It used to be said that Playboy readers came for the nudity, but stayed for the articles. Nowadays, smut-seekers don’t need to make this excuse. All prurient folk need to do is bash a few words into Google to be greeted with a torrent of smut that would have given previous generations a heart attack. In this age of free filth for all, the idea of nervously strolling into a store and paying for softcore content seems almost quaint, a forgotten byproduct of a gentler time.
Yet even though it was understandably famous for its unabashed views of naked female flesh, Playboy was also celebrated for its writers, publishing greats like Joseph Heller, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jack Kerouac during its storied history. Then the internet quake hit, swamping old media with a tsunami of hardcore and sometimes disturbing sexual content. Unlike Playboy, the purveyors of the new pornography didn’t make any claim to be in touch with civilized culture. They just raked in the advertising dollars and rubbed their hands with glee, while Playboy foundered.
Now one of the internet’s leading porn providers have decided to try and resurrect the glory days of Playboy in the most hardcore way possible. BaDoink, a firm known for putting blue movies on mobile devices, has launched a product they claim will occupy a similar market position to Hefner’s own publication in its heyday. The pair behind the online magazine decided to give their first interview to me after I wrote a piece describing how feminist blogger derided an avowedly softcore magazine called HotTech as the “tech Playboy”. She meant it as an insult, but to BaDoink, that phrase is a badge of honor.
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