Bettie Page Passes Away, And So Does Playgirl

My Messy Bedroom

Virginity goes on sale and clitoris becomes ungoogleable in Josey’s roundup of the year in sex


It was quite a year for sex. Extramarital affairs thrived online while the clitoris vanished. We lost Bettie Page and Playgirl and gay marriage got left at the American altar. Here are some of the sex news highlights and lowlights for 2008.

Playgirl Calls It Quits
Established 35 years ago as a feminist response to Playboy and Penthouse (Playboy sued Playgirl in 1973 for trademark infringement but settled amicably), the magazine could never seem to quite figure out who its audience was: women or gay men, a dilemma, it seems, that followed Playgirl to its grave.

The magazine’s final editor Nicole Caldwell worked to take the magazine back to its roots, interspersing shots of naked hotties with articles on issues like abortion and equal rights. Publisher Blue Horizon Media wanted fewer articles and more naked hotties, preferably ones that would appeal more to gay men. The schizophrenic focus has resulted in the January/February 2009 issue being its last. The Playgirl website will continue, but the graphic content is geared more toward gay men. For $19.55 a month, you can have all the “100% Man Juice” you want.

Online Cheating Takes It Up A Notch

In the old days, you had to actually leave your homes to carry on an affair. Now, it seems, our partners can literally lead a second life online. In fact, earlier this year, David Pollard’s marriage ended when his Amy caught his online character having an affair with Linda Brinkley’s online character on the online computer game Second Life. BTW, guess where Pollard met his first wife? Online, of course. They even celebrated their union with a virtual marriage … in Second Life. Get out more, people!

Life Imitates Art
This summer, David Duchovny, the actor who plays the sex-obsessed main character on the TV show Californication, checked himself into real-life rehab for sex addiction after allegedly cheating on his wife, actress Téa Leoni. A little more than a month later, he checked out, apparently “cured.”
Leoni, it seems, begged to differ and the couple announce their split soon after. The story raises much debate about whether sex addiction is real, with some experts claiming it is an addiction on par with drug and alcohol addiction, while others believe it to be more of an obsessive compulsive disorder. Others believe it is a great way to justify cheating on your wife and getting lots of publicity.

Viginity A Hot Commodity
In September, 22-year-old California grad student Natalie Dylan (not her real name, though her picture is all over the internet) partnered with the Moonlight Bunny Ranch in Nevada to auction off her virginity to the highest bidder in order to pay for school to become, get this, a marriage and family therapist.
On The Tyra Banks Show, Dylan claimed the auction idea stemmed from her commitment to feminist studies. Dylan is writing her college thesis on “the dichotomous relationship between virginity and prostitution.” With bids as high as $3.8 million (U.S.), I’d say virginity has the upper hand in the relationship.

Clitoris Banned On Google

Google has somehow concluded that the word “clitoris” is not safe to be seen by the general public. Earlier this year, sex writer, educator, and activist Susie Bright discovered that if you set your Google SafeSearch filter on “strict filtering” and search for clitoris, you get zero returns. But if you try a Google SafeSearch “strict filtering” search for penis, you get 33,000,000 returns. Apparently, “clitoris” is on Google’s list of naughty words which are never, ever “safe.”

Bettie Page Passes

From being the subject of a federal obscenity investigation back in the ’50s to the subject of no fewer than a dozen books, a half-dozen movies, a bunch of tribute songs, countless websites, and more than 1,000 products for sale on eBay, Bettie Page is one of the most iconic pin-up images of this century.

At the height of her fame, she disappeared for three decades, during which she suffered poverty and mental illness, eventually becoming a born-again Christian. She spent her final years in seclusion on Southern California reading the Bible and listening to Christian music. The actress/model died Thu., Dec. 11, at 85 in Los Angeles after a heart attack.

Rest in peace, Bettie, and peace to all.


1 Comment

  1. Brilliant piece, we too, were deeply saddened by the passing of the iconic power of Bettie Page, and yes S-E-X still sells, and the moral barometer of this country is going down the drain no longer is it an empowering asset, it goes to the highest bidder…whatever worksas ultimately the individual has to live with the consequences of their actions – we’ve taken note – Josey, you’ve left us speechless – what more can we say

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