Sexy centerfolds “passé” says CEO
Sex no longer sells. Or at least not for Playboy, who has recently decided to nix nudity from their magazines. As a last ditch effort to revitalize the once iconic magazine, Playboy’s top executives have finally decided to change along with the times. Scott Flanders, Playboy’s CEO tells NYT that the decision was based on how accessible sex is now through the internet. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.”
A shift of focus
This easy accessibility has resulted in Playboy falling a bit to the wayside in the sex industry. According to the Alliance for Audited Media, Playboy’s circulation has dropped from 5.6 million in 1975 to about 800,000 now.
Long gone are the days when magazines held the keys to erotica, so it makes sense for Playboy to shift their focus away from nudity. The trouble is, where are they shifting their focus to? And will it be enough to hook a new generation of readers?
View their first magazine cover in this style on Twitter.
We read it for the articles
Indeed, they’ve tried to keep up with the times. Their latest cover shows an appeal to the millennials in the form of a Snapchat. With the flirtatious caption, “heyyy ;)” situated in the grey bar lining the underside of 20-year-old Instagram celeb Sarah McDaniel’s breasts. We certainly have to give the company kudos for trying.
We get that they have always respected our intellectual side as well as our lizard brains.
Cultural hard hitters like Haruki Murakami and Malcolm X have publish original pieces in the magazine, and next month Rachel Maddow will continue the tradition. Norwegian memoirist Karl Ove Knausgaard is even set to write a piece for the magazine.
But again, us millennials don’t need to pick up a Playboy to get articles like this. Actually, we’d probably rather not be seen skimming the pages of a Playboy in public, regardless of the presence of nipples among the pages or not.
Keep the fresh takes coming
What we want, and what Playboy still has the means to give the public, is a fresh look at sex. They can keep the nipples put away (for now), but what they need is an expanded audience and innovative ways of exploring what sex means to that audience. Playboy will need to start balancing hard-hitting pieces, with articles that push the bounds of editorializing sex. They should replace nudity with an exploration of what sex means to popular culture.