Sun, Aug 16, 2015 - Page 14 News List

Porn again: disposing of UK’s dirty magazines with discretion

By Alfons Luna  /  AFP, LONDON

Vintage pornographic magazines are pictured at Ram Books in London, England, on Aug. 4.

Photo: AFP

Once upon a time before the Internet, pornography fans collected magazines. Now a London firm is helping people whose dead relatives leave collections behind to get rid of them — discreetly, of course.

Say your father has died and you find his pornography collection hidden in a cupboard. Too embarrassed to tell your mother or put it out with the trash? Try calling Webuyanyporn, founded nine months ago to deal with such awkward situations.

“Because certain generations of men are coming to the end of their lives now, we tend to find magazines from the 1970s and 1980s, normal top shelf magazines — Playboys, Penthouses,” the business’ owner Dave said, requesting that his surname not be used. “There’s lots of porn sitting around in people’s attics, garden sheds, under the beds. There’s porn everywhere.”

Customers who discover unwanted pornography can call the 55-year-old, who will come to the house in an unmarked van and take away magazines, VHS tapes and posters.

Dave will even pay cash for stashes.

He either shreds the material or sells it at Ram Books, at his shop in Islington, north London, which bills itself as being “for the collector of bizarre and erotic mags.”

Despite being in business for less than a year, Webuyanyporn has plenty of satisfied customers.

Freddy, who also did not want to give his last name, turned to the service when his father passed away.

“My sister cleared the house. She discovered my dad’s collection,” he said.

“There wasn’t anything mean, just some mainstream magazines, but she was embarrassed and thought that my mum would be upset if she knew about it.”

At least one member of the clergy has also asked the business to help him out.

“I got a call from a vicar, down in the south coast, I can’t say where. His church had some houses that let old people in. One of the old gentlemen died and left a lot of magazines,” said Dave, who has been in the trade for about 40 years.

“I paid him good money for them and the money went towards the gentleman’s estate, the funeral,” he said.

As well as providing a handy service and a lucrative business, Dave said that Webuyanyporn also harks back to pre-Internet era, when most pornography was less graphic.

“When I grew up, you were quite lucky if you could see a Mayfair or a Playboy,” he said. “Now, with a click of a phone, you can see the most outrageous pornography. That has ruined it, it has taken away the mystique, the surprise and the glamor.”

He is also conscious that his business might be obsolete in 30 years as people stop buying such magazines and go online instead.

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