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7th November   

Blue Ireland...

Ireland's first softcore magazine
Link Here

JOE website interviewed Andrew Booth, one of the co-founders of the recently launch Blue Ireland adult magazine.

JOE: How is it going so far, what's circulation like?

Andrew Booth: Circulation is encouraging, with a lot of copies sold. Interestingly, most copies sold through shops are in the capital with most of the postal orders coming from the countryside.

JOE: Where are the main stores Blue Ireland can be bought?

AB: It's available nationally, through EM News Distribution and they manage which individual stores carry the magazine. If we're not in your local store, we'd encourage you to ask for it.

We've sold quite a few copies via the website, with roughly 20% of those coming from USA. This is something we'd be keen to expand. After all, there are 30 million people in USA who have Irish heritage. It's a massive market.

JOE: Do you only shoot Irish girls?

AB: We only shoot girls who live in Ireland. All models (and photographers and everyone else who works on the magazine) have to be registered to work here in Ireland. Ireland is now a multicultural country and the better for it, the magazine reflects that, although most of the models are Irish.

JOE: Why is the minimum age at 20 for models to apply?

AB: We felt it was a good age. Legally, it is 18, but we felt the two years helped. We're not interested in getting people to make decisions that they may later regret, and we felt that 18 was perhaps too young.


21st October   

Obituary: Bob Guccione...

Penthouse magazine publisher dies aged 79
Link Here

Bob Guccione, who founded Penthouse magazine and created an erotic corporate empire around it, died on Wednesday. He was 79.

A statement issued by the Guccione family says he died at Plano Specialty Hospital in Plano. His wife, April Dawn Warren Guccione, had said he had battled lung cancer for several years.

A frustrated artist who once attended a Catholic seminary, Guccione started Penthouse in 1965 in England to subsidize his art career and was the magazine's first photographer. He introduced the magazine to the American public in 1969 at the height of the feminist movement and the sexual revolution.

Penthouse quickly posed a challenge to Hugh Hefner's Playboy by offering a mix of tabloid journalism with provocative photos of nude women, dubbed Penthouse Pets.

Guccione estimated that Penthouse earned $4 billion during his reign as publisher. He was listed in the Forbes 400 ranking of wealthiest people with a net worth of about $400 million in 1982.

Guccione lost much of his personal fortune on bad investments and risky ventures.

Probably his best-known business failure was a $17.5 million investment in the 1979 production of the X-rated film Caligula . Malcolm McDowell was cast as the decadent emperor of the title, and the supporting cast included Helen Mirren, John Gielgud and Peter O'Toole.

It was Guccione who produced the sexed up version of Caligula with hardcore inserts that made such an impact on censors.

Distributors shunned the film, with its graphic scenes of lesbianism and incest. However, it eventually became General Media's most popular DVD.

Update: Penthouse vs Playboy

24th October 2010. From

Bob Guccione had operated a mail-order business selling back issues of American girlie magazines to British customers. He sent copies of a pilot edition of Penthouse (featuring eight full-colour nudes, all photographed by himself) to addresses on the list and waited for the orders to roll in. But the list was obsolete and as a result his erotica reached several unintended recipients, including clergymen, schoolgirls, old-age pensioners and an MP who raised the issue in the House of Commons.

For the next three days Guccione found himself holed up inside his house with the police waiting outside to arrest him for sending unsolicited indecent material through the post. He barricaded himself in, having been advised by his lawyer to sit tight in order to generate maximum publicity. By the time he emerged, his reputation as the man who brought pornography to Britain was secure. He paid a £200 fine but when first issue of Penthouse hit the news stands the following year, its 160,000 print run sold out within five days.

By 1968 Penthouse was selling twice as many copies as Playboy in Europe and Guccione was ready to colonise his rival's home market. He launched his first American issue the following year on the back of a highly successful advertising campaign featuring a Playboy bunny in the sights of a rifle with the caption: We're going rabbit hunting . Within three years Penthouse was selling more copies than Esquire, Time, Life, Newsweek, The New Yorker and US News and World Report combined, and though Playboy continued to sell more copies, the majority were in the less lucrative subscription market.

The competition between the two magazines became something of a race to the bottom as Hefner, who had dismissed Guccione as a minor pain in the ass over in England , felt compelled to follow his rival's move into more and more explicit photo-shoots. In April 1970 Penthouse introduced its first full frontal nude and achieved its highest ever sales figures. Playboy followed suit in December. In August 1971 Guccione introduced the centrefold. Playboy did so the following year. Everything was started by us, Guccione claimed. We were the first to show full-frontal nudity. The first to expose the clitoris completely. I think we made a very serious contribution to the liberalisation of laws and attitudes.


16th October   

Sex Objects Prefer Lads on Top...

Objecting to lads' mags on Feminist Fridays
Link Here
Full story: Lads Mags...Blaming lads mags for all the world's ills

Outside a branch of Tesco in central London, 30 people in pyjamas, nightgowns and fluffy slippers have gathered to campaign against lads' mags. All are members of the activist group Object and they are here to take part in the monthly Porn Versus Pyjamas campaign. They dart down the dairy aisle to the display of lads' magazines, which they mark with their own slogans. FHM is put in a paper bag emblazoned with: For Horrible Misogynists , while Maxim is hidden behind the phrase MAXIMum Sexism .

The women start a conga-line through the supermarket, chanting Hey, ho, sexist mags have got to go , alerting security guards to their presence. Eventually they're ushered out, but not before depositing pamphlets, entitled Porn v Pyjamas: Why Lads' Mags Are Harmful, in customers' baskets.

Their campaign began earlier this year, after Tesco ruled that customers wouldn't be allowed to shop in pyjamas because this could make other people feel uncomfortable. Object bit back by accusing some Tesco stores of ignoring the voluntary codes of conduct that suggest lads' mags should be covered up and repositioned on the top shelf, alongside pornographic content.

The Tesco demonstration is part of its Feminist Fridays campaign – monthly events where activists protest against lads' mags and other forms of sexism. After being ejected from Tesco, the demonstrators spend three hours outside the store, distributing 1,500 leaflets.

Lads' mags are an example of the mainstreaming of pornography, says Anna van Heeswijk of Object. The whole tone is of complete contempt [for women]. They are made up of photographs that come straight from pornography and would have been thought of as hardcore 50 years ago. But now the boundaries have been pushed to such an extent that they are considered an appropriate part of lads' mags and soft porn.


10th October   

Updated: Centrefold Extremists...

Indonesian Playboy editor on the run
Link Here

Indonesia has launched a manhunt for a former editor of the local edition of Playboy magazine, who has been sentenced to jail for indecency even though the publication did not contain nudity.

An arrest warrant was issued after Erwin Arnada ignored three orders to surrender to prosecutors and serve a two-year jail sentence ordered in August by the Supreme Court, prosecutors said.

The case has highlighted the growing power of Islamist extremists who launched violent protests against the magazine when it appeared in 2006, and pushed the Supreme Court to overturn the editor's earlier acquittal.

South Jakarta chief prosecutor Mohammed Yusuf said: We are being forced to act by the FPI (Islamic Defenders Front) as the plaintiff in this case, referring to a violent Islamist vigilante group that enjoys the support of top police officers.

Update: Authorities apprehend their victim

10th October 2010. Based on article from

The former editor of the now-defunct Indonesian version of Playboy magazine, Erwin Arnada, turned himself in on Saturday. He faces a two-year prison term, which was appealed but upheld by the Supreme Court.

As a law-abiding citizen, I am going to turn myself in to the prosecutors' office to undergo processing, Erwin said as he arrived at the South Jakarta prosecutors' office.

Erwin was apprehended by prosecutors and police upon his arrival from Bali at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Saturday afternoon. Police demonstrated their prowess at the airport with a large entourage of officers brandishing assault rifles.

Erwin's attorney, Todung Mulya Lubis, said he was disappointed with the way prosecutors and police had treated his client: Why they should treat my client like a terrorist? he said, stressing that Erwin had met the authorities' requests to surrender voluntarily.

A request for a case review would be filed with the Supreme Court while his client serves his sentence, Todung said: We expect that the Supreme Court will re-examine the ruling soon, so that my client will not have to serve the entire term, he said.

We want to question the panel's reasons for ruling in favor of the prosecutors' opinion that the magazine constituted an act of public indecency, Todung said, adding that even the Press Council stated that the Indonesian version of Playboy did not contain pornography, was in line with the press code of ethics and therefore had not violated the press law.


1st September   

Spread Magazine Closes...

Volunteer staffed magazine for sex workers sets out closure schedule
Link Here

A US magazine produced by and for US sex workers has announced its up coming closure. They write:

We regret to inform you that, while we expect to publish 5.4, the Crime and Punishment Issue and 6.1, the Race Issue (guest-edited by a fabulous collective of sex workers of color) by January, $pread will close its glittery doors soon after the dawn of the New Year.

We apologize for those of you who have only recently come to know us, and to all our longtime supporters. After all these years, five all-volunteer years to be exact, we have come to the conclusion that an all-volunteer magazine is simply unsustainable in the current publishing climate. Short of a donation of $30,000, we will be unable to sustain the magazine past January.

We hope that you will look forward to a $pread retrospective in book form, featuring highlights of our five years of publishing. We will also package a $pread Scrapbook for sex worker advocates looking for tips and tricks on publishing a magazine by and for people working in the sex industry. We are producing these materials in the hopes that our model will help motivate the continued movement for social justice among our many and varied communities, in the same way Danzine inspired our own publication.

$pread was motivated by the motto Illuminating the Sex Industry. We submit these five years of blood, sweat, and tears to you as a testament to this founding sentiment. May the struggle to end the stigma, discrimination, and violence perpetrated against our communities end in justice, and may the flashy strobe light of sex worker rights never go out, but illuminate the sex industry for the world to see.


28th August   

Updated: Revived Mean Mindedness...

Indonesian Playboy editor still under duress
Link Here

The former editor of Indonesian Playboy could face two years in jail after Indonesian prosecutors said they would enforce a 2009 Supreme Court ruling.

Erwin Arnada was first tried for public indecency in 2007 but was cleared of all charges.

The acquittal was seen as a victory for freedom of the press in Indonesia.

But conservative Islamic groups lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court, which found him guilty of public indecency.

This week, leaders of the Islamic Defenders Front, a hardline Muslim group in Indonesia, announced they had obtained a copy of the Supreme Court's ruling and urged the district attorney's office to enforce it.

A lawyer with the group, told the BBC it was outrageous it had taken Indonesian prosecutors this long to act on a Supreme Court order. He added that members of the Islamic Defenders Front would visit the district attorney general's office on Friday to find out why there had been such a prolonged delay in putting Arnada behind bars.

Meanwhile, Indonesian prosecutors told the BBC they only received the Supreme Court ruling earlier this week. The prosecutor's office issued a summons for Arnada on Wednesday. If he does not appear then two more summons will be issued for him. If he fails to comply with those summons, prosecutors say he will be arrested by force.

Update: Case Review

9th September 2010. From

The former chief editor of Playboy Indonesia magazine, Erwin Arnada, has asked prosecutors to suspend his prison term in a last ditch effort to annul a court ruling sentencing him to two years in prison for indecency.

Erwin's lawyer, Todung Mulya Lubis, said his client would file a case review against the Supreme Court ruling.

We are going to file our request as soon as possible, probably after the Idul Fitri holidays, he told journalists at the Press Council's office in Jakarta on Monday.

Todung said the Supreme Court justices made a mistake when examining his client's case. The panel of justices should have used the Press Law when examining cases related to the press, not the Criminal Code. This is an egregious mistake, he said.

A case review may take years and does not necessarily suspend the conviction of Erwin, who refuses to come out of hiding.


15th August   

Less Loaded...

Decline in the lads mag market
Link Here

Fears that the scantily-clad bottom has fallen out of the lads mag market appeared to have come true as it emerged that both monthly and weekly men's magazines suffered a huge slump in sales over the past six months.

Loaded , published by IPC Media, one of the first monthly men's publications to dominate the trade during the peak of the genre's popularity in the second half of the 1990s, was the worst hit, losing a quarter of its circulation in just half a year.

ABC circulation figures for the first six months of 2007 showed that other mainstays of the lad's mag market, including FHM, Maxim and rival weeklies Nuts and Zoo were also hit by a significant drop in sales.

Nuts, which is also owned by IPC, saw its sales fall by 6% while the circulation of rival Zoo, owned by Emap, dropped by 9%.

FHM, the traditional leader in the men's monthly market, despite remaining the best seller, saw a year-on-year downturn of 26%.


9th July   

Passion for Censorship...

Playboy terminate Portuguese issue over Jesus pictorial
Link Here

Playboy magazine is to terminate its Portuguese edition after an outcry over a photo shoot depicting Jesus Christ alongside topless models. It emerged yesterday that the Portuguese version of the men's magazine had recruited Christ as an unlikely cover star in a purported photo tribute to the late author Jose Saramago.

The pictures show an airbrushed, idealised Jesus with familiar centre-parting, long hair, beard and robes radiating an unearthly glow as he watches various topless models. Two women enjoy a lesbian clinch, another reads a book, a fourth seems to be a prostitute touting for business while the last woman appears to have died in Christ's arms.

We did not see or approve the cover and pictorial in the July issue of Playboy Portugal, a spokeswoman for Hugh Hefner's empire told Gawker. It is a shocking breach of our standards, and we would not have allowed it to be published if we had seen it in advance.

As a result of this and other issues with the Portuguese publisher, we are in the process of terminating our agreement.

Jose Saramago's 1991 novel The Gospel According to Jesus Christ is a fictional retelling of the life of Christ, seen from his perspective. Its publication caused outrage because it depicts a human, passionate Christ who ends up firmly opposed to God's plan to create a new religion through him.

In one particularly criticised scene, a shepherd tries, unsuccessfully, to persuade Christ to have sex with a sheep. The book caused such controversy in Catholic Portugal that Saramago moved to the Canary Islands to escape, dying there on June 18 this year.


25th June   

Just Fucking Around...

Sports Illustrated cleared of blasphemy in South Africa
Link Here

Sports Illustrated magazine has been cleared of blasphemy in South Africa.

The ruling followed a complaint by a member of the public against an article in the March edition about the pursuit of sporting perfection.

Deputy press ombudsman Johan Retief said the article included a joke about St Peter and Jesus playing golf in heaven.

He said the joke went that when Jesus hooked his first tee-shot, an angel guided the ball back into play, the dove of peace caught the ball in its beak and dropped it on the green, from where the holy spirit blew the ball into the hole.

So St Peter said to Jesus: 'Do you wanna play golf or do you wanna fuck around?'

Retief said the complainant, André Williams, maintained the article went too far by telling a joke about Jesus, and that the word fuck was a swearword that amounted to blasphemy.

However Retief said that in the joke, St Peter felt done in, and that Jesus was not playing fair: The phrase 'fuck around' is used to express this feeling, and does not as such amount to swearing. 'Fuck you' would have been swearing. Although it can be said that the use of the phrase 'fuck around' constitutes bad taste, it does not, by definition, amount to a breach of the Press Code.

Retief dismissed the complaint.


14th May   

Epic Boobs...

Widely circulated image loses privacy protection
Link Here

A woman complained to the Press Complaints Commission that an article headlined Wanted! The Epic Boobs girl! , published in the February 2010 edition of Loaded , intruded into her privacy. The complaint was not upheld.

The article featured a number of photographs of the complainant - who was said to have the best breasts on the block - taken from the internet and offered readers of the magazine a reward of £500 for assistance in encouraging her to do a photo shoot with it.

The complainant said that the article was intrusive: the magazine had published her name and the photographs, which had been uploaded to her Bebo site in December 2006 when she was 15 years old, had been taken from there and published without permission.

The publication of the article had caused her upset and embarrassment. The magazine said that that it had not taken the photographs from the complainant's Bebo site; rather, they were widely available on the internet. The complainant's photograph, for example, came up in the top three in a Google image search on the word boobs . At the time of complaint, there were 1,760,000 matches that related to her and 203,000 image matches of her as the Epic Boobs girl. Moreover, the complainant's name had been widely circulated and achieved over 100,000 Google hits, including over 8,000 photographs.

PCC Decision: Not Upheld

This case raised the important principle of the extent to which newspapers and magazines are able to make use of information that is already freely available online. The Commission has previously published decisions about the use of material uploaded to social networking sites, which have gone towards establishing a set of principles in this area.

However, this complaint was different: the magazine had not taken the material from the complainant's Bebo site; rather it had published a piece commenting on something that had widespread circulation online (having been taken from the Bebo page sometime ago by others) and was easily accessed by Google searches.

The Commission did not think it was possible for it to censure the magazine for commenting on material already given a wide circulation, and which had already been contextualised in the same specific way, by many others. Although the Code imposes higher standards on the press than exist for material on unregulated sites, the Commission felt that the images were so widely established for it to be untenable for the Commission to rule that it was wrong for the magazine to use them.

That said, the Commission wished to make clear that it had some sympathy with the complainant. The fact that she was fifteen-years-old when the images were originally taken - although she is an adult now - only added to the questionable tastefulness of the article. However, issues of taste and offence - and any question of the legality of the material - could not be ruled upon by the Commission, which was compelled to consider only the terms of the Editors' Code. The Code does include references to children but the complainant was not a child at the time the article was published.

The test, therefore, was whether the publication intruded into the complainant's privacy, and the Code required the Commission to have regard to the extent to which material is already in the public domain . In the Commission's view, the information, in the same form as published in the magazine, was widely available to such an extent that its republication did not raise a breach of the Code. The complaint was not upheld on that basis.


14th May   

Update: iBurkha App for iPad...

Apple censorship dismays fashion magazines
Link Here
Full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone

According to Business Insider, a number of fashion magazines are now having to clean up their content in order to get them approved and into Apple's App Store. Dazed and Confused , a British fashion magazine, has even dubbed its iPad issue the Iran edition because of the strict no nudity rules they must follow.

A report from SFGate covers three distinct standards currently in place at the iTunes Store:

  • Small, independent developers are not allowed to include any overtly sexual content . This includes pictures of women in bathing suits.
  • Magazines with established brands — Sports Illustrated and Playboy, for instance – are allowed to depict overtly sexual images of scantily clad women, but aren't allowed to depict actual nudity. Fashion magazines appear to be in this category too.
  • Netflix can stream movies to the iPad with whatever content it chooses, including full nudity, graphic depictions of sex, and brutal violence and gore.


8th May   

Sack Danny...

Tasteless remark in Zoo magazine kicks off a fuss
Link Here

A Lads' Mag has dropped actor Danny Dyer's advice column after it controversially advised a reader to cut his ex-girlfriend's face .

Zoo magazine received complaints by domestic violence campaigners after the Football Factory star's controversial advice in his weekly column Ask Danny .

A reader named Alex from Manchester had written to this week's edition of Zoo, asking the actor how to get over a recent love split.

Dyerwrote: I'd suggest going out on a rampage with the boys, getting on the booze and smashing anything that moves. Then, when some bird falls for you, you can turn the tables and break her heart. Of course, the other option is to cut your ex's face, and then no one will want her.

Zoo magazine have published the following statement on their website:

As an immediate result of an on-going internal inquiry following an indefensible comment published in this week's issue, ZOO has decided to bring the Danny Dyer column to an end. We would like to make it clear that Danny was not misquoted, but that does not excuse the fact his comment appeared in print.

By way of sincere apology and to underline that ZOO condemns any violence against women, we have made a substantial donation to Women's Aid. The space for Danny Dyer's column in next week's issue will be devoted to driving awareness to the issue of violence against women.

Offsite: Lads' mags and a toxic culture that treats all women like meat

See article from by Jan Moir
See also take from

It's been less than a decade since weekly lads' mags such as Zoo and its rival Nuts were launched.

They have become so much a part of the social fabric that we almost forget they exist. Until every now and again, like gloop rising from the underwater murk, they serve up a reminder of their malign presence.

And malign they most certainly are. Although their editors and publishers always claim that their product is nothing more than a harmless bit of fun, the lads' mag influence on British culture has been pervasive and brutish.

Their mantra is that all girls are easy. Not to be treated with respect. Week after week, Zoo, Nuts and all the other corrosive titles blur the boundary between what is pornography and what is normal sexual behaviour.

...Read the full nonsense


5th April   

Update: Nutters Free 2B Nutters...

Australian nutters want to ban softcore from corner shops
Link Here
Full story: Magazine Censorship in Australia...Barely Legal winds up Australia'n nutters

Australian nutters are calling for a ban on the sale of pornographic magazines from newsagents, milkbars, convenience stores, supermarkets and petrol stations.

The group has asked censorship ministers to review the rules under which magazines such as Playboy , Penthouse, People, The Picture, Zoo and Ralph are reviewed, saying they are increasingly explicit and contributing to the sexualisation of children, Fairfax newspapers report.

A letter to the standing committee of attorneys-general/censorship ministers signed by a former chief justice of the Family Court Alastair Nicholson, the chief executive of World Vision Tim Costello, actor Noni Hazlehurst and 34 academics, child professionals and advocates says such material should be restricted to adults-only premises.

They are particularly disturbed by the prevalence of teen sex magazines featuring women apparently aged more than 18 but looking younger and styled with braces and pigtails but in highly sexualised poses and sometimes performing sex acts. Under Australian censorship laws it is illegal to use under-age models or models who appear to be under 18.

Julie Gale, director of the nutter group Kids Free 2B Kids, said easy access to the internet means young people are experiencing unprecedented exposure to pornographic images, voluntarily or involuntarily: But allowing pornography and overtly sexualised images to be sold in the public arena with easy access for children and teens tells them that this is acceptable. It gives it public validation.


18th February

 Offsite: Serial Censorship...

Link Here
Full story: Magazine Censorship in Australia...Barely Legal winds up Australia'n nutters
Australian censors ignored by magazine publishers

See article from


15th January   

The Beaver is History...

Canadian magazine changes title to avoid internet filtering
Link Here

The Canadian magazine, The Beaver , is changing its name after 90 years because the title is too often censored by online porn filters, preventing it from reaching new online readers.

The Winnipeg-based magazine was launched in 1920 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Hudson's Bay Company and the fur trade that led to the early exploration of Canada.

Beaver magazineBut in modern times, the term beaver has become slang for women's genitals.

Publisher Deborah Morrison told AFP: Several readers asked us to change the title because their spam filters at home or at work were blocking it . I've even had emails bounce back because I had inadvertently typed the term in the heading.

Nearly a century ago, it probably seemed the perfect name for a magazine about the fur trade and Canada's northwest frontier. There was only one interpretation for the word then.

The magazine that chronicles Canada's past will publish its last issue under the old banner in February/March. Thereafter, it will be known under the less evocative name of Canada's History.

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