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Hustler

June 2008 Hustler cover
Editor Larry Flynt
Categories Pornographic magazine
Frequency 13 / year
Circulation under 500,000
First issue 1974
Company Larry Flynt Publications
Country United States
Language English
Website www.hustler.com
ISSN 0149-4635

Hustler is a monthly pornographic heterosexual men's magazine published in the United States. It was founded and is owned by Larry Flynt.

Contents

History

Hustler was first published in 1974.[1] It was a step forward from the Hustler Newsletter and The Hustler for Today's Man which was cheap advertising for Flynt's strip club businesses at the time. Managing and then executive editor Mike Foldes helped format the magazine and wrote several editorials for Flynt before he left the magazine in November 1975 to work for High Times magazine in New York City. Hustler headquarters at the time were in an apartment/office above the Hustler Club on Gay Street, two blocks from the Ohio state capitol building. The magazine grew from a shaky start, crossing the one-million sales mark with the publication of Jackie Onassis nude photographs in the fall of 1975, to capture a third of the U.S. pornographic magazine market,[1]. The magazine reached a peak circulation of around 3 million. Current circulation is below 500,000. The publication's headquarters are in Beverly Hills, California.[2]

Larry Flynt's Hustler empire currently includes the Hustler Video pornographic film studio, the Hustler Casino in Gardena, California, the Hustler Hollywood chain of sex shops, the Hustler TV channel and the Hustler Club chain of strip clubs.

Nature of content

Since its inception Hustler sought to transgress the existing conventions on what pornographic magazines could show.[1] It was one of the first major men's magazines in the United States to break the taboo that existed in the early seventies by showing much more explicit views of female genitalia than other popular magazines of the time such as the relatively modest Playboy.[1] It was the first American magazine to show pubic hair.[1] Penthouse soon followed suit, which prompted Hustler to feature its first model with shaved pubic hair.[1] The magazine caused a scandal when the July 1976 issue showed pubic hair on the front cover.[1] It achieved a new first by showing penises before any of its rivals.[1] Early Hustler pictorials included pregnant women, middle-aged women (which the mainstream media labeled "geriatric"), overweight women, hermaphrodites, amputees and pre-operative transsexuals.[1] A 1975 interracial photoset which featured a black man and white woman was controversial, and attracted protests from both the Ku Klux Klan and the NAACP.[1] Hustler has also published explicit photos of venereal disease, lung cancer caused by the effects of smoking, and graphic images of war victims.[1] Today, Hustler is still considered more explicit than such well known competitors as Playboy and Penthouse.[1] It frequently depicts hardcore themes such as the use of sex toys, penetration, group sex, and "gaping" vaginas and anuses, which are not featured in its more mainstream competitors.[1] Hustler photographs lack the soft focus often seen in Playboy and Penthouse.[1] It once had a Scratch and sniff centerfold; Flynt apologized that it smelt more like lilacs than any sexual odor.[1] Newsweek once summed up Hustlers content as "like something Kraft-Ebing might have whispered to the Marquis de Sade".[1] Hustler is now run by two women, Melissa McAlester and Natia Khomasouraradi. Together they write, pose and edit the magazine. There are also pages that feature both of them nude.

Political stance

Hustler has long had a left-wing editorial policy on economics, foreign policy, and social issues.[1] This distinguishes it somewhat from other pornographic magazines, which generally embrace liberal ideas about free speech and morality issues, but remain conservative, libertarian, or neutral on other matters such as the economy. Flynt and Hustler are also noted for having a more populist and working-class outlook than the more upscale aspirational-oriented Playboy and Penthouse.[1] It has been called "one of the most explicitly class-antagonistic" mass-circulation U.S. magazines, which regularly transgresses "bourgeois norms".[1] It regularly lampoons the establishment, professional classes, liberals, conservatives, academics, government, politicians, the rich, feminists, religous leaders and organized religion.[1] Throughout the 1980s, Flynt used his magazine as a podium with which to launch vitriolic, obscenity-laden attacks on the Reagan Administration[1] and the Religious Right. Flynt even published a short-lived political magazine called Rebel. During the controversy surrounding Bill Clinton's impeachment, Flynt publicly announced his sympathy for Clinton, and offered cash rewards to anyone with information regarding sexual impropriety on the part of the president's critics. In 2003, Flynt ran unsuccessfully for the office of Governor of California during that state's recall election.

Every month's Hustler is mailed, uninvited and for free, to the office of each member of the United States Congress.[2] The practice began in either 1974 or 1983.[2] In an interview, Flynt explained, "I felt that they should be informed with what's going on in the rest of the world ... Some of them didn't appreciate it much... I haven't had any plans to quit."[2] Several members of Congress have unsuccessfully sued in an attempt to stop the mailings.[2] In 2006 Rep. Chris Cannon commented, "It's a disgusting abuse of the system.” “It's a nasty, tricky little thing to do by a person with no conscience.”[2]

Jerry Falwell controversy

In a 1983 parody of an advertisement for Campari, Hustler described the then-prominent fundamentalist Protestant minister Jerry Falwell having a drunken, incestuous encounter with his mother in an outhouse, after having previously attacked Falwell in the magazine for years.[3] Falwell sued Flynt, alleging libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The case was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court in Flynt's favor.[3] The decision strengthened free speech rights in relation to parodies of public figures.[3]

Publisher

Hustler is published by Larry Flynt Publications (LFP, Inc), which is controlled by Flynt.

A Canadian version of Hustler is published by a Quebec-based firm. This magazine is not owned by Larry Flynt, but is licensed to publish material from the American version. In general, Canadian Hustler imitates the appearance and tone of its American counterpart, with Canadian content added. In 1999, the magazine created a minor controversy in Canada by inviting readers to submit sexually explicit stories about Sheila Copps, a left-leaning member of the Liberal cabinet.

An Australian version of Hustler is published by an SA-based firm. This magazine is not owned by Larry Flynt. In general, Australian Hustler imitates the appearance and tone of its American counterpart, with Australian content added.

Related magazines

LFP, Inc. publishes several other magazines that use the Hustler brand:

  • Hustler's Taboo, which specializes in fetishistic material, such as the depiction of sexual bondage and urolagnia.
  • Barely Legal, a primarily softcore magazine focusing on models between 18 and 23
  • Asian Fever, focusing on Asian models
  • Hustler XXX, a more generic hardcore offering
  • Hustler's Leg World
  • Hustler's Chic Magazine, a pornographic magazine started by Larry Flynt, of Hustler fame in 1976, presented as being aimed at a more upscale clientele than Hustler.

Websites

The LFP Internet Group, LLC, operates Hustler.com and a number of related sites, where it sells pictures and videos with content similar to that in its magazines.

See also

References

External links








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