Another favourite theme in 1930s Berlin was young men dressing (and undressing) in women’s clothes, especially female footwear, which many prostitute’s clients found particularly alluring. This selection shows a variety of ‘pretty boys’ performing for their clients; their gaunt frames bear witness to the poverty and poor health suffered by many of them. The last drawing in the series, in colour, tellingly defleshes the young man, first to his muscles and then to the underlying skeleton, a metaphor for the meat-like treatment of so many boys who sold themselves for others’ apparent pleasure.

We are very grateful to Hans-Jürgen Döpp for these images; Hans-Jürgen, the compiler of many books on erotic art, curates the Venusberg online gallery and bookshop which you can find here.