Friday, September 29, 2017

Hefner idealized women; women didn't reciprocate

    The naked women were supposed to be temporary.
     Just until Hugh Hefner's new magazine got off the ground and could afford to hire top writers.
     "Later, with some money in the bank, we'd begin increasing the quality and reducing the girlie features," remembered Hefner.
     That never happened. Instead Hefner, 91, who died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles, kept the erotic photos and the literary quality. In the process he became an important figure in 20th century America—a cultural icon, a successful businessman whose business just happened to be built around pornography. A vigorous advocate for 1st Amendment, civil and gay rights who yet had difficulty including real women in his vision of dynamic equality, a champion celebrating unembarrassed consumerism and the female form, albeit idealized, airbrushed and safely naked or nearly.
     As Hefner once described it: "pretty girls, night life, food and drink, sports cars, travel, Hi-Fi music with emphasis on jazz."
     Like a boys' secret clubhouse, girls were not welcome, something Hefner was upfront about in the magazine's first issue.
     "If you're a man between the ages of 18 and 80, Playboy is meant for you," Hefner wrote in the undated November, 1953 issue, assembled in his South Side kitchen. "If you're somebody's sister, wife or mother-in-law, and picked us up by mistake, please pass us along to the man in your life and get back to your Ladies Home Companion." 
     Such pats on the head did not go down well with increasingly-outspoken women.

To continue reading, click here.


  1. How fitting that when I clicked over to the Sun-Times site, the page featured an ad exclaiming "My Johnson is 2x the Size!"

  2. If anyone has any regrets about reading all the articles and ignoring the pictorials, you may wish to visit this website.

    1. Took a brief glance at a few of the playmates and I think the lady shown above is much more attractive. Did Hef ever put out a "classical nudes" edition?


    2. Don't know, but your supposed to say asking for a friend. Now everyone knows you have a feather duster fetish.

    3. That left foot is pretty comely as well.

    4. A friend just told me you're right. I think he has a foot fetish also.

    5. Yes. Titian did nudes much better than Heffner.


  3. I must have lived next to the wrong doors, because there weren't any young women like Hef's ideal behind them. Of course, that didn't bother me much, as his idea of pulchritude was not really my cup of Double D tea, so to speak. ; ) Needless to say, Bernie and my friends only "read" it for the interviews and tech advice...

    We actually saw Kevin Coval read his Hefner poem at the Printer's Row Book Fair (I refuse, as always, to call it by its newer name) in June. "The Walt Disney of misogyny" is a pretty, pretty apt line. The full poem:

    A "politically influential" "cultural force" whose signature achievement was publishing "a glorified masturbatory aid." Say what you will about him, and I was never a fan of his, uh, lifestyle, that's *some* trick to have pulled off. A fine, even-handed evaluation by our host, as usual.

  4. As to Elizabeth Ann Roberts. Elizabeth posed for playboy at the age of 16 with a note from her mother giving her permission to pose for the spread.

    This resulted in the arrest of Hugh Hefner and Elizabeth's mother on the grounds that they where contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The charges where dropped due to the fact that there was not enough evidence to prove that Hugh knew her age. Prior to 1959 Playboy did not require models to complete data sheets. Actually has an IMDB page for an uncredited role in a 1965 movie. I looked at her centerfold just now and certainly not as explicit as a lot of the center folds later became. I recognized that photo as I believe she was in some playboy retrospective. I am guessing even back then there were probably magazines with nude women. Hefner saw a way to do with the girl next door look. Although has some said there were no girls like that next door to me. Or in high school. Cute girls but not what I would call beautiful. But then with the right lighting and make up you can make a cute girl a beautiful girl. I did read the articles as well as look at the photos. It would be interesting to find all the women that posed for playboy and see how their lives turned out. Brian Noonan interviewed a former playmate the other day. She said her life would not have turned out so great if she hadn't posed for playboy. No doubt some women think it is a stepping stone to great things and for some it was true.

  5. I remember when I reached an age where the women in Playboy we're no longer older than me. The mystique began to diminish.


Comments are vetted and posted at the discretion of the proprietor.