Faced with this position surrender is the only option.
Here you see a pose that appears over and over in vintage paperback art—one figure looming menacingly in the foreground as a second cowers in the triangular negative space created by the first’s spread legs. This pose is so common it should have a name. We’re thinking “the alpha,” because it signifies male dominance and because of the a-shape the pose makes. True, on occasion the dominator isn’t male, sometimes the unfortunate sprawled figure is depicted outside the a-shaped space, and sometimes the art expresses something other than dominance, but basically the alpha (see, that just sounds right, doesn’t it?) has been used scores of times with only minor variation. You’ll notice several of these come from subsidiaries of the sleaze publisher Greenleaf Classics. It was a go-to cover style for them. We have twenty examples in all, with art by Bob Abbett, Robert Bonfils, Michel Gourdon, and others.
Authors like Barbara Hoffman gave sleaze a new twist.
How do you make sleaze better? Pass it off as educational. During the 1960s, a time when sexual research was experiencing a bit of a—if you’ll excuse the expression—growth spurt, a subset of the sleaze market arose in which fictional clinical studies were passed off as serious scholarship. Barbara Hoffman was one of the go-to authors for this type of fiction, and wrote analyses such as The Baby Pros (a study of teenaged prostitution), The Adulteress (a report on unfaithful wives), Teenaged Seductress (a report on promiscuity among teenaged girls), Woman Loves Boy (a study of older women’s relationships with teenaged boys) and The Youth Lovers, above (which purported to document relationships between older men and teenaged girls). While some minimal research may have gone into the text, people bought these books for the steamy details included in the phony case studies. Doctors were quoted to provide a gloss of legitimacy, but they too may have been fictional, and in fact, Barbara Hoffman herself never existed, but was a pen name for veteran sleaze author Russell Trainer, the man who gave the world The Lolita Complex. That’s a story all its own, which we’ll share later, and you can find more info on The Youth Lovers at the website National Road Books