Libertarian Moment

Thanks for the Mammaries, Playboy!

Venerable skin mag drops nudity in favor of "expanded coverage of liquor," PG-13 thrills.

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Well, it was either really changing things up or going bankrupt for Playboy, the men's mag that published its first issue way, way back in 1953.

Inside the pages of that first issue, Marilyn Monroe was seen posing with, as she once put it, "nothing on but the radio." Its circulation peaked at 5.6 million in the mid-1970s and now comes in at maybe 800,000 nowadays. That's still an enviable number but like a lot of other, older mags (think Time, Newsweek), Playboy is a shadow of its former self in every possible way: financially, journalistically, culturally.

The New York Times reports and the Interwebz weeps that come next March, the nudes are out as part of a thorough redesign of one of the most influential mags in American history. Yes, Playboy helped to mainstream nudity and, more important, start frank conversations about sex in a time of button-down sensibilities. Yes, Playboy photoshopped the hell out of its pneumatic centerfolds and playmates, launching innumerable careers and an even-higher number of eating disorders among women and unrealistic expectations among men.

In many ways a very progressive outlet, Playboy also showcased some of the worst, most-retrograde elements of the patriarchy that slowly and surely lost its power over the 20th century. For all of the nipples and the semi-arty beaver shots, it was far slower than National Geographic to showcase the full range of human diversity when it came to naked ladies, unless your idea of diversity only ranged from the girls of the SEC to the girls of Big Ten. It published a ton of great and famous authors with a capital A and set the standard in post-war America for the Big Interview, sitting down with everyone from Ayn Rand to Timothy Leary to William Shockley to Jimmy Carter (who notoriously admitted lusting "in his heart") for incredibly extensive and intensive Q&As that simply (and sadly) don't gone anymore.

A Playboy spokesman says that online porn killed the audience for the mag's brand of nudity, and there's a lot of truth to that. Even more important, the sexual revolution that Hugh Hefner's mag, which burned a lot of pages early on with his "Playboy Philosophy," helped launch spelled doom just as well. It's not simply that folks looking for porn or stroking material can go elsewhere for free and for much-more-individualized content, it's that we (men) don't really need yet one more mag that tells us how to match plaids and stripes or to tie a Windsor knot and how to open a bottle of champagne without embarrassing ourselves. That's the reason that, according to the Times, Playboy pulls in something like 40 percent of its revenue through branded merchandise in China, where the mag isn't even sold yet. Its cache is quarantined to parts of the world that have yet to undergo the sorts of increases in wealth and autonomy that erode the power of authority.

A little less than a year ago, The New Republic, another tired old mag with a storied history, pulled a reboot too. It's worth thinking about these seemingly very different publications as victims not of harsh publishing economics or bad personnel choices. Each ran out of steam in the end because they are the wrong kind of publications for the current moment. Each in its own way sought to be gatekeepers and tastermakers in a world where there's just a lot less patience for that sort of thing, whether the topic is sex and appearance or how to be knowingly establishment and mainstream in your political views. Each was boring in its certitude and its inability to capture the plenitude of the contemporary world in all its variabilities, contingencies, and wonders. If there's anything more boring than a hazy spread of playmate spread on a beach or a fainting couch, it was every issue for past dozen years of The New Republic.

If the Libertarian Moment—that vast, ongoing, technologically enabled, and chronicly under-appreciated embrace of a looser, hipper, punkified, alternative, and individualistic sensibility in politics, culture, and ideas—means anything, it's that we (men and women) need fewer elites telling us what is the right and wrong way to think or feel about shit. The Age of the Expert—whether it's Hef padding around in silk PJs and puffing on a pipe or the wizened, old-for-their-time Miniver Cheevys who presided over the final scuttling of The New Republic in a hilarious fit of impotent, self-important rage—is over and done with.  

What we need and want today are not experts but guides who treat us as equals (or employers!) and curate cool and interesting things and ideas that are happening all over the world. This isn't because the adults have left the room, as fuming, out-of-work-experts are wont to say. It's because the room is filled with adults and we all have more confidence in our own abilities to define our own lives, desires, and dreams. God, talk about liberation! A world where the priest, the professor, the stockbroker, the politician, and all the rest cannot argue from authority or remain insulated from dialogue

As sketched out by its chief content officer, Cory Jones, Playboy 2.0 sounds more like an airplane freebie than anything that's really going to set the world afire:

The magazine will adopt a cleaner, more modern style, said Mr. Jones, who as chief content officer also oversees its website. There will still be a Playmate of the Month, but the pictures will be "PG-13" and less produced — more like the racier sections of Instagram. "A little more accessible, a little more intimate," he said. It is not yet decided whether there will still be a centerfold.

Its sex columnist, Mr. Jones said, will be a "sex-positive female," writing enthusiastically about sex. And Playboy will continue its tradition of investigative journalism, in-depth interviews and fiction. The target audience, Mr. Flanders said, is young men who live in cities. "The difference between us and Vice," he said, "is that we're going after the guy with a job."

Some of the moves, like expanded coverage of liquor, are partly commercial, Mr. Flanders admitted; the magazine must please its core advertisers. And all the changes have been tested in focus groups with an eye toward attracting millennials — people between the ages of 18 and 30-something, highly coveted by publishers. 

I hope that the new and improved Playboy is better than that description (read more here). The world is already choking on magazines, but it always needs new and better ones.

NEXT: The Supreme Court, 9-0, on student organizations' "freedom to express 'the thought that we hate'"

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  1. I like this line from the CNN article about the change:

    Another competitor is Vice, an outlet that began as a print magazine and has since evolved into a multimedia juggernaut valued at more than $2 billion. Both Playboy and Vice target young men living in urban areas. “The difference between us and Vice,” Flanders told the Times, “is that we’re going after the guy with a job.”

    1. I guess I should have read Nick’s whole article before posting.

      1. And break venerable H&R tradition?!

        1. I’m wild and crazy.

      2. Why would you do that? Where do you think you are?

        1. You mean this isn’t a tropical beach with hot women in bikinis and rum drinks?

          1. “incredibly extensive and intensive Q&As; that simply (and sadly) don’t gone anymore.”

            the what what?

      3. WTF? You buy Reason for the articles? Really? Who believes that shit. Everyone knows we are all here for the SugarFree pr0n.

        1. I come here for John’s typos….but sadly it seems that era has come to an end.

        2. I like both the SugarFree porn and the articles.

        3. I keep stopping by in hopes that we’ll see Lobster Girl again.

          -jcr

  2. I used to have the issue with Katerina Witt. I no longer have it. I hang my head in shame.

    Witt posed nude for Playboy magazine at age 32, and the pictures were published months later in the December 1998 issue (she turned 33 on 3 December), which was the second ever sold-out issue of the magazine.

    1. Missed that one, somehow.

      I did have the classic issue with Barbara Bach AND whats-her-name, the Miss America winner.

  3. What would it be like to be made captain of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg?

    1. What’s the pay?
      In publishing, you can make big bucks by hanging on to the last and stealing the fancy furniture on the last day.

      1. The most important thing isn’t the stock price. It’s about how much copper wire you can get out of the building with!

  4. I was crestfallen by the demise of National Lampoon which will never be replaced. Playboy has been.

    1. I’ve been in the dumps ever since the Onion moved out of Madison. Never been the same since.

  5. Yes, Playboy photoshopped the hell out of its pneumatic centerfolds and playmates, launching innumerable careers and an even-higher number of eating disorders among women and unrealistic expectations among men.

    lol!

    1. Citation needed?

    2. That reminds me of Tina Fey’s awesome bit about Photoshop from her book,

      Do I worry about overly retouched photos giving women unrealistic expectations and body image issues? I do. I think that we will soon see a rise in anorexia in women over seventy. Because only people over seventy are fooled by Photoshop. Only your great-aunt forwards you an image of Sarah Palin holding a rifle and wearing an American-flag bikini and thinks it’s real.

      also….

      If you’re going to expend energy being mad about Photoshop, you’ll also have to be mad about earrings. No one’s ears are that sparkly! They shouldn’t have to be! You’ll have to get mad about oil paintings?those people didn’t really look like that! I for one am furious that people are allowed to turn sideways in photographs! Why can’t we accept a woman’s full width?! I won’t rest until people are only allowed to be photographed facing front under a fluorescent light.

      1. The Palin-psychosis makes me wonder if Tina Fey isnt the one posting as Shreek. Just had to throw that in there, didn’t she? She made her career on Palin. Cant resist a jab long after Palin has lost her relevance.

        1. For some reason Palin scared the shit out of the left. They reacted to her as if they’d found a conra under the bed. Maybe they’re adraid she could make a comeback.

          For the record; IF Palinwas as monumentally stupid ad incompetent as the Left made her out to be, she’d still be topping Shirrary in smarts. Not in power, connections, or drive, but smarts.

          1. For some reason Palin scared the shit out of the left.

            Because she was a regular person who ‘connected’ with a lot of Americans just like Reagan had years before. The Left never forgave themselves for not destroying Reagan when they had the chance, and they won’t make that mistake again.

  6. A 1980 issue had some photos of chycks wearing niqabs whilst spreading their legs.

    The magazine email really went bad during the mid-80s when it featured skinny blonde video vixens and interviewed barely literate pro athletes.

  7. 800,000 subscribers?

    I had no idea there were that many “authentic” barber shops left.

    1. Fuck yeah P!

      My old barber had a whole table of Playboys and it was the only reason I got my hair cut once a month. Now he’s retired and no one else seems to still have this hoary tradition.

      1. “this hoary tradition.”

        Please = “Sex-Workery”-tradition

  8. “Playboy also showcased some of the worst, most-retrograde elements of the patriarchy that slowly and surely lost its power over the 20th century.

    Say &*#$^@ what??!

    Holy Dworkin’s Ghost, man, do you mean to tell me I am not the inheritor of a male-dominated society which exists solely to oppress and marginalize the non cis-het populations and bend them to our pernicious capitalistic, imperialistic ends?

    If men have lost teh powers, someone needs to explain this in detail to Jezebels.

    Then there’s this added-problematic I can’t even…. =

    “For all of the nipples and the semi-arty beaver shots, it was far slower than National Geographic to showcase the full range of human diversity when it came to naked ladies

    So… wait a second, I thought you were talking about Teh Paytreearkee, and suddenly its like

    “Not only were you exploiting the Female Form, but dammit, you didn’t even exploit enough black ones!! IF ONLY YOU HAD MORE BLACK TITTY YOU WOULDNT BE SO RACISTS”

    You can’t fucking win, can you? Its like the old woody allen joke about the old jewish ladies in the catskills resort,

    “Isn’t the food horrible here?”
    “Ach! and such small portions!”

    1. Your willfully obtuse mischaracterization of virtually everything published at H&R is mildly if sadly amusing, like a clown walking in on his wife with another man.

      1. I enjoy sad clowns because they’re honest. Nobody likes a clown.

      2. “Your willfully obtuse mischaracterization…”

        Really? Did nick NOT say =

        a) Playboy was emblematic of retrograde “20th century Patriarchy” (thankfully in decline*) in its graphic exploitation of women

        and

        b) Playboy would have been far better if they’d only exploited a wider range of races, cultures

        is the “fair and honest” reading one that finds absolutely no underlying tension between those two statements?

        1. Yes – I caught it too.

          I also mentally looked up several PB spreads with Black and Asian ladies.

        2. I am scratching my head over that one too. He did say it.

          Yeah, Nick seems to have been infected with more than a little proggie/SJW bullshit. This isnt the first time it has reared it’s ugly head.

        3. If we could just pornography every body type, little girls would feel much better about themselves.

      3. Why would a clown walk in on his wife with another man? This clown has no respect for his wife’s privacy, just bringing some stranger to the house without any notice?

    2. You need to put it in Playboy Party Joke format:

      While enjoying a repas at a Borscht Belt supper club, an Old Crone lamented “Isn’t the food horrible here?”
      “Ach!” her elderly Jewess confidante replied “And in such small portions.”

      1. I get that joke but I don’t at the same time. Yes you don’t want lots of horrible food, but I view it as two separate complaints that aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.
        /over analyzing mode off

    3. Has Nick always been like this?

      1. No. But he has been slowly, steadily, and unmistakably moving to the left for some time now.

        I’m not sure if it’s because we’re his secondary audience now (his primary audience is the lefties who read Time Magazine and The Daily Beast), if he started changing first and then went to those publications, or if he’s simply trying to fit in better with all the Beltway fake libertarians Reason has unfortunately been hiring the last several years.

        1. I see no references to Block Yomamma here. You’re slipping, Mike.

          1. +1 Block Insane Yomamma

          2. I groan whenever he writes “Block Insane Yomamma,” but on-topic, Nick seems like he’s trying too hard to get leftists to like him here.

            That line about “the full range of human diversity when it came to naked ladies” is the kind of hypocritical diversity-for-thee-but-not-for-me bullshit I expect from white progressives. (How many African American writers does Reason currently employ, again?)

            Unless by naked lady diversity he was referring not to skin color, but to body size, and he meant to imply that Playboy should feature 200-pound centerfolds. But that would be even more ridiculous than the racial interpretation.

            1. “”Your willfully obtuse mischaracterization … is mildly if sadly amusing.”

              No, I agree with most of what you’re saying.

              I don’t think its “trying to get leftists to like him”, necessarily – not everything is political-signaling

              but its certainly silly and shallow to pick on Playboy for being ‘retrograde patriarchy’ on one hand….and *not inclusive enough of minorities* on the other … as though patriarchy would be less patriarchical if it were more Racially Cool…. or pretending that the chauvinistic qualities of Playboy weren’t exactly what helped sell the magazine.

              I also think Nick blows the analysis overall. Playboy wasn’t killed by “porn” because playboy was never porn. It was a ‘men’s magazine’. And what “men’s stuff” means has changed dramatically in the last few decades, while Playboy stayed frozen in its 1960s/70s conception. What it offered in terms of fashion/style, literature/essays, critical review, and female eye-candy, you can get in a thousand places now. Porn has almost nothing to do with it. Its probably more to do with the fact that men don’t wear suits anymore, hipsters dont drink scotch, McSweeny’s has better writers, and the eye candy in an American Apparel (RIP) catalog was probably more titillating than most contemporary Playboy models.

              1. hipsters dont drink scotch

                Wait, I thought hipsters did like scotch.

                It is foreign and open to innumerable gradations and niche distilleries.

                How could they not like it?

                “This distillery? You’ve probably never heard of it”

  9. I remember reading a great interview with Malcolm X in Playboy. Despite the old joke, they did run a lot of good and important writing for a while.

    1. It was an access to underground comix and cool magazine illustration for me.

  10. “Each ran out of steam in the end because they are the wrong kind of publications for the current moment.

    I find the continued existence of Cosmopolitan baffling.

    The whole purpose of the magazine is to prey on the insecurities of young women–who are afraid they will lose their boyfriend because they aren’t doing sex right?

    How absurd is that?

    1. Cosmopolitan was (is?) like a PUA mag for chicks. Or, perhaps more accurately, you could say the PUA “movement” is like Cosmopolitan for guys.

    2. Cosmopolitan was (is?) like a PUA mag for chicks. Or, perhaps more accurately, you could say the PUA “movement” is like Cosmopolitan for guys.

      1. PUA?

        is that something like FUPA?

    3. “How absurd is that?”

      How many young women do you know Ken?

  11. If the Libertarian Moment?…?means anything

    We have been trying to tell you it doesn’t.

    1. MY TOILET WAS LEAKING THIS MORNING THERE IS NO LIBERTARIAN MOMENT

  12. OT: Backfield Ambush

    http://recode.net/2015/10/12/t…..opyrights/

    Today, Twitter temporarily suspended the main account run by Gawker Media’s Deadspin sports site, which had been sharing GIF and video highlights of NFL games. Over the weekend, Twitter also suspended an account, @SBNationGIF, run by Vox Media-owned SB Nation* for posting GIFs of college football highlights. It has yet to be reactivated.

    According to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices provided to Re/code by Twitter, Deadspin received more than a dozen takedown notices from the NFL. SB Nation received eight takedown notices from XOS Digital, which owns various college football digital broadcasting rights and represents the SEC and Big 12 conferences.

    1. Hopefully, they’ll eat each other with lawyers.

  13. Sorry Nick, but that was a boring article about a boring subject. I’m bored.

  14. A Playboy spokesman says that online porn killed the audience for the mag’s brand of nudity, and there’s a lot of truth to that. Even more important, the sexual revolution that Hugh Hefner’s mag, which burned a lot of pages early on with his “Playboy Philosophy,” helped launch spelled doom just as well.

    Maybe so, but I’m still going to pour out a 40 for it.

    , it’s that we (men) don’t really need yet one more mag that tells us how to match plaids and stripes or to tie a Windsor knot and how to open a bottle of champagne without embarrassing ourselves.

    I still can’t tie a fucking Windsor, but that’s OK. At my height, it makes ties too short, not that I wear ties that much any longer.

    Playboy of the 60’s and 70’s was the shit. Jazz, high culture that only existed there or in Esquire, neekid chicks, good booze, decent advice, seriously good authors, killer cartoonists (GAHAM WILSON), massive information on just about everything macho and more neekid chicks. It was perfect for the time.

    1. Their ‘Sex in the Cinema’ was the original Mr. Skin.

    2. It had some of the best writing in the world in that time frame.

    3. Playboy of the 60’s and 70’s was the shit.

      No kidding. The joke about “I only get it for the articles” was funny because a lot of the non-pic contents was absolutely first-rate.

      You really could get it just for the articles.

  15. The target audience, Mr. Flanders said…

    Ned Flanders? No wonder they’re getting rid of the nudes.

    1. Stupid sexy Flanders.

  16. This is so sad. And yet another indication of the neo-Victorians’ success at purging everything remotely sexual from our culture and entertainment. It’s clear from TV shows like Hannibal, The Walking Dead and American Horror Story that no amount of horrible violence and gore is too much for the American public, but a brief glimpse of a female nipple sends everyone into a hysterical frenzy. We are truly living in the Bizarro World.

    1. American Horror Story has nipples.

      1. Only male nipples, and lots of male ass. I’ve seen every episode, and female nudity is non-existent.

        1. so male ass doesn’t count as sexuality

          1. Nudity is not always sexual. But most people are incapable of seeing that.

            1. It is if there is no reason to have it other than to satisfy someone’s ravings about lack of sexuality in TV

              1. I like realism. When I see an actress wearing her underwear during a ‘sex’ scene it reminds me that it’s not real. Same as when they show a couple after sex and the woman has the covers up to her neck while the guy is exposed from the waist up. No woman I’ve ever been with has done these things and it’s not realistic. I’m no fan of violence or gore, but if the story calls for it then it should be realistic.

        2. A show produced by a gaggle of gays has no female nudity but lots of male ass?

          I’m shocked and appalled aroused.

    2. I was talking with a friend way back in the dark ages when our kids were in their teens. I asked him if he had to choose, would he rather his kids grew up to be violent or promiscuous. He hemmed and hawed then finally said promiscuous. So I told him to rent porn for his kids and leave the teen slasher flicks that were popular at the time on the shelf.

      1. A sane society would label slasher films as ‘porn’ and erotica would be suitable for Prime Time TV.

        1. I don’t think I agree that erotica should be suitable for Prime Time. Connotation for Erotica contains an aspect of intentionally titillating.

          I don’t need Red Shoe Diaries on after The Flash. I agree 100% that we as a culture are far too prudish and nudity should be more acceptable, but I don’t think that “non-prudish” is identical to “Titties at Tea Time.” I don’t want gratuitous nudity on prime time TV any more than gratuitous violence or gratuitous language.

          (NB: That doesn’t mean I want it censored, I don’t. I support 100% the de-censoring of television and radio. “I don’t like it” and “I don’t want it” isn’t saying the same thing as “It should be illegal.” I know these are libertarian forums, but it is still worth mentioning.)

          1. I don’t disagree with anything you said.

            I just don’t understand why adult sex and nudity is considered harmful to children but extreme violence and gore are not. Kids can legally view R-rated ‘Torture Porn’ movies with their parents, but you must reach the arbitrary age of 18 in order to see non-violent, erotic ‘porn.’ That seems totally backwards to me. But based on most of the responses here, I’m the only one who sees it that way.

            1. You aren’t the only one.

    3. This post brought to you by someone who has never seen HBO, a pop music video made in the past decade, or the internet

      1. Yeah, it’s pretty hard to argue that sexual stuff is being purged from popular culture.

        1. Two Broke Girls is on during what used to be called the family hour, and they don’t go two sentences without a dick joke.

          1. As I said previously, American’s are ok with vulgar sex jokes since it appeals to their immature attitudes about human sexuality. Realistic depictions of sex (or worse, the female nipple!) send them into apoplectic fits. You have the freedom to turn it off if you don’t like it, but that’s not good enough for most people.

            1. I think you may be overstating it a bit. That strain does certainly exist in American culture, but I think it is more a shrill minority than “most people”.

              1. That “shrill minority” has a lot of influence, unfortunately. The casual nudity seen in movies during the 70s and 80s has vanished, so on the rare occasion we see it now it has a far greater impact. And it’s more widespread than you realize. I’ve have heard many Game of Throne fans (including young guys) say they would like that show better if the sex and nudity were removed.

      2. Where have you been the past decade? Hollywood is churning out PG-13 comic book movies and CGI kid’s movies devoid of any sex or nudity. Sure, they can make vulgar sex jokes, but honest and realistic portrayals of human sexuality get branded as porn. The internet has become the sexual ghetto where all the purged material from mainstream entertainment has been relegated.

        1. I guarantee you more people spend more time consuming pr0n on the internet than they do watching family-friendly movies. So which one is a bigger part of the culture? The two most highly regarded and popular TV dramas of the past decade are Sex and the 60s and Tits and Dragons.

          I mean, Nick’s whole point with this post that you clearly did not read is that Playboy has lost circulation because there are so many other outlets doing what it does only better, including the nudity.

          1. I did read the whole article. But when the magazine that spearheaded the Sexual Revolution goes into a full retreat you know we’re on the wrong path. And you attitude is emblematic of the problem: sex and nudity are on the internet so they doesn’t belong anywhere else.

            Sex and the 60s and Tits and Dragons.

            I’m assuming you’re referring to Mad Men and Game of Thrones? The fact you feel the need to dismiss them with those titles shows how sensitive to sexuality you (and most Americans) are. Game of Thrones has literally a couple of minutes per season of sex and/or nudity. Yet that’s all the uptight people see when they watch it. Sex and nudity have become so devoid in our entertainment that on the rare occasion it’s show people freak out. Most people never outgrow that juvenile ‘sex is icky’ mentality, and that’s pathetic.

            1. “sex is icky”

              I blame the Catholic church.

            2. Right. Everything is going in the wrong direction. Everyone is an uptight square who thinks of sex as an icky shameful secret. Everyone except for open-minded freethinkers like yourself.

              I mean it’s not like sitcoms on network stations and channels explicitly marketed as family-friendly openly discuss and joke about sex, where previous generations couldn’t even depict husband and wife using the word ‘pregnant’, much less sleeping in the same bed.

              It’s not like you can go to any major news/culture website and find regular articles discussing sexuality and its various forms.

              It’s certainly not like sex and sexuality play major parts in driving plots, casting, and marketing of virtually all entertainment and most consumer goods.

              1. Everyone is an uptight square who thinks of sex as an icky shameful secret. Everyone except for open-minded freethinkers like yourself.

                Glad we can agree on something…

            3. Also, have you ever considered the possibility that if you’re getting all pissy over a joke about sex that maybe you’re the uptight one?

              1. maybe you’re the uptight one?

                I don’t mind vulgar sex jokes if they’re funny. But they’re usually not. Besides, I was simply questioning why people in the US are ok with those in mainstream entertainment but get in a tizzy when sex is discussed (or depicted) in an honest, mature, and realistic manner. I’d expect that reaction from immature teenagers, not from so-called adults.

        2. Where have you been the past decade? Hollywood is churning out PG-13 comic book movies and CGI kid’s movies devoid of any sex or nudity.

          Where have you been?

          Hollywood doesn’t cater to ‘adults only’ because ‘adults only’ pares down your audiencede facto. Moreover, if you weren’t aware, kids will watch the exact same damn movie dozens of times mindlessly, buy the paraphernalia, eat the cereal, and play the games. Not so much with adult media/porn. Also, dying media is dying… lemme find my shocked face.

          The GTA series puts Custer’s Revenge to shame and even a modest trip off the beaten path of teh internets get you more nudity than you could buy in any single skin mag issue a few scant years ago on the magazine stand. The Sears catalog used to be *the* source for pics of scantily clad women; now, the SI Swimsuit issue *and* Victoria’s Secret are run-of-the-mill.

          I sum up my arguments with two words: Kim Kardashian.

          1. Hollywood doesn’t cater to ‘adults only’

            See, this is the problem. Nudity and realistic portrayals of human sexuality are not harmful to children. Perhaps if there were more depictions of normal, healthy sex in mainstream entertainment then we’d have fewer perverts, rapists, and child molesters in this country. Sex would be seen for what it is: a normal part of life and not some dirty, little secret to privately indulge in on the internet.

      3. Every show must involve female nudity, even if it’s unnecessary to the storyline. Otherwise we’re all a bunch of prudes. Oh, and male nudity doesn’t count.

        1. I’m ok with that

        2. Every show must involve female nudity

          Never said that. But if the story calls for it, then it should be shown.

          1. How do violent shows “call for nudity”? Because there is some imbalance that only exists in your mind.

            1. How do violent shows “call for nudity”? Because there is some imbalance that only exists in your mind.

              Why does it have to be either-or? All these shows are about people. People in real life have sex. To ignore this simple fact of life is ignorant, juvenile, and not realistic.

              1. What does “real life”, much less realistic sex have to do with a 1. cannibal psychiatrist 2. a movie about zombies 3. or a show about monsters and haunted shit

                You’re so narrowly, crazily focused on nudity that you don’t even get how off-base you are about the point of entertainment

                1. and for the record, I couldn’t care less about nudity, per se. I just think it’s funny how you have the same level of indignation that you accuse the puritanical bogeyman of having, about something so minor

                2. I’ve said I don’t like violence or gore, but if it’s part of the story and done realistically then I’m ok with it. You, on the other hand, are incapable of even imagining a situation where sex and/or nudity is appropriate. The characters in these shows have sex, even if they don’t show of mention it. Why can’t we see it and gain additional insight into their personalities and characters? People behave differently depending on if they’re out in public or in private with a lover. But we’re only allowed to see their public persona because too many people have sexual hangups and would complain.

    4. “but a brief glimpse of a female nipple sends everyone into a hysterical frenzy. We are truly living in the Bizarro World.”

      Bullshit. There are plenty of popular tv shows with female nudity. The shows you named simply have violence integral to the plots, whereas nudity is not.

      1. The shows you named simply have violence integral to the plots, whereas nudity is not.

        But according to people like you, sex and nudity are always deemed gratuitous and never integral to any plot. The most recent episode of AMS had an ‘orgy’ scene that showed nothing but male ass and ended with two slashed throats and lots of gushing blood. And most of the people online were bitching that Lady Gaga was only wearing pasties and panties. No amount of violence is too much, but implied nudity is over the line. Mind-boggling!

        1. But according to people like you, sex and nudity are always deemed gratuitous and never integral to any plot.

          Classic.

          The most recent episode of AMS had an ‘orgy’ scene that showed nothing but male ass and ended with two slashed throats and lots of gushing blood. And most of the people online were bitching that Lady Gaga was only wearing pasties and panties. No amount of violence is too much, but implied nudity is over the line. Mind-boggling!

          It’s called American HORROR Story. If you feel like TV doesn’t have enough nudity for you, go write your own script and direct it and produce it and act in it, because that’s the only way you’ll get it exactly the way you want. There’s no secret shadowy conspiracy of anti-nudists.

      2. “There are plenty of popular tv shows with female nudity.”

        I’ll see your “Bullshit” and raise you a “Poppycock.”

        There are the pay-channels, sure (Dragons and Titties is mentioned above, which I assume is GoT), but they are hardly mainstream. Where are you seeing female (or male!) nudity in modern TV that ISN’T on a channel that made its name on its willingness to show titties (Skinemax, HBO, etc.)

        1. Where are you seeing female (or male!) nudity in modern TV

          Male nudity is everywhere because for some arbitrary reason it’s OK for men to appear topless while women can not. A woman’t breast is no more sexual than a man’s, but if they show one on network TV our government will slap them with a $500K fine. Playboy once led the charge in normalizing human sexuality and nudity, but this latest news proves they’ve given up. The uptight prudes are winning.

          1. “A woman’t breast is no more sexual than a man’s (…).”

            That’s complete nonsense, empirically and theoretically. Not only are men fairly obsessed with women’s breasts, but their size and shape has no discernible purpose other than sexual attraction/selection. Lactation – breast-feeding – doesn’t require that sizeable investment.

            1. men fairly obsessed with women’s breasts

              Only because our culture has made them ‘naughty’ and forbidden. Did the men of African or Amazonian tribes obsesses over the bare breasts of all the women in their tribes? No. Female breasts are secondary sexual characteristics and no more sexual or erotic than a man’s beard.

              1. My beard is awesome and wildly erotic.

                My beard will not be censored, and last time I tried to shave (lost a drunken bet) I literally broke the razor.

                My beard ought not be censored, and neither should the breasts of those who want to display them.

              2. But exactly why would anyone wish that a portion of the female body be de-sexualized?

                1. Not a Libertarian: “But exactly why would anyone wish that a portion of the female body be de-sexualized?”

                  Excellent question. Not a complete treatment, but two aspects. 1) So that females get to define which parts of their body are sexy and when. [a) which of their parts they find sexy and when; b) which female parts men find sexy and when. b) seems pretty silly.) 2) Equality to men. Equal sexiness. (Seems equally silly.)

              3. Which is why men’s breasts are as sexy as women’s breasts and women’s beards are as sexy as men’s beards. Plus, tribal men don’t find naked women sexy. So they run around naked and dress when having sex.

                By the way, take a look at this interesting study, outlining that and why female’s lumbar curvature (curvy backside) is sexy: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-m…..oots.html. You can then go look up research on hip-waist ratio.

                1. Plus, tribal men don’t find naked women sexy.

                  I never said that. I said they weren’t obsessed with breasts like men in the US are because they’re not hidden from view. And I’d be ok with men being arrested for going shirtless and being censored on TV and in movies. Because if you can’t be right then you should at least be consistent.

                  1. @ Antilles

                    They are still obsessed with sexy women (including breasts). At the same time, I agree that extreme supply does make a difference in respect to “price”. (As for secondary characteristics, consider feminine/masculine voice, too.) Regarding taboos and transgression, it’s not as clear cut as you seem to think. Instead of making things more desirable, taboos tend to make things more disgusting, less desirable. Does the incest taboo cause men to obessively pursue that?

                    As foryour norms, that’d be as consistent as prohibiting breast-feeding to women and men. Entertaining — If anything, this should be governed by local standards/pluralism.

  17. My first thought when I heard this was that they should drop any new photo shoots, but rerun classic/vintage shoots.

  18. The Playboy Advisor always stood out as very real world practical advise in the midst of all the airbrushed fantasy. When I had a subscription, that was the first thing I read. (Not, you’ll note, the first thing I looked at.)

  19. Playboy has been on a pretty steady decline ever since Hef handed day-to-day management over to his daughter. They totally failed to adapt not only to the internet, but also to deal with the wave of new competitors they faced back in the ’80s.

    What they have left is a greatly diminished brand. Maybe putting women in charge of a mens’ magazine wasn’t a great business plan.

    -jcr

    1. It was Bob Guccione who said that he didn’t exploit women, he exploited men. Maybe you need a man in charge who knows how to do that.

    2. She hasn’t been running things for the better part of a decade, you know.

  20. Playboy sort of ceased being relevant in the 70’s, and is when Hef should have been showed the door and pretty much made invisible. It got to the point that every time someone gave him moment to speak you could readily tell that he was still living in 1965, when he was already becoming a parody of himself.

    You can pretty much look to the demise of the company as an example of every time Hef decided to fiddle with things personally.

    1. So Hefner is the Al Davis of magazine industry.

  21. “If the Libertarian Moment?that vast, ongoing, technologically enabled, and chronicly under-appreciated embrace of a looser, hipper, punkified, alternative, and individualistic sensibility in politics, culture, and ideas?means anything, it’s that we (men and women) need fewer elites telling us what is the right and wrong way to think or feel about shit. The Age of the Expert?whether it’s Hef padding around in silk PJs and puffing on a pipe or the wizened, old-for-their-time Miniver Cheevys who presided over the final scuttling of The New Republic in a hilarious fit of impotent, self-important rage?is over and done with. ”

    That’s some misplaced nonsense. //

    Haven’t seen a Playboy’s content in several years. The one draw it had were images of women you wouldn’t see elsewhere. Its alleged class allowed women – celebrities – to undress and claim that’s it’s art and grants them some superiority; the precedences helped. The manipulation, faking of these photos (photoshop) killed most of the sex appeal. Settings, poses, expression, and style were unimpressive. (Again, based on what I’ve seen. I’d appreciate examples to the contrary.) There’s a market for a magazine that’s old-school (as opposed to hip, and nerdy), with some sophistication, confidently manly (as opposed to shrill), and with exceptional photos of sexy women. Needless to say that that’s difficult to pull off.

    Any recommendations of good contemporary men’s magazines?

    1. Art of Manliness is pretty good, but doesn’t have the skin you are looking for. Check out the blog.

      1. Briefly checked that years ago when I was looking for books on gentlemanliness. That search didn’t yield much, by the way. Regardless, what I recall of Art of Manliness is that it’s led by a relatively young guy (and believe he was just out of college, having studied law) and his wife. I recall that he suggested reading some of the classics, which he had just discovered himself. I don’t have anything against a work in progress, but that was too a early a stage. I recall that there was something called the “Good Men Project”, which allegedly was taken over by (male and female) feminists. I’ve read Mansfield’s Manliness, and Welsh, What Is Honor? — and wasn’t impressed by either one. Further, some books on stoicism (Epictetus, Aurelius, Seneca, and Cicero) which are more impressive. Anyway, I haven’t encountered anything complete. There’s stuff left to explore, such as books on dueling (interestingly, that was a cultural element during the founding period as well, see Hamilton). I really don’t want to go through romance novels and women’s magazines, though that’s relevant. Saving me the (tedious) work, an analysis by someone (preferrably female) who is not compelled to make a silly attempt at making it fit feminist dogma would be useful.

        Apparently there are at best merely a few books that comprehensively deal with manliness. That’s interesting. Thanks for the recommendation, Simon.

        1. Burke’s statement on chivalry is a classic; I have to include it: http://www.bartleby.com/24/3/6.html

          1. Structure lost, so whatever, check out some comedy on manliness (actually: maleness): Patrice O’Neil, Elephant in the Room: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK98XzEM97Y. Watch at least the first three minutes, to get the idea of male and female (mating) value (including black versus white). Market paradigm.

  22. soooo, sex drugs & rock and roll with out the sex? boorrring

    1. If drugs and rock and roll are boring, you are clearly doing something wrong.

  23. I used to read Playboy’s articles in the pre-internet years, but there were a lot of magazines with good articles and interviews. The key draw was, of course, the pictorial content. What is Playboy without nude pictorials and the centerfolded Playmate? First, MTV stops running music videos, and now Playboy quits running nude pictorials. Soon, The Weather Channel will abandon weather coverage and forecasting, to become only a lifestyle network for people who live amidst weather — as we all do. You can already see hints of this change in their many “reality” shows. Sigh.

    1. Well done, noting MTV.

  24. Re Cory Jones: Nudity isn’t “unclean,” or it a lack of it “more modern.” L-A-M-E corporate Puritanism has made it’s way to the corridors of Playboy.

    Hugh Hefner wants MONEY. His original publication had nudie pics because it brought him MONEY. And this change is because he wants MONEY.

    Porn 1.0 is about selling a deceptive lying form sex for money, and getting money via hijacking a built-in-by-evolution biological process.

    Porn 2.0 is user generated content, but still sadly surrounded by & support by porn 1.0 crap.

    Porn 3.0 may be user generated content unhindered by and not surrounded by any of the porn 10 abusiveness.

    Playboy “2.0” is not any sort of a 2.0. Cosmo and Maxim have already gone there done that.

    Bye bye Playboy. You had your day, and now that day is done. Yes the Internet allows us to view the beauty of human nakedness and sexuality – even more honestly.

    Nudity isn’t passe. Print magazines are the thing that’s passe, not nudity.

    I agree that in as much as photos were altered & the true nature of human nudity was altered (as a lie), then the less of that there is the better.

    More Pompeii. More Thomas Rowlandson and Michael Zichy. More honest & real & un-retouched nudity and sexuality.

    Less Hugh Hefner and other porn 1.0 charlatans.

    Oh, and sex happens to be about babies, and the only reason sex exists in the first place is because of reproduction. Can we get any mention of that in Playboy & similar mags?

    1. nor it a lack of it “more modern.”

  25. William F Buckley once had a major article in Playboy, which produced a grand total of 2 letters to the editor, instead of the dozens or scores even his daily column produced. He then compared the non-sex parts of Playboy to the Bible in a cathouse, there because it gave a more respectable tone to the place, not because anybody was actually interested.
    The porn trade having gone downhill, Playboy is trying to concentrate on the “Bible”. One can hope they find a winning formula, but the odds are very against it. They will be losing one subscriber at least.

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