Let’s Read Cavalier, April 1965! (Work Safe)

Cavalier was launched in 1952 and is…technically still running, or maybe it just has a really enthusiastic Facebook page dedicated to promoting both its history and the ongoing coverage of nearly naked women in Florida (don’t open that at work). There’s no website or easy to find place to order issues, and yet new covers seem to be produced. It’s a mystery. Anyway, Cavalier was a product of the golden age of Classy Skin Magazines That Tried To Be Playboy, with an impressive roster of contributing literary names and a mix of lifestyle, fashion, politics, satire, and of course women without their clothes on.

A note on work safeness of this issue – I got creative and made some sections more work-safe than they were before. There are still a few instances of cartoon nipples, which I kept uncensored for the sake of not ruining the illustration, but most of them aren’t very prominent. With the knowledge that this is a 1960s skin mag, you probably shouldn’t be reading this at work anyway. Or if you read this feature out loud to your children or something, that’s probably a bad idea for this week.

Cavalier seemed to go full steam ahead until about the mid-70s, so while this was some very confident and ambitious predicting, they were doing alright by this very groovy forecast – although eight million college students is very ambitious.

Henry Miller wrote a lot about sex, among other things that got him in trouble with the fun police. So if you want to read some counter-cultural beatniky smut and look all literary about it, Miller’s your man (people will also probably think you’re reading the much more lauded Arthur Miller, because people are dumb).

The cynic in me says that this is a fabulous way to build a library of books that look wonderful on a shelf and scream out to the world that you are worldly and sophisticated and well-read, while their relative obscurity makes it being perfectly safe to gather dust and remain unread without someone calling them on it. I bet a lot of women visited bachelor pads and noted the exact same sets of titles on their lovers’ bookshelves.

I’d like to direct your attention over to that sidebar, where you’ll discover a long-forgotten singer named Kim Cordell, who sang this absolute banger:

Sing it at your grandma’s next birthday!

“Just try me” — the taxidermy falcon that appears to be perched on a mannequin.

Charlie Bates’ Old Fashioned Saloon sounds like something one would encounter among the Portlandia set these days. Tuesday is kazoo night!

The pidgin French from Monsieur Pierre Jouberny is silly, but fun to read out loud. Maybe don’t read it out loud when there are people around.

Rev. William Glenesk was a Presbyterian minister and a radical hippie who had a knack for appealing to the New Generation. His lasting pop culture moment was that he officiated Tiny Tim and Miss Vicki’s wedding on The Tonight Show, but he was also a pioneer in the church’s road to accepting and eventually ordaining gay people. Unfortunately I couldn’t find his article from the previous month online, but it sounds eye-opening.

Oooh, SHOTS FIRED at the Bridge scene!

Check out that great illustration in the header.

It’s hard to imagine a time when bluegrass was so new on the music scene that you have to name drop The Beverly Hillbillies to put it in context.

For working so hard to appealing to manly men, there is a whole classified column devoted to selling strange fluffy things with googly eyes. Going by the ambiguously tube-like shape of it, you don’t think that Squiggle could be…well…nevermind.





Nostalgia for the 1920s will always be weird to me, but to be fair that’s when the last sexual revolution happened so there would definitely be overlap in readership.

Too cool to be wild, too crazy to be loose! Down boy! Ow! Ow!

The Sunbeam Tiger was a sporty little roadster that sucked at racing and was the car of choice for Agent 86 on Get Smart. It ceased production in 1967, probably because people bought it expecting rocket ejector seats and machine gun turret mirrors.

I remain befuddled by the 1960s school of advertising that says you can sell anything to a man as long as you declare it to be Man Approved by some unseen nefarious Man Council that officially certified Man Stuff, whatever the hell that means.

Updates on the ongoing campus demonstrations across the nation, which was inspired by the Free Speech Movement that dominated UC Berkeley. Since magazines of this ilk were inarguable advocates of free speech, they clearly support the movement.

This era of Cavalier was pretty heavy on original fiction, some with a real pedigree and some (most of it) not. I’m only sharing a page of this one, mostly because it goes on for like eight pages of the exact same trash. Nifty illustration, though, which unfortunately goes uncredited. Bruce Jay Friedman is notable for his previous jobs of magazine editor for MenMale, and Man’s World, so clearly he knew his audience. He is still writing today.

Indestructibly Blonde, that movie with Reese Witherspoon!

The nightmare-inducing illustration that accompanied “The Nude Dummy”.

It’s the return of beautifully colored sex comics that don’t actually have a punchline or even usually make sense. This one at least sets a story up.

We’ll see everything! We’ll see the big board!

In which Colin Wilson thanks James Bond for allowing men to be pigs, encourages women to also be pigs, and yet still blames them for everything under the sun. I don’t think this is satire.

These pants have been submitted pending approval of the Man Pants Council and are subject to change without notice. Contact your local Man Stuff representative for more information.

Eugene Burdick had suddenly passed away just a few months prior to this being published. This pitch-black satire on guns is, um…let’s say, timely.


Which I didn’t have the heart to edit out, because how could I mess up this amazing illustration?

Ed Sachs and Yitzhawk Butterfield appear to have been lost to time, or at least have settled somewhere too obscure for the internet to find them. There’s a definite whiff of this being a regular feature, but I’m about as clueless on it as anyone, so enjoy this piece of very 1965 weirdness.


Credit for creative censorship and stunning Photoshop effects goes to me.

Meet our Cavalier girl of the month: Jo Starr! Try as I might, I could not find a thing on what happened to her post-pinup. I know it’s crazy, but Jo Starr might not actually be the name she was born with? Whaat? Best to imagine that she’s somebody’s loving grandmother now, and will take to her grave the story of how she actually met her husband of 50 years.

Horndoggy tone of the article aside, I must point out how adorable her fencing jacket with the little heart detail is. Maybe that’s why we haven’t heard of Jo Starr after this article – perhaps she was killed in a duel shortly after. Or maybe she killed someone in a duel and has spent the last 50 years in hiding! That’s it!

Wow, look at all those expressions she can make in her bra! Look out, Brando!


One thing’s for sure, she’s definitely a frontal talker, whatever the hell that means.

I have genuinely no idea what this is supposed to mean. The sex was so good that she’s doing cartwheels? The sex was so bad that she’s falling over herself to get away? I mean…there’s no such thing as BAD SEX in this magazine’s world that can EVER be blamed on the man, so CLEARLY that’s not what’s happening here.

PG Wodehouse talks about snails and it is devastatingly charming, of course. If you read nothing else from this week’s review, I hope you read this. I believe he would be very interested to know that much work has now been done in the field of snail sexuality, and the findings have been quite ribald.

Oldest joke there ever was, but at least the art is colorful.

I liked this one. No complaints.

Lifestyle fashion for the kind of man who takes his date to the race track. That camelhair sport coat in the last picture is quite nice. I do wish that more fashion editorials were written in this narrative style.


Alright, I liked this one too. I’m a lot more forgiving of a dumb sex comic when I can actually parse the joke.

Surprise! Your grandma’s wedding ring came from the back pages of Cavalier!

Reminder from the top of the ad that these are what everyday non-pinup women looked like in 1965.


Cara Garnett’s lasting legacy is Fanny Hill, and despite being a Russ Meyer leading lady there isn’t much out there on her since she quit showbusiness after 1966.

Not exactly Barry Lyndon here.

Russ Meyer had this weird obsession with dead fish getting stuck in cleavage, didn’t he?


The obsession with noting a woman’s measurements is endlessly creepy, like men of this era would actually pull out a tape measure or something and think mmm-hmm.

…I’m lost.

Thrift store shelves are packed with these kinds of things today. It’s almost like no one actually finds a hollow-stemmed, handle-less, monogrammed beer mug to be the height of taste and class! Crazy, I know!

I have no idea what they’re getting at with Ananga Ranga being “Afro-Asian”, as it’s an Indian sex manual along the same lines as Kama Sutra. And the work wasn’t so much forbidden as it was *extremely* difficult to find, as Burton’s widow burned his translated manuscript shortly after he died so the only translated copies around were ones in private collections of rich and kinky Victorians. And since they’re selling Burton’s translation, readers are going to get a book full of sexy 1896 prose like “Uchha is that excess of proportion in the man which renders congress hard and difficult and therefore does not content the woman.” Now that’s hot (15th century Hindu poets were all about size, as this book makes very clear).

Von Schrader still exists today as a carpet-cleaning franchise that all but screams PYRAMID SCHEME to me. I like the image of the man in the ad who is using his Von Schrader vacuum and upholstery cleaner while dressed in a three piece suit and tie, like he’s a butler for the mob. In a small city, Charles “Little Chuck” Lemming makes $100 a day cleaning up dead hookers…

The hip New York restaurant scene. The Albert French does sound pretty amazing.

Apparently there was a brand of speakers in the 60’s called “Dandy Dicks”.

Cavalier seems to have employed a reference professional named Rosemary. Poor Rosemary probably got so much horrible, horrible mail addressed to her from gross men. I imagine the staff probably went through a new “Rosemary” every few months because that’s not what the person signed up for.

Next month, continuing pictorial coverage of that god-awful Russ Meyer movie!

Most of these are terrible, but I liked the ten commandments one.

Professional Man Pants Job Interview, 1965:

“So, what do you like to read?”

“Well, certainly not comic books, sir! Ha ha! I read Miller, sir. Arthur, not Henry. None of that new radical beatnik claptrap trash for me, no sir.”

“Miller, eh? He nailed Marilyn Monroe, that lucky commie shit. Ah well, can’t win ’em all. You start Tuesday.”

Professional Man Pants Job Interview, 2018:

“So, what do you like to read?”

“Well, I thought Loeb’s Superman for All Seasons was a turning point, considering that it inspired the Smallville television show, but it was really his work with Sale on The Long Halloween that established him as a literary–”

“Fantastic. When can you start? And what did you think of Jared Leto’s Joker?”


Thank you for reading another week with me! Hopefully you still have a job. Next week we’re going on a big summer trip with Outdoor Life from September 1973!


(not my picture)