one of playboy, naturally.
the other was Cosmo.
living in a divorced home, my moms magazines were in her bathroom, neatly stacked.
and when i visited my dad, his mens magazines were in his closet. also, neatly stacked.
both had photos of scantily clad women, which was the bait for every teenage boy.
and both had articles, which were the Switch.
playboy was filled with stories about jazz, shiny cars, new technology, rankings of sports teams, and of course sex advice.
Cosmo also had articles which were about how to deal with your shitty husband, how to convince your shitty boyfriend to marry you, fantasies about cheating on your man, and quizzes to show you that you and your man are not compatible.
month after month Playboy showed me an, albeit skewed, take on life that I could be great in bed, rich, hunky, healthy, and well-versed in literature.
and month after month Cosmopolitan taught me that even if I lied in the quiz: men and women would never be happy together.
even though it was mildly depressing, I kept flipping through Cosmo because: omg boobies.
and once i got tired of looking at the omg boobies in Playboy, I would return to the articles I hadn’t read yet, and the comics, and the jokes, and the weird mail-order offers, and the letters, and the interviews. And the fiction that went on and on and on.
both magazines tricked me into reading. and both magazines delivered onto me a distorted look at masculinity.
one was devastating, the other hopeful.
and while so many who wish to judge Hef for airbrushing his models, i ask: have you ever seen what they do with the covers of women’s magazines? it’s even more exaggerated at times.
which doesn’t make it right. at all. and sure as hell doesn’t help prepare teen boys and girls everywhere for the reality of waking up next to someone in the morning.
but in a world that is so confusing, no matter what age, sign me up for the deliverer of Hope.
which is why I will defend and thank Mr. Hugh Hefner for his print product, even though I never became that suave dude in his pages.