“Virile Adventures”: Lesbian Pulps Written by Men

While many of the lesbian pulps in the Dworin collection are written by women who sought to assert their agency and expand the genre of lesbian pulp to include non-sensational portrayals of lesbianism, the majority written during the golden age were by men for a voyeuristic male audience. These pulps, which Yvonne Keller in her essay ““Was It Right to Love Her Brother’s Wife So Passionately?”: Lesbian Pulp Novels and U.S. Lesbian Identity, 1950-1965,” calls “virile adventure,” were published with more sexually explicit covers and typically contained more sex and a male protagonist (Keller 390).

Valerie Taylor, who began writing lesbian pulp fiction in 1957, laments that many of these virile adventures, which began appearing "on sale in drugstores and bookstores” in the early 1950s were “written by men who had never knowingly spoken to a lesbian” (Keller 392). The works of many of these male authors of lesbian pulp, like Sheldon Lord’s Candy and Of Shame and Joy,and Alan Marshall’s Sally, are housed the Dworin Collection.


Keller, Yvonne. ""Was it Right to Love Her Brother's Wife so Passionately?": Lesbian Pulp Novels and U.S. Lesbian Identity, 1950-1965." American Quarterly 57.2 (2005): pp. 385-410. Print.


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