News & Politics

John Wilcock Wishes Squares Would Grow Up


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September 13, 1962, Vol. VII, No. 47

A Nation of Letter-Writers

By John Wilcock

The much-maligned (unjustifiably) Eros quarterly sent out hundreds of thousands of mail-order solicitations to potential subscribers before appearing for the first time earlier this year. On the envelope of the mail-order piece were the words, “A message to you from the God of Love,” and this seems to have misled some religiously minded types into believing that it contained a religious tract.

At any rate, the rage and hysteria that went up from some of these people when they opened the envelope and discovered that it announced the impending publication of a magazine actually about SEX has to be seen to be believed.

“All together,” says Eros in its second issue, “the critical letters presented a candid view of present-day puritanism in the United States that might otherwise not have been available.” The bulk of the letters have been sent on to the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University “for the benefit of future generations of scholars.”

Some, however, have been reprinted in Eros No. 2, and the viciousness, hypocrisy, savagery, and stupidity of them makes one despair that America will ever grow up. Most of the letters are too vicious or vulgar to repeat here. One of the politer ones reads “Go s— in your hat; I’ve told the postal authorities about this.”

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 11, 2009


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