The Internet Made the Military Stop Selling Playboy

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The military will finally stop selling nudie magazines at on-post shops run by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service after years and years of protest, but only because soldiers are moving to the millions of free porn site on the Internet, or to soliciting real, live sex on Craigslist, which is a rising problem. PlayboyPenthouse and the other 889 "adult sophisticate titles" will be pulled from shelves today because no one is buying them anymore, Army Times reports. Sales have plummeted 86 percent since 1998, so stocking the magazines doesn't make any sense.

Technically, the sale of porn has been banned on military bases under the Military Honor and Decency Act of 1996. That law prohibits the sale of anything wherein "the dominant theme ... depicts or describes nudity, including sexual or excretory activities or organs in a lascivious way." Anti-porn groups have lobbied the Defense Department to remove the magazines for years, but the DoD has resisted. Being deployed away from your friends and family is hard enough, why would the Pentagon limit the troops' ability to, uh, relax, too? 

"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," Army Lt. Col. Antwan C. Williams, a spokesperson for AAFES, said in a press release. Williams said more and more soldiers were finding the same content on the Internet. It's free there, of course. 

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But soldiers are looking for real life sex too, and that's becoming an issue of sorts. According to a recent report from The Marine Corps Times, alerted to us by Betabeat, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are "cracking down" on soldiers looking for sex using Craigslist's "casual encounters" section. Iraq and Afghanistan are two of the worst areas for the activity. Commanders have advised soldiers to stop seeking sex with the natives, but the problem is so out of control the NCIS have allegedly resorted to performing undercover sting operations. So the old ways of relieving yourself are gone, and the bosses already can't control the latest sexy frontier. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.