“We’re simply trying to redefine the concept of masculinity in this post-modern world of sexual equality and non gender-specific cultural norms,” says Ian Hornington, editor of new men’s magazine Bollocks, as he defends and article on getting in touch with your inner self through interpreting the shape of your own excreta, in the publication’s debut issue. “Women’s magazines are full of stuff on bird things – like pregnancy, birth, orgasms and periods, and how their experience of them define their femininity. Well , taking a good long dump is one of those bloke things which define us as men – passing a really huge turd is about as close to the birthing experience as we’ll ever get. Why shouldn’t we share our experiences of it? Besides, it’s all very Freudian – shit is the average man’s main creative product – a pure expression of his inner self.”
Hornington, former editor of both the Sunday and Daily Excess newspapers, and son of noted British porno director Jack Hornington (responsible for such classics as Hockey Girls in Detention and The Spy Who Made My Bald Man Cry), rejects outright allegations that lad’s mags, usually packed with photographs of scantily-clad female micro-celebrities, are simply semi-respectable wank mags which can be can openly read at work, or even on the bus. “With porn so readily available on the internet, why would someone want to buy our magazine just to whack off over some pictures of C-list soap actresses in their knickers?” he ponders. “The girls are just window-dressing, designed to catch the eye of the casual reader and lure them – what we’re really about is putting the average bloke back in touch with his primeval instincts.” Indeed, a casual perusal of the contents ofBollocks‘ first issue reveals the semi-naked TV babes jostling for space with features on human endurance such as ‘How Long Can You Stick Your Dick in a Live Plug Socket Before Your Testicles Explode?’; male fashion items like ‘Tattooed Buttocks: Turn On or Turn Off?’; and lifestyle items highlighting firearms as a potential alternative to viagra – ‘Shooting Iron’. Articles on masturbation (including a competition entitled ‘Which Sugarbabe is Your Masturbatory Fantasy?’), penis enlargement and breast implants for men, also feature prominently. Such content has led critics to claim that Bollocks‘ target audience appears to be misogynistic psychopaths and potential sex-offenders, and accuse the magazine of glamourising mindless violence and encouraging reckless anti-social behaviour.
Hornington is quick to dismiss such views, arguing that his magazine merely reflects wider social trends, pointing to the popularity of such programmes as Jackass as proof that young males are increasingly seeking stimulation through increased risk-taking and ever more bizarre behaviour. “Cheap thrills and excitement – something to get the adrenaline going! That’s what the average geezer on the street wants,” opines Hornington. “Modern life is sapping our masculinity – it’s not like the old days when we had a good war every twenty years or so, where we could let off a bit of steam and indulge our animal instincts for rape, torture and murder! Nowadays men have to bottle it all up, until it suddenly explodes – just look at all those atrocities in Iraq! If only we’d had armed conflicts on a more regular basis, they would never have happened! Even if they’d let us have a few riots, mass gang warfare between Mods and Rockers or even some proper football hooliganism! But no, we’re all civilised new men now, in full control of our raging passions!”
He flatly denies that Bollocks is in any way promoting violence, arguing that the magazine is actually providing a valuable public service by attempting to offer young males alternative avenues for thrill-seeking. “In the next issue we’re going to be extending this commitment to public service by including a ‘Best Prostitute’ guide. Toms in Britain’s biggest cities will be rated on the basis of price, variety of services, risk of the clap and overall value for money,” he explains. “I don’t see how we can get much more socially responsible than that! I mean, it’s in everyone’s interest to make sure blokes don’t catch a dose from sleeping with some tart – they could easily pass it on to their wives and girlfriends! See, we do take the female perspective into account!” Hornington is also nonplussed by allegations that Bollocks is mysoginistic and, by overtly linking sex and violence in items like ‘Shooting Iron’, is coming dangerously close to encouraging male violence against women. “Look, just like everything else in the magazine, ‘Shooting Iron’ is actually all about using firearms safely in sex play – it’s full of safety tips like keeping the safety on until the last minute and only firing into the ceiling! I don’t know what the fuss is about – firearms are all about sex! They’re the ultimate aphrodisiac,” says a perplexed Hornington. “As for being misogynistic? Look, it’s not that we hate women, we just believe that they are totally irrelevant to most genuinely male activities!”
According to Hornington the main agenda of women’s magazines is the redundancy of men, whether it be for reproduction, sexual gratification, homebuilding or more practical tasks. “It’s clear that modern women believe they don’t need men in their lives – just look at the number of articles in their magazines about artificial insemination, which vibrators give the best orgasm, the joys of lesbianism and car maintenance,” he declares, warming to his theme. “At Bollocks we’re just trying to redress the balance and show men that they don’t really need birds in their lives. Let’s face it, men do not naturally seek the companionship of women, except for sex. But really, when was sex with a woman ever as good as a wank? In a masturbatory fantasy you get to do whatever you want – nobody telling you they’ve got a headache, or they don’t want to eat it! Once sex is out of the equation, we just don’t need ’em!”
Hornington does concede that onanism does have some disadvantages, the lack of real breasts to grope or ejaculate over, for instance, but believes even this can easily be overcome. “Breast implants for blokes are becoming increasingly common – in this issue we focus on a guy in St Albans whose now got a 36D bust. He’s never been more popular with his male friends, he let’s ’em all have a quick grope down the pub! Plus, he gets to whack off over his own tits when he has a wank,” he explains. “The truth is that the average bloke wants a companion who can talk about the important things in life with him – booze, footie, motors – and share those essential male life activities with – fart-lighting, puking and drunken violence. I’m afraid women just don’t fit the bill. Ultimately, a bloke needs another bloke as his closest mate- they’re far more understanding of men’s problems, more considerate of male needs, like excessive alcohol intake and they’re far more willing to take it up the arse!”