The 10 Most Controversial Playboy Covers

November 1975: More Sex in Cinema

In the early to mid-'70s, Hefner found himself in a dogfight with the more explicit Penthouse magazine, which had begun publishing in America in 1969. This race to the, uh, bottom was dubbed The Pubic Wars, and Hefner felt he had to follow rival Bob Guccione's lead.

This cover represents Hefner's breaking point; he regretted the image of the model (Patricia Margot McClain) slipping her fingers into her panties to pull a Fred Willard in a movie theater. Before the issue was on newsstands, Hefner had committed to never going there again.

The Pubic Wars weren't over, of course, and it's fair to say that Playboy lost them, as the conflict with Penthouse (and Hustler, launched in 1974) forever changed what Playboy was comfortable showing within its pages. 

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