TW: Letters to The Editor

Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2021

Letters to The Editor


When I produced photographs for Penthouse Magazine during the 1990’s I was often asked how I found women to pose for an x-rated magazine. Well the way it happened at Penthouse was that women around the country and globally wrote letters to the magazines founder, Bob Guccione asking him to consider publishing nude photos of them for an upcoming issue.  It was a form of casting through the mail, long before social media  became more relevant for finding models of any kind.

I started to receive some of those letters  sent to Bob. They were directed to me by his assistant Jane Homlish,  if the subject was near New York City or more generally on the east coast.  There were other photographers that Jane would forward letters to if the subjects were from the west coast.  I have kept some of the original letters in my archives and recently started to read through them. 

Here is an actual letter that was mailed in on April 14, of 1997. 

“Dear Mr. Editor Bob Guccione:

Hello, If you are reading this thank you.  If not I’ll be expecting a refusal letter in a couple of months.

I’ve been reading your magazine for a long time. I’m sure you get about 758 letters  like this everyday.  Anyway, I really pay attention to the women you feature. All very nice very different from each other. Your women have a true prettiness, very girl next door. I consider yours the more elite publication, and I’m not just saying that because I’m handing in photos of myself. Your photographers are very gorgeously educated and it really shows. I always dreamed of being in a photograph just like the women in your publication.  Here are photos for you. I am a big voluptuous girl.  To say honestly I have seen very beautiful curvy women in your magazine.  I really don’t know how to say please look at these.  If not maybe you could refer me to someone.  

Thank you for your time.”


After reviewing the photos she sent in, I decided to contact her for a test shoot.  She was thrilled! I photographed her many times over a period of several years and quickly became one of my favorite models to work with during that time period. Bob Guccione loved her pictures too.


Young woman peeing in dog cage
Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2021


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