Vintage Pulp Jan 17 2011
MISSPENT YOUTH
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 may share later.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 14
1911—Team Reaches South Pole
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, along with his team Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting, becomes the first person to reach the South Pole. After a celebrated career, Amundsen eventually disappears in 1928 while returning from a search and rescue flight at the North Pole. His body is never found.
December 13
1944—Velez Commits Suicide
Mexican actress Lupe Velez, who was considered one of the great beauties of her day, commits suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. In her note, Velez says she did it to avoid bringing shame on her unborn child by giving birth to him out of wedlock, but many Hollywood historians believe bipolar disorder was the actual cause. The event inspired a 1965 Andy Warhol film entitled Lupe.
1958—Gordo the Monkey Lost After Space Flight
After a fifteen minute flight into space on a Jupiter AM-13 rocket, a monkey named Gordo splashes down in the South Pacific but is lost after his capsule sinks. The incident sparks angry protests from the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but NASA says animals are needed for such tests.
December 12
1968—Tallulah Bankhead Dies
American actress, talk show host, and party girl Tallulah Bankhead, who was fond of turning cartwheels in a dress without underwear and once made an entrance to a party without a stitch of clothing on, dies in St. Luke's Hospital in New York City of double pneumonia complicated by emphysema.
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