Little Lads' Mag launches with sex tips for 11-year-olds

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The Independent Online

Girls have Sugar, J-17, Bliss, and a seemingly endless stream of magazines offering advice on sex, relationships, lifestyles, hair and fashion. Boys, meanwhile, have to struggle through adolescence aided only by titles on football and video-games, with a few comics thrown in for good measure.

But no more. In January, the first significant lifestyle magazine for 11- to 16-year-old boys will be launched, complete with fashion tips, grooming hints and sex advice. So as lads' mag sales continue to fade, enter the little lads' mag.

The privately funded title, based in Brighton, is to be called Sorted. It will be edited by Martin Klipp, a former writer at Loaded, and have an initial print-run of 200,000 copies - an ambitious amount for any new publication. It is already causing a considerable stir in the publishing world.

Mr Klipp said the glossy magazine would offer "big brother advice", with articles ranging from music, sport, fashion and travel to the more serious issues of drugs, homelessness and under-age sex. "I don't know why nobody has done anything like this before," said Mr Klipp, who, at 24, becomes the youngest editor of a lifestyle magazine in Europe. "Boys of that age have a life, so why shouldn't they have a lifestyle magazine?"

Sorted will, he said, give readers advice on everything from "how to impress a girl in the classroom" to "what to wear on the sports pitch". The first issue has exclusive interviews with "two of the biggest names in the world".

It is a world away from the traditional boys' magazines of the 1950s and 60s - those such as Boys' World, Valiant and Eagle, whose articles were often to do with lighting a campfire or making a catapult rather than shaving or improving your snogging technique.

Boys Own Paper, which ran for 88 years to 1967, had memorable write-ups on "strange weapons and even stranger ways of using them". Boys' World ran a regular feature called "What Would You Do?" which explained how to avoid a speeding car in a narrow alley or how to successfully wrestle a crocodile (get it on its back and hold its jaws shut).

By contrast, Sorted's first issue will include advice from teenage girls on the best ways to chat them up.

Lysanne Currie, who sits on the Teenage Magazine Arbitration Panel and is editorial director of Hachette, a publisher of girls' lifestyle titles, said:"The big problem, in terms of things like sex education, has always been how to reach teenage boys - it's almost the holy grail. A magazine like this could be a useful bridge."