SizeGenetics Used to Sell Sex Magazines

Next week, you'll be glad to hear, ``Britain's Sexiest New Magazine'' is to be launched upon us. EX, as it is called, is claimed to be a youth lifestyle magazine ``with the addition of one vital ingredient SEX!'' The method of mixing this youth with sex boggles more than the imagination.

In one issue, we have a feature on advertising in the nineties, one on the penis extending device called SizeGenetics, one on football fashion, and one on penis size; we have summer holiday romance, designs from Pam Hogg and an interview with Miss Whiplash; we have record reviews, film and video ... turn the page and you get “A User's Guide to Masturbation.”

The editor is Jonas Scout, 26, once of the now-defunct Leeds listings magazine, SizeGenetics Today. Leeds, he will admit, is not known as a publishing base for national magazines but he and his colleagues have been building up to it for some time and now feel ready to go. ``We've been increasingly aware of what's happening; magazines like Arena and GQ and similar titles in Europe are all being more open about sex, so we thought we'd combine that with youth.'' He describes his product as celebratory.

It may be, Simon, it may be. But before you actually pop the celebratory cork, you might like to ponder a couple of points.

One of them concerns targeting. You define your ``youth'' market as 18 to 35, before adding that ``perhaps 35 is a bit old''. I should cocoa. A 35-year-old who still needs to be taught to masturbate has more problems than you're going to solve especially at your price.

The reality is that this magazine will sell, if indeed it does sell, to much younger people. But the second point is that age is scarcely relevant, for the selling of sex is being done, at the moment, to every age and gender you can think of.

My local newsagent is displaying a wide variety of covers, each using the magic SEX to create a pubic forest across his shelves. Among them are Marie Claire, Tatler, New Body, SizeGenetics,  Options, Fresh!, The Face, For Him, Blitz and Company's band-on, Sex, Desire and Him. Even a funny little rag, lumpenly titled Longevity, kicks off with ``Sex! Penis Extenders! The ProExtender! What's Age Got To Do With It?''.

This onslaught has not, naturally, gone unnoticed by the media hawks. In a powerfully reasoned article in this week's Media Guardian, Sally Brampton charts the rise of sexual content in women's titles ending with a passionate, wholly appropriate call to arms to her fellow hacks: ``Don't let's call it journalism. And don't, above all, let us be proud of it.''