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Rediscovering the “gay lifestyle” through 1970s smut magazines

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a magazine named QQ (initially titled Queen’s Quarterly) and its spin-off travel magazine, Ciao!Launched in the spring of 1969 with the slogan “For Gay Guys Who Have No Hangups,” QQ was a glossy consumer magazine.

Its stories covered food, health, fashion—and, in no uncertain terms, sex. It ran items with titles like “What Not to Wear to an Orgy” and “Glory Holes: A Piece of Vanishing Americana.” But unlike gay liberation magazines and newspapers of the time, it devoted little space to politics or activism.A post shared by Randy Walker (@carlettasbooks)Ciao!, which premiered in 1973, focused mainly on travel guides, offering information about bars, restaurants, and cruising spots in different cities and foreign countries.

In between, there were nude photo spreads, with models identified only by country. The magazine explained where to find dance clubs or leather bars, and what kind of crowd to expect at a particular spot.Hilderbrand writes that gay travel guides were not a wholly new idea.

In the 1950s and ’60s, some gay men turned word-of-mouth descriptions of local scenes into guides consisting of the names and addresses of bars, with coded descriptions.

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