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©Copyright 2011-2018 Eric Wrobbel

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Vintage trashy novels: 'Five luscious campus cuties on a no-holds-barred spree!' Or how about 'Just his touch could set her blood on fire...Paula Has a Price!' And the titles: 'Strip for Violence,' 'Lust Grind.' Yikes! From 'Trashy Novels' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: https://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/trashy-novels.htm

A critical observer of pop culture today will easily get the impression that the world is getting sleazier by the minute. Movies, books, TV, magazines, and advertising all seem to “push the envelope” whenever they can. And I don’t mean the envelope of excellence, either. I mean pushing at the edges of propriety just to see what can be gotten away with.

This is progress, as many of the purveyors of pop culture see it.

Curiously, the sleaze of the past, as depicted here in these trashy novels, is fun to collect because it is, at least to me, something of a comfort. A comfort? Yes, I find it comforting to know that our present generation did not invent sleaze and that its creation may not even be escalating at the rapid clip it often seems to be.

Further, it is a comfort to note that the makers of modern sleaze often don’t even seem to be any good at it, at least not compared with the striking examples you see on this page.

As in other categories of collecting, I find history lessons here.

Some, I suppose, might collect books such as these as literature, but for me it is all about the covers and titles. “Five luscious campus cuties on a no-holds-barred spree!” Or how about “Just his touch could set her blood on fire...Paula Has a Price!”

The creators of these books often seem to have trouble keeping lust and violence apart. They presumably were aimed at a market that had the same trouble.

Clearly the market for these books was men. Today, judging from what I see around, I would venture to guess that women are now the main market for trashy novels. The covers and titles have changed accordingly. As for the text inside the modern “romance novel,” well, it would probably make the authors of the books on this page blush bright red.

Blonde Baby” by Wilson Collison (this edition 1949, Diversey Periodicals, Inc, NY), Pajama Party” by Peggy Swenson (1963 Midwood-Tower Publications), Lust Grind” by J. X. Williams (1962, Nightstand Books), Paula Has a Price” by Perry Lindsay (1949, Ecstasy Novel Magazine), Strip For Violence by Ed Lacy (this edition 1965, Macfadden Books), and Mark Kilby and the Miami Mob by Robert Caine Frazer (1960, Pocket Books).