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.
Discovered at: Antique mall
The Cover Promises:
Swamp nymphs, rapist bikers, Nazi bordellos, and, for the fetishist, “A Florida Dirt Farmer’s Terrifying Ordeal: ‘Coyotes Are Breaking Into Our Homes!'”
By the early 1970s, the sweats — or men’s adventure magazines– had to start putting out.
Just as that demure pioneer Playboy led stroke-mag readers to the pinker pastures of Penthouse, and then to a sort of manifest destiny with the spread-eagled horizons Hustler, so too the lusty tall-tales of men’s adventure magazines of the fifties and sixties — “Man-Hungry Hussy of She-Devil Island!”; “Terror if the All Girl Posse and Their Necktie Parties” — gave way to the raw, unimaginative grind of this Male Annual.
Gone are the “true” stories of pirate queens and panther goddesses. Instead, the lead article here is”I Star in Those Wild ‘Turn On’ Movies,” a grim blow-by-blow of life on the set of one of the very movies killing magazines like this one. Reading it, your Crap Archivist couldn’t help but wonder: why would the American he-man read about ladyparts when every city in the country now had a theater where he could watch them?
While spiced with topless photos the publishers wouldn’t have dared just a few years before, the porn-girl article holds to the men’s adventure tradition of peddling sadism while still denouncing it. “Photogenic and bosomy” actress April Johnson gets to the rough stuff just a couple paragraphs in.
“I push him away and he slaps me. That excites me and I have to relate this to the audience. I tremble a little and my eyes get glassy, misty – it’s special eyedrops that get you the effect you want – and I also run my tongue over my lips.
The rules governing sweat-mag rape stories dictate that someone must be punished. Who gets it here?
The goons love violence. That’s what we call the audience in the trade – goons. They’re sex deviates [sic], or lonely people who can’t make it: old men, homosexuals, and the real low brow types. Goons, all of them. And they just love a violent rape scene.”
Before the ’70s, it had been Nazis, savages, and cultists whose quest for kicks had corrupted innocent girls for the benefit of men’s adventure readers. Now, such sexual villainy had gone mainstream. The Male Annuals of the world were scandalized by their own audience.
Besides sex stories that today pale beside most grocery-store romance novels, this Male Annual offers a blurry snapshot of the girls in Oh! Calcutta, a blurb on the year’s best hockey fights, a couple of cute topless photos, and a sweat-mag specialty: alarming advice columns.
In “On the Law,” a reader asks what happens if, after you’ve filed for divorce, your wife gets you drunk, lures you to bed, and gets a photographer to burst in “at the critical moment.” Have you lost your grounds for divorce?
“Yes, according to a Federal court decision. With or without liquor, you “may not litigate by day and copulate by night.”
Other questions from perv-hating real Americans:
I’m happy to say that the answers are “no” and “no.”
Male Annual also kept readers abreast of:
Animal news both practical . . .
. . . and terrifying.
Actual tagline: “His home and livelihood threatened by marauding coyotes, he set out to hunt the pack down — but soon found he was the one being hunted.”
The sweats relied on newsstand sales rather than advertising, but the few ads here suggest a readership most likely alienated by the high-ball urbanity of Playboy. Most of these ads tout unlikely, depressing careers in upholstering, typewriter repair, mechanical drafting, and insurance investigating, which looks like a great way to meet ladies!
Shades of Killinger! Better still, even the ladies whose claims you deny can’t resist the dashing look of Eleganza!
Things happen? What things?
Developing a fondness for Teddy Ruxpin overall jumpsuits, maybe?
So, rape is bad, and I’m glad we all agree on that. Still, there’s some man-on-woman violence Male Annual is happy to endorse.
But I thought ladies didn’t meant it when they said “no”!
If she didn’t want to be shot, she shouldn’t have been less attractive than other women!
[The Crap Archivist lives in Kansas City, where he originates his on-line Studies for the Voice‘s sister paper, The Pitch.]