Best Adult Magazines: A Provocative Exploration

Adult magazines have a significant impact on culture, society, politics, and lifestyle in general. In this blog post, Adult Site Broker will dive into a brief analysis and history of the best magazines in the adult entertainment space. From Playboy to Hustler, adult entertainment magazines are a dynamic element of magazine and news media. Some of the best adult magazines are cultural tours de force and have positively impacted conversations on topics such as freedom of speech.

Playboy

Playboy, owned by the for-profit Playboy Enterprises and the publicly-traded PLBY Group, is a globally recognized brand and lifestyle company that was founded in 1953 by Hugh Hefner. It initially gained fame for its flagship publication, Playboy, which features articles, interviews, and pictorials of nude or semi-nude models, often referred to as Playboy Playmates. The magazine became known for its distinct blend of adult entertainment, lifestyle features, and award-caliber journalism. Playboy is a renowned brand that has had a significant impact on popular culture and the print and online adult entertainment industry. It evolved from its origins as a provocative men’s magazine to a multifaceted lifestyle company that embraces a more diverse and inclusive vision of sexuality and personal expression. Playboy, as a brand, is iconic and socially relevant.

In the post #MeToo era, Playboy Enterprises changed its publishing business model. Sparked by the outing of Harvey Weinstein as a systematic sexual abuser in the light of Hollywood and the wider film industry. This change in systematic abuse prevention, the adult-oriented content published by the company were viewed as exploitation. In October 2017, Playboy announced a significant change in its editorial direction. The magazine decided to stop publishing images of nude women, stating that the ubiquity of pornography on the internet had made such content less significant. This was walked back, though, as the readership’s reaction was very negative.

Penthouse

Penthouse is a men’s lifestyle and entertainment publication that has been in circulation since 1965, founded by Bob Guccione. The magazine is known for its explicit adult content, featuring articles, interviews, and pictorials of nude or partially nude models. The magazine has gained a reputation for its explicit and provocative content, focusing on sexuality, adult entertainment, and lifestyle topics. Over the decades, Penthouse’s brand has featured a well-crafted mix of erotic and adult photography, in-depth interviews, investigative journalism, and articles covering a wide range of topics such as fashion, technology, culture, and politics. Like Playboy and magazines on this list, Penthouse has featured many notable models and celebrities over the years, and its content aims to celebrate the allure of the human form through visual and literary storytelling.

The ownership of Penthouse changed hands multiple times over the years. Despite the financial setbacks, Guccione remained active in creative projects until his death. And despite Guccione’s controversies surrounding his magazine and lifestyle choices, he made a significant impact on the publishing industry and played a role in challenging social norms regarding sexuality and total freedom of expression.

Hustler

Unlike other adult entertainment magazines of the time, Hustler pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in terms of explicit imagery and explicit written content. Hustler is an outlet for explicit photography of women, often in sexually explicit positions and situations. Hustler is known for its explicit photo spreads, which were often accompanied by well-written criticism articles and fictional stories. The content of Hustler aimed to be more graphic and hardcore compared to other adult magazines of its time, which led to its notoriety and controversy. In addition to its award-winning adult content, Hustler also tackled various social and political issues, often with a provocative and satirical approach. Hustler also featured for its editorial content, political cartoons, opinion pieces, and interviews with public figures. Hustler frequently courted controversy by publishing content that was considered offensive or morally objectionable by many. But, that objection is overlooked by the legacy of publisher Larry Flynt. 

Flynt was paralyzed in 1978 after an assassination attempt. He and his attorney were shot by a sniper outside a courthouse. Flynt’s provocative publications had made him a target due to their content. The shooter, one Joseph Paul Franklin, was a white supremacist who disagreed with Flynt’s explicit interracial photo spreads in Hustler. The attack against Mr. Flynt permanently paralyzed from the waist down, confining him to his iconic wheelchair. Despite his physical challenges, Flynt remained influential in the adult entertainment industry and continued to engage in legal battles and controversies until his death in 2021. After Flynt’s death, Liz Flynt now controls the company and continues drafting Flynt’s iconic publisher columns in developing progressive public policy in the United States. For example, July 2023’s piece is on gun reform.

Other Adult Magazines

Other adult industry magazines include business-to-business outlets and foreign magazines. In the following list, we feature publications that are common in the adult industry and mainstream.

AVN

AVN is a leading B2B news media outlet and adult entertainment industry resource in the adult industry. The website provides a wide range of content related to adult films, adult performers, industry news, reviews, and other relevant information related to legal, entertainment, and tech. AVN publishes a magazine focused on models and the entertainment aspect of the industry.

XBIZ World

XBIZ World, published by XBIZ.com, is a print publication and industry resource focused on the business and legal side of adult entertainment. It is part of the XBIZ brand, which encompasses various platforms and events serving the adult industry. XBIZ World provides news, features, and analysis related to the adult entertainment business, covering topics such as technology, legal issues, market trends, industry events, and more. 

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