Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos
|Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos|
|Author||Samuel M Steward|
Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos: A Social History of the Tattoo With Gangs, Sailors, and Street-Corner Punks, 1950-1965 by Samuel M. Steward, who tattooed as Phil Sparrow and wrote gay erotica under the pseudonym Phil Andros, presents itself as a scholarly study of tattooing from the perspective of a tattooist with an academic background. The author claims that he provided statistical information to sex researcher Alfred Kinsey on the relationship between tattoos and sexuality, and he documents some of his perspectives on that relationship in the book.
The books usefulness as a reference on tattooing and the history of tattooing is severely compromised by the author's fixation on the connection between homosexuality and tattooing. The information in the book on the techniques and practice of tattooing is outdated and is useful only as a historical reference. Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos is relevant and useful as a biography of its author, and provides a window into the life of a gay tattooist in mid-century America.