...claudine ko

Why won’t you pay to look at naked guys anymore?
Jane, October 2005

During the sexual revolution, Playgirl sold millions. Now, with its numbers in the tank, it is redesigning in the hope of appealing to you. Claudine Ko consults.

I'm standing behind a flock of screaming, cowboy-hatted bachelorettes in Manhattan's Webster Hall, trying to decide what'll be harder: reporting this evening drunk or reporting it sober. Onstage, a drag queen named Shane starts chucking free Playgirl tees into the rabid crowd. The wasted twenty-something woman next to me throws her arms over her head, yelling, "Oh, f#@k that, show me some dick." Finally, Shane makes way for Shredder, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound dancer dressed like a cop, who thrusts and rips his way down to a G-string before humping a woman from the audience he's hoisted so high in the air that her feet dangle several inches off the ground. I pound the rest of my vodka and soda.

When I heard earlier this year that Playgirl's editor-in-chief had been fired, all I could think was, "Whatever happened to that magazine?" And that's how I ended up at Playgirl's Ladies' Nite Out party. They sponsor it to attract a new generation of readers -- basically young women like you-- to help resuscitate the foundering Playgirl empirette. But is getting dry-humped by beefcake in a cheesy dance club on a Thursday night what they think our generation is looking for? I mean, really. So the following week, I head over to their editorial office to work as, uh, a sort of consultant to see how else they're planning to lure you in. (More...)