“It was the luckiest day of my life when Dave’s appendix ruptured.”
Here’s a curious publication from a somewhat obscure American publisher. There catchily-titled Stories, Layouts and Press Inc were the rather anonymous publishers of this and other magazines – the most collectible being the Heavy Metal copy Gasm, which featured raunchy sci-fi comic strips over five issues. Private Story was also raunchy stuff, but aimed at a very different audience.
If you look at the cover of Private Story, you might see it as a female-targeted version of the men’s sensationalism magazines of previous decades, or perhaps a sexed-up version of the true crime magazines that also peddled sensationalism and sordid tales to a mostly female readership. Or, with the lurid headlines like “My lover’s wife cut off his PENIS!”, “Will vaginal cancer destroy my sex life?” and “I raped my patient!”, you might think that this is a very specifically medical version of the women’s magazines that litter the supermarket shelves today, selling on shock and outrage. And in a way, you’d be right.
There actual content is rather bizarre though. the stories are confessional style fiction of the sort that seems familiar enough, but they are somewhat more explicit, with stuff like “apparently Mark was a voyeur just like me, because.he spread my beaver even further until I felt my labia draw away from my clit skin” and “his white, thick shaft protruded from a curly forest of dark hair. Smitten with desire. my legs parted of their own accord” being somewhat more forthright than the stories you might find in Take a Break. These tales are accompanied by photo shoots featuring couples in semi nude (nothing below the waist) action. Reading these stories, you might suspect that this is a magazine aimed at the raincoat market, and yet peppered between them are ads clearly aimed at the housewife – products like vegetable slicers, wigs, diet pills and so on were not treally he standard porn mag advertising fodder. And the advice column from Anne Rice (possibly not the Interview with the Vampire author), though somewhat suspect in its ideas, seems far from the thinly veiled porno stories of similar columns in smut mags.
There’s precious little information to be found about Private Story – whether every issue followed the medical theme or this was just a special edition, for example… or just who Stories, Layouts and Press Inc were. Editor Gregory Mason might know the answers, and if by chance he stumbles upon this post, we’d love to hear from him.
Meanwhile, enjoy this curio from the swinging Seventies. Click the link to read the PDF.
Thanks to Gavin and Lucy Morrow for unearthing this magazine in the first place.