Great Job, Internet!: Editors of 1930s pulp Spicy Detective have some thoughts on keeping it classy

Pulp magazines of the early 20th century weren’t always full of lurid tales of sex, violence, and misogyny, but they earned that reputation on the backs of magazines like Culture Publications’ Spicy Detective Stories (and its companion, Spicy Adventure, for people who like less detecting in their spice). But while Spicy Detective might have been the ’30s equivalent of late-night Cinemax, thanks to these six guidelines, its editors ensured their stories were never vulgar. Courtesy of 1987’s The Book of Literary Lists:

    1. In describing breasts of a female character, avoid anatomical descriptions.
    2. If it is necessary for the story to have the girl give herself to a man, or be taken by him, do not go too carefully into details.
    3. Whenever possible, avoid complete nudity of the female characters. You can have a girl strip to her underwear or transparent negligee or nightgown, or the thin torn shred …

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