Squalid guilded cage

Like a lot of guys my age, I grew up — or at least, grew to adulthood — thinking that Hugh Hefner was some kind of demi-god, and I couldn’t think of anything better than being allowed to live in the Playboy Mansion. The impression we had back then was one of constant parties (perhaps even orgies!), drinking, music, and the circulation of hot, bosomy, scantily-dressed women. No, not merely women — Playmates!

Somewhere in my 20s when I actually started meeting women and having sex with them on a regular basis, Playboy became irrelevant to me. At some point I did have a subscription, but I actually did read the articles; Playboy was actually once known for having well-written articles by a variety of popular authors, and insightful interviews with popular and controversial people. But eventually I let the subscription lapse. I think it’s because on some level I understood that Playboy represented a fantasy, an ideal that was not only unachievable, but perhaps not even desirable. I’m reminded  of the old expression about a good lover is one who can make love to a new woman every night, but a great lover is one who can make love a different way every night to the same woman.

So except for the occasional news report in which [insert famous female celeb] poses for pictures, I really hadn’t given Playboy any thought in years.

Until a couple of months ago, when there was a big media blogcraze over the 84 year old Hef’s marriage to the 24 year old Crystal Harris.

In the aftermath of the various news and blog articles about how Hef is a geriatric has-been, and how Crystal was another gold-digger, several former Playmates have come out with tell-all memoirs that show the Mansion — and the Playboy lifestyle — as little more than trailer-park living in a high rent district.

Izabella St. James, in her book “Bunny Tales,” revealed some of the most unbelievable aspects of living at the Mansion.

Being a Hefner Girlfriend was a specialised job, not to be confused with being a Playboy Playmate. In fact, Girlfriends were not allowed to become Playmates because Hef had found that they tended to flee the Mansion as soon as they collected their $25,000 Playmate cheque. Girlfriends were given their own bedroom, an allowance of $1,000 a week in cash, a new car, free dental and medical treatment, almost limitless clothes, hairdos, make-up and facials and all the cosmetic surgery they could wish for – Izabella reckons Hef shelled out $70,000 a year on breast implants.

It was a very generous deal in many ways, but it did have its drawbacks. First, there was a strict curfew, so unless you were out with Hef, you had to be back in the hutch by 9pm. Second, while you could order any food or drink you wanted, at any time, from one of the many Mansion “butlers”, you were not allowed into the kitchen, even for a glass of water. And third, of course, you had to live in the extraordinarily dingy Playboy mansion, where all the furniture was falling apart, the mattresses were stained and the carpets were covered in dog poo. I remember visiting it in the early Nineties and being struck by its shabbiness then, and evidently it was the same or worse when Izabella moved in. Part of the trouble might be that Hef does not actually own the mansion; he has to rent it, room by room, from Playboy Enterprises and, according to Izabella, pays $25,000 a month for his own bedroom.

Kendra Wilkinson wrote:

Life at the Mansion was “way more strict than my life has ever been,” according to Wilkinson.

Staff members would keep track of when she, [Bridget] Marquardt and fellow girlfriend Holly Madison left and returned to the Mansion in a book, Wilkinson says – and Hefner would pour over it every morning, which made her “insane.”

Izabella backs this up:

‘Strictest of all was the curfew. Everyone had to be on the Mansion grounds by 9pm every night — unless we were out with Hef at a club or a function. People honestly did not believe us when we told them we had a curfew at the wild and crazy Playboy Mansion.’

And the trailer park aspect?

For Izabella, the Playboy Mansion was far from the glamorous pleasure palace she had imagined. ‘Each ­bedroom had mismatched, random pieces of furniture,’ she recalls in her autobiography Bunny Tales. ‘It was as if someone had gone to a charity shop and bought the basics for each room.

‘Although we all did our best to decorate our rooms and make them homely, the mattresses on our beds were ­disgusting — old, worn and stained. The sheets were past their best, too.

‘Eventually I persuaded Hef to pay for a new mattress and bed linen — but I had to turn in every single receipt before I was reimbursed.

‘Hef also eventually permitted us to have the rooms painted and recarpeted. But for some reason he insisted on creamy, white-coloured carpets. He liked the girlfriends’ rooms to look very girly, all white carpet and pink walls.

‘It looked great at first, but with two dogs (most of the girlfriends had pets that lived in their rooms — I had two pugs), butlers delivering food, dirty shoes and occasional spillages, the carpet was grey and stained in a matter of months.’

She adds: ‘But then Hef was used to dirty carpets. The one in his bedroom had not been changed for years, and things became significantly worse when Holly Madison moved into his room with him as Girlfriend No. 1 soon after I moved in, bringing her two dogs.

‘They weren’t house-trained and would just do their business on the bedroom carpet. Late at night, or in the early hours of the morning — if any of us visited Hef’s bedroom — we’d almost always end up standing in dog mess.

‘Everything in the Mansion felt old and stale, and Archie the house dog would regularly relieve himself on the hallway curtains, adding a powerful whiff of urine to the general scent of decay.’

Seriously, Hef? A multi-million dollar international outfit, and you can’t get he girls new mattresses every few years? Not that they would get worn out, since the girls weren’t allowed to date, and even sex with the big guy himself was infrequent.

Kendra writes:

Life at the Playboy Mansion wasn’t always a party, according to Kendra Wilkinson. As for sex … well, she got it elsewhere.

“I had to have sex every now and then, so I had to kind of sneak it,” Hugh Hefner‘s 23-year-old ex tells Us Weekly.

The buxom blonde says “of course” she and the Playboy founder were intimate, but notes she often only saw him once a day – in passing.

“Besides the nights we went out, I only saw Hef, like, once a day walking through the halls to his office. There were never solo dates,” she said.

And when Hef finally did get busy?

“One of the girls asked me if I wanted to go upstairs to Hef’s room. In my head I could hear my mom’s voice, ‘You know they have orgies there.’ I said ‘Okay, if I have to.’ It seemed like every other girl was going and if I didn’t it would be weird. One by one, each girl hopped on Hef and had sex with him for about a minute. I studied their every move. Then it was my turn, it was very weird. I wasn’t thinking about how much older Hef was, all the body parts worked the same. I wanted to be there.”

If any guys are  still reading this and hoping that this is all a bad dream, here are the parting words of Izabella:

“I wanted to see if this experienced King of Sexdom knew anything the rest of us did not. But he just lay there like a dead fish. We often wondered why he did it at all. He must know deep down that it is just a show. But he is trying to live out this fantasy he has been selling to people since 1954.”

Now, I certainly don’t feel sorry for the women who were paid received an “allowance” of $1,000 per week in cash in exchange to have a world-famous sugar daddy, to live in a nice area in the city, and to occasionally have free cosmetic surgery (mainly boob jobs). But it really makes you wonder about the type of woman who would consent to live in the manner described her for any length of time, let alone the several years that many of the women managed.

Ironically, Hefner used to make a point about espousing his quasi-hedonistic Playboy Philosophy, and while it’s hard to believe now, was actually culturally relevant back in the 1960s. Young men growing up in the 1960s and 1970s saw Hef as one of the ultimate “cool” guys, and stories (more likely rumors) of the escapades at the Chicago headquarters were legion. That’s why I have to admit that even though I hadn’t thought about Playboy in years, and in fact, had long believed the entire thing to be a charade, I do have to admit to being just a little disappointed to discover that the Playboy lifestyle has become nothing more than a sad and pathetic anachronism.

About Tom Allen

The Grey Geezer Dauntless defender of, um, something that needed dauntless defending. Dammit, I can't read this script without my glasses. Hey, you kids, get off my damn lawn!
This entry was posted in Celebrities, Media, Sex news. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Squalid guilded cage

  1. Ayesha says:

    Um…..did u know there r people running around in circles, who r convinced that all females r superior to males no matter what, and believe they can prove it too? Referring to ur superior bunnies, girlfriends, whatever, just imagine where that leaves u and ur brethren, hehehe.

  2. Jz says:

    I need to go wash my hands now, just from reading that description.

    (did I say “euw” yet?)

  3. nursemyra says:

    Interesting post

  4. DD says:

    Is it terribly self-righteous of me to feel vindicated by the fact that that what I have always regarded as pathetic has been exposed by insiders to be exactly that?
    I typically have to do some impressive internal political-correctifying to overcome my instinctive response to the whole Playboy schtick but maybe I shouldn’t bother.

    • Tom Allen says:

      DD, care to elaborate?

    • DD says:

      Ok, sure, why not just stick my neck out there, hm?

      Well, porn and feminism is a well-addressed topic, and there are a ton of varying points of view. In light of the fact I keep my own collection of porn, I clearly am not from the “All porn is misogyny” camp, but there are aspects of the whole Male Gaze conversation that do apply to PB, and lots of other porn, though not typically the shots I prefer.

      I may have seen…2 or 3 issues of Playboy in my entire life, so obviously I am speaking from the realm of impression not research. Also, I am a dominant woman without much of an exhibitionist streak, so that colors my perception as well. So now that I have qualified and caveated I will get to it;

      I have always felt there was something about Playboy and Hef that made me think of a pervert in a van with a bag of candy. A large part of that, of course, is that the only way anyone could convince me to pose naked would be…um,
      well, threatening to kill a loved one would probably do it.
      In my 20s I would never have agreed to “date” Hefner, and I quite instinctively feel that coaxing a woman into that for $1,000 a month, a car, and free body mutilation plays into some of the ugliest aspects of treating women as commodities.
      I know, though, that there are women who get off on exhibitionism, and being controlled, and if I want there to be room for my kink I should allow room for theirs. So I don’t criticize. I try to be politically correct.
      Then little bits and pieces of info leak out and make it clear that the environment of PB is not one of healthy respect for female autonomy, etc.
      I don’t plan to launch a campaign against them or actually DOING anything. I will just quietly feel justified for regarding them as users.

  5. Mykey says:

    Man that’s grim. There is no excuse for being that filthy for a start. And those rules would drive anyone potty!

    Dude is a let down!

  6. Choreboy says:

    Disillusioning fer sure, but I gotta say I’ve come to admire Hef for the sheer audacity of his created personality. Consider how sexually afraid America was in the 1950s. Hefner was brave just to “come out” as sex positive in his day. I learned that sex could be cool , safe and fun for both boys and girls from Playboy.Thanks, Hef!

    Sure, Hef was a male chauvinist pig by today’s standards, but I learned to love cunnillingus because the Playboy Advisor said I owed it to my girl. Seems like that alone ought to earn him some slack.

    Still, even paid employees deserve a decent mattress. Yuck.

    • Tom Allen says:

      I’m with you on this. In the 70s, I learned about sex not from the pictures, but from the articles. The Playboy Advisor was a great resource during those times, and even the regular columnists had great insights on how to get along with those fantastic creatures of the opposite sex.

      Which is all the more amazing that the “girlfriends” weren’t treated a little better at the mansion.

  7. RogueBambi says:

    That’s sad… But why didn’t the girls by mattresses with the 1000 dollars they got each week? Or was that only talk?

    …Is it normal for people to keep un-housetrained dogs in the house and not train them or take them out for business? Sounds weird. Were there other rules (not stepping in the garden for example) that we aren’t told about?

    …I can’t get the dead fish picture out of my head. Each girl politely sitting on his dick for a minute. Like in school! I have no words.

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