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Sleaze Capital: Kayo Books' Dirty Novels Are Second to None 

Wednesday, Jan 11 2012

For 16 years, Maria and Ron Blum have run the remarkable Kayo Books, 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. They also stock 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.

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. The 50s novels are bosomy but tame; the 60s' 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. The selection emphasizes the more imaginative pre-hardcore material.

Here are some of the best titles we spotted at Kayo on a recent afternoon:

Angels in the Gutter

The Fraudulent Broad

Sex Stable

Lust Traders (Also: Lust Spoiled; Lust Girl; Lust Cursed; Lust Recruit; Lust Treasures; The Lust Within)

The Youngest Harlot

Working Wives, Hard-Up Husbands


Incest for Renee

She Made Her Bed ("Eve would offer anything")

Lez on Wheels

The Sex Life of a Cop

Free Sample ("Any man could try her... as long as she called the shots!")

Hobo Girl ("Why did she go for anything in trousers?")

Flash Orgy ("Their whirlool [sic] of sin was violated")

The Amorous Adventures of a Gentleman of Quality

About The Author

Alan Scherstuhl


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