Dear Grandparenting: I wish to comment on the passing of an American institution that exalted female beauty and gave old men and young boys something to dream about. I’m talking about Playboy, the magazine that started it all. The cover read “entertainment for men,” but nobody bought it for the writing. Playboy did the nude thing first, and they always did it better in my opinion, with class.
For still innocent grandsons, it was the forbidden fruit. My father brought a copy of Playboy home every so often. He kept it in the bottom of a desk drawer in his little study, under his maps and fishing tackle. I know this because I turned the house upside down trying to find where he was hiding it.
Playboy was my introduction to the beauty and mystery of the feminine form. Thumbing through the featured centerfold was an absolute rite of passage for the male species, grandfathers and grandsons alike. The magazine as we knew it is gone but not forgotten, right guys? Yogi Thaler, Medford, Oregon
Dear Yogi: So now we can finally saym “I buy Playboy for its informative, well-written articles and storiesm” with a straight face and skip all those winks and guffaws. Starting with the March 2016 issue, the magazine famous for its photographs of alluring naked women no longer publishes the sexy photos that titillated generations.
But let’s take one step further and consider what prompted Playboy’s decision to abandon the formula that made millions for founder Hugh Hefner. Once highly provocative and controversial, Playboy was an also-ran in today’s sex market, eclipsed by raunchy displays readily available to anyone with access to a computer or similar device.
We’ve gone from the forbidden fruit to a time when nothing is forbidden, and it’s pretty inevitable that grandchildren will encounter pornography at some tender age, maybe before they understand the basic mechanics of sex.
Grandsons growing up on a diet of hard porn — where what passes for romance can consist of 5 minutes of small talk and 25 minutes of no-holds barred X-rated content — might come to think that’s exactly what women want, or worry they can’t measure up to the studs on the screen. Research shows a correlation between early consumption of porn and episodes of sexual violence. It’s the stuff of a talk someone ought to have with grandsons.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Sweet_Pea50 from Marshall, Michigan, a new grandmother, often compares notes with sister, Gay, who has 11 grandchildren.
Sweat Pea says her sister gives her useful pointers, like what to avoid. “One time Gay picked up a bunch of her grandkids, spoiled them, loaded them up with sugar, and sent them back home. Her daughter didn’t speak to her for two weeks after that.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.