Title: About the Kinsey Report: Observations by 11 Experts on "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male"
Cover artist: jonas
Yours for: $6
Best things about this cover:
- "Sexual Behavior in Male Mannequins with Irregular Heartbeats"
- This is pretty much as dull as these covers get. This book is impt from a historical standpoint, but not from an aesthetic one. "jonas" is a great early cover artist. Lots of great stylized, abstract covers from him on Penguin and Signet books in particular. This cover doesn't do him justice.
- The Kinsey Report was a boon for sellers of trashy fiction because they could (and did, in spades) use the data about unconventional (e.g. non-heterosexual, non-reproductive) sexuality from Kinsey's studies to justify and hype their books under the guise of the public's right to exercise its scientific curiosity. We'll see hilarious examples of this kind of self-serving cover copy many times in future installments of this blog.
Best things about this back cover:
- Small text! Who doesn't love that!?
- Signet is testing the waters here, waiting to see if their readers do indeed have "fair and open minds." Hence the very boring, scientific-looking, toned-down cover (and cover copy — you don't even see the words "masturbation" or "homosexuality," for instance). The U.S. mass-market paperback doesn't take a serious, overtly sexual turn for another few years, but once Gold Medal comes along with its sensational paperback originals and saucy covers, the heat starts to go up, and by 1960, it's a sexual free-for-all (see Paperbacks 252 and 253, among others).
It is not good to find masturbation continuing as a heavy factor in the sex outlet of married men among the better educated group.
I ... uh ... what?