Category Archives: sex

The Secret History of Hunky Male Beefcakes

In the same way that porn magazines are often hidden under pillows or locked away on the top shelves of closets, the history of “beefcake” photography has been highly secretive. The photographers and models who created the hunky, hypermasculine work beginning in the 1940s right up to the pre-disco age did it on the sly, […]

An 1849 Guide Lists Philadelphia’s Best Brothels

Haunting Photographs of the Prostitutes of Storyville, New Orleans’ Legalized Red Light District, circa 1912

This Guide to the Stranger offered young men visiting Philadelphia guidance in their choice of brothel or “bed house” (where rooms could be rented by the hour, for assignation purposes). The entire text of the 1849 booklet is available here, via the Library Company of Philadelphia. Historian Rodney Hessinger notes that by the 1840s a […]

Photos of the Prostitutes of Storyville, New Orleans’ Legalized Red Light District, circa 1912

Haunting Photographs of the Prostitutes of Storyville, New Orleans’ Legalized Red Light District, circa 1912

First of all, the pictures are unforgettable – photography’s ultimate standard of value. And it’s not hard to see why the trove of glass negatives by a hitherto unknown photographer working in New Orleans in the early years of this century became one of the most admired recoveries in photography’s widening, ever incomplete history. E. […]