Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wayland Villiers Radio

Who was Wayland Villiers?  I wouldn't be interested but one of his pamphlets. His 1936 work The Story of Sex, carried the tagline "A New Book By Your Radio Advisor."  Suddenly I had the strange idea this "Professor" might have actually been on the radio. He was and he was talking about sex. Was that even allowed in the 1930s?  Let's start with a short listing of his limited bibliography:

  • 1929 - The Dawn of Love (as Thomas Wayland Villiers)
  • 1931 - The Law of Nature: A book of sane sex knowledge for red-blooded men and women
  • 1935 - Why Marriage Fails: Sex Secrets Revealed
  • 1935 - The Truth About Birth Control
  • 1936 - The Story of Sex
  • 1937 - Nudist Racket Exposed (as Thomas Wayland Villiers)
I am somewhat amazed the man was actually doing this pre-1950. It's clear from multiple sources that Prof Villiers had taken his show on the road.  The book Next Year Country by Craig Miner makes a single direct reference to him lecturing in Kansas. That healthiest specimen referred to below was probably Vivian Vaughn.
"People professed to be shocked by a sex lecture given in Wichita in 1931, in which Professor Wayland Villiers demonstrated "the Law of Nature" with "living girl models," including one said to be the healthiest specimen in America."
There are references to him in Newspapers as well. That same year in the Reading Times he was reported to be broadcasting on WRAW-AM. The Reading Eagle Newspaper called him a "Sex Philosopher." Villiers appeared at the Orpheum Theatre with Princess Signa Serene of Denmark. She was not royalty but a then famous mentalist.

Also in tow was Miss Vivian Vaughn, then recently crowed "Miss New Orleans."  They had a five day engagement demonstrating a program about the necessity of sex education. Showings were segregated by gender: matinee performances at 2:30 PM were for women only, and evening shows at 10:00 PM were for men only.On Friday there was a special 6:00 PM show for "working girls". [sic double entendre.]

Princess Signa Serene and the professor took to the air daily to answer peoples questions. It was a routine they must have done before and one that probably brought them much trouble in certain cities along the way. There are references to Ms. Serene as late as 1937.. but by then Mr. Villiers had long since vanished.