Penthouse is a men's magazine founded by Bob Guccione. It combines urban lifestyle articles and softcore pornographic pictorials that, in the s, temporarily evolved into hardcore. Although Guccione was American, the magazine was founded in in the United Kingdom. Beginning in September , it was sold in the United States as well. The Penthouse logo is a stylized key which incorporates both the Mars and Venus symbols in its design.
The magazine's centerfold models are known as Penthouse Pets and customarily wear a distinctive necklace inspired by this logo. At the height of his success, Guccione, who died in , was considered to be one of the richest men in the United States.
In he was listed in the Forbes ranking of wealthiest people. Penthouse magazine began publication in , in the UK  and in North America in , an attempt to compete with Hugh Hefner 's Playboy.
Guccione offered editorial content that was more sensational than that of Playboy , and the magazine's writing was far more investigative than Hefner's upscale emphasis, with stories about government cover-ups and scandals.
Writers such as Seymour Hersh , Craig S. The magazine was founded on humble beginnings. Due to Guccione's lack of resources, he personally photographed most of the models for the magazine's early issues. Guccione would sometimes take several days to complete a shoot. However, in contrast to Hugh Hefner , who threw wild parties at his Playboy Mansions , life at Guccione's mansion was remarkably sedate, even during the hedonistic s.
The magazine's pictorials offered more sexually explicit content than was commonly seen in most openly sold men's magazines of the era; it was the first to show female pubic hair , followed by full-frontal nudity and then the exposed vulva and anus.
In both cases, the photos were taken earlier in their careers and sold to Penthouse only after Madonna and Williams became famous. In the late s, the magazine began to show more "fetish" content such as urination, bondage and " facials ". On January 15, , a press release emanating from then owner FriendFinder Networks announced that Penthouse would shutter its print operations and move to all digital.
However, managing director Kelly Holland quickly disavowed the decision and pledged to keep the print version of the magazine alive. On August 12, , General Media, the parent company of the magazine, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Penthouse filed for bankruptcy protection on September 17, As of , General Media Communications, Inc. Penthouse Global Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 11, to address debt-related issues.
All assets of Penthouse Global Media, Inc. The magazine's editorial content was praised and recognized by those in the academic field. In , for example, Guccione was honored by Brandeis University for focusing "his editorial attention on such critical issues of our day as the welfare of the Vietnam veteran and problems of criminality in modern society". Guccione was also praised by certain professional groups and associations for his dealings with them. In April , he was named "Publisher of the Year" by the Atlantic Coast Independent Distributors Association in gratitude for his "leadership, his fair treatment and his continuing friendship with our members".
It was produced by Jeremy Frommer and Rick Schwartz , who have since created a premier website inspired by Bob Guccione as an extension of the film called Filthy Gorgeous Media. The September issue of Penthouse magazine would eventually become controversial because of its centerfold, Traci Lords. Lords posed nude for this issue at the beginning of her career as an adult film star. It was later revealed that Lords was underage throughout most of her career in pornography and was only 15 when she posed for Penthouse.
The same issue also caused controversy with nude pictures of Vanessa Williams that caused her to be stripped of her Miss America crown. In , Penthouse decided to change its format and began featuring sexually explicit pictures i. It also began to regularly feature pictorials of female models urinating , which, until then, had been considered a defining limit of illegal obscenity as distinguished from legal pornography.
A different approach to restoring sales was attempted by the UK version of the magazine in Under the editorship of Tom Hilditch , the magazine was rebranded as PH. UK and relaunched as middle-shelf "adult magazine for grown-ups". Fashion photographers such as Corinne Day of The Face magazine were hired to produce images that merged sex and fashion.
The magazine's editorial content included celebrity interviews and tackled issues of sexual politics. The experiment attracted a great deal of press interest, but failed to generate a significant increase in sales.
UK closed in late The new owners significantly softened the content of the magazine starting with the January issue. Penthouse no longer showed male genitalia, real or simulated male-female sex, or any form of explicit hardcore content it does still feature female-female simulated sex on occasion, however.
While this change allowed the return of a limited number of mainstream advertisers to the magazine, it has not significantly raised the number of subscribers; total circulation is still below , Some of Penthouse ' s secondary publications, such as Girls of Penthouse , continue to feature occasional images of explicit sex, either classic sets from the s issues or stills of adult video shoots staged by the company's Digital Media division.
The film, which was eventually released in late , was produced in Italy made at the Dear Studios in Rome and was directed by Tinto Brass. In , Penthouse Presents began running on Hot Choice. Guccione also created the magazines Omni , Viva , and Longevity. In , Penthouse published an adult comic book spin-off entitled Penthouse Comix , featuring sexually explicit stories. Penthouse Variations is a monthly magazine containing ostensibly reader-generated erotic stories primarily and some pictures and reviews.
It is a spin-off magazine from Penthouse Letters. It was initially published in In , the Penthouse Club in London, England operated a casino. However, the next year the casino license was revoked by the gaming authorities. However, the casino filed for bankruptcy the next year and was closed. However, Penthouse was unable to raise additional funding and construction stopped in The project sat idle until Donald Trump acquired the site in The magazine previously sponsored cars in the Formula One circuit from the late s to the early s.
January , Penthouse announced the first 3D HD porn channel, which will be available in second quarter They shoot using dual lenses, and it will consist of available Penthouse HD Channel lineup covering over 30 platforms in more than 15 countries. In January , Penthouse announced its entry into the wine and spirits industry. The article indicated that the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California was developed by Mervyn Adelson and Irwin Molasky using loans from the Teamsters Pension Fund and that the resort was a playground for organized crime figures.
The owners, along with two officials of the resort, Morris B. In , a jury absolved the magazine of any liability against the lawsuit from the owners. The plaintiffs appealed, but in December , before a new trial could begin, the two sides settled. Penthouse issued a statement that they did not mean to imply that Adelson and Molaskey are or were members of organized crime. In turn the plaintiffs issued a statement lauding Penthouse publisher Guccione and his magazine for their "personal and professional awards". In , Guccione sued Penthouse Media Group for fraud, breach of contract, and conspiracy, among other charges.
In December , a group of radical feminists began a civil disobedience campaign against Penthouse which they called a National Rampage. Led by Melissa Farley and Nikki Craft , they went into stores selling copies of the magazine and ripped them up, and they also burned an effigy of Bob Guccione in front of a bookstore in Madison, Wisconsin. In late the group began to focus on the printer of Penthouse , Meredith Corporation. They bought shares in the company and attended their annual stockholder's meeting.
The women were not allowed to speak but they removed their coats, revealing images from a Penthouse shoot about Japanese rope bondage —among which two poses were construed by Farley to evoke dead bodies—ironed onto [their] shirts. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Penthouse Magazine The first U.
United Kingdom United States. Erotica and pornography portal. Archived from the original on June 4, Retrieved August 31, Back In Time Rare Books.
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