Circular Emotions

Playgirl Closure Sparks Deep Thoughts

Colleen Kane spent many years editing Playgirl, and she’s taking the penis-loving magazine’s folding very hard. And deep – especially the lingering tension between the magazine’s lady-centric mission and gay-tinged image:

I disagree that only gay men would ever want to look at pictures of naked men. This was a half-baked conjecture I heard over and over when I met new people and the subject of my job came up. To me it came off as a careless denial of women’s sexuality; it was equivalent to saying that women don’t fantasize.

I’ve also wondered if there weren’t some parallels between Playgirl‘s struggle to find its identity and readership and the developing lack of cohesiveness among feminists, as the ranks divided into second and third waves, and the waves subdivided with different opinions about sex, porn, and, well, fun, and perhaps a greater proportion of women don’t identify as feminist.

And, with Playgirl‘s death, so too we must mourn feminism and all its cultural byproducts, like Playgirl. Why, cruel God, why?!

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  • hells kitchen guy

    I’m totally down with the ladies getting wet pussies from hot guys, but she had to have known her readership was gay men – from the ad sales, ir nothing else.

  • LA Guy

    Maybe they couldn’t find their audience because the guys and photowork weren’t hot, just boring. Boring lighting, overly aggressive and really REALLY bad photoshopping, lame setups…. It had absolutely no edge – I mean, it’s a nudie mag, for cripes sake!

  • Who's next?

    The sex magazine business is in big trouble. Online killed the radio store. Expect more dominoes to fall.

  • Jack E. Jett

    I have always wondered why straight girls pretend like their pussies are some sort of a golden chalice. We know they want that pussy pumped just as much as a straight dude wants to punp that puss so why all the game playing.

    It is odd that a pussy has that much power. Just give it up already.

  • emb

    Heh @ Jack E. Jett. I know; I suspect it goes back to the way far olden days when women didn’t have much in the way of bargaining chips in power relationships other than that there thing that they guys all wanted to get all up in. Not so much the case in the more enlightened now (oh I know a woman’s lot is still not a happy one altogether, but still), so it’s interesting that the holies of holies thing is still going on.

  • Jon

    I agree with everyone above.

    1. The layouts in Playgirl are boring.
    2. Magazines in general are in big trouble. I can’t remember the last time I purchased a mag. I can get whatever info I want online instantly. Why go out and buy what I can get for free.
    3. What’s the deal with the golden pussies? Why do women not get in touch with their sexuality?

  • Alan down in Florida

    Playgirl, like much of the mainstream print media, is dead because the service it provided – nude photos of primarily gay men – can now be found for free all over the Internet. All the gay readers are getting higher quality nudes online from hundreds of websites and blogs. The fact that Playgirl will continue its Web presence is acknowledgment of that.

  • Richard

    Playgirl actually did a LOT for straight guys, especially for those like me with exhibitionist tendencies. We men were vindicated and flattered by the acknowledgement and the empowerment of the visual woman that Playgirl boldly dragged out of the closet. Years ago, when I was single, I used to keep a few issues of Playgirl lying around If I was expecting female classmates, coworkers, neighbors, etc–nonsexual friends whose company I enjoyed. I’d serve drinks and BBQ’d burgers or bratz. After dinner we’d get relaxed and comfy over music or TV and more drinks or a joint. Then if a girl would scope out the guys in one of the mags, and if her reaction was right, I’d offer to take her to Black’s Beach (a famous clothing-optional beach near San Diego) on the weekend. This actually worked several times–best with neighbor girls with whom I gravitated to a wonderfully relaxed familiarity. The’d often pop in unexpectedly. Since we’d already crossed that line and I had nothing whatever to hide from her, why should she bother to knock?

  • Kevin Talley

    As a former centerfold and “Man of the YEar” 2006,…. In which I turned down. I can honestly say that I had a huge response from the gay community but there was a large percent of women that came to the magazine signings.
    I’m sorry to see the magazine go and I am glad to be a part of its’ history.

    Kevin Talley (April 2005 Centerfold/ voted “Man of the Year 2006)

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