It turns out that women's service magazines — what's left of the staid Seven Sisters — are rather, um, tight-lipped when it comes to sex, and advertisers like it that way. But the dirty Internet threatens this precious order.
According to Mediaweek, online editors at women's service magazines like Woman's Day and Good Housekeeping are subversively including
advice for married women like, "Be the aggressor sometimes: It isn't 1955 anymore, ladies. We don't wait for boys to call us, and we don't 'lie back and do it for our country.'"
It's not that women's magazines that do write about sex have a particularly good record of doing so (cough, Cosmo), although that specimen is pretty promising. But there is something rather quaint about this separation between print and online, a sort of virgin/whore dichotomy:
While some believe editors have more leeway online, others said advertisers don't relax their standards for the Web. "Controversial content always raises eyebrows," said Brenda White, senior vp, publishing activation director, Starcom USA. "It's still a concern online."
That advertiser sensitivity isn't lost on publishers. In 4 million circulation Woman's Day, "there is absolutely no sex content in the pages at all," said Carlos Lamadrid, svp, chief brand officer, Woman's Day Group. "Advertisers, they love that we don't do it in print. They really like to stay away from it if they can."
Don't do it in print, eh? Sorry, couldn't resist — I work on the Internet!
Interestingly, Woman's Day doesn't just get racy on the Internet — it also mocks its own history, pretty amusingly.
Is nowhere safe from Internet snark and smut?