The Playboy Magazine
The US Playboy print magazine as we know it is a thing of the past now. While some other countries still publish it as a monthly print magazine, the US concern went online in Spring 2020 and we can only guess what consequences it will bring. Reason enough for me to look back.
People always laugh, when Playboy subscribers say they buy it for the texts. But even when this is not the complete truth, it also isn't completely wrong! The Playboy Magazine IS one of the very few serious lifestyle magazines for men and men certainly need a mirror for their own identity and gender identification urgently. The Playboy Print Magazine fulfilled this task perfectly like no other. The huge and many texts not only circled around itself, around eroticism, nudity or the self-adulation of male chauvinist behavior. On the contrary. It had Science Fiction short stories from Arthur C. Clarke, or piquant ones from the father of Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, and it had monthly articles from my own favorite author named Robert Anton Wilson, the grandfather of all conspiracy theories, when they still were in the hands of intellectual leftists.
I'm too young, I can't imagine how excited I would go to the shop every month to buy the Playboy Magazine NOT to see the foldout, but to read the new words of a giant of rhetorics like Robert Wilson is. Wow, what a wonderful world the 70s very likely have been.
My own first experience with the Playboy Magazine was caused by my sister, 8 years older than me. When my mother and my stepfather were on vacation, I had to stay at my sister's for 3 weeks. And she had a Playboy subscription (and quite a comprehensive collection of classic Erotic novels). When I came home from school it was several hours earlier than she was to be expected to come home from work. And I studied her Playboy collection. Intensely. I also read the articles. That was tres chic to me. It gave me THE important tools for answering the question, what kind of a man I would decide to be and it also gave me essential insights of what must be called the subcultural departments of the vast fields of popculture, which would become my main field of activity in my private life.
My personal story is far from unique. The Playboy Magazine, very likely much more than the usual suspects of competitors Hustler, Penthouse and others, was for most men and many women too the first experience with Erotic Art and I repeat my initial thought, that we can only guess what the consequences are of this legend of wet dreams, this utopian lifestyle precursor of a wild and bright future going exclusively online. The idea alone makes me laugh, partly in shock, that the photos in the middle, the centerfolds (too small for even the oversized glamour magazine, so they made it a foldout - a legend itself), will now be watched on the representants of a microworld called smartphones.
I wonder... this comprehensive magic of the Playboy Magazine as a print medium, can it be transferred to the virtual Nude Art World? Will articles still be read? Can Erotic Art in the Internet be a companion for men on their journeys through life? My free-spirited self says: "Well yes! Why not? YAY! Let's go!" My experience asks itself, why none of the legendary BIG sites of Online Erotic Art accomplished to do more than a self-centered blog entry. What did I myself accomplish with 600+ texts in 3 years of writing for Alex Lynn, Milena Angel and now Robert Graham? I say: "Who knows? Now that the Playboy Magazine is with us in virtual Nude Art World, everything is possible and the sky is the limit."