The Tab Tail Wags at Lads’ Mags

JEFF CARPENTER does the hard work so you don’t have to- three top lad’s mags thoroughly reviewed for your reading pleasure.

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Daunting, isn’t it, the row upon row of beautiful, hairless women in skimpy underwear, just waiting to be grabbed, opened and entered? I am talking, of course, about the Lads’ Mags section in WH Smith.  After the shock last week that  Nuts voted Stephen Hawking numero uno ‘Greatest Bloke’, I decided to investigate.

Name: Nuts

Cost: £1.80

Embarrassment Rating When Buying: 4/10

Nuts was evidently beneath me, so I felt an eerie detachment whilst buying it.  Then the self-checkout malfunctioned, a be-uniformed assistant scurried over, looked at me, looked at the magazine, and lo and behold, the cringing had begun.

Flesh Rating: 7/10

The cover promised me a ‘sexy babe overload’: I was disappointed.  There was a 4 page colour spread of some grainy photos of Corrie actress Helen Flanagan in a bikini, but most of the breasts featured belonged to miscellaneous ‘Sexy snap-happy babes’ who had won/earned £100 to get them out for the lads, and did not seem particularly alluring.  The only decent tits on show were in  a six page spread of two women so airbrushed it makes the Sun look like gritty realism. Two of the pages were devoted entirely to their ‘bangers’, a close-up of one dauntingly perfect pair per page.

Good job: ‘Britain’s greatest blokes!’ turned out to be a 4 page illustration of the elected 20, all inexplicably at some rather high budget village fete.

Wank: The weekly TV guide in the back: it’s called ‘Nuts TV’, which sounds pretty zany, but is, in fact, just a TV guide.

Overall Rating: 3/10

The content is a bit mindless, but charming in its own way and I quite enjoyed the relentless captions, e.g. ‘Hang on… you’re a woman!’ by a picture of a Man Utd. player seemingly poking a female referee in the nipple.  Overall though, a disappointment.


Name: GQ (British Gentlemen’s Quarterly)

Cost: £3.99

Embarrassment Rating When Buying: 6/10

I escaped unscathed from this particular transaction, but I was quite embarrassed for the checkout assistant, who spent much longer than needed looking on the front cover for the price,  which I felt sure he was not going to find in Rihanna’s crotch.

Flesh Rating: 5/10

There was an extremely revealing and, in my humble opinion, very sexy 12 page photo shoot of Rihanna, including photos of her wearing a tight black two-piece reclining on a bed of roses; one of cream dripping from her mouth while holding a bowl of strawberries and cream; and another of her biting her hair in a lacy white number.  Mmm!  No tits of course, but still rather raunchy, and amusingly justified in the name of fashion, listing everything she wears in the corner of the image, e.g. “Bra, £139.  Knickers, £100.  Both by Fifi Chachnil.”  The Rihanna shoot apart, and a black-and-white photo of Monica Bellucci lying on a bed in only suspenders (covering her breasts with her hands) to advertise her new book, the lengthy magazine is not very dedicated to the female form.

Good job: Apart from the Rihanna photo shoot, I loved the ‘Tony Parsons’ section on the negative side of pornography – enlightening and extremely well argued. Rihanna did clinch it though. I’m a fan. Can you tell?

Wank: The number of adverts.  The Rihanna and Bellucci pics are turned into adverts for the things they wear as well as themselves, and it is nigh on impossible to find the contents page for the sheer number of full colour ads by Chanel, Cartier, Glenfiddich, Audi, etc.  The articles are often promoting something, and you wonder just how objective the ‘Must-have!’ lists really are.  Frustrating given the price.

Overall Rating: 7/10

It’s long (about 250 pages), definitely aimed at the more literary, older, and richer lads of Britain, and not overly obsessed with women.  However, with sections on cars, gadgets, sex, style, pick-up tips, drink, and jokes, this is without a doubt still a quintessential Lads’ Mag.  Expensive, but worth the money, and you can pretend you’re buying it for the up-market journalism.


Name: Men’s Fitness

Cost: £4.00

Embarrassment Rating when buying: 8/10

I really don’t look like the type who would buy Men’s Fitness, you know, physically. The look I had from the young lady at the till in WH Smith told me she thought likewise.

Flesh Rating: 7/10

Unsurprisingly given the title, there aren’t a lot of ladies in Men’s Fitness. I found a few in the ‘4 things she can’t RESIST’ section (incidentally, they are: broad shoulders, stubble, strong arms and a smile. Ah well, at least I can smile.), but they are hard to come by (in every sense of the word) and often rather sexless.  However, this magazine has a semi-naked man on basically every single page, even the adverts.  If you want to see a man’s torso, and more-so, this is a pretty fleshy mag.

Good job: The ‘Gymology’ section on ‘Lessons from the gym floor’.  Illustrated like a Tom of Finland pastiche, it outlines the pros and cons of various stereotypes.  For example, ‘The Poser’ is taking pride in his image, which will help him – yes – improve his image.  However, he may be overdoing his arms and neglecting his legs for the sake of visual gratification. Who knew.

Wank: A seven day illustrated workout for you to repeat until you get the next issue. I’m still dealing with the guilt.

Overall Rating: 5/10

I fail to see the point of this magazine.  If their target is subscriptions, they make no effort to entice you into next month’s edition.  That said, there is enough information on diets, shapes and workouts to sink a blimp.  As a one-off guide book for improving your figure, this is an incredibly thorough, well-written and at times humorous magazine.