Something is passing into the annals of history and I have yet to hear anyone mention its demise.
It’s the mail order catalogue.
They’ll be around for a while, but their numbers are decreasing. As each mail order catalogue company closes or merges with another the opportunities to possess the 1,000+ page tomes reduces by the day. The reasons for this are utterly practical, it’s easier to buy from the Internet, there’s more range, often cheaper and personal credit is relatively easy to obtain.
Why does this matter?
It is in fact that adolescent boys have a need for mail order catalogues. Until the advent of the Internet they were often the first source of images of partially clothed women a boy could obtain. The underwear and swimwear pages hold very fond memories for me as a teenager.
So why are catalogues so important and special?
Unlike the Internet a catalogue allows you to hold the object containing your wanking images. The Internet may have an apparently limitless supply of free porn, but being able to turn to a familiar page and crack one off to that cheeky looking brunette who looks like she’s really up for it makes the Internet look bland. Having to return the catalogue to exactly the same place it was stored to avoid detection just added to the excitement.
If I’d had the Internet when I was a teenager I would have sought out porn at the first opportunity, but in doing so I would have missed out on the unspoken tradition that has grown up over many decades since the first mail order catalogues were introduced, of boys sneaking around the house when they are on their own, locating the catalogue and masturbating to underwear-clad beauties.
Of course with the addition of swimwear of an increasingly revealing nature those sections became attractive to the hormone filled adolescents too. And with the craze for fitness a picture of a girl in a leotard on a treadmill added further variety.
Mail order catalogues gave us guys the softcore porn we needed before we got access to Playboy and Penthouse. We should all lament their passing and maybe, while they’re still around subscribe to one, and have a nostalgic wank to the ladies on those glossy pages.