The Orgins of Adult Magazines

Author: Shaun Parker

Adult magazines and gay magazines have been on sale for many years but only since the 1990’s have they seen the content as explicit as it is today. However, this is not a new phenomenon.

Erotic depictions have been around in one form or another since the beginning of time. On almost every archealogical find of note, ceramics, wall decoration and phallic symbols and statues have been discovered. The Victorians were horrified to discover the openness of sexual depictions on Roman artefacts that they hoped would be treasures. So much so in fact, that they locked them away with the intention that they should never go on show and offend the sensibilities of gentle folk.

It was only during Victorian times that looking at adult material for sexual gratification was made unlawful. This may have been in line with the invention of the halftone printing technique which made the material available by mass production to a much wider audience.

But the things that horrified the Victorians, such as the ancient ceramics they were finding, were not originally meant to serve any other purpose than to glorify life and its origins. The Moche of Peru believed that everything in the after life was the exact opposite of what happened in life. Therefore, they made funeral vessels depicting sexual acts that would not lead to reproduction with the belief that this would have the opposite effect in the after life and lead to reproduction.

In Roman times, fertility gods and and goddesses were revered and overly large phallic symbols were used for the purpose of good luck. Indeed, the continuation of life was the main purpose for most of our early ancestors.

Ancient Greeks were among the first to depict same-sex relations on their ceramics. This was not meant to be sexually erotic but was a part of their everyday life and nobody thought it out of place.

Our modern day definition of pornography as depicted in adult magazines and gay magazines today was coined as recently as 1864 in Websters dictionary. With the widespread audience reached by modern printing methods, erotica became ever more popular and seriously took of with the introduction of glossy adult magazines, such as Playboy, in the 1950’s.

The first gay magazine was published in 1951 and survived for 50 years. Now there is a multitude of choices for the gay magazine reader and it has come a long way from the base eroticism of the past. Todays adult magazines offer news, fashion, health and fitness regimes, recruitment services and even property and interiors sections. A popular reason for buying these magazines is the classified section where meeting other like minded people is easy.

Reports on events, venues, music and celebrity interviews are all features that continue to interest the gay community. Many of the gay publications on sale today also have in depth articles on issues that afffect mainly the gay, lesbian and bi sexual community such as the prevention of AIDS and gay rights within the wider community as well as work oriented.

Modern adult magazines have come bang up to date with their reflection of the diverse interest of the gay community.

About the Author:

Equal rights expert Shaun Parker looks into the history of erotica up to adult magazines and gay magazines of today. To find out more please visit

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