This month’s centrefold, who goes by the name of Davina, comes from the September 1976 edition of Paul Raymond’s Club International. This issue also features the magazine's most explicit cover to date as the cover model's pubic hair is shown clearly escaping from the edge of her denim shorts
Raymond had launched Club International in 1972 but unlike his other major title at the time, the venerable Men Only which he had bought and re-launched in 1971, this was an original publication.
The Pubic Wars, which we discuss at inordinate length elsewhere, were also, to a certain extent, mirrored in the UK too. UK magazines had got their models to flash their fur earlier than in more conservative America with Mayfair showing glimpses in 1969, even before Penthouse.
Initially, as Penthouse became more explicit in the mid-seventies, the UK market didn’t follow and pictures showing labia were cut from the UK version of Penthouse in 1974 and 1975, when they first appeared in the US magazine.
Gradually this changed and Club International was very much at the forefront of this. Always slightly racier than Men Only it had shown glimpses of labia as far back as 1973, even before Penthouse in the US.
Up until 1976, the depiction of labia in UK magazines was rare and photographs were still being doctored to remove any glimpse of a girl's bits. The UK edition of Penthouse only showed labia for the first time in February of 1975. Club had had a few partial soft-focus shots in 1975 but it wasn't until their September 1975 issue that two of their models were portrayed clearly displaying themselves.
There was another barrier to be breached, however, and this was really only first glimpsed in men's magazines in 1976, firstly in Penthouse.
In April 1975's Club International there had been a small picture of a girl showing her anus although, ironically, her labia had been blurred, as was the then custom. Davina, however, is the first Club International centrefold to appear in a full page shot clearly displaying her anus. This would have been a relatively easy shot to doctor so it must have been a conscious decision on the part of the magazine to show Davina's arsehole in all its glory.
This picture of Fanny by Clive McLean, from the same issue, shows the usual treatment for the previously offending area in that deep shadow covers it up. This was the way that it been handled up until that point in all rear-end photographs.
Vivian by Dwight Fox, also from September 1976's Club International
Club International, was always more bottom fixated than the other major magazines, especially in comparison to its competitors in the US. As a market the US was always more interested in breasts than bottoms as evidenced by the fact that specialist breast magazines far outnumbered those aimed at bottom fanciers.
Margaretha, also by Dwight Fox, from the same issue
For this issue, however, the editors at Club International must have decided that September 1976 was going to be arsehole month as all the other girls in the issue had explicit rear-end featuring pictures.
Bibi by Clive McLean
The picture editors must have made a deliberate decision to seek out these pictures from the ones the photographers submitted. Photographers would submit a lot of pictures for each pictorial so they had many to choose from. John Allum, for example, who worked for the Paul Raymond publications a lot, would usually submit 360 photos for each feature.
This shot of "Debbie" from the same issue is as bold in its depiction of the model's anus as Davina's picture is (this pictorial by Michel Moreau is interesting for several reasons and we will feature it in its entirity soon).
Roxy from Men Only October 1976
From this point on pictures featuring the models' anus would feature more and more in the two main Paul Raymond magazines, although they never became common and by the end of the seventies both Club International and Men Only were actually less explicit then they were in 1976 and 1977. The following month Men Only also not only featured a girl showing her arsehole but touching it as well.
So we like Davina and her splendidly displayed arsehole but are less happy, of course, by the display of cigarettes in the pictorial!