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Bali – a Safe Haven for Playboy?

2nd Indonesian Edition of Controversial Men’s Magazine Makes it Re-debut in Bali.


In a business in which levels of being risqué and pornographic are graded on a mileau ranging from "soft" to "hard" - the second Indonesian edition of the U.S. men's magazine Playboy would qualify for a definitive "limp" rating on that scale. And sadly, those who shelled out a hard-earned Rp. 50,000 (approximately US$5.40) in hopes of seeing sensual secrets that even Victoria couldn't keep, must have been disappointed by the very toned-down Indonesian take on "raunchy."

No doubt disappointing many in the process, there were no nudes to be found between the covers of the June edition of Playboy Indonesia. Instead, readers were compelled to settle for a centerfold showing less cleavage than that readily viewable at any Balinese temple ceremony or via the ladies at the early morning market whose bustieres double as cash drawers.

The first issue of the magazine, with its debut in Jakarta two months ago, was equally tame, but managing nonethless to evoke the ire of fundamentalist religious elements in the capital who protested the magazine's publication, demanded its banning, and ransacked its editorial offices for good measure.

Traumatized by the experience, the publishers of Playboy Indonesia moved their offices to Bali where, perhaps it was hoped, the lads are more "red blooded" when it comes to viewing the scantilly clothed female form. Still eager to distribute the magazine on a national basis, however, the Editors began busily preparing the second edition peppered with attractively photographed but otherwise fully-clad young women.

But, in keeping with the tradition of its American namesake, the second issue did carry well-written and informative articles including a profile of an Indonesian singing star; an interview with a convict sitting on death row; an article on land mine victims in Cambodia; and the de rigueur cuisine article highlighting regional cuisine.

And yes, Mom, believe it or not, in Indonesia we really do buy Playboy because of the interesting articles.

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