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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Twenty Wonderfully Lurid Sleaze Paperback Covers From Kayo Books

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 8:30 AM

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Your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from Golden State basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets.

For 16 years, Maria and Ron Blum have run the remarkable Kayo Books (814 Post Street), San Francisco's -- and certainly the country's -- premiere repository of sublimely smutty vintage paperbacks. It's as if the bedside stash of every creepy uncle of the mid-20th century had been gathered together into one two-floor Tendernob bookstore.

There you could buy books like Sin Spin, which seems to be the story of a collector of giant, exotic panties.

Kayo also stocks lit, forgotten magazines, the pulpiest of pulp novels, and a wall's worth of novelizations of TV shows (Space: 1999; Marcus Welby, MD; Welcome Back, Kotter), but what's most fascinating is the lurid parade of lust-mad dames and sin-hearted he-men.

And hobo girl, of course.


The back cover of Hobo Girl asks one of the world's great questions:

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Arranged into categories like "Ballbusters," "Catholic Guilt," "Nurses!" (titles include Hard Doctor and What Ever Happened to Doctor Sex?), and "Campus Hi-Jinks" (School of Desire; Phi Betta Fanny), the Kayo stock is something of a timeline charting America's sexual development -- and the Supreme Court's obscenity rulings.

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The 50s novels are bosomy but tame; the 60s books concern rebellion and often purport their lusty tales to be case studies in the public interest -- but they still tend to be vague on the nuts-and-bolts of gettin' it on. Post '69, it's love in the time of pubic hair, with softcore going the way of the drugshop soda fountain.

But the selection emphasizes the more imaginative pre-hardcore material, like this beauty:

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Her loves are "different," a word that, once scare quoted like that, always suggests to me my Midwestern relatives dismissing food they're unfamiliar with, like casseroles that do not have Fritos on top: "Well, that's 'different.'"

Some of the publishers of these books were careless:

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A "whirlool" of sin!

Astonishing books are stacked throughout three separate rooms at Kayo.

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Much more ahead!

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Alan Scherstuhl


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