Sunrise Adams on the April 2004 cover of Hustler
|Company||Larry Flynt Publications|
|Language||English, many others|
Hustler is a monthly pornographic magazine published in the United States. It was first published in 1974 by Larry Flynt. It was a step forward from the Hustler Newsletter, which was cheap advertising for his strip club businesses at the time. The magazine grew from a shaky start to a peak circulation of around 3 million; it has since dropped to approximately 500,000. It showed explicit views of the female genitalia, becoming one of the first major US-based magazines to do so, in contrast with relatively modest publications like Playboy.
Today, Hustler is still considered more explicit (and more self-consciously lowbrow) than such well known competitors as Playboy and Penthouse. It frequently depicts hardcore themes, such as the use of sex toys, penetration and group sex.
Larry Flynt Publications also licenses Hustler brand to the Hustler Casino in Gardena, California which is owned directly by Larry Flynt as an individual through his holding company El Dorado Enterprises, the Hustler Club chain of bars and clubs, and Hustler store chain that sells adult-oriented videos, cIothing, magazines and sex toys. The chain's flagship store is on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.
Of particular infamy are Hustler's cartoons, which have often featured blatantly violent and misogynistic themes. Gang rape, botched abortions, incest, pedophilia and racism have all been featured at one time or another as recurring motifs in the cartoons. One long-running cartoon, "Chester the Molester", presented the ongoing misadventures of a pedophile in his attempts to coerce young children into sexual activity with him. While such material has earned Hustler much criticism from feminists and other critics, Flynt and his supporters defend the cartoons as bawdy social satire. Similar defenses have been advanced on Hustler's behalf by more scholarly writers, most notably Laura Kipnis in her essay (Male) Desire and (Female) Disgust, published in 1993.
Another feature of Hustler is a column called "Asshole of the Month." In every monthly issue of the magazine, some public figure is selected for severe criticism as that month's asshole. An illustration showing a photograph of the criticized person's head emerging from the anus of a cartoon donkey is shown alongside the article.
In the 1970s, Hustler ran a comic strip feature entitled "Honey Hooker". In each installment, Honey would have graphic sexual encounters with any male (or female) she ran across. She might be in American colonial times one month or in a Super Bowl locker room the next. This feature was designed to compete against Playboy's Little Annie Fanny and Penthouse's Wicked Wanda. In keeping with Hustler's focus on the seamier and less romantic aspects of sexuality, Honey Hooker, unlike Fanny and Wanda, was explicitly portrayed as being a prostitute.
It also features amateurs in the Beaver hunt section of the magazine.
Hustler has long had a left-wing editorial policy on economics, foreign policy, and social issues. Flynt and Hustler are also noted for having a more populist and working-class outlook than the more upscale-oriented Playboy and Penthouse. Throughout the 1980s, Flynt used his magazine as a podium with which to launch attacks on the Reagan Administration and the Religious Right, and even published a short-lived political magazine called Rebel. During the controversy surrounding Bill Clinton's impeachment, Flynt publicly announced his sympathy for Clinton, and offered cash rewards to anyone with information regarding sexual impropriety on the part of the president's critics. In 2003, Flynt ran unsuccessfully for the office of Governor of California during that state's recall election.
Every month Hustler is mailed, uninvited and for free, to some of the offices of Members of the United States Congress. This practice began at some point between 1974 and 1983, and it continues as of 2010. Not all offices receive a copy. In an interview, Flynt explained, "I felt that they should be informed with what's going on in the rest of the world ... Some of them didn't appreciate it much. I haven't had any plans to quit."
In a 1983 parody of an advertisement for Campari, Hustler described the then-prominent fundamentalist Protestant minister Jerry Falwell having a drunken, incestuous encounter with his mother in an outhouse. Falwell sued Flynt, alleging libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The case was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court in Flynt's favor. The decision strengthened free speech rights in relation to parodies of public figures. See Hustler Magazine v. Falwell
Hustler is officially published by LFP, Inc, which also produces pornographic films. The abbreviation "L.F.P." originally stood for "Larry Flynt Publications."
A Canadian version of Hustler is published by a Quebec-based firm. This magazine is not owned by Larry Flynt, but is licensed to publish material from the American version. In general, Canadian Hustler imitates the appearance and tone of its American counterpart, with Canadian content added. In 1999, the magazine created a minor controversy in Canada by inviting readers to submit sexually explicit stories about Sheila Copps, a left-leaning member of the Liberal cabinet. There has also been an Australian version of the magazine.
During a bookstore signing in July 2011, Flynt stated that less than five percent of his income comes from the print magazine; he also speculated that the print magazine will not be around in 2 to 3 years.
LFP, Inc. publishes several other magazines that use the Hustler brand:
- Hustler's Taboo, which specializes in fetishistic material, such as the depiction of sexual bondage and urolagnia.
- Barely Legal, a primarily softcore magazine focusing on models between 18 and 23.
- Asian Fever, focusing on Asian models.
- Hustler XXX, a more generic hardcore offering.
In 1995, the company launched Hustler.com. Larry Flynt Productions, operates Hustler.com and a number of related sites, where it sells pictures and videos with content similar to that in its magazines. The site was targeted by Anonymous in Operation Payback in October 2010.
Erotic Movie Awards
During the Golden Age of Porn, and prior to getting into the movie business themselves, Hustler was one of two magazines that announced awards for adult sex films, the other being Adam Film World. They were discontinued in the late 1980s.
The awards were based on fan ballots printed in the publication. In announcing its third annual awards, the magazine said, "Hustler's erotic-movie awards are intended to reward excellence in the erotic-film industry and thereby encourage the fast-buck makers of mediocrity to clean up their act or go out of business."
- 1979 (3rd annual) recipients: Best Film — Sex World, Best Actress — Sharon Thorpe in Sex World, Best Actor — John Leslie in Sensual Encounters of Every Kind, Best Director — Anthony Spinelli for Sex World, Best Sex Scene — Harry Reems and Maria Lynn in Butterflies; Most Accomplished Fellatio Artist — Carol Connors in The Erotic Adventures of Candy, Most Accomplished Cunnilinguist — John Leslie in The Other Side of Julie.
- 1983 (7th annual) recipients: Best Film — The Dancers, Best Actress — Annette Haven in Peaches and Cream, Best Actor — John Leslie in Nothing To Hide, Best Director — Anthony Spinelli for The Dancers, Best Sex Scene — Jamie Gillis and Veronica Hart in Wanda Whips Wall Street; Most Accomplished Fellatio Artist — Annie Sprinkle in Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle, Most Accomplished Cunnilinguist — Annette Haven in Peaches and Cream.
- 1986 (10th annual) recipients: Best Film — New Wave Hookers, Best Actress — Colleen Brennan in Trinity Brown, Best Actor — Jerry Butler in Snake Eyes, Best Director — Gregory Dark for New Wave Hookers, Best Sex Scene — Traci Lords and Tom Byron in Sister Dearest; Most Accomplished Fellatio Artist — Ginger Lynn in Bedtime Tales, Most Accomplished Cunnilinguist — Danielle in Hostage Girls, Most Disappointing Film — Debbie Does Dallas III.
- Kipnis (2001) pp.134-135
- Kipnis (2001) p.149
- Hlavaty, Craig (2011-07-28). "Last Night: Larry Flynt Talks Sex, Lies And Rick Perry At Brazos Books". blogs.houstonpress.com. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- XBIZ (2004-10-28). "XBiz Interviews Larry Flynt: Part 2". XBIZ.com. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- Rhett Pardon (2010-10-22). "Hustler.com Hit With DDoS Attack - XBIZ Newswire". newswire.xbiz.com. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Hustler Third Annual Erotic Movie Awards", Hustler Magazine, April 1979, Vol. 5 No. 10, p. 29.
- "Hustler's 7th Annual Erotic Film Awards", Hustler Magazine, April 1983, Vol. 9 No. 10, p. 20.
- "Hustler's 10th Annual Erotic Movie Awards", Hustler Magazine, May 1986, Vol. 12 No. 11, p. 13.
- Kipnis, Laura (2001). "Reading Hustler". In Harrington, C. Lee; Bielby, Denise D. Popular culture: production and consumption. Blackwell readers in sociology. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 133–153. ISBN 0-631-21710-X.
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