Man's Life, December 1960

For Men Only, September 1963

Sir!, February 1962

Laff, October. 1952

Man to Man, February 1953

Focus, March 1957

Sir, July 1950

Whisper, January 1955

Laff, Summer 1954

Paris Models, 1952

Sir! October 1950

Frolic October 1958

Hit November 1952

Laff August 1952



As soon as I’ve scanned everything I plan to burn it all. It’s that’s creepy. It’s that sad. It’s that pathetic. These aren’t nudie mags in the usual sense – probably because there’s usually no nudity. Just capering cuties in grainy black-and-white making the clichéd “you’ve caught me in my nightie!” face. The stories are bombastic but empty, always exposing something or other – sin, vice, sinful vice. Typical tales: “The Harlots of Des Moines!” or “Girls For Sale in Sex-Drenched Dusseldorf!” And there’s always a Nazi story. In every issue, Nazis. Why? Because a large part of the target demographic had spent its youth whipping Nazi butt, I suppose. And another part of the demographic really got off on Nazis, one fears.

In the back, the ads – “Bedtime story” books, novelty records shipped in plain wrappers, lots of truss ads (more so in the fifties than the 60s - by the JFK era, men were no longer rupturing their innards at the same rate) and innumerable tiny ads aimed at self-improvement. Because if there’s one theme that runs throughout these mags, it’s the need for the readership to improve itself. The readership knew it. If the readership didn’t need self improvement, they wouldn’t be reading these things.

You’d find the mags in auto repair garages, certain kinds of barbershops, cabins men kept for hunting and fishing. They were the Maxims and FHMs of their day, I suppose. Now and then they rose above their limitations and put out a good cover or a nice photo illustration or an interesting story. But not often. Mostly it’s sad, bad, pulpy sleaze.

For which I am very grateful.