26 February 2009

Kalmansohn, David. Subscription Solicitation Letter. Men: The Monthly Magazine of Male Erotica. Homosexuopolis: Men Magazine, 2009

If you're gay you can subscribe to magazines about being gay. One's called The Advocate and it's kinda like our Newsweek and another's called Out and its kinda like our Cosmo. Or maybe Cosmo's like our Cosmo. At any rate, there are dangers in doing this. One is that these are often very terrible magazines. Sometimes they are smart and good and informative, but not often. Another danger is that they will sell your addresses to other people, like, say, Men: The Monthly Magazine of Male Erotica.

The assumption, I guess, is that if you're gay you like pornography. I, of course, never touch the stuff, but that doesn't mean I get all offended when solicitations like this one come in through the mail:
Dear Friend:

If you like MEN—and I mean nude, beautiful, erect men—you'll want to subscribe to MEN, the monthly magazine of male erotica.
What's unclear from the beginning is that the first all-caps MEN is in red text, whereas the second, i.e., the magazine's name, is in black. All other uses of MEN are in red and refer to the magazine itself
It's just that simple. Only MEN consistently delivers such incredible male photography and such stimulating erotic fiction issue after issue. It's the only magazine of its kind worth subscribing to.
Take that, Black Inches!

Quality comes first at MEN. Since 1984, MEN has set the standard for what you want from a magazine of male erotica. That's why it continues to outsell all other titles—bar none!
I don't get this usage. "Bar none" is maybe used as a filler meaning "absolutely!" but it really means "without any exceptions" right? So "all other titles without any exceptions".... But I'm being ridiculously nitpicky, when I should be working harder on figuring out how to be more consistently erotic.
The quality starts with our uncompromising production standards. In MEN, you get all the hot detail and true-to-life skin tones our great photography deserves. But expensive printing is just the beginning.
Here I'm reminded of a Bill Callahan lyric: "Skin mags in the brambles / for the first part of my life / I thought women had orange skin." So it's a relief MEN is committed to their models' skin tones being true-to-life. For the first part of my life, I thought that men while erect had wasted, vacuous expressions.
But best of all is our taste in men. MEN's men are extraordinary, simply the best and widest selection of men to be found in a gay man's magazine anywhere. Proud glorious hunks—blond and black, smooth and hairy, cut and uncut. Men whose eyes stare out from the page and say, "I'm here for you."
Well, I suppose that's one way to read them.
Along with our great photos, MEN publishes erotic fiction calculated to take your imagination to a fever pitch. Because we know words have an erotic power all their own, we print fiction that's a cut above the rest: literate, arousing, and drawing from a wide variety of settings and plots.

You'll also relish MEN's expert video reviews focusing on videos with the hyper-masculine casts you enjoy most—along with lots of show-all photos. Plus, you'll find plenty of erotic illustrations, letters from readers like you, and a whole range of advertisements for adult products. Every issue will bring you many satisfying hours. We guarantee it!
I looked throughout the letter and in the fold out pictorial of previous MEN models, all consistently skin-toned and erect, and didn't find any actual guarantee. So, like, if I find an issue that brings me only one satisfied hour, or even many frustrating hours, I don't think I have any means of reparation.
What other adult entertainment fits in your briefcase or under your bed ready for a private encounter at a moment's notice? MEN is one magazine you'll save, issue after issue, to share with friends or enjoy alone.
What I love here is the endearing expansion MEN tries to enact on the ways gay porno mags get, um, used. Your briefcase! Moments' notices! Friends!
How can you say no to such a temptation? Rush us your order today.
For the record, each issue of MEN costs $9.99. A 12-issue subscription is just twenty dollars. Oscar Wilde could resist anything but temptation, but I'm not Oscar Wilde.


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