Catalogs #6: Catalog of Shame

Okay, here's the deal - let me lay it out there for you.  When a boy reaches a certain age, a new brand of hormones begins to rush through every cell in his body, causing odd (often embarrassing) behaviors.  The boy's entire anatomy is prepping him for procreation - the continuation of the species.... and so his instincts kick in, completely overriding any semblance of good sense.  He is looking for one thing - the opposite gender, preferably naked (assuming he's heterosexual).

Unfortunately, we no longer are members of the Clan of the Cave Bear, and so must exercise some degree of restraint and abide by the laws of society.  For many boys, the first glimpse of the opposite sex in their mad hormone driven hunt is their dad's stash of nudie magazines.  If that doesn't pan out, there's always plans B and C: the National Geographic or Sears Catalog.

This sort of illicit reading material provided a sort of research for the young lads.  Before they went out and got their hands dirty, they needed to be familiar with the material.

It sounds ridiculous (and exceptionally lame) to women, but this has often been the first step to manhood for the past fifty or so years.  Guys that tell you their first experience seeing a female in her birthday suit was with the babysitter are liars.

Well, that era is gone.  I don't know if they even make Sears Catalogs anymore, or even National Geographic.  And, nowadays, if a kid got hold of dad's pornos, it would probably traumatize him for life - let's just say things have gotten more explicit.   I assume this awkward stage is traveled via the internet these days, and the ol' JC Penny lingerie section looks pretty damn stupid in comparison.

Well, stupid or not, here's some scanned pages from ye olde catalogs.  Enjoy!

Sears Fall-Winter 1972

Simpsons-Sears Fall-Winter 1972 (030)
Simpsons-Sears Fall-Winter 1972 (033)
Simpsons-Sears Fall-Winter 1972 (031)
Simpsons-Sears Fall-Winter 1972 (029)
Simpsons-Sears Fall-Winter 1972 (028)
Simpsons-Sears Fall-Winter 1972 (025)

Sears Catalog Fall-Winter 1970

Simpsons-Sears Fall-Winter 1970 (012)
Simpsons-Sears Fall-Winter 1970 (010)
Simpsons-Sears Fall-Winter 1970 (011)
Simpsons-Sears Fall-Winter 1970 (007)


  1. Oh, man, does this post speak to me. I never was able to find my dad's mag stash (in fact, as far as I know, he didn't even *have* one, or else was the best porn-obfuscator the US has ever produced), so for my pubescent self it was SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN and the JC Penney catalog. I always kept a bookmark at the Toy section in case I was surprised and had to claim I was researching for Xmas/B-day lists, but in fact I was poring over that section right after the shoes...which you capture so wonderfully in the above scans.

    This is also, I think, why I've always been particularly attracted to nice navels--in the catalog shots, if the navel was showing, it was about as naked as it got. TMI?

  2. I was just about to announce my sainthood (never got into the bra stuff); THEN I saw the pantyhose page & felt those 13 year old hormones makin' a comeback--pantyhose!! Heh heh...

  3. Ah, the '70s, when they still made some pointy bras. Those need to make a comeback to the masses, and soon. Of course, fashions would also need to change and get away from the horrible over-decorated crap the girls are buying at The Buckle et al these days.

    If you were lucky, the catalog featured a somewhat lacy or sheer cup with very little seams, and EUREKA! A bit of nipple could be made out. I always kept a few issues of Hot Rod or other car/van magazines in the reading room, because there were ads for Doug Thorley side pipes and others. In fact, you've featured them here before. You know the one; topless blonde sitting in the Rip Van Winkle holding balloons. (I never understood the balloons.)

    There was a guy in my class who was caught in bed "picking out a present for his mom". He was known as Catalog Boy from that point on.

  4. Ahh... the memories. Yes, I remember fondly the bra and lingerie section but not of the Sears catalog but JC Penney. As far as my dad's porn stash, he never had one, but my uncles did and I would steal and issue or two hoping that they would never miss them. I still remember my first purloined porn mag was an issue of Oui from 1979.

  5. Wow, Wonderbra goes as far back as 1970???

    And yep, I'm pretty sure Sears discontinued all of their print catalogs (including the holiday Wish Book) a good 15 years ago.

    1. Sears Catalog is still in print in Canada. I pulled one out of a recycling bin

  6. Things have changed back from the days of the old Sears catalog. Not only are those clothes pretty modest by today's standards, but the models have the bodies of skinny teenage boys. That doesn't surprise me. Everyone was skinnier in the 70's. Today's models have had more "work" and enhancements done to them too.

  7. No need to be ashamed. All these gals were real and beautiful!

    Al Bigley

  8. I wanted to add my name to the list of men who's erotic life started with the Penny's or Sears catalogue. I also bookmarked the toy section and had to endure the shame of being caught (by my sister!) perusing the forbidden fruit section.

    Gil T. Aschargt

  9. I used to love looking through catalogs at the women in underwear.

    Still do really.

  10. And I quote from Gary Busey's character talking to his boss (Harp) in the movie Point Break..."Let me tell you something, Harp. I was in this bureau while you were still popping zits on your funny face and jacking off to the lingerie section of the Sears catalog."

    I am sure every teenage boy during the 70's and 80's went through this rite of passage - the lingerie section of the Sears Catalog. The progession goes something like: Sears catalog, Playboy, Penthouse, High Society, Hustler and so on.

    And apachedug, you hit the nail on the head. I have always been a sucker for panty hose. It is a shame that women hardly ever wear them anymore. I would love to see a post on why women today don't wear panty hose anymore.

  11. Seems I remember that purple one piece...

    And we also had the J. C. Penny catalog.


  12. More or less the same for us homosexuals, at least until the 1990s, when my hormones first burst forth. Although it wasn't a catalog for me, but newspaper clippings of underwear ads from department stores.

  13. And in a best case scenario, if he isn't heterosexual and still looking at bra ads, he's hoping to camp it up big time. In a worst case scenario, he's working on becoming the next Ed Gein.

  14. Overhere we had the Wehkamp and Hema catalogus.
    Things just aren't what what it used to be:

  15. I was a damn sight younger than pubity when i needed to look at the said pages though !!

  16. I just received my Sears catalog... Spring and Summer 2012....

  17. Here'a a great catalog site featuring a Danish catalog known as Daells. Lots of sexy Danish blondes in their underwear! Also, you might want to check out the Yahoo group Retro Lingerie Ads. It has a great collection of catalog and advertising scans! Here's the link to Danish catalog site: http://www.kb.dk/pamphlets/dasmaa/2008/feb/daellsvarehus/da/

    and the link for retro lingerie ads:

  18. Great stuff! This brings back memories from my grade school years, before I found my dad's Playboy stash.

  19. 1990's sears catalogues in canada are HOT!

  20. My dad never read playboy or the likes back in the 1950s and 60s...but oh those lovely ladies next door unashamedly modelling their bras,girdles,slips and pantyhose was sheer ecstacy. Thanks ladies for showing off your feminine softness for me when I was a lonely 'ol geek back in the day. Hugs and passionate kisses to all of you.

  21. My dad never purchased nor looked at nor read Playboy or related girlie magazines. Dad remained true to my mom through thick and thin. I never ever hear him utter the f word...though I already heard it from my peers starting in the 5th and 6 grades which disgusted me just as much as it did to my dad. As I entered the strange world of puberty I found myself snubbed and rejected continuously by the young girls of the 1960s and being bullied by the guys which contributed in me having not only a fear of asking a girl out for a date due to my fear of rejection issues but I also had an inferiority complex brought on by the same....in short I was a lonely 'ol nerd as well. The Sears, J.C. Penney and "monkey ward's" catalog was my secret virtual boudoir of girls next door unconditionally loving me in their silky soft intimates. "Only The Lonely" by Roy Orbison was my theme song back in the day as I wore glasses just as Mr. Orbison did. When I met my wife in 1979 we fell in love after setting up the Christmas tree. She let me remove her t-shirt revealing her Playtex cross your heart bra....I was in immediate ecstacy as I passionately carressed her and told her that I wasn't going to use her..just to love her. She broke into tears telling me that meant so much to her. When we were married we made explosive passionate love and she always wore a silky lace slip for me when we did. We've been married for well over thirty years with three children. The way to a man's heart is not only to his stomach but also through the soft,tender reasuring arms of a feminine woman enticing him with a word which is far more sexier than white trash sexual innuendo...one word: lingerie.