Newest Review: ... each year, which features young ladies from all over the country. However, FHM is also packed with articles on a number of topics ... more
Soft porn and low brow journalism
Member Name: steerpyke
My introduction to FHM began with quite an embarrassing tale I’m afraid. Looking forward to a quiet Friday night in I was indulging in some relaxing “me” time. I hadn’t heard the knock at the door or my lodger letting someone in and the next thing I know a female friend of mine was stood in the doorway to my bedroom in shock at realising just what I was up to. “What are you doing?” she asked, “reading” I replied. “Yes, but reading what?” she demanded. In shame I had to admit it was Selected Works of Renes Descartes, a renowned French renaissance philosopher; she couldn’t look at me in the eye. “And what is this you are listening to?” the onslaught continued, “Bach” I admitted. “Dave, I’m disgusted, you play in a rock band, drink with bikers, you have an image to live up to you know, if this got out…well it doesn’t bear thinking about.” As an after thought she added, “And there’s never any porn in your bathroom either, sometimes I worry if you are a real man at all.” I led her to the kitchen made a coffee and slipped a Wildhearts CD (scientifically proven to be the best rock band on the planet) into the player to diffuse the situation. The next time she came round it was bearing what she thought was an appropriate gift and the reason for this strange tale by way of introduction. Uttering the phrase “I’ve brought you some porn for your bathroom” she handed me a copy of FHM.
FHM is one of those thick monthly “lad mags” that competes for customers along side the likes of Loaded (the blueprint for these type of publication), GQ, Arena and more recently Nuts. Originally launched in 1985 as For Him, it wasn’t until 1994 that it acquired the name FHM and is now issued in twenty-seven countries across the world. It is printed on high quality glossy paper and the layout and look of the magazine is nothing less than professional, but once away from the technical aspects, I can find very little to support the magazines status as one of the highest circulating magazines in its market genre. The magazine starts out with the assumption that if you are a male then your main interests are girls and cars, just like in all the Bruce Springstein songs. Well obviously as a red-blooded male, I do appreciate the allure of a well-turned ankle and a sly smile from behind the Japanese fan…not to mention a nice arse, (That’s spoilt the illusion a bit hasn’t it) but I have never felt the need to buy magazines dedicated to the fact and letch over them in private, surely that is what pubs are designed for. If God hadn’t meant for men to letch in pubs then he wouldn’t have invented barmaids would he. The same goes for cars, driving is one thing but reading about them quite frankly is boring. So I guess already you have worked out that I’m not really their target audience.
The layout to the magazine is fairly standard and is broken down into regular and special features.
The fact that you have top wade through 20 odd pages of adverts showing pretty boy types modelling the latest fashions and a few car adverts does explain why the magazine is so thick, I suppose. Once on the letters page it becomes obvious that most of the letters serve no purpose what so ever and are seem to be a vehicle for the editors to put some half-witted pun at the end of it. It also seems to be an opportunity to post some pictures of women amongst the pages. Maybe I’m over thinking the whole concept but I would have thought such a feature would have been either interesting on the one hand or funny on the other, they seem to have gone for pointless for reasons probably known only to themselves.
Heralded as 18 pages of Girls, gags and gadgets, this section is slightly funnier in places than the last. Featuring a lot of adverts, a few pictures of women, some cut and paste juxtapositions to create humorous results and some genuinely half interesting items. Did I mention the random pictures of women; it’s a bit of a theme. There are some jokes here also which ranged from the unfunny to the downright ancient. The fact that the editing team had never heard a variation on the dead composer/decomposing joke is a bit of a worry.
This contained two featured writers, one being an over weight middle aged chap who wants to get fit and is really just a way of doing all the usual Bernard manning style gags, but on the plus side they did manage to have a go at Vanessa Feltz, so not a complete waste there then. The other is “Confessions of an ordinary girl with an extraordinary sex life” and as you can imagine is just a made up diary of titillating sex stories. I guess this is aimed at people who haven’t got a sex life of their own and need to read about other peoples, the fact that a chain smoking middle age harridan fabricates them in a Fleet Street office, probably is besides the point.
Features and Girls:
This section contains girls and features, though not always in that order. There are a couple of interviews, one with an American TV presenter, designated the worlds sexiest, what else, an interview that doesn’t even bother to raise its game above the level of tease and kiss and tell stories. To balance this there is a half decent interview with a rapper, which obviously adds the hard factor to the section.
Surprise, surprise, here we have a section of sex guides, and sex stories, the later being mildly amusing. The former is made up of two articles written, obviously by top porn stars, and they leave me thinking, anyone who needs to take advice from these sorts of people on how to attract the opposite sex has real problems.
The rest of the magazine is made up of advise on fashion, reviews of products and lots and lots of pictures of women, semi naked obviously, and I sometimes think that many of them would look better wearing a bit more, clothes are after all sexy when done write. Some would benefit from a duffle coat and hood. The accompanying text takes the form of readers asking questions, normally of a teenage mentality and you can almost hear the “fnar fnar” giggling of the writers as they e-mailed their gem of wisdom in. There are various special features ranging from the genuinely amusing and informative to the downright crass and toilet humour.
As I said before, I am not the target audience, though its large circulation means that there are a lot of people who are. One of the things that does amaze me is the amount of women who claim to enjoy this magazine. There seems very little in her that would appeal to your average women. The information about how to be successful with women also seems very cliché and I’m sure anyone trying to follow the advice given will be sat at home alone with a kebab well before midnight. I guess you have top understand its limitations and just enjoy it for what it is, but its journalism seems very low brow and it seems aim mainly at those who are two embarrassed to reach up to the news agents top shelf and pick up that copy of Mayfair. I will keep a copy lying around from now on, but only to keep a certain friend from spilling the beans about my real reading and listening habits.
Summary: entertainment for people who don't like thinking.