Around the Porn part 2: Angel’s in the Centerfold

Part of Playboy’s appeal is the idea that the “girl next door” could appear in the magazine. Every so often, they would have a pictoral featuring the “Girls of” some college conference, or some company like Starbucks. Not to sound cynical, but of the thousands of women to grace the pages of Playboy, I have never met one of them. Or if I have, I didn’t know it. I once went on a blind date with a woman that joked about wanting to be in Playboy. At least I think she was joking. I have no idea if she ever did. Did Playboy ever have a “Hot for Teacher” pictoral that I missed?

Of course, this fed a lot of peoples Alfred Hitchcock-like obsession with women who appear prim and chaste on the outside, but have a fire burning deep within them. It’s a polite and long winded way of saying “Madonna/whore complex.” Hitchcock was never a fan of women like Marilyn Monroe, who apparently were sexually overt. He may have had his sexual hang ups, but he made a lot of great films. You got to give him that.

Every so often, there is some celebrity or athlete (What’s the difference?) that has dated someone that has been in Playboy. Then there are those who appear after the break up/divorce. Which leads to the question: Is it better to date someone before or after they have been in Playboy? Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

Some celebrities were in Playboy either before or after they became famous. When it’s before, like with Barbi Benton of Hee Haw fame, it becomes an obsession–you must see those pictures. Why is that? There is almost always some guy at school that claims to have seen the pics . . . Back when he lived in Texas, or where ever. The obsession grows, and you become a combination of Indiana Jones, James Bond, and Woodward and Bernstein in your quest to find that issue, knowing full well that when you find them, your face will melt.

I think I was in the 7th Grade when the Bo Derek issue was published. That became a holy grail for many of us. Upon seeing it, it exceeded my expectations, even though I had no idea what my expectations were.

In high school, my friend and I were massive fans of Santa Barbara. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it was because it was one of the few soap operas that premiered in our lifetime, so we didn’t have to learn thirty-plus years of backstory. Maybe it was because Santa Barbara was more than a bit insane, even for a daytime drama. One reason we kept watching was because of Kathy Shower, who was Playmate of the Month for May 1985, and 1986 Playmate of the Year.

One of the reasons I was so attracted to Kathy Shower was because she wasn’t your typical Playmate. At thirty-three years of age, she became the oldest ever Playmate. Not that thirty-three is old, but it was a major deal at the time. Not only that, she was a mom as well. Those of you who weren’t around at the time have no idea how groundbreaking this was. It would be almost a decade and a half before the term “Milf” became part of the cultural lexicon, thanks(?) to American Pie. Milfs had been around forever, but we just called them “women.” Those were the good old days.

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