Now that Playboy's check has cleared, been cashed, and financed my family's Thanksgiving trip to see my wife's mother in Michigan, I can probably say a few words about my first piece for Playboy. It seems not to be online yet, but if you happen to be interested in Miss December, flip to the very very back pages for something like 1700 words from me about how law enforcement is increasingly using spy drones.
The reporting, writing and editing experience was outright pleasant. My Playboy editor, Josh, was super-interested in the piece, and hit an editorial sweet spot: straightforward with top-level guidance for what beats the piece needed to hit, and happy to hang back and let me do the rest. (I also want to thank him and Playboy for being flexible about accomodating my wedding and honeymoon.)
But OK: it's weird for me to be writing for Playboy. I am, ah, not a consumer of its product. Among the questions I didn't want to ask: who's buying Playboy in an era of ubiquitous free pornography? I imagine that in the Internet age, people really are buying Playboy for the articles. And there are some great pieces of writing in the December issue: I recommend the making-of-Scarface feature. (There's also an interview with Andrew Breitbart, which I haven't read but gain quite a great deal of satisfaction from.) Maybe the merchandising and value of the brand itself helps floats the magazine. I don't know, but certainly enjoyed the surreal experience.