Magazines Feed

Death Watch Begins for the Incredibly Shrinking "Next Magazine"




Back in 2012 I wrote a post discussing how Next Magazine's smaller pages and tiny typeface made it more difficult to read, especially in the dim lights of a bar/club setting.  (New Next, shown above, old Next, below.)  Now, in the past few months (early 2013), I've noticed that the number of pages is declining, reducing its usual thickness and giving the publication a somewhat bulimic look.  Since the entertainment guide is still publishing all of its regular editorial features, it must be running fewer advertising pages.  This is a bit surprising considering that Next no longer has HX to compete with (Next bought it in 2009). 




There may be a number of reasons for this decline in ad pages: 1) like readers, advertisers continue to gravitate to online sources (something the entire magazine publishing industry, even the vaunted publications of Time, Inc., are struggling mightily with); 2) a more compelling sales story is being pitched by Metro Source's ad sales staff; 3) less revenue is being generated by back-of-the-book ads offering the services of escorts and "body workers".  Whatever the reasons are, I believe the Next death watch has begun.  







Sexy Men, Soaking Wet

Water is refreshing, exhilarating, rejuvenating, enticing ... and, as the following examples show, lends itself to some very alluring photo shoots: 


Matt Bomer stars in the show White Collar on USA Network and also appeared last summer in the male stripper movie Magic Mike.  This photo, from July 2010, was in Entertainment Weekly's "Summer Must List" issue.  The following year he got more attention when he came out.




I'm drawn to this photo of Hugh Dancy, from the pages of the 2007 issue of Out, because of his eyes and rosy red lips.  He was one of the persons featured in the issue's "Summer Hot List."  I first saw him in the 2007 movie, Evening, in which he played a tortured, closeted alcoholic.  During the filming of this movie he met his future wife, Claire Danes.




This playful, sexy spread shows designer and movie director, Tom Ford, engaged in some horseplay in the shower.  It ran in the November 2007 issue of Out, which featured Ford on the cover.




Then there's Mario Lopez and his exquisite shower scene from a 2006 episode of Nip/Tuck...




One more sexy shower scene, this one courtesy of Next Magazine.  This outdoor shower in the Pines is common to many beach homes and a selling point because it allows those on the deck to partake in casual ogling!




This cover from the Undergear catalog beautifully captures the feeling of exhilaration one gets plunging into a swimming pool on a sunny, hot day.  I remember numerous occasions where I, too, jumped for joy into the pool upon my arrival at my summer share in Fire Island.




This Nautica ad is composed of various beautiful hues of blue.  Kudos to the art director!




The contrasting splashes of black, red and blue make this photo from MetroSource's Table of Contents page nearly impossible to turn away from.  Or is it the gorgeous young man?




What's the back story behind this photo?  Was he caught in the rain?  Perhaps he looks a bit pissed because he got to wear a $500 Versace shirt and then was sprayed with water.  Or maybe his pout is just the natural aloofness of a model.




Finally, how could I not include this stunning photo of Daniel Craig from the 2006 James Bond movie Casino Royale?



First Issue of "Entertainment Weekly" Published (February 8, 1990)

Kdlang_entertainmentwkly Entertainmentwkly_gayteens Probably because of the industries it covers, Entertainment Weekly has regularly covered gay issues, trends and personalities.  For example, in its first year it began an end-of-year feature (coinciding with World AIDS Day) listing those in the entertainment industry who had died of AIDS during the year.  It has run cover stories on gay icons such as Madonna (five of them) and Cher and has published numerous articles with a gay slant, e.g. "Gay Men & Straight Women: Why Hollywood Just Loves Them"; "Gays vs. Dr. Laura"; and "Gay Teens on TV". 


EW's current managing editor, Jess Cagle, is openly gay as is one of its columnists, Mark Harris (playwright Tony Kushner's partner).  I've been a subscriber since the first issue (cover date of 2/16/90), which featured kd lang on the cover (she wasn't out at the time).


Over the years EW has given us classic covers of special interest to its gay readers such as Madonna hitchhiking nude (1992); buff Ryan Reynolds showing off his six-pack (2009); our Sex in the City gal pals (2010); and Modern Family's gay daddys Cameron and Mitchell (2010).









And then there's Jake Gyllenhaal in a soaked shirt (2004); Brokeback Mountain (2007); an absolutely adorable one with Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattison from Twilight (2010); and sexy Ricky Martin (2000).










Now that EW is entering its adult years let's hope that it continues to maintain the youthful zest of its adolescent and teen years!  

Newsweek Publishes "Growing Up Gay" Cover Story (January 6, 1986)

Newsweek_Growing_Up_GayTwo-and-a-half years after its groundbreaking "Gay America" cover story Newsweek ran another gay themed story on its cover.  Titled "Growing Up Gay", it appeared on newsstands and subscribers' mailboxes on Jan. 6, 1986 (cover date: Jan. 13).  Like the previous story, this one had a photo of its subject on the cover, 26-year-old Kelly Chronister from Washington state - a very ballsy, and commendable, decision on his part to come out so publicly.  The article looked at the coming out process from his perspective as well as that of his parents. 


Coming_outBesides reporting on the typical challenges posed by coming out to one's family the story also discussed how the onset of the unfolding AIDS crisis added another facet to the coming out process.  (This issue hit newsstands a few months after the An Early Frost aired, a TV movie in which the protagonist not only came out to his family but also had to deal with an AIDS diagnosis.)  I could identify with Kelly because I was just a few years older than him and faced some of the same issues.   


I wonder whatever became of Kelly Chronister.  I did a Google search but could find nothing about his whereabouts.  However, I did come across an editorial in the Spokane Chronicle published four months after the Newsweek story appeared.  The editorial was against an anti-gay employment initiative in Washington state and mentioned how Kelly's appearance in Newsweek had been a positive step in humanizing homosexuals.  Now the post you're reading will turn up whenever someone Googles Mr. Chronister.  

Cutting Through the Clutter: Sexy Magazine Ads Dripping with Testosterone

In the world of advertising consumer "engagement" is the name of the game - and what better way for mundane products to draw attention to themselves than through the tactic of sex appeal.  Six examples follow: 


  • Pastamatic.  This ad ran in epicurean magazines in the mid-1980s (note all of the mustaches).  Its selling point: "Inside every PastaMatic there's the skill of 10 Italian chefs with the strength of 20 muscular arms."




  • Martex.  Cute guy with cute baby - always a winner.




  • Dial Soap.  From the happy face of this flight attendant you can tell this ad was from the 1990s - before the airlines started slashing staffs and cutting salaries of its flight attendants.




  • Salem Cigarettes.  No, this isn't an ad for iced tea, but a typically ludicrous cigarette ad - but it got this nonsmoker's attention.




  • Mademoiselle Magazine.  The magazine ran its "This Miss is a Hit" ad campaign in the mid-1980s.  Alas, Mademoiselle hit hard times and ceased publication in 2001.




  • Grover Brothers Fabrics.  What a beautiful way to display fabric!




This is part of an ongoing series on sexy magazine ads.  Here are previous  installments:

Print Ads with a Gay Vibe

Magazine Ads with Sex Appeal - the Sequel

Magazine Ads with Animal Magnetism

Men as Sex Objects - Yet More Sexy Magazine Ads





TIME Magazine Reports on "The Homosexual in America" (October 26, 1969)

TimeMag_HomosexualinAmericaIn late October 1969, four months after the Stonewall riot in Greenwich Village ignited the gay liberation movement, TIME Magazine ran a story on homosexuals that was featured on the cover.  Titled "The Homosexual in America", it was the first time a newsweekly gave such attention to America's gay population.  Unfortunately, for the most part it was an unflattering portrayal based on the prevailing negative attitudes of the times.  Its condescending tone was somewhat similar to that of a CBS News documentary that aired in 1967 called "The Homosexuals" which portrayed homosexuals as pitiable creatures. 


Gay_liberation_button Reading it today, parts of the article are amusing (e.g, "For many a woman with a busy or absent husband, the presentable homosexual is in demand as an escort — witty, pretty, catty, and no problem to keep at arm's length"), but for the most part it was a troubling depiction of gay men and lesbians.  Throughout the article the terms "homosexuals" and "deviates" were used interchangably.  Perhaps this harsh tone was society's way of pushing back in response to the fledgling gay liberation movement taking shape.


Here are some particularly wounding exceprts from the article:

  • The late Dr. Edmund Bergler found certain traits present in all homosexuals, including inner depression and guilt, irrational jealousy and a megalomaniac conviction that homosexual trends are universal.  Though Bergler conceded that homosexuals are not responsible for their inner conflicts, he found that these conflicts "sap so much of their inner energy that the shell is a mixture of superciliousness, fake aggression and whimpering. Like all psychic masochists, they are subservient when confronted by a stronger person, merciless when in power, unscrupulous about trampling on a weaker person."


  • The once widespread view that homosexuality is caused by heredity, or by some derangement of hormones, has been generally discarded.  The consensus is that it is caused psychically, through a disabling fear of the opposite sex. The origins of this fear lie in the homosexual's parents. The mother — either domineering and contemptuous of the father, or feeling rejected by him — makes her son a substitute for her husband, with a close-binding, overprotective relationship.  Thus, she unconsciously demasculinizes him.

  • Homosexuality is essentially a case of arrested development, a failure of learning, a refusal to accept the full responsibilities of life. This is nowhere more apparent than in the pathetic pseudo marriages in which many homosexuals act out conventional roles—wearing wedding rings, calling themselves "he" and "she." 

And here is how the article concluded:

The life of a homsexual is a pathetic little second-rate substitute for reality, a pitiable flight from life.  As such it deserves fairness, compassion, understanding and, when possible, treatment.  But it deserves no encouragement, no glamorization, no rationalization, no fake status as minority martyrdom, no sophistry about simple differences in taste — and, above all, no pretense that it is anything but a pernicious sickness.

10 years later Time would publish another gay-themed a cover story, this one titled "How Gay is Gay", which offered a much more positive and accurate portrayal of our lives. 

(The complete article can found at this link.) 



Magazine Ads with Animal Magnetism

Time again to pull out six more eye-widening/mouth-watering magazine ads from my archives: 



Discovered by photographer Bruce Weber, Jeff Aquilon was one of the most in demand male models in the late 1970s and '80s.  In 2007 an article in GQ commemorating the magazine's 50th anniversary discussed the close platonic friendship between its gay editor-in-chief, Jack Haber (1969-1983), and the straight Aquilon.





Although swimmer Michael Phelps is sexy in a willowy way, for my taste Olympic swimmer Matt Biondi was hunkier.  He won five golds for the U.S. at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.





A high-end manufacturer of furniture since 1989, this North Carolina-based company changed its name to Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams a few years ago after the two were married.  Like Kenneth Cole, the company is known for its involvement in gay causes and making generous contributions to various gay charities.  And they get high praise as well for contributing this stunning ad.





This brand of scotch doesn't have the advertising presence it had in the 1970s and '80s when this ad ran (my first job out of college was with the ad agency that created this work, Scali McCabe Sloves).  Even without seeing his face (after all, the focus should be on the glass of scotch!) the rolled-up sleeves and pants and the model's hairy legs make for a sexy look.





Along with Absolut, the "Got Milk? ad campaign is one of the most ubiquitous of the past two decades.  Thousands of "Milk Moustache" executions have been created since the print campaign began in 1995. (The TV campaign proceeded it by a few years.)  This one features tennis superstar Pete Sampras.  Three cheers to the art director who thought it a good idea to show off Pete's hairy chest.  (The book The Milk Moustache Book provides a history of the campaign and is illustrated with hundreds of ads.)





I honestly don't know what product or service is being sold here - but no matter.  The military-style haircuts, white boxers, the lean builds and smooth chests, the shoes and socks - it all works.  Even the doctor is kinda hot.




What Tickles a Gay Man's Funny Bone

Hustler.fruitlabelI've written a number of posts about magazine ads that I've found titillating, so for a change of pace I decided to share another aspect of a gay man's world view by delving into the gay funny bone.  What follows is a selection of ads, post cards and pages torn from magazines that make me chuckle.  Absurd, campy, a touch mean-spirited - they all bring a smile of delight to my face.


  • Below is a fine characterture of the gals from Sex & the City that appeared in the pages of The New Yorker at the time of the release of the second SAC movie.  I laughed for days.  (Actually, Sarah Jessica Parker's character Carrie looks pretty good.)




  • Quintessential sophomoric humor from National Lampoon in the late 1970s. 




  • South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were good sports when they allowed the tables to be turned on them for this Absolut ad.  This was years before their Book of Mormon fame.




  • Just as they do with drag names, gay men have a knack for coming up with campy captions to accompany innocent photos from a more innocent time.  






  • Joan Crawford + Madonna + Cher = laff riot!  This page was pulled from an issue in Movieline Magazine in the 1990s.  Joan is on the phone from heaven and says, "Madonna has no class and no dignity," declares Joan Crawford from the afterlife.  "And that Cher!  She dressses like a burlesque queen."




  • This cover of TimeOutNY was years before same-sex marriage was legalized in New York State.  The Canadian comedy troupe Kids in the Hall were great in everything they did, and drag was one of there specialties.  Their show first aired in the U.S. in the 1990s on Comedy Central.




  • This ad for the club Limelight, a former church on 6th Avenue and 20th Street, is from the mid-80s.  It had a gay night on Sunday.  This is probably more amusing if you're not overly religious.




  • If you want something more authentic for your Halloween costume than what you can find in the bargain stores on West 14th Street, there's the Museum Replicas catalog to consider. 




  • Finally, two more post cards:







First Issue of "The Advocate" Published (September 2, 1967)

300px-Advocate1 The Advocate has been reporting on news of interest to gay and lesbian readers for more than 40 years.  Before The Boys in the Band, Stonewall or disco music The Advocate was reporting on gay politics and culture.  As witness to the unfolding gay liberation movement the magazine has become an important part of gay history itself.  Its first issue was published on September 2, 1967 as a newspaper for the Los Angeles area.


Advocate_gayisnewblack Advocate_porn_panic Advocate_hillary_clintonIn the mid-80's the magazine took on a more glossy look and was sized to resemble a traditonal consumer magazine.  To attract national advertisers it removed its notorious sex-oriented ads from the back of the magazine and published them in a separate supplement.  In the 1990's it did away with the supplement completely.  Then in 2007 another milestone occurred when the magazine offered to mail the magazine to subscribers without its brown paper wrapper.


Signorile Camille_paglia The magazine does a good job of mixing politics, entertainment and sex although some have criticized it for relying to heavily on straight celebrities for its cover stories.  Columns have been contributed by a long list of gay luminaries, including Tony Kushner; Michelangelo Signorilie (far right); Andrew Sullivan; Chastity Bono; Urvashi Vaid; Kate Clinton; Janis Ian; Camille Paglia (near right); Bruce Vilanch; and the late Vito Russo.


Advocate_lady_gaga Out_magazine_adele Although The Advocate has outlived the likes of Blueboy, Christopher St. Magazine, After Dark, and Genre some question how much longer it will survive (at least in its print format).  After all, it's gone from being bi-monthly to monthly and is now delivered in a polybag with its sister publication Out (which is noticeably thicker - no pun intended).  Since there isn't a considerable difference between the two editiorially (although Out has a slicker look and features sexy fashion spreads), what is keeping its owner, Here Media Inc., from combining the two?  And if they do, which title will be kept?  With its distinguished pedigree, hopefully it will be The Advocate


(Earlier in the year I published a post that paid tribute to some of my favorite Advocate covers from the past 20 years.)   



Newsweek Puts a Human Face on AIDS (August 2, 1983)

The issue of Newsweek that hit newsstands on August 1, 1983 (cover date of August 8) was notable not because of its AIDS cover story but because two gay men with AIDS appeared on the cover.  The last time a mass market magazine had an openly gay man on its cover was in September 1975 when Air Force Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, Jr. was on TIME Magazine's cover under the headline "I Am a Homosexual".




Newsweek's story ran five weeks after a TIME cover story about AIDS   headlined "Disease Detectives" and four months after Newsweek's first AIDS cover story, "Epidemic".  What distinguished it from these other stories was that it personalized the disease in hopes of making it more relatable to readers.  Alas, one of the men on the cover, San Francisco AIDS activist Bobbi Campbell (pictured on the left), died of AIDS complications the year after the story ran.  He was 32.