The cover of the first issue; art by Gengoroh Tagame.
|Website||"G-Men Official Site" G-men at Furukawa Shobu|
G-men (ジーメン Jīmen?) is a monthly Japanese magazine for gay men. Gay magazines in Japan, along with much gay culture, are segregated by 'type' (e.g., muscular men, older men, specific occupations); G-men was founded in 1994 to cater to gay men who preferred "macho fantasy", as opposed to the sleeker, yaoi-inspired styles popular in the 1980s, and focuses on "macho type" (muscular, bearish men) and gaten-kei (ガテン系, blue-collar workers).
Like most gay men's general-interest magazines, G-men includes editorial and photographic material, as well as prose stories and manga. G-men was designed to encourage steady readership by presenting a more well-defined fantasy image, and by running serialized, continuing manga stories (as opposed to the one-shot stories standard in other in gay men's magazines) which encouraged purchase of every issue. Gengoroh Tagame's work was an important influence on G-men's style; he provided the cover for the first 60+ issues, as well as manga stories for most issues. G-men was also one of the first gay men's publishers to offer collections of manga bound into tankōbon. The manga published in G-men, particularly Tagame's work, was influential in the development of manga for gay men as a marketable category.
G-men usually has approximately 300-500 pages, including several pages of glossy colour and some black and white photographs and drawings of hairy, sometimes bearded, muscular men in their 20s and 30s (these photographs are censored in accordance with Japan's rules; while they feature explicit depictions of sex, genitals — and most pubic hair — are obscured). The photographs sometimes feature traditional themes, such as fundoshi, traditional Japanese loincloths. Despite the inclusion of pornographic pictures and stories, however, G-men is not considered a pornographic magazine.
G-men has fewer general articles than other magazines such as Barazoku and more short fiction and serialized stories. Each month there are community listings, several different stories — often pornographic — and several in comic form as well, and advertisements from gay-related and gay-friendly businesses such as spas, clubs and hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants, host bars (hustler bars), brothels, and so forth.
Readers can also place personal ads free of charge, and each month there are several pages of these, most from men in search of romantic attachments, friends or sex partners. Such ads have long been a popular way for gay men to meet each other in Japan, though text messaging and the internet are probably more popular now.
The magazine is printed in Japanese only, and currently sells for ¥1800.
- McLelland, Mark (2000). Male homosexuality in modern Japan. Routledge. p. 128. ISBN 0-7007-1300-X.
- McLelland, Mark (2000). Male homosexuality in modern Japan. Routledge. pp. 139–140. ISBN 0-7007-1300-X.
- McLelland, Mark (2000). Male homosexuality in modern Japan. Routledge. p. 140. ISBN 0-7007-1300-X.
- G-men category page at publisher's website