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Play, boys; Playboy

2009 March 4
by Maddie
  • Jonathan– you exposed a topic today that for me was novel, baffling, and disturbing, to say the least. As with any eye-opener, I much appreciate it, and hope this post isn’t stealing any of your thunder. I liked the fact that you saw “gift givers” as using technology (the internet) to infect, because I saw gift givers as shunning technology–the technology of condoms– to do so. In a quick google search, I came across a youtube video of CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewing the director of “The Gift”, Louise Hogarth. After a clip of a bugchaser who had contracted the HIV virus and was now seemingly at ease, Cooper asks, “is he an idiot?” Hogarth’s response was that no, he wasn’t an idiot; as Jonathan talked about in class, AIDS for some represents the “in-group” in the gay community, and this drives bug chasers to those who can assure them a position of acceptance.

Isn’t it incredible to think that people would risk their lives so consciously to feel accepted? That people could be so heavily influenced by what they perceive as ideal that they would die to achieve it? But wait… What about teenagers that would DIE to fit in with their drug abusing friends? What about girls that die starving themselves to achieve what the media portrays as normal?  No. This is not incredible at all.

And I cannot stress how bizzare and ironic it is, that as I sit here totally charged on this topic… I’m watching CSI: NY, “Heart of Glass”. This episode is about a man who has killed himself by crashing his body into an industrial glass fishtank. The crime scene is covered in blood and shards of glass, and as one detective attempts to collect evidence, she cuts herself on a piece of this glass, which was inevitably covered in blood. The victim was HIV positive. Does this only appear to lack intention?

——–shifting gears———-

Simran and I talked briefly about this after class today, but one (of many) lingering question from class was whether there are any Playboy Playmates that are virgins. Does it matter? Do these women assume this identity to become sexual, or to have sex? (I think many believe the latter) I am a fan of the show Girls Next Door (documenting the life of Hugh Hefner and his three (now ex-) girlfriends), and they make a conscious effort to never discuss the sex practices that go on behind closed mansion doors. I did stumble upon one 1986 playmate who was publicized as “The Virgin Playmate”, but there was not much info to go off of. I also found this, which I thought was more reminiscent of our conversations today. This is the December 08 issue of Mexican Playboy, featuring Maria Florencia Onori, nude. The bold reads, “We love you Maria” or, “We adore you Mary” — The Virgin Mary. Playboy ended up apologizing to the Mexican public for this cover.

Because of my recent fascination with magazine covers, I see this as technology being used to create a symbol of highly feminized, highly sexualized purity. Was this how it was intended, or was it intended to mark some contradictary satire? How do images like this, in Men’s magazines, directly or indirectly influence the societal ideals that women feel pressured to achieve?

endless questions, limited answers. I don’t get it.

2 Responses
  1. J S permalink
    March 4, 2009

    thanks very much for posting this clip, maddie – you beat me to it!

    i have the DVD of the whole documentary if anyone wants to see it. (the documentary is actually pretty biased and underwhelming in my opinion, but it definitely lets these men speak for themselves, which is necessary.)

  2. Keeper of the List permalink
    April 23, 2009

    I’m over fifty and have been a subscriber to Playboy since my college days, and to the Playboy Cyber Club since its inception in the mid-1990s. Within the Playboy internet community, I’ve sort of become the unofficial keeper of the list of Virgin Playmates, i.e. those who have indicated somewhere along the line that they were still virgins when they posed for their centerfolds. I find there’s something paradoxical about a virgin posing nude, especially for Playboy, that makes her doubly appealing. Donna Edmondson, the 1986 Playmate you refer to, is the only Playmate to have actually used “the V-word” to describe herself in her centerfold article, but over the years I’ve come up with the names of about 20 Playmates who have indicated that they were virgins when they posed, and a handful of others who have strongly hinted at it. The list runs chronologically from Dolores Del Monte, Miss March ’54, to Kelly Monaco, Miss April ’97. There were quite a number from the ’50s and ’60s. There is a conspicuous gap that spans nearly the entire decade of the ’70s, and then virgins somehow made a comeback in the ’80s. If you want more info on the subject, I presume you have access to my Email address that I’m required to enter with this post, so contact me.

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