Co-founders Matt Starr and Zack Roif share a series of texts that any aspiring pervert should keep on their shelves—from early erotica to full-fledged fan fictions
Perversion, by its technical definition, is abnormal and unacceptable. Dream Baby Press’s Perverted Book Club inverts those typical identifiers, building community from a shared affinity for the type of X-rated content traditionally hidden behind closed doors—shoved beneath a mattress, or tucked between tabs in a private browsing window—and putting it on display for strangers, schoolmates, and soulmates alike.
The series stages readings of various forms of erotic text and smut at unexpected locations; for instance, in its second rendition, John Giorno’s “Great Anonymous Sex” was performed under the greasy, yellow light of Penn Station’s Sbarro as horny New Yorkers and unwitting passersby crowded around to listen over the sound of passing trains.
New York’s past is subversive and sex-soaked: It’s where American strip clubs as we know them were born, and where a culture of sucking and fucking in public sometimes wanes, but never really disappears. Co-founders Matt Starr and Zack Roif are championing that legacy, working to destigmatize the lubricated corners of the literary scene. For Document, the debauched duo shares a syllabus of raunchy readings that any aspiring pervert should keep on their shelf.
Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller
“We love this book. It’s probably the one we suggest the most to people in need of relationship help. (Therapy is our first suggestion.) This is also required reading for every Perverted Book Club member.”
The Gucci Mane Guide To Greatness by Gucci Mane
“Gucci Mane’s lengthy and chaotic path from drinking lean to getting lean is legitimately inspiring. Even if you’re not a fan of self-help books (which we are), or a fan of Gucci Mane (which we definitely are), there are more than a few key takeaways for anyone reading this—several of which we’ve put into practice ourselves.”
Straight Hearts Delights by Allen Ginsberg
“This book of poems and letters by Allen Ginsberg and his lover Peter Orlovsky are what we dream of having with a partner one day: extremely erotic letters and poems shared between two people [who are] crazy about each other.”
Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
“It’s like going back to high school, except your classmates are Lou Reed, The Ramones, Patti Smith, and Richard Hell. Depending on what kind of high school you went to, it’s a book as chaotic as the scene itself. A true who’s who—and who’s fucked who—in the punk world.”
“While we may admittedly be a little late to discovering fanfic, it’s safe to say we’re making up for lost time very quickly. We’ve become obsessed. It’s the text-based predecessor to Rule 34. Any interest you might have, any culturally-significant person, place, or thing, is certain to have its corresponding wildly passionate and original fanfic offshoot. We’re loving Harry Potter (the classic My Immortal), and everything from the Beatles to Star Trek and Toy Story.”
Vintage Pulp Erotica
“We have shelves full of these. They are not only a joy to read, but also incredible eye candy with their iconic designs. There are a ton of publishing imprints that released books during the ’50s and ’60s. We particularly love Greenleaf Classics (a major erotic publisher from 1959 to 1975), and anything under the pseudonym of John Dexter (one pseudonym of many used by erotic publishers during this time, which a number of authors would write under). Check out Lust Swamp and Passion Pit.”
Mechanical Fantasy Box by Patrick Cowley
“This is an intimate and beautiful homoerotic diary published after Cowley’s death. It’s as erotic as it is poetic. It’s a great book to read in bed to a lover.”
I Remember by Joe Brainard
“This book is powerful! Be careful! I Remember is one of our favorites. It’s the kind of book that you read and immediately want to buy for someone—and then read all over again. It’s a memoir where every sentence begins with ‘I remember.’”
A Literate Passion: A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953, edited by Gunther Stuhlmann
“Just buy this book. It’ll make you a better lover and writer.”
Blue Of Noon by Georges Bataille
“A lesser-known erotic masterwork by Bataille, compared to Story of the Eye (the bible of 20th-century erotica), but equally riddled with degeneracy, including one of the wildest, horniest, and perverted opening scenes of any book, ever.”
Vaudeville: From Honky-Tonks To The Palace by Joe Laurie Jr.
“It’s all Vaudeville to us.”