After 62 Years Playboy Puts On Some Clothes

Like most infants, after Playboy Magazine was born in 1953, it demanded a lot of attention. It always seemed to cause a disturbance and people watched closely to see what it would do next.

In its teenage years, Playboy threw on a leather jacket and some sunglasses. It was vulgar, took risks, and enjoyed shocking the public.

As an adult, it began to mellow out a bit, watching as newer, younger, more explicit versions of itself began to hog all the attention.

But now, like any 62-year-old, Playboy is no longer turning heads and has finally decided in its advanced years that a little modesty might do it some good.

Playboy executive, Scott Flanders gave a brief explanation of the historic change. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passe at this juncture.” He’s not wrong.

The seismic effect of internet pornography on American culture has caused a mass desensitization in the younger generations, essentially spoiling Playboy’s target demographic for the years to come. People aren’t excited about pictures of naked women anymore, not when there is so much more vivid material available.

And so, after all the years of titillation and controversy Hugh Hefner’s baby reveals itself a monster. He made it strong enough to evolve and sharp enough to compete, and it has spiraled out of his control. A Playboy magazine might have been enticing to flip through in the 1950s, but its grandchild, internet porn, is an addiction that isn’t concerned with the airbrushed models and glossy pages of its forefather. It provides a salacious circus where anything is possible and wilder and weirder the better.

Playboy pioneered it, and the decades have proved it; sex does sell–a little too well it turns out. Paula Hall, chair of the Association for the Treatment of Sex Addiction and Compulsivity commented on the phenomenon of pornographic desensitization saying, “What I’m seeing is increasing numbers of young men who cannot maintain an erection because they’ve wrecked their appetite with pornography, their arousal threshold goes up so a mere mortal doesn’t do it anymore.” While this quote is specifically targeting men, woman are equally susceptible to desensitization.

The pleasure center of the brain registers sensory experiences like sex, drugs, and gambling all the same.  It so hard for a compulsive gambler to walk away when they’re up, for the same reason a sexaholic is rarely satisfied with typical sexual frequency, or why a drug addict uses increasingly more of their drug of choice. The pleasure center of the brain wants to be lit up as often as possible, but if it’s abused with compulsive or addictive behavior its threshold for that vice goes up and the person needs more and more to feel satisfied.

Hugh Hefner’s little monster is all grown up and has backed him into a corner, isolating the future of his life’s work to an older generation.


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