Blog of Feminist Activism

The feminist activism of charliegrrl and co

Loaded Sexiest Singles

Posted by charliegrrl on November 8, 2006

Loaded’s September edition came with a DVD entitled ‘Britains’s Sexiest Singles’.

On the DVD, ‘everyday’ women do a strip tease for the camera. The men can then text which woman they like the most along with a chat up line, with a chance of winning a date with her.

Below is an example of a woman doing a strip tease.

WARNING: May offend you and really piss you off! 

[Edit  SORRY: this video was flagged by some nobhead, and Youtube has ‘removed it for its inappropriate nature’.

There’s loads of porn on Youtube, but this gets removed as ‘inappropriate’… ]

Porn, or not Porn..? You decide…

This DVD is rated over 18, but is sold with Loaded which has no age limit to buy.

They also provide footage of wet t-shirt frenzy and eating ‘rude’ food.They go behind the scenes where the women say how great it is to strip for the camera!

The women in the DVD are not porn stars, they are ‘everyday’ women who send in their half-naked photos to appear in the magazine. Maybe they hope to be glamour models..? Maybe they want to feel sexy or just have a laugh…? Either way, they are being exploited. Parading around a bedroom set, doing a strip tease in order that men text in to win a date with you, is exploitation. Where does the money go..? Not to the models. And to have men watching you do a strip tease, as if it is a preview of an escort agency, is so degrading. I fear that such women get involved in stuff like this without thinking how they are being exploited. They may beleive doing a striptease and selling yourself to go on a date, is a good way to improve their glamour modelling career. In the end, Loaded obtain pornographic and raunchy photos and film for free or for very little money, and no doubt make a great profit from offering up women as a prize that men can win.


23 Responses to “Loaded Sexiest Singles”

  1. stormcloud said

    You’re right. It did piss me off. It is exploitation.

  2. Sarah said

    People can sugarcoat this smut as whatever they want, but they must think we are really stupid if we cannot see that it is pornographic to the core!

    You touched on another scary element that these smut-pedallers are heralding at the moment too, and that is that they are basically a glossy-endorsement for the ever-expanding Glamour Girl industry and have virtually become a platform so that ‘ordinary’ girls can easily get on the bottom wrung of the porn industry ladder. Checkout girls, female students, office women – this is painted by these pervy publishers as their ticket to a more glitzy life, but we all know at what cost…

  3. Some men need to go find a puddle to play in

  4. Anonymous said

    Double-chocolate-fudge ugh!
    Women are not prizes in a competition or goods to be picked and chosen. Sex is not a reward. This is more “subtle prostitution” from the LMs and it promotes a very bad attitude to its readers.

  5. Aimée said

    That is so fucking pathetic. They’re always doing things like this though, I’ve seen so many things like this on so many different mags when I worked in a Co-Op.

    And once these two 13 year old boys tried to buy it, and I was like, you can’t buy this, and they said there’s no age limit on it. They told me to put it through the scanner and lo and behold, it went through without saying it had to be sold to people of a certain age! I called for the manager and she told me not to sell it to them though… haha. But ugh, I hate to think of all the young boys who DO actually get this sold to them. It’s a fucking disgrace. I kinda think the women are just as much to blame as the magazine creators though. Neither of them would exist without the other.

  6. Sian said

    Apart from everything(!!!), a couple of things in particular stand out for me here…

    Firstly, the worrying seeming growth of offering up women as prizes – (what happened to winning a nice holiday?!!) – it seems women are becoming seen more and more (and more) as objects – as “things” to be won, used, taken. Where the hell is anyone’s respect for women here? There is none – the men are sitting back rubbing their hands with glee that they can now get women to strip for free and the women are lining up competing to be seen stripping – free or otherwise. And it seems there is a fine line leaning towards prostitution and escorting here. Why on earth would you want to go on a date with some perv who saw you strip and entered a comp to “get” you. I’d much prefer to meet people who form a deep respect for me, not a drooling perverted so called man who can’t wait to get his end away with a stripper!

    Secondly, I am finding more and more that women in today’s society do not see this kind of thing as exploitation in any way. I guess its all linked to the “rise of raunch culture” and how more and more women seem desperate to get into this field regardless of how the opportunities come along. It seems that more and more women think that if they “want” to do it then its not exploitation and if they “enjoy” doing it, then its empowering.

    Its worrying. Very, very, very worrying.

    And sad. I could cry.

  7. Reetta said

    I didn’t watch the video but I’m enough pissed off without even looking at it!I guess a woman must have no self-respect at all to do that.She just lets others define her worth!!O.o She purely finds herself as an object which is supposed to be rated! And that’s so sad,so sad…

  8. That’s right Sarah, Lads Mags are a platform for women getting involved in porn. First they send in their naked photos, then if they are liked they will be asked to do other stuff. It’s like Big Brother: when the women go in BB, they come out with lads mags hungry to photo them nude, and then a career as a glamour model/porn star starts. (But lots of the women who go into BB now already know they want to be glamour models.)
    Four Big Brother women from a few series ago, the one with Shell in who ran round the garden naked with a lawn mower… Well, they did a porn dvd for Loaded, pole dancing, sitting naked in the wet tub… They called it ‘Awesome Foursome’.
    Including DVD’d with lads mags is one way on which they are pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable, and competing with other lads mags over readership.

    The key message from lads mags, is that they publish naked photos of ‘real’ women, as in the woman-next-door, rarely porn stars. This makes the photos more appealing to men, because they want to see ‘everyday’ women they meet, naked, and like to think they would do a strip tease, wear thongs etc… Porn stars are fantasy, real women naked are reality. To me this shift in porn from porn stars to ‘everyday’ women represents the trend of men pushing porn onto women, the way that they do in the bedroom. It’s all part of the normalisation of porn. And at the moment, it is so normalised that many women don’t see what the problem is.

    It enrages me when people think if a woman ‘chooses’ to strip for men, then there is no problem with this. ‘Choice’ is not black and white- it is made within a social context- at the moment women are being social conditioned to relate to their bodies as sex objects for male use and gaze. Even if some women choose to do this, it is still exploitation and degrading.

    A friend told me that in Manchester, there is talk of opening a lap dancing club for students- with cheap drinks and female students giving lap dances. Raunch culture is pervasive, and is getting worse and worse. We are faced with two battles- one with men, and the other with convincing such women that what they are doing is degrading.

  9. alex said

    I have to disagree.

    (1) 18 cert videos can only be supplied to people over 18 (penalty 6 months in jail). By slapping this DVD on the front, Loaded have made it illegal to supply their mag to under 18s. They’ve voluntarily gone and done exactly what we’ve been campaigning for them to be forced to do by law, surely we should be thanking them for this?

    (2) Call me a Marxist, but is this really exploitation? If I’m forced to become a prostitute in order to buy enough to eat, that’s exploitation. If I voluntarily make a video of myself and give it away for free because I think it’s ’empowering’, then you can question whether it’s a good idea, but I’m not being exploited. People aren’t doing something they wouldn’t otherwise because they’re getting cash for it, frankly, it’s morally preferable that willing girls give away these videos for free rather than unwilling girls be paid to do it. This is actually a very progressive step and Loaded should be congratulated for taking it.

    (3) This ‘real women’ vs. ‘porn star’ thing is a bit odd. I remember the old days when feminists used to complain about glamour models, it was an impossible standard which real girls could never match and caused then intolerable misery. It’s strange that abandoning this is though of as a bad thing. Surely it’s good that these magazines are promoting ‘real girls’ as desirable, rather condeming them as a second rate alternative to some airbrushed ideal? Again, we have Loaded and its readers to thank for responding to feminist critiques and not championing oppressive idealizations of women.

  10. Johanna said

    Another trend (?) I’ve noticed personally is that young men and boys doesn’t see women as people you interact with – but things you stare at, masturbate to.

  11. Alex…

    Do you think that shop owners are going to think, ‘Oh, this magazine has an R18 DVD with it, I should ID this teenager who wants to buy this magazine…?’ No they won’t! That’s a really lame argument. In theory, if they sell their magazines with R18 DVDs then their magazine should be illegal to sell to under 18s…but they isn’t. So…are you saying that Loaded’s content is so explicit that it should be only available to over 18s..? You say you have been campaigning to get lads mags on top shelf..? Hmmmm…have we met..?

    The women in this DVD aren’t ‘voluntarily’ making a DVD of themselves- they are taking part in a competition by which men can win a date with them, after voting for their favourite strip tease.

    This is exploitation as women are being sold the line that glamour modelling is empowering. It isn’t. Perpetutating the impression that women are sex objects that exist for male titillation, is not progressive for female empowerment and sexuality. It is men who make the rules about what is attractive, and what they want women to do sexually.

    Money is being made out of the commodification of the female body- out of women’s bodies being rendered sex objects to look at. Such a competition exploits women’s unequal position of being sex objects for men. If you want to look at it from a Marxist perspective, you could argue that the woman’s body is rendered with a use value, from which companies make money- more than the woman. This use value is defined by men, and women render their body in line with this demand to make their body ‘profitable’. Most of these women are young and therefore impressionable- it maybe legal for an 18 year old to strip naked, but I would consider an 18 year old to be young.

    And your last point.. What..?
    Lads mags generally promote glamour models with a specific body criteria- usually white, young, slim, huge pert breasts, long hair and pretty face. And may I add, air-brushed. When they feature ‘real’ girls, as in women who are posing naked but not really fully fledged glamour models, they aren’t really celebrating the female body- they celebrate naked, young, slim women with pert breasts who are willing to pose for the male gaze. I say that lads mags DO propagate an ‘oppressive idealisation’ of the female body.

    Lads mags aren’t just oppressive in terms of the body image they select, but in what they suggest all women should do: they imply that all women love to pose naked, pole dance and do strip teases, and any woman who doesn’t is just a prude, or too ugly that no one would want to see them naked anyway.

  12. alex said

    I don’t really understand the point you’re making.

    There’s a law which makes supplying 18 cert DVDs to under 18s illegal. If you think this is ignored and therefore pointless, then why bother to campaign for a similar law for lads mags?

    Either these laws work or they don’t. If people ignore the law for DVDs, then surely they’re also going to ignore a similar law doing the same thing for lads mags. I just can’t see why you would be campaigning for this law if you really think that it would be ignored and futile.

    And if the law does work, then surely publishers voluntarily slapping an
    18 cert DVD on the front of one of these mags and making it illegal to supply them to under 18s is a good thing?

  13. Liz said

    Yes..this offended me. It also made me sad, because if women are doing this thinking it is empowerment, then their sexuality has truly been claimed by the patriarchy. It fills me with apprehension when I walk past a man or a group of men, I panic thinking that MY body may be viewed as something to consume, to stare at or make comments about.

    I mean, passing by a pub in my town today, a guy came out and stared me up and down as though I was a piece of meat (despite me wearing my baggy skate jeans and my winter coat and a scarf).

    Luckily though, I caught it and shot what was a hopefully venomous hate filled stare. But it truly freaked me out – as I had my guard down and it was something I didn’t invite or expected at that time or place, as it was 4pm and still light.

    If viewing women as sex objects is encouraged by LMs and porn, then it scares me that everything will get out of control, and we will be confronted by this objectification every single bloody day (even though we pretty much already are).

  14. Michelle said

    “There’s a law which makes supplying 18 cert DVDs to under 18s illegal. If you think this is ignored and therefore pointless, then why bother to campaign for a similar law for lads mags?”

    If this DVD were sold on its own, it would be subject to age-restriction laws, and no doubt retailers would hesitate to sell it to under-age boys. But when this DVD is attached to a magazine that does not have an age-limit on it to buy, that is when the law is side-stepped and that is when it becomes an issue- because these under-age boys are buying a magazine which is not subject to age-restriction law, and yet have access to “18-rated” content. Not because the laws on DVD age-restrictions are being flouted (because they are not buying the DVD itself), but because there is no law on selling magazines with these DVDs to under-18s.

  15. Rachel H-G said

    The women in this are being exploited – in the bluntest way of putting it, they are offering their services and not being paid for it, as Charlie said.
    The whole “real women” thing is a fake, too. When you look around you in the street, women come in all colours, shapes and sizes. When the LMs talk about real women, hey presto! We all look and act like the glamour models who were last week’s “unreal women”. All nice reassuring stuff for their readers, who find real women, with lives, personalities and a strong sense of self-respect, all a bit too complicated and frightening.

  16. Grace said

    The video is no longer available so I can’t watch it – which is probably good because I didn’t really fancy getting pissed off so early in the day – but yet I am annoyed by this idea that Alex posted about Lads Mags promoting ‘real women’ – as if the FHM High Street Honey list isn’t full of artificially enhanced ‘every day’ women! It’s not just glamour models and porn stars who have implants in order to look more sexy and conform to an image, they’re everywhere – wasn’t it more than half of the women on the last BB that had them? So these every day women are bound to be the artificially enhanced kind or the ridiculously thin and somehow still slightly curvy kind who spend 2 hours getting ready to go to the shops and wear knicker skimming denim skirts with no tights in the dead of winter in the name of fashion dahling. Both of these are still unrealistic and not the way most real women look.

    Does anyone here honestly think that if a girl sent in a video to Loaded for some validation of her attractiveness and she had some cellulite or a bit of a belly, or if she didn’t have the right kind of face, they would still put it on the dvd? They probably have a fuckin ‘minger’ bin that they can throw all the ‘unsightly’ ones into and have a laugh about. That’s the kind of people they are! They hate real women, the hate women who have opinions and have experienced real life – which comes back to the virgin point from the previous post – they don’t want a woman who knows better!

  17. stormcloud said

    Alex, I agree with your point (1) above, perhaps the LMs have ‘outclevered themselves’ and this may be the issue we can get them on. Although, I’m not sure which authority would be able to enforce it.

    At the very least, perhaps a letter writing campaign to the retailers’ head offices?

    There is actually little difference between the content of the videos, and the content of the magazine, except one has moving pictures, the others stills. We may be able to hoist the LMs by their own petards.

  18. delphyne said

    Are you sure that these are so-called “real women” (as if women used like this weren’t actually real)? I think the “real women” thing is a marketing technique. Why should we take their word for it that they haven’t just popped down to the nearest glamour modelling agency or lap-dancing club to get women to appear in their video i.e. women who have been *trained* to act like this, because that’s the only difference between them and “real” women as far as I can see.

    The thing that struck me about the video was that nothing she was doing would actually be enjoyable for herself. It was all about displaying her body for the edification of a man. What woman would rub her backside the way she was doing unless there was a camera on it? It looks so weird (as well as offensive obviously). It’s like there’s this alterno-porno world where women behave in ways that they would never do in real life.

  19. The ‘real women’ thing is definitely a maketing ploy, but many of the women posing for the lads mags are young women who are naive who want their 5 minutes fame. Some are professional strippers who pretend to be ‘a nurse from bolton’- I know this because I recognise their faces from other magazines/music videos.

    For instance, there is one woman who posed in her underwear for a ‘knicker drawer’ feature. She said she was something like a dentist assistant. A reader wrote in and said he’s seen her dancing in his local lapdancing club. Also, I’ve seen her on a music video on MTV.

    Sorry about the video, out of my hands…

  20. delphyne
    Some friends and I have just had this very same conversation. Okay maybe ‘some’ (just covering for the but *I* do brigade!) women do dance around their boudoir on their own and sensuously stroke, pout and rub their asses while jutting out their heaving boobies, but not a lot I would imagine. Mm Mm real turn on. Yes, it does look weird.

  21. Rachel H-G said

    There’s also the worrying question of what happens to the videos and pictures afterwards. I have heard that porno pics that women send in to LMs, photographers and model agencies sometimes end up in cheap stock photo libraries. They are then used in those grim phone chatline ads in the back of the magazines or, worse, on prostitute cards and ads. Again, exploitation – effectively free porn for these people to use. I think that we should publicise this more and maybe fewer women would be willing to submit pictures.

  22. Grace said

    I really just do NOT understand the appeal.

    I can’t get my head round the idea that posing/prancing in front of a camera so a generation of saddo, greasy misogynists can get a quick one in between bouts of pretending to be normal upstanding citizens can be appealing for women.

    I bet most of those ‘real’ women who aren’t actually models were conned into it by their boyfriends too. Go on love it would mean a lot to me if you would let other men, including my friends wank over pictures of you.


  23. Barbie said

    I was actually featured in this DVD (yes really!)- Just to clear up a few points: We weren’t ‘real women’ swiped from the streets or writing in begging to be advertised as ‘prizes’ in the magazine; we were recruited from modelling agencies, were paid for the job, and were told before accepting the job that we wouldn’t really have to meet any men – the ‘dating’ scheme is purely in place to squeeze money in the form of text votes from the readers; if anyone is being exploited, it’s them! Anyone who wasn’t happy with how the shoot was going was free to leave at any time, which a few did. All these features need to be taken with a pinch of salt; personally, however, although I don’t see anything wrong with glamour modelling or pornography per se, and I certainly don’t believe anyone should be ashamed of their bodies or sexuality, or that sexualised or nude modelling is intrinsically degrading, I do believe that there is a growing trend in the current industry towards a more misogynistic representation of women in terms of how articles/features are presented… I don’t think this DVD is an example of this; we all gave our informed consent and it was organised in a fun, lighthearted way; most of us had boyfriends and noone was in it to advertise their bodies to get dates, and noone was forced to say anything they weren’t comfortable with; in printed articles entire ‘interviews’are often invented… Basically, I think we need to choose our battles; attempting to bring down the whole glamour/porn industry is neither realistic nor a productive goal.

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