Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Male Figure Magazine and birth of Beef Cake

The Male Figure Magazine was just one of many "fitness magazines" that were produced from the 1930's through the 1960's featuring scantily clad muscle bound men. These magazines presented themselves as being  dedicated to health and fitness and so models were often shown exercising. 

 Gay porn was illegal in those days,  so these magazines were extremely popular with gay men. "Beef Cake" magazines were widely available at news stands across the country; escaping the notice of straight society and the legal system.

What made The Male Figure stand out from it's competitors was it's bold graphic design. The use of a flat field of color in the background with a black and white figure in the foreground gave their early covers a unique look. 

 The photos inside the magazine usually featured muscular young men in poses that were often based on classical Greek and Roman sculptures.  "Beef Cake" magazines were allowed to show bare male asses, but the cock and balls were always covered by a "posing pouch" attached by thin strings.



  Fans could buy photo sets, 10 for $2.50, which provide additional income for the publisher and the photographers.


If you want to start a collection of original The Male Figure magazines, just look on Ebay. There are usually at least a dozen of them available and they range from $4 to $25 each.

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