HUSTLER® is America’s most popular adult magazine. Based in Beverly Hills, California, it has been publishing monthly since July 1974.

The story of HUSTLER Magazine is told in its history.

Since the first issue hit newsstands, HUSTLER has been the one national publication to confront the establishment by offering explicit sex, politics, satire, celebrities, controversy, scandals and more—free of BS and pretentiousness.

1974. Born out of the Hustler Newsletter, a newsletter advertising his clubs, the first issue of HUSTLER Magazine goes on sale. Few people realize that this is the opening salvo in Flynt’s war against censorship and sexual repression. For the first time in a widely available magazine, female genitals are on full, unflinching display. America is shocked and scandalized, even as men rush to newsstands to buy a copy. A frank discussion of human sexuality is about to begin.

Aug 75 Hustler Magazine Cover1975. HUSTLER publishes nude photos of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the August issue. Sales skyrocket. Celebrities and politicians are caught on film buying HUSTLER (along with the rest of America’s male population). If the world didn’t know it before, they know it now: Larry Flynt has no tolerance for the status quo. Irreverence is his hallmark. People can’t wait to see what outrageous thing Flynt will publish next.

The December issue features an interracial pictorial titled “Butch: A Black Stud and His Georgia Peach.” It depicts a model fantasizing that she’s a plantation owner’s daughter who has sex with a well-hung slave. America’s Southern states, still reeling from the civil rights battles of the 1960s, try to boycott the magazine. But even die-hard racists can’t resist buying a copy.

1976. Flynt is indicted on obscenity and pandering charges in ultraconservative Cincinnati, Ohio, where he’s prosecuted by Simon L. Leis Jr. Found guilty by a jury inflamed by HUSTLER’s outrageous content, Flynt is sentenced to 25 years in prison, but his lawyers have the unjust conviction thrown out on appeal. The higher courts recognize that porn is not harmful to normal, healthy adults and that short of yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater, Americans have the right to say and print whatever they want.

1977. Printing pictures of a decapitated soldier or mangled corpse is legal, but Larry Flynt is prosecuted for showing nude women with their legs spread in HUSTLER. His response is “The Real Obscenity: War,” a January photo-feature filled with horrifying images the government didn’t want Americans to see.

The February issue includes a layout of two pregnant women admiring each other’s naked bodies. And, in August, HUSTLER unleashes the world’s first Scratch ’N’ Sniff centerfold. Guess what part of the girl’s anatomy you had to scratch to get a whiff. America is once again scandalized.

1978. Flynt moves his corporate headquarters from Columbus, Ohio, to Southern California. Before heading west, HUSTLER staffers gather on the steps of the capital building and collectively flip off the Buckeye State.

In a surprise response to his religious critics, the maverick publisher announces that, henceforth, his magazine will embrace Christian values. Evangelists from coast to coast praise God for Larry Flynt’s “religious conversion”…until copies of HUSTLER featuring sexually explicit scenes from the Bible start rolling off the press. Right-wing Christian zealots are horrified.

Instead of a sexy model, the cover of HUSTLER’s April issue features a rabbit nailed to a cross. Of course, it’s just a stuffed toy, but that doesn’t stop people from howling in protest—except for HUSTLER fans, who understand this is commentary about the commercialization of Easter.

The cover of the May edition takes pregnancy to a new extreme: a realistically painted cutaway view of a baby inside the womb. Wow! What other men’s magazine would have dared to do this?!

The Kentucky-born iconoclast follows up his “religious conversion” by announcing he “will no longer treat the women in his magazine as pieces of meat.” Feminist celebrations are cut short when the cover of his last “All Meat” issue depicts a woman being put into a meat grinder. Outraged feminists occupy the HUSTLER offices until police arrive to escort them out.

During his obscenity trial in an Atlanta suburb on March 6, Flynt and defense attorney Gene Reeves are shot by white supremacist Joseph Paul Franklin, apparently because of the “Black Stud and His Georgia Peach” pictorial. Franklin is never tried for the attack. After a grueling recovery, Flynt goes on to cement his legacy as a shrewd businessman and champion of free speech.

1982. Are fat women beautiful? Embracing the maxim that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, HUSTLER publishes its first (and only) obese centerfold, Lulu, in the August issue. Not everyone’s fantasy, but so what? People want to see her anyway. It turns out everybody likes looking at a train wreck.

110614_HustlerFamily_HustlerMag_Fallwell1983. What would become the most significant ad parody in publishing history appears in the November issue of HUSTLER. The real ads had celebrities talking about the first time they tasted Bacardi rum. HUSTLER’s spoof has fundamentalist preacher Jerry Falwell recalling the first time he had sex—with his mother in an outhouse! Falwell sues for libel, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

1988. After a series of decisions and appeals, the Falwell lawsuit winds up in America’s highest court. Despite mocking it in the past, Flynt is vindicated. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules that public figures cannot recover damages for “intentional infliction of emotional distress” without showing that the contested matter contained a falsehood made with “actual malice.” To this very day, the mainstream American media acknowledge a deep debt to Flynt for broadening the scope of our First Amendment protections.

1995. HUSTLER.com is launched to provide photos and videos to the digital world. Currently, LFP Internet Group operates more than 60 adult Websites, including HUSTLER.com, HUSTLERMagazine.com, BarelyLegal.com, and Ten.com

1996 – 2012. Sexy photos, smart editorial and controversy continues…

2013. HUSTLER Magazine continues its tradition of high-profile Honeys with a pair of rebellious newsmakers. Val Midwest, busted for indecent exposure after posing topless at her Nebraska high school, gets back at the local prudes by baring all in a Holiday issue exclusive. Another gorgeous rebel with a cause is Florida schoolteacher Olivia Sprauer, aka Victoria James, fired for moonlighting as a swimsuit model. Victoria’s sweet revenge: her first all-nude shoot, which appears in the March ’14 issue.

2014. HUSTLER turns 40!

 


 

LFP Publishing also produces a dozen other magazines each month, including the popular Barely Legal and Taboo.

Taboo and Barely Legal Magazine