Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Playgirl Vs. Playboy

Granted, this is a 1979 copy of Playgirl, but it just gave me pause.

Theoretically, Playgirl Magazine is the companion to Playboy -- a magazine with nude pinups of men for women to gawk at.

Now, look at this cover:

Let me point out:

* Picture of Mork making goofy face on cover. With a "fake" Mindy -- a "Mary Sue Mindy," to be sure. The Mindy that could be YOU.

* "Confessions of Topless Dancer" -- Why am I reading about women being sexually exploited in this magazine? Isn't this magazine supposed to make me feel like I'm sexually exploiting the other gender?

* "What To Do When You're Crazy About Him But He Dresses Funny" -- like, for example, you are dating Mork.

* "Ten Ways To Really Turn Him On" -- #1: Buy Him "Playboy."

* "1,000 Hysterically Funny Words From Martin Mull" -- my point exactly.

Basically, this magazine looks more like an issue of Redbook than a porn tabloid. And I guess if you're a housewife in the 1970s and the idea of women buying such material is still taboo, this would be a great way to disguise things.

And there IS the little red banner down the right corner touting sexy European men.

And...I will admit...I did experience a gentle moment of excitement at the sight of the Faux Mindy pawing at hairy Robin Williams' naked chest.

Anyway, here is an example of Playboy from the same year:

The old debate: do women enjoy their erotica the same way that men do?

Could there ever be a counterpart to "Hooters" that caters to women, for instance?

And could a comic only featuring cheesecake men appeal to female readers in the same way Witchblade appeals to male readers?

Oh that's's called "Nightwing" (ba-dump-bump!)


  1. Here is a link for you, for just these moments, Val.

  2. a lot of people didnt know that the playboy editorial is nationally ranked and one of the best in the business.

  3. I'm not even going to pretend to understand the mindset behind '70s suburbanite erotica, but, question on Witchblade: Wasn't the character of Ian Nottingham included so female readers of that book would have some eye candy, too?

  4. witchblade to me is a comic that guys would find too embarrassing to buy.

  5. damn, premature ejacu-posting...anyway, what I was saying was that Witchblade is over the top cheese. At least if there is a girl cashier at the comic store...we have a cute girl whose presence makes the boys behave. :-)

  6. Oh, you are on the team that says strippers are being exploited by men? I'm never sure how to break that down.

    Anyhow, joke all you want, but I'm so glad Dick Grayson gets beefcake treatment. It is the one thing that makes me think that smart cheese/beefcake is not a falsehood. That & Birds of Prey.

  7. I think I have that Playboy. I remember picking it up for the great Irwin Shaw article!

  8. I could be wrong, but that "fake Mindy" might be his (then) real-life wife.


    I'm also pretty certain Playgirl was bigger with gay men and is now even more so.

  9. In the liquor store I used to work in, about half the Playgirl buyers were men.

  10. Anonymous12:00 AM

    I've no insight into this to offer, just wanted to say that I think we should have all the cheesecake or beefcake we want.

    And I love Candy Loving (cover model for that Playboy issue).

  11. They should domesticate and raise Robin Williams for his luxurious pelt.

  12. Anonymous8:17 AM

    Why is it that Cosmo has more pictures of nearly nude women and more articles on how to please men than any Men's magazine ever has?
    Or is that too off topic?

  13. I don't think Witchblade is anything to be embarrassed about reading. I don't read it myself anymore but Ron Marz really turned it around from what I recall.

    And Candy Loving may just be the best name ever! Take that, Pussy Galore!

  14. Okay, why would gay men want to read about the travails of a topless dancer?

  15. Anonymous9:35 AM

    Yeah, I agree with the other guy who said it, I heard this was more for gay men than women.

  16. Anonymous9:51 AM

    "The Mindy that could be YOU."

    I wish every magazine cover conveyed that.

  17. Eric, if they’re buying it for the articles, they missed the point.

    Embarrassed by Witchblade? Heck, I buy Bomb Queen, usually from one of the middle-aged women who own the store. “Yup,” I said when one of them commented on it. “It’s pretty much exactly what it looks like. Maybe worse.”

  18. Gay men don't READ the articles, silly. We look at the pictures. :-)

  19. There was a study I read about in a Psych text where they found that men were more aroused watching pornography with the sound off than women, but if you play the audio track without the visual, men and women are equally aroused. Whether that's wiring or upbringing is anyone's guess tho.

  20. Playboy and Playgirl are/were published by two different companies. The only thing they have in common is that they're both for men.

  21. >>And could a comic only featuring cheesecake men appeal to female readers in the same way Witchblade appeals to male readers?>>

    Fangirls have been doing that for years with yaoi manga and slash fanfiction.

  22. When I worked at the SuperCrown in Dupont Circle, DC, (AKA "The Fruit Loop") in my three years, I sold ONE copy of Playgirl to a woman.

    Having flipped through Playgirl, I notice they include erotica. I didn't read it (I was at work, B&N in NYC), but that's the big difference. Oh, and Playboy is a magazine with great articles and a few pictures of nekkid women. Playgirl has lots of nekkid men with a few articles. Playboy also has better art and cartoons.

    (Confession: one criteria of collecting old Playboys was Little Annie Fanny. And I remember a Vargas centerfold of a sexy batgirl...)

    And for girls AND guys, I think Cosmic Boy and his frankenfurter costume is probably the beefiest of the beefcake. (The hot pink costume is cute, too.)