look inside:
“The three of us?”
Ellen and Beth nodded enthusiastically.
Melanie managed a smile. But while she appeared calm, she felt vaguely apprehensive about what was to follow. “What happens now?” she asked.
“The first thing,” said Ellen, “is to get rid of all these nasty clothes.
Beth and Ellen removed their sweaters and skirts, matter-of-factly. But Melanie seemed to hesitate.
Ellen’s voice softened with sympathy. “I was embarrassed on my first threesome, too. I’ll tell you what: just pretend that we’re going to take a shower together. We do that all the time, don’t we?”
The suggestion worked…
8. Babes Behind Bars
“I’ve never done this before with a woman,” she cried, lifting her face toward the inviting leer on her cellmates face. “Suppose one of the guards finds us together?”
The other girl’s leer broke into a knowing grin. “Don’t worry about them, honey. It’s keeping them out of our little parties that’s more of a problem than being caught!”
A criminal look inside:
Ginger lay there in the dark, her heart pounding, a strange, exciting feeling beginning to seep all through her as she listened to the sounds in the dark below her. She heard Lila whisper: “There, that’s better, darling. I don’t like to have even that old nightgown of yours between us.
Then Maureen whimpered: “No! No! Please don’t. Not tonight, please!”
“I can’t help it, hon. Just for a moment. Your breasts are so cute and warm and firm. Ahhh!”
Then there was silence for a few moments, except for the sound of increasingly heavy breathing. Then Maureen made a faint, muffled outcry and Lila giggled, and said: “There! I knew you’d like this. Want me to keep it up?”
Maureen practically groaned it: “Oh, yes! Yes!”
9. Dyke Farm
A pendulous look inside:
Sue Ellen lay in the darkness, filled with apprehension. Something about this large woman frightened her, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. She felt something when she’d seen Marlene come from the bathroom, naked, her huge breasts hanging pendulously, her hips fat and largely out of proportion even to the rest of her body. There still was this something between them. It was there between them in the darkness, as palpable as the darkness that surrounded them, and though she couldn’t explain what exactly it was, yet it was present.
She rolled over to face the middle of the bed. In turning her hand brushed lightly against Marlene’s. She pulled back immediately, afraid that she had offended the older woman.
They lay silently in the darkness after that, breathing softly. Then Marlene moved. Her foot brushed briefly against Sue Ellen’s leg, but this time Sue Ellen didn’t move. She lay there, thrilling to the contact of their bodies, waiting, hoping that there would be something further than these furtive touches to fulfill their evening.
10. Debut Of A Belated Lesbian
“A funny thing happened to me a couple of years ago on the way to my thirty-fourth birthday. I was seduced by one of my closest friends. That in itself isn’t too unusual, but, you see, I’m a woman, and the close friend’s name is Sarah!”
I SWITCHED MY SEX — AND I LOVE IT!
A gender-ambiguous look inside:
Wanda gaped at the six-foot thing dressed in men’s loafers, black sock, V-neck sweater, and men’s shirt. It was a 190 pounds on the hoof, with closely chopped hair, and the only way Wanda knew it was female, was that its huge breasts were thrust into Wanda’s face. “You mess around with my chick again, you bitch, and I’ll break you in two!”
Pat pushed Mary toward a large walk-in closet and said: “There’s a hanger of belts in there. Go and get me the one that will hurt you the most!
Mary emerged from the closet holding the longest, heaviest belt that Pat owned. “Now get down on your hands and knees, you bitch!” Pat ordered with a menacing, imperious sneer as she took the belt from Mary…
11. Never Love A Man
A man-hating look inside:
“Hurry,” Alestra called.
Carole slipped in beside her.
Alestra’s hands played their symphony, striking harsh chords. There were no kisses. The hands were crude, the nails cruelly cutting.
Carole was transfixed. “What has happened to us?”
“Nothing,” Alestra said, her actions remorseless.
Carole felt panic mounting. “You’re hurting me,” she screamed.
And then she felt the world go red, slip away. Before she sank into tortured, outraged pleasure, she heard Alestra’s words, enraged behind clenched teeth.
“If it’s a man you want, I can fulfill that, too…”
12. Rebel Woman
IT WAS A TIME OF TERROR…
Violence raged through the island like a deadly plague. Women as well as men were caught up in the merciless fever of revolution.
The rebel soldiers who captured the American, Jim Patterson, were women. But they were as brutal and uncompromising as their male comrades.
For a moment, when Jim recognized their leader to be a girl he had once known and loved, he dared to hope.
But she was “Captain” Rosales now and there was only coldness in her eyes — and hatred of him, of all men.
Then he saw the way she looked at the girl, Dolores, and knew the twisted path she had taken.
As for the others, Jim could only pray that at least on among them was still a woman.
A rebellious look inside:
Delores suddenly picked up a blanket and walked away from the fire. Jim Patterson stared after her. She might be a rebel soldier, but she was the loveliest creature he had ever seen — a Cuban blonde with brown eyes of liquid beauty and a body softly delicate and slender.
Out of the corner of his eye, Patterson could see that Mirtha was also watching the girl, a look of strange hunger on her face.
“I would like to talk to you, Mirtha,” Patterson whispered.
“I have nothing to say to you.”
“But I can think of much to say to you.”
“No.” She turned from him and looked for a long moment toward the place where Dolores lay rolled into her blanket. Then she glanced over once more at Patterson.
He let his gaze touch hers, then pulled it away and stared into the fire.
Mirtha picked up a blanket and threw it across her shoulders. Then she went slowly up the incline to where Dolores had made her bed.
13. Lesbian Web Of Evil
The only person Wilma had ever loved was her father; and he’d sent her away because of it. Years later, when she heard of her father’s trouble, she hurried back to the morality-ridden town of her youth; she would help him — no matter what she had to do. And her scheme was to result in a town scandal that no one would ever forget!
A bloody look inside:
The touch was the touch of death. Sudden death. That aroma was a mixture of heady perfumes, fragrant, female, frankly sexy. Sound-point, counterpoint-a young girl’s heavy breathing, the steady pitter-patter of shower flow pelting flesh and bathtub porcelain. The taste was the dryness of fear and horror, salt-flavored with unshed tears, sour with the bile of nightmare nausea. And sight. The unseen scene. A small motel room, bath adjoining. The room dark with night, the bathroom bulb-lit. Half in, half out of the tub, bent backwards with hair cascading into the small puddle forming on the floor, sprawled the body of a young girl. From just under the swell of one scarlet-tipped breast protruded the handle of an ice pick. Her eyes were wide open, staring. She was dead.
14. Lesbian Limbo
An impulsive look inside:
Bea felt herself flush with embarrassement. She’d never thought of herself as pretty. Suddenly she had the impulse to kiss the beautiful woman in gratitude. She planted a warm kiss firmly on the woman’s mouth. Betty responded, and the kiss lasted a very long time. Bea felt her heart pounding within her as the woman’s tongue searched inside of her mouth. She pressed up close to the woman, wanting more.
When they broke apart, the woman’s dark eyes searched hers. “Did I offend you?”
“No,” Bea felt a dizziness engulf her, and her arms went more tightly around the woman. “It…it was…wonderful…”
Suddenly the woman’s mouth came down again on hers. Their arms went around each other hungrily. But then Betty pushed her away, gently. “Come, we’ll lie on the bed.”
15. I Am A Lesbian
Stories relating to lesbianism are very numerous today. This is surely proof that people are interested in the subject and its treatment. Lesbians are a part of our society and they will very likely remain so. In this book Lora Sela does not write that its characters have tendencies; instead they are real lesbians whose hearts are as warm and deserving of understanding as any other segment of our human life.
A cheesy look inside:
It was while I clerked at Hansen’s Dress Shop that I met the girl who I knew at first glance could be as close to me, as all-important, as in my loneliness I’d dreamed a girl could be. She was the accountant at the store. Jan Nelson! Her name was Janet, but ever since she could remember no one had called her anything but Jan. Jan suited her.
I’d never known anyone like her!
Jan was tall, slender, broad-shouldered. She always dressed in blouses and skirts, or trim, tailored suits. She walked with long steps. Her stride was graceful. And her voice, while deeper than most women’s, was always gentle.
Jan’s dark-blonde hair had a slight wave in it. She wore it cut short, parted on one side and combed back behind her ears. There was a natural dignity about this quiet girl. She had about her the essence of sincerity, as some women wear about them an aura of perfume.
The first moment I saw her, when she came out of her cubbyhole in the business office and said, “Hello!” in her throaty voice, my heart knew what it means to thrill.
A week later, when she asked me to go to lunch with her, my world really began.
As we had spaghetti and cheese, French bread and coffee in a booth for two at Tony’s Italian Cafe, I was fascinated by Jan. I couldn’t take my eyes off her face. I didn’t even glance at the food, which I hardly tasted. All I thought of was, With Jan I could really be happy. Jan could really be happy with me. And in a psychic way I was sure that Jan knew it too.
16. The Loyal Lez
THIS IS AN ORIGINAL PLEASURE READER
He hit her sharply, driving her to the wall, blood trickling from her mouth. Slowly she came back to him and spit in his face. He hit her again. For Robin, he symbolized every man she’d ever known.
A psycho-sexual look inside:
IN HIS BOOK, PSYCHO-SEXUAL PROBLEMS, ALEX M. SZEDENIK, WRITES: “Society tolerates homosexuality in women somewhat more than in men, possibly because it is more easily hidden… It is not thought unusal for two women to live together. In our society women may make a show of affection for each other, kissing, walking arm in arm, and so on.” The photographer who owned Lasley Features, Inc., was all in favor of female alliances. Sharon Lasley indulged in them, and made her fortune by distributing pictures of her girls together. Ben and Angie tired to put an end to her lucrative business, but she knew how to stop them…or thought she did.
17. Twice As Gay
“I TAKE THEM ALL — GUYS AND DOLLS!” was Babs’ shrill cry, borne of a passion she could not control. A modern nymph, she found diverse methods of pleasure. Dominating men, she ground them beneath her skyscraper heels. Devoted to leather, he could feel power in its feel against her satin smooth body. She forces Pete, her young husband, into the most debasing of actions to satisfy her gross lusts. Read about Carol and her lesbian loves with Ruth — called Butch — behind prison walls. The infamous Susie Fuller, a secretary who was not so private with erotica. Susie who hated men and loved women — who would whip men into humble submission with true female masterly powers.
A stirring novel of women with the souls of men — and men who are stripped of their pride and turned into playthings of female rulers.
LESBOS IN HIGH HEELS AND LEATHER
A life-altering look inside:
“Come over to the bed, baby,” ordered Butch, the boyish looking lesbian as she closed the door of the cottage.
“Don’t do that,” protested Carol, feeling a sharp anxiety sweep through her loins and up into her sharp pointed breasts. “I already told you, I’m not going to….let you touch me.”
“Cut it out, baby,” smiled Butch, “and you’ll find out what it feels like for a girl to make love to another girl. When I get finished with you, never again will you want a man.”
18. Lesbos Beach
BEACH CLUB FOR LESBIANS…
Join the party at the Sea Horse Beach Club. Money can’t buy a membership here. What do you need? An abnormal desire! Sure, men are welcome — such as handsome Johnny Devon, a lifeguard who takes care of lonely, middle-aged women in a way that would repel most normal men. Barry Nielson, another beach stud, is permitted entrance but only because he satisfies lesbians when they can’t make the scene with their own kind. What about the female members? There’s Wendy Flanders, a famed TV-stage-film star who spends her weekends at this lesbian resort because she knows it’s private and scandal-free. Her speciality is taking away wives from their husbands, turning them into female homosexuals — she is as successful in this as in her theatrical career. Cara French who vies with younger girls for lesbian fulfillment. Dominant Wanda — a high heeled, leather-wearing fetishist who glories in skyscraper boots and leather garments — seeking to duplicate the male role. She, too, is a welcome addition to this resort for lesbians who shock Sappho in their twilight love. Oh, you’re invited to one more event — a monnlight swimming party. Don’t bother with bathing suits. After all, what’s there to be ashamed of when you all know one another?
A turbulent novel of beach resorts, the lifeguards, the beach boys, the lonely women who enter Lesbos because they’ve tried everything else, the young maidens who are initiated into midnight beach “shadow” love. The real truth behind those exclusive cabana clubs, beach parties, private resorts.
LESBIAN WIFE SWAPPERS
A gloriously naked look inside:
“Take off your dress and come help me with my bath,” commanded Wanda as she stood in glorious nakedness before her hostess. Seeing Cara’s reluctance as she stripped down to her panties, the aggressive Wanda said, “What are you ashamed of? Your husband probably wanted the same thing.”
Cara looked surprised and flushed as she peeled off her panties and then unhooked her bra. Her breasts bounced high and pink, the summits already as hard as sea shells. “Yes, we used to do these things…both of us washed each other.”
SHE WAS A “BUTCH”
What does this mean in terms of the human being — the beautiful, gray-eyed, twenty-year-old girl called Carla?
What does it mean beyond the fact that Carla preferred girls to boys, man-style sexual freedom to buttons and bows?
MARGARET knows — because she is the first girl to be seduced by Carla.
JAMIE knows — because she is the one who lives with Carla, making love yet not loving.
SORREL knows — because she turns the tables, takes Carla by force.
HILDA knows — because with her talented stripper’s body she is able to toy with Carla.
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW? ARE YOU CURIOUS ABOUT THE DAY-TO-DAY DETAILS OF LESBIANISM, THE CAUSES, THE REWARDS, AND THE TORTURES?
An angsty look inside:
Carla Manning paced the empty and quiet apartment, her eyes darting to the wall clock incessantly. She puffed on a filter cigarette in an agitated manner, her slender hands occasionally brushing back her loose black hair. It was close to midnight and yet sleep was unthinkable as long as she was alone in the apartment and had to endure depression alternating with unrest.
I’ll bet she’s kissing him right now, Carla thought, standing by the window and hugging her arms to her small firm breasts. Parked on some dark street, probably necking like two high-school kids. She’s doubtless even allowing him to pet her, and he’s asking her to move into the back seat where they can have more room.
Carla shuddered and frowned, touching her forehead to the cool glass of the window. What’s the matter with me, she thought. Why on earth should it matter so to me what she does? Why does it make me feel sick inside just to think of her letting a man put his hands on her body? Why do I become so upset when she goes out on a date? Why do I worry so about her?
20. Queer Patterns
“She folded Sheila into her arms and kissed her eyes, her soft fair hair, finally her lips….”
Nicoli’s short dark hair, gray eyes, and cameo cut features were somehow fascinating to Sheila. And Nicoli gave of them freely.
Yet statuesque blonde Sheila was tortured by their unhealthy affair. Racked by an emotion that she was forced to explore behind closed doors, Sheila knew that she could no longer pretend to be a normal woman. She had to face the fact that she was capable of loving only members of her own sex.
Here is a book that examines frankly and courageously the dramatic problems inherent in woman’s love for woman.
An intimate, honest look inside:
Honey-haired, statuesque Sheila Case had a “crush” on Nicoli. But Sheila wasn’t a schoolgirl any longer…. She should have realized that the attraction of woman for woman was unconventional, unhealthy, strange.
On the other hand, Nicoli knew exactly what she was doing. Cool and deliberately sensual, she let herself slip entirely into a half-world of unnatural lovemaking.
This is an intimate, honest novel about a delicate human problem — the rarely faced-up-to matter of lesbianism — written at an intelligent, mature level.
21. A Lesbian For The Making
A flirtatious look inside:
Linda felt the woman’s eyes exploring her body. She tried to keep her mind on what she was typing but found it very difficult. She needed this job and she liked the idea of working for this famous woman, Terry Reeves — and if it meant flirting, then Linda would flirt.
22. She Devil
ABC’s of Depravity
Vicki was the pupil — young, talented, eager to learn.
Julia was the teacher — mature, experienced, and dedicated to passing her knowledge on to a rising generation.
That was the way it should have been. In actuality, Vicki was a nubile witch on sex-greased wheels…and Julia had a lot to learn about the elementary facts of ecstasy and pain. The kind of ecstasy and pain that VIcki could supply with depraved delight.
Once VIcki decided she wanted Julia for her willing love-slave, there was no turning back from the path of tortuous degradation…but no one could predict the ultimate, twisted evil to which that path would lead!
A surprisingly hetero look inside:
Julia Harrison stood at the rear of the class. In front of her, spread in a wide semi-circle around a raised wooden platform where a naked model posed, her class of fifteen students were busily putting the finishing touches on their clay figures.
Julia was impatient for the class to be over. She had been impatient for this day to come for weeks, but she was also afraid. The impatience began the moment she said goodbye to Don and he left for a three-month trip to the Persian Gulf aboard his ship. She looked beyond the model to the skylight, where the soft light of a late autumn afternoon glowed. In just a few hours, she thought, he’ll be here.
23. A Lesbian Happening
It was a big decision the day Lisa decided to run away from her home and go to New York City…but she had no idea of the drastic change it would bring about when she was befriended by a beautiful interior decorator — a wanton lesbian — whose motives weren’t exactly humanitarian.
An educational look inside:
“Lisa,” she said, “we were meant to meet.”
She saw Lorri’s face come in closer. Then she felt the soft, full lips against her own.
“Lisa…Lisa…I’ll be so gentle with you. Not like him. Not like any of the men,” she whispered.
Lisa released a sigh and slumped against Lorri. “Lorri,” she breathed, “teach me.”