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In EROS Magazine, July 1980

CR/LF of Sex Is AS Red-Blooded Thing wrote this for Peek-A-Boob, then when he revamped the site a few years ago, this post somehow was cut. I’m pleased to republish it as a guest post here because I think it’s quite insightful. (If you would like to guest here, contact me.)

eros july 1980EROS magazine shows it’s genes, hearkening towards 1970s Penthouse style, and adequately fits the “men’s lifestyle porn” of that period. The articles are few and short, easy to read — while the photos are edgy and much more titillating than a Playboy ‘centerfold’ style of photo galleries.

This issue, July 1980, is barely one hundred pages long, with quite a few being pictures.

Advertisements do dominate many pages; nearly all are for other adult products, probably due to the smaller size & scope of the magazine. Many of the ads even bring a blush to my face, despite having been hardened by the so-called rampant sexuality they say we’re exposed to today. The acts described — golden showers, hot ‘lessies’, group come, sucking cheerleaders — rival the nastiest keywords in today’s adult websites. One indicator of age reveals itself in the adult films: there’s not a video tape among them. All movies are described as 8mm — either standard or Super8 — and many of the sellers offer free ‘viewers’ with purchase.

1980s bondage film ad

There are very few color ads, and most are plain black-and-white ads that might be seen in the backs of most magazines…although the items sold here are significantly different than anything you’d find in Popular Mechanics.

vintage sex doll ad

The magazine starts with four or five pages of ‘sexy news,’ a few pictures of body paint, some product recommendations, in a column called “Foreplay”. The “Letters” section is about what you’d expect: thanks for good photos, “real” stories of sexual exploits, and funny stories. Near the end is a feature called “Beaver Patrol,” publishing nude photos of readers along with a description of their favorite sex acts. The common theme between the three is the sexist attitude towards women. A news article about sex in the military labels the women as ‘nymphos,’ one of the letters describes a woman being forced into being a sex-slave for her infidelity, and the reader photo descriptions are distinctively lewd…but who’s complaining? That’s what these magazines are for, right? If Stuff magazine would show more tits, it’d be a comparable magazine in terms of sexualizing women with a faint haze of misogyny around the edges.

The articles are actually much better written than the ‘shorts’. The first is an interview with a male escort, describing how he does his work, and how he deals with the perils of male prostitution. The article doesn’t reveal anything new about the high-priced escort industry, but the male point of view is refreshing. A nice change from the misogynistic tone of the arousing news is an article on women in the military, written by April Blackwood. The three-page opinion piece is surprisingly positive towards women soldiers, both as a large component of the military and in combat duties. The final piece is an expose on the “killer drug” of the period: Angel Dust, or PCP. While the article does do a good job of explaining the dangers and affects of PCP, it delves into explicit erotic ramblings about sexual scenes caused by PCP use, which are neither effective nor arousing…which may be the point.

eros 80s death dust

Surprisingly thorough is a review of the pornographic film “Education of the Baroness,” showing such depth as to describe a very loose and specious connection to Harold Pinter’s work The Servant. Owing it’s description to the appreciation of porno chic in the seventies, the writer, Rex Underwood, gives the film a complete working over, from complimenting the acting abilities of the performers and describing food inserted into a woman’s cunt, all in the same sentence.

The magazine has a number of erotica pieces of varying length. The first, a regular column called “Kinky Street,” is a short, barely two pages, voyeurism erotica piece. The end indicates it was reader-submitted, and asks for people with ‘bizarre freaky sexual’ experiences should write their stories and send them in. This is followed by an article of compiled sexual fantasies, each being only a few paragraphs long, from both men and women. Wet Satin, by Sylvia Francis, is a story about a young man with a panty fetish, ranging from being turned on by his mother’s panties as a child, through the undergarments of his sexual conquests, to wearing panties himself. An interesting read, it dwells significantly on kinky sex (during period, oral sex in public, BDSM, and his fascination with his mother), but it moves quickly and isn’t difficult to read.

There are six different photo spreads; four of individual women posing, one of a man and a woman, and a pseudo-lesbian set. The first, titled “11” (Bo Derek, meet your competition, according to the table of contents, alluding to the movie 10), is five poolside photos of a short-haired blonde, who also appears on the back cover.

vintage eros magazine

“Cherry Bomb” is nine photos of a brown-haired woman posing with Fourth Of July themed cake and balloons, and in lingerie on a bed. “Poster Pet Jane” is Eros’ version of the centerfold, appearing at the middle of the magazine so a two-page photo could be removed and posted on a wall. Her eight photos are credited to “RDR Productions”.

The last solo spread is of a long-haired woman in the desert, called “Bake Off”. Her photos are credited to Leverett Bradley. Around half of the photos are accompanied by witty comments, ranging from “Now that’s what I call America the Beautiful” for a Cherry Bomb photo to a complete limerick:

A sex-starved young waitress from Frisco,
Whose cookie was not a Nabisco,
Would warm up her oven
With fingertip lovin’,
And then she’d start cookin’ with Crisco.

cherry bomb eros magazine 1980

The man-on-woman sexual scenes are par for the non-XXX magazines, showing nothing but a limp penis and a number of suggestive poses. Nothing remarkable. The lesbians, however, are far less lesbian than just missing the penis altogether.

vintage interracial lesbians in eros magazine

If all lesbians were made so by a lack of available penises, the world might be a much different place. No, the magazine and the photos are clearly for the benefit of horny men, as the unintentionally humorous captions demonstrate. It starts with the cut-and-dried statement, “I wish you were a man,” continuing with “I wish I had low slung balls for you to suck on,” and ending with “I wish I could screw you till you begged me to stop.” Finding out that your friend wishes she had a huge black cock to fuck your little blonde cunt with might be disturbing to most women, but, again, giving men the opportunity to project their own image onto either woman is what sold the photos, not the burgeoning lesbian market.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Unfortunately, none of the models — except the centerfold “Jane” — are credited, possibly because they were purchased from photographers rather than photographed by staff. In fact, the magazine’s masthead lists no photographers, save an ‘art director’. None of the authors show up in the masthead as regular employees, and given their alias-sounding names it’s likely that they were independent writers whose works were purchased for the magazine.

Posted in Advertising, Lesbian, Magazines, Sex History, Sexism.

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2 Responses

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  1. Irv O. Neil says

    Nice post! I wrote for Eros myself for quite a few years in the early 80s. It was a good market, paid decently and on time, and were friendly to work for. Your article is right about the photography: the magazine was published by a company that had its own photo agency and handled many different photogs, some of them British. They were particularly good with cover photography, and when I edited Game magazine in 1982, I often used covers from their agency.

    Eros was a good fiction market. I had the pleasure of writing, under the nom de porn “Leo Berman,” quite a few sex stories for Eros that were take-offs on one of my loves, 1940s horror movies–so I got to publish things like “The Slut of Frankenstein” and “The Mummy’s Cock” (in the latter, the eponymous prong literally rips its way out and through the mummy’s bandages). I also wrote a story for Eros called “Feminist in Spiked Heels” wherein I predicted that feminists would once again return to their love of such ultra-sexy shoes, something that was very much out-of-fashion in the early 80s for politically correct women.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. In EROS Magazine, July 1980 – Silent Porn... linked to this post on June 17, 2014

    […] EROS magazine shows it’s genes, hearkening towards 1970s Penthouse style, and adequately fits the “men’s lifestyle porn” of that period. The articles are few and short, easy to read — while the photos are edgy and much more titillating than a Playboy ‘centerfold’ style of photo galleries.  […]



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