The Article Should Really Have Been About the Relevance of Slate: Slate actually paid a writer to wax philosophical about Playboy. Why can't men just enjoy pictures of naked women accompanied by articles and interviews that pander to our gender interests? Isn't this, afterall, what the lad mags like FHM and Stuff are premised on (granted with just enough fabric covering delicate body parts to avoid full-blown nudity). Sure, Playboy has always been a bit pretentious about its existence, and Heffner's larger-than-life aura can wear thin, but still, it's about naked chicks people. In many cases, that mag is a young boy's first exposure to nudity (well, of the kind he'd be interested in anyway) and it's sort of been the holy grail of growing up. Don't try to legitimize it or make it more than what it is.
The article fails to address at all (which is kind of shocking) the fact that the internet is infringing upon Playboy's once hallowed status. With a home computer and a hook-up, kids today (once they get around their parents' filters) can see a heck of a lot more than you'll ever find in the pages of Heffner's rag. That's where Playboy loses its relevance - it's no longer coveted. Still, the magazine is glossy, with "high-class" women and celebrites in it, plus it has a certain charm about it that allows it to even occasionaly survive the random mother/wife raid. You want to argue about degrading women? Playboy isn't the place to start.