Tales from the Porn Side

SCREW Magazine Founder Al Goldstein

Al Goldstein founded SCREW magazine in 1968, a time when the legal system was trying to decide what constituted obscenity constitutionally. He would be arrested on obscenity charges 19 times over the next three years.

Published Mon 27th Jun 2016
By itsAdult / Tales from the Porn Side

SCREW Magazine Founder Al Goldstein

Never forget master of erotica Al Goldstein, founder of the notorious SCREW magazine.

 

Little known fact, Jerry Lewis was an Al Goldstein fan.

Al Goldstein founded SCREW magazine in 1968, a time when the legal system was trying to decide what constituted obscenity constitutionally. He would be arrested on obscenity charges 19 times over the next three years. Over the years, he spent millions of dollars to fight for First Amendment rights. Goldstein was the genius behind the adult-themed public access show "Midnight Blue." So ground breaking was his show that you can be sure there would be no Howard Stern if there was no Al Goldstein. Screw folded in 2003, and in a 2004 interview with the New York Times, Goldstein said that at times, since his magazines demise, he was forced to sleep in his car and live in a homeless shelter. At the magazine's 30th Anniversary in 1998, Goldstein was incredibly optimistic about the magazine's future. Below is a letter from Al Goldstein to loyal SCREW readers after 30 years of success, the he still believed that the best was yet to come. That was right around the birth of internet porn.

SCREW Magazine 30th Year Anniversary Letter

When Jim Buckley and I founded SCREW in 1968, I had no idea that the magazine would have such longevity. It was a brilliant idea, of course, but it was also somewhat of a selfish proposition: a sex newspaper for the carnal consumer, published by someone looking for the same commodities. Yet it’s outlasted the hordes of feminist who protested it, the politicians who hoped to censor it and everyone else who hoped to simply ignore it. SCREW magazine has been the lone voice of sanity in what has become an increasingly insane country for 30 years, and it’s still going strong.

With staying power like that, who needs Viagra?

When it first hit the stands, SCREW was a magazine like no other. Sex in all its forms was our focus, our main thrust, and we proved it on every page. That issue featured articles like “Diary of a Sex Addict,” “Sex in Never-Never Land: Does Barbarella Suck??” and my own “The Art of Buying Dirty Books.” It also included the product-review column SCREW Goes to Market and the ground-breaking gay-interest column Homosexual Citizen, the first editorial space given to topics affecting the queer community in the history of publishing. We were ready to address issues effecting members of all sexual communities from the beginning, and we haven’t let up since.

For a while, SCREW had a banner that read, “First and Best in the Field It Created.” That wasn’t just an example of my typical humility, it was a statement of fact. Back in 1968, there was no pornography industry (at least not as we know it today); until then, people could only get their thrills by watching “documentaries” with nudists playing volleyball, and SCREW was instrumental in changing that. In 1972, my review of the film Deep Throat single-handedly jump-started the mainstream pornographic industry and started the era of “Porno Chic.” Without that review, people wouldn’t have lined up around the block to see the film, and the mainstream press wouldn’t have picked up on itkeither, making it the national phenomenon it became.

 

But along with the triumphs that SCREW enjoyed came the hardships. There were obscenity busts, there were libel cases, there was harassment unprecedented in the annals of American publishing. If the New York Times had been harangued and attacked the way that SCREW has been for the past three decades, the media would have been up in arms, demanding the ousting of any politician who would dare try to subvert the First Amendment. But the attention of the local and national authorities has been focused essentially on one man and one man only—Al Goldstein.

And who stood by me in those days? No one. I may have had the phalanx of lawyers poised to protect me, I may have had people give their tacit “moral support,” but the only person I could count on through those times was myself. When John Lindsay was arresting blind news dealers whose only crime was selling SCREW, when district attorneys representing Wichita, Kansas (where we had a total of four subscribers, three of them postal agents) as well as federal government arrested me on trumped-up obscenity charges, when the Pillsbury corporation sued me for satirizing their sacred Pillsbury Dough Boy, it was my own strength of spirit that inspired my victories. Although people would like to brand me as a sex maniac, a pervert or a subjugator of women (far from it; I have liberated women to demand more and better sex from their partners), I have come through it all with one label only: “Survivor.”

But I’m not bitter. Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill me makes me stronger,” and it is because of the people who tried to put SCREW to sleep like a mangy dog that I’ve managed to flourish. Whenever anyone tells me something is too dangerous to do, whenever anyone tells me that a topic is too taboo to approach, it only serves to strengthen my resolve to go ahead and do it. That’s been the secret of SCREW’s success and it’s been the reason for my own personal success as well.

The occasion of this 30th Anniversary isn’t just a time for looking back onSCREW’s accomplishments, though. It’s also time to look ahead to its future. Neither SCREW magazine nor I am going away anytime soon, whether the Christian right or politically correct knee-jerk liberals like it or not. We will continue to discover the world’s premiere erotic artisans, expose America’s sexual charlatans and praise those people who make this country safe against the forces of Puritanism and censorship. I will fuck those forces the way I fuck all my enemies: With the same spirit of truth, liberation and courage that has brought me to SCREW’s 30th Anniversary.

Source: Filth.Media

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