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Anorak | Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

by | 30th, June 2014

“TWISTED”, “Depraved”, “Warped” – these are words often found on the covers of sleazy lesbian paperbacks of the 1950s and 60s. Anything other than “normal” heterosexuality was seen as shameful and deviant. Yet, the populace gobbled up these lesbian tales by the truckload… it was sinful to practice, but evidently okay to read and fantasize about.

Here, for your vulgar amusement, are 33 covers of sinful tales of women who love women (the horror!). I’ve divided them up into 3 categories. Just because it’s filth, doesn’t mean we can’t keep it organized.

 

1. ABNORMAL TALES
Lesbianism is an abnormality, a sickness. Somebody call a doctor!

 

lesbian paperback 4 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

 

lesbian paperback 32 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

My Mother Is A Lesbian (1969)

“An actual factual story told as it is by the person who lived through it. Plus other case histories.”

So, it’s not just a factual story, but an actual factual story. Tell me more…

(from the back cover)

“Whether we are aware of it or not, each of us is endowed with a streak fo homosexuality. Psychologists have long agreed that this latent homosexuality could become overt as the result of as little as one exposure to a homosexual act…

Lesbians are made, not born, and if a woman is exposed to the degenerate thrills of lesbianism by her own mother, the odds are that she will also look for her sex life among her own gender.”

 

lesbian paperback 30 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

“The dark world of lesbian love held her captive. Could she ever be NORMAL again?”

 

lesbian paperback 26 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

Not only is it abnormal, but, as this book points out, it’s also “unholy”. With all these negative descriptions, one wonders if there’s any crime on earth worse than a chick liking another chick!

 

lesbian paperback 22 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s
Odd Girl Out, published in 1957, demonstrates how midcentury lesbian literature had to be a bit tamer. The lesbians were still “odd girls out”, but things weren’t quite as risqué.

 

 

lesbian paperback 8 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

“A novel that courageously comes to grips with the hidden problem of deviation among women”

 

lesbian paperback 7 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

This book is from 1967, yet it still looks at lesbianism as a strange behavior, freely chosen.

 

lesbian paperback 20 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s
“Told with unblinking honesty, here is a penetrating study of society’s greatest curse: homosexuality!”

 

lesbian paperback 17 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

“The tragedy of a sex doomed to take their delights in strange and unnatural ways.”

These paperbacks are so conflicted. On the one hand, lesbianism is an unnatural curse. On the other, it’s the most awesome and sexy thing in the universe. No wonder people were confused.


 

 

2. LOVE IN THE SHADOWS
Lesbianism was something best kept secret – what would the neighbors say?

 

lesbian paperback 3 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

lesbian paperback 29 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

The Shadowy Sex explains lesbianism as a result of fearing to love men. Sounds reasonable…. of course, wouldn’t that mean the flipside could also be true – that some women love men because they fear to love women? Best to not dwell on it – it’s so much easier to just thoughtlessly condemn.

 

lesbian paperback 23 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

Sex in the Shadows puts the blame on “older lesbians” who lure young innocents into their world of sin.

 

lesbian paperback 6 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s
“Drifting and tormented, she was torn between giving herself to a woman and selling herself to a man!”

Spoiler alert: She decides to give herself to a woman.

 

lesbian paperback 34 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

lesbian paperback 35 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s
A common term in vintage lesbian erotic literature was “twilight”. Apparently, this word was synonymous for “illicit and disgraceful” long before the vampire movies.

 

lesbian paperback 28 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

“They were twilight lovers in the world between the sexes.”

 

lesbian paperback 25 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

lesbian paperback 24 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

lesbian paperback 21 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

Whisper Their Love (1957)

With such a long history of whispering and hiding in the shadows, it’s no effing wonder the gay community holds parades.


 

 3. A LIFE OF SIN AND DEPRAVITY
Amoral tales of those wild and wicked lesbians

lesbian paperback 2 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

lesbian paperback 12 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

In 1964, when this book was published, there really was the mentality that lesbianism was a cult. The concept that it might be physiological wasn’t even entertained. Like cult membership, “normal” citizens made a choice to take part in a “deviate” lifestyle.

 

lesbian paperback 19 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s
“Tormented passions of woman for woman”

Ummmm…. these gals don’t look very tormented. In fact, they look like they’re having heaps of fun. Did nobody tell them they’re supposed to be sad and self-loathing?

 

lesbian paperback 10 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s
Once again, the “tormented” lesbian looks the most content of the bunch.

 

lesbian paperback 18 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

That’s more like it. Lesbians should look destitute and world-weary.

 

lesbian paperback 9 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

Ah, the scourge of the hot lesbian gangs. When will the violence end?

 

lesbian paperback 14 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

“Half temptress, half lesbo…” Wait, what? Can you be half a lesbian (or half a temptress for that matter)? I don’t think that’s how it works.

 

lesbian paperback 31 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

I’m not sure why the girl doing push-ups has a sandwich buckled to her ass, but I’m willing to overlook it.

 

lesbian paperback 5 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

“She was only seventeen, but her body was already bought and paid for in full by another woman – a Lesbian.”

Was the “-a Lesbian” bit really necessary?

 

lesbian paperback 16 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s
“They wore the name of the forbidden breed… The tragedy doomed by her own unnatural desires”

 

And here’s another that takes an incestuous angle…

lesbian paperback 15 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

I presume these authors thought that if you’re willing to enter the dark sinful world of lesbianism, incest wouldn’t be much of a stretch.

 

lesbian paperback 13 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

I Googled “hollywood dyke alley” and ended up with search results for Dick Van Dyke and Kristy Alley. I’m not saying it didn’t exist, but I’m a little skeptical.

 

lesbian paperback 11 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s

Much preferable to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Sisterhood of the Flesh takes on interracial sex as well as lesbianism in one blow. Pretty provocative for 1965.

 

lesbian paperback 27 Abnormal Tales: 33 Vintage Lesbian Paperbacks From the 50s And 60s
I’ll end with the winner for best title. It also offers the best reason why women are lesbians: “frustration and boredom”. Bravo, Women on Beaver Mountain. You are the clear winner.



Posted: 30th, June 2014 | In: Books, Flashback Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink

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