PHOTOS: Revisiting The Golden Age Of Men’s Physique Magazines


We reported on the passing of muscle-magazine mogul Joe Weider over the weekend. Starting in the 1940s and 50s, Weider was responsible for publishing some of the biggest physique magazines of the day, which were the pre-Stonewall equivalent of gay porn, even if no one admitted it.

In addition to providing an erotic outlet for gay men, publications Adonis and Body Beautiful allowed men attracted to other men to communicate via “pen pal” features. (Think of them as the prehistoric version of social media.)

With that in mind, we’re posting covers from some of Weider’s early “bodybuilding” publications. Have these kinds of mags been a part of your fantasy repertoire?

Share in the comments below.


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  • jwrappaport

    Where can I subscribe to “Mr. America” or perhaps enlist with those studs on the cover?


    The bodybuilders of the 1940’s and 1950’s had great physiques–a good balance of mass and definition. They weren’t “feaky” looking like some of them are today. The only thing is that some of the bodybuilders from “back in the day” lacked truly impressive leg development. I wonder why that is…

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