You may have heard that Playboy announced that beginning in 2016, they will no longer be publishing nude photos of women. In fact, in 2014, they began a “safe at work” campaign to rope back men in their 30’s-40’s who couldn’t look at their website while at work.
Here’s a few reasons they made their decision:
- At one point, in their “prime,” they were circulating nearly 7,000,000 copies of their magazine per month…now, they’re down to ‘only’ 800,000.
- After launching their “safe for work” strategy, they saw a 258% increase in unique visitors
- After launching their “safe for work” strategy, the average age of the consumer jumped down from 47 years old, to just over 30.
- After launching their “safe for work” strategy, they saw an uptick from 4 million users to over 16 million unique users to their website.
While many will celebrate a small victory, I cannot help but mourn.
Playboy’s CEO, Scott Flanders, had this to say to the New York Times, “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture [speaking of publishing nude photos of women].”
I mourn because this should speak very loudly and clearly to the way we, as a culture, view women and sexuality. It should also serve as a stark reminder of how consumeristic our world has become. We view women as an object of consumption, a solution to our desires, a thing to be had, and a body to own or access at any time we wish.
And now, it’s no longer “enough” that we objectify women with still-photography. Culture demands more and more. What’s next or what’s more? I fear the answer to that question. It’s time the church takes notice and stops making sexuality, nudity, women, and pornography such a taboo topic. After all, we’re about the only group of people that still think of those things in that light.
Hopefully, we as the Church, see this culture-defining moment for what it is. We cannot sweep sexuality under the rug anymore. We must address it not only because it becomes more and more present in our culture with each passing day, but because who knows where this obsession with consuming “every sex act imaginable” will lead us or who knows what it will do to the next generation of men and women.