• Voting for the 2020 Penthouse Pet of the Year is open throughout the month of July
  • Penthouse Pets are models who have been featured in the magazine’s centerfold
  • The model’s photographs are available on Penthouse’s official Instagram page

The 2020 Penthouse Pet of the Year playoffs kicked off on Wednesday (July 1), with 12 women competing for the title.

For this year's title, fans can head to the official Penthouse Instagram page to check out pictures of the 12 women competing for the 2020 Pet of the Year. The photographs, from the Penthouse Quarantine Calendar, were shot by Nicola Rinaldo and show the Pets – women featured in the magazine’s centerfold – in an array of seductive poses.

Voting for the 2020 Penthouse Pet of the Year is open throughout the month of July.

This year’s hopefuls are Jisel Lynn, Anna Lisa Wagner, Jay Marie, Autumn Falls, Emily Willis, Addie Andrews, Ora Young, Savannah Sixx, Naomi Swann, Liv Wild, Lacy Lennon and Anny Aurora.

Founded in the U.K. in 1965 by American photographer Bob Guccione to compete with Hugh Hefner's Playboy, men's magazine Penthouse has been featuring hardcore pornographic photos since the 1990s. Its tradition of choosing a model for Pet of the Month began in 1969, while the first Pet of the Year, Evelyn Treacher, was named in 1970.

One of the most famous faces featured in Penthouse was Vanessa Williams. A 1984 issue featured nude photographs of the actress after she became the first Black Miss America, and the pictures cost her the title.

The photographs were taken two years before Williams won the Miss America title. She was working as a photographer’s assistant at the time, and the photographer had assured her that they would be silhouettes. The photographer had also told her that the pictures wouldn’t be published.

According to a TIME article, the nude photos were first offered to Playboy. But Hefner refused the material and called the publication of Williams' pictures as "immoral" and "improper."

“The single victim in all of this was the young woman herself, whose right to make this decision was taken away from her,” TIME quoted Hefner as saying. “If she wanted to make this kind of statement, that would be her business, but the statement wasn’t made by her.”

Despite this, Williams managed to relaunch herself and carve a successful career as a singer and actress.

Bollywood actress Sunny Leone is another famous personality who has appeared in Penthouse. She was the Penthouse Pet for March 2001 and Penthouse Pet of the Year in 2003.

Penthouse Opens 3D Channel Penthouse is bringing porn to 3-D TV. Photo: Reuters