We all can vividly remember our days of youth and adolescence where the ideas of sex and nudity were well, foreign to our virgin minds. Myself and many other young boys had the luxury of growing up in the beginning of the digital age where porn was but a few clicks away.
Of course our fathers and their fathers before them weren’t privy to such easily accessible pictures or videos of a sexual nature. To them, their holy grail was found on the old dusty covers and dog-eared pages of Playboy magazine where a boy might finally lay his eyes on his first ever set of female breasts. Ah yes, in an era where the internet wasn’t a thing yet finding one of these bad boys must’ve been as to what finding gold to a prospector during the California Gold Rush was absolute joy.
Playboy’s bread and butter, if you will, was their full frontal no holds barred centerfold first beginning in 1955 featuring the Playmate of the month. Posing in a provocative stance showing all the goods, these women were pictured in almost an art like quality so it wasn’t entirely lewd or promoting any kind of sexual deviancy.
In fact, Hugh Hefner, the founder and creator of Playboy magazine, had always prided himself in the belief that Playboy wasn’t for sexual miscreants. Instead it was really for men who were seeking top quality journalism, lifestyle advice, great pieces of fiction, and the cherry on top of course were the tasteful nudes of the Playmates. Yes folks, you heard it true. I did indeed say top notch quality fiction writing from some rather notable authors.
The short fiction stories printed in Playboy were spun and written by some of the very best including but not limited to: Ray Bradbury, Norman Mailer, Roald Dahl (yes the children’s author), and Kurt Vonnegut to name a few. As you can see, Mr. Hefner spared no expense in legitimizing Playboy allowing for his consumers to have some textual evidence of the infamous saying “I get Playboy for the articles.”
While a few of you reading may most certainly be rolling your eyes at this notion, allow me to share with you some of my first ever experiences with the magazine as a young adult at 22 years. The first issue I gained access too after paying the measly $8 monthly fee was their 2020 Spring issue on free speech aptly nicknamed ‘The Speech Issue.’
In it, it featured articles ranging from some of the history surrounding women involved within the sexual revolutions of the 60’s and 70’s writing about their personal experiences dealing with misogyny and censorship. As well as, Playboy’s Symposium on Democracy, which featured 5 top minority writers, speakers, and leaders that are actively a part of important social movements.
Followed quickly by some very intriguing interviews, the Spring 2020 issue featured interviews with NBC’s The Good Place star Jameela Jamil, 20 riveting questions with the ever charming Patrick Stewart and everyone’s favorite Latina popstar Kali Uchis where she dove head first into discussions surrounding her personal life and struggles and about her upcoming Sophomore album.
Finally, to wrap up all the features and articles, many of which tackled the tough uncomfortable truths brought to light in the wake of the #MeTooMovement. Many prominent women and filmmakers talk about how the industry itself is still rampant with sexual predators and people are still silenced for advocating for more to be done on the frontlines where it counts.
As you can see my curious readers, Playboy truthfully has a lot to offer and it isn’t a lewd or perverted magazine at all. Remember, Playboy isn’t Hustler, the nudity is tasteful, the writers are opinionated, cartoonists and sketches are political, and me…captivated. Go out and get yourself access to these wonderful written magazines and who knows, you yourself may finally understand the long standing joke of “It’s for the articles I swear it!”