The Playboy Guide to Consent Is a Hoax. Playboy Should Publish It.

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Sept. 18 2013 11:19 AM

The Playboy Guide to Consent Is a Hoax. Playboy Should Publish It.


On Tuesday, there was a flurry of excitement followed by a wave of disappointment after a site purporting to be a Playboy guide to consent was circulated and then exposed as a hoax. "Every year Playboy releases the ultimate guide to campus life: our infamous party school list," wrote the fake Playboy scribe. "Somewhere in the countless hours we spent tallying up co-eds and scoring beer pong, we lost track of the most essential element of the Playboy lifestyle: sexual pleasure. Rape is kryptonite to sexual pleasure. The two cannot co-exist. For our revised party guide to live up to our founder’s vision, we had to put a new criterion on top. Namely, consent." What follows is an infographic highlighting the various ways schools encourage students to talk about sex with their partners, because "[a] good college party is all about everyone having a good time. Consent is all about everyone having a good time. Rape is only a good time if you’re a rapist. And fuck those people."

It's a bummer to find out that Playboy is not behind a funny article with insights like, "Rape is kryptonite to sexual pleasure." But there's a solution that's mutually beneficial to Playboy, the group of college kids responsible for Party With Playboy, and the audience who loved it: Playboy should go ahead and publish the guide. Sure, they'd have to tweak it, removing the faked quotes from Hugh Hefner, but overall the guide actually fits quite nicely into the long-standing Playboy tradition of both celebrating all things sex while maintaining an air of dignified intelligence. This is probably why so many smart people actually thought it was real.


As Kate Dries at Jezebel points out, an "ultimate guide for a consensual good time" could help Playboy with its rebranding efforts, which have gone into overdrive this fall. Playboy CEO Scott Flanders told our own Amanda Hess that in order to appeal to a new generation of readers, “we’ve got to be female-friendly.” And the company has decided that its best strategy for competing with online porn in the 21st century is to double down on its reputation for relative sophistication. To that end, it's not enough to just include more arts coverage and limit the number of models with obvious plastic surgery. Putting an emphasis on women's sexual experiences and desires—framing them as just as important as men's—can help achieve the "we're all smart adults and we all love sex" tone Playboy wants to convey. Publishing this hoax as a real article would show that the magazine can take a ribbing and that it embraces a more modern approach toward sexual pleasure. What's more 21st century than that?

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Oct. 21 2014 8:38 AM An Implanted Wearable Gadget Isn’t as Crazy as You’d Think Products like New Deal Design’s UnderSkin may be the future.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.