Perversion and Beyond front cover

Perversion and Beyond front cover

by Robert H. Sheldon
Published in 1968 by Viceroy Books

I approached this book with a bit of trepidation and uncertainty that I’d be able to finish it. Not because I don’t like perversion. Those who know me well would vouch for my deep affinity for perversion. My uncertainty arose because the back cover features the word “incest” in large type and that is one of the few perversions I cannot abide by. However, only the first chapter is devoted to that topic and it is thankfully short.

I had hoped the book would take me for a shocking journey into the recesses of the depraved sexual mind. Instead, I journeyed back in time, specifically San Francisco in the 60s at the height of hippie culture.

Having been born after the 60s, and having parents who were anything but counterculture, it’s sometimes hard to relate to the turmoil and confusion of the Vietnam era. While I often hear people who lived through 60s talk about sweeping social revolutions and the incumbent fears that they produced, it usually comes across as self-aggrandizement. Old hippies can claim that they ended the war in Vietnam all they want, but they’re full of shit. I’m certain the Vietcong weren’t sitting around in their tunnels hoping that the next “Love In” was going to be the one that put the peace movement over the top.

But I digress. Good exploitation takes the worst fears of the middle class and puts them on garish display. By that standard, this book is an example great exploitation. (The implied bestiality didn’t hurt matters either.) Most of the tales follow the sexual exploits of outsiders, be they bikers, hippies, the young, blacks, and so on. I can imagine the various exploits of sex and drugs would make the average middle class Midwestern hausfrau flip her wig.

Readers with modern sensitivities may find themselves shocked by some of the racist language in the book. While I learned a new slur “ofay” (a slang term for crackers like myself), it’s not one that I’m likely to ever use. Oh, there’s a lots of uses of the “nigger” thrown in the mix too, and their use is particularly humorous when it’s used immediately before touting someone’s virtues.

If you want an accurate historical document of sexual outsiders, I can’t really recommend Perversion and Beyond, but if you want perversion and/or insight into the fears of the middle class during the end of the 60’s, you can’t go wrong with this book.