X-Rated: Dirty Eyes

There has always been a certain amount of sexual hijinks in the world of private detective fiction, right from the start.

I mean, come on. "Private dick"? Really?

You don't have to be an English major to suss that one out.

Want more proof?

Read early reviews of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon -- readers were shocked, I tell you, SHOCKED! by the sexual frankness. Or check out the pre-code first filmed version of that classic tale.

Brigid and Sam did not spend the night playing tiddlywinks.

X Eyes.
Strictly soft-core here, plenty of innuendo and some smirky, mostly off-stage sex, bolstered by a lot of nudge-nudge, wink-wink and adolescent humour. A lot of "tiddly-winks are orbed," as Dan Turner, the patron saint of spicy detectives would say. Just racy enough to make Aunt Marsha occasionally blush.

  • Dan Turner by Robert Leslie Bellem. Flash those tiddlywinks, baby!.
  • Shell Scott by Richard Prather. The king of the Sexploitation Era.
  • Honey West by G.G. Fickling. Honey, where are your clothes?
  • Erik March by G.G. Fickling.
  • Pete Chambers by Henry Kane (circa The Glow Job, etc.) He may be a private richard, but he's still a dick.
  • Patrick Hardy by Martin Meyers. The "sensual sleuth" of the seventies.

XX Eyes
Okay, these guys call a spade a spade. Still a lot of innuendo, but people actually have sex, and it's usually depicted in some detail. Enough to make Aunt Martha feel uncomfortable and leave the room.

XXX Eyes
Okay, this is the real deal. We're not talking about innuendo, or even high-volume promiscuity here. We're talking out-and-out smut here, private eyes who appear in films and literature whose primary (and possibly sole) focus is sex.
You can call it porn or erotica or whatever, but these eyes are out for a good time, and if they crack a case, well, it's only between bouts of the horizontal (or vertical or diagonal)bop. Aunt Catherine's either going to blush and run out of the room or call in Uncle John and Katie, bar the door.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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