The centerfold conundrum
1/10/2013 8:04:00 AM
Would you read this for the articles? OF COURSE YOU WOULDN'T.
Q: I am a subjective READER of Playboy, for the articles of course. My girlfriend thinks I should cancel my subscription but I think she's just jealous of the pics. What should I do?
A: First of all, it's nay-sayers like that that have driven a storied magazine publisher from Chicago, shipping editorial jobs off to L.A., and as a fellow writer, I'm incensed.
Okay, that's not strictly true. The magazine moved partly because of Hugh Hefner's relocation to his sunnier, swing-ier mansion. But I would still recommend you offer your girlfriend the same advice I'm sure Hefner would: Mellow out. You're a grown man and can read whatever you want, so long as it isn't hate-filled propaganda, Nicolas Sparks or Ann Coulter... oh wait, I already said hate-filled propaganda.
You can even ogle the photos. That "I read Playboy for the articles/interviews" line? It's so played out it almost a "yo mama" joke, and we don't believe a word of it. You know they're there, we know they're there, you may as well take full advantage of your subscription.
This might be more my personal crusade for the dying print industry, but just enjoy the fact that I'm taking your side. Besides, your girlfriend doesn't have a leg to stand on, since odds are that she read 50 Shades of Grey. How people can lambast one form of full-consent pornography and not another is beyond me, but at least the articles in Playboy are well-written. 50 Shades has done more to hold back the march of civilazion than the entire archives of Playboy, Hustler, and Penthouse put together.
However, I do have one piece of advice. Try not to read the magazine in front of your girlfriend. We undertsand that you started dating us with full knowledge that we don't look like Ursula Andress, but even an accidental glance is enough to make any woman feel inadequate and bring up the question, "Is that what he likes??" And although Playboy is arguably the classiest of the skin magazines, there's still icky stuff in there that we just don't want to look at. We already have to look at your Budweiser poster and decades-old undwear, and that's enough.