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First, Britain's established soft-porn magazines were banished from the shelves of W H Smith. Now, as if that were not blow enough, the publishers of Mayfair, Penthouse and Men Only are seeing ranks of men's "lifestyle" titles move in on their nude.
Breasts and buttocks have become the essential sales tools for mags every men's glossy, as they become ever more crass and undemanding of the reader.
Nude cover of the new issue of Arena has Liv Tyler, the teenage film star, clutching at her bare breasts. Alongside her, Pamela Anderson puckers up for the prospective readers of Esquire, while GQ promises a nude shot of Caprice Bourret, a Wonderbra model, next month.
Pornography in the United Kingdom
And that's just the cerebral end of the market. Further along, in a less cultured zone, Maxim's cover girl for June is the scantily dressed "page-three girl" Kathy Lloyd. Xtreme displays a "beach babe" who "prefers it lying down". And while the front of the current edition of the jocular and highly successful IPC magazine Loaded is dominated by a picture of a large badger being ridden by a stand-up comedian, it also finds space to puff a comprehensively illustrated "appreciation of arses".
List of pornographic magazines
Carl Snitcher, the chief executive of Paul Raymond Publications, which owns Mayfair and Men Only, says mags new magazines are no different from the older british monthlies. These others are getting people to buy them for the wrong reasons. The bugil sex porno of Esquire, Peter Howarth, is also uneasy about all the nudity, although his own magazine sometimes shares these trappings.
There is a game of pretend going british, he believes, to get men to part with their cash.
He said: Men do feel a need to buy something that has some kind of news content and is not just a fashion or a sex title.