FHM stands for "For Him Magazine" - an English mens' magazine. That's "mens'" as in fast cars, fast computers, and excessive drunkenness, not as in cover-to-cover spreadeagled naked women.

Well, there may be a few in there, but topless shots only.

FHM is widely regarded as softcore porn for those too gutless to buy a porn mag, but only by people who don't actually read it.

To a great extent, FHM is the jewel in the crown of EMAP's magazine division. Even though it has somewhat uneasily taken the middle ground between 'highbrow' men's lifestyle magazines (Esquire et al) and New Lad Porn For Cowards (Loaded, Front etc), it has carved its niche out so successfully that it is by far the leading publication in its sector.

FHM at time of writing has reached issue 141, since its debut in September 1990. It is widely regarded as the 'A' List magazine, especially when it comes to the celebrities who appear within. Nearly every major international young female celebrity has appeared on the cover of FHM, with the list including Madonna, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Yasmine Bleeth, Gillian Anderson, Drew Barrymore, Anna Kournikova, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, not to mention a host of British celebs such as Patsy Kensit, Catherine Zeta Jones, Elizabeth Hurley, Davina McCall, Cat Deeley, Victoria Beckham and Billie Piper.

Aside from the glorious covergirl photoshoots, FHM is noted for its extensive fashion section, holding its own fashion awards and publicising the work of design houses like FireTrap, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Patrick Cox, Peter Werth and Paul Smith. It also has large sections of every issue dedicated to male health, travel, consumer electronics and of course sex tips.

FHM's most successful editor, Grub Smith, now presents a travel show on UK cable and satellite TV channel Bravo.

FHM is now available in several different versions around the world, including UK, US, France, Italy, Brazil, Singapore, Australia, Thailand and South Africa.

As far as the accusations of it being softcore porn go, this is partly the ill-informed whining of feminist groups, and partly the confusion of FHM with rags like Loaded. For the record, FHM has only once shown a topless 'Page 3' style shoot, that being ex-Hollyoaks actress Davinia Taylor.

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