Cul d’Or is a British spanking magazine published at irregular intervals between 1989 and 1998, but chiefly in 1994-95. Its French title may be translated as ‘Golden Bum’. There were 16 issues in all, mostly 56 or 60 pages each. Volume numbering was dropped after the first volume run of 11 issues.
The magazine had modest beginnings as a desktop publishing project by a group of spankophiles based in southern England. Copies of the first five issues are correspondingly rare. Throughout its existence, Cul d’Or continued to be run by genuine enthusiasts, but their lack of experience in erotic magazine production and distribution made its expansion difficult.
The first eight issues were printed in black and white only. The regular cover illustration was an art nouveau style line drawing by Kris de Roover of a naked woman bending over a rose bush. The publishers, Omega Marketing International, used an accommodation address in Southampton.
Style and content
Focusing mainly on M/F spanking, Cul d’Or contained short stories, articles, photographs, drawings, model interviews, book reviews, a contacts section, and a puzzle page. The proprietor was Angela Quinn and the editor Anthony Berne, who also took the role of spanker in most of the photo-stories. Writers included Josephine Scott, Julie Holmes, and Martin Kenway.
There was nothing obviously innovative about the new publication, though its quality was seen to be improving. Its main selling point was probably the spanking model Dawn Deacon, whose pictures dominated several issues. Luna Winter, Sara Benachour, and Lies de Roover also appeared.
Regular advertisers in the magazine included Abacus spanking parties, the Muir Academy, and Daisy Publications. In addition, Cul d’Or produced and sold audio tapes and photo-sets, most of them featuring Dawn Deacon or Lucy Bailey. It invited readers to join a spanking club called the Golden Group.
Distribution and demise
Cul d’Or began to appear in specialist sex shops in London around 1992. Despite the demise of the better-known fetish periodicals Roué and Phoenix, the market for spanking magazines in Britain remained crowded due to several Janus and Blushes spin-off titles.
In 1995, just as it was getting established nationally, Cul d’Or suffered a serious setback. The police, in a raid on the premises of Olympia Press International Ltd. at Ventnor, seized stocks of the magazine, applied to have them destroyed, and threatened the proprietor with prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act. This caused concern across the British spanking scene, as the content of Cul d’Or was in no way extreme or unusual. Magistrates, in fact, decided that the magazines were not obscene and ordered their return, but legal costs nevertheless left the publishers in financial dire straits. The Golden Group was disbanded amid fears that its organisers might be charged with the crime of ‘keeping a disorderly house’, and Dawn Deacon ended her involvement with the magazine.
Four more issues of Cul d’Or were published, but it never achieved solid profitability. The firm ceased trading in 1999, alleging that it had been defrauded by an American distributor.