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Playboy Will No Longer Publish Nudes: 'It's Just Passé'

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Playboy, Hugh Hefner's magazine that helped usher in the sexual revolution, will no longer be publishing its trademark fully nude centerfolds. "The Bunny transcends nudity," the publication says.The magazine, started in Chicago, made its debut in 1953 with a nude centerfold featuring Marilyn Monroe. There have been many more stripped-down celebrities and "girls next door" ever since. But starting in March 2016, its print publication will be completely SFW. (And it turns out that Playboy has already been keeping its website nude-free for the last year.)

"That battle has been fought and won," Scott Flanders, the company’s chief executive, told the New York Times. "You're now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture."

There may not even be centerfolds, but there will still be photos of beautiful women in provocative PG-13 poses. Flanders says these shoots will be "A little more accessible, a little more intimate."

By 1975, when business was booming, the publication's circulation was 5.6 million. Now it's about 800,000, according to the New York Times. Many of Playboy's competitors have also fallen on hard times. Now Playboy sees Vice and not the waning Penthouse as its competition. (Flanders served up a little burn sauce in his announcement: "The difference between us and Vice is that we're going after the guy with a job.") The magazine will still have those great in-depth interviews, investigative journalism and fiction that everyone likes to joke about reading. There will be a new sex-positive female columnist. (And we'd already noticed the site was keeping up with the times, like with this flowchart against street harassment.)

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