Porn Publishing Pro Dian Hanson Profiled in New York Magazine

Mar 20, 2013 3:00 PM PST

NEW YORK — Veteran adult magazine editor Dian Hanson is the subject of a New York Magazine profile discussing the publishing professional’s illustrious career.

Hanson was a driving force in the heyday of men’s magazines, helming now defunct Mavety Media Publishing fetish titles like “Leg Show,” and “Juggs,” as well as “Puritan” “Video X” and more.

She later moved onto publishing historical porn mag and erotic books for German publisher, Taschen where she’s found a home as the “Sexy Book Editor” for more than a decade.

Hanson chronicled her career that dates back to her 20’s when she helped create “Puritan” in Pennsylvania — one of the first slick hardcore magazines available on the newsstand.

The article also spotlights Hanson’s new Taschen book, a a three-volume boxed collection called “Dian Hanson's History of Pin-Up Magazines,” packed with 816 pages of photos and magazine art that covers the era of pinup magazines from 1900 to 1969. Hanson told New York that many people erroneously believe that pinup mags began with Playboy. "Playboy came at the far end of a long tradition of these kinds of magazines. As I started going back further and further, I found that the magazines at the earlier periods were more beautiful, particularly the covers."

A virtual encyclopedia of men’s and porn magazine information, Hanson talked about the history of the pinup from the days of “Esquire” magazine and their popularity during World War II as the precursors of today’s staying power.

A self-proclaimed feminist as well as one of the few female fetish magazine editors, Hanson also revealed her love for porn and her obsession with sneaking peaks at her father’s hidden magazines that had photos of women with enormous breasts.

“My brother and I would go on these little exploratory missions [laughs] to find his girly magazines and get them and look at them. There was always a dual feeling in me of wanting to look like these kind of women. And I don’t know why. Why I wanted to look like them, I can’t tell you. Wanting to be this kind of woman, I suppose, wanting daddy to like you, and at the same time being interested in being part of this process,” Hanson said.

Discussing how she’s been a success in her role as a feminist porn editor for men’s magazines, Hanson said she felt in line with the sexual freedom movement that emerged in the ‘60’s in a sex-positive way.

“Feminists never came around and bothered us. They never picketed our offices, they never attacked us. They kind of restricted themselves to Playboy and Penthouse and Hustler — and we secondaries, we were left alone," Hanson revealed.

The editor explained that she’s always understood the basic male mind and motivation, and that’s helped her create the kinds of magazines that work. She pointed out that each era had its’ own particular taboo and that’s what was titillating at the time. It went from legs to breasts, and then to the hairy pussy. “In 1940, the hottest part of the female body was the leg. We had all these leggy models. If you look at magazine covers from that period, they’ll be twice as long and thick as normal legs. That’s because the leg was guarded and hidden.”

Despite Hanson’s love of porn magazines, her view of their future was less than optimistic. She said she thinks they’ll take the path of vinyl records. “I think magazines will reach the point of extinction and then they will come back as a sophisticated high-end choice. More as art, and something that will cost quite a bit of money and things people will have as status objects. Something hipsters will collect.”

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