When we think of “gay pulp fiction,” John Travolta in a bolo tie and ponytail doing The Twist with a coked-up Uma Thurman immediately comes to mind. But let’s take a moment to remember yesterqueer and the exploitative “literature” of the ’50s, ’60s and early ’70s detailing the seedy underbelly of homosexual life. They were the literary version of Bravo: cheap, trashy entertainment exclusively for gay men and bored housewives. And their covers were sometimes more entertaining than their plots.
In the spirit of reading being fundamental and a picture being worth a thousand words, here are 30 salacious covers from the golden age of pulp fiction: