July 30, 2020
Playboy is an American men’s entertainment magazine. It was founded in Chicago in 1953, primarily by Hugh Hefner. Its theme is hedonism, that is, life is there to be enjoyed, and it portrays women as girl-next-door types, who like sex. Playboy became famous for its centerfolds of naked models, many of their pictures taken by prominent photographers. As well, it was known for its short stories and cartoons by notable writers and cartoonists and its interviews of public figures. Over the years Playboy expanded to the Playboy clubs; other magazines, like Oui, Special Editions and the international editions; erotic videos; and Playboy Plus, an online service. The magazine’s circulation reached a peak of around five million in the 1970’s. Competition from other magazines, videos and the internet -and finally the recent plague -have resulted it now being published only online. Though criticized by some on both the left and the right, Playboy had a significant role in the sexual revolution.
Playboy was my introduction to erotica. It was the first place I saw pictures of nude women. It remains an elegant and enjoyable magazine.