Skip to content


About My Passes On Girls On Glasses

Naughty vintage pinup drinking glasses, like these, sparked a conversation the other day.

vintage risque pinup glasses

Initially the person I was shopping with was surprised to hear I do not collect these glasses. The first answer I gave was that these glasses cannot be displayed in my home; and while I am happy to have (properly archived) boxes full of magazines and ephemera, I do not like to own things that sit packed away & cannot see the light of day (or even the dim light of a boudoir). But, as I have been collecting smut a lot longer than I have been a parent, the truth is the decision not to collect vintage nudie pinup beverage glasses was made long before the worries of “who would see it and cause a ruckus” came into play.

vintage pinup glasses strip down to undies

Thinking back on those days, and that decision specifically, I realized that I initially opted not to collect such glasses because I found them too expensive.

Today, I still think they are awfully high priced for as common as they are.

The reason these glasses are so common are that many of them survived for the very same reason of needing to be hidden. Tucked away under the bar, in the booze cabinet, and other places children, in-laws, nosy neighbors, and even spouses were expected not to peer, just saved the life of the glasses. They remained unscathed, hidden in dusty places until the now-adult children discover them as part of the estate. (Of course, the true iconic bachelor, however real or unreal he may be, he may have used the glasses to the point of wearing the decals off them… If we can believe the legends of “the bachelor life”. But this represents a small numbers of folks.) Sure, a drunk buddy broke a glass or two, but, in the end, far more of these glasses have survived to be collected.  Percentage wise, far more than of them have survived than vintage Anchor Hocking lemonade sets. Honestly, I see vintage nude pinup glasses and sets all the time. And so, it is my opinion, that the prices asked (and, admittedly, often paid) are not in proportion to the rarity of the items themselves.

But that is only one factor in the collectors’ market…

Another factor in terms of pricing or value is that of desirability; it many want an item, the prices increases. This leads me back to my starting point: Who are the people who can own and display these glasses?

Like the people who first owned these glasses, there surely is the initial delight of them — but it must be quickly followed by the reality of who will spy them. Even if in today’s cultural standards we find the illustrated soft vintage nudes to be more charming and therefore less offensive than the hardcore-hard-bodies so easily found today, there certainly is a greater risk or threat to the person (especially the parent) who owns and casually displays such things. Just think; 20 years ago it was so common-place for kids to find their parents porn stash that it was considered a right of passage. Today, neither parents nor kids have those rights. Kid finds a porno mag, or the browser history trail, and it’s “Hello, Child Protective Services.” With all the nipples resulting in blocked images, URLs and social media accounts — even for medical sites or breastfeeding moms — certainly a collection of vintage nude women, however cutely illustrated, is grounds for trouble. Even the ones which on “strip” down to their underwear are pretty hard to explain to your kids — or, the greater threat, to the parents of your kids’ friends.

Today, unlike the decades when these vintage glasses were made, parents have no place to place or hide these items. Gone are the ‘adults only’ areas of the house — the bar, the den, the cabinet, the bedroom — the places were kids were taught not to go. And if the kids went snooping, it was because they were looking for something specific, hoping to find it — and if/when they did, the didn’t dare tell anyone. Not because their parents were sinners, or even that sex was a sin; but because the kids themselves had sinned in trespassing and stealing, however temporarily. It was the kids’ shame; not the parents. The parents had done their duty by hiding the goods; the kids had broken the rules.

In my opinion, the problem with “today’s permissive culture” is the fact that there are few, if any, private adult spaces left — especially in the home. If kids are “exposed to more today,” it’s not because sex & smut are new, or even the handy Internet; it’s the fact that too many people believe that children have the right to do, see, and access everything an adult does. That’s not fair. Not to the kids; not to the adults.

In fact, while I am up on my soap box, I will say that adults far too often have less respect than children do. Heck, take a kid to a counselor and you, the parent, might not be allowed to know anything that went on in that session. “Kids have a right to privacy,” they say. Meanwhile, parents do not have the right to privacy in their own homes; not even in their own bedrooms, Netflix cues, or ebook-reader lists.  Does that even remotely sound right to you?

Thinking about all this made me sad. And angry. And my friend & I had to leave the antique shop before my comments became loud ranting — and before I could ask the shop owner if they’ve ever had complaints about vintage nudes being in the shop. I guess I’ll have to save that for another time.

Posted in Collecting, Other Objects.

Tagged with , , , , , , , .


One Response

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. About My Passes On Girls On Glasses – Sil... linked to this post on October 14, 2013

    [...] The reason these glasses are so common are that many of them survived for the very same reason of needing to be hidden. Tucked away under the bar, in the booze cabinet, and other places children, in-laws, nosy neighbors, and even spouses were expected not to peer, just saved the life of the glasses. They remained unscathed, hidden in dusty places until the now-adult children discover them as part of the estate. (Of course, the true iconic bachelor, however real or unreal he may be, he may have used the glasses to the point of wearing the decals off them… If we can believe the legends of “the bachelor life”.  [...]



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.