Sold: Sex Objects by Eric Kroll
A book order for the rare paperback SEX OBJECTS by Eric Kroll (Addison House, 1977, 104 pages), “Sex Objects: An American Photodocumentary”. It was one of those research projects that governmental factions used to fund before the Reagan era. In this case research into the massage parlor/sex industry. Google it, it’s pretty interesting. It would never get funding these days.
This particular order came in on 8/18 when I was out of town in Louisville. Of course it would. I always forget to snooze my book sales page when I am away on a trip and can’t ship the order promptly. It was FedExed yesterday to the buyer, ten days after it came in.
Oh man I need to sell ALL of the rare books in my library, along with most of my stupid valuable possessions, and then go online — strictly online — for business. If money can be made with a laptop and internet access (and a camera) then I’m interested.
From an article dated in 1977 about the book and its signifigance:
Eric Kroll was bivouacked in the Tropicana Hotel in Hollywood, shooting stills -260 rolls of film in four weeks—for a new Paul (Taxicab) Schraeder film Hard Core, starring George C. Scott when the media blitz broke. (Schraeder hired Kroll as a specialist photographer after seeing Sex Objects.) Upon his return to New . York City, his telephone was hip deep in calls from thepress. He urged the reporters to hot foot it to Times Square and see if the book was a “best seller.” It took the leg work of Newsday and later, the staff of CAPS, to substantiate Kroll’s claim that Sex Objects is not . sold in porno book stores—rather, that it can be found at Rizzoli’s on 5th Avenue, Wilenta’s 8th St. Bookshop, Witkin on 57th St. and New Dawn on Spring St. in Soho.
That’s what burned the photodocumentor the most— the Marchi charge about being a best seller. “Everyone thinks,” mused Kroll, “that it’s a best seller. Little do they know it’s a great media seller. It should have been but it wasn’t. I knew where he was coming from— being a politician, he can go through the media while an individual doesn’t have an equal amount of ammunition. He gets lots of coverage while my press release gets picked up by one guy. You’re accused kid when you make your reply there’s a blank wall.”
When Kroll applied to CAPS in 1975 with 15 photographs and a brief proposal to shoot present day women who use their bodies to earn a living—massage parlor girls, go-go dancers, prostitutes, strippers and nude models—no book was proposed, it was simply a project, a portfolio of photographs. A panel of professional photographers awarded Kroll a $5,000 grant. The money would pay for rent, food, paper and chemicals and model releases.