Playboy Is Giving Up Its Porn—Here’s Why Men Should Say Hooray!

scan1__80571.1439432331.386.513Almost 15 years ago the Manhattan barbershop I then went to took the Playboy magazines off the tables in its waiting area. The old Midtown barbershop was going unisex and Vinnie, its veteran barber, was apoplectic. After hearing Vinnie rant I looked at the table with the magazines and realized that I never saw anyone read them. They just lay there like a dare: Are you man enough to open this here, in public? This prompted me to pick one up. After looking and looking, I found didn’t want to stop reading. The old maxim that men buy the magazine for the pictures but subscribe for the articles isn’t just a joke. What was alluring, though, was an old-school gentleman’s point of view that was all over its prose and photos.

Now Playboy says it’s going to drop the nudity.

“You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passe at this juncture,” said Playboy’s chief executive Scott Flanders.

The thing is, even as we can click away on the Internet, Playboy’s totally nude photos have long required that the magazine be sold where children can’t get their hands on it for a looksee. In many places this means men have to ask for it—men don’t even want to ask for directions, let alone ask some 16-year-old cashier to hand them a mature men’s magazine. For this and other reasons Playboy’s circulation has dropped from over 5 million in the 1970s to about 800,000 today.

Given this, it makes sense that Playboy would drop full nudity to compete for magazine rack space and audience share with titles like Stuff, Esquire, and Maxim. Like those titles, Playboy says it will still feature beautiful women showing a lot of skin.

In fact, Playboy’s website has already dropped the nudity. This has given Playboy access to social-media mouthpieces like Twitter and Facebook, which reportedly has already greatly expanded its reach.

All that has been reported. Here’s why, as the author of a book on manliness, I’m applauding this change.

For the rest of this article at Forbes.com click here.