|Vintage Pulp | Sex Files||Sep 1 2009|
Mexicans got the blame, but only Americans could have done this.
We stumbled across a collection of Tijuana bibles and just had to share these things. For the uninitiated, Tijuana bibles are dirty booklets produced starting in the 1920s, but which reached their zenith during the Great Depression. The booklets depicted sex between well-known figures of the time—everyone from movie stars to cartoon characters, all rendered in low rent art, but with the gynecological precision of kama sutra diagrams. In addition, some delved into esoterica such as incest, forcible sex, and bestiality.
Obviously, they were sold on the down-low, in drug stores, barber shops, speakeasies, or from the backs of cars. The time frame during which these were popular might seem to make their no-holes-barred explicitness amazing, but the Depression was an era of loosened morals, during which most Americans were actually hitting it before marriage.
Nobody can say why they were called Tijuana bibles. Perhaps the name was chosen because the pages showed perversions that were presumably available only south of the border, or, equally likely, some smartass simply thought it was funny to blame Mexicans for something they hadn’t done. In any case, Mexicans clearly didn’t make these, because Americans are the undisputed kings of manufacturing smut, and always have been. Yeah baby. U.S.A! U.S.A! More bible covers below, followed by a small selection of the tamest interior art we could find.