Giovanna, Penthouse, March 1966
Today's post, as the title suggests, will be looking at the rise and fall of the depiction of women's anuses in UK men's magazines of the 1970s. In particular I will examine its treatment in the main magazines in the UK at the time: Penthouse, Men Only, Club International, Fiesta and Knave. Mayfair will not feature as they were far two conservative to get involved in a grubby war over explicit content. Labia and anuses would only start to appear in Mayfair when the magazine was bought by Paul Raymond Publications in the eighties. This post was suggested by one of our readers some years ago and it has taken an inordinate amount of time to research. Recently, my Canadian friend Sophie asked what had happened about it and so I looked in my drafts folder and found I had not completed much of it at all. although I had scanned a lot of pictures for it. Over the last few weekends I got on well with it and I had done 80% of it when I accidentally deleted it. "Golly, that's annoying!" I said to myself. Actually my friend, A in whose house I was working that morning, points out that I actually said "God fuck it" but the sentiment is the same. Anyway, I am happy to rewrite it as I usually find that the second time I write something it is better that the first (I accidentally delete stuff annoyingly regularly).
Amber Dean Smith, Mayfair, August 1968
As regular readers will be aware, I have been writing posts on what is known as the Pubic Wars for some years. These look at the way the pictures in men's magazines in the US became increasingly explicit from the late 1960s, as magazines like Penthouse pushed the boundaries of what could be shown in newsstand magazines. In particular, the first appearance of pubic hair, which is generally agreed to have been in Penthouse's pictorial of Stephanie McLean, shot by her husband Clive, which appeared in their April 1970 issue. In the UK, however, pubic hair had been shown rather earlier with the first appearance in August 1968 being some glimpses of fluff from former Penthouse Pet of the Year Amber Dean Smith, shot by former Penthouse photographic director Philip O Stearns for Mayfair. Both Knave and Fiesta, it should be noted, introduced pubic hair to their pages long after Penthouse in the UK.
Jill, Mayfair, June 1969
So, with the increasing appearance of pubic hair under way what was happening to views of models from the rear? Earlier on, in pre-pubic days, of course, the voluminous bushes of some models alone, let alone any view of what the Victorians called the fundament, required photographers to be careful when posing their models. This picture from Mayfair shows one rather enticing way of getting around the rear aspect display problem,
Josephine, Mayfair, March 1969
The portrayal of the bottom was simple in the days before pubic hair. It was a secondary erogenous zone to bare breasts, perhaps (although more treasured in the UK than the US we feel) but photographers were used to shooting it precisely so as to avoid the forbidden anus and that was largely by choosing the right angle of appreciation.
Club International, August 1972
Paul Raymond's new magazine Club International launched in 1972 and soon proved to be the most daring of the men's magazines being published in the UK at that time. Their second issue contained several provocative photographs, including this conventional one of a sitting girl just flashing her pink labia. The other one of a spread legged girl whose body had patterns projected upon it was even more daring and offered up the first clear, if disguised, labia shot in a UK men's magazine. The latter arty shot was credited to JP Smut, which was the pseudonym of two photographers, Jay Myrdal and Peter Smith. For a brief period they provided some of the more off the wall glamour photography before getting bored with shooting naked women.
Silva, Club International, September 1972
More than two years after the first tentative portrayal of pubic hair there had been just one glimpse that hinted of backdoor things to come. The cover of this, the third issue of Club International features a lady baring her bottom on the cover and JP Smut's picture of Silva inside was lit so that you could clearly see part of her perineum. This is the first example in any of these magazines that hints at this previously forbidden area. It could, however, be argued to be in the nature of an inadvertent exposure.
Club International, October 1972
By the following issue Club International presented this photograph of Ronda by Jean-Pierre Bourgois flashing her labia full on. At this point Club International (especially) and Men Only were offering up the most daring pictorials in UK men's magazines. Knave wouldn't present its first labia until March 1973 and Fiesta and Penthouse didn't risk a glimpse until August 1973.
Men Only, October 1972
However, within a month, the gradual increase in explicitness of Paul Raymond's publications had been brought to a screaming halt. Since the beginning of 1972, Lord Longford had been preparing a report on pornography in the UK. He had even interviewed Raymond and Tony Power, his editor, as part of his evidence gathering. When Longford's report was published in the early autumn it focussed on Raymond's publications and implied that the police were turning a blind eye to them and should have been prosecuting Raymond under the Obscene Publications Act. One of Longford's cronies started putting pressure on the commissioner of the Metropolitan police about this. It was, therefore, not a coincidence that, a few days after the report was published as a paperback, the Obscene Publications Squad raided Raymond's London HQ and his printers in Watford; seizing all copies of October 1972's Men Only (which was later incinerated and I have seen one of the few remaining copies offered on eBay for £10,000) and the proofs of forthcoming issues of Men Only and Club International. The furore was such that no UK based printer would agree to print Raymond's magazines and he had to switch to a printer in the Netherlands. More issues were lost and then the December 1972 Men Only was confiscated by customs when it arrived in the UK causing a further hiatus in publication.
Honey, Club International, April 1973
There has been much talk of why Raymond's magazines suddenly attracted this interest from the authorities. I have seen mention of models 'showing pink' in the incinerated issue of Men Only, the inadvertent presence of an underage model and the depiction of a girl masturbating 9in the confiscated Dutch import one). The real reason seems to be that the police, having been slapped on the wrist for being too lenient on pornography, acted to prove otherwise and Raymond was just the biggest target (his magazines were outselling Penthouse and all others in the UK). Certainly, when Raymond started republishing Men Only and Club International in April 1973 (having lost six issues of each) the visual explicitness had been toned down somewhat. That said, this legs apart from the rear shot in April's issue was a pose new to glamour photography in the UK at the time. This photo by Eugene Finkei hides all of the rear view problems using dark shadow (often given a helping hand with some judicious retouching) which would become de rigeur for dealing with unwanted anal exposure. Still, it is a provocative, rear focussed pose although it would have been interesting to see how it might have looked if Raymond hadn't had his run ins with the police.
Narina, Club International, December 1973
Here, however, in Club International's December 1973 issue, French photographer Michel Moreau captures Nerina squatting in front of a fence. Whether a retoucher missed it or whether Club International was deliberately pushing a boundary we don't know but she is showing the first anus in a UK men's magazine. Shot as an inadvertent reveal, probably (although given some of Moreau's later shots for the magazine we can't be certain), her display is quite unequivocal.
Celine, Club International, January 1974
Moreau's picture did not launch a blossoming flock of arseholes in men's magazines, however. The treatment of Celine in this shot by Barry Peal showed how a combination of soft focus, lighting and airbrushing kept everything, even in a pose as revealing and provocative as this, in a misty miasma.
Mandy, Knave, January 1974
At the beginning of 1974 Knave had a foursome pictorial which featured an unusual amount of between the legs exposure. It wasn't just her labia which Mandy was flashing however but, in two shots, her anus. Definitely in the inadvertent reveal category. Perhaps Knave couldn't afford retouching.
Slavica, Fiesta, January 1974
There must have been something about January 1974 because here is Slavica flashing what hadn't been visible before in a spread legs from the rear shot. Soft focus, yes, but no attempt at concealment through the use of shadow or retouching. Very much influenced by the Penthouse style, this one, even down to the long string of pearls, but far more graphic than anything Bob Guccione's magazine had had at the time.
Samantha, Club International, February 1975
Into 1975 and Club International had this shot of Samantha showing the dark skin around her arsehole. Just enough so that you knew where it was. This picture was by Fred Enke who would do a lot to push the Paul Raymond organisation's pictorials down an ever more explicit route over the following two years.
Fiesta, March 1975
The following month Fiesta had an even more assertive shot featuring the same area but here the model is offering her rear to the camera in a more sexually assertive way. The puckering around her anus is also just visible in this shot.
Dandy, Club International, April 1975
In April, Club International no longer confined themselves to just showing the area around the anus but showed the whole thing. John Marvin's shot of Dandy took up the equivalent of more than half a page and was the largest. most full-on anal picture in a UK men's magazine to that point.
Sharon and Yvonne, Men Only, May 1975
Men Only hadn't been as bold as Club International yet and Giles from London wrote to Men Only for the May 1975 issue saying: "I like the new fashion in your photos of girls sticking their bums up in the air...But somehow the photographer is never in a position to take full advantage of the view, I know if I was behind the lens I'd be square-on and as close as possible." There is no doubt what he wanted to see and, hopefully, he would have ejaculated with joy over this rear end shot which appeared in a pictorial featuring covergirl twins Sharon and Yvonne in that same issue.
Dominique, Fiesta, July 1975
In Fiesta for July, Dominique isn't actually showing anything but the way the shadow is in this picture everyone knows what is there.
Candy, Knave, July 1975
Knave was still using a combination of shadow and dark haired girls to keep things largely hidden but the key area was getting much closer to exposure as demonstrated by Candy here.
Penny, Fiesta, August 1975
The following month Fiesta was shining more light on their leg spreading centrefold, Penny. She was one of those girls with soft, plump cheeks which largely covered her back passage.
Gale, Club International, October 1975
Over at Club International for October, Mike Bramman's lighting had Gale's tail in the shadows but not so much as to totally obscure her dark spider. Certainly the pose is a provocative one.
Fred Enke, again, had Emmeline's muscular ring fully lit by the sun, albeit in a small picture that took up less than a quarter of a page.
Emmeline, Club International, October 1975
Fred Enke, again, had Emmeline's muscular ring fully lit by the sun, albeit in a small picture that took up less than a quarter of a page.
Luan, Knave, November 1975
Knave's Luan isn't showing it but she has her finger between her cheeks drawing attention to it. It seems to say: 'look what I am touching to get me aroused and its not my pussy'.
Lynn, Fiesta, December 1975
This is the first example of the lying on her back with knees pulled up pose which exposes a squeezed pussy and, in this case, a partial view of her anus. No attempt to use shadow to hide it here, she is presenting herself to the camera quite assertively.
Lois, Men Only, December 1975
December's Men Only had a very bottom focussed cover with the covergirl only just concealing everything with her fingers. Inside, Lois thrusts her bottom into the air and her perineum and the depression around her anus are clearly shown. More teasing for their correspondent Giles, from London.
Frankie and Johnnie, Club International, December 1975
Penthouse, at this time, made sure that the level of explicit exposure in their couples pictorials was less than in the solo girl sets. They may have felt that a couples pictorial was, by definition, racier and therefore they needed to be a bit more careful. Club International, as can be seen here, were not espousing this approach at all and here one of the girls in this lesbian set has fully exposed her backside to Amnon Bar-tur's lens.
Shirley, Knave, January 1976
The new year would see Knave presenting another teasing example from Shirley, whose pink bath towel covers nearly everything but not quite enough to hide all traces.
Serena and Agnes, Men Only, January 1976
Men Only had been a bit quiet on the anal front but in January had this shot of a girl touching hers while kissing another girl's breast. We have had other anus touching shots up to this point but not, as here, where the touching is in a supposed sexual situation. In the US version of the pictorial, which was shot by Fred Enke, there was a picture of the other girl exposing her arsehole which didn't appear in the UK magazine. You can see it and, indeed, the rest of the pictorial over on our Seduction of Venus blog, here.
Jean, Men Only, January 1976
It was odd that Men Only would cut one backdoor view but leave in another, which appeared in this pictorial of Jean, photographed by Paul Raymond himself. Even more surprisingly this is Raymond's ex-wife who, at the age of 42 told him she would pose for him as she felt her body was as good as any of the other younger models in his magazines. Your can see the whole pictorial here. Men Only's first clear anal shot.
Rusty, Club International, February 1976
Fred Enke used an identical trick to the photographer of Knave's Shirley the month before in that he had her skirt not quite revealing all in this teasing shot.
Corinna, Club International, February 1976
With Corinna, however, Rupert Daines doesn't bother with any coverups. The sun shining on her perineum attracts the eye upwards to a clearly depicted anus. The fact that she is wearing a top just emphasises her bottom even more, in what is too provocatively posed to be an inadvertent reveal shot.
Laure, Penthouse, February 1976
Penthouse had not, perhaps surprisingly, given their reputation for barrier breaking, participated in the great anal unveiling at all. Not in the UK, anyway.
Octavia, Penthouse US, May 1975
In America they had already had their first anal shot featuring Octavia Corriell (Lori Wagner) in a shot involving her sitting on a mirrored backgammon table and clearly showing her arsehole in a carefully composed shot where the exposure cannot have been an accident. This pictorial, which also showed some bold faux masturbation shots, never appeared in the UK. They didn't follow this up, however, until the Pet of this Month pictorial featuring Laure Favie. This was carried in the UK (perhaps they realised that they were running behind their competitors by this point) and so Laure's spread legs seated pose above gave UK Penthouse readers their first glimpse of an anus in the magazine.
Amy, Men Only, February 1976
Trisha, Michel Moreau, February 1976
Having been a bit tentative on the anal front (back?), Men Only's February issue offered an assertively presented posterior on the cover. Inside, Amy gave Clive McLean the bottom in the air from square on that Giles from London appreciated. Even less equivocal was this shot by Michel Moreau of Trisha presenting her back passage on a chair. It was becoming clear that Moreau obviously appreciated this aspect of his models.
Maria, Knave, March 1976
Another legs apart shot from Michel Moreau had Maria also (mostly) revealing herself from the front as she lets the sun get to it on the rocks.
Laura, Club International, March 1976
Clive McLean's pictorial of Laura in Match's Club International answers the question of those who looked at the cover shot and wondered what she looked like from behind. It's in the shade but still very much visible; no concealing boosting of contrast to obscure the area here.
Men Only, March 1976
Men Only had a period couples pictorial called Bicycle Clips in their March issue and it featured this lady presenting her backside to the camera.
Joann, Penthouse, April 1976
Other than Laure Favie's grainy reveal in the February 1976 issue, Penthouse had eschewed depicting the back passage but in April their Pet of the Month Joann Witty showed hers when sitting on a mirrored table. She was, of course, later famous TV actress Priscilla (Three's Company) Barnes who later denied that it was her posing when the National Enquirer broke the story in 1981. When Penthouse published the pictures again under her real name she took them to court (thereby having to admit it was, indeed, her) for using her real name, contrary to her original model release agreement.
Virginia, Club International, April 1976
Clive McLean had covergirl Virginia placing her finger on the button in this teasing April 1976 shot. Again, the anal contact is linked with an ecstatic expression.
Lilith, Men Only May 1976
Esty, Men Only, May1976
Triple P's favourite issue of a men's magazine of the seventies was the May 1976 Men Only, which I found under a train seat on the way to school. Inside it offered two anus revealing shots of girls in the knees up to the face pose. Lilith gave us a partial display as captured by Amnon Bar-tur but Alan Sass got Esty to show everything and frame it by having her clutch her bottom cheeks.
Libby, Club International, May 1976
Not to be outdone that month Club International featured Libby, photographed by Mike Bramman in two anus revealing shots. She posed for a wanton, sprawled legs apart shot as well as this kneeling picture.
Marguerite, Men Only, June 1976
Marguerite, Men Only's June covergirl had already presented an assertive camel toe in her cover shot for Fred Enke. Inside, she added crossed ankles to the knees up to the face arsehole revealing shot.
Julia, Club International, June 1976
Over at Club International that month they had Julia Dunbury opening up on the settee and giving a full on display of everything.
Benita, Men Only, July 1976
Men Only continued to show an anal shot a month, on the whole, and for July Alan Sass, again, presented Benita from the rear.
Jinga, Club International, July 1976
July's Club International rear end offering, Jinga, wasn't quite as assrtive as some they had had but in these two shots, which appeared on the same page, she is partially displaying herself.
Reader, Fiesta, July 1976
Fiesta hadn't really been taking part in the 1976 big anal reveal but this girl gave us a strong perineum shot and a good dose of dark puckered skin as well, even if the entrance itself was still hidden.
Felice, Men Only, August 1976
The cover of August's Men Only featured a girl wearing partially transparent knickers and thereby displaying the first visible pubic hair on the cover of a UK men's magazine. Inside Felicia's anal opening was also clearly displayed to Fred Enke.
Janie, Knave, September 1976
Claus Alvin had Janie pose for Knave's most assertive anal display to date as he sat her on a chair and got her to spread.
Colleen, Penthouse, September 1976
Colleen Carney gave one of Penthouse's most assertive labia displays in her pictorial and also included this anal shot as well. You can see the rest of her pictorial here.
September 1976's Club International was a barrier breaking issue. Not only is the covergirl flashing her dark pubic hair at the edge of the crotch of her denim shorts but there seemed to have been a corporate decision that they were not going to be rationing anuses.
Fanny, Club International, September 1976
First off was the appropriately named Fanny posing for Clive McLean. She had one of those really hairy pussies where her thatch surrounded her anus as well.
Vivian, Club International, September 1976
Next up we had the sunlit arsehole of Vivian, posing on a boat for Dwight Fox. Positioned straight on to the sun there is no concealing shadow here.
Bibi, Club International, September 1976
Clive McLean, again, shot Bibi who had two anus revealing shots. Although there is some shadow in the top one the bottom picture has her muscular ring revealed in all its glory.
Debbie, Club International, September 1976
Michel Moreau, as we have seen, had always been an anal aficionado and he presented Debbie in one of his characteristic anus isolating shots on the edge of the bath. This isn't just the depiction of a tight exit but an enticing part-opened hole. You can see the rest of her pictorial here.
Davina, Club International, September 1976
Perhaps even more assertive is cover girl Davina's magnificently thrusting bottom in this one. Her anal ring is the absolute focus of this shot. So Club International had no less than seven anal shots in their September issue. These were not inadvertent shots, the girls' anuses were being presented as erogenous zones in their own right. The question was would the other magazines follow suit or was this a one off?
Christine, Fiesta, October 1976
Fiesta still weren't being as bold as the other magazines but offered up this perineum featuring shot of Christine in October.
Jacie, Club International, October 1976
Although Club International's cover girl was showing a lot of pubic mound, inside the anal display had been cut back to just this one photograph of Jacie by Eugene Finkei.
Penthouse, October 1976
Penthouse's October issue had a pictorial on the porn film Through the Looking Glass (1976) which included this shot of a bottom presenting lady.
Knave, October 1976
Oranges certainly are the only fruit on the cover of October's Knave which contained a Nell Gwyn (the mistress of Charles II) themed couples pictorial. Here Nell displays herself on top of her conquered man and strewn oranges.
Heather, Men Only, October 1976
Roxy, Men Only, October 1976
The dangling tie from Heather's top point directly towards her revealed anus in October's Men Only. Roxy goes a bit further by posing for the strongest finger on arsehole shot so far and also pointing her bottom out at the camera.
Knave, November 1976
Stephanie, Knave, November 1976
There were two revealed anuses in Knave's November issue. The first in a threesome pictorial and the other was revealed by Stephanie whose dangling fringes were arranged in such a way as to draw attention to her nether regions.
Annie, Club International, November 1976
Cher, Club International, November 1976
Two prominently displayed arseholes for Club International's November issue with the incredibly leggy Claire's legs stretched to show her prominent sphincter. Cher deploys the knees up, ankles crossed pose to reveal herself.
Melissa, Men Only, November 1976
Fred Enke's portrait of Melissa includes a very potent perineum shot, her stretched, fleshy bridge highlighting the dark hole below.
Men Only, November 1976
Send in the Clowns was the title of this James Ballard shot period couples pictorial and presented this display as the lady straddled the man's thigh.
Suzanne, Penthouse, November 1976
Covergirl and Pet of the Month Suzanne Saxon joined the small number of anus flashing Penthouse Pets in this shot. More remarkable is the fact that she is penetrating herself with her finger, in a first for Penthouse.
Sue. Fiesta, December 1976
Fiesta wound up the year with Sue showing her perineum but her dark hole in the shadow. They hadn't really embraced the anus like some of the other magazines had during 1976.
Penthouse, December 1976
Equally, despite its taboo breaking reputation, Penthouse had not had anything like the backdoor displays of the Paul Raymond magazines. They finished the year with this shot from a lesbian set involving a snake. This photo displays the large, dark patch around one girl's bottom hole. You can see the full slithery pictorial here.
Layla, Club International, December 1976
Club International finished the year with Layla displaying herself in two shots by the pool. The lower one is a superb rim shot where the shadow essentially conceals her labia as the sun highlights her tight ring.
Brigitte, Men Only, December 1976
Men Only hadn't jumped on the anal bandwagon as much as sister publication Club International but they made up for it in their final issue of 1976. Firstly, we have this full page display of Brigitte.
Brigitte, Men Only, December 1977
Brigitte, who was photographed by Dwight Fox, also poses wearing a white top so as to emphasise her naked bottom and rosy anus even more.
Nina, Men Only, December 1976
Next up, Nina's pink satin dress is arranged carefully so it just doesn't quite cover her sphincter and, in fact, the line of her hem just draws your eye straight to it.
Rae, Men Only, December 1976
Also dressed so as to focus the attention on her bare bottom is Rae who is, in fact, Ava Cadell; the first full frontal flashing actress Agent Triple P saw in the cinema, in the dreadful UK spy thriller The Golden Lady (1979). She made a number of films and TV shows in the UK (she was born in Hungary but went to school in London) and the US before gaining a doctorate in Human Behaviour and becoming a sex therapist.
Rosie, Men Only, 1976
The most assertive anal shot was probably that belonging to Rosie Whails (in reality porn star Linda Gordon) who offered up this deep and inviting looking entrance. You can see the rest of this pictorial here.
Whitehouse, Number 7,1975
Finally, one magazine we haven't mentioned so far launched in 1974. This was David Sullivan's Whitehouse, so named as a taunt to anti pornography campaigner Mary Whitehouse. We haven't included it because it was not on general sale in the UK. The major newsagents chains of WH Smiths and John Menzies refused to stock it and it was mainly available from Sullivan's own chain of Private sex shops and at some corner newsagents. It certainly featured anuses from its seventh issue in 1975 but the individual issues are not dated just numbered. We may do a separate post on Whitehouse in the future.
Next time we look at how Paul Raymond's magazines got even more explicit before an unexpected u-turn saw the blatantly displayed labia and anuses evaporating by the end of the seventies.