Russell Trainer

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Russell Raymond Trainer (25 December 1921 – 12 December 1992) was an American author and novelist who wrote The Lolita Complex, a seminal book which contributed to the development of manga and anime in Japan.


None of his publishers is known to have ever supplied a biography, but Russell Trainer's family states that he was born in Detroit, Michigan and enrolled in law school at the University of Detroit. He served in the Philippines in the infantry during World War II and was awarded a Bronze Star. In 1946, he was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the first district seat in the Michigan State Senate.[1] He was skilled at gaining people's confidence, and his career consisted of a variety of opportunistic enterprises, living mostly on ill-gotten gains, culminating with his arrest in Coldwater, Michigan, in 1959, where he attempted to cash a bad check. There were warrants for his arrest in several states. Trainer served 18 months in the Jackson State Penitentiary in Jackson, Michigan where he wrote his first novel, The Warden's Wife, which was published for the adult paperback market shortly after his release.

He remained in Detroit, and wrote The Lolita Complex, and a number of novels, most of them published by Midwood, as a part of a series of softcore paperbacks for the adult market. He also sold a number of children's stories and articles, under various pseudonyms.

Trainer was married twice, and the father of six children. He settled in California in 1966, and established his own publishing house, marketing books following his own writing genre, and died in Stockton, California, in 1992.

Literary importance[edit]

Trainer's importance stems from his publication in 1965, of his most famous work, The Lolita Complex, which had the appearance of a serious psychological work, with an extensive bibliography of legitimate authorities, who were liberally quoted and referenced from their work. Trainer, however, had no credentials at all as a psychologist, and many authorities saw the work as a sham and the author as a charlatan. The title is a reference to Vladimir Nabokov's book, Lolita, in which a middle-aged man becomes sexually obsessed with a 12-year-old girl. When Trainer's book was translated into Japanese, it triggered a movement known as lolicon, the Japanese form of the title of the translated book.


Lolicon is a Japanese portmanteau of the phrase "Lolita complex". In Japan, the term describes an attraction to young girls, or an individual with such an attraction. Outside Japan, the term is less common and most often refers to a genre of manga and anime wherein childlike female characters are depicted in an erotic manner.

Since 2007, there has been increasing concern in Japan with the "Lolita Complex Boom", with young girls being uses as sex icons.[2] The term "Lolita Complex" has been adopted by a Japanese electronica musical group.[3]


  • Jail Bait (Sydney, N.S.W.: Magazine Services, ?. OCLC 317846290.)
  • The Warden's Wife (1962) (On Amazon Kindle)
  • Lonesome Widow (1963)
  • No Way Back (1963)
  • Love Starved (1964)
  • His Daughter's Friend (1964)
  • Trouble Maker (1965)
  • His Brother Love (Detroit, Mich: Foremost Pub., 1965. OCLC 27113566.)
  • The Lolita Complex (New York: Citadel Press, 1966. OCLC 1510046. The Lolita Complex at Google Books)
  • Virgin Myth (1967)
  • Jealous Lover (1967)
  • Sex & Love Among the Poor (New York: Ballantine Books, 1968. OCLC 434809.)
  • Sex, Jealousy and Conflict (North Hollywood, Calif.: Brandon House, 1968. OCLC 649823969.)
  • Sex Substitute (North Hollywood, Calif.: Brandon House, 1968. OCLC 646829635.)
  • The Violence of Adultery (Chatsworth, Calif.: Brandon Books, 1968. OCLC 649823969.)
  • The Male Lolita (New York: Macfadden-Bartell Corp., 1969. OCLC 81345629.)
  • The Male Homosexual Today (New York: Macfadden-Bartell Corp., 1970. OCLC 55586518.)
  • The Deviate Generation (New York: Macfadden-Bartell Corp., 1972. OCLC 28554296.)


  1. ^ Kestenbaum, Lawrence (May 6, 2010). "Index to Politicians: Traczuk to Travieso". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
  2. ^ Hongo, Jun (May 3, 2007). "Photos of preteen girls in thongs now big business". The Japan Times. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
  3. ^ "ロリータコンプレックス公式ウェブ 〜Lolita∞Complex's world〜". Retrieved August 18, 2010.