Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 20


Locker room lads:

Tennis, anyone? Some vintage pleasure:

Jr. Magazine – a vintage male physique publication from the 1960s – came from the same guys who published Tomorrow’s Man (1952-1971). Most of the models between the covers wore posing straps (in glorious black-and-white) and sported no body hair, although it was common for the models to be shown completely naked from the back. And note the vintage price: 75-cents. The banner above the magazine title brags that “The strength of America lies in its youth.


According to F. Valentine Hooven, author of Beefcake: The Muscle Magazines of America 1950-1970, "those little physique magazines were not just an aspect of gay culture; they virtually were gay culture." For many gay men, wrote Hooven, "it was their first awareness that they were not alone, the first contact with others of their own kind." Because these magazines touted themselves as fitness and healthy lifestyle publications, they could be sold at news stands nationwide – even pharmacies. One of them, Physique Pictorial, was able to sneak in art by Tom of Finland and George Quaintance.

While beefcake magazines such as Physique Pictorial and Tomorrow’s Man routinely sold 40,000 copies each, changes in U.S. laws that allowed frontal nudity (1962) and eventual full-on pornography (1969) led to their demise. These vintage physique magazines are today so highly collectible (and pricey) that they have become increasingly difficult to obtain.

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