This one is trying to cover bondage, kink, master/slave, swinging, and the implied bisexuality of orgies in one fell swoop. Ambitious!
The lavender/purple nightmare art hurts my eyes, making its lurid attempt to cover lesbianism, voyeurism, BDSM, and endless fetishes (stockings and garters! big boobs! butch/femme! fetish wear! opera gloves! high heeled pumps! peep-toe heels! cigarette holder! the list goes on!) ever the sweeter.
From the title, I thought this was about lesbians or transvestites, who were often described in lurid yet confusing ways on pulp covers ("the secret sex," "the lavender sex," "the shadow sex," etc.) The curvy woman in boots and the subtitle first also made me think of sex-workers.
But the back -- so different and clashing in design! - tells the real story of what's between the covers
Aha! One of those semi-fictional accounts of the people who used to hook up through sleazy "contact rags." Really popular from the late 1950s-1980s, they were cheap magazines with few stories but long sections of explicit personal ads and private snail-mail mailing lists you could join to match up your kinks more precisely.
Even from this distance, it seems that nothing much has changed: the way we hook up on the Internet is a high-tech mirror of what people did 50 years ago -- strangers offers pictures, descriptions, wants and desires and we hope it'll work out for the best. Only now, we don't have to wait weeks or months to find out, we can send and receive on a massive scale, and there is a whole lot more high-quality eye-candy to examine along the way.
Anyway, assuming the author did real research, this book might have been more than "nightstand" material but actually an interesting read. As for how this ended up with a cover and title that don't even vaguely represent the book's synopsis, I'll guess it's a tale involving a lot of editorial panic, some degree of profit incentive, and very few resources to fix the problems. :)
Collected a wonderful assortment of "nightstand reading" (i.e., books to jerk off to) from the late 50s to the 70s, covering all the themes and fantasies we still enjoy today. Lots of strange graphic art, lurid details, lesbianism, swinging, algolagnia, and bondage to ogle.
t's a good reminder that human vanity makes us want to believe we are inventing something new each time a book like Fifty Shades of Grey finds success, but sex history demonstrates that the fundamental passion for sadomasochism is as old as humanity.