“What’s the point?” you wonder.
For the most part, the proliferation of porn on the Internet has made the magazine’s iconic centerfolds pretty irrelevant. Just click on Tumblr and that can keep you pretty busy for hours, and that’s only a starting point. Circulation is down from its all-time high of 5.6 million in 1975 to about 800,000 today. Instead, Playboy will be featuring more artistic photos by visual artists because research has found that’s what it’s coveted younger readers want. It will also continue to publish its highly acclaimed in-depth articles, feature stories, and interviews. People really do read Playboy for the articles, even Marjorie*.
About 20 years ago, I was on the boards of a couple of non-profit organizations. One was local and the other one was the state branch that met in Lansing once a month. I’d usually ride with three other women from the area who were also on the state board. One of them was Marjorie.
Marjorie was in her early 80’s and was a retired nursery school teacher. She looked the part – white hair-do and usually wore delicate print floral dresses with lace collars. She was a kind, sweet lady but also fiercely intelligent and very outspoken and sassy when she had to be.
On one day, Marjorie was the last of the ladies I picked up on our way to Lansing, about an hour and a half drive from where we lived in the Detroit area. As soon as she shut the car door, she said, “Boy, did I have a day yesterday!”
Marjorie started telling us how she had to go to the hospital to get an X-ray and some tests done. Before she went to the bus stop, she stopped at a newspaper stand to pick up a copy of Playboy.
Of course, the three of us had the identical shocked look on our faces and then busted out laughing. I imagined what the cashier thought when this “sweet little old lady” came up to the counter to buy the magazine.
“My friend’s son wrote an article and I wanted to read it,” Marjorie said. “I figured I’d have plenty of time ot read it while I was sitting around waiting at the hospital.”
Wisecracks about reading Playboy for the articles abounded, but Marjorie continued with her story.
“As soon as I walked in the hospital, this woman comes running up with a wheelchair and insisted on taking me where I had to go,” Marjorie said. “I told her I was perfectly capable of walking, but she wouldn’t listen to me, so she took me to the lab.
“I thought she leave me in the waiting room, but she insisted on waiting with me. That damn woman talked me ear off. She was annoying. I finally got called in to get my blood drawn. I thought for sure she’d go away, but she was there waiting for me with that damn wheelchair when I got out and asked where I needed to go next.
“I told her that I had to go for an X-ray and I knew where to go. I started to walk away and that woman pushed me into the wheelchair. When she pushed me into the wheelchair, I dropped my bag and the magazine fell out.”
The three of us started laughing. Loud.
“You should have seen the look on that woman’s face,” Marjorie said. “She gave me this look like she was disgusted with me and finally walked away.”
When we finally got done laughing and after I recovered from the laugh cramps that bit into my ribs, I finally asked, “So how was the article?”
“Oh, quite good,” Marjorie said. “They really do have some good articles in Playboy.”
I never had the guts to buy a copy of Playboy like Marjorie, but I do read it online every once in a while. It really does have some good articles.
This article is brought to you by A Good Woman’s Dirty Boutique where you can find one of the largest selections of sex toys for your and your partner’s pleasure and your purchase helps keep stories like this free for your reading pleasure.