Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Monday | April 6, 2009
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A girl's first boy Playboy

Girlie Magazines are a man's domain. Or are they? For decades, I've heard about the famed Playboy magazine. Growing up, it was a bit taboo to even speak about it. Don't get me wrong, I've seen more than my fair share of Girls Next Door (the reality series on Playboy's founder Hugh Hefner and his three blond girlfriends), but never turned the pages of the naughty magazine. I thought men who read the magazine were just perverted. After all, staring at a bunch of naked women doesn't seem like the best way to spend time. But, all my male friends swear they buy it for the articles. So, I decided to test their tales and get my own Playboy to see what all the fuss was about. Was it really the articles?

What's in it

It turns out that Playboy has the same layout as any woman's magazine, though the subjects differ and, of course, there's no nudity in most women's magazines. The issue I bought was the 55th Anniversary Special and it had a rather classy photo of actress Carmen Electra on the cover.

The first few pages were standard. I expected to be bombarded with naked blondes with implants from the first page, but that wasn't the case. There were, instead, full page advertisements for cars, alcohol and a Clinique line for men that is supposed to slow the ageing process. Who knew men were so vain?

There's a short, interesting piece on Omar Epps. He's so hot! He talks about fashion, what he drinks, you know, guy stuff. Then there's a recipe on how to cure a hangover. The pieces are also well written.


Then the nudity starts. At first, it was palatable. The first was of a real-life female truck driver. I can see how men would dig that. In one photo, she's dressed and pictured with her rig (truck). But, if that doesn't work for you, there is also one of her in the buff, of course with the truck. There are a few more shots of topless women (hope men realise that real breasts don't look like that! It's a whole lot of digital and surgical contouring). They do a line-up of movies and DVS of the month.

There's an advertisement that juxtaposes images from the 2009 Playboy playmate calendar with pictures of a Ferrari - a man's two favourite things.

There was an in-depth interview with Richard Branson and his plans to build a Virgin hotel on the moon.

One of the articles was about Hugh Hefner's two youngest sons, Marston and Cooper, who live next door to the Playboy mansion.

Playboy advisor is a column that is similar to The Star's Dear Pastor. The stories are equally hilarious. There was one about a wife who tried to spice up her love by life participating in swinging but now she's jealous because her husband actually enjoyed it. What did she expect? But men write in with real concerns. Take the guy who wanted to know about removing neck hair, for example. But, so far, most of the nude photos were 'tasteful'.

The articles

The first of the serious articles was about British billionaire Richard Branson and his plans to have a hotel on the moon (for which he already has the drawings). Then there's one with Hef's two youngest sons: Marston and Cooper, 18 and 17 years old, respectively, who live next door to the Playboy mansion. In an interview, Hugh Hefner was quoted as saying: "I wanted to edit a magazine free of guilt about sex and the benefits of materialism; a magazine that tried to put some of the play and pleasure back into life." For fans of Playboy, he may have succeeded.

Famous faces

Some pretty famous persons have been photographed in the nude and interviewed in Playboy. Marilyn Monroe, Betty Page, Joan Collins, Farrah Fawcett, Linda Evans, Kim Basinger, Janet Jackson, Naomi Campbell, we've all heard about them.

But the magazine has also managed to secure interviews with world players like Fidel Castro, Bill Gates, Jimmy Carter, Yasser Arafat and John Lennon.

I know what a naked woman looks like so I don't need to look at the photos. This is a bit uncomfortable (for me). But, in all honesty, the articles were good.

So, do men really read Playboy for the articles but get the photos as a bonus? It may be the other way around.

Tell us why you read Playboy or why you think men do; email lifestyle@gleanerjm.com.

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