As elderly men around the world bunker down with only their wives for sexual company, you might have thought that the public was never more in need of Playboy. But, like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, coronavirus has done for the bunny.
"Throughout the past 66 years, one thing has remained constant: our commitment to free expression and breaking taboos, leaning into discomfort, helping audiences express and understand their sexuality, and advocating for the pursuit of pleasure for all," its CEO wrote, in an obituary of sorts.
Already facing significant financial troubles, it was a virus which sounded the death knell for the magazine's print edition, the company which publishes it said in a blog post last week. The 66-year-old Playboy magazine is dead.
Next year sometime, its ghost will reappear in digital format and the odd special edition will also be produced. Meanwhile, a whole generation of men will have to finally learn to use the internet.
The irony is that it was probably Playboy's modesty which sealed its fate. In a world of streaming porn, its centrefolds seemed strangely coy.
The publisher's former chief executive Scott Flanders once said: ''That battle has been fought and won. You're now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it's just passe at this juncture.''
Sensing this, the magazine editors briefly sided with the feminists Playboy had once goaded; in recent years they banned nudity, before bringing it back with the tagline that sounded more nudist than erotic: Naked Is Normal. Its dwindling readership didn't recognise it and abandoned it in droves.
In a dumbed-down world, there was also no place for the thinking man's pornography. It was a cliche to say you read the magazine for the articles but this was once plausible.
Playboy benefited from the sexual revolution of the 1960s but the reasons it flourished went well beyond that. Playboy was lucky enough to exist during the confluence of New Journalism and a literate, adventurous readership which created a demand for great writing. And it capitalised on this.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the magazine published the most important writers in the English language, including Jack Kerouac, Norman Mailer and Roald Dahl.
But by the early 2000s the magazine had lost a lot of its early sophistication. Its cover had become busy and crowded and Hustler and Penthouse were risque where Playboy's centrefolds seemed boringly quaint.
Its rivals through the nineties and noughties - lads' mags like FHM and Maxim - presumed that the last thing that their readers would be doing was reading.
Knowledge and intellectualism were considered sissy attributes.
The other event that seemed to presage the demise of Playboy was, of course, the death of Hugh Hefner, who both built the Playboy empire and embodied its values, in 2017.
Hef, as he was known, was a sort of cross between Jay Gatsby and Larry Flynt. He put everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Dolly Parton on the cover of Playboy. Donald Trump, in 1990, grinned from its cover, featured in a story he, of course, approved of. Hef didn't attempt to solve the world's problems or prove any great moral truths but his campaigns and causes - free contraception, decriminalisation of abortion and legalisation of marijuana - were progressive at the time.
In the 1960s, the magazine's heyday, the word 'playboy' was aspirational and glamorous but latterly it had taken on sleazy connotations. The problem was that the ageing Hef remained emblematic of the magazine, which seemed like a periodical for dirty old men still chasing young women.
Hef died at a moment when the MeToo movement was sweeping the world. What had previously been considered harmless titillation was viewed in a more sinister light, as the world recalibrated how it allowed the male gaze to shape media.
And yet there were those that insisted that Playboy's relative innocence and its libertarian outlook had always placed it on the right side of history.
After his death, Hef's daughter Christie said: "In some respects, the MeToo movement is a reminder of the difference between violence and power and sex and consent. Those differences were very much at the heart of the Playboy philosophy.
"That sex as an attraction, whether it between men and women, men and men, or women and women, was a humanising force on the planet and that violence, or even abuse, was at the other end of the extreme."
The Playboy brand will limp on: the bunny label still has huge commercial and merchandising value - cocktail glasses, clothes, car accessories all bear its image.
But its demise seems not just the death knell for all once great magazines - others like Vogue and Vanity Fair have also seen plummeting subscriptions - but a farewell to a deceptively innocent time.
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