Indonesian Playboy Reloaded

It baffles me and makes me wonder who at Playboy headquarters (aka the mansion) made the genius decision that the best country in the world to sell an internationally known pornographic magazine, would be Indonesia: the world’s most populous Muslim nation? I mean the magazine has 20 international editions; why choose Indonesia? Was it a joke? Or was it just a bad business decision? Or maybe a good one…

Either way this new ‘controversy’ (it seems) is turning Indonesia upside down according the media (who we can always trust). Angry mobs attacking the Playboy office in Jakarta, angry protests, magazines burnings, rocks thrown, windows breaking, chantings. And that was just the feminists! (I’m kidding)

But here’s the irony (if you want to call it that), only 300 people showed up for these protests (the country’s population is 245 million)

In fact not only did the magazine sell out (pun intended) but people re-sold their copies for 3 times the actual price ($4.3 dollars).

There was actually no nudity in the first edition…

Chamammah Soeratno, head of the women’s wing of major Muslim group Muhammadiyah, told Reuters Friday that “Everyone knows it’s a pornographic magazine. The first edition may not have any nudity. That’s a very clever move by the publishers.” [source]

In fact according to a Rueters report there is less skin in the Indonesian version then there was on the US version of Playboy 50 years ago! So basically Indonesia is now at a time in history where it’s cultural values are about 50 years behind the US. Great stuff.

Also, Playboy joins other publications such as Maxim and FHM on Indonesian news stands.

The publication is banned in Malaysia but top Malaysian model Amber Chia ‘graced’ the cover of the first edition in Indonesia. But here’s an interesting story: a 25-year-old Indonesian maid in Malaysia posed in her underwear for her female employer after being told she would be paid ($272). Of course she wasn’t. She couldn’t complain to the police since posing for nude photographs or taking nude photographs is illegal in the country. Apparently the employer was playing a joke on her.


  • From other reports, one may purchase hardcore pr0n DVDs and the like from street vendors in Indonesia. So why are they so freaked out about Playboy? And BTW Playboy can’t really be called pornography. Nudity != porn.

    People need to lighten up. If you don’t like Playboy, don’t buy it. If God doesn’t like you buying Playboy, you’ll find out eventually.

  • The prophet Jeremiah said it well: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?”

    RR, Playboy was the porn of the 50s. Now that kind of photo is used to advertise openly. It’s just not good for society, to encourage men (and women) to find their basest nature – for their is no bottom to that pit.

  • LOL

    Closed societies tend to be brimming over with sexual frustration, no wonder the magazine sold out.

    I’ve got complicated feelings about erotic photography, but I think “Playboy” is actually more interesting, and tasteful, than a lot of the stuff out there.

    And yeah, she did GRACE the cover. Or do women who pose for “Playboy” automatically lose their grace?

  • This is sad and funny at the same time ..
    what is the message that we ars supposed to get from this tactical move?

    Call it Nudity, soft porn, just plain pornography … it is still too much for a closed community like that .. even if porn DVD’s are purchased on the streets .. if they are ok with this .. what would be next?

  • Loses what, exactly? And nope, I don’t think it’s sad. It’s normal. And don’t blame the girls for it, there’s clearly a demand for this sort of thing in Indonesia.

  • Whose respect does she lose? Your respect? Her respect for herself? Other people? Why should she care? We’re at a point in our history when everything is becoming commodified in one way or another. And we have to be realistic. Natalia Vodianova lives a much better life as a supermodel than she would selling pastries at markets around Moscow.

    I’ve worked as a model before, and I respect myself. I don’t think it’s an easy business, but what’s easy nowadays? And screw what everyone else says.

  • I stand with Natalia!!!!

    if it is a sin, then I will burn in hell for it.

    god, if he exists, will be my judge.

  • @Khalidah: “if they are ok with this?” Please… they are obviously already OK with selling hardcore pornography on their streets. They just have a problem with something like Playboy being “officially” sanctioned as a legal product.

    @Nas: If you think Playboy objectifies women then what about the dozens of junk Arabic magazines that blatantly objectify women?

    As one very intelligent Jordanian that I know once put it: a nation that ties its honor to something that lies between its legs deserves nothing more.

  • Wajih, well as you can obviously tell from my blog and your extensive knowledge of me, that I am of course a blatant supporter of junk Arabic magazines 😉

  • Nas, you are PERFECTLY RIGHT about Playyboy and objectifies woman: I hate it!!! But why don’t protest secular Muslim people too but just the extremists against it?

  • That really proved that Natalia is right: at the end people lose the respect for these women that choose work for PalyBoy, even if we can not like it: they agree to be “objectified” for a magazine and JUST FOR THAT, so these women are object in general!

Your Two Piasters: