Motorcycle News, for many years the wrapper of choice for covering up purchases of adult magazines, is set to cease publication early in 2013 on news that sales of top-shelf publications have reached a new low.
Speaking from his office in Peterborough, MCN editor Marc Potter said that while the internet had safeguarded the future of the title for genuine enthusiasts and provided an excellent platform for bike sales, its provision of embarrassment-free porn had cost the company dearly.
Finsbury Park newsagent Anil Patel recalled the heyday of magazine sales in the 1970s, when discreetly dropping a copy of Mayfair between the sheets of MCN and giving a smiling ‘Enjoy your evening’ was a regular occurrence.
“Sometimes a guy would just put MCN on the counter on its own and I would quickly have to work out whether he was a genuine saddo or he had forgotten his wank mag. Then I would cough discreetly and incline my head toward the top shelf, and he would grin his thanks and pick something quickly. In some cases it was because they were too shy even to look in that part of the shop, and I’d have to quietly ask if they wanted something to read for the weekend and choose something for them.”
But sometimes men would actually read the ‘wrapper’ and develop a genuine interest in motorcycles. “Why do you think so many mid-life crisis men go off and buy a bike?” said Chartered Geologist Reg Brown, sitting astride a throbbing Norton Commando. “It may be dangerous, but compared to the potential cost of going after a younger woman it’s a much less risky option, and the associations give you an extra thrill every time you mount it.”
Back at MCN’s offices, Marc Potter said that all was not lost, and that if proposed measures to restrict access to online adult entertainment became a reality, the title was poised to return to its primary purpose with an add-on service to regular subscribers.