Female Sexuality and Why Women Didn’t Embrace Playgirl

PLAYGIRL200007I had a lot of comments and email about my blog entry about why some women think that men looking at porn are “cheating”, and how this indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of male sexuality (and a healthy does of female insecurity, as well).  Some of the comments were from women who simply can’t understand why males, everywhere and for all times, seem to enjoy looking at (attractive) nude women.  Because generally women do not care for nude males (except their own nude male).  So I had to ask myself a question that other men have asked — “How come women don’t like seeing good looking buff guys naked?”

Interesting question and I invite my readers to comment. Now, I KNOW some women will come here and say, “What are you talking about? I loved Playgirl. I love porn. I love a hot guy naked!”  And sure I want to hear from you, but then I want you to tell me why so many of your sisterhood do not like what you like.

And how do I know that women don’t like nude guys?  Simple.  Founded in 1973 as a an “in your face” feminist alternative to Playboy, Penthouse and the like, Playgirl went out of print in 2009 (and became web-based only), came back in 2010, but has a very limited distribution. Try finding it in a store. Or at the airport. Good luck!  Seems that it’s mostly a subscription magazine that can be purchased online now.  Even during its hey day in the 70’s and 80s, it was estimated that their readership was 40% (or more) gay men. It was barely kept afloat by male readers! And still went under to the point now where it’s got a very small audience.  Once an alternative to Playboy, replete with thinking articles and subtle and artistic nudity, Playgirl is now run by a large, mainstream porn company, has lost most of its articles, and its imagery is pretty much “in your face” in comparison to its feminist past.

Playgirl in its first two years had 1.1 million subscribers and pitched exclusively to women. But that was then. Today, Playgirl is almost unrecognizable to the magazine’s golden days. Its subscriber base has plunged to around 3,000, and perhaps most notably, its target audience is no longer straight women. You need only open to the first page of a recent issue—which promotes a call line service called “Magnum Male” advertising an “ALL MALE PARTY!” and “BI CURIOUS” Andy—to know that the target demo has shifted to gay men.

And even at its peak, compare this one, lone modest magazine to THOUSANDS of magazines devoted to the nude female form worldwide.  And strip bars? Try finding a male strip-joint in most cities. They are hard to find.  Few of them exist and some of them have become part male strippers, part female strippers (like the famous “Sugar Shack” in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin).  Porn is a visual media that is still largely targeted, and sold to males, despite attempts to market “female-oriented” porn.

seanpatrick-02So clearly females don’t not get the same “pop” out of visual sexuality and nudity that men do.  Fair enough.  But I think to some men, it’s puzzling, if not somewhat vexing.  Women want to be admired and drooled over,  but they don’t want to admire or drool over us men. Why? Men are people too.  We like attention to our form too!

So why didn’t women embrace Playgirl, or in general, seemed to get turned on by men in magazines who are obviously above average handsome, built and large?  Males worldwide scratch their heads in wonder!

So I did some research and here’s a smattering of what I found

1.  Women’s approach to sexuality is obviously different than men’s:  Women are more contextual in their sexuality than men. For them it’s almost ENTIRELY a personal thing.  They want a nude guy they already know and want, and who knows and wants them, in a (usually private) setting of a very personal nature.  A stranger nude, let alone merely one in a magazine, doesn’t fit that construct.  Sexuality is far more in the female MIND than in her EYE.  A recent survey said that the vast majority of women would choose a copy of “Fifty Shades of Grey” over Playgirl.   As one stated, “Women don’t want it all laid out. They enjoy using their imaginations and filling in the blanks.” Anticipation of sex can actually be hotter than sex itself. The written word allows us to build up anticipation whereas pictures and video can give everything away from the onset.”

Another woman wrote, “I’d rather look at my man (naked)”.  Another said, “To most women the male body is beautiful, but does not usually become something that turns us on sexually, until it is in the proper sexual context. And that context can be as varied as women themselves.”

2.  Shame:   Some women do like checking out naked men who they don’t know – in Playgirl, in porn, strippers or whatever. But are ashamed to admit it and still worried what society would think of them. They are “closet porn aficionados”.  One study said that women were EQUALLY stimulated while watching porn as part of a study as men were, but did not like to admit it.

As one woman wrote, “I am a woman and I LOVE naked men! In fact I do not know any women who do not like naked men.  If a woman does not like naked men it maybe because she is shy about her own sexuality. For centuries, women have been expected to be ashamed of their sexual desires and in many cultures, this way of thinking continues.”

Chippendales23.  Clothed hot guys are hotter than naked hot guys:  Female visual sexuality tends to like to be teased. Many would rather imagine what the man looks like naked, then to see him fully naked.  As one wrote, “I’m turned on when parts of a guy are covered. Yeah the whole jeans thing with no shirt is wicked hot!”

This may explain why Chippendale dancers (who do not get completely nude) are more popular than fully nude male strip shows?

3. Repulsed. I find a number of comments where women said that the naked guys in Playgirl were “gross.”  “Repulsive.”  Or some such comments.  Really? Repulsive?  Gosh.   I only find repulsive people “repulsive.”  I think I’d be horrified if my wife found the male body “repulsive.”   I really want the opposite!  I wonder if someone who found the male figure, especially a perfect one, to be so uninteresting. Would they be good in bed? Personally I like that my wife likes to see me changing. Or enjoys a good “flash” from me.   Not only does it please me (I like my body admired. I work hard on it!), but it tells me that she’s hot for me. And sexual in her own right. All good.  If a woman thinks of the male as an ugly, God-awful creature, I think that would be beyond a turn-off.

I also got this from one of my emailers– and the inspiration for why I did this blog. I thought it summed quite a lot of this up in a very good way.

“So I don’t find playgirl erotic because the men in it have nothing to do with me. They’re just men with big cocks. They have no connection to me and they’re not naked in a magazine just for me. They’re just some guys posing and getting paid for it. Women know this. 

With regards to naked pictures of men in general. I’d have to have a connection with the man to enjoy the picture. Even then it’s the sight of seeing them excited FOR ME that’s the turn on. Talking filthy, telling me what they’d like to do. What they’d like me to do. It’s real and it’s plausible even if it’s all fantasy talk. The naked picture in THAT instance works because I can imagine what would happen. 
It facilitates my imagination and sets it up for a fantasy. If I saw the hard cock of a man I’m attracted to, I would be able to imagine having sex and then masturbating at those thoughts.    It’s the filthy imagery I create that ultimately sets the fantasy in motion. The naked male just starts the wheels in motion. 
Same with women watching porn. It’s not the sight of the naked male that makes it interesting…it’s the actions, and then imagining that being done to you. Again the ultimate fantasy will not involve the people in the porn. It’ll involve someone we know. Someone we have a connection with. Depending on the person and how deep the connection is, the fantasy can range from filthy and dirty to romantic and passionate.  A woman will very rarely get turned on by a naked man. It’s just a fact. Maybe we don’t express that to me, but it’s how women talk amongst each other. There’s always the idea that willies look amusing more than anything else. There has to be a bond with the naked person that allows sexual feelings to emerge. It’s like when I said for women love and sex go together. We rarely separate. Even if there’s no love, there’s usually a bond. “

w218794438That is about as good of an explanation as I’ve ever heard.  In the end, I think this issue very clearly demonstrates the differences between men and women when it comes to sexuality — and why you should not judge our eyes and we won’t judge your romance novels.  Whatever gets you there is what gets you there.  We  like what we like.  And its really different.  The better we understand this, the better we can be with our partners.

So to my female readers (and ONLY my female readers, please), tell us why you do or do not like the nude male body and why Playgirl, porn and such does or does not interest you.  We are curious.

14 thoughts on “Female Sexuality and Why Women Didn’t Embrace Playgirl

  1. I love that you wrote this. I studied human sexuality extensively in college, and this topic has been researched extensively. The leading theory has more to do with how women and men are socialized to view sex, behave sexually and think about sex. Women are the gatekeepers of sex. We are starting to see a turn around in that thought process, but it is still a dominant thought. We teach little girls to say no to sex, but we teach little boys to be safe with sex. Women who are sexual are seen as loose, whores, sluts. Men who are sexual do not have near the stigma or social backlash. In fact, they sometimes are rewarded by it. Why wouldn’t men embrace it more? Women are more shy and reserved in expressing their sexuality, which can be viewing erotic photo or videos. You might be thinking,,,”But hey! What about that 50 Shades craze?” She was with one man, she was a virgin. He had been with many women and was experienced in sexual techniques. What captured women’s interests? Well, it fit the stereotype…She was virtuous, he was not. She won him over, and he “pushed” her to enjoy sex, thus taking the responsibility of her sexuality from her and putting it on him. She didn’t have to feel guilty for it or seem like a slut.

    All of this sexual disparities began with irrigation. When we started owning land instead of being nomads. Males needed to ensure paternity because land rights and inheritance were passed down through the male blood line thanks to patriarchy. Therefore, women who strayed or were seen as possibly falling out of line sexually were chastised, whereas men weren’t I think women are just as sexual, we are just taught that it is wrong to be sexual and that it is immoral. I could write all day about why this is, but this is a very basic synopsis. Thanks for bringing it up and starting a conversation about it!

  2. hang on, its not that we dont appreciate the male form, i think youre being a bit sensitive on that point. but if im looking, i dont want it to be overtly sexual…

    naked man for the sake of a naked man doesnt do it for me at all… but semi clad man going about his business,,, for eg… firefighter in action/the rock in the ring those imag

  3. I’m in that category as well. Love the sight of a well-made man, but I’d rather just see his chest, bare feet (I love a nicely shaped manly foot) maybe a hint of fanny, than try to absorb the whole enchilada at once. It’s just too much, and there’s no personal context to it. Looking just to look – it’s not really all that much fun. It’s looking and knowing you’re about to touch, and then imagining what that’s going to feel like, before it happens. Frankly, I’d rather look at my man naked than see nude pictures of Russel Crowe or Hugh Jackman (two famous men I find incredibly hot). Him, I know I can touch, and there’s also something in the fact that I am welcome to touch, that he really wants me to, that makes looking at him even more exciting.

    • Your words tend to confirm what I researched and wrote above. Thanks for the input.

      Men and women can do better in relationships the more we understand how each other ticks. And this is a big one. Women need to better understand male sexuality, and men need to better understand female sexuality. Ignorance can lead to all sorts of unnecessary issues.

  4. I wanna go a step further into the naked stranger comment…
    Little girls, from the second they’re born, are taught, more or less, beware the naked stranger… We’re taught to keep ourselves safe. And this often comes from our dads. Their worst fears, are often that their daughters will be raped. were even told not to look at the creepy guy at the back of the train…

    So perhaps, looking at random naked men… Just goes against a very early,very basic conditioning we
    received in our childhoods. Beware the random naked guy…

  5. Interesting article, I’m glad you wrote this. I’d have to agree with relationshiprambles 1st statement, paragraph 1, and Bamboozled’s statement about the stranger, Both pertain directly in my my case.

    Howeever, I’m also going to say that the type of picture has a great deal to do as well. Take picture number one above, It doesn’t turn me on in the slightest. He looks like “Mr. Fantastic” form the Fantastic Four. He’s so overbuilt, he almost has no muscled definition, and like I could pull and stretch him, (Not that That’s bad for ALL parts) 😉 But He’s just gross to me.

    Picture number 2 is very nice, and I’d like to see the package, but even though it’s missing, It’s leaving me to my imagination, and I’ve got a nice one on this guy.

    Picture number 3..The first guy and the last guy are very nicely built. Not overdone. Their person as a whole looks nice, good looking, genuine personalities, Your aveerage good looking guys. The two in the middle look fake. The left guy has a nice build, but his face doesn’t match his body. He has a little head, and looks arrogant, the long hair tells me, he’s more into grooming and admiring himself than pleasuring me (that doesn’t go for all guys with long hair, just this one, who looks arrogant overall). He doesn’t look like he’d hold my hand not even in private.The middle guy on the right, also looks arrogant, and like he’s compensating with his body, for the lack of brain in his head. he also looks like he’d be the one looking for a fight.

    And last but certainly not least, Adam Levine…We know him, we’ve seen his character and attitude, he’s got that fun, honest, genuine, caring personality. His body’s nice. Although a smaller framed guy, it’s nice on him, just right, for his size and personality. I’m not one for lots of tattoos, but he isn’t covered in them. And his picture above is playful and fun, while his expression almost has an innocence to it, grabbing my interest as he doesn’t look at all like he’s overcompensating, arrogant, plastic, unkind…

    And the same goes for ChipnDale’s show’s, (and I’ve been a few times) almost none of them individually “match” as a whole package. It’s as if they’ve had so many looking at them, they gain this ugly confidence which in turn makes them completely ugly. and after the show, (and I HAVE had this happen) during lap dances, they’re looking to and actually whispering and inviting women back to their rooms, a turn off.

    Anyway’s that’s my take. Sorry if it was long, but I figured I’d show you the many sorts of reasons for taste and distaste in the Male as a whole.

    • Interesting input. You really studied these photos in detail!! hehe…it’s ok. It gave me a chuckle. I just threw them in there to be illustrative and to provide some sort of graphic to break up the text. You tend to confirm what others have said and what I wrote. I’m still waiting to hear from women (at least one of which has a blog) who claim to be very visual, love the male nude body and love porn!

  6. I’d also like to add that there’s a plethora of magazines and videos out there dedicated to specific types, likes and interests for men, Playboy, usually pretty college age girls striking sensual and fun-loving poses, Hustler hard core porn, School girls (just a type) Girls Gone Wild, crazy college age girls willing to do just about anything for attention, Hot middle aged housewives…but what I’m getting at is men can choose something entirely dedicated to their liking, whereas women ars stuck with everything in one, so if she’s turned on by a picture or two, and flips the page and the next is totally not her type, she’ll be turned off like that, and it becomes a waste.

    Perhapse if there were magazines out there dedicated to a specific audience rather than the entire female population that has a different variety of likes and tastes it would work. I suggest Mr. Sport, Mr. Blue Collar, Sugar Daddy, Cougar’s Playmate, Mr. Dom, The Boy Next Door, Military Man, Men In Tatts…just a few fun titles I made up myself 😉

    • LOL. you made them up or are you a secret aficionado? LOL….Cougar’s Playmate…funny

      oh and the second photo? I cropped it. If you want to see it all, I guess you could send me an email and I could probably find it again! lol

    • gotta drop me an email, and I will have to see if I can locate the original that I cropped. Obviously I didn’t save it!! haha.

      and yes, very clever…How about “Cougar Toy”…”The Hard Facts”….”Delusional Women Perving on Hot Younger Guys” (ROFL)…just kidding…I do have a sense of humor

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