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Internet-addicted soldiers have no use for Playboy anymore

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Hugh Hefner may have just lost his last, best customer: the U.S. military. With soldiers finding their pornography on free streaming websites—or opportunities for actual sex on Craigslist—interest in glossies like Playboy and Penthouse has all but dried up.

In total, 891 different magazines (including craft title Bead-It Today, the anticonsumerist Adbusters, and WWE Kids, a wrestling periodical for children) will no longer be sold at on-base shops. Over the past 15 years, sales of such titles have dropped 86 percent. Army Lt. Col. Antwan C. Williams, a spokesman for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, explained:

The decision to no longer stock the material is a business decision driven by the time, money and energy required to facilitate buying habits, combined with decreasing demand. Magazine sales are on a sustained downward trajectory due to the proliferation of digital delivery.

Oddly enough, the decision to axe the magazines came shortly after the Department of Defense resanctioned the selling of Playboy et al. on military property. A group called Morality in Media had lobbied to ban adult magazines, but Pentagon officials were adamant that such material does not meet the criteria for indecency under federal law.  

Morality in Media is at least a decade behind the times, of course: These days, military personnel are seeking their sexual release online, where you can find porn so explicit it would make Larry Flynt blush. Not just photos and videos, either; soldiers are experimenting with Internet-facilitated hookups, much in the way their twentysomething peers back home like to.

The Craigslist sex problem is so bad, in fact, that internal bodies like the Naval Criminal Investigative Service have begun to enact sting operations to catch anyone trying to get lucky. Marines show up for a casual encounter with an undercover agent and find themselves subject to a decidedly non-casual disciplinary proceeding.

Of course, none of this is an issue for those brave fighting men and women who still use their God-given imaginations. We salute you for your sense of honor.

H/T Atlantic Wire | Photo by S. Ruppe/Flickr