More on "soft-core pornography" antedating (1961)

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 2 00:35:23 UTC 2009

Gareth Branwyn posted a query to the list that included this
statement: "I am currently editing an article by Paul Krassner (of
"The Realist" fame) in which he claims to have coined the terms "soft
core porn" (1958) …"

OED 2nd has a 1966 cite. The online archive of The Realist has a May 1964 cite.

Google Books archive has a 1961 cite of "soft core pornography" in the
journal Religious Education. The citation is only accessible in
snippet view. Based on extracted text I think the phrase occurs in a
review of the book "An Outline of Human Relations" by Eustace Chesser.
But I cannot determine the identity of the book reviewer. This
citation does not antedate the claimed 1958 coinage.

Citation: Religious Education, page 75, Vol. 56, Religious Education
Association, 1961.

The second part on marriage and sex deviations seems to this writer to
be sophisticated pornography. Granted that it is an area of previous
writing by Chesser, the extended discussion of sex deviations in a
volume which guides mothers in their emotional roles with children as
the opener and which closes with a collection of homilies, seems to be
"hard-core" (as distinguished from non-substantial, or soft-core)

I do not have a paper copy of the journal to confirm this information
and Google Books metadata is sometimes inaccurate. The table of
contents of the online journal says that page number 75 is located in
the Book Review section of the January 1961 issue.

One of the book reviewers on page 75 is William A. Christian who is
identified as an Associate Professor of Religion at Yale University.
An obituary of William A. Christian Sr. says he was appointed to the
Yale faculty as an associate professor in 1951 and became a full
professor in 1962. This provides some evidence that the citation
really is from 1961.

The American Dialect Society -

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