Apparently, men like reading women's magazines. And when you look at the range of men's mags and compare them to women's mags, it's not hard to see why. The standard male magazine tends to be Shoot Guns Monthly, or Dead Hard Macho Pursuits Today. Now, how many people actually find this stuff interesting. I knew a man who read a gun mag. He worked for the water board.
On the other hand, the female mag often covers fashion (sometimes swimwear, so that's some males accounted for), sewing patterns (hmm, perhaps not), real life stories about how someone's boyfriend is really gay and is dating their boss's husband (now that's more like it!), cookery tips, and the problem page.
The problem page is my favourite, and the best ones tend to be in those mags designed for teenage girls, where you tend to get about five hundred completely ridiculous problems, and about one that any normal person may have.
It is on these pages that boys and girls write about all their problems. Many mags will have at least three agony aunts. You'll get the bog standard Agony Aunt, the Agony Uncle who gives the male point of view (and usually ends up giving the exact same answers that his female equivalent would give), and the Sex expert.
Yes, boys and girls of all teenage ages write to these three for their gems of wisdom. Half a million girls fancying Jason from Take That, wondering what they will ever do without their beloved being married to them (get a life, I say). Then there's everyone with acne. Problems with boyfriends who want sex, problems with boyfriends who don't want sex, problems with boyfriends who fancy the correspondent's best mate. I could go on forever.
However, these may seem slightly likely, half of them will be made up to pad the mag out. And quite often, this shows. One example from More magazine, from June of this year, explained how a man and his girlfriend had invited a friend of his girlfriend to join in on their sexual activities.
The end result, the letter said, was that the two girls were flat-hunting, so they could all live together and have plenty more of it. The man wasn't impressed about this. Obviously this is not very realistic scenario. As we all know from reading the advice columns, and stereotyped articles in the rest of the pages, only a fool would turn down an offer like that...
I don't know how I came up with this one - I think I heard some odd survey on the radio and was 'inspired'.
It's worth noting that at the time, lad-mags hadn't made a huge impact on the world. In our part of the world anyway.