Around the Porn part 1: Sometimes I Like ‘Em Arty and Airbrushed

Playboy recently announced that the magazine would no longer be featuring pictures of nude women. Is this a sad thing? I don’t know. Yet. This is the most publicity that Playboy has had since . . . I have no idea. The internet, smart phones, and tablets have made Playboy, and magazines in general, relics of a bygone age. And digital photography makes it easy for you to see pics of the literal girl next door.

Generation X is the last group of people for whom seeing your first Playboy was a rite of passage. It seemed like everyone had a cousin that found their dad’s stash. Or maybe you caught a glimpse of a centerfold taped to the far wall of a tire shop. However it happened, you knew that life would never be the same again. Kind of like seeing Star Wars for the first time.

Playboy, in some circles, was seen as a “classy” magazine. James Bond perused a copy in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It wasn’t an “art” magazine, but it was far more tasteful than some of the competition. Playboy was about sex, but it wasn’t about the act of sex; if that makes any sense. Even though the women were nude, a lot was left to the imagination.

The women who appeared in Playboy were among the most beautiful in the world. It’s not that the women in Penthouse or Hustler weren’t attractive, it was a matter of aesthetics. Maybe you prefered the “realism” the other magazines provided; to each their own.

There was a one page bio that accompanied each months Playmate. It would list age, hometown, measurements, and so on. The thing that never failed to crack me up was the list of “turn ons” and “turn offs.” The vast majority claimed to be turned on by a sense of humor, much in the same way every Miss America contestant is concerned about world peace. I have a sense of humor, and that never got me anywhere. But that’s probably more of a me thing than a you thing.

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