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Playgirl was a monthly adult magazine published in the United Statesmarker that featured semi-nude or fully nude men. The magazine was founded in 1973 during the height of the feminist movement as a response to erotic men's magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse that featured similar photos of women. The last issue was published in January/February of 2009.

The magazine is well-known for two publicity stunts — offering Charles, Prince of Wales $45,000 to appear nude in a centerfold in 1990, and publishing a nude pictorial called "The Men of Enron" in September 2002 in which some former Enron employees "lost their shirts."

Though the magazine is marketed to heterosexual women, Playgirl's then-editor-in-chief Michele Zipp said in 2003, "The gay readership is about 30%." She went on to add, "It's 'Entertainment for Women' because there's no other magazine out there that caters to women in the way we do, but we love our gay readers, as well." Also, in 2003, Mark Graff, President of Trans Digital Media, the brand management firm for Playgirl TV, stated that 50% of Playgirl's readership are gay males.

Playgirl is published by New Yorkmarker-based company Blue Horizon Media, which also publishes High Society, Celebrity Skin, Hawk, Chéri and a number of other hardcore pornographic magazines. Blue Horizon, then known as Crescent Publishing, was charged in 2000 by the Federal Trade Commission with over 180 million dollars of online credit card fraud, much of which was conducted on the Playgirl Magazine site. All Blue Horizon titles, including Playgirl, were prevented from conducting any business on the web for five years. Then-president Bruce Chew was subsequently indicted, along with several prominent members of the Gambino crime family.

Throughout the history of the magazine, Playgirl has featured male frontal nudity except for the early issues in 1973, and the infamous non-nude year 1987. In 1986, Drake Publishers (later renamed Crescent, and renamed again to Blue Horizon Media) bought Playgirl and relocated it to New York. John Paul became the first full frontal centerfold in November 1987 after a disastrous non-nude year. Throughout the years the magazine has matured as erections, foreskin and non-Caucasian models have appeared in the magazine. The magazine has generally featured models who have been circumcised but of late, layouts with uncircumcised models are featured.

Playgirl is available in English and has been published in numerous foreign-language and international editions during its history: Germany (1978-1980 and 1989-2003), France (1978), Australia (1985-88, and as Interlude in 1991), the Netherlands (1987-88), Great Britain (1992-93), South Africa (1995), Brazil, and Russia (2004-?), and in a Spanish-language edition (1992-93). A limited Canadian edition is in the works.

Apart from professional models, Playgirl features amateur models in a section called Real Men (formerly known as Snapshots). A Real Men of the Year contest is held, in which readers can vote for the best layout of the year.

Every year in June, Playgirl has its "Man of the Year" issue. In July, it's the "Country" issue and in November, Playgirl dedicates an issue to "Campus Hunks." A nude centerfold calendar featuring the men of the previous year is usually included in the December or January issue of the magazine. Readers are asked to vote for the Man of the Year from the pictures of the calendar.

In August 2008, the magazine announced that it would cease publication of its print edition as of the January 2009 issue. After that point, the magazine plans to continue with an online-only edition.

Celebrity nudes

Playgirl has not been successful in persuading many male celebrities to disrobe, nor have any of its nude models risen to major stardom in films; the most famous is likely Sam J. Jones, who went on to play Flash Gordon in a 1980 film and actor and fitness model Scott Markey, who appeared in the movie Titanicmarker several years after his nude layout. The magazine was somewhat more successful in getting Hollywood actors to disrobe for layouts in its first years. Those who have posed nude or semi-nude include:

The magazine has a monthly section entitled "Celeb Nudes" featuring photographs of various celebrities (including Leonardo DiCaprio) from movie scenes, usually nude. In the case of the infamous nude Brad Pitt photos, candid shots of him appeared in another celebrity-oriented section named "Tabloid." The magazine has often used photographs of movie stars and celebrities on the cover, but due to publicity agents' restrictions on male nudity for their Hollywood clients, these stars are usually just interviewed or profiled and do not appear in a nude layout.


  • Geoff Minger sported Playgirl's first "full" erection in the historic January 1980 issue.
  • The magazine selects one of the centerfolds from the past year as Man of the Year. One of these men, Dirk Shafer, later produced a comic mockumentary titled Man of the Year in which he discusses balancing being gay with working as a sex symbol.
  • Shafer is not the only gay model to appear the magazine. Scott Merritt, Playgirl's 30th-anniversary centerfold, revealed in the August 19, 2003 issue of The Advocate that he is gay. Brian Dawson, April 1978's Man of the Month, would go on to win the title of International Mr. Drummer, a gay leather title, in 1989, as well as winning a bronze medal in the physique competition at the 2002 Gay Games in Australia. Jim Waldrop, centerfold in the January 1981 issue, was better known as gay porn superstar J. W. King. Similarly, February 1979's Man of the Month was better known as gay porn legend Clay Russell. December 2000's . Randy Savino, January 2000 issue, was also a gay porn star who usually went by the name of Geoff Ashton. Talvin DeMachio, the September 2001 centerfold, is also gay.
  • In the June 2004 issue, Playgirl featured its oldest cover model/centerfold in the magazine's 30-year history: Rick Dinihanian, a 54-year-old gay man.
  • Kevin Michaels (also known as Kevin Talley), the April 2005 issue centerfold, was the first centerfold to reject the title of Man of the Year because of his Christian faith.
  • Researchers Richard A. Leit, Harrison G. Pope, Jr. and James J. Gray, in a 2000 paper published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, examined 115 male centerfold models in Playgirl magazine from 1973 to 1997 and noted that the Playgirl centerfold models have become increasingly dense and more muscular over time.
  • Real Man Of The Year 1999 Ryan Sorensen was arrested in New York City in 2004 under charges of prostitution. The charges were dropped in 2005.
  • When the Russian Playgirl launched in June 2004, it contained photographs of nude, circumcised American men which is said to have been perhaps an unfamiliar sight to Russian girls as circumcision is rare there, being practiced mainly by Jews and Muslims.
  • Dan, the centerfold for the January 2007 issue, is the first ever centerfold to display a pierced penis. His nipples and navel are also pierced.
  • When WWE superstar Shawn Michaels posed for Playgirl in 1996, he thought that the magazine was only marketed to women, and realised that it was also read by gay men when he did an autograph signing for it a few months later.

Man of the Month (centerfold)

Two preview issues of Playgirl were published with racecar driver Mike Hiss in the January 1973 issue; and the Hager Twins, Jim and John, from TV's Hee Haw in the February 1973 issue. Then Vol. 1, No. 1 appeared in June 1973.

1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992
  • 01 Nick Stryker
  • 02 Charles Edmond
  • 03 Robert Johnston
  • 04 Kris Kayman
  • 05 John Simmonds
  • 06 James Arthur Parker
  • 07 Tom Burgess
  • 08 Don Nightingale
  • 09 Jim Bartling
  • 10 Joseph J. Pallister
  • 11 Derrick DeShá
  • 12 Michael Zirpoli
  • 13 Tom Marinelli
  • 01 Michael Maguire
  • 02 Kent Massich
  • 03 Danny Budak
  • 04 Terrence Dineen
  • 05 Edwin Serrano
  • 06 Steven Reinhardt
  • 07 Doug Koziak
  • 08 Drew Ricciardi
  • 09 Angelo Berrios
  • 10 Antonio Valentino
  • 11 Bernie Kellish
  • 12 Michael Shayne
  • 01 Richard Lima
  • 02 Matt Mullen
  • 03 Greg Lane
  • 04 Jamie Bales
  • 05 Chris Carmen
  • 06 Mark Kleckner
  • 07 Shane Minor
  • 08 Rob Shanahan
  • 09 Stephen Kellar
  • 10 Derrick DeShá
  • 11 John Holliday
  • 12 Darren Fox
  • 01 Gregg "Jax" Steele
  • 02 Vince Marino
  • 03 Michael George
  • 04 Alan Edwards
  • 05 Eddie Mallia
  • 06 Maurice Lawrence
  • 07 Jimmy Rogers
  • 08 Peter Steele
  • 09 Steven Olliver
  • 10 Marcello Morgili
  • 11 Lee McKinney, a.k.a. Derek Cameron
  • 12 Keith Munyon
  • 01 Martin Squires
  • 02 Zoltan
  • 03 E.J. Curse
  • 04 Robert Forcelli
  • 05 John Morano
  • 06 Rick Gager
  • 07 Joe Wolfe
  • 08 James Hunter
  • 09 Jonathon Prandi
  • 10 Ronaldo Sanchez
  • 11 Cameron Warfield
  • 12 Derek DeLuis
  • 13 Shawn Michaels, a.k.a. Michael Hickenbottom
1997 1998
  • 01 Frank Sepe
  • 02/03 Chris & Ryan Zaffino
  • 04 Rob Ashton
  • 05 Angel Ortiz
  • 06 Reid Hutchins
  • 07 Robert Monzi
  • 08 Gavin Hunter
  • 09 Byron Lorentz
  • 10 Steven Kay
  • 11 Tim Carlton
  • 12 Marco Washington
  • 01 Michael Bonavita
  • 02 Oliver Kaposi
  • 03 Endre Csernek
  • 04 Eddie Leone
  • 05 Robert Anthony
  • 06 Bill Kitchener
  • 07 Ray Clark
  • 08 Shannon Fuller
  • 09 Mike Sodini
  • 10 Tibor Toth
  • 11 Bill Bixton
  • 12 Sean McNeill
  • 01 Randy Savino
  • 02 Julian Rios
  • 03 Dave Dawson
  • 04 Jonathan Simms
  • 05 Christian Mosello
  • 06 Michael Morrow
  • 07 Jean-Michel Villette
  • 08 Jim Brasco
  • 09 Rhett Eisman
  • 10 Chris Allen
  • 11 Alex Bento

2001 2002 2003
  • 01 Daniel Jacob
  • 02 Endre Csernek
  • 03 Eric Wells
  • 04 Lior Sahadya
  • 05 Scott Markey
  • 06 Scott Merritt
  • 07 Robert Michael
  • 08 John James
  • 09 Vincent Lombardi
  • 10 Brent Dupuis
  • 11 Pete
  • 12 Terrell Franklin
2004 2005


  • 01 Chris Edgington
  • 02 Ryan Mackie
  • 03 Unknown
  • 04 Niko (currently an actor for Playgirl TV)
  • 05 Zac
  • 06 Julian Fantechi, Man of the Year
  • 07 Darryl Worley
  • 08 Stefan Pinto
  • 09 Marcus Patrick
  • 10 Christian
  • 11 Tony De Sergio
  • 12 Brett
  • 01 Daniel Rocha a.k.a. Vin Marco of Manifest Men
  • 02 Miles Hamilton a.k.a. Meatballs
  • 03 Anton Micheal
  • 04 No centerfold but Men of Fire Island
  • 05 Daniel Kirk
  • 06 Niko, Man of The Year


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