NEW YORK, NY (FOX 11 / AP) - Playboy is about to find out how many people really do read it for the articles.
The magazine that helped usher in the sexual revolution in the 1950s and '60s by bringing nudity into living rooms - or at least sock drawers - all over America announced Tuesday that it will no longer run photos of completely naked women.
Starting in March, it will still feature women in provocative poses, but they will no longer be fully nude.
From Hal Eisner:
Playboy magazine. A man's publication with sexy naked pictures of monthly Playmates. For 62 years that's been the branding Playboy has had. They also forwarded the idea that they had great journalistic articles which sometimes would become material for jokes. But, they did such an effective job that when word came that new magazines starting in March would be nude-less, that got people talking.
At the Sherman Oaks News Stand magazine buyer Joe Green's reaction to the move? "It's terrible. I don't get it. That's what they were built on."
Aleyna Stroud was surprised too. She says, "Hef seems like he's a pretty smart businessman. It seems to me to be a nude magazine so why wouldn't you have nudity in it."
Hugh Hefner started his love affair with magazines as a kid drawing comics and making scrapbooks. Then came Playboy. The first cover? Marilyn Monroe!
Back when Hugh Hefner started the magazine no one had an inkling that something called the internet would come along like a bulldozer and change one industry after another. In the case of men's magazines, paying for naked pictures became a little unnecessary in the minds of some when they could just go online and bring up photos for free.
Sherri Shaulis with Adult Video News (AVN) says "It started with computers. It's moved to our phones. Our laptops." Is this a sign that Playboy is in trouble like other publications? Shaulis says, "I honestly think it is a smart move. I think it's going to pay off. They've already made some similar changes to their website content. They've made it a lot more safe for work so people can't access it in public on their phones, tablets whereever.. and not offend anybody. They've seen some real growth in that area."
In a statement Playboy officials say: Playboy will continue to publish sexy, seductive pictorials of the world's most beautiful women, including its iconic Playmates. The magazine will also remain committed to its' award-winning mix of long-form journalism, interviews and fiction."
But, to competitor Larry Flynt, whose Hustler magazine is also built on nudity, what Playboy's is doing appears to be a move to survive.
Flynt tells FOX 11, "I knew Hef was getting old, but I didn’t know he had lost his mind. When people started buying Playboy, they bought it for the centerfold. Now, Playboy wants to dump their feature attraction. It makes no sense to me, and I see this as their final demise"
But, it seems Ethan Scott might be buying future editions. He thinks Playboy's move may prove sexier than filling pages with naked women. Says Scott, "You see women walk around all the time with clothes on and they still look just as beautiful. They turn me on just as much as a naked woman."