Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Torso is Morte!

That keening sound you hear in the air is the anguished voices of millions of gay men over the age of 30 mourning the news that the Mavety publishing group has announced they are ceasing publication of the gay erotic magazine titles, Torso, Mandate, Playguy, Inches and Honcho. Mandate, the oldest of the group, has been published for 34 years. The blog Boy Culture first reported the news on Monday and it was picked up by sites all over the web. I've tried to find some sort of official announcement, but none seems to have been made and Mavety doesn't appear to have an public website...which might help explain why they had to shutter the mags. Matthew Rettenmund, the blogger at Boy Culture who broke the story, previously worked for the Mavety Group and has an insider's take on the demise of the magazines and gives a fitting tribute to their creator and publisher George Mavety, (who himself died in 2000), a heterosexual Canadian who also created Juggs, which has NOT ceased publication.

I have a tub, or two, of old gay porno mags at home that I never look at anymore but I'm loathe to throw them away because they're kind of an important part of my life as a gay man...for gay men coming of age in the late 70's and throughout the 80's and even well into the 90's, these magazines were the only sources of information we had about our sexuality and what it meant to be gay. And maybe the information wasn't always the best and maybe it created a false sense of worth, (just like mainstream magazines do for straight people), but it was all we had...and it was sexy as hell in a world deprived of 24 hour instant internet access to sexual imagery from around the world.

A toast to Torso, and Mandate, and Honcho, and Playguy and Inches...

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