Vintage Pulp Jun 28 2009
WOOD NYMPH
Newspaper survey says skin is in, but we have our doubts.


We talked a bit about the nudist movement before, and mentioned that the concept of nudism as a healthy lifestyle choice really took off during the pulp heyday of the 1950s. Above you see the August 1962 edition of American Sunbather. One thing you’ll notice—other than the cover model risking serious splinterage by posing on a tree stump—is the stamp of the American Sunbathing Association. The group still exists, surprisingly, albeit under the name American Association for Nude Recreation. But it’s the same org and they’ve been around since 1931. 

We wrote in that previous post that we thought nudism was possibly less accepted now than fifty years ago, but based on a visit to the AANR website, we retract that. The site quotes a USA Today poll result claiming that 15% of Americans “would consider a resort that offers a nude recreation experience or a clothing-optional beach experience” a very desirable part of a vacation. Of course, the key words in that poll question are “beach” and “vacation.” People will vote for anything having to do with those, no matter how weird it may be (consider that a little free advice for 2012, Sarah Palin).

Still, one in six Americans is willing bare all in front of strangers? We think this is a prime example of the chasm between polls and reality. Because while many people say they would strip in front of strangers, most get cold feet when it comes actual time to do the deed. We know whereof we speak—anytime we ask a girl to strip she flat out refuses. Usually while kneeing us in the groin at the same time. But now we’re going to join the AANR, receive a couple of membership cards, and make our requests in an official capacity: “Ma’am, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to strip—it isn't just natural and healthy, it’s the law.” More totally healthy AANR-approved nakedness below.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 21 2008
NAKED BUNCH
Don’t look too closely or you might spot your grandmother.

International nudist magazines promoted group nakedness as fun, healthy, and innocent—and even an unavoidable next step in human social evolution. If someone raised their eyebrows at your Campus Jaybird, it just proved they weren’t ready to be free, man. At least you knew better than to invite them on your next nude biking trip. Nudist magazines proliferated throughout the 50s and 60s, and remained popular into the 1970s. The Nudist Idea and American Nudist Leader, both below, feature covers with Diane Webber, aka Marguerite Empey, a former Playboy centerfold who remains one of the most renowned nude models of all time. Also putting in an appearance is Virginia Gordon, another Playboy model, seen on the cover of Paradise. Though the international nudist movement still exists, it is possibly less accepted than fifty years ago. We’re too young here to know for sure, so you’ll just have to ask your grandma about that. What we do know is you’ll be seeing more of these covers from us.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 16
1964—China Detonates Nuke
At the Lop Nur test site located between the Taklamakan and Kuruktag deserts, the People's Republic of China detonates its first nuclear weapon, codenamed 596 after the month of June 1959, which is when the program was initiated.
1996—Handgun Ban in the UK
In response to a mass shooting in Dunblane, Scotland that kills 16 children, the British Conservative government announces a law to ban all handguns, with the exception .22 caliber target pistols. When Labor takes power several months later, they extend the ban to all handguns.
October 15
1945—Laval Executed
Pierre Laval, who was the premier of Vichy, France, which had collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, is shot by a firing squad for treason. In subsequent years it emerges that Laval may have considered himself a patriot whose goal was to publicly submit to the Germans while doing everything possible behind the scenes to thwart them. In at least one respect he may have succeeded: fifty percent of French Jews survived the war, whereas in other territories about ninety percent perished.
1966—Black Panthers Form
In the U.S., in Oakland, California, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale form the Black Panther political party. The Panthers are active in American politics throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but eventually legal troubles combined with a schism over the direction of the party lead to its dissolution.
October 14
1962—Cuban Missile Crisis Begins
A U-2 spy plane flight over the island of Cuba produces photographs of Soviet nuclear missiles being installed. Though American missiles have been installed near Russia, the U.S. decides that no such weapons will be tolerated in Cuba. The resultant standoff brings the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of war. The crisis finally ends with a secret deal in which the U.S. removes its missiles from Turkey in exchange for the Soviets removing the Cuban weapons.
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