Playboy Without Nudity: Does This Mean No More Secret Stash?

20 Oct
Don't grasp your pearls just yet, dear. I think Playboy will be even sexier.

Don’t grasp your pearls just yet, dear. I think Playboy will be even sexier.

By Alexa Day

I’ve often said that I’ll know I’ve made it when I get a Playboy interview.

So I wasn’t really sure how I felt about the news that Playboy is about to stop publishing nude photos in its print editions. (That transition has already occurred online.)

Don’t misunderstand me, now. My appearance in Playboy was never going to include the nude pictorial. As freewheeling as I am, nudity is a hard limit for me. The rest of the world can be as naked as they want in front of as many people as they want, but I tend to be very, very choosy about who gets to see me in a state of undress.

No nude pictorial for me. Just the interview, with that row of black and white photos at the bottom of the page.

See, I really was reading Playboy for the articles. I enjoyed the short fiction, and the lifestyle pieces were like getting a peek at a different world. If the Playmates of the Month were intended to be the typical “girls next door” (before that image achieved a sort of weird vulgarity), then the prose seemed to come from a place of glossy sophistication, slick and silvery and populated by only the most fascinating people.

So why was I so conflicted about losing the nudity?

Well, without that sort of sexual content, what is left for Playboy? In her Salon article, my Lady Smut colleague Rachel Kramer Bussel explores this question. Isn’t nudity what sets Playboy apart from GQ and Esquire and any number of other lifestyle magazines?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

The motive for removing the nudes makes a great deal of sense. The world is full of nudity, in all its various sexual permutations, for better or for worse. It’s average. It’s even — dare I say it? — a little boring.

By pulling the nudes, Playboy endeavors to set itself apart from a sex-saturated world, while better establishing a foothold among its literary peers.

We will soon, in essence, all be reading it for the articles. Playboy is counting on it.

But what will become of that juvenile rite of passage? Is the internet the home of today’s secret initiation into a world of explicit content?

Should we look on it and despair? I think so. Seriously, aside from the occasional bright spot to be found with Cindy Gallop’s Make Love Not Porn, there is little cause for hope.

But by removing itself from that race to the bottom and joining a different class of publications, Playboy stands ready to win big. Indeed, if the increase in online readership is any indication, Playboy is winning already.

click to buy

click to buy

What say you? Does the thought of sneaking a peek at the nude pictorial make you feel a little nostalgic? Is the end of an era, the start of something big, or both?

Did you ever want to bare it all for the camera? Sound off in the comments.

And follow Lady Smut. We make it so, so good to be bad.

For bad behavior with the best results, get yourself in line for Off the Rails by Isabelle Drake. If a little misbehavior gets a girl a long way … what might a lot of misbehavior get her?

7 Responses to “Playboy Without Nudity: Does This Mean No More Secret Stash?”

  1. madeline iva October 20, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    Playboy on one hand was like a porn starter kit. Which I feel conflicted about. I mean, if you ARE going to look at porn, shouldn’t there be, idk, a lighter happier porn out there for people who don’t want total ugly skeez? Maybe. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

    They also presented a really standardized kind of female body which messed up a lot of women’s notions of what their va-jay-jay should look like. Which I do not approve of.

    But they tried to make sexuality less sleazy, more natural seeming — a valiant effort in some ways eradicating the madonna/whore complex American society had up until then. Yet perhaps paving the way for sexually objectifying all women across the land.

    Not sure how I feel about that either.

    My eyes are crossing. Running away now.

    Like

    • Alexa Day October 20, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

      I will probably have more to say about this later, when I’m at a keyboard. But I hope the suggestion is not that the way to sexual objectification was paved by Playboy. I have living relatives — on both sides of the family — who would disagree with that.

      Like

  2. Kel October 20, 2015 at 11:18 am #

    I was always only interested in the nudes as insight into what other people were supposed to find attractive.

    The articles, though… those I read. Ironically, I might enjoy the new Playboy more now. Although I will probably miss the sort of playfully open sexuality if it goes away.

    Like

  3. F Dot Leonora October 20, 2015 at 9:45 am #

    not sure how i feel about this, but i am interested to see the new concept…

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. “Naked is normal”: Playboy restores the nude pictorial | Lady Smut - March 7, 2017

    […] remember writing about Playboy’s decision to remove the nude pictorial from their print issues. At that time, the pictorials had already been removed from the online […]

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  2. For Your Amusement: Three Diversions to Occupy Your Impatient Mind | Lady Smut - January 24, 2017

    […] Playboy. I wrote a while ago about what Playboy would be like without its nudes. I popped over there last weekend, looking for something to read, and I was very pleasantly […]

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  3. Summer Mojito Interval | Lady Smut - May 31, 2016

    […] can all be reading Playboy on the beach now, […]

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