What kind of man reads Playboy?

I’ve always had an interest in the mojo of Playboy magazine. Not really the magazine itself, with its nude ladies and the all-important articles, but more the cultural icon that Playboy has become.

I wrote about Playboy back in 1997. Back then I’d got hold of a copy of the magazine itself, and ended up somewhat disappointed that it didn’t live up to the exotic reputation it had held years earlier amongst my friends at primary school.

But since then Playboy has changed. The magazine still exists, but the iconic bunny logo has totally gone mainstream, having been licensed for all sorts of products related to the Playboy lifestyle. But it’s moved from representing a sophsticated, sexual thing for adult men to being a crazy fun thing for younger men and women who just want something that says, “Hey! Sometimes I have sex! I might have sex with you! Waaaagh!”

The old ads asked “What sort of man reads Playboy?“, with the answer being a worldly, wealthy, jetset, scotch-drinking kind of man. But what kind of person buys products with the Playboy bunny logo? I’ve started noting products that have licensed the bunny, in an attempt to gain insight into the new consumer of the Playboy brand.

Flannelette sheets

Flannelette Playboy sheets

One would think, maybe, that the beds at the Playboy Mansion would be made with satin sheets, perhaps in a deep burgandy colour. But what’s in stock at Briscoes? Playboy flannelette sheets.

The perfect bedding for the playboy who lives in an uninsulated, unheated flat, who wants to ensure he (or she) can put on their jimjams and snuggle down with a mug of Milo into a nice warm bed in winter, but also wants to ensure their image as a sexy person is maintained year-round.

Duvet cover

40% off

If the pattern of the flannelette sheets was too subtle, how about a giant screen-print of the logo on a red duvet cover? This duvet is for those mornings when you don’t want to go to work because you have a performance review at work and you just know your manager is going to say something about that box of black marker pens you took that one time. So you call in sick and then start to actually feel a bit sick and spend the rest of the day eating two-minute noodles and watching “Titanic” on your HP laptop. Also: 40% off! Yay!

Throw cushions

Bunny cushion

How about a throw pillow to add some colour to either your flannelette sheet set or giant red duvet cover? There’s a black pillow with little bunny hearts (yay, love!) but more demanding of your love and attention is the giant bunny-shaped pillow.

While technically it is a pillow, it is also secretly a cuddly animal toy. If you feel that you’re too old for Mrs Panda and Colonel Teddy, the Playboy bunny cushion gives you a nice animal friend to snuggle up with when you’re feeling a bit lonely. No one ever need know. They will see the pillow and just think you are edgy, cool and sexual.


Gift suggestion

Oh, hey, merry Christmas! It’s a couple of days late, but your boyfriend’s dad and his stepmum are giving you their present. You guess that’s some sort of perfume gift pack – fingers crossed it’s the new Britney one! But, oh, it’s a Playboy perfume and moisturiser pack.

Your boyfriend’s stepmum immediately demands that you put some of the perfume on. She grabs the tube of moisturiser and starts smearing the cream all over your hands, insisting you deserve “a bit of pampering”. It smells like Ribena and curry. Your boyfriend looks ill.

Body spray

Discarded at a train station

Playboy body spray exists for the young man who has a busy life – too busy for daily showering or the regular laundering of clothes. It’s ideal for those situations when Work Corey has to quickly transform into Date Corey before the train arrives.

Just grab that can of Playboy body spray in the Miami fragrance (this guy on Facebook says it’s the strongest), shove the can up your shirt and spray liberally. Remember not to squirt it down your trousers, but you may wish to give your area a little spray just to be safe.

Car seat covers

Flammable, like my love for you.

Cars – they’re a bit boring. It’s nice to individualise one’s automobile and there’s no better way to do that with some fluffy sex dice and some plush Playboy car seat covers. This is the kind of car that starts out with the formal nickname of Bertha, but ends up being called the Shaggin’ Wagon, much to the owner’s disappointment, but with the reluctant acceptance that it is sort of true, especially after that one time down by the river. But the good thing is the Playboy car seat covers are fully washable, so if you spill some banana Primo on it, you can easily clean it off.

6 thoughts on “What kind of man reads Playboy?”

  1. In my three years working at Briscoes, I could never decide which I found creepier: the parents buying Playboy duvets or sheets for their clearly high-school-at-best-age daughters, or the older white men buying them for their young, Asian, English-poor wives/girlfriends.

    Either way it was very, very creepy. (And, wow, they must be making a profit, those things are not cheap. Even at 40% off.)

  2. Pingback: Sharing the love « The Lady Garden
  3. I’ve always found the Playboy branded products thing to be unbelievably crass. But then I guess I pretty much feel the same way about people wearing Ford or Holden branded clothing.

    If you look back at some of the stuff in old (1960s era) Playboy, it was pretty cool. Now it just feels really crappy.

  4. Robyn, I too am curious at the rise of the Playboy cult in merchandising. But I think you have missed the salient point – the market is not young men. Somewhat bizarrely, the market is young women. Yes, that perfume, those comfy flannelette sheets, those logo-emblazoned car seat covers – all aimed directly at the sexually provocative young woman, in turn sending a message to the young man/boy, “I’m up for it, come on, take me big boy”. She’s advertising herself as a Playboy kind of girl, willing to get naked and have a “good time”. it’s no longer taboo to be seen as a woman liking sex.

    Conversely, any man who embraces Playboy is seen as a dick, a self-obsessed cock with too much cockiness – if you will: a wanker (although, arguably, Playboy readers have always been wankers). How the tables have turned – how Hefner has changed the scene – and so empowered women’s sexuality that they now embrace the word “slut” with such fervour.

  5. Maximus: come again? (no pun intended)

    Slut? This is 2012… Playgirl, swinger, diva, woman-of-the-world…now these make sense at this time in history/herstory.

    Slut? Are you Rip Van Winkle?

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