Earlier this week Playboy magazine announced that it would no longer print pictures of nude women. This is based on the theory that if you want to see them, you have a lot of choices on the internet. And you won’t have to smuggle them into the garage attic to look at them with a flashlight.
For boys of a certain age, Playboy was a rite of passage. Fifty years ago it was how thirteen year old boys got their first glimpse of undressed women. I remember a friend of mine showing me a rather rumpled copy of the magazine with all the sophisticated ads for liquor and rich-guy toys, and then there was the centerfold. Zowie.
I tried to show enthusiasm, but when I finally saw it my reaction was “enh.” It did nothing for me, and I couldn’t help but wonder what all the fuss was about. I didn’t really process it then, but I think that’s about the time that I was beginning to be aware of the fact that, at least in terms of responding to sexual stimuli, I am gay.
So, thanks, Playmate of the Month for November 1965. It would be another eleven years before I actually came out, but you helped get the journey going.