Patterico's Pontifications


Playboy Magazine: No More Nudes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:54 pm

Playboy: you read it for the articles. No, really:

Last month, Cory Jones, a top editor at Playboy, went to see its founder Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion.

In a wood-paneled dining room, with Picasso and de Kooning prints on the walls, Mr. Jones nervously presented a radical suggestion: the magazine, a leader of the revolution that helped take sex in America from furtive to ubiquitous, should stop publishing images of naked women.

Mr. Hefner, now 89, but still listed as editor in chief, agreed. As part of a redesign that will be unveiled next March, the print edition of Playboy will still feature women in provocative poses. But they will no longer be fully nude.

Its executives admit that Playboy has been overtaken by the changes it pioneered. “That battle has been fought and won,” said Scott Flanders, the company’s chief executive. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.”

So one of the guys who helped decide this is named “Flanders”? Coinkidink?

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36 Responses to “Playboy Magazine: No More Nudes”

  1. Indeedly doodly!

    Patterico (fecd9b)

  2. Playboy has trendy left-wing politics typical of The New Yorker or Vanity Fair or other coastal media outlets. The readership for their opinions on politics, sports, culture, fashion, entertainment, or any other subject they cover is going to be extremely limited. They’ll close up shop fully by the time Obama exits the White House.

    And now where are washed-up starlets in their mid-30s going to go to pose nude in order revive their flagging careers? Will they just put out “leaked” sex tapes now?

    JVW (ba78f9)

  3. Wow, that NYT article that you linked to says that at its peak circulation Playboy magazine sold seven million copies of the November 1972 issue, back when there were only 210 million people in the U.S. That is the equivalent of 10.5 million copies sold today, which would be larger than any U.S. magazine other than the AARP monthly publications.

    JVW (ba78f9)

  4. Nudes? There were nudes?

    I always read Playboy for the articles. Like when they interviewed Prince Sihanouk.

    Why didn’t somebody tell me of this earlier.

    Steve57 (d94282)

  5. Considering that there’s a Braille edition ….

    nk (dbc370)

  6. According to Wikipedia, Playboy’s current circulation is around 1.25 million per issue. That ranks them number 66 among U.S. magazines and is 750,000 fewer copies sold per month than Maxim (ranked #32), the magazine it would appear they are trying to emulate. Nope, it’s over for the pajama-clad rabbit.

    JVW (ba78f9)

  7. In the end it’s been the same blond with a different name every month anyway.

    BradnSA (2312b5)

  8. Hugh Heffner is 89 years old.

    When a man grows old and his balls get cold
    And the tip of his pecker turns blue
    And it bend in the middle like the string of a fiddle
    There’s a limit to what V!@gr@ can do.

    Pictures of nude women will only make him sad. If he remembers what they are.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. it’ll be interesting to see how print fares in the next downturn

    my gut says it’ll be a blood bath

    happyfeet (831175)

  10. As a conservationist, I will be very glad that trees will not die to print the crap that is 90% of what’s published these days.

    nk (dbc370)

  11. me too

    happyfeet (831175)

  12. Flanders? That is funny!

    There’s a famous quote about sexual freedom and the inevitable, boring satiation from a French theorist: “What are you doing after the orgy?”

    The orgy is over.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  13. 13. …There’s a famous quote about sexual freedom and the inevitable, boring satiation from a French theorist: “What are you doing after the orgy?”

    Patricia (5fc097) — 10/14/2015 @ 7:53 am

    I remember being on a beach in Santa Cruz. I had gone off to use the restroom and I was on my way back to rejoin my friends when I see a knot of men clustered around something. So I stopped by to see what the fuss is about.

    It turns out some woman is sunbathing topless. And these guys are standing around resting their beers on their pot bellies watching her soak up the rays. And the attention; you could tell by the smile on her face she’s loving the attention.

    So I look at her, then I look at her audience, then back to her, then back to her audience, etc. Finally I say, “J***s C****t, haven’t you seen t*ts before?” and went on my way.

    This was back in the early ’70s. I think I was 12. By that time I believe I had seen the t*ts of every flower child in Berkeley.

    Sure, being on the cusp of puberty I enjoyed it. At first. Then later I got bored with it and was like “Yeah, yeah, very nice, can you roll those sagging things up and throw a shirt or something over them?”

    Don’t get me wrong; I am devoutly heterosexual and I love the female form. It’s just that after the novelty wore off I became something of a connoisseur. I discovered early on that I don’t need to see every pair of t*ts in the world. In fact, some t*ts are best left unseen.

    It’s kind of like when I stumbled across the unofficial nude beach and realized that the kind of people who want to get naked in public are exactly the wrong people to ever be seen naked. What is seen can never be unseen. Uggh.

    Steve57 (d94282)

  14. The article explains that the Playboy peony magazine loses 3 million dollars per year. It exists as a loss leader to flagship the brand which makes loads of money overseas with lifestyle products.

    And to give them a reason to have a New York office.

    luagha (224e09)

  15. One thing Playboy dioes right is that it has articles interviewing the women who bare their lady parts, informing the readers that there is much more to them than titties and a vagina. See here for an example:

    Michael Ejercito (d74b61)

  16. Playboy without nudes is like drinking diet caffeine-free Coke. Why bother?

    Zoltan (f36260)

  17. Better that they simply end their print edition than that they try to turn it into Maxim. As a business decision, this is right up there with “New Coke.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  18. The magazine whose main appeal was to 14-year old jerkoffs now turns its market focus on…nobody.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  19. Better that they simply end their print edition than that they try to turn it into Maxim.

    Yeah. At least Maxim makes no pretense about who their audience is and runs articles like “The 10 Most Bitchin’ Cheap Beers to Get Plastered On” and “How to Make Your Backyard BBQ Epic.” Playboy thinks it appeals to the intellectual set and is down to running features such as “The Five Best Cashmere Overcoats That None of Our Readers Can Afford Anyway” and “Here is a John Cheever short story we rejected back in 1964 but have exhumed from our files and are running now because we’re so desperate for content.” It’s just a sad, sad flameout for a magazine that once occupied a prime space in the social and intellectual life of American males.

    JVW (ba78f9)

  20. Around the time I traded in my Harley for a 900Gpz, young Mr. Davidson started advertising in Playboy. Easyriders bemoaned Harley’s market shift, although it turned out to be wildly successful, and I guess it said something about Playboy’s readership too. (And I had to Google Maxim.)

    nk (dbc370)

  21. but what are the naked girls supposed to do for monies now

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  22. i wonder if they know how to patch drywall

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  23. Oui was worth reading.

    mg (31009b)

  24. Cheri, too.

    nk (dbc370)

  25. laughing so hard, thanks nk.

    mg (31009b)

  26. Good story, Steve57. :)

    Patricia (5fc097)

  27. Time to short that stock.

    Dan S (94f399)

  28. Time to short that stock.

    Actually, yours truly was a stock-holder for 40+ years. My uncle bought me some shares when I was a toddler (cool birthday gift, huh?) and I held on to them until they finally had a stock repurchase a few years ago when everyone had to sell back their shares. The link shows exactly how well us early investors did.

    JVW (ba78f9)

  29. I was 15 years old in 1979 when my parents separated and I left the Salt Lake City area to live with my dad in a small town in southern Utah. I became friends with a boy who lived next door, and we had some good times together. His parents thought a lot of me, as I was a sober young man, probably due to my dad’s temper and my strict Mormon upbringing. In fact, I remember that this friend, when he wanted to have a rowdier time than he could have with me, would pay me to come over to his house and pretend that I was going somewhere with him. He would then surreptitiously drop me off around the corner, just so his parents would think he was with me.

    Anyway, one day Playboy magazines started arriving in the mail, which I found both abhorrent and curious. I wondered how I came to have a subscription. Of course I had to look. I remember my friend coming over to have a look also. This friend, who had grown up in the area, told me that a girl at school had ordered the magazine. I believed it, probably because I had previously been told that this girl had a crush on me.

    So one day at school I went up to this girl, in a classroom with others present, and told her I didn’t appreciate her having Playboys sent to my house. I can’t even remember what she said. I don’t think I had ever spoken to her before, and I didn’t speak to her after that.

    A few weeks later I discovered that somebody had written something on my garage door. It said “We are writing pornography, so there!” I got the impression that this girl had done it because she was upset by my accusation, which I began to realize had been false.

    My dad discovered that I was receiving the magazine. I don’t think I was stupid enough to leave the magazine lying around. He probably beat me to the mailbox one day. Instead of losing it, as he had done many a time, he just expressed disappointment. I’m sure I told him I didn’t order it. I’m not sure he believed me.
    Fast forward a few decades. I thought about the incident one day, and it occurred to me that it was probably my neighbor friend who had done it. I chuckled to myself and filed it somewhere in my head.

    Earlier this year, on a whim, I did some research, and found that this old pal, whom I hadn’t seen since 1986, was living in southern California. So, on a trip there to see a college friend, I decided to go and see this old high school friend also, not to solve the Playboy case but just for old time’s sake.

    It took him a few seconds, but he recognized me. We adjourned to the back yard, where we had a good chat. At one point I took the opportunity to mention the Playboy incident, and I asked him if he did it. He smiled and said probably. He said he had done it to more than one person.
    I was so naïve back in high school!

    norcal (de1798)

  30. Patricia @27, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I grew up in a weird time and place. I really was jaded by the time I was 12.

    Especially about porn. I remember being supremely irritated by the fact that it was called “adult entertainment.” Because it was everywhere, and I’d look at it and think, “What’s so adult about this, it’s childish crap.”

    Oh, speaking of which, I stumbled across a headline that Miley Cyrus will be performing nude on stage in the November/December time frame with a band called The Flaming Lips, which if you’re a Miley Cyrus fan you may have heard of as she’s toured with them.

    Apparently white foam will be involved since The Flaming Lips have a song or an album or something about the “Milky Milkey” yadda yadda.

    So if it’s always been your fantasy to see Miley Cyrus get nekkid with a bunch of pasty white middle aged guys on stage, here’s your chance to buy tickets.

    And no, I wasn’t looking for this. I came across it looking for info about global warming that I linked to on another comment thread.

    Come to think of it, present day America is a pretty weird time and place to grow up, too.

    Steve57 (d94282)

  31. 30. …I was so naïve back in high school!

    norcal (de1798) — 10/14/2015 @ 10:21 pm

    And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    I think it was in 1979 I went to see an X-rated cartoon festival at a movie theater in Berkeley. It wasn’t porn, exactly, it was mostly the old Disney and Hanna Barbera stand-byes telling dirty jokes and swearing like sailors.

    Apparently the cartoonists would produce this when they got bored, and it was archived.

    We were just howling at this stuff. It was hilarious. And we were so obnoxious the guy in the row ahead of us turned around and said, “Will you children shut up; this is art.”

    Naturally we lost it even more.

    At intermission we went to the snack bar where we ran into a friend’s mom, the sex therapist.

    She had the wildest stories. Like the time when she was working with the natives of New Guinea. They were trying to teach them to use birth control. So they travelled from village to village putting on puppet shows, demonstrating how to put on condoms using whatever phallic-shaped tubers or fruit was convenient.

    This traveling circus took several months to run its course back in the 60s or 70s when they were doing this; eventually they got back to the villages where they had kicked off their campaign and noticed no change in the pregnancy rate. Zero, zip, nada.

    They accused the village men of failing to wear condoms, but given the state of native attire at that time it was soon painfully obvious they had been wearing condoms. In fact, they were wearing condoms when the sex therapists started leveling those very accusations at them.

    You see, the sex therapists had done a fine job of teaching these people how to put condoms on. But they left out the part about ever taking them off. So not having been told otherwise the villagers thought they were supposed to wear them all the time like a magic talisman or charm.

    And eventually they had to pee, and they figured the lack of a hole in the condom to allow that was some sort of design flaw which they fixed right quick.

    Steve57 (d94282)

  32. Funny story, Steve.

    The sex therapists should have promoted vasectomies instead. Hard to mess that up.

    norcal (de1798)

  33. 33. …The sex therapists should have promoted vasectomies instead. Hard to mess that up.

    norcal (de1798) — 10/14/2015 @ 11:54 pm

    In New Guinea?!?

    Uhh, you go first.

    Steve57 (d94282)

  34. I give it two issues. Maybe three simply because the lost sales will so utterly kill the magazine but it’ll take them that long to switch-back the stuff in the pipeline.

    Playboy does need to do something to become “relevant” again, but this wasn’t it.

    IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  35. In the end it’s been the same blond with a different name every month anyway.

    I wouldn’t go quite that far, but Playboy has suffered from a lack of “imagination” in its female choices for the last decade and more that seems obvious. The girls do have a strong interchangeable plastic quality all too often.

    I wish they’d ban fake tits, instead they went the other way — about 10 years ago, there was an absolutely gorgeous young blonde they had in the “Newsstand Specials” for a couple years, they expressed an interest in making her a centerfold, but only if she got her very very nice, well-shaped, and attractive b-bordering-on-c tits enhanced to be Ds or better. She smartly refused. Not all girls have.

    The girl was awesome gorgeous — she didn’t need enhancement.

    I like largish breasts, but unless she’s flat as a board they are NEVER called for (and generally not even then but it’s at least understandable)…

    IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

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