Men’s Mags: The Web Generation

Earlier this month, Mr. Pink’s brought you word that two classic magazine publications targeted at male readers were going down for the count after months and months of declining circulation. As we bid farewell to UK-based FHM and Zoo, there is reason to be hopeful and think positively even while commiserating with mates over pints at your local. The men’s magazine, it appears, is moving online.

badoink

Launched back in 2005, BaDoink at first seemed like any other confused upstart porn studio. Hosting third-party produced content alongside its own carnal creations, even providing custom software to control your video streaming and downloading more completely than any other site could claim. BaDoink soon expanded to include pornography from ten studios, TV-playback capability via Roku, Chromecast, AppleTV and other devices, and mobile device and smart phone compatibility, as well as a slew of blog posts, articles and advice columns, and all sorts of news from around the world, related to sexuality and otherwise. Look at BaDoink today, though, and you’ll see it looking even more like a comprehensive entertainment experience for the heterosexual male: a Google Glass app, 3D viewing, 4K Ultra-HD movies, 360° “immersion” videos, and even content designed to be used with the Oculus Rift virtual reality device. There’s even a brand-new VR division of BaDoink that’s been appropriately named BaDoinkVR. Although still quite low on content having launched only five months ago, BaDoinkVR adds a hugely satisfying dose of hardcore VR porn to your plate, provided you either have your own headset or order the free cardboard VR goggles from BaDoink.

Stiffia is another network pushing towards a magazine-style arrangement. Currently hosting an amazing 94 websites, each offering both full-length and digest versions of original content, Stiffia has the whole porno movie element covered, but there’s far more to Stiffia’s success than that. News items flow to the site constantly, giving readers a break from beating off to learn something new, ogle Selfie Loving Latinas or Hot Amateur Cosplayers, read why Everybody Loves Thongs or follow your favorite performers on Twitter and Instagram via the built-in feed.

Stiffia is expanding as rapidly as it is winning over new viewers, so perhaps now’s the time to check it out and jump aboard, before it reaches critical mass and eventually jumps the shark. As for BaDoink and its new VR strain, look for more from Mr. Pink, including a review of the BaDoinkVR viewing platform and headset, next week.

The End of the Men’s Mag?

Playboys

From Playboy’s game-changing success in the sixties and seventies to the US-advance of popular UK lifestyle publications like Maxim and FHM, the journey of the men’s magazine has been an intriguing one. Where women’s mags traditionally revolved around homemaking and social decorum, only to shift towards sex tips and body shaming in the 70s and 80s, men’s lifestyle publications seemed to diverge into outright pornography or thinly-veiled pornography (no nipples) and five-page guides to curing a major hangover. Now, with the closure of UK-based rags FHM and Zoo, it seems the end of this era of male-focused lifestyle publication is nearing its end.

Launched in 1985, For Him Magazine (FHM) led the new wave of lad culture combining intense alcohol consumption, a fondness for near-naked chicks. With circulation declining notably in 2015’s first half – 67,000 units; down 20% from last year – FHM regrettably seems to be closing down publication for good, announcing the closure on its website Tuesday. The weekly-published Zoo, too, is ending its assault on modesty and puritanism by shutting down its presses after 12 years and more than 600 issues, shattering the spirits of what few readers it had managed to retain after the great migration of horny dudes to the World Wide Web, the new (digital!) den of iniquity.

The announcements from FHM and Zoo come just one short month after Playboy Magazine announced it would not feature fully-nude women on its pages after March 2016. With Playboy neutering itself and Loaded, Front, Bizarre, Nuts all knocking back brewskies in magazine heaven, and now the announcement that Zoo and FHM are going down for the count, could the entire men’s magazine industry have kicked the proverbial bucket? Former FHM Features Editor Martin Daubney doesn’t seem to think so, insisting that lad culture will survive, even thrive, online. “The anti-lad mag campaigners are deluded if they feel this represents some hollow victory against ‘lad culture,'” Daubney told The Telegraph. “It is my prediction that, in time, the campaigners who despised the lad mags’ lifeblood will look back on these magazines as a period of relative innocence, that they would welcome back in a heartbeat.”

In Memoriam: Candida Royalle

ca. 1988 --- Candida Royalle --- Image by © Deborah Feingold/Corbis
ca. 1988 — Candida Royalle — Image by © Deborah Feingold/Corbis

Candida Royalle, director/producer/performer, sex educator, feminist, and XRCO and AVN Hall of Fame member has died of ovarian cancer at age 64. Leaving behind a legacy of female liberation and free expression that has clearly informed today’s new generation of feminist pornographers, Royalle will be sorely missed by her peers, fans, and students alike, many of whom have taken to social media to share their remembrances of one of porn’s bravest and most compelling individuals, and the first director to envision a ‘couples’ market.

Born in 1950 in New York City, the future dancer and filmmaker was abandoned by her biological mother at 18 months, a subject that would consume much of her recent time as she worked on a documentary film about the search for the woman that birthed her. While You Were Gone remains unfinished at the time of Royalle’s passing. Though a private detective had located the woman at Royalle’s request, it was not before she had died from ovarian cancer, unknowingly preceding her daughter. The future of the film remains uncertain, though an except can be viewed below.

Entering adult entertainment in 1975, Royalle appeared in roughly 25 pictures before retiring five years later, penning the script to her final film as just a performer. Royalle founded Femme Productions in ’84, producing erotic films based on the notions of female desire and believably passionate couplings, going to great effort to avoid the usual male-centric porn cliches. A published author, public speaker and lecturer, Royalle’s influence on female porn professionals and viewers is almost unparalleled.

Candida Royale
Photo by Daniel Nicoletta