You know, from my point of view, I’m the luckiest cat on the planet.
With the rabbit as our emblem, when we got to the point in 1960 of opening the first Playboy Club… one of our executives suggested the possibility of a bunny costume. We tried it out, and I made some modifications – added the cuffs and the bow tie and collar – and the bunny was born.
When I was four, we moved to the house on the west side of Chicago where I grew up. My earliest memories are of that first summer.
When ‘Penthouse’ and ‘Hustler’ came along, they confused what I was trying to do. Before they arrived, we were perceived as a sophisticated men’s magazine.
What’s amazing is that the taste of American men and international tastes in terms of beauty have essentially stayed the same. Styles change, but our view of beauty stays the same.
What made the magazine so popular was, even before I started writing the philosophy, there was a point of view in the magazine.
To pursue your dreams, to have them come true, to have made a difference, to have changed society, to have fought against powerful forces… that’s a life well-spent.
There’s almost a Rorschach-test quality about writing about ‘Playboy’. What comes out in the press is not so much about me as it is about society.
There were chunks of my life when I was married, and when I was married, I never cheated. But I made up for it when I wasn’t married. You have to keep your hand in.
The women’s movement, from my point of view, was part of the larger sexual revolution that ‘Playboy’ had played such a large part in. The reality is that the major beneficiaries of the sexual revolution are women.
The women’s movement kind of came out of left field in the 1960s and 1970s when they turned on ‘Playboy.’
The whole 1950s notion was find the right girl, get married, move to the suburbs and then hang out with the guys while she stayed home with the babies. I felt that was sort of sad.
The people who had the most impact on me when I was young were Freud and Darwin, but growing up I also had my film idols.
The notion of the single man began in the 1950’s. The idea of the bachelor as a separate life was new and obscure.
The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex.
The interesting thing is how one guy, through living out his own fantasies, is living out the fantasies of so many other people.
The difference between Marilyn Monroe and the early Pamela Anderson is not that great. What’s amazing is that the taste of American men and international tastes in terms of beauty have essentially stayed the same. Styles change, but our view of beauty stays the same.
The difference between Marilyn Monroe and the early Pamela Anderson is not that great.
The business end of business has never interested me.
The Westwood Cemetery is just a few blocks from my home, and a number of my very dear friends are buried there.
Surrounding myself with beautiful women keeps me young.
Someone once asked, ‘What’s your best pickup line?’ I said, ‘My best pickup line is, ‘Hi, my name is Hugh Hefner.’
Sex, and the attraction between the sexes, does make the world go ’round.
Sex is the driving force on the planet. We should embrace it, not see it as the enemy.
Picasso had his pink period and his blue period. I am in my blonde period right now.
People get their information in different ways now. And we are a little poorer for it, because the way you get information affects what you learn.
Part of the concept behind the magazine was breaking barriers. And it wasn’t just a sexual thing. It was racial and doing the things that were right. And in the process, that set ‘Playboy’ apart.
One of the problems with organized religion is that it has always kept women in a second-class position. They have been viewed as the daughters of Eve.
My parents are wonderful people and they instilled in me an idealism for which I’m grateful.
My mother loaned me $1000. The first issue came out at the end of 1953. I knew I needed something original. I had a photographer shoot a 3D feature for the first issue and learned it would cost too much money. When the 3D thing turned out to be too expensive, at that same moment I came across the photos of Marilyn Monroe.
My folks were raised pure prohibitionist. They were very good people, with high moral standards – but very repressed. There was no hugging and kissing in my home.
My first wife was a brunette, and Barbi Benton, my major romantic relationship of the early 1970s, was a brunette. But since the end of my marriage, all of my girlfriends have been blonds.
Men’s magazines in the period immediately after World War II were almost all outdoor-oriented. They were connected to some extent in the male bonding that came out of a war… And what I tried to create was a magazine for the indoor guy, but focused specifically on the single life: in other words, the period of bachelorhood before you settle down.
Men project their fantasies onto me; they live them through who they think I am.
Living in the moment, thinking about the future, and staying connected to the past: That’s what makes me feel whole.
Life is too short to be living somebody else’s dream.
It’s hard to really compare new love and old love.
It’s good to be selfish. But not so self-centered that you never listen to other people.
It is women who have traditionally, historically been given non-human roles, perceived as simply the daughters of Eve, perceived as either Madonna or whore. And I think that it is the sexual revolution that plays one part in female emancipation.
In my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined a sweeter life.
In my own words, I played some significant part in changing the social-sexual values of our time. I had a lot of fun in the process.
If you let society and your peers define who you are, you’re the less for it.
If I ever try to get married again, shoot me.
I’m very comfortable with the nature of life and death, and that we come to an end. What’s most difficult to imagine is that those dreams and early yearnings and desires of childhood and adolescence will also disappear. But who knows? Maybe you become part of the eternal whatever.
I’m not an active feminist: I’m an active humanist.
I’m never going to grow up. Staying young is what it is all about for me.
I’m actually a very moral guy.
I was writing and cartooning and writing short stories from grade school on.
I was very influenced by the musicals and romantic comedies of the 1930s. I admired Gene Harlow and such, which probably explains why, since the end of my marriage, I’ve dated nothing but a succession of blondes.
I was an absent dad. Once the magazine started, I really had two families. The dream was the magazine. I worked through the night all the time.
I think that retirement is the first step towards the grave.
I think getting married was a mistake along the way, but at the same time I wouldn’t have the wonderful children I have if I didn’t get married.
I think everyone should get married. I just took a little longer than usual.
I separated ways from the American feminist movement when they became anti-sexual. I believe embracing sexuality is a part of what it means to be free.
I remain very much connected to my childhood… I have never been too jaded or too sophisticated.
I looked back on the roaring Twenties, with its jazz, ‘Great Gatsby’ and the pre-Code films as a party I had somehow managed to miss.
I looked back on the roaring Twenties – with its jazz, ‘Great Gatsby,’ and the pre-Code films – as a party I had somehow managed to miss. After World War Two, I expected something similar, a return to the period after the first war, but when the skirt lengths went down instead of up, I knew we were in big trouble.
I have very strong theories about magazine publishing. And I think that it is the most personal form of journalism. And I think that a magazine is an old friend.
I have no plans to retire. It’s the perfect combination of work and play that keeps you young. If I quit work it would be the beginning of the end for me.
I have been married twice, and those were not the happiest times of my life. Part of the problem, quite frankly, is that when you get married, the romance disappears and the children arrive and the love is transferred. It shouldn’t be that way, but too often it is transferred to the children.
I have about 100 pairs of pajamas. I like to see people dressed comfortably.
I guess you could say, I’m just a typical Methodist kid at heart.
I guess I’m the most successful man I know. I wouldn’t trade places with anybody in the world.
I got married before I found myself. People should find themselves before they get married.
I don’t have dinner parties – I eat my dinner in bed.
I am in very good health. I’ve never felt better.
I always say now that I’m in my blonde years. Because since the end of my marriage, all of my girlfriends have been blonde.
Historically the Puritans left England to escape religious persecution, and they promptly turned around and started persecuting the people they didn’t agree with – the scarlet letter A, and the stocks and the dunking board came from that. That puritanism is still there.
For me, the magazine was always the heart of what my life was all about, and the other half was living the life.
Even when I was young, I said age is largely a state of mind if you’re healthy.
Creating my own world in a comic or selling my first penny newspaper aged nine was a way of gaining recognition and acceptance by my peers.
Could I be in a better place and happier than I am today? I don’t think so.
Being attacked by right-wing Christians did not bother me. Being attacked by liberal feminists did.
Ageism is a variation of racism or sexism, all the other isms.
‘Playboy’ was not a sex magazine as far as I was concerned. Sex was simply part of the total package; I was trying to bring sex into the fold of a healthy lifestyle.
Quotes by Hugh Hefner
Quotes by Hugh Hefner
You know, from my point of view, I’m the luckiest cat on the planet.