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Talking to erikamoen yesterday, I told her about my tenure at Playgirl Magazine.
I realized that even though I was on LJ then, I was posting on antagonia and not personal stuff, and most of you didn't know me then, so I'm going to tell you all about Playgirl today.
How did I get a job at Playgirl to begin with, you may ask? Well, I worked as an illustrator/assistant art director for Woof.com, which was a Maxim-like men's magazine owned by the same company that owns Playgirl. It was during the end of the dot.com boom and around the time that internet ad sales plummeted like whoa for the first time. Since our income came from ad sales, the site went out of business, but the head of the company offered me a job working at Playgirl instead.
Which I happily took.
Anyway, I was Associate Art Director at Playgirl. The staff was tiny, especially after working at Rolling Stone in college. There was an art director, me, one other AAD, an editor in chief, and two other editors. The entire editorial staff was female, which was one of the rules for Playgirl. We did have men working for us sometimes, but they weren't given staff positions.
My job at Playgirl mostly involved looking at penises through a magnifying glass all day long. Or blown up on a computer screen.
We would get all the photos in a shoot back from the photographer, and I would be assigned to photo edit half the spreads in an issue. I would look through all the photos on a light table and pick the best ones, then send them to get scanned, and then design the layout and text treatment around that. There were only a certain number of layouts we were allowed to use, so it was fairly simple.
After that, I would have to do re-edits for the foreign markets. In different countries of the world, there are different rules about what can be shown in 'adult entertainment magazines.' For example, in some countries, you can't show penetration, while in others, you can't show anyone touching an erect penis. Considering there was always one "voyeur views" spread where a guy masturbated and a girl watched, that was sometimes difficult.
Another one of my tasks was to read through all of the 'erotic fiction' and pick photos from our archives (photos from previous shoots that hadn't been used) to match up with them. This was the one where I got to use the famous closeups of a girl sucking on a guy's ballsack. That was awesome.
My other major task-- and this was the most awesome one-- was that I was the editor for the amateur section. We would get photos sent in by a ton of people-- the winning photo each month got like $50 or something? A lot of them were wannabe models, but a lot of them were totally sent in by spouses. I remember one time getting this picture of this 60-something man lying nude on the beach with a letter from his wife written in cursive on looseleaf about how wonderful her husband was and how he didn't know that she was sending in this personal photo but she loved him so much she had to share him
Anyway, because this was my job, I got to field the calls from potential amateurs. Some of these were asking what they should send, but the vast majority were people asking if we'd gotten their photos.
A typical call went like this:
Tea: Tea, Playgirl. How may I help you?
Caller: Hi, I wanted to know if you received my pictures.
Tea: Sure! Just give me your name and I'll check on them.
Caller: Dave Littleschlong.
Tea: I have your photos right here, Dave. Thank you for sending them. You'll hear from us in about two weeks.
Caller: So, did I win?
Tea: We haven't received all the photos for this month yet, but you'll get a letter from us at the end of the month. If you didn't win this month, you may still be in consideration in the future.
Caller: Well, I was wondering if you could tell me how I compare to the other photos?
Tea: Your photos look absolutely fine. We get a lot of photos of varying quality and these will be perfectly all right to print in the magazine, don't worry.
Caller: I meant...in terms of length.
I had a canned answer for that, too. But that's the part where it's funny to cut off.
Haha, I said 'cut off' talking about dicks. I am four.