Beauty Is Skin Deep… (An Ugly History Lesson)

According to this vintage WWII propaganda poster, beauty is but a mask covering hideous venereal disease.

WWII venereal disease propaganda poster

Because I’ve written a lot this week, here’s a quick, link-laden, bullet point list of things I was reminded of when I saw this poster:

* Primarily, what we call “beautiful” (symmetry, clear skin, long hair, etc.) is rather an attraction to key health indicators. While STDs can exist & be transmitted before “ugliness” occurs (especially in women because the symptoms are often less visible ~ hence one of Eddie Murphy’s controversial AIDS jokes in 1983 “What’s next, I guess you just put your dick in it and explodes!”), if a woman’s STI had done this much damage, a mask wouldn’t help.

* As today, women were largely blamed for STDs during WWII ~ including by the military. The more beautiful you were, the more promiscuous you were assumed to be ~ and therefore the more disease you hid behind your mask. (You can change “were” to “are” for today’s slut-shaming, women-blaming culture.)

* Because being gay was a mental illness back then, the US government didn’t believe it had gay soldiers to worry about. If & when they magically appeared, they were easily, umm, discharged by reason of mental defect. This is yet another reason women were blamed for the spread of VD. But, gay or not, in WWII or not, men do have sex with other men.

All that aside…

This poster begs the question: If she agrees to keep her mask on, will you, dear soldier, keep your condom on?

Vintage poster, for sale here, found via DPopTart, here.

PS If you want to be grossed out by STI history, read this.

Lessons In Winnipeg Whores

While not all sex workers are into reclaiming the word “whore,” I personally don’t mind it at all. (I understand the political implications and significance of the most appropriate terms “sex work” & “sex workers” and respect those who personally hate the word “whore.” But, with equal respect, I am also entitled to appreciate the word “whore” for myself.) In fact, long before I became an escort, I embraced the word “whore.”

For example, I’ve long been amused by the old song Winnipeg Whore. I may be biased, as it was my first introduction to the song years ago, but I think this song is best when it’s performed like this vintage 1960s sing-along on Adam Stag Record #9.

Imagining my grandparents sitting around drinking beer and participating in a sing-along about a man using the services of a sex worker is, well, something I just wish I could have seen.

However, as it is with most folksy music, there’s a lesson to be learned from the song.

Here, this poor Winnipeg john has his watch & wallet lifted and so folks are advised to visit whores bare so as not to be rolled. The “lesson to be learned here” message is likely not only because this is a folk song either. I’m sure this is much like the old Hollywood Hays Code in that dirty deeds can happen as long as the sinners are punished. Amazingly, it is the john who suffers and not said Winnipeg whore.

But this is only one version of the song.

Like most folk songs, there are several version of the Winnipeg Whore. Grant Hamilton has already done the research and he’s even synthesized the various versions into what he believes is the bawdiest version. In Hamilton’s synthesized version, this is the best ~ and most illuminating ~ verse:

Fucked her once, fucked her twice,
Then I fucked her one time more;
She gave a shout and then she fainted
That was the end of the Winnipeg whore.

I love how the john imagines himself able to fuck his paid female companion into oblivion. Classic male fantasy.

Most illuminating in Hamilton’s post was my discovery of another song or set of songs about Winnipeg whores: Three Old Whores from Winnipeg. (There’s even a two-whore version.)

In all the versions of this song, the sex workers are competing for size bragging rights ~ and with lyrics like these, the women clearly aren’t bragging about the size of their johns dicks. It’s the size of their own genitalia:

Three old whores in Winnipeg
Were drinking a sherry wine,
Says one of them to the other two,
“Yours is smaller than mine.”

Chorus: Oh, take up the sheets, me hearties, water the decks with brine!
Bend to the oars, you lousy whores, none is bigger than mine!

“You’re a liar,” says the other old whore
“Mine’s as big as the sea,
The battleships sail in and out,
And never a bother to me”


“You’re a liar,” says the other old whore,
“Mine’s as big as the moon,
The ships sail in on the first of the year,
And never come out until June.”


“You’re a liar,” says the other old whore,
“Mine’s as big as the air,
the ships sail out and the ships sail in,
And never tickle a hair”


“You’re a liar,” says the first again,
I’d blush to be so small,
Many’s the fleet they sailed right in,
And never come out at all.”


It’s an odd commentary on how the ignorant might imagine a sex worker would brag about her success. Obviously, any successful sex worker knows the importance of keeping a tight ship. But society’s dim view of promiscuous women, paid or not, leads them to pretend that their sexual autonomy comes at a price ~ and that price is undesirability.

The Minnesota Connection (Vintage Prostitution Pulp)

In January, National Trafficking Awareness Month prompted me to hunt for one of the many books in my sex work history collection which would illustrate that it’s the same old story ~ and worse, the…


Otherwise known as The Sex Trafficking White Slave Trade Stories Never End (Or, The Same Approach After All These Years); history, repeating itself, culture, news…

See on Scoop.itSex History

Sunday Funnies: “A Stud In Hand” Edition

The seller calls this a little trinket box, but mostly likely it is an antique cuff box. Back in the day, well-dressed gentlemen used such round boxes to store their cuffs and collars, as the boxes helped keep the fashion accessories not only clean but properly shaped.

antique cuff collar box

What makes this particular antique cuff box worthy of note, is the gilded message stamped into the leather:

A stud in hand is worth two under the bed.

antique stud in hand worth two under the bed box

The studs, of course, are those which act like today’s cufflinks ~ and naturally those under the bed are trouble to find. However, this is also cheeky proof that the gentlemen of yesteryear also had a sense of humor.

Happy Thanksgiving, Here’s Some Pilgrim Sex History

freeman elliot pilgrim pinup 1950sLooking for some sex history involving the US holiday of Thanksgiving? Read Thanksgiving Sex? Sex Lives of the Pilgrims: Girls Gone Wild & Goodwives Chasing Native Men.

Once you’ve read that…

Consider other pilgrims giving thanks. These particular pilgrims are Islamic and they travel to Sex Mountain. Yes, you read that right; I said “Sex Mountain.”

It’s a bit of sex history ~ that lives on today. See Pilgrims Flock To ‘Sex Mountain’ In Search Of Fortune:

Married men, cheating housewives, government officials and prostitutes revelling in a mass ritual of adultery and sex. This is what happens on Gunung Kemukus in Indonesia, otherwise known as Sex Mountain.

…There are several versions of the mythic tale that date back to the 16th century. Legend has it a young Indonesian Prince Pangeran Samodro had an affair with his stepmother.

They ran away and hid on Gunung Kemukus. One day, while mid-coitus, they were caught, killed and buried atop the mountain. It’s now an Islamic shrine where this sex ritual takes place.

The story goes: pilgrims must copulate on the mountain every 35 days for seven consecutive times and blessings and wealth should come their way.

But for the magic to work and the money to flow, it’s believed their sex partner for the ritual should not be their spouse.

The Earliest Webcam Equipment?

A vintage (1968) advertisement from Western Electric for the “Picturephone” ~ and you just know this was used for erotic fun. All communication and entertainment technology has been used for sex.

vintage telephone camera ad

Western Electric is crossing a telephone with a TV set.

What you’ll use is called, simply enough, a Picturephone set. Someday it will let you see who you are talking to, and let them see you.

The Picturephone set is just one of the communications of the future Western Electric is working on with Bell Telephone Laboratories. Western Electric builds regular phones and equipment for your Bell telephone company. But we also build for the future.

Image from The Golden Age of Advertising: The 60s; via.

Mad Men Dressing In A Rush

At first glance, this vintage (1956, if the development date is to be believed) photograph of a group of men in a hurried rush to put on their pants may make you think “Gay!” But, as Silent Porn Star reminds us, not all intimate photos of couples or groups of men are of gay men. Not even when you add in the old “post coital” cigs of the past dealio; everyone was smoking back then, and for no particular reason.  Given the satin stripe down the leg of the trousers, I suspect the men are getting dressed in their tuxes for a wedding. (The man on the left, who has a very Don Draper quality, may be removing his less snazzy slacks.) But if you prefer to fantasize about this group of vintage beefcake gettin’ it on, or that there’s a naked lady laying in a bed who took the photo, or any other scenarios, don’t let me stop you!

vintage mad men scramble

Banned in Boston: The Watch and Ward Society’s Crusade against Books, Burlesque, and the Social Evil

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Now in paperback, read chapter two from Banned in Boston (Beacon Press, September 2010,

A lively history of the Watch and Ward Society—New England’s notorious literary censor.

Gracie Passette‘s insight:

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The Unsolved Murder of Hitler’s Half-Niece and His Romantic Obsession

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Femme fatale Geli Raubal was found with a bullet in her chest and Hitler’s gun by her side. Who fired Hitler’s gun that night?


The unresolved and hastily covered-up death in 1931 of Geli Raubal, Hitler’s half-niece and romantic obsession, has long been relegated to the murky footnotes of the Führer’s early career in the demimonde of Munich.

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Can’t Find The Hitachi Magic Wand?

Ever since Betty Dodson featured it in her workshops and book, Liberating Masturbation (1974), women have squirmed and gushed their way to happiness with the Hitachi Magic Wand. Since then, the electric plug-in massager has been at the top of many a “best” list for sex toys and adult gift-giving guides, as well as been featured in many adult films and websites. But recently many have been unable to find the toy while shopping online, causing quite a panic.

no longer hitachi but the same magic wand originalBut don’t panic ~ the original Magic Wand is still around ~ just under a new name. The Hitachi Magic Wand is now the Magic Wand Original.

There’s a long story behind it, but basically Hitachi no longer wanted to be associated with the personal massager that became a sex toy. In lieu of Hitachi just ceasing production, and women everywhere wailing their loss, product distributor Vibratex made a deal with the corporate giant: Vibratex would continue to sell the orgasm machine, but remove Hitachi’s name from it.

Now dubbed the Magic Wand Original (or Original Magic Wand), the name change, which occurred in the Spring of this year, will stump more than a few online adult store search engines. No worries; you can now find it here. And, yes, you can still get the G-spot attachment too.

Tip: Now through the end of the year, you can save with our exclusive coupon codes when you shop at Sexclectic. Use code SEXKITTEN to take $10 off on any order of $50 or more. Or use code BIGSPENDER to take $25 off your order of $100 or more.