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is a quarterly adult magazine published in the United Statesas a response to erotic men’s magazines, such as Playboy and Penthouse.
was founded in 1973 and p
ublished by Drake Publishers, later
renamed Crescent Publishing Group, Inc. After 35 years,
In August of 2008,
announced that it would be shutting down the print addition of the magazine, and it would only be available in the online version. The last print issue of the magazine was announced to be the January/February 2009 issue (Buckley 2008). A year later, in February of 2010,
announced it would re-launch the print addition of the magazine the following month, with Levi Johnston on its cover. This much anticipated issue of
received a lot of media attention. T
itled "Levi Johnston Goes Rogue," the pictorial featured Johnston nude, covering himself below the waist, and also included an interview with him (Caplan, 2010).
Levi Johnston on the cover of Playgirl
In August of 2000, the Federal Trade Commission charged the owners and operators of
with over $180 million of online credit card fraud for illegally billing thousands of consumers for services that were advertised as “free,” and for billing consumers that never visited the web site at all (“Playgirl website features,” 2000). The FTC and the New York Attorney General stated that Crescent Publishing Group, Inc. had violated the FTC Act and New York state law and asked them
to “halt the deceptive and unfair practices, to appoint a receiver to oversee the businesses and to freeze the defendants' assets pending trial to preserve them for consumer redress” (“Playgirl website features,” 2000). All Crescent titles, including
, were forced to stop conducting any business on the web for 5 years.
Although there has not been a plethora of male celebrities who have agreed to pose nude for
there have been some. Those who have posed nude or semi-nude include:
Brad Pitt on the cover of Playgirl
Sam J. Jones
Big Daddy Kane
▪ Brad Pitt
▪ Marcus Patrick
▪ Phil Varone
Although Brad Pitt appeared in an issue of Playgirl, there was controversy over the matter. Pitt did not pose for the magazine.
According to Pitt, the pictures had been snapped by trespassing paparazzi while he was on a 1995 romantic getaway in the French West Indies with his girlfriend, Gwyneth Paltrow. After Pitt took
to court, a judge ordered
to stop shipping issues of the magazine. Other celebrities that threatened
with legal action include Leonardo DiCaprio and Antonio Banderas (Harrington & Harrington, 2009).
Playgirl consists of both semi-nude and nude photos of men, as well as general interest articles and news. However, in 1987, Playgirl went through a non-nude year and after ten months of non-nude photo spreads,
John Paul became the first full frontal
in November of 1987. Playgirl has evolved as sex has become more prominent in society. Content that would not have been in the magazine in the 1980’s, such as foreskin and erections, now appear often, and non-Caucasian models now appear in Playgirl when they didn’t in the past. Also, the magazine has generally featured models that have been circumcised, but has recently shown uncircumcised models. It is clear that over the years,
has become more explicit than ever before. In 2007, the magazine featured the first ever centerfold to display a pierced penis, along with pierced nipples and navel.
In recent years, a team of three young female editors took over and decided to try to “bring Playgirl back to its roots” and cover important issues to women. The magazine still features sexy shots of men, however they are accompanied by work from famous writers such as Raymond Carver and Joyce Carol Oates (“Playgirl died” 2008).
Recognition of homosexuals in
is marketed to heterosexual women, it has also received a lot of attention from gay men, although for the longest time
never admitted they had gay readership (Rowe, 2003). In
admitted that the magazine attracted
readership, with about 30% of its readers being gay.
There have been several homosexual models featured by
. One of them, Dirk Shafer, later produced a comic “mockumentary” titled
Man of the Year
in which he discussed balancing being gay with working as a sex symbol, since at the time he appeared in
he kept it a secret that he was gay. Another
model, Scott Merritt, who was
30th anniversary centerfold, revealed in a 2003 issue of
that he was gay (Rowe, 2003). Also, Brian Dawson,
April of 1978 “Man of the Month” went on to win
a bronze medal in the physique competition at the 2002 Gay Games in Australia. Jim Waldrop, centerfold in the January 1981 issue, was better known as his gay porn star name, Clay Russell, along with Randy Savino, whose gay porn star name was Geoff Ashton. Finally, in the June 2004 issue,
featured its oldest centerfold in the magazine’s history, Rick Dinihanian, a 54-year-old gay man. Because
is such a well-known magazine, their recognition of homosexuals was an important stepping-stone for gays everywhere, helping to make gays more acceptable in society.
is available both on television and the Internet. At playgirl.com, you can find pictures of semi-nude and nude men, but very little access is available without a membership. With a membership, they offer unlimited access to a year of
Magazine online, exclusive couple and solo male movie content, and access to thousands of high resolution photos. Playgirl TV is the first adult entertainment network created for women, featuring sexy and romantic vignettes, programs based on popular features in Playgirl magazine, and "how-to" segments. Playgirl TV is available twenty-four hours a day throughout the United States on video-on-demand, and will soon be available in over 15 countries. Also,
sells their signature erotic toys, lubes, and creams designed specifically for women (“Playgirl Brands,” 2008).
(2000). Playgirl website features FTC charges.
Federal Trade Commission
. Retrieved from
(2008). Playgirl died because it was never honest about its audience.
(2008). Playgirl brands.
(2011). Playgirl magazine collection.
Buckley, C. (2008). They couldn’t get past the mimbos.
The New York Times.
Caplan, D. (2010). Finally! Levi Johnston’s playgirl cover revealed.
Harrington, A. & Harrington, N. (2009). Celebrities in playgirl.
Rowe, M. (2003).
Great Scott: after years of struggling with his sexuality, playgirl centerfold
Scott Merritt is coming all the way out. To his surprise, so is playgirl.
High Beam Research.
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