Bobbling breasts & jiggling mounds: Your grandpa's "hot" novels kept it above the waist
Each Thursday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.
Author: Al James
Publisher: Nightstand Books
The Cover Promises:
"She was riding high - on a roller-coaster of lust!"
"Here she was, naked with three men looking on. But she felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. It wasn't normal. Not to want one or all three to jump her. In a way she was tempted to shove a breast in Frank's leering mouth. To see if he could suck her to passion." (page 66-67).
Like babies or Cinemax or male fans of The Ghost Whisperer, Al James is interested only in breasts.Throughout Sex Model -- a dingbat stroke book from the publishers of The Sin-Damned and The High School Sex Club-- James never lets two pages pass without dreaming about "white mounds," "inflated nipples," "a beautiful set of boobs to get his teeth into."
When virginal heroine Sylvia Saunders arrives in Chicago to become a model, here's how she is greeted by the first man she meets:
"The man reached out, fondling a breast, lifting it gently in the palm of his hand. 'Christ,' he breathed. 'What a lay you'll be.'"
NOTE: Sex Model contains no images, so your Crap Archivist has chosen to illustrate this post with like-minded photos from 1952's Raising Turkeys.
Occasionally, characters do get laid, but even then James keeps the action stubbornly above the waist, dismissing everything lower in vague descriptions of "her flat stomach and the darkness that lay beyond." Here, he still manages to illustrate how times have changed:
"Any woman with two breasts and hair where it counted could make a living.
So, he's like a baseball announcer who refuses to call any play in which a runner advances past second. This probably has much to do with the fact that just four years before the supreme court had upheld the obscenity conviction of American Aphrodite publisher Samuel Roth.
Still, James is eager. Some choice bits:
- "Her breasts fought a losing battle with the material, extending well into space, jiggling slightly as she moved, ending in two precise points."
- "The buttons parted, dropping the material away from the brassiered breasts. Homer swore pleasure, pawing at what was left, managing to get one mound free."
- "And the brassiere, the hooks loose at the back, wasn't doing its job, riding the crest of the bobbling mounds, sliding low enough to show the enlarged tips."
Those are all within ten pages of each other. And, admittedly, they're better than Important Writer John Updike's "She had dear little nipples like rabbit noses."
Sylvia, we learn, has "The face of a school teacher and the body of a sex pot." But the very idea of sex leaves her cold, and she vows to make it as a model without compromising her virtue. It makes perfect sense, then, that she would take an apartment with Angelia, the rare hooker who is beautiful as a model and relishes her every trick.
Men grope and hump at Sylvia every few pages. Her biggest worry: why doesn't she enjoy it? Here she watches Angelia have sex for money with a 300 pound man on a public bus-- after much energetic breast play, of course:
"Maybe she was an ignorant farm girl after all. Even watching from the sidelines she should have been worked up. She wasn't."
Perhaps her disinterest comes from the fact that men have continually violated her. Here's a sampling:
Pages 16 - 20: Bus passenger fondles her breast, panties as she sleeps.
Page 39: Naked man mauls her at sex party thrown by hooker room-mate.
Page 57 - 61: Shep Homer, of Homer's Talent Agency, seizes breast, rips dress.
Page 87: Worked up as she "idly pluck[s] at her bare nipples," the entire "sex aroused" audience at "Camera Club" strip show riots, rushes stage, attempts to rape.
Page 99 - 103: Barney Fretter kisses her warmly, caresses her breasts so that they grow bigger as she watches [?], and brings her to "an unvented passion" and "a wild weakness that seemed to drive her to more frantic movements," even though she told him to stop four separate times.
Remember, this is a "Nightstand Book." From Little Red Riding Hood to today's tween pop stars, the west has long preferred its virgins ripe and threatened and right before bed.
James includes a thesis statement:
"The breasts were the key to what lay below. Not once had he touched them that she didn't feel the urge to pull her legs apart."
Since all theses demand evidence, here's a couple moire of James' hundred plus thoughts on the subject:
- "She was breathing hard, her rising bosom shaking the dress close to oblivion."
- "And how those breasts filled out the yellow sweater, almost to the point of breaking the yarn."
- "Shadows accentuated the youth ripened breasts, moving gently as she breathed hard, the nipples big, straight ahead."
Mere pages after Sylvia blossoms into womanhood, James writes, "It was as if he'd opened Pandora's box by de-virginizing her."
Her lover cheats on her, so Sylvia, now corrupted, seduces Walter Snow, a talent agent. Her reasoning: "He wore pants, and she'd been five days without a man." Ten pages on, she's homeless, sleeping with strangers for the bed and a roof. Here she instructs a teenage boy at a diner in all that matters in life:
"'When you do get a girl make sure she has large breasts, so large you can't put them in the palm of your hand.' Chino rattled the full cup back onto the counter, nervous at the turn the conversation was taking. 'Like yours?' he said, his mouth dry. 'If you can find them that big. Here, let me show you.'"
Chino lets her show him. Then:
"It was heavy. Far heavier than he'd even imagined. When he let go it bobbled for a second, like firm jelly. The girl covered herself up. 'Show's over, she smiled. 'Now get me some breakfast.'"
Not long after learning to trade breasts for bacon, Sylvia is murdered in a mob hit. Or something. The important thing: she had been soundly punished her for having dared perform the act its readers desperately craved. See you in abstinence class, America!
[For more on great sleazy vintage paperbacks, visit the great Vintage Sleaze Paperback blog!]
The mighty Studies in Crap e-mail list updates you whenever a new SiC post hits. Sign up at email@example.com.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.