Penthouse Forum Celebrates 45th Anniversary

Bob Johnson

NEW YOK — Penthouse Magazine’s iconic letters and advice publication, Penthouse Forum is celebrating its 45th anniversary.

Originally published as an insert in the March 1970 issue of Penthouse and subtitled “The International Journal of Human Relations,” Penthouse Forum was destined to become a magazine like none other.

The digest-sized publication was informative, exploring topics of growing importance to the sexually curious including bedroom techniques, questions about marriage, divorce or adultery, along with tips on increasing sex drive.

But what set it apart was its notorious letters section, the first example of “fan fiction”— decades before “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Forum letters claimed their own place on the forefront of mainstream, mass-market erotica by giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at what their neighbors do after dark —  and sometimes in the afternoon —as well as a place to share their own experiences.

Most intriguing of all, according to the editors, was that it was meant to be read by men and women alike.

The 45th Anniversary April/May issue — on newsstands now — blends a fond, playful look at its roots with more contemporary content. The lead feature revisits a selection of ’70s-era letters depicting the May/December romance of a mid-20’s man and a mid-60’s woman; the possibilities of cannabis as an aphrodisiac; and a couple’s first attempt at bondage — carried out with a plaster body cast.

The main pictorial features porn star Ash Hollywood in a layout whose vintage look will be immediately familiar to long-time readers. Alongside columns by Dennis Hof and Mandy Stadtmiller and a new batch of letters, the latest Penthouse Forum proudly and boldly carries on the vision of Penthouse founder Bob Guccione.

The magazine can also be ordered online at