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Playgirl first premiered way back in , four years after the Stonewall rebellion, and marketed itself as the female equivalent of the similarly named Playboy. Virtually, at least. As this abridged time line shows, the title has a rich homo history. We were never really in the closet, but I think the media perception has been that we were in denial of our gay audience. It is really the opposite.
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How did 'Playgirl' magazine go from feminist force to flaccid failure?
Playgirl is an American magazine that features general interest articles, lifestyle and celebrity news, in addition to nude or semi-nude men. In the s and s, the magazine printed monthly and was marketed mainly to women , although it had a significant gay male readership. The magazine was founded in  by Douglas Lambert 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. In Lambert sold Playgirl to Ira Ritter who took over as publisher. The magazine covered issues like abortion, equal rights, and interspersing sexy shots of men and played a pivotal role in the sexual revolution for women. The magazine returned to print as a sometime quarterly beginning with its March issue.
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So long, Playgirl
And for a while, it was. Instead, the current Playgirl feels no more essential to women than a Chippendales ad buried in the back of a city newspaper. So what happened?
Douglas Lambert wanted to give Playboy a run for its money. It was , and Hugh Hefner's magazine had created a new mainstream market for soft-core porn. Lambert, a nightclub owner in Garden Grove, California, decided to get in on the action. Lambert's wife Jenny saw a bigger opportunity: a magazine with nude male centerfolds.