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Paul's Sex Term of the Day--Tijuana Bibles

The chances are good that you don't know about Tijuana Bibles.

When it comes to bibles, you've got the King James Version, the Latin Vulgate Version, and numerous revised versions. But unless the Vulgate were changed to Vulva, the chances are good that you don't have a clue what a Tijuana Bible is.

Sometime during the 1920s, small 8-page booklets that were printed on cheap paper started to find themselves in the knapsacks of soldiers and schoolboys. These crude little booklets (approximately 4" by 6") often poked fun at actors, politicians, and public figures, although their main focus was another kind of poking. They were irreverent, usually humorous, and always dirty--featuring sex-starved characters from Popeye and Donald Duck to baseball heros, with their pants down and penises proud.

How these pornographic pulp parodies got the name "Tijuana Bibles" is anyone's guess, but they were popular in America from the 1920s until after World War II. They were eventually put into paper graves by glossy magazines such as Playboy. The pin-up powerhouse Esquire probably served a death notice or two as well.

Some of you might be wondering what relevance these little pieces of erotica from 80 years ago have on human sexuality today when we've got scientific journals with brain scans of people having orgasms. I can assure you that there's no greater danger to human sexuality than researchers on the cutting edge of technology who don't have an appreciation of sex in history and culture.

I selected the following Tijuana Bible because it's one of the best examples I've seen. Better yet, lover boy Bob suffers an unexpected bout of ED--or impotence as they used to call it--by page 7. These little bibles seemed to enjoy making fun of men as much as women, and they displayed a level of irreverence that fell by the wayside with the advent of Playboy and the other softporn glossies that sometimes took themselves way too seriously.

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Sorry, I couldn't include pages 3 - 8, because Miss Cinders gets naked. If you want to see the rest of the story, click HERE, but please be advised that you will be subjected to explicit sexual drawings from the 1920s and 1930s, and you probably shouldn't surf to that site if you are at work or would be offended by such material. (Thanks to Quinn from the very thorough TijuanaBibles.org for permission to use his scans):

Another competent resource is the book Tijuana Bibles by Bob Adleman.

That's it for today. In a couple more hours, I'll be on a flight to New Orleans to attend the annual conference of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

Paul Joannides, Psy.D., is a research psychoanalyst, author of Guide To Getting It On, and a speaker on college campuses. more...

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