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08 August 2023

Carlson Wade (1928 – 1993) pulp sexologist, nutritionist

Original version 25 October 2010.

Today mainly remembered for his many books on diet and health, Carlson Wade published a whole series of cheap paperbacks on many aspects of sex and gender in the 1950s and 1960s, several of them co-authored by Edward Podolsky MD. 

Wade wrote essays in the early 1960s for girlie magazines such as Leg Show and Striparama, both owned by Leonard Burtman’s Selbee Associates. These are not recorded in databases such as WorldCat, but some of them can be found on Ebay, Fetish Nostalgia etc.

In 1960 Wade with Edward Podolsky published Transvestism Today; The Phenomena of Men Who Dress As Women. Podolsky is listed as the first author, and his photograph only is on the inside back cover, but he wrote only the Introduction. A warning on the back page stated: 
“The sale of this book is strictly limited to members of the medical community, psychoanalysts and students in the field of psychology or social studies”.

 It was reviewed in Siobhan Fredericks’s Turnabout #3, page 26-7:

Subtitled "The Phenomena of Men Who Dress as Women" to give it some measure of scientific appearance, this absurd little volume attempts to mix the erotic with the studious and ends up as virtually meaningless.

Obviously an attempt to cash in on the success enjoyed by Dr. Cauldwell's book [Transvestism … man female dress, 1956, 3rd edition 1963 AmazonCristan Williams], Transvestism Today is about ninety-eight percent written by Carlson Wade, a noted dilettante in the fetishistic fiction field, and Dr. Podolsky may have contributed the remaining two percent. The only worthwhile parts of the book are a rather brief introduction by Dr. Podolsky and a few chapters suspiciously close to the Cauldwell book in content and arrangement of information. A chapter on the professional female impersonator may have been cribbed to a great extent from Femme Mimics by E. Carlton Winford [online at Queer music Heritage], which appeared about ten years ago and is now distributed by Nutrix.

The last half of the book consists of the most banal and imbecilic case histories ever fashioned out of the whole cloth. Even if they had been written by TVs, which is unlikely since they bear the mediocre stamp of Carlson Wade's writing, they bear no relationship to the realities of any transvestite's existence.

Consider some of the chapter headings: "Bloomers Are My Life" by "Flossie" who is probably the world's most effeminate lumberjack; "I Am a Rock 'N' Roll Transvestite" by "Billie" who is probably the world's most effeminate street-gang leader; and "Are Cross-Dressers Afraid of Sex" by "Anonymous" who is terribly confused about everything. Were this level of imbecilic hilarity -to be sustained throughout the book, Transvestism Today might be worth reading. But no luck. The author apparently takes himself too seriously to let us have even that small pleasure.

What I cannot understand is why Dr. Podolsky or any physician would allow his name and his reputation to be connected with such a shabby enterprise.”

In 1962 Reverse Sex, the English translation by Jules Block of Coccinelle est lui, a biography of the Le Carrousel star Coccinelle by her second husband, Mario A Costa, was issued by the British firm Challenge Publications Ltd. It was 192 pages and sold for 7/6 (38.5p) in the UK and $1.05 in the US.

A few months later, Epic Publishing of New York issued She Male by Carlson Wade. It was 192 pages and sold for $5.

Both books were reviewed in Siobhan Fredericks’s Turnabout #5, page 28-9:

“Aside from the fact that both these books are about Coccinelle, the famed Parisian sex-changee, a remarkable number of similarities occur. Witness, for instance, the first paragraph of the first chapter of Reverse Sex:

‘I caught sight of her for the first time at the Crazy Horse Saloon in the Avenue Georges Cinq, I was behind the scenes at the cabaret, chatting with Mac Ronay, the amazing mimic, when suddenly she appeared, attracting every eye, impeccably dressed, dazzlingly elegant, and overwhelmingly beautiful.'

And then compare it with the first paragraph of the first chapter of Carlson Wade's She-Male:

'When I first saw her, I was seated in a corner table at the famed Crazy Horse Saloon in the Avenue Georges Cinq, the main artery running through the sensuous Montmarte district of Paris. I was chatting with Mac Ronay, the internationally famous pantomime, gathering material for a series of articles on Paris night life, when she suddenly appeared. The entire house was hushed when the patrons caught sight of her. She was a vision of perfume, fur, and dazzling glitter.'

The similarities, of course, do not end with the book's first paragraph. They run through the entire book, with paragraph after paragraph, chapter after chapter, coinciding as to content – if not exactly word for word.

With a few exceptions, the photos contained in both books are identical. In the Carlson Wade version, a few photos from the comprehensive files of the Epic Publishing Co. (which appears identical with Selbee Associates and Kaysee Sales as a business entity [publishers of Female Mimics]) have been added to the 64 in Reverse Sex with some deletions of photos from the latter book. …

As to the comparative quality of the two books, Reverse Sex is obviously superior to She-Male, because the writing itself is free from the pretentious turgidity which characterizes Carlson Wade's style. As an added attraction, Reverse Sex costs only a little more than one-seventh of the price of She-Male, when it is purchased direct from the publisher, The address of Challenge Publications, by the way, is 10 Old Compton Street, London W. 1, England.  An international bank draft of, say, $1.50 would very likely tempt Challenge to mail the book to any TURNABOUT reader who has yet to add either version to his library. When you buy Reverse Sex, you get a bargain. When you buy She-Male, you get a cheap imitation pirated from the original.”


In 1963 Leonard Burtman’s Selbee Associates launched Female Mimics. Wade contributed a cover story, an interview with performer Kim August. The issue also carried advertisements for several of Wade’s books. The second issue had an 8-page summary of Wade’s She-Male with lots of photos and 2 plugs for the book. 

The fourth issue had “Men in Skirts” which jumps from Greek mythology to Roman emperors to mumming to Shakespeare to Elizabeth Tudor was a boy to Philippe of Orleans to de Choisy to d’Eon to 20th century performers.

In 1964 Novel Books of Chicago took two stories that had run in its sister publication. the National Insider, the previous year: “I want to be a Woman” by the still young Gayle Sherman, and “From Woman to Man” by the British trans man John Collier. Wade added an essay, in which he summarizes early writers. His case studies are taken from George Henry’s All the Sexes, the psychoanalyst Helene Deutsch and Krafft-Ebing's account of Sandor Vay. He concludes: “One cannot emphasize enough the vital truth: the trans-sexualist is frequently compelled to seek a sex change, obsessed with this desire because of a biological compulsion over which he has NO control!”. He then mentions Coccinelle and puts in a plug for his biography of her.

The next year Novel Books repeated the formula with short autobiographies from National Insider by Abby Sinclair and Latina Seville (who regretted her change). Wade with George Griffith contributed a historical survey that was mainly about eunuchs and castratos.

In the mid 1960s, Wade published several books using the pseudonym Ken Worthy, mainly on homosexuality. In 1965’s The New Homosexual Revolution he expressed the opinion “As the ranks of the homosexual is constantly swelling by greater and greater acceptance of this condition as an ‘illness,’ the ranks of the male prostitute is also swelled”.

In 1967 Wade returned to Female Mimics with a 2-part account, “The Golden Age of Female Impersonation” repeating much if what he had written in "Men in Skirts".

Into the 1970s and later Carlson Wade became mainly a nutritionist writing a large number of self-help health books. His first nutrition book had been The Key to Nutrition in 1961.

In 1976 he published Great Hoaxes and Famous Impostors, a book of short biographies of persons who were not what they appeared to be. Unlike other such books he nicely does not include any trans persons as frauds.

Ironically for an author of nutrition and health books, Carlson Wade died in 1993 at age 65.

There have been claims from Bob Blackburn, the executor of Ed Wood’s estate (on behalf of his second wife Kathy O’Hara) that Wood was actually Carlson Wade and had written the 1958 novel Conquering GoddessMen in Skirts and The Homosexual Generation.  Almost nobody accepts this suggestion.

Both Ed Wood and Kim Christy also worked for Leonard Burtman’s magazines.

The review in Turnabout says that She-Male cost $7, but the advertisements for it in Female Mimics say $5.

Sexological Writings

  • Confessions of a Transvestite. New York: B. & L. Publishing Co, 1957.
  • Conquering Goddess. B&B Press, 1958. A science fiction novel.
  • with Edward Podolsky. Erotic Symbolism; A Study of Fetichism in Relation to Sex. New York: Epic Pub. Co, 1960.
  • with Edward Podolsky. Transvestism Today; The Phenomena of Men Who Dress As Women. New York: Epic Pub. Co, 1960. Online at Queer Music Heritage.
  • Butchers In Waiting. 1960. On Abortion.
  • “The Queens of Burlesque”. Striparama, 2, 2-3. 1961.
  • with Edward Podolsky. Transvestism. Sexual behavior series, no. 5. New York: Epic Pub. Co, 1962.
  • with Edward Podolsky. Fetichism. Sexual behavior series, no. 6. New York: Epic Publ. Co., Inc, 1962. 
  • She-male: the amazing true-life story of Coccinelle. New York: Epic, 1963.
  • “Those Lovely Limbs: a photo-illustrated essay”. Leg Show, 1,3, 1963.
  • “"Lips Vs. Legs – Which Do You Love the Most?". Leg Show, 1,6, 1963.
  • “How Kim August became a Female Impersonator: an exclusive interview”. Female Mimics, 1,1, 1963: 30-41, 60-3.
  • “Coccinelle: France’s Most Fabulous She-male”. Female Mimics, 1,1, 1963: 3-10,
  • with George Ryley Scott. Sex Pleasures and Perversions; A Book of Practical Sexual Advice for Males and Females. Westport, Conn: Associated Booksellers, 1963.
  • Panty Raid and Other Stories of Transvestism and Female Impersonation. Selbee, 1963.
  • “As the experts See It” in Gayle Sherman, John Collier and Doreen Johns, Carlson Wade. "I Want to be a Woman!". A Novel Book. 1964.
  • The Twilight Sex. New York: L.S. Publications, 1964.
  • "Men in Skirts". Female Mimics, 1,4, 1964: 14-18, 56-62. Online at Queer Music Heritage. 
  • Abby Sinclair, George Griffith, Carlson Wade & Latina Seville. I Was Male. Novel Books. 95 pp 1965. Includes a historical survey by Griffith and Wade of eunuchs, castratos and ‘hermaphrodites’, with only a few pages on actual transsexuals.
  • Sexual Deviations of the American Female. Chicago: Novel Books Inc, 1965
  • Sexual Behavior of the Lesbian. New York: L.S. Publications Corp, 1965.
  • Diary of a Homosexual. New York, N.Y.: L.S. Publications Corp, 1965.
  • Male Homosexuality: Case Studies. New York: L.S. Publications, 1965.
  • Abnormal Male Behavior. New York, N.Y.: L.S. Publications Corp, 1965.
  • Abnormal Sex Crimes. New York, N.Y.: L.S. Publications Corp, 1965.
  • The Sexual Variants. Hollywood, Calif: Genell Corp, 1965.
  • with Mel Miles. Sexual Deviations of the American Female. Chicago, Ill: Novel Books, 1965.
  • As Ken Worthy. Homosexual Generation. New York: L.S. Publications, 1965. (discussion)
  • As Ken Worthy. The New Homosexual Revolution. New York: L.S. Publications, 1965.
  • As Ken Worthy. Sexual Deviation and the Law. New York: L.S. Publications, 1965.
  • The Compulsive Erotic. Challenge Publications, 1966
  • with Edward Podolsky. Abnormal Sex Activity. Cleveland, Ohio: K.D.S., 1967.
  • Carlson Wade. Queer Path. New York, N.Y.: L.S. Publications, 1967.
  • As Ken Worthy. Twisted Sex Desires. New York: L.S. Publications, 1967.
  • “The Golden Age of Female Impersonation – Part 1”. Female Mimics, 1,9, Spring 1967: 14-15, 67-8, 70.
  • “The Golden Age of Female Impersonation – Part 2”. Female Mimics, 1,10, Summer 1967: 21-2, 67-8
  • Sex Perversions and Taboos. New York, N.Y.: L.S. Publications, 1969.
  • Great Hoaxes and Famous Impostors. Middle Village, N.Y.: Jonathan David Publishers, 1976. 

By Others:

Turnabout #3, Turnabout #5,

  • Greg Dziawer. “Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Drag Odyssey, Part One”. Dead 2 Rights, May 4, 2016.Online.
  • Cherrybomb. “Vintage Publications Attempt to Diagnose Transvestism, Masturbation & Other Sexual ‘Deviations’ “. Dangerous Minds, 01.06.2017. Online. (does not mention his books on sex)

EN.Wikipedia  Internet Archive  (does not include any of his books on sex)

Partial bibliography of other works

(copied from Dziawer)

How-To Manuals and Other:

Learn Tropical Fish the Easy Way - 1964

Be Your Own Carpenter - 1965

Be Your Own Plumber - 1966

The Key to Basic Electronics - 1967

Shower Parties for All Occasions - 1973

Great Hoaxes and Famous Imposters - 1976

The Pocket Encyclopedia of Baby Names - 1978

Dog Owner's Handbook: The Pocket Pet Encyclopedia - 1978

How You Can Get Money from the Government for Free - 1989

How to Read Palms and Fingerprints – 1992

Health and Nutrition:

Helping with Your Enzymes - 1966

Instant Health – The Nature Way - 1968

The Yeast Flakes Cookbook - 1968

Health Food Recipes for Gourmet Cooking - 1969

Natural and Folk Remedies - 1970

All-Natural Pain Relievers - 1975

The Book of Bran - 1976

Crockery Cooking: The Easy Way - 1977

Carlson Wade's Lecithin Book - 1980

Catalytic Hormones: Key to Extraordinary Weight Loss - 1982

Carlson Wade's PMS Book - 1984

How to Beat Arthritis with Immune Power Boosters - 1989

Natural Energy Boosters - 1993


  1. Anonymous30/7/11 18:09

    You took that photo from my web-site without permission, -- and you should probably do a little research before you call him a hack. This website is a hack.

  2. I gave a link to your site. I have no opinion on his books on nutrition, which I haven't looked at. However, I am not at all impressed by what I have read in his books on sex/gender? You do not say anything at all about them on your one-page site. I look forward to you adding an essay discussing his sex/gender books, explaining why my opinion is wrong.

  3. Anonymous1/10/21 17:07

    I created a Wikipedia article for

    BTW the another anonymous user here (the owner of the carlsonwade website) claims he knows Carlson Wade's real name but he will not give it out. I found this quite dishonest. I would like to know his real name.

    1. So you are the Wiki person using the label 'Psychologist Guy'. So while you do not give any name at all for yourself, you have the impertinence to demand a supposed 'real name' of someone else. Whatever a 'real name' is. As trans persons, we certainly do not regard a birth name as one's 'real name'. Wade had every moral and legal right to either change his name, or to write under a pen name.

    2. Do you know what Carlson Wade's birth name was?

    3. So another person who doesn't give their own name, comes asking for somebody's private name. Yeah, right!

  4. Oops. When I put up this revision last week, I listed Carlson Wade as co-author of The Modern Sex Manual, 1942. I had taken this from the article in Dangerous Minds which says: "the duo authored many books together on sexuality and psychology. Including The Modern Sex Manual in 1942 which divulged some rather stunning revelations such as the “abnormal” act of masturbation can “dull” the feeling of intercourse". Then the penny dropped. Wade was only 14 in 1942. A double check in World Cat and Amazon confirms that Podolsky was the sole author.

  5. How come you give a detailed quote from Turnabout but ignore what was said in Transvestia?

    1. Actually I searched in Transvestia looking for any comment on Wade, but apparently they never said anything about him.


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