OG (Oriental Guys) magazine was the world's first glossy gay Asian soft porn periodical targeted at the global market. It was surprisingly produced in Singapore by the republic's first widely known LGBT entrepreneur, Edward Chew, who identified as bisexual.
Chew realised the huge, unmet international need for a high quality gay Asian publication. However, owing to the republic's strict Undesirable Publications Act, the magazine was printed in Hong Kong and distributed around the world from the late 1980s to the early 2000s.
Chew charged a premium price of around SGD$25 for each issue. Despite the hefty cost, the global demand was still enormous because of the rarity of the subject matter of the photographs and the well-written articles at the time.
Chew enlisted the help of Australian Ian Withers to be the editor of the magazine.
- Covers from various issues of OG magazine.
Many gay Singaporean photographers and graphic artists worked underground to produce 26 issues of OG biannually for over a decade, with the inaugural issue premiering in November 1987.
Initially featuring photographs of Asian men from other, more liberal countries in the region such as Thailand and Japan, OG got round to using Singaporean models in the later issues. This caused a stir in Singapore with the homophobic English-language tabloid of the day, The New Paper, writing sensationalist articles attacking Chew and the local models after several gay men wanted to blackmail the models.
One of the models who posed in full frontal nude shots was a medical student from the National University of Singapore. After his classmates found out, some of their parents agitated to have him expelled. As a result, he had to leave NUS and continue his education overseas.
- Content page of OG issue no. 7, summer 1990.
- Edward Chew
- Glamour Backstage
- PLUTO magazine (formerly PLUguide)
- ELEMENT magazine
- Dear Straight People
- Singapore gay literature
This article was written by Roy Tan.