Pretty much everything we know about "The Magazine of Modern Sex" is right there in the magazines themselves. All these issues are from 1964-66, and we think we've got a full run (11), although we can't be sure because we've been able to find nothing on them. (There isn't even a Wikipedia article! Gasp!) We do know that we can't find any issues available for sale online that we don't have ... so it seems reasonable to assume that we've got them all. (If you have any bibliographic information that's not available to our first source [the Library of Congress], please do email us!)
The magazine's tagline was, "The truth about yourself and the world you live in," which makes me wonder just what kind of world 1960s America was given that one headline moans: "American Women Are Frigid!" Other favorites include "Sex in Old Testament Times" and "Dark Rites of Voodoo: Secret Rites of Sex in Modern Times". Some articles make it clear that there are many debates that will simply never die: "Birth Control vs. Morality", for instance. And some insecurities likely afflicted Adam and Eve: "How Good A Lover Are You?" or "What Really Makes A Woman Sexy?" Then there's a whole panoply of articles that strike me as dated, yet hold an eerie cultural echo: "The Well-Integrated Homosexual", "Homosexual Love Without Fear", and "Why Women Become Lesbians" all form an excellent sample.
I'm a tad fascinated by these magazines (and more than a tad relieved that I don't live in the 60s). I'm enjoying having them around the shop, but I do hope they make some sexual historian very happy (at $160.00 for the run).
A slightly less solvent sexual historian might be interested in these other Affordable and Interesting period pieces:
At $4.00 apiece, our late 1960s / early 1970s issues of "Playboy" are a veritable steal -- especially since they're in great condition! Apparently the gentleman we received these from had dozens of the same issues, all of them lying around in their original wrappers, which is why they show no wear and hardly even any age-darkening. Everyone loves them, though, so they go quickly. I've noticed that we're running perilously low on a few of the more exotic-looking issues, like the one on body paint:
Wondering what you can do with a bunch of vintage "Playboy" magazines? Think of the possibilities! Party favors for a 1960s theme party! Collages as maddening as they are artistic! I often make the joke that "we sell them for the articles", but there really are some historical gems in there: a 1968 interview with Ralph Nader, a 1967 interview with Woody Allen. History. Seriously. Plus doe-eyed nudes. You can't go wrong with that.
Did I mention it's hot in here? I need a break from talking about these scandalous things. Let's look at this week's Favorite:
I found this tile in a desolate corner of the shop a month or so ago, and I hauled it out to see if anyone could identify a language in it. Not one of the eminent scholars who pass our window have been able to translate the symbols, and Doug (mysteriously?) can't recall where he came by it. I half think it's a talisman, lucky or ill, written in the lost language of Atlantis or the elder gods. Who can say what such a thing is worth? Doug calls it a mere $95.00, but then, he claims to have "forgotten" where it came from. I fear its mighty power: perhaps even now it toys with his mind! Perhaps it seeks to find its way into the world, where its strange runes can cause supernatural havoc!
Being here is great for the creative juices, I tell you. But I fear that's all the creative juices for the day, gentle readers .... Maybe I can swim in the dusk!