10 Quotes About Sex from ‘Playboy’s’ Hugh Hefner


Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, died on Wednesday. He was 91. The pioneering media mogul was known for his hedonistic lifestyle and became a voice for sexual liberation in 1950s and ‘60s — although his past with women has been complicated. Apart from the centerfolds and Hefner’s roguish reputation, he supported and gave a platform to visionaries like Martin Luther King Jr. and pop culture icons like John Lennon. But let’s be honest — Playboy and Hefner are known for selling sex, and Hefner has had a lot to say on the matter. Here are some of his best quotes and most fascinating video interviews.

“If you don’t encourage healthy sexual expression in public, you get unhealthy sexual expression in private. If you attempt to suppress sex in books, magazines, movies and even everyday conversation, you aren’t helping to make sex more private, just more hidden. You’re keeping sex in the dark. What we’ve tried to do is turn on the lights.”

“Part of the sexual revolution is bringing rationality to sexuality — because when you don’t embrace sexuality in a normal way, you get the twisted kinds and the kinds that destroy lives.”

Women have traditionally been either put on pedestals or damned as the source of all sexual temptation and sin. These are two sides of the same coin, since both place women in a non-human role. Playboy has opposed these warped sexual values and, in so doing, helped women step down from their pedestals and enjoy their natural sexuality as much as men.”

“I think that there’s nothing wrong with masturbation. If you’re not feeling good about your own sexuality and your own body, you’re not going to feel good about anything else.”

“Without question, love in its various permutations is what we need more of in this world. The idea that the concept of marriage will be sullied by same-sex marriage is ridiculous. Heterosexuals haven’t been doing that well at it on their own.”

“I’ve never thought of Playboy, quite frankly, as a sex magazine. I always thought of it as a lifestyle magazine in which sex was one important ingredient.”

“Sex is the driving force on the planet. We should embrace it, not see it as the enemy.”

“You really don’t create an authoritarian society unless you control the personal choices including the sexual choices of the people. So I think that sexual oppression and dictatorship go hand in hand.”

Playboy, of course, is not really a very sexy or shocking magazine, and the fact that some few people consider it so is a sad commentary on the sexual mores of a portion of our population.”

“I suggested that sex was not the enemy, that violence was the enemy, that nice girls like sex. The centerfold itself, the girl next door centerfold, in a very simplistic way was rooted in that philosophy, that that sex is OK, it’s a natural part of life.”