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December 2013 issue – first thoughts

The December 2013 digital issue has arrived nice and early – and I’ve had a quick skim through it and so here we go;-

1. The cover. The trend for minimilast text continues but the image is quite a strange one. Last month we had just lips and this month we have just two legs sticking out of a chimney. Kinda reminds me of Hustler’s silly meat grinder cover. I like the new trend in covers but this one just looks strange – and not sexy or cute at all.
2. Interview – the December interviews usually feature someone really famous – but this month it is Ray Kelly – a cop.Never heard of him so can’t say I am keen to read this.
3. But then there’s an article about Jim McCloskey who works in getting guys out of jail. This looks interesting since I know Hef has had a long history of supporting getting wrongly convicted prisoners out of jail. I’ll read this to learn more about an important issue …IMO.
4. James Marsden 20Q – cute and sexy actor who has been around for a while – and will look forward to reading this one too.
5. Pictorial one – Ukranian Olga Ogneva is one gorgeous brunette and would be my pick for PMOY if she was an American PM. Only 6p devoted to this gorgeous woman. If you want to see more of her – check out the following international editions;- Ukraine Feb 2013 and Mexican Nov 2013.
6. As predicted, the combined Year in Sex/Sex in cinema is just 8p long – and one of these pages is just text. So what used to be two separate pictorials between 6 -10p each is now a paltry 7p. Really disappointing.
7. Helmut Newton retrospective. 8 pages long and there are some pics I haven’t seen before – but plenty of reprinted stuff. So so pictorial.
8. Kennedy Summers – well the pics on the modelmayhem site were nothing to write home about, but the photoshopping department have done a terrific job with Kennedy. Definitely NOT PMOY material but the pics are OK. Only reason i can see her winning PMOY is if she is one of Hef’s girlfriends. But quite frankly – Olga Ogneva is heaps more beautiful than Kennedy.
My pick for PMOY – Miss September – Bryonny Noelle Flores.
Overall – a good issue. The pictorials were a bit of a let down but some of the articles look very interesting.
And the Anniversary issue?
Yep – Kate Moss will be the cover for the 60th anniversary January/February 2014 issue. I have never understood why she is a super model. I just wonder whether it will be a 16p pictorial like the one Naomi Campbell had a few years back or an 8p one like most of the pictorials have been of late. Oh who am I kidding – it will DEFINITELY be 8 or maybe 10p long.
No mention of a 60th PM hunt but does mention that they will be ‘CELEBRATING’ their 60th anniversary in style. Not sure what that means but I am predicting a 10p tribute featuring the same pics we’ve seen in the 25th, 30th, 35th, 40th, 45th, 50th and 55th anniversary issues.
60th anniversary playmate(s)? Since it doesn’t look like a ‘hunt’ was conducted – I am guessing it will be twins or triplets. I’m not a member of the PB website – so if anyone knows of any twins that have featured in the past few years and are PM worthy – then I hazard a guess to suggest they are the ones.
Oh well Christmas has come early – digitally – and 2014 looks like being an interesting year to watch.
Bette Streep
1. The cover. The trend for minimilast text continues but the image is quite a strange one. Last month we had just lips and this month we have just two legs sticking out of a chimney. Kinda reminds me of Hustler’s silly meat grinder cover. I like the new trend in covers but this one just looks strange – and not sexy or cute at all.
I was wondering if anyone would object to the disembodied legs on the 12/13 cover.  IIRC, some complained about the 4/13 cover because only part of the models’ bodies was visible.  My first impression of the 12/13 cover was that the legs coming out of the chimney were meant to be rabbit ears.  Only later did I discover that the rabbit-head logo is visible as a constellation–at least on newsstand covers.
I thought that the legs-as-rabbit-ears concept was clever enough–possible references to Donna Michelle’s iconic PMOY cover (5/64) or Lynn Hahn on a swing (7/68)–and I liked the seasonal theme.  I did not, however, make the connection to the infamous Hustler cover.
which apparently spawned a copy-cat promo:
I am not sure that the Hustler connection changes my mind about the cleverness of the 12/13 PLAYBOY cover, but it will be hard to forget!
Dan Stiffler
I think the cover is cute.  My first impression was either a Playmate going down the chimney or Santa bringing a Playmate down the chimney for one of those kids smart enough to ask Santa for a Playmate for Christmas.  There were/are plenty of kids with that very wish.  If Santa ever followed through he never did it for me, that’s for sure, haahaha.

I don’t get this tendency to be trigger-happy offended.  By *anything* that isn’t the “norm”.  Disembodied legs?  How so?  To say her legs are disembodied is to expect that any time we see a picture of a woman that we have to see *all* of her, from head to toe.  Anything less and now there’s a problem, some “message” must be being sent or some agenda is being pushed.  Or?  Ya, maybe the photographer or the designer wanted to try something different for a change.

Is this

an advertisement for women’s nail polish… or disembodied hands?!?  And maimed hands at that, 2 fingers are missing from each one?!?  Where are they?  Why would they do this?

Is this

an advertisement for pantyhose… or disembodied legs?!?  The Underalls packaging doesn’t even show the lower legs, just thighs and ass!  Why would they do this?

Playboy is getting back to being artistic.  I like that.  I don’t need to see the entirety of every Playmate or model on Playboy’s covers, I don’t care if it’s just a hand or leg or ear, I’m not going to read anything into some interesting image that only has a part of a woman’s body in it.  Until the photographer or editor says specifically that this or that message was being sent, assume that no message was being sent, certainly nothing negative that you might be imagining.  It’s tiring to read about people starting petitions or going nuts on Twitter over something they *think* is being said that isn’t being said but whatever, it must be stopped!

Elle puts the very fat and funny Melissa McCarthy on their cover wearing a big coat.  Oho, say the PC critics who *really* know what’s going on, this is an obvious slap in the face of round women who do not fit the fashion model mold!  They hate big women!  Elle must have been all oh my god, we fucked up, we can’t have that tub on the cover, drape something huge over her!  Ah, no.  They had a nice dress for her, were ready to shoot her in that, *she* picked the coat to wear.  Now, will *any* of those overreacting assholes come out and say ya, I was wrong, I should have kept my mouth shut and just considered that maybe McCarthy had some say in what she was wearing and how she looked?  No.  Never.  They *know*.  You can’t fool them.  McCarthy is probably just saying that so that Elle will like her and she’ll fit in with the pretty people, right?  You do as *they* want then you’re doing it “right”, anything less is an affront.

Most times a picture is just a picture, no diabolical message is being sent.  Now, sometimes there is a message, obviously.  But it’s usually a pretty damn obvious message, nothing as subtle as the Playboy legs cover.  For example, that Hustler cover is hilarious.  That’s an obvious fuck you to people who bitch about them objectifying women and treating them like pieces of meat.  Really, you want us to change?  How about…. this?  Ha!  Way to go, Hustler.


I don’t see anything wrong with the December cover either. I suppose some have not been fond of covers where only certain body parts of the model are visible, but if it’s executed right, it can be effective.

It is interesting that comparisons to the Hustler “meat grinder” cover have been made. I know that was considered highly controversial and offensive back in its day. In fact, a picture of a protest of that cover (and pornography as a whole) was used for the cover of an excellent history book of anti-porn feminists:

Not having read Hustler, my impression of the cover was supposed to be a satire of earlier protests (you’re making women into objects, pieces of meat, etc.) so they responded by ratcheting it up and literally making women into pieces of meat. By making something so absurd like that, they’re poking fun at themselves… or something.

Needless to say, the outcry of the cover was their concern that it was glorifying violence against women. I think that’s true, but I don’t see that being the case for this December issue cover, so again, I’m failing to see a proper comparison other than the fact that both this cover and that Hustler cover feature a pair of women’s legs.

Yeah, I heard about the “Elle” cover for Melissa McCarthy. When plus-size/big/fat/large women (take your pick of terminology) are on magazine covers, it IS common to have them strategically photographed to hide their body (e.g. Adele on Rolling Stone) and the outcry was “yet another” example out of many. I found it eye-opening that Melissa CHOSE that coat (over any other fashions available to her on the coat rack; the editors let her choose which ones she liked best), which kind of deflated any sense of conspiracy to hide her body type. I understand where the initial concern came from, but that was definitely a classic example of “tweet first; ask questions later.”

Well, that’s a common mistake by most people, confusing “depicting” with “glorifying”.  How can one picture that is an obvious sarcastic visual pun about treating women like “pieces of meat” be glorifying violence against women?  Simply from a logical perspective, how many assumptions are being made there?  What if the woman in the picture was already dead (of natural causes)?  Any violence against women by simply grinding her up?  No.  Since when does one woman in a picture represent all women?  At most, the picture would only be depicting possible violence against that one woman.  And not at all once the cover text connected to it is read (Larry Flynt’s quote *and* the stamp that says “Last All Meat Issue”).  The only possible intelligent response is “Oh, I get it, ha, this is their brush off to all those who accuse them of treating women like pieces of meat who are demanding that they change.”

If you’re not against it, it’s “depicting”.  If you’re offended, it’s “glorifying”.  Now, maybe, just *maybe*, if Hustler had designed that cover for no reason (not a response to weepy criticism) and had no cover text making any reference to why they did it, then ok, you could argue that there’s room for concern.  It’s not sexy, it’s not erotic, what the hell is that doing on a nudie mag?  Did the band Tool take over Hustler?  But the cover explains itself very clearly.  On top of that, it’s an aberration, there’s no pattern of Hustler covers depicting a similar type of “violence” against women.

Now, while I’m not any big defender of Hustler (glad it’s around, not a subscriber), this same overreaction happens with Playboy and other magazines all the time.  Not because there’s something legitimately wrong that someone needs to stand up against, but simply because people who have been brainwashed into being sensitive to any possible offense reacting immediately to anything they don’t quite get or like because if they don’t like it, it must be Wrong.  They want to be heroes, look how I fought for fairness while the rest of you sat on your hands.

So you get people defending Melissa McCarthy from an insult that doesn’t exist because they didn’t consider that she might have wanted to wear that coat (and those hard-ons will insist that even if McCarthy wanted to wear that, Elle should have gone with something else, anyway, because McCarthy didn’t realize that she was contributing to weightism or something), you get people demanding a teacher’s resignation because she used “niggardly” in the classroom, defending students from a racial slur that didn’t actually occur (that word is completely unrelated to race but those idiots won’t admit they don’t know English), it’s tiring and every time someone doesn’t speak up and correct those tools or just sit quietly by as they gin up “outrage” that forces companies to apologize for things they didn’t do it weakens us all and makes the world a dumber place.  And a more expensive place, needing to pay for insurance and lawyers to fight off frivolous lawsuits.

I don’t understand the controversy. First, I don’t remember the Hustler cover. However, I do remember what older Playboy covers had on them. Quite a number of times they had just legs on the cover like in 1958 and 1960. This cover just shows a women coming out of a chimney during Christmas time. This gives me the impression that we will be given the gift of a beautiful woman as a gift for Christmas which many men would think is a great gift.

I agree with your thoughts of a woman being a gift that someone asked for from Santa. What man hasn’t asked for the gift of the woman of their dreams? Is that what a playmate is suppose to symbolize?

I really dislike that because one cover used woman’s legs in a tasteless way will forever forbid legs from being used on a cover ever. That greatly restricts artistic freedom.

I zone out after that since I couldn’t spend more time to read the rest.



Come on, that’s not what I’m saying.  If there’s reason for concern then it’s a legitimate problem.  My point is that some people are brainwashed now to assume that any and all depictions like that *must* be *glorifying” violence against women.  When it can’t possibly be the case every single time.  It’s simple statistics, some instances will not fit the mold.  The Hustler cover is a prime example of that, you have to make an effort to ignore every printed word on the cover which explain why that cover showed up.  Basically, I’m not going to think it through, everyone else is on the bandwagon, might as well join them.

As for the rest, having never seen it, I can’t say what it is or isn’t.  But that probably is moving towards the area of much of porn where there are gang “rapes” and rough play.  Many of those scenarios begin with the woman obviously not into it or being forced… and then, basically every damn time, by the middle of it she can’t get enough and this is the greatest sex she’s ever experienced.  Lots of Hentai anime rolls the same way, too.  You like or you don’t, your choice.  But I think it’s hilarious how spineless those porn movies are, they won’t actually attempt to depict a *real* rape because who wants that?  Actually, some people do but they certainly aren’t trying to reach that sick crowd.  Yet porn directors still try to sell that as brutal in the “she is being forced” sense.  Same goes for “schoolgirls” who are wearing the stripper version of school uniforms vs. realistic looking uniforms.  Destroys the whole vibe.

An actual gang rape porn movie would be, to me, unwatchable.  Having nothing to do with porn I watched “Irreversible” once

because Monica Bellucci is in it, she looks hot and is nude in it, and I’d heard that the whole thing is filmed backwards (10 minute segments beginning at the end of the story and moving backward in time).  What’s not to like.  Well, the rape scene she’s in is so unsettling for me that I watched most of that moment once and I can’t make myself see it again.  It’s fucking horrible.  And I mean that as a compliment because it seems very convincingly acted and shot.  The scene has zero eroticism.  Not one porn movie or magazine pictorial pretending to show a gang-“rape” has ever gotten close to that vibe that I’m aware of.  Ravished isn’t raped.  So, ya, it may typically start out/look like something bad or forced but usually pretty soon the girl’s face is showing pleasure.  Lots of porn now has “choking” and “hitthing” (it’s very pulled-punch style slaps and grips, though) but it’s about as convincing as “West Side Story”‘s depiction of a knife fight.  Still, some women like it rough, some girls like bondage and S&M, what is a guy to do when confronted with that situation?  Ask Oprah?  How do you photograph that without appearing anti-woman?

Huh, looking at that Hustler pictorial (the female prisoner), it reads like a last request of sex before being executed.  She appears to be enjoying being eaten out and she’s smoking a cigarette afterwards while looking up at the guard.  There’s no indication that she’s trying to physically get away from them, screaming in pain or horror, crying, pushing away, nothing.  You tell me how many “rapes” play out that way.  Not every sexual encounter has to follow the plot of a Meg Ryan movie.  Now, to be fair, she doesn’t look happy about the whole process but I wouldn’t expect a condemned criminal to be jazzed about riding the lighting in an hour or so, right?  Thinking it through makes Steinem, again, sound like an idiot.  No rational person is going to question the inappropriateness of rape.  Confusing the issue in order to make your target look worse than it is or to be promoting something it’s not weakens the argument.  Brainwashing – Steinem doesn’t like it, it must be wrong!  No.  Disturbing, maybe.  Unique, certainly.  Something most people don’t fantasize about, yes.  That doesn’t equal Wrong.

I won’t say anything about child molestation, note sure what the point would be trying to depict that or have a “comic” about it.  I do remember a Penthouse pictorial of a “little girl” in pigtails sitting in a giant rocking chair, like she was 8 years old or something.  She was obviously an adult but had the face of a kid.  Some guys are into that little girl thing but this model had a chest and only seemed like a little girl because of the props and costume and cutesy poses.  It’s the only pictorial that I can remember that even tried that imagery.  I’m sure they got a lot of negative vibes from it that probably convinced them to never do it again.  For good reason.  I mean, I’ll bet they got loads of crap about having Pets peeing in pictorials yet that went on for years, right?  So skating the edge of child imagery must have been even more of a danger to Penthouse.



Frequently, people jump to rash conclusions, especially when they have a particular issue that is really burning inside them, like your example of Melissa McCarty.



I haven’t figured out how to include my comments in the body of your response in the new Yahoo groups debacle. So, here is my response to all your comments:

First, I find it odd that you would claim I am distorting what you said when you did exactly that with Alfred. Maybe you just misinterpreted what he said just like you completely misinterpreted everything I said.

My point is that you were saying you were against sexual violence by saying:

“If a concern about violence against women makes one “brainwashed into being sensitive,” hey, I guess I’m brainwashed! ”

Alfred isn’t the only one that took offense to that comment. Then you proceeded to justify your absurd assertion by using a known hater of Playboy and posing in the nude in general. Sure, Gloria Steinem was a trailblazer which she just got a Medal of Honor for. But, at the same time she has shown a a great ability to be a distortionist when it comes to anything that shows women in a non office professional light. The feminist movement was to free women to do what they want with their lives, not to just don things that Gloria Steinem or other radical feminists think is appropriate. Can you tell that I don’t like her and don’t think she deserved that medal of honor?

Then while citing Steinem you proceed to disagree with her interpretation of that pictorial. I have no idea why you chose to do that other than you couldn’t come up with something to support your point of view so you chose anything even if it came from a known hater of what this forum is about. She is the exact wrong person to bring into this group as anyone with any type of credibility. I will always call her out for the gross distortionist that she is.

I was not attacking your freedom of speech. In fact, I said the exact opposite when I said it is very interesting to learn your point of view:

“This is why I like the Internet. I get to learn things from people who are quite different from myself.”

I wouldn’t get to learn if I wanted you to stop posting your thoughts. However, you should expect a response if I don’t agree with you and most of what I responded with was me trying to understand where you are coming from. That is my trying to curb your speech. That is me trying to learn from you about your perspective.

It would seem that my example of Annie Cruz was misunderstand and while I was typing it seemed to be rather long, but I didn’t know how to shorten it. It was an example of what I call sexual violence. It shows that I don’t enjoy it, but some people seem to like Annie does. The point is that not all people think what Steinem and YOU seemed to call sexual violence and therefore were against it when you said.

“If a concern about violence against women makes one “brainwashed into being sensitive,” hey, I guess I’m brainwashed! ”

It was that statement that set everything off. You were trying to look like you were being the good guy protecting women from violence, when you were actually distorting and conflating. Nobody here is for sexual violence like you seemed to indicate. That is just plain vicious to suggest that. That is extremely offensive to anyone here who has shown how much they appreciate women and I would say Alfred falls in that category as I do.

I specifically tried to show how what you termed seemed like sexual violence was not thought to be that because it is not a problem for some porn stars like Annie Cruz. But, the extreme feminists that are routinely posted here, who suggest anything Playboy does is degrading to women, think that if a woman is in the prison scene then she must have done it unwillingly. I was saying that is not the case. Some porn stars have no problem with it. In fact, some seem to enjoy it. Second, that scene can have multiple interpretations. Steinem and you seemed to think the inmate was being raped. Another is that she wanted to do that as the last she would do before being executed. I come to this conclusion from what appears to be a expression of ecstasy when she is receiving oral pleasure and her smoking the cigarette peacefully after the sexual act. Yes. She did have handcuffs on, but that could just be to make sure she didn’t hurt the guard. I come to this conclusion because, unfortunately I have stumbled on videos showing something similar to this. It is not glorifying violence on women. It is just Hustler doing what it does, takes things to the extreme. Do I like it? No. But, they have the right to do it and people like Steinem would prefer that they be not allowed to do that. However, that is against our first amendment.



Eh, let’s just agree we’ve misrepresented/misunderstood each other all around and call it a day.



The only other thing I’ll add is that just because the woman in the Hustler pictorial agreed to shoot the prison sequence, it doesn’t mean it’s automatically “okay.” Without knowing who this woman is and what her motivations/thoughts are, you can find porn stars who didn’t like what they did (either their entire career or a specific shoot/sequence), but are only agreeing to it because they got compensated for it.

IF that is true, it’s not necessarily a ringing endorsement. Again, only a speculation and I’m not basing this off of any extra information I haven’t already shared.

And it’s perfectly okay to bring up Steinem. Your intolerance for a “Playboy hater” mirrors precisely a feminist blog or group outright rejecting perfectly reasoned arguments from Hef’s Playboy Philosophy because they believe he is a “woman hater.”



Good lord.

All I said was that I found the cover strange and not sexy or cute. I compared it to the Hustler one because to me it looked like the woman was falling INTO the chimney , just like the woman was falling into the meat grinder.

I never once thought the cover was violent or was sarcastic like the Hustler cover.

And PB would NEVER resort to the cheap vulgar tactics that Hustler does.

Bette Streep


Don’t think anyone thinks the December Playboy depicts violence. The Hustler cover IS violent since it looks like something a serial killer would do (in fact, we had a killer in Canada who killed prostitutes, mostly aboriginal, and ground them up and fed them to his pigs). I guess they’re aiming for sarcasm or satire, but Hustler is known for a questionable sense of humor, so there you go.

I wouldn’t read into the woman falling into the chimney and would agree with others that it may be a Santa-like Playmate giving presents. I’d have added a red sack of gifts to the cover design (Playboy products).



1 comment to December 2013 issue – first thoughts

  • Incredibly, the subscription version of 12/13 has no UPC! While it may not have the glow-in-the-dark rabbit head that comes with the newsstand version, that damn UPC is gone, making the subscription cover more aesthetically pure.

    I have been complaining about that UPC ever since I joined the PML (it was one of my “Five Great Mistakes” posted in the 90s). Whether or not this is a permanent fix for subscribers remains to be seen, but the removal of the UPC from the 12/13 cover does indicate that the new art team at PLAYBOY is getting some much-deserved respect.


    Dan Stiffler

    > Incredibly, the subscription version of 12/13 has no UPC! While it
    > may not have the glow-in-the-dark rabbit head that comes with the
    > newsstand version, that damn UPC is gone, making the subscription
    > cover more aesthetically pure.

    I noticed this as well. The cover price (now printed as part of the
    UPC) is also not present on the subscriber cover.

    I am very happy about the absent UPC code!

    I haven’t actually seen a newsstand cover yet, but the image posted
    previously on the PML shows that it additionally contains the text

    BTW iPlayboy shows the subscriber version.

    > I have been complaining about that UPC ever since I joined the PML
    > (it was one of my “Five Great Mistakes” posted in the 90s). Whether
    > or not this is a permanent fix for subscribers remains to be seen,
    > but the removal of the UPC from the 12/13 cover does indicate that
    > the new art team at PLAYBOY is getting some much-deserved respect.

    The print edition of Harper’s Bazaar also doesn’t print a UPC code on
    its subscriber cover. They print a special subscriber cover with a
    different image and different text and have been doing so for a number
    of years now.

    I can understand a UPC being on the newsstand since that’s the way of retailing, but I don’t understand why it would be on the subscription copy.

    While the UPC wasn’t something I thought very much about, I won’t miss it, so therefore… yay for no UPC!

    Well, because no one cared until recently? After all, it took an extra print run with the glowing rabbit head (and attendant cover lines) to free up the subscription copies this time around. However…

    Every newsstand copy I have purchased in the last ten or fifteen years has come bagged. Would it be that hard for the UPC to be stickered to the bag rather than incorporated obtrusively on the cover? Or a loose faux cover sheet with advertising on the back, as is the case with subscription issues? Now that PLAYBOY has returned to design-driven rather than formulaic covers, I hope that the UPC can disappear from all covers.


    Dan Stiffler
    It does look quite nice. It is a good thing that I did buy the newsstand edition since the one delivered in the mail did not have glow in the dark capability. I wonder why that is the case. However, you can still see the bunny head in the stars.


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