There’s no denying it, we live in a tamer world. Just look at contemporary media: Publications like this one are filled with hobbyists, not adventurers. Rowing across the Atlantic? Ice climbing? Pffttt. That’s nothing. Back in the day, men were under attack by all mean of sharp-toothed carnivores, pagan savages, sex-starved Amazons, and even their arch-rivals in muscle-bound butchness, other men. Just look at the contemporary media of that day, to publications with titles like Stag, Male, Men, Action (The Best in Lusty Adventure), Real, Exotic, and Brave. Now, those were adventures.
And the editors of yesteryear could rip off their blood-stained, cheetah skin loincloths and mop the floor with today’s pansy scribes. How to Get Six-Pack Abs? Please. Just take a look at some of these blurbs from vintage men’s magazines and tell me you wouldn’t feel compelled to put down your two bits, buy the mag, and peek inside.
“Bestial Orgy of the Hairy Ainu”, Wildcat Adventures, June 1960
“I Fought the Kenya Man-Eater”, True Men, October 1965
“Mad Monkeys Manned the Lifeboats”, Stag, January 1951
“A ‘Gator Ripped Off My Arm”, Man’s Action, September 1957
“My Head Was Next — Ambushed by the Jivaros”, Men — True Adventure, December 1957
“Love Queen of the Pygmies”, Escape to Adventure, November 1960
“The Night We Raided the Harem”, True Adventures, August 1959
“The Hippies Raped Him and Then They Told Him How Much It Was Going to Cost”, Man’s Combat, December 1969
“The Love Saboteurs of Operation Jericho”, Wildcat Adventures, April 1960
“Weasels Ripped My Flesh”, Man’s Life, September 1956
It’s true that anyone not white was either someone to carry your base camp or savage, a headhunter, and most likely a cannibal. Women were licentious, loose, sex-crazed, most definitely buxom, and/or damsels at risk. Animal life either tore your soft pink flesh from your bones or served to be hunted, stuffed, and mounted on the walls. Nazis were an ever-present plague until Fidel Castro came along, and then the big threat was Cuban Communists (and watch out for Havana’s “go-go” jails!). It was a world distilled to its most caricature essentials, simplistic, errant, misogynistic, and sexy as hell (alternating between hetero desires and not-so-subtle gay subtexts).
Well, we in today’s publishing can learn a thing or two from our manly forefathers. I for one am thinking strongly about changing the title from Adventure Journal to Lusty Adventure, that is if I can snatch up lustyadventure.com before someone else does. And you can expect to see a steady parade of flesh-ripping weasels in the weeks to come. But not horny babes and cartoonish Africans — in today’s politically correct climate, I’d rather wrestle piranhas naked than undertake an adventure that dangerous.
For more on retro men’s adventure magazines, check out menspulpmagazines.com.
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