THE SEX FILES: The End Of Playboy’s Grand Experiment
Wanting to be hip, now, “trending” Playboy Magazine halted all nude photography for their March 2016 issue and were said to be set on this new course for the future. An approach to addressing modern social equality concerns or to up circulation, what the powers-that-be on the Hefner camp found after a year of this new photographic policy was a ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ conundrum. Just this week, Playboy announced a reversal of policy, their March/April 2017 issue will have nudes back between its pages.
Cooper Hefner, son of Hugh Hefner, the iconic head and founder of the equally iconic men’s magazine, announced over Twitter: “I’ll be the first to admit that the way in which the magazine portrayed nudity was dated, but removing it entirely was a mistake.”
If ever there was a concession couched in the pro-feminist language of the day…
Even if you have never opened a copy of the famous bunny-headed magazine (or just read it for the articles) you are probably aware that for most of its long history, Playboy did indeed feature the classic ‘girl next door’ in all her naturalness. This is what the magazine was known for and what other men’s magazines tried to emulate. Along the way Hefner kept up a high standard of journalism (really, he did) with interviews with some of the most popular cultural figures of the day-men and women both-publishing (and sometimes Playboy was the first to do so) writers who became some of literature mainstays and gave a forum to cartoonists who otherwise would never have found a place to show their stuff. But the times they were a ‘changing and Playboy wanted to grab a younger audience bred on the likes of Maxim Magazine…or so they claimed last year when the no-all-nude policy came down). For a year we got quite a sanctified version of what we had all grow up loving (and stroking to) with just side boob and a little bare booty, a smaller magazine overall and even the deletion of the “Party Jokes” and “The Playboy Philosophy” sections…all reinstated with the naked chicks.
Here’s my thoughts, take it as you like (or not at all). The simple fact of the matter is, Playboy was developed by a hetero man for other hetero men. Surely Hefner wanted to reach as many people as possible with his publication, his clubs, his ‘brand,’ but first and foremost the magazine was created by a smart straight guy who liked looking at naked women and found very few places to do so at the time (1953 to be exact) when Playboy came on the scene. One cannot deny, attempt to unlearn or rightly scold hetero men, with their DNA-inspired destiny to objectify women by their parts. An unpopular sentiment these days in the wake of the emasculation of the American male for what passes for feminism maybe, but I am not saying this is all hetero men should do with women. But it is what we ‘do’ at times, even when we are trying not to (or have been bred to believe it is wrong to do).
Hefner and his son (a young man certainly from the brow-beaten hetero male generation) have learned all too well that guys still want to look and their magazine will once again give us that privilege.
Playboy’s March/April 2017 issue features (nude) pictorials of March Playmate Elizabeth Elam, and April Playmate, Nina Daniele.