From 1935 to 1965, millions of lesbian pulp fiction novels were sold in America, aimed at a surprisingly broad readership. A lot of this mid-century lesbian erotica wasn’t just meant to titillate straight men: some of these stories featured sympathetic, insightful portrayals of lesbian relationships and were even reprinted by feminist presses. But regardless of the content inside, publishers knew showing some skin on the cover would help these pocket-sized tales fly off the shelves.
Below are 30 of the most revealing lesbian novel covers from that period. Unlike some of the more inconspicuous erotic novel art the Greatest Generation may have kept on their nightstand, these covers are brazen in their efforts to arouse.