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Tuesday
Aug022011

Lust in Space: Sex and the Future in Penthouse Magazine (1978)

Readers of Penthouse magazine were treated to a special "Science and the Future" issue in October of 1978, which acted as a sort of coming out party for OMNI magazine. OMNI, "a magazine of science, science fiction and the future," was launched in October, 1978 by Kathy Keeton, the future wife of Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione.

The issue included an article on robot rights, fiction by Anthony Burgess about the decline of the British Empire in 1985, hilarious 70's fashion photography of the future, a look at six different car designs of the year 2001, and a nine page preview of what makes OMNI the "first magazine of the 21st century."

As a gentleman of the post-print pornography generation, I can't say that I'm terribly familiar with Penthouse. But this issue looks like pretty standard fare with a sci-fi twist; naked women [dressed as aliens] in provocative poses, hokey cartoons, and those infamous Penthouse letters. I never thought anything futuristic like this would ever happen to me but...

 

SPACE: the final, full-frontal frontier... the last hurrah... to go where no man has ever gone before, the forbidden and yet insidiously alluring planet of NYMPHON in the second quadrant of PHI DELTA PUBIS, hard by the tumescent moons of GLUTEON MAXIMUS. It was here that I said good-bye to an intrepid friend, a great lady, whose heaving decks and smoldering afterburners had served me well -- the Yenta Prize, peripatetic mistress of the cosmic seas. I beamed down... down into the swirling, choking vapors that envelop NYMPHON, down to the very floor of this curious planet where, unused to the dense, jellylike atmosphere, I passed out.

The Star Wars cartoon below certainly reminds me of this article from 1928 about robot lovers of the future

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Reader Comments (5)

I was a freshman in college when Omni was released, and there was a Penthouse road show at the student center. We all got copies of this issue of Penthouse and the first issue of Omni. We also met the featured Pet in this issue, who signed autographs.

August 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge P

Amazing, I didn't know that history. But having read this, it's so clear that the general appearance of Penthouse and Omni were so similar (cover layouts, typefaces, etc.).

Did Omni even make it *to* the 21st Century?

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWutzke

A bit surprised you can show that cartoon in this blog, or is this less family friendly than I imagined? Why not show the whole article then?

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHiyram

@Hiyram Because if you look at that cartoon and see anything but a little robot coming out of R2D2 then I suspect you're old enough to not need protection from such an image.

August 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterMatt Novak

Wutzke... OMNI magazine made it to 1995/1996. Ms. Keeton died of breast cancer I believe at about that time... and that did in OMNI. There was talk about an OMNI revival in 2006 or so, but I think the economic downturn put a stake into that. Mr. Guccione and his son were going start OMNI back up again.

September 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJim R.

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