What can you say about an era in publishing when you find more clothing on the cover of Playboy's model than on the cover of Rolling Stone or ESPN Magazine?
We can maybe trace this back to Demi Moore and Vanity Fair and blame it on them. Moore has appeared – as our Brit friends would say – starkers on Vanity Fair's cover more than once, though her most famous appearance showed her extremely pregnant and extremely unclothed. That cover has been copied and parodied countless times since then (just do a Google Images search on "vanity fair" and "demi moore" and you'll see). But it also seemed to have settled the matter in the minds of mainstream publishers' heads that putting a totally naked person on the cover of a magazine that doesn't normally feature totally naked people will boost sales.
And I'm sure it does.
I'm not a spring chicken. I know that sex sells. I'm not even slapping their wrists for it. I'm just amused, albeit a bit bemused.