I couldn’t have been much older than 7 or 8, when my friend Billy brought me into his parents’ bedroom closet to examine to contents of a box hidden away in there. Billy had introduced me to Playboy. I don’t recall getting any sexual thrill from the experience of paging through those magazines filled with images of naked ladies, but, I was fascinated by that female form as I stood in that closet next to my friend and his mother’s fur coat.
That fascination is still with me. And, now, there’s the sexual thrill as well. Ahem.
Even though I knew we were getting into something that was forbidden to us kids, it didn’t deter the budding artist in me from drawing my own version of a Playboy magazine. And that forbidden status of those magazines didn’t deter me from proudly showing my mom the Playboy I had drawn. It was only pictures of naked ladies, there were no articles. It would take decades before I cared there were articles hidden among the images of female naughty bits.
My mother regrets not keeping my early display of artistic talents and anatomical curiosity. She told me had she known I would become an artist she would have saved it. But hindsight is… something… I forget. Mom must have been fairly progressive as a parent then, because I don’t remember getting into any trouble at all. She was impressed that I did a pretty good job of getting everything in the proper place and, most likely, told me that wasn’t the kind of thing I should be drawing just yet.
Earlier this week came the announcement that Playboy Magazine will do away with the nudes. As of March 2016, the gals’ who-who dillies, cha-chas, and poop-a-doops shall be covered. There will still be images of sexy women, but more along the lines of Maxim and other non-nude men’s magazines. The articles, interviews, advice, humor, and fictional tales that had gone along with the skin will remain.
Playboy editors have realized the nudes just ain’t necessary, since anyone with a computer and access to the internets can find naked ladies doing anything one can imagine. For free.
So, the internet has chalked up another casualty. Newspapers, shopping malls, rationality have all suffered greatly with the coming of the worldwide web. Much like the Bates Motel and other small, rural businesses and towns suffered when the old highway system made way for the interstate. Such is the way of progress.
Playboy editors are hopeful this radical change will result in healthier circulation numbers for the beleaguered publication. And it might. They’ve stated their website hits have increased after it had gone non-nude.
So, Marilyn Monroe was their first centerfold, who will have the honor of being the last?
Update 9-29-17: With the death of the controversial publisher of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner, I was reminded that I needed to update this blog. The “death” of the nude pictorials in the magazine was short-lived. (I think that might be a pun or something.) In the March/April 2017 issue, naked ladies returned. Phew.