The April 1972 issue of Cosmopolitan hit newsstands today and caused quite a sensation as it featured a nude centerfold of 36-year old Burt Reynolds. Sure, Joe Namath had raised eyebrows a few years earlier when he appeared in a TV commercial wearing a pair of Beautymist pantyhhose, but Reynolds' display took the Sexual Revolution (as well as the women's movement) to a whole new level.
I was 14 at the time and in the early stages of realizing what my same-sex attractions were about and was transfixed by Reynolds' image in the pages of my older sister's copy. (Up until this time my primary source of titillation had been seeing the occasional photo of a bare-chested athlete in a a locker room in my dad's copy of Sports Illustrated.
10 years later a 22-year old law student by the name of Scott Brown won the magazine's first Male Centerfold Contest - yes, the same Scott Brown who's now a Republican Senator from Massachusetts. Other celebrity centerfolds included football great Jim Brown (1973), singer John Davidson (1974) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (1977).
Two new magazines for women featuring full frontal male nudity, Playgirl and Viva, began publishing the year after Reynolds' centerfold. Pictured to the right are actors Peter Lupus (far right) from Mission Impossible and Lyle Waggoner from The Carol Burnett Show, both who posed for Playgirl. It's still published but Viva folded long ago, in 1980.