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Playgirl No Longer Erect

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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?

Read more Love and Sex stories.

next: One Apple, Five Ways
19 comments so far | Post a comment now
Eva Sinclair August 13, 2008, 10:17 AM

Wow that sounds like one uptight office. I happen to think the penis is beautiful.
How sad for woman who cannot appreciate the male form.

Anonymous August 13, 2008, 10:57 AM

When they’re good, they’re gooood. When they’re bad, YUCK!

SharonO August 13, 2008, 11:08 AM

I definitely don’t think that Playgirl’s demise was because of the ready availability of porn on the internet … if that were so, why are there still so many very successful “porn for men” magazines?

Maybe its because women aren’t as visually stimulated as men are. In trying to be equal by give women the same type of stimulation that men want, Playgirl got it wrong.

Anonymous August 13, 2008, 6:34 PM

it’s because most women are sexual voids. a black hole devoid of the ability to have sexual pleasure unless it’s delivered by some “hunk” on some second-rate soap opera, many of which turn out to be losers in real life. I guess women seek the fantasy they’ll never, ever get.

curly August 13, 2008, 7:27 PM

I could look at it all day - I think it is amazing and wonderful and I love it!!! For years its been a symbol of strength and virility - in Rome they were everywhere - who doesn’t like a penis?

kris skidmore August 13, 2008, 9:05 PM

Who says women aren’t as visually stimulated as men? I am extremley stimulated when I see a penis!

Anna August 13, 2008, 9:49 PM

I know it sounds weird but I dont really think that the human genitals are attractive at all. The penis is all veiny and not to mention its the same place where urine comes from. The female vagina is pretty much a glorified butthole; full of mucus and once a month it oozes blood- i mean seriously, eeewww.

Anonymous August 14, 2008, 8:22 AM

For me, a penis is pleasurable when it is hard. That is when my body is stimulated. I’m sorry, a soft penis is like looking at a pile of wrinkled skin. It is not attractive.

Wilma August 14, 2008, 8:49 AM

I’ve always heard men fall in love with what they see, and women fall in love with what they hear. Perhaps men are more visually oriented than women. Besides, the naked woman body is much prettier than a male naked body (well, most of them!)

Alisha August 14, 2008, 10:45 AM

I have never thought about buying a magazine to look a penis.. lol if i wanna see one i will look at my husbands. But I think i am with the majority that at first if a picture of a penis was in front of me i would be like um ewww, then oh! ahhh depending if it was circumcised or not…lol

ahaynes August 14, 2008, 12:15 PM

Dicks and Balls are beautiful. However, like alot of other things, there are some that donot look so good.

ahaynes August 14, 2008, 12:17 PM

I think little Dicks are the cutiest.

Me August 14, 2008, 1:11 PM

The featured picture of that meat package is ugly!

T.J. August 14, 2008, 3:02 PM

I used to buy playgirl to read the erotica,not look at the pictures!!

Allison Manfred August 14, 2008, 10:55 PM

Internet has definitely killed the magazine star— all the mens’ magazines’ sales are down as well.

CR August 15, 2008, 6:37 AM

I love it! I can’t help it! But I also think the more I love the man, the more I love his genitals ;) I would damn near live there if I could lol. Seriously, I can’t get enough!

erin August 18, 2008, 4:25 AM

i have no beef with the way a penis looks. I mean, i think we all have seen some ones with interesting characteristics to them…but i think the more you care about the man the more you begin to love his parts. and who are we to talk? a cooch is not the cutiest thing on the planet either, but i still expect a guy to appreciate it!

Ms Naughty August 18, 2008, 9:09 AM

I think you need to take a larger survey of women than just the momlogic office before you make generalisations about what women like.

I’m sure there are plenty of women like myself who enjoy looking at naked men, including their penis.

Even so, the penis is still kept hidden by society; women aren’t taught by popular culture to admire it. Think of how many naked women you see in films compared to naked men.

And the old myth that “women aren’t visual” is not correct at all. It originated with Kinsey’s studies in the 1950s, when there was no porn for women to look at and “nice girls” didn’t do that sort of thing anyway. Modern day studies prove that women are turned on by visual material just as much (and as quickly) as men.

And 30% of all porn surfers are female.

Melissa August 20, 2008, 12:38 AM

In general, I don’t think they’re all that attractive, either. But I LOVE looking at my husband’s…I consider that to be one BEAUTIFUL specimen of manhood. But then again, I loved the rest of him before I ever even saw his nether regions, so my opinion may be somewhat biased.

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