Sex or porn magazines featured nude or semi-nude women, sometimes apparently masturbating, although their genitals or pubic hair were not actually displayed. Penthouse, started by Bob Guccione in England in 1965, took a different approach. Women looked indirectly at the camera, as if they were going about their private idylls. This change of emphasis was influential in erotic depictions of women. Penthouse was also the first magazine to publish pictures that included pubic hair and full frontal nudity, both of which were considered beyond the bounds of the erotic and in the realm of pornography at the time. In the late 1960s, magazines began to move into more explicit displays often focusing on the buttocks as standards of what could be legally depicted and what readers wanted to see changed.
By the 1970s magazines started to focus on the pubic area. Paul Raymond pioneered the UK adult magazine market when he launched Men Only in 1971, then Club International in 1972, and his company Paul Raymond Publications still dominates the British market today. Some researchers have detected increasingly violent images in magazines like Playboy and Penthouse over the course of the 70s, with them then returning to their more upscale style by the end of the decade. Sales of pornographic magazines in the U.S. have declined significantly since 1979, with a nearly 50% reduction in circulation between 1980 and 1989. The fact that the U.S. incidence of rape has increased over the same period has cast doubt on any correlation between magazine sales and sex crimes. Studies from the mid 80s to the early 90s nearly all confirmed that pornographic magazines contained significantly less violent imagery than pornographic films.