Vintage Pulp Jun 28 2009
WOOD NYMPH
Newspaper survey says skin is in, but we have our doubts.


We talked a bit about the nudist movement before, and mentioned that the concept of nudism as a healthy lifestyle choice really took off during the pulp heyday of the 1950s. Above you see the August 1962 edition of American Sunbather. One thing you’ll notice—other than the cover model risking serious splinterage by posing on a tree stump—is the stamp of the American Sunbathing Association. The group still exists, surprisingly, albeit under the name American Association for Nude Recreation. But it’s the same org and they’ve been around since 1931. 

We wrote in that previous post that we thought nudism was possibly less accepted now than fifty years ago, but based on a visit to the AANR website, we retract that. The site quotes a USA Today poll result claiming that 15% of Americans “would consider a resort that offers a nude recreation experience or a clothing-optional beach experience” a very desirable part of a vacation. Of course, the key words in that poll question are “beach” and “vacation.” People will vote for anything having to do with those, no matter how weird it may be (consider that a little free advice for 2012, Sarah Palin).

Still, one in six Americans is willing bare all in front of strangers? We think this is a prime example of the chasm between polls and reality. Because while many people say they would strip in front of strangers, most get cold feet when it comes actual time to do the deed. We know whereof we speak—anytime we ask a girl to strip she flat out refuses. Usually while kneeing us in the groin at the same time. But now we’re going to join the AANR, receive a couple of membership cards, and make our requests in an official capacity: “Ma’am, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to strip—it isn't just natural and healthy, it’s the law.” More totally healthy AANR-approved nakedness below.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 21 2008
NAKED BUNCH
Don’t look too closely or you might spot your grandmother.

International nudist magazines promoted group nakedness as fun, healthy, and innocent—and even an unavoidable next step in human social evolution. If someone raised their eyebrows at your Campus Jaybird, it just proved they weren’t ready to be free, man. At least you knew better than to invite them on your next nude biking trip. Nudist magazines proliferated throughout the 50s and 60s, and remained popular into the 1970s. The Nudist Idea and American Nudist Leader, both below, feature covers with Diane Webber, aka Marguerite Empey, a former Playboy centerfold who remains one of the most renowned nude models of all time. Also putting in an appearance is Virginia Gordon, another Playboy model, seen on the cover of Paradise. Though the international nudist movement still exists, it is possibly less accepted than fifty years ago. We’re too young here to know for sure, so you’ll just have to ask your grandma about that. What we do know is you’ll be seeing more of these covers from us.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
June 12
1978—Son of Sam Goes to Prison
David Berkowitz, the New York City serial killer known as Son of Sam, is sentenced to 365 years in prison for six killings. Berkowitz had acquired his nickname from letters addressed to the NYPD and columnist Jimmy Breslin. He is eventually caught when a chain of events beginning with a parking ticket leads to his car being searched and police discovering ammunition and maps of crime scenes.
June 11
1963—Buddhist Monk Immolates Himself
In South Vietnam, Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc burns himself to death by dousing himself with gasoline and lighting a match. He does it to protest the persecution of Buddhists by Ngô Đình Diệm administration, choosing a busy Saigon intersection for his protest. An image of the monk being consumed by flames as he sits crosslegged on the pavement, shot by Malcolm Browne, wins a Pulitzer Prize and becomes one of the most shocking and recognizable photos ever published.
June 10
1935—AA Founded
In New York City, Dr. Robert Smith and William Griffith Wilson, who were both recovering alcoholics, establish the organization Alcoholics Anonymous, which pioneers a 12-step rehabilitation program that is so helpful and popular it eventually spreads to every corner of the globe.
1973—John Paul Getty III Is Kidnapped
John Paul Getty III, grandson of billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, is kidnapped in Rome, Italy. The elder Getty ignores a ransom demand for $17 million, thinking it is a joke. When John Paul's ear later arrives in the mail along with a note promising further mutilation, he negotiates the ransom down to $2.9 million, which he pays only on the condition that John Paul repay him at four percent interest. Getty's kidnappers are never caught.
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