Should lads mags carry health messages?
'NO. What man is going to accept being preached to?'
Martin Robinson of Maxim:
In contrast to the editor of Loaded, who believes that sexual health issues are 'deeply boring', we at Maxim are quite in love with sexual diseases.
A casual flick through our August issue brings delights like the Cockney rhyming slang doctor who tells his patient he's 'going north' ('North Koreaâ€¦ you have gonorrhoea'), along with references to AIDS, chlamydia, testicular cancer, genital warts, lumps, emissions and 'heavily deformed genitals'.
Not that this obsession is any more helpful to the medical community than a simple denial of their existence. To Maxim, pubic lice are just funny little scuttling mates, 'What's that fella, you want to make a nest? So long as you stay clear of my urethra, go right ahead!'
The reason most men's magazines will generally shy away from itchy groins is that it impinges on the comfortable bubble of birds and lads all up for boozy, bouncing sex.
Maxim likes to prick it with reminders that actual sex is mostly a pathetic, sweaty infection-swap. However, you won't find condom instructions in our magazine (you put it on a carrot, right?), and the photo shoots don't come with government health instructions: 'Warning: this sexy soap actress could be carrying herpes simplex type 2'.
Which male reader is going to accept being preached to? Leave that to schools and doctors and mums and preachers. You can understand the temptation to say that since we have the ear of the young male population, we should use it to instruct, but if we start that, then we'd have to also point out that excessive drinking is harmful, that fast cars are dangerous and that rock music is the work of the devil. Best just stay in and bolt the doors!
If people aren't aware of sexual diseases then where have they been? Norfolk?
If they ignore what has been taught to them, then that is their choice. We are part of young males' pleasure-seeking world, not looking down on it from lofty heights and feeling moved to try and caution them against having too much fun with sexually adventurous, achingly voluptuous, yet supple, young women.
So we deal with nasty rashes as just another aspect of our lives. Chances are we'll all have worrying developments 'down there' at some stage, since we tend to be willing slaves to our seed-sowing instincts (interestingly, the best sex often does involve manure). In fact, if you offered men the chance to have an unprotected rut with Pamela Anderson, even though she is the most famous carrier of hepatitis C in the world, the vast majority would still kung-fu their own grandmother out of the way to get involved. Choosing pleasure over health? Gosh, well, yes that does apparently happen.
For Maxim, sexual disease is a welcome source of hilarity, being a secret shame shared by a hell of a lot of people. As we said in our Unspeakable Truth section: 'If you don't have chlamydia, you're not having sex.' And us sexual disease carriers don't regret a thing (apart from those with AIDS).
Page created on October 28th, 2005
Page updated on December 21st, 2009