BEEFCAKE ON THE MENU
HERMAN LYNN WOMACK, who traded in a career as a George Washington University philosophy professor to become a peddler of male erotica, was a massive 290-pound Caucasian albino whose appearance was far more striking than any of the lean young men who filled the beefcake photo spreads of his magazines.
A homosexual known as "Lynn" to his friends, Dr. Womack stumbled into the publishing business and out of academia after investing in a holding company. The company went sour, leaving Womack in control of a Washington, D.C., printing plant in 1952. He soon started testing a straitlaced society's limits.
Womack's run-ins with authorities over freedom of expression dated from his youth, when he'd almost been expelled from his Bible Belt high school for taking evolutionary ideas—a copy of Darwin's The Origin of Species—to class. But Womack's troubles didn't end with his boyhood in Hazelhurst, Mississippi, where he'd been teased about his looks. After plunging into male erotica, he first tangled with postal authorities in 1960 when he mailed unsolicited ads for nude photos.
Four boys—ages 13, 15, 18 and 19—testified before a federal jury in Washington that they had received Womack's unsolicited ads, which included photos of men and women wearing only a genital drape. A postal inspector testified that Womack admitted the photos were aimed at homosexuals. The prosecution introduced a letter in which Womack told a photographer that "physique fans want their truck driver types cleaned up, showered and ready for bed."