Packaging: Lesbian Pulp Novels
In the 40’s and 50’s the only main stream media available to lesbian woman was the pulp novel. The first of it’s kind would focus on the disgruntled housewife or single shop girl who may discover she had a crush on another woman. Almost always unrequited. Never was the word lesbian used, phrases like ‘misbegotten sexuality’, ‘tortured soul’ or ‘peculiar feelings’ were the norm. It didn’t take long for these novels to come out of the closet. At first, written by women for women, men started writing for a more fetish-y market, (probably making it harder for lesbian women to buy these novels surreptitiously). By the sixties they were just basically sex novels with outlandish settings, prisons, strip joints, etc. When you look at these covers remember the code, the brunette is always the aggressor, the blond – the seduced.