Ladymags Let It All Hang Out Online

Most of us probably associate magazines geared towards older, often married women with families — Ladies’ Home Journal or Good Housekeeping, for instance — with cooking and decorating tips, or articles related to career and family. However, while that might still hold true for the print versions of these publications, their online presence is increasingly more tart than tartes. (Profuse apologies.)

While you’ll likely never find the same sort of sex tips in, say, Parents magazine that you’d find in any given issue of Cosmopolitan, these sites are making more of an effort to beef up their sex-related content. After all, nowhere is it more true that sex sells than on the internet. Articles that wouldn’t necessarily appear in print, like Parents‘ sex journals or articles on the “best” sex positions (The Upside-Down Yawning Lion At Dawn, obviously) for couples, have a home on the web.

Yet, while sex-related content for parents might inspire a sigh of relief from readers, they don’t always sit well with marketers, who are often hesitant to have their products show up alongside articles on marital sex aids. Plus, some believe stories about organizing quickies with one’s spouse (or, you know, anyone’s spouse) don’t necessarily “match” with tips on how to decorate cupcakes for Junior’s school bake sale. Because goodness knows parents and homemakers cannot also be sexual beings.

Brenda White, the vp, publishing activation director for Starcom USA, told Mediaweek that the internet does not necessarily create a “no holds barred” environment where sex-related content is concerned: “Controversial content always raises eyebrows. It’s still a concern online.”

Editors, however, point that the experience of reading content online differs from that of reading magazines, with Woman’s Day editor in chief Elizabeth Mayhew calling online reading more “private” and magazine reading more of a public practice. (Although… don’t most people go online at work and read magazines at home? Pues, no se.)

One publication publicly bucking this trend is Ladies’ Home Journal, which is taking its sex and love-related advice column, “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” both online and to the small screen. The feature might be neatly packaged in traditional definitions of marriage, but it allows readers to open their minds where attitudes about older couples, often with children, and their sex lives are concerned.

Sex may or may not sell depending on who is expected to do the buying, but, you know. Sex tips are useful, both to single women in their 20s and moms / wives in their… extremely late 20s.



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