So we all know there are tons of great things to do in San Fransisco. Of primary interest to readers of this blog would be visiting the flagship Mr. S retail store, or any of the many kink events that go on in the area (Up Your Alley, Folsom, Dore Alley). If you haven’t stopped by the Mr. S store, it’s an amazing experience. It has a real sense of community, and the staff is incredibly friendly and easygoing. And remember, they’ve probably seen it all, from newbies to experienced. Don’t be surprised if you see a guy trying out some bondage gear naked, or someone getting whipped in the store. Nearly anything goes there. And the clientele is more diverse than you’d imagine. The last time I was there, I saw a straight couple where the woman was shopping for a chastity device and butt plug for her man! Obviously the straight guy was a pretty great sport.
But for most of this post, I want to discuss a more out of the way, unusual find. Some of you may recall my posts some time ago about about gay pulp fiction books (which can be found here and here). Well, if you found them interesting, then you cannot miss out on a store called Kayo Books. This is a bookstore in San Fransisco that specializes in pulp fiction. And yes, of course, there is a gay section. As well as mystery, sci-fi, western… you name it. The header pic above was one of their display racks, and as you can see, it was amazing.
My first discovery was a large selection of the “original” gay magazine, Physique Pictorial. I see pics of these all the time, and it was fascinating to see them in person. I ended up buying three of them, as the guys were cute, and I appreciated the historical significance. To be honest, I didn’t end up buying the one I took a pic of below, but I did find this cover twink quite hot. Most of the models are quite young, but for the most part are never entirely nude (though there are a few exceptions). The text is set incredibly small, making it often difficult to read, but if you can manage it, they often tell you characteristics about the models, such as “Bill excels in athletics, and hopes to become a pro football player.” These mostly date from the mid to late 60s. Prices varied, but averaged about $15 each.
Next on my list were these two fun titles. They were from 1978 and 80, and although I haven’t read them yet, a quick flip through definitely indicates they are the bondage/slave porn opus you’d expect. While I had seen covers similar to “Bound for Pleasure” before, never before had I run into the cover for “Meat”.
I actually got to see many of the titles I had posted about before. However, as each book was priced in the $12-$15 range, my costs were quickly adding up. So I narrowed it down to the ones above, a pulp mystery novel (no gay content, but I like the author), and this beauty below.
Yup. I actually own the real book Locker-Room Lovers. And here’s the biggest surprise. While I haven’t yet read it, a quick flip through reveals that it is not just a porn opus. In fact, there seems to be very little sex, and mostly actual novel style writing with extended, non-sexy dialogue exchanges. It appears this is a relatively serious novel about an athlete struggling with his sexuality. Which makes me even more intrigued, I must say. I have a serious back log of books to read as it is, but when I do get around to this one, I’ll be sure to post a mini review.
The one novel they didn’t have, and I was hoping they would, was this one.
I mean, that synopsis on the top of the cover is practically my dream scenario come true! Since I had a picture of this book on my phone, I took a risk and asked the woman in charge if she happened to know it. I figured it was a total long shot… with so many pulp covers she must’ve seen, I had no expectations at all that she’d recall this particular one. But to my surprise, she exclaimed, “Oh, Adventures of a High School Hunk! We’ve certainly had it before, it does come through. Did you want just Part 1? I think it went to Part 3.”
I was quite surprised she knew so much about it! I did know it went to at least Part 2, though even I wasn’t sure if there was a Part 3 or not. Sadly, as it turns out, she didn’t have it in stock when I was there, but she’ll be keeping an eye out for it.
While this is a fantastic store, one thing to keep in mind about this store is that they have very limited hours. They are typically only open Thursday through Saturday from 11-6. But definitely give it a visit.
If you’re more into typical books, I’d also recommend Books, Inc. They have a number of stores throughout SF, but the one near Castro has a good gay section. Novels as well as porn.
And if you’re into antiquated kitch, don’t miss the Mussee Mechanique off Pier 39 (at Pier 45, to be exact, but an easy walk from the tourist attraction). It’s free admission, and you can see a variety of working old amusements from the 1920’s on up. Not gay per se, but fascinating nevertheless.