Relate Vol 1 No 1Relate Volume 1 No 1 went on sale in January 1972, 12 months after the first Search. It, too, was an A5-size monthly magazine. Search states that, due to its overwhelming success and popularity, more space was required, so it had been decided that a new magazine called Relate would be launched. From the very beginning, Relate was a quite different magazine that was all about reader involvement and contribution – and a section that, in its own words, called itself the Journal of Correspondence, comprising photos of readers’ wives and girlfriends, as well as personal letters. Learn how your neighbours live and love! So unlike Search, it was packed with reader contributions, full of letters and pictures of its readers, a Letter of the Month and, from Volume 1 No 9, pictures of Housewife of the Month (those were the days). All this was interspersed with articles and pictures of professional models, but fewer of them than in Search.

Towards the end of its first year of publication, it was becoming obvious that there was considerable correspondence about and interest in rubber wear. So, from January 1973, a regular feature − the Rubber Review − was introduced by popular demand. From Volume 2 No 10, another specialist area and regular feature was introduced − The Spanking and Slapping Synod − but this proved to be less popular and gradually, from the summer of 1974, disappeared from Relate, only to be picked up by Accord as one of three new special sections called the Spanking Symposium. But in complete contrast to all this, The Rubber Review was going from strength to strength and, from late 1973 or early 1974, the covers started pushing the rubber interest more and more.

Unlike Search, Relate did not really go in for Specials, though there were some notable exceptions – The Relate Rubber and Leather Handbook, which went on sale in December 1973, and The Spanking Spectrum Special January 1975 (I have never seen one); and there were many adverts for The Relate Rubber Leather and Vinyl Annual towards the end of 1976, though I have never seen one of these either, and wonder if it ever went on sale with the end of Relate fast approaching. (Please let me know if you have more information on this.)

From Volume 3 No 3 Spring 1974, Rubber Review started filling much more of the magazine, a situation that continued until its demise in 1977. There were all sorts of interesting spin offs to all this, with space being given over to articles and letters from the Mackintosh Society which was started in 1969 by Leon Chead (YouTube).

Relate finally came to an end in the summer of 1977, with the last issue (possibly?) being Volume 6 No 6. But the rubber interest side of the magazine had a strong following, and was taken on in the form of a new magazine called Smooth (Swish Publications).

Late 1977 is a confusing time in the history of a number of specialist interest magazines, as some publishers disappeared and new ones were formed, some titles ceased publication and new titles came out, If you were involved in any of these, or have any more information in the titles mentioned, then I would be delighted to hear from you.