LONDON—Gordon Sergeant, the founder of soft porn Janus magazine and its accompanying bookstore on Old Compton Street, died earlier this month at the age of 83. Sergeant launched Janus in 1972 as a traditional publication narrowly focused on the practice of spanking. Still in print and online, Janus continues to feature articles, photographs, illustrations and comic strips, including by such artists as Anton, Hardcastle and Lynn Paula Russell, aka Paula Meadows.
The Janus website, which was redesigned in March, contains a statement posted May 11 on the passing of Sergeant, who died peacefully in his sleep in London.
“It is with the deepest regret that we must inform you of the death of Gordon Sergeant,” the statement reads. “Many of you will have happy memories of Gordon and appreciate the tireless efforts he made during his life to champion the rights of free minded adults to enjoy the pleasures of corporal punishment. Gordon single handedly forged Janus into a world beating publication and through many difficult times continued to run the Janus shop in Old Compton Street, for many a life changing Mecca and unique outlet for specialist needs.
“Gordon received many letters from across the world from people whose lives (and bottoms) he had touched. Fluent in many languages, a crack marksmen, and old Harrovian, Gordon was a larger than life character. He regularly drank Jeffrey Bernard under the table at his beloved Coach and Horses.
“Gordon suffered a series of strokes and realising that his time on this earth was short, appointed his nephew, Tarquin, to oversee a dramatic new era for Janus,” the statement concludes. “His vision was to re-launch Janus onto the internet to reach further than ever before. Tarquin already has many exciting plans including new Janus videos, an exclusive club and parties. Gordon died peacefully in his sleep safe in the knowledge that his beloved creation will continue to prosper in the 21st century.”
Illustration: From a current Fantasy/Photo essay on Janus.com, The Devil’s Due