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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

What I learned in bed with Hannah Wydeven

By Hannah Wydeven

Dear Hannah,
One day to our surprise, we discovered that the Macalester library owns the microform of Playboy from 1953-1957. If Mac considers itself so progressive, why does it no longer have the subscription? And, if we promote gender equality, shouldn’t we also have access to Playgirl?
Feisty Feminists for Free and Equal Access
The first issues of Playboy are a far cry from the kind of material issued in Playboy today. In 1953, Hef published the first issue of Playboy, featuring only one nude photo of a woman, who just so happened to be Marilyn Monroe. She didn’t exactly pose for the magazine; Hugh Hefner bought the rights to her nudie photo and put her in the magazine as a centerfold. From 1953 to 1955, all of the featured centerfolds were nude pictures of famous women bought from other sources. It wasn’t until 1955 that the first model posed specifically for the magazine.

From the start of the magazine there were photos of nude models, however, the editors were careful to cover any sign of nipple. From what I read, it seems that nipples and pubic hair weren’t shown on any model until 1956 or 1957. The 60’s then ushered in a wave of more explicit photos, and by the late 80’s, the presence of pubic hair was standard. The first full frontal nudity in Playboy wasn’t shown until 1972. The explicitness of the magazine has increased substantially since that first issue, as you can imagine.

As for why Mac chose to stop it’s subscription to Playboy is an interesting question to ponder. It may have to do with the fact that from 1953-1957 “nudity” meant women in high-waist, white, full coverage underpants with covered nipples. Perhaps as the magazine became more explicit after that time, it no longer fit in with the value of the college. Mac is a private institution, which means that they get to choose what’s considered appropriate enough to have in their collection, and they don’t have to provide an alternative for women. Another reason that there aren’t Playgirl issues in the library is that its first issue wasn’t published until 1973, long after they stopped stocking issues of Playboy. So, technically there isn’t a comparable women’s magazine that the library could stock for 1953-1957.

There are arguments on both sides for why we should have continued or discontinued our subscription to Playboy. In terms of its merit, Playboy is notorious for having excellent fiction, reportage and cultural commentary, especially historically. Much of that has been replaced with increased nudie photos, but Playboy has published stories by authors from Margaret Atwood to Kurt Vonnegut. The presence of these intelligent works definitely gives the magazine some credit that isn’t given to similar mags like Penthouse or Hustler.

In terms of its contribution to academia, Playboy played a very interesting role in the sexual liberation of the 1960’s, and was (and still is) an important symbol in the debate about feminism and objectification of women in the media. The existence of Playboy itself is a catalyst for the discussion about women’s liberation and objectification. Hef argued in “On Playboys and Bunnies” that by picturing nude women in his magazines, he helped to give women a sexual identity separate from that imposed by husbands and history, which as a result, helped free women from other roles. Objectification in the sense of role-playing in the magazine is then a necessary precondition to women’s sexual liberation. Opposing arguments say that not only does this objectification limit women’s ability to claim their own sexuality, but also sets up false ideals of beauty that only magnify imposed cultural norms of sexuality.

Whatever side you agree with, the point is that Playboy, and the discussions that have surrounded it, play an important role in this argument. With that said, it would then seem important to have all issues of both Playboy and Playgirl from the first to the last. Without them, there is no way to do an objective study on change over time in the magazine. Unfortunately this argument can be made about hundreds of books and magazines that Mac doesn’t have access to because of limitations of space and funding. The school has to choose where to funnel it’s resources, and if the Mac librarians in 1957 felt that issues of Playboy were no longer contributing to the academic integrity of the college, then they got the boot.

Dear Hannah,
I was having pretty rough sex with my girlfriend recently, she was on top, and she came down on my penis really hard, and sort of. missed. It hurt really bad and we had to stop. Now my penis feels tender and we haven’t done it since. Is it possible that my penis is broken? I don’t even know if that is possible.

Bruised and Battered

It actually is possible to break a penis, B&B, though it is extremely rare and very unlikely that it happened to you. Even though there are no bones in a boner, there are spongy tissues in your penis (the corpora cavernosa) that get filled with blood when you get an erection. The blood trapped inside of these spongy tissues is what makes your penis feel hard or, like a bone when you are about to do it with your girlfriend. The penis can “break” when those spongy tissues are put under enough force that they tear.

If you slam your penis hard enough against something hard when you have an erection, it’s possible for this to happen. An overly zealous thrust could send your hard-on flying into the headboard, the mattress or your girlfriend’s pubic bone. With enough force behind it, there is a change that you could break your penis. However, if that happened, you would hear a discernable cracking noise, your erection would immediately disappear, and you would be in the worst pain of your life. Your penis might also start bruising immediately or appear bent to one side. If that happens, you need to go to the hospital immediately, unless you want permanent damage to your urethra. A broken penis is usually fixed with surgery to set it straight again, and some time away from your overly aggressive bedroom manners. However, the likelihood that you broke your penis, B&B, is extremely unlikely, especially if you are still walking around.

Though you might be a little tender after your rough experience, your penis is fine and you shouldn’t be afraid to put it back to use when you feel ready. Don’t let this minor slip up stop you from enjoying a little forceful play in the bedroom if that’s what you like, just don’t try to penetrate your girlfriend from six inches out, and tell her

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