Oh that? I read it for the articles. Really.
January 5, 2006 11:25 AM   Subscribe

GuyFilter: Can you suggest a men's magazine that one generally does read for the articles?

This one's for a friend. He's not a mefite but sometimes lurks.

He's looking for a men's magazine with bonafied content. Tends to find Maxim a bit too trashy. He would like a magazine that covers clothes, maybe a bit on cars, current culture, health, women, finance, outdoors, very leading edge.

On my friend: Late twenties. Very intelligent IT professional. Upper middle class income (as it seems to apply here in the USA.). Urbanite. Digs sports (Ultimate Disc, paintball, martial arts, bikes and dodge ball). Definitely liberal but will entertain all points of view. Digs music, especially if you can dance to it. He can get down with some b-boy. As for books; he tends to read sci-fi, fantasy and non-fiction (financial, technical, and things that pertain to his other likes).

On the magazine: Needs to be English language (British or American) that's easily enough obtained by mail or shops in the USA. Either paper or digital will work. Please point out its particular appeal if possible. Going into the shops and looking at the racks for 30 minutes seems to be insufficient for sussing out the particular appeal of any given mag (ie, what makes *this* magazine different from it's competitors?) If needed, a combination of 2-3 magazines might work here.

Whatcha got?
posted by horseblind to Media & Arts (29 answers total)
Sure, Playboy, pretty much any issue from the 1960s.
posted by cptnrandy at 11:32 AM on January 5, 2006

Details, Esquire, GQ - has he checked those out? Esquire and even GQ might be a little too stodgy if he wants bleeding edge, but I have a lot of guy friends who love Details. I don't think any of the three I mentioned delved into SF very much, but everything else you mentioned, yeah.
posted by iconomy at 11:34 AM on January 5, 2006

GQ has gotten better recently and seems to match a lot of your stated needs pretty well. It covers most of the aforementioned to some degree, and their articles have been decent.
posted by Mrmuhnrmuh at 11:36 AM on January 5, 2006

I am female, but I read Esquire and GQ. Esquire is kinda better.
posted by gai at 11:36 AM on January 5, 2006

Arena or GQ.
posted by fire&wings at 11:45 AM on January 5, 2006

Cargo is a magazine that's all about gadgets and other things that guys might love to buy. A little about cars, a little about clothes, a few home items... fashion, toys, trends, tools, etc. It comes with sticky tabs for marking things of special interest.
posted by wryly at 11:46 AM on January 5, 2006

Girl-perspective: I read Esquire now and then; I used to like it more, but it's still good -- def. better than GQ, imo (which I used to read a lot, but haven't in years).

And yeah, I loooove old Playboys from the '60s! I was reading one the other day at my bf's (he collects them) and I was really astonished at the quality and depth of the writing on political and social topics.
posted by scody at 11:47 AM on January 5, 2006

Your friend should go to a flea market and buy old Playboy magazines. Anything earlier than approx 1985 is good. Buy a big stack. The articles are great -- interviews with Miles Davis, Andy Wharhol, civil rights leaders of DSLC, articles by senators, etc. etc. The fashion spreads are also better than anything you can find currently. Plus, girls who are actually hot. I have one from the 1970s where the playmate was in the Peace Corps. Hottttt. The car articles might leave a bit to be desired. And the mag is way before snowboarding or paintballing. So one might need speciality magazines here... which brings me to my strategy.

What I like to do is go into a magazine shop and buy a magazine I've never seen before. I try to do this once every couple of months, so that I buy 10ish mags in a year. The way to be broadly educated is to read broadly. Check out: Sport compact car, Art Forum, SciAm, Wallpaper([good mag]), ID, Surfers Journal, and maybe also McSweenys or the Baffler.

Basically, there's no magazine that's good enough for me to subscribe to, even at a $1 per issue. I really really wanted to start a company a few years ago that would be a clipping service for guys like you, er, your "friend." This company would let you select 10 to 15 magazines to track, and a bunch of long-post blogs as well (not engadget or gawker, think 3quarksdaily). Then you would get a monthly PDF version of summaries of articles... There is a news magazine that does this, "The Week," but I'd sure like it if they read Playboy (and Seed, and sandboarding blogs as well). They get around the legality by quoting but not too much. Much less than a blog post might. So it might not be legal to do what I want. But fuck, I'd pay $100 / year for it...
posted by zpousman at 11:49 AM on January 5, 2006

A shout out to the ladies: Thanks for your contributions. I'm glad that "GuyFilter" didn't scare you off.
posted by horseblind at 11:50 AM on January 5, 2006

I was also delighted to see all those natural breasts in all sizes -- when was the last time you saw a Playboy centerfold with an A-cup?
posted by scody at 11:50 AM on January 5, 2006

er, above comment meant as a P.S. to my previous comment...none of the intervening comments showed up on preview. Sorry. Carry on. And yes, Details is worth checking out, too.
posted by scody at 11:52 AM on January 5, 2006

I stopped reading Details and GQ about 2-3 years ago when they decided they would rather fight Maxim then rise above it. I couldn't say whether they are better now.

Esquire has a very good selection of money, women, fashion and interviews, though it can sometimes be a bit disappointing. Lately, I'm liking Wired more and more.

So, I'd suggest Esquire and Wired, that should get him a pretty wide selection of topics.

I have yet to find a literate sports magazine, nor have I stumbled upon a health magazine that doesn't treat men the way Cosmo treats women (as sex obsessed, narcissistic consumers who can only stop thinking about themselves long enough to think about celebrities.)
posted by oddman at 12:16 PM on January 5, 2006

Outside might be good for the sports stuff, although obviously it's more about outdoors and adventure stuff. But it does have real writers (e.g., Tim Cahill).
posted by matildaben at 12:19 PM on January 5, 2006

TORO magazine. Canadian, but it does mail out to the US.
posted by Fully Completely at 12:30 PM on January 5, 2006

There's always Men's Health, too.
posted by mendel at 12:30 PM on January 5, 2006

There's an evolution to this sort of thing. Hardcorn porns are at the bottom (Penthouse, Hustler). Then softcore porns (Maxim, FHM). Then Playboy (okay maybe a softcore porns), which some people do indeed read for the articles. Once you get tired of the frat-boy libertarian politics, GQ and Esquire. (Why is it called "Gentleman's Quarterly" if it comes out once a month?) If you decide that the metrosexual fashion tips are too poseur, then maybe Vanity Fair. Then into the realms of pretension: the Atlantic and the New Yorker. Or the Sunday New York Times. After which point the reader succumbs to the cold, cold grave.
posted by Scooter at 12:37 PM on January 5, 2006

Have you tried Nerve.com? Definitely not a men's magazine, although it will most likely give your friend what he's looking for.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:48 PM on January 5, 2006

Men's Health is ok (a bit fluffy) and Complex is fucking awful.
posted by yerfatma at 1:04 PM on January 5, 2006

I used to like GQ and Esquire but then I felt dirty reading it, or at least like a loser. Maybe if I had a yacht, $2000 to drop everytime I went out drinking and was narcissistic to the point of taking obscure herbs to tone my abs -- I'd feel more connected. I like Vanity Fair, even though (I counted once, 11 ads pages until the table of contents) there are more ads than articles. To be fair it's better than People or Us by a mile and seems somewhat self-aware, but not to the point of outright mocking many blogs do.

I'd definitely not recommend Cargo, not original enough to stand on its own and well-below the real deal.

While not answering your question, I think your friend would fare much better getting several magazines on the topics he likes rather than a catch-all. The glossy mainstream magazines are good for mindless staring on a flight but I find they get very repetitive if you get them month-to-month.
posted by geoff. at 1:07 PM on January 5, 2006

Why is it called 'Gentleman's Quarterly' if it comes out once a month?

"Gentlemen's Quarterly was launched in 1957 by Esquire as a fashion quarterly for Esquire readers. The magazine moved from quarterly to monthly publication in the 1970s..."
posted by kirkaracha at 1:09 PM on January 5, 2006

I'm going to add another vote for Esquire. Parts of it I could do without, but there is something in it every month that is worth the price of admission. Usually it comes from the Chuck Klosterman column, but there is also some interesting short fiction, the occasional piece on a political figure/situation and other general articles. For example, I was very entertained by the following two articles over the last couple months: What It Feels Like to Pick Up Britney Spears by Neil Strauss (author of The Game, a book about pickup artists) and My Outsourced Life by A.J. Jacobs (the author outsources his personal errands and such to India, I think a movie is in the works based on this).

I also recommend the New Yorker. These two magazines are usually enough for me but I'll still flip through Wired when I get it.

Also, you can get an incredibly cheap subscription from eBay. I just recently went that route and got a 3 year subscripion to Esquire for $12.
posted by mullacc at 1:30 PM on January 5, 2006

Another girl's vote for Esquire. I genuinely like most of the articles they print.
posted by booknerd at 1:35 PM on January 5, 2006

Almost any UK laddie magazine will fit the bill. I used to like Sleaze Nation, but the quality's gone down a bit. Arena, which has already been mentioned, isn't bad. The Face.

These are more in the vein of a less arrogant Vice magazine than say, GQ or the like, but they're good reads*, and they make you look tasteful because they're imports. downside: expensive.
posted by fishfucker at 2:15 PM on January 5, 2006

Esquire is a very good magazine - the nice thing about it is, when they feature this month's/season's "hot" clothing style, they will usually show how to do the look in several different price ranges - good for those of us that don't have Wall Street bonuses to play with or six-figure salaries to live on.

Their political articles are good, they did a series of Iraq articles last year that were great, and they have Chuck Klosterman. Well worth a subscription.
posted by pdb at 3:08 PM on January 5, 2006

There are so many out there that tried and ended not coming away with one thing remembered from my half hour spent going through it.

But the only mag recently that will have my sub for the next year is GIANT. It's got a great mix of pop culture articles and reviews for DVD's, games etc...

Any mag that does a piece on the actor who played Mike Damone from Fast Times at Ridgemont High is aces in my book. He was forever on my "What ever happened to...." list.
posted by stavx at 4:40 PM on January 5, 2006

Another vote for esquire. It's just a step up in quality from GQ if you ask me.

Mens Health is great if you want to see a new abs workout every month.
posted by justgary at 4:54 PM on January 5, 2006

I really really wanted to start a company a few years ago that would be a clipping service for guys like you, er, your "friend." This company would let you select 10 to 15 magazines to track, and a bunch of long-post blogs as well (not engadget or gawker, think 3quarksdaily). Then you would get a monthly PDF version of summaries of articles... There is a news magazine that does this, "The Week," but I'd sure like it if they read Playboy (and Seed, and sandboarding blogs as well).

See Utne Reader. And Harper's "Readings". Granted, neither focuses on men's magazines, SFW or otherwise.

I'd agree with Esquire as the smartest of the lot, but Details is certainly the hippest that manages not to be embarrassing, fi that's at all important. But it's perforce aimed at a typical 24-year-old.
posted by dhartung at 12:15 AM on January 6, 2006

Other than the small handfull already suggested, can anyone suggest any British reads?
posted by horseblind at 5:28 AM on January 6, 2006

Oh, I hope this thread isn't dead -- but the real answer is Men's Vogue. I looked at this in CVS the other day and was pretty impressed!
posted by josh at 8:40 PM on January 6, 2006

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