Was the recent demise of Playgirl magazine because women don't like looking at a man's unit?
Stop the presses, ladies. Playgirl, the 35-year-old feminists' answer to Playboy and Penthouse, has ceased publications--it will, however, still live online. (Go ahead and breathe that collective sigh of relief.) Was the reason for the magazine's demise, as Playgirl's reps say, because of the easy access to porn on the Internet or because, put simply: Women don't like looking at men's penises--especially a penis that doesn't buy them dinner.
Playgirl's original tagline was, "The Magazine for Women," then "Entertainment for Women," yet some have doubts its fan base was ever even women. "A source at the Kinsey Institute, who chose to be anonymous, asked "Wasn't Playgirl just a homoerotic magazine for men?" According to Playgirl's then-editor-in-chief Michele Zipp, the gay readership was only 30% in 2003. So who are those 70% of women---were they jonesing for the johnson---or just reading it for the articles?
Most women---it seems---aren't exactly big fans of looking at the male organ. "I wouldn't say they are ugly," one woman said, "but I wouldn't want a framed picture of one on my desk."
"Many women find the idea of looking at it in great detail to be 'yucky,'" says Hilda Hutcherson, MD, gynecologist and author of What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex. "They may not view that part of the body to be visually arousing like, for example, the buttocks." Personally, adds Dr. Hilda candidly, "I don't like looking at them either--I mean, who wants to look at two balls and a stick?"
She's not alone. In a small survey at the momlogic office, staff members were shown--well, members--and asked if they thought they were attractive. The responses were less than positive:
"I don't like any parts of the penis."
"This is gross."
"It makes me think I never want to have sex with a man again. I like the feel of penises, not the looks of 'em."
"Looking at that penis makes me want to be a lesbian."
One woman, the most positive of our group, put it this way:
"It's like looking at ice-cream, it's something you want to eat but it's not necessarily beautiful."
So, who is checking out men's packages? Heather Rupp, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow at the Kinsey Institute wanted to find out. She conducted tests tracking the eye movements of men and women looking at pornographic images. "Men looked at the female face much more than women looked at men's, and both looked at the genitals comparably," Dr. Rupp said.
We don't know what to make of these findings except: Maybe all the participants in her study were Playgirl subscribers?
What do you think? Is the male penis silly or sensual?
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