Explore vintage magazines and films through timeless pieces from our archives.
Origin of Stripping
Like the plumage and color markings of lesser species, style and fashion help send signals to the opposite sex. More than 300 years ago, Robert Burton expressed this view when he wrote in The Anatomy of Melancholy, “The greatest provocations of lust are from our apparel.”
Sexploitation in Grindhouse Theaters
Grindhouse is a return to the world of the real. It’s a realm where not every filmgoer is an upscale Mom and Dad taking the kids out to see some Pixar bugs twitter and crack wise. It’s a place where demented Vietnam vets with hooks for hands, abused hookers weeping that their daddy-man don’t love ‘em, crazed Dahmers and Gacys in waiting stare at the slaughtered women on the screen and scream, "Yes yes! Do it, do it!" Is it emotionally wholesome and chemically clean? Hell no. But it’s a lot of fun. These theaters have taken shut-down burlesque halls and transformed them into grindhouse arenas that air exploitation films. From Woods Theatre in Chicago to Castro Theatre in San Francisco, dive into the vintage universe of grindhouse at these theaters.
Vintage Sex Advertisements
How do you sell sex? The golden age of Mad Men-esque advertising gets all the credit for the "sex sells" mantra. Riddled with sexual undertones, those mainstream advertisements sold the American dream, both outside and inside the bedroom. The often overlooked stacks of magazines stuffed in your father’s sock drawer are treasure chests of vintage copy and satirical subliminal messages. The classic magazines from the golden age of erotica mastered the art of selling sex directly in a way that mainstream agencies today could never dare attempt. The advent of the internet and instant access to adult material, devalued the mystique of over 100 years of developing copy, typesetting and printing. All that, was reduced to a pop up advertisement that tells you there is someone who wants to have sex with you in a five square mile radius.
Bob Guccione's Favorite Penthouse Pets
Bob Guccione’s muses manifested themselves as Penthouse Pets. His photography of these beautiful women defined erotic art for the latter part of the 20th century. At one point in time, muses were the Greek goddesses of inspiration in literature, science, and the arts. Without them, Homer would have never written The Illiad, and Euclid would have never had created the Elements of Euclid. Although these two visionaries are long gone, new generations of artists likeJeff Koons and Richard Prince have continued to find their own muses in order to create both beautiful and controversial works of art. For Bob Guccione, his muses came in the form of beautiful women. From Sheila Kennedy to Pia Zadora, these women helped shape Penthouse magazine. With their dazzling personalities and to their alluring figures, Guccione’s muses helped shape 1970s and 80s views on beauty and sexuality as a whole. While it is difficult to determine which of the 1000s of women were the most important in Penthouse magazine history, it is clear that there were a few dozen that were absolutely Bob Guccione's favorites.