Interviú

Interviú
   Interviú is a highly successful weekly magazine which combines soft pornography with by and large serious reporting on a wide range of issues. It offers a combination of appeals which, in western Europe at least, seems to exist only in Spain.
   Interviú belongs to the Zeta publishing group, and was launched in 1976, coinciding with a particular period of Spanish political and cultural history known commonly as el destape, an almost untranslatable term which can mean either "taking off" or "uncorking the bottle" (see also pornography). This period was a direct reaction to the repressive attitude of the Franco regime to anything relating to sex, and brought a relatively short-lived but fairly intense surge of interest in pornography and indeed nudity in general. The effects of el destape can still be felt even in good quality Spanish magazines today, where pictures of at least partly naked women (and less frequently men) are much more likely to appear than they are in equivalent publications elsewhere in Europe.
   While nudity will normally be introduced into other mainstream magazines within the framework of articles on tourism, fashion or so on, Interviú"s particular strategy consists in being entirely open about its pornographic content, regularly featuring a naked model on its front pages, and promising viewers two soft-porn photo-features in every issue. While some might argue that there is no such thing as "tasteful" pornography, however soft, it is fair to say that Interviú avoids the more contrived poses often adopted by models in magazines from the harder end of the soft-porn industry. As far as Interviú is concerned, pubic hair and bosoms are in, but genitalia are definitely out. Alongside its two regular soft-porn features, Interviú includes articles covering an astonishing range of issues, from the social to the political to the cultural. Nor are these articles—nor the adverts which accompany them—aimed at an exclusively male readership, since they can cover, for example, the advantages of breast milk as opposed to formula or various fashions for expectant mothers. Leading political figures will often allow themselves to be interviewed by, or otherwise feature in, the magazine, knowing that it will do nothing to harm their reputation.
   Interviú is a complex cultural product, and can only be understood against the backdrop of the repressive sexual politics of the Franco regime and the subsequent free-for-all of el destape. It unabashedly disseminates very soft pornography to a primarily—but by no means exclusively—male readership without the fumbling embarrassment of top-shelf pre-sealed "classic" soft-porn publications, and, by providing reasonably serious coverage of current issues, allows the reader to claim, not entirely mendaciously, that he (or even she) has bought it primarily on its journalistic merits. It shuns the pseudo-intellectual pretensions of American publications such as Playboy, and at the same time avoids the truly tacky feel of downmarket soft-porn publications in a number of other European countries. It is no doubt frowned upon by a number of sectors of Spanish society, but there are no immediate prospects of a decline in its fortunes.
   HUGH O'DONNELL

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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