From: Dan Stiffler <>, 08 Feb 2003
Subject: The "Urbane Sophisticated Man"... and Woman?

One of the amazing things about those letters [published in Dear Playboy] is the wide range of readers—both male and female—that PLAYBOY attracted. In its early years PLAYBOY was rather proud of that range, based far more on common interests than common age, and thusly published many letters of praise for the magazine as evidence.

From: Dan Stiffler <>, 08 Feb 2003
Subject: PLAYBOY: Sophisticated and Urbane

By featuring a stable of writers and artists, PLAYBOY built a readership who began to anticipate the next Vargas painting, the next Feiffer sketch, nearly as much as the next playmate. The playmate appealed to the reader's interest in beauty and pleasure, but so did the artists and writers. Add to these headliners such regulars as Thomas Mario (food) and Robert Green (attire) and PLAYBOY began to develop a refined identity, one to which its readers could subscribe, both literally and metaphorically.

As someone who came to PLAYBOY in the early sixties, I was profoundly influenced by this identity. My friends and I circulated the magazine not only to lust after the centerfold but also to read the latest Bradbury, Fleming, or Shepherd; to laugh at the latest Silverstein, Wilson, or Shoemaker; to wonder at the latest Vargas. Reading PLAYBOY was an experience, one that had been cultivated. We came in through the centerfold, only to discover a much larger world—one that became familiar and comfortable because of our repeated exposure to PLAYBOY's stable of writers and artists. Able to navigate the world of PLAYBOY, we thus believed that we were "sophisticated and urbane."

From: Dan Stiffler <>, 22 Apr 2003
Subject: The Danger of Celebrity

When PLAYBOY was building a readership, it did so with its playmates. Each month, the reader was excited to see the girl next door revealed in the centerfold. She would be fresh and she would be available and she would be part of the PLAYBOY family. Then it was on to the next playmate, the next surprise—a building process that PLAYBOY could maintain with consistency. It was a workable paradigm...

From: Dan Stiffler <>, 15 Jul 2003
Subject: scattered shots

I will finish by relating a story I heard at the last Chicago Glamourcon. Wil told the story at Sunday dinner and has given me permission to pass it on. As is his custom, Wil had gone out to dinner on Saturday with a bevy of playmates, one of whom was Janet Lupo. As it happened, they were returning to a restaurant that they had visited at a previous Chicago Glamourcon. Apparently their first visit had impressed one of the young men working the tables because, when they returned, he presented Janet Lupo with her centerfold collector's card for an autograph. He had been carrying it is his wallet with the hope in his heart that Janet Lupo would once again come into his restaurant.

This is a young man with dreams, a young man willing to go the extra step to make his dreams come true. The sort of man who...

Peggy Wilkins
Last modified: Mon Apr 5 02:38:24 CDT 2004