The Playboy is Dead, Long Live the Playboy

This blog was inevitable, so I should have been better prepared instead of seriously wondering whether “OMG there’s no words ~~ NO WORDS !! HEF!!!” would sufficiently convey the feelings of millions of men and women upon learning of the passing of Playboy Magazine publisher, magnate, figurehead, the one and only Hugh Hefner. He was 91.

Hugh Hefner RIP

Founding Playboy in 1953, “Hef” was the most recognized and rewarded pornographer on the planet. So complete was his transformative influence on sexual politics and experience that the commercial sex world is unthinkable without Playboy’s vast multi-platform imprint. From basically family friendly cable TV shows about ditzy blonde models to somehow convincing women everywhere to wear his famous Bunny logo on their crotches or even tattooed on their thighs, Hef has, for better or worse (depending on who you ask and their religious convictions) touched an astonishing number of people with his astral libido.

Hef’s influence is obviously felt closer to home, too, having inspired and challenged of acclaimed photographers, and launched the careers of many more. Although the current state of Playboy Magazine, flip-flopping between a commitment to non-nudity and showing signs of its old bare-assed self, may not be the most fitting tribute to its founder, the Playboy Plus website is. A simple affair filled with the steamiest pictorials and videos from Playmates both four months and forty years past.

If one man can make you think of him whenever you stare longingly at a gorgeous naked woman, well, isn’t that the pinnacle of success?

Mr. Skin’s 2016 Guide to Nudes

Mr. Skin

For many, 2016 has been one disaster after another. Cultural icons seemed to kick the bucket en masse, taking away many shining lights of our entertainment-addicted lives. Mr. Skin, intrepid pointer-out of celebrity nudity, once just female but now also male, takes to his blog roll around this time every year to recap the best and most beautiful appearances of naked female celebrity skin on the small screen. And, thankfully, this year delivered some treats that could help reinvigorate your interest in 2017.

Mr. Skin’s 2016 Top Ten sees notable names and almost-complete unknowns share list space on shows for HBO, Netflix, Starz, and other networks, confirming that TV is indeed getting more raunchy and risqué with every passing season. Still need proof to get you back on the sofa? How about these ten skin-baring turns from Hollywood sex symbols both legend and debutante?

Chelsea Handler is rarely shy about baring her naked body and this season of Chelsea was no different, seeing the host take a topless dip in a Russian bath house. Lina Esco of Audience Network’s MMA drama Kingdom took the ninth spot thanks to her wild and numerous sex scenes. Ruby Modine, daughter of actor Matthew, followed in her dad’s nude-friendly footsteps in Shameless for Showtime, which also saw Sasha Alexander and Sherilyn Feen ditch their duds. Cinemax’s original series Quarry showcased Jodi Balfour in what seemed like an abundance of sex scenes baring her breasts and butt. Ashley Green of detective drama Rogue got naked alongside Thandie Newton and Kira Clavell, earning her a spot at #6.

Game of Thrones is well known for its gritty violence and copious sexual activity, some of which involved Eline Powell and her perfect pair of bared breasts. Arguably the most famous name on Mr. Skin’s 2016 list, Olivia Wilde stepped from her costumes in HBO’s massively ill-advised music industry drama Vinyl, at least giving viewers a strong reason to keep tuning in. The top three places on the list went not to individual actresses but to the shows that host them: HBO’s Westworld remake saw plenty of onscreen flesh from Evan Rachel Wood, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, and Thandie Newton (again); Joe Swanberg’s indie drama Easy delivered more sex than many erotic movies, bringing the bods of Malin Akerman, Kate Micucci, Elizabeth Reaser, Aislin Derbez, and Emily Ratajkowski to the screen. Somewhat predictably topping the list is a show that, had it not featured plenty of nudity and blatant fucking, would have gone unwatched by millions (more). The Girlfriend Experience, based on the Steven Soderbergh movie starring Sasha Grey, served up many salacious moments starring Riley Keough (Elvis’s granddaughter!) and a handful of awesome indie actresses.

For the full rundown on who placed where and why, check out Mr. Skin’s Podcast. And, hey, while you’re there, why not consider a membership to the greatest celebrity skin venture ever embarked upon?

Mr. Skin review

A Hex on Condoms of Old

Condoms: some folks use and love them so much they buy stock in the manufacturer while others become and remain unhappily married just to avoid using them. The latex dick sheaths are one of our most commonly used barriers against the diseases we hate to think a partner is carrying and the unwanted pregnancies that cause emotional turmoil and worse, but they’re far from perfect. Sizing issues, discomfort, breakage, leakage, even allergic reactions have all ruined the effectiveness and enjoyability of condoms for many a user and with no truly significant advances in condom design or manufacturing arriving in recent years, it looked set to remain that way.

Enter Charlie Sheen. Since revealing himself to be HIV positive in late 2015, four years after being diagnosed, Sheen has been something of an odd poster child for protecting oneself against STDs and STIs, inadvertently driving up Google searches about condom use and effectiveness when his HIV status made international headlines. Appearing in a promotional video for Lelo, makers of fine sexual aids, Sheen speaks to his status and how it changed his world. Believing infection was simply something that would never happen to him, Sheen subtly admits to irresponsible practices and hopes that he can now urge others to put up with what “may feel like five seconds of inconvenience [but] may prevent a lifetime of potential grief and suffering.” And he’s bringing a new Lelo product with him, a stark redesign of the standard condom Lelo is calling (for obvious reasons) Hex.

Lelo claims Hex, a more durable and resilient condom that also touts greater sensation, is a bold new vision of condom engineering that address the three main issues with what we’ve all been using for decades: discomfort, slippage, and breakage. The thinnest and strongest material we have, graphene, lent its hexagonal structure to the redesign, reinforcing an ultra-thing sheath of latex to an amazing degree. Although it looks a little too similar to a penile torture device under certain light, Lelo assures would-be patrons of their IndieGoGo fundraising campaign that Hex is stronger, offers an inner raised design to cut down on slippage and maximize his pleasure, and sports ultra-thin latex panels that apparently conform to the shape of the wearer. Clearly, this is aimed to be the kind of condom that could contain even Clark Kent’s eruptions!

Lelo Hex

Although Lelo’s campaign does focus largely on comfort and pleasure – which, let’s face it, should be secondary concerns for condom wearers – the issues of safety also gets quite a few boastful mentions. As it’s fitted, Hex’s structure tessellates (or conforms to changing shape without inherent structural change) around the wearer’s member for a snug and safe fit. A fit even Sheen himself claims to be enjoying these days. A fit he also urges you to try for yourself.