British Soft Porn Pioneer Dead

Gordon Sergeant was an unique soft porn pioneer. While American soft porn pioneers such as Hugh Hefner loved classic nudes of beautiful young women, Gordon Sergeant turned his fetish fantasy love of seeing young adult women being spanked into the little JANUS Magazine and bookstore empire. JANUS was always a very tame magazine, and never very explicit. It was always a very soft core approach to adult entertainment, and had a small following worldwide of men who enjoyed Gordon Sergeant’s peculiar little fetish magazines. JANUS survived for decades in the U.K. with only a small circulation and a bookstore on Old Compton Street that sold the magazine and other similar fetish magazines and videos. It was funny that such a specialized fetish business could find enough of a market to stay in business as long as it has.

Many larger publication companies offered fetish magazines over the last few decades that specialized in young adult women being spanked as a sexual fetish, but almost all have folded or went out of business. It just seems like such a boorish and politically incorrect fetish these days, although many adults certainly practice some sort of fetish conduct in their own private bedrooms with their lovers. Even magician David Blaine has bragged about his love of spanking his then-girlfriend Fiona Apple as sexplay before, so adults do more unusual things in the bedroom than most will admit.

While most porn in the Western World has grown into hard sexual penetration stuff, Gordon Sergeant’s softcore fetish magazines always seemed like a peculiar little approach to porn for older men and never seemed to appeal all that much to young men. Many of the stories and features in JANUS seemed oddly like some old British history lesson more than anything. Yet, the magazine was odd enough that it has a collector’s appeal and back copies on Ebay sell for good money.

As tame as JANUS was, it still faced many legal challenges in the UK, although most often the models in the magazines obviously weren’t being really harmed at all. JANUS was just some old man’s fantasy magazine and was about as safe as milk. The magazine and bookstore continue to exist today as one of the very few surviving fetish magazines that specializes in the spanking fetish. Bondage and related fetishes seem to be a much larger market by comparison, with strength in the both the straight and gay communities. But, some of that stuff gets pretty hard compared to very tame approach that JANUS has always taken. JANUS was about as softcore as it could be, just like PLAYBOY is the most softcore of the mainstream men’s magazines.

Gordon Sergeant was above all a classic English gentleman. He fluently spoke several languages, and was a great marksman. He reportedly loved Jeffrey Bernard which he would drink at the Coach And Horses pub in London. In no way did he match any crude stereotype of some pornographers. He leaves this world making a peculiar little mark in the history of softcore porn. He also never seemed to have a shortage of finding beautiful young adult women willing to be paid to model for his softcore spanking fantasies in his magazines. Many seemed to be eager participants, such as the beautiful Paula Meadows who became both a model and an illustrator for JANUS. And that’s the bottom line.

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