Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Hugh Hefner living large

Saw a program of Hugh Hefner the other night. As you might expect, it focused on his harem of between three to seven babes between the ages of 18 and 28, his relationship with his separated-but-still-friends wife and two teenage sons.

The guy is 82!

I remember that when Playboy had its 25th anniversary issue, they thought it was appropriate to interview their founder Hef. He was asked what drove him to achieve his phenomenal success in building the Playboy empire.

Hef said that it all went back to when he was a boy with a simple childhood dream.

"And what was that?" they asked.

"To get laid a lot."

Hef is actually living the life a lot of guys - oh hell, probably all guys who aren't gay, fantasize about sometimes. He's a sultan in his palace, with every toy a guy could want and a harem of beautiful and willing babes. And oddly, the evidence kind of suggests that it's a small group of women who have worked out the arrangements and run things.*

Thanks bud, somebody has to live it for all the rest of us.**

Now don't get me wrong, I am perfectly happy with my chosen lifestyle: solid marriage to a woman I love passionately, with kids underfoot in a gloriously cluttered but cosy house.

I think that's really the most fulfilling ideal for most guys. But if most guys were really honest, they'd probably have to admit that the ideal life was solid marriage to a woman they loved - and a little on the side every year or so.

But of course, every guy with a lick of sense knows he'd destroy his own and his family's happiness that way. And when you come down to earth, a harem is probably closer to living hell than heaven, especially after kids start to arrive.

So I'm not going to look down my long nose at Hef, but there is one thing I really wonder about.

All of Hef's women are tall, leggy, hyperpneumatic platinum blondes. What the heck is the point? Doesn't they guy want any variety in his life?

My fantasy harem is stocked with tall Nordic blonds, raven-haired Chinese, petite Malays, slim Somalis, hawk-nosed American Indians, voluptuous sari-clad Hindus, redheaded Celts...


Excuse me. To get back to the point, I have nothing against tall, leggy, hyperpneumatic blondes, and count myself fortunate for the time I've spent in the company of some, but seven?

Isn't this like the proverbial difference between ten years experience, and a year's experience - ten times?

And, nothing against younger women either, but has Hef noticed yet that there are a fair number of women out there whose beauty really blooms in their 30s?

That's when in Heinlein's phrase, a woman of intelligence and character "has her own face."

And, doesn't he want to grow old with someone?

Some of us aren't going to have that experience either, but one wonders about those couples who grow old together. And when one dies, you know the other will follow quite soon after.***

Grow old along with me,
The best is yet to be,
The last of life for which the first was made.

-Robert Browning, Rabbi Ben Ezra

*BTW, not uncommon in polygynous societies. In some that I've studied, a man may have several wives, but not have chosen any of them himself. His parents find his first wife, and his senior wife choses the others.

**And even weirder, now that he's retired from running the empire, it's being managed by his attractive and highly intelligent daughter Christie, who gives the impression of being, if anything, kind of a straightlaced stick-in-the-mud.

***For those of us who remember the actor Charles Boyer. When his wife of many years died, he took a few weeks to put his affairs in order and then took a fatal dose of sleeping pills.


  • At 4:33 PM, Blogger Saint in Exile said…

    Just to put this in context up front: I turned 30 two months ago. I spent nearly 9 years in the Army as an Infantry Officer, did 3 trips to Iraq, 1 to Bosnia. I've always been in good shape and artfully played the Soldier angle for all that it is worth in the singles scene. Most of my "relationships" have been with strippers or others of only marginally better repute. That is not to say there were many relationships - most of my adult life has been in remote training areas or in combat zones, so my social life has been largely non-existent - but among the few encounters that occurred, they were with women whom I had no intention of introducing to my mother.

    In the last couple of years, some of my brain cells have wrestled themselves free of the testosterone and I have a very different view of the world. Whenever I see a scene of hedonists - such as the Playboy mansion as an extreme example or any bar or club in DC as a more moderate example - I just see the moral degredation of our country occurring before my eyes. It bothers and I have no desire to partake in it. I actually would not want Hefner's lifestyle (though I would be happy to have his bank account).

  • At 4:52 PM, Blogger Ted said…

    Eighty-two, huh?
    I'll bet they deliver Viagra to his crib in tractor-trailer rigs!

  • At 7:55 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    Hef had actually spoken quite openly about taking viagra - but Tall Leggy Hyperpneumatic Platinum Blonde #1 actually said he doesn't always need it.

    Hedonism and decadence? I dunno. On the one hand, I can remember a time when you could get serious time and a felony record for getting a BJ in some states. Or your own loving wife could accuse you of some consensual acts and get you put away.

    These weren't possibilities but actual cases that Playboy publicized and assisted in the defense.

    The Playboy foundation has also been prominent in defending men on death row who they determined were most likely innocent.

    On the other hand, a society composed of individuals who have no other aim than their own pleasure doesn't seem likely to survive for very long.

  • At 3:49 PM, Blogger Boogification said…

    Hef has a better life at 82 than I did at 22.

  • At 4:49 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    Me too. But it gets better, wink-wink, nudge-nudge ;)


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