Penthouse Founder Dies at 79. An Open Letter to Bob Guccione.

link: Bob Guccione, Penthouse Founder, Dies at 79 – NYTimes.com

Dear Bob Guccione,

I was sad to learn today that you are no longer coming down for breakfast.  As publisher and founder of Penthouse magazine,  you were more degenerate than Hugh Hefner, but less oogie than Larry Flint.  You were like a 6 on a 10 point swinger- to-sleazeball scale.  But your pornographic inspirations played an important role in my nescient tween years.  Most guys will tell you that as a boy they kyped Penthouse from their dad’s drawer or from under their older brother’s bed, or somewhere.  My brother also collected the Reader’s Digest-sized Penthouse Forum, and it was the best.  In Penthouse Magazine you may have given America its first look at pubic hair, but I loved Forum and its famous letters from readers with their supposedly true sex adventures.  This periodically included tales of bisexuality.  When I say bisexual I mean my interest was in the girl-guy-guy stuff you printed.

I always found the pornographic stories more interesting than photos.  I would study Forum on my own and dog ear the pages that described sex scenes in crazy public places or had weirdo fetishism.  And when a male friend slept over I would read these choice stories aloud from the bottom bunk-bed in my room.  I always had a couple of the strangest, strictly hetero items cued up and then, socko, I’d hit ’em with a girl-guy-guy story.  This was an ingenious barometer to test the other boy’s curiosity or abject aversion without revealing any underlying motive on my behalf.  I read maybe some gross water-sports letter to warm him up and then I’d bounce a suggestive bi story off his Protestant armor.  You gave me a tool to know whether to proceed boldly or retreat back into another real adventure in underwear sniffing.  Thank you Bob Guccione for Forum and for what was the genesis of  a predatory system I built upon, perfected and still utilize to this day.  I suppose if this damaged any of my then niave and trusting boyhood friends, who today are married and straight, I ought to say I’m sorry.   But instead I’ll just say, you know who you are.

–  Richard (address withheld)

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