If Playboy has served as a barometer for the evolving sexual taste of the American male, then what does its new TV programming have to say about that? After realizing that it couldn't outdo Internet porn or even other channels of the flesh without tarnishing its paradoxical wholesomely smutty image, Playboy had to go in a new direction.
The solution? Reality programming that men can watch... with their wives and girlfriends.The first show in the series, Brooklyn Kinda Love, focuses on the interactions (and in this case it's not just a euphemism) between real couples.
Clearly this pornographic paradigm shift reflects social and economic changes. The desire to cater to the new kind of man and the woman with increased purchasing power has led the savvy pornographer to see that the real prize isn't getting into women's pants, but into their pocketbooks.
Yet a funny thing might happen on the way to reaching the female consumer. If Playboy's programming is successful, the stereotypical image of porno will shift -- the portrait of a couple will replace the lone male wanking it away from his wife.
Thus, Playboy, which has played a tremendous role in dictating American male desire, is making a radical plea. It's asking you, the individual who typically uses visual erotic stimulation as a mode of escaping reality to, in the immortal words of Stephen Stills, "Love the One You're With."