Friday, 11 July 2014

Guest Posting: Early Janus Days

The following came as an e-mail from Leslie, and I reproduce it in full as a guest posting. If you have a good memory to share with us, then please sent it to

Not sure why I have come late to your blog but maybe I am blinded by the sheer volume of material on the t'internet. Not all good it has to be said.

 However your blog has lightened my day by reminding me that there are people out there who remember the days when our appetite was only fed monthly by way of carefully purchased magazines from a quiet backstreet newsagent!

Your historical input, though aimed at informing the youngsters (under 50!)....has given me a good smile or two.

Being a little older than yourself, I have been 'at it' since about 1969 and can put some further detail to the pre-Janus (as many know it) days. Things started off in about '72 with an A6 photo booklet called "Search" which catered for three distinct fetishes, Rubber, Leather and CP.

 A spin off in the same format called "Mentor" appeared which as you indicated only ran for a few issues, still covering the three fetish topics and running in parallel with "Search". This was still being produced in the A6 format before the name changed over to "Janus" again still in the small format. Soon Janus produced three "specials" in the summer of '73 which catered for the three fetish main interests, however the spanking edition outsold the other two several times over. Thereafter Janus was about one single topic and one topic only.

In 1974 Janus introduced a larger format (the same size as the three specials) for the magazine approx A5 or just a little larger. It's content was a mixture of photo's, stories and most importantly the "readers letters" section which I believe fascinated an entire generation of readers, in fact it drew in those who had seen those spanking letters to Penthouse magazine back in 1967. A further three spanking specials were produced, bringing the reader additional and perhaps a more highly tuned version of the monthly output. In the late 70's the format was changed to the final A4 style which remained until its recent demise. All copies were identified by Volume and Number, until a re-vamp saw the system re-start at Number One. Until that point I was the owner of every single copy of these magazines that had been produced, as a personal collection, including all the "specials". At this time I had split somewhat acrimoniously from my long time girlfriend, a well spanked and caned girlfriend she had been too. I was threatened with being "outed" and so to protect my professional life I somewhat mistakenly parted company with this collection, for next to nothing (no E-bay in those days).

 Once things had settled, I recommenced my collection starting with the larger format versions which were re-numbered to start at "One". I still have all these magazines, together with the notable additions of "Roue" and "Blushes" and their spin-offs. I noted your views about how the printed article finally gave way to the internet but there was also a secondary element.

We started to see the the world change, whereby some fetishes were being squeezed by the onset of the sort of the sort of sexual fascism that is present today. The written content was changed to reflect only the consensual and to all but eliminate any reference to childhood or youth. One look at a 1970's Janus would have many of today's twittering classes go running for the hills! The changes started to make the magazines look sanitised and bland just like the US influenced 70's mags like Corporal and Sting (later to be a sister product to Janus for a while). However, much of the content of the earlier magazines is unlikely to be found due to the moving conveyor belt of acceptability, as we all swerve down the route of officially trashing the 20th Century and all it gave us, having fought long legal battles to overcome censorship. (God help DLT). I wonder how much will end up in the "secret" section of the British Library... Perhaps all of the Janus "members only" paper pamphlets produced in the '80s along with the Eric Wildman pamphlets from the early fifties.

Your blog has indicated where some of the earlier material can now be found, scanned in, for internet users to view. Although "Uncle Peter's" site seems to have vanished, some Blushes stories can be found under Mr Whacker.

Please feel free to cut and paste any of this information and comment to your blog. Time passes very quickly and one wonders just what I am to do with my large quantity of printed material from times gone by! Regards Leslie
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