A UK publisher ran into roadblocks recently trying to make a mainstream erotic magazine for women with pics of actual naked men in actual states of arousal. Filament magazine claims printers won’t print the mag for fear of the wrath of “the women’s/religious sectors”.
Are erect penises actually dirtier than women’s body parts? Are women too frail to handle pictures of erect penises when, in fact, they were just stopping by the newsstand for a carton of milk? Or are women simply not interested in ogling men’s bodies?
Other objections came from UK distributors, who say women won’t buy a magazine with a man on the cover. This brings into question how much the media is a reflection of reality and current attitudes (to women’s pleasure), and how much our reality and attitudes are shaped by the media. And whose reality is it? Filament’s website features a section on the female gaze — looking at what women find erotic, and challenging prevailing views.