So, not long ago I was looking at the list of search terms that brought people to my website and I spotted an interesting one: how much nudity was in playboy in 1968

It’s an interesting question that always comes up. I know that even I, at times, have thought to myself, Hugh Hefner wasn’t putting in as much, or the same, nudity that we heathens in this modern age are accustomed to, right?

Honestly I always think I’m silly to consider it, as if nudity somehow had some other definition in decades past than it does now. But it was certainly a quandary I had considered before picking up a few classic Playboys myself. So I pulled out all of my small sample of Playboys and a few other magazines and decided to do some research.

Please keep in mind that I used my definition of “nudity” as, “Could they get away with this in Maxim or Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition today?”

An artistic bare bottom? Not nudity.

Heavy body paint? Not nudity.

Areola visible? Nudity.

This also included illustrations.

Here’s what I came up with:

I have no representation of the 80s or 90s, unfortunately. I thought I had a Playboy from 1982 but it turns out that was only an ’82 cover wrapped around an issue from the 70s. A bit annoyed about that.

As you can see, the amount of nudity in Playboy, both in percentage and number of pages, has increased over the years (despite a decrease in total number of pages), but this has not happened in regular intervals. And there were very few images between 1964 and 2011 that tread the line; throughout each decade I found nudity was nudity and had to seriously think about the qualification of an image very rarely. And in my sample it wasn’t until 2011 that Playboy clearly took the top spot for number of pages of nudity – Follies nabbed that in 1968.

Something else to keep in mind is that in the sample Playboy has never gone over 35% of nudity per page – Jaguar (69%) and Follies (78%) hold the top two positions. And trust me, the nudity in Playboy – even if there is less of it – is far superior.

So, yes, in this completely non-scientific survey of Playboys it does look as if the amount of nudity has been increasing over the decades. But one thing I can say for certain is that the class hasn’t changed and the photo quality has improved. I’ll be talking more about some of those higher-percentage magazines in future posts, but let me say this; when it comes to magazines featuring nudity I have yet to find one that has treated the subject – and subjects – with more respect than Playboy.

They have that 100% of the time.

Of course, you can always research that on your own;