Famous educator and feminist Camille Paglia once named Hugh Hefner “one of the principal architects of the modern sexual revolution.” Hef’s playboy lifestyle was revolutionary in the 1970s. It made real the male fantasy of being completely devoted to the pursuit of pleasure. And one of Playboy’s principal elements was the idea that women could enjoy sex as much as men. When talking about his lifestyle and the topic of sexual addiction, Hef stated, "I don't think there is a sexual addiction like drug addiction. But there is compulsion. And there are those who use sex as an obsession, like gambling… when you're obsessed, you allow it to f**k up your life. I'm just the opposite.” Camille Paglia finishes that thought by saying that "feminism got totally off track. The real direction of the liberation of women, of my generation, was toward Playboy, not away from it.”
But just because Hef helped make human sexuality more open doesn't mean there aren't plenty of Playboy secrets very few know about. Holly Madison, formerly Hef’s "Number One Girl," has said a lot about her time living in the playboy mansion. Holly stated that fans of the show The Girls Next Door - the reality television series that focused on the lives of Hef’s girlfriends who lived with him at the Playboy Mansion - were seeing things “in a way that wasn’t really real.” Holly says that the show “didn’t reflect the whole of my experience being a woman in that environment.” Well, we’ve done the work and dug up 10 things that most people don’t know about Playboy. We'll take you beyond what Holly explains as simple “propaganda," and dig deeper into the truth.
10 Life At The Mansion Is Cult-ish
Playmate Carrie Leigh said this almost 15 years ago: “It's almost like a cult.” Young woman and men try to gain access into the mansion and the Playboy lifestyle every year. The obvious attraction is wealth and celebrity status. But as Playmate Carrie Stevens once said, "It's like a big sorority… [But] I wanted to grow up, do something with my life, and [Hef] didn't like that.”
"When you live in an environment like that, that's so different from how other people live, you start forgetting who you are and what you believe is right." said Carrie Leigh. "It's like the song Hotel California - ‘Mirrors on the ceiling, pink champagne on ice. We're all just prisoners here.’ You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.' It took me a few years after I did leave to wipe it out of my head.”
9 Hef Is a Huge “Hoarder”
It is well-known among insiders that Hef has an “endless desire for mementos.” This fact comes verified by an endless stream of former Playmates and Playboy mansion staff. In fact, Hef has over 2,485 volumes of scrapbooks. Hef’s archives include items detailing his life from the most public of events down to the most obscure notes. They include a famous nude photo of Marilyn Monroe that appeared in the first issue of Stag Party (the original name of Playboy magazine) as well as a psychological assessment of Dorothy Stratten (a Playmate of the Year shot and murdered by her estranged husband in 1980). No one really knows how Hef got a hold of the assessment.
8 All Sex Is Catalogued
In the mid '80s, Hef destroyed “all” of his tapes hoping to avoid people getting hurt after Carrie Leigh walked off with a tape. But besides his personal video archive, Hef maintains logs of all his sexual activity, keeping them in a private cabinet in his bedroom. "There were stacks of them," Leigh says. "On the left, it would say the names of the people. Next to that, it would say the type of sex . . . and to the right of that, he would grade it. A-plus-plus-plus was the highest grade, down to C-minus.”
7 The Ruthless "Mean Girl-ing”
“Prior to moving into the Mansion, I’d been a fairly confident person, but it didn’t take long for my self-worth to crumble,” said Holly Madison, former Playmate and “Number One Girl" in the house. Holly Madison ventured from the Las Palmas nightclub in Hollywood to the luxurious Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, transforming from a Hooters waitress into a “glamorous” Playmate. However, the glamour quickly wears off, says Holly.
6 The Strict Mansion Rules
Many of the girls have complained about the strict mansion rules before saying they feel more like prisoners than glamorous Playmates. Indeed, girlfriends have the privilege of living in the mansion rent-free. Beyond that, there is a curfew, and the girls are usually home at “5:30 or 6:00 [p.m.]. Every single night. It was basically on [Hef’s] program. It was a little bit monotonous. Or, if I wanted to go to sleep at 11:00 [p.m.], he'd want me to stay up with him till 1:00 or 2:00 [a.m.] and watch things. [Hef] doesn't like to be alone.”
5 Hef Can Be a “Manipulator”
Hef’s known to play head games with Playmates. "I learned Hef was the manipulator and that he pitted us against one another," says Holly Madison. "Hef liked to play the main girlfriend off the youngest one to try to create competition.”
Every girl in the house wants the centerfold picture eventually, and competition is heavy in that atmosphere. "You were always worried you'd get kicked out on the street because someone lied about you,” says Madison. Hef could even go so far as to randomly change one of his long-held strict rules to show favor to a newer, hotter girl in the house.
4 The Bizarre Sex Stories
The stories themselves can border on the creepy, or, on the other hand, they may sometimes sound pretty lame. Once Hef offered Playmate Holly Madison a quaalude out of “a crumpled tissue” on their first night out clubbing together. When she refused, Hef retorted, saying, “in the '70s they used to call these pills ‘thigh openers'.”
3 A Few Things About the Mansion
We all believe the Playboy Mansion is that unique baller house where all the magic happens. This is the common mythology we’ve known since basically forever. The truth is, Playboy Enterprises, Inc. is the real owner of the Mansion. Hef doesn’t actually own the Playboy Mansion. Hef pays for "that portion of the Playboy Mansion used exclusively for him and his personal guests' residence as well as the per-unit value of non-business meals, beverages and other benefits received by him and his personal guests,” according to the SEC. Rent was reportedly $1.3 million in 2004.
2 Hef Has a Possessive Side
It looks like Hef lives the “sexual revolution” lifestyle. Hef certainly had his fun in his heyday. But it isn't as “loose” as we all believe. Holly Madison wrote in her book Down the Rabbit Hole that the “protocol was that we stay at Hef’s table all night.” The bunnies were only allowed to dance if it was right in front of Hef’s table. And they were only allowed to leave the table to go to the bathroom.
1 The Messiness of It All
The Mansion is reportedly in major need of overhaul and upgrades. Visitors often complain about odors and stains on the carpet left by dog urine. And stains on the furniture. And rooms stocked with “trays of Johnson’s Baby Oil, Vaseline and Kleenex.” And in 2011, the house tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease, which caused hundreds of people to get sick. Old magazines and papers are reportedly littering the floor all around Hef’s giant, king-sized bed. Madison reported, "I stumbled over and weaved through massive piles of junk covering the floor... It was like an episode of Hoarders.”
Keepsakes from the past fill the house. "I can be at my most creative like this," Hef explains. Without exaggeration, many people have described the Mansion as “really, really depressing,” old, run-down, cheap, basic... and so on. Hopefully they’ve spruced the place up a bit, because as of January 2016, the Playboy Mansion is up for sale for $200 million.
Sources: cosmopolitan, washingtonpost, inquisitr
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