I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Mine was great except for the fact that I picked up some nasty stomach bug camping. Oh, the price of having fun! We hiked up in the hills and were graced by the presence of deer and perfect weather.
Last night, I had what might have been a lucid dream with Erik, the first in a long time. He was trying to communicate with me from the other side of s screen that looked like a computer monitor. I was so happy to be able to talk to my boy, and he promised to make it a regular event. Let’s see if that happens.
Here’s the first part of our interview with Hugh Hefner. WARNING: It’s really racy. But of course you expected that, right?
If you missed the show last Thursday, here it is!
Here’s the transcript, courtesy of my dear friend, Kayra P. I hope you come to the event this summer, Kayra!
Emma: Hello again!
Elisa: Hello again, my sweets! Emma, Erik, I still love you, of course!
Erik: I do too, Mama!
Elisa: Now, we’re probably gonna do this in two parts because Hugh Hefner is a pretty big dude. He’s gotten SO many requests. So, is there any way you can go get him, Erik?
Erik: I’m on it Mama!
Emma: That was fast!
Erik: I just had him in the next room.
Elisa: OK, well that was easy. He was in The Green Room! (Emma and Elisa Laughing) Hello, Mr. Hefner!
Elisa: What’s he look like, Emma? What’s he dressed in?
Emma: He looks like the way I always see him on T.V. with the robe kind of thing, the reddish robe. I would say he looks like he’s about maybe 30, 35, something like that. He looks pretty interesting. Not like I remember him with the gray hair. He’s got nice dark black hair.
Elisa: OK, cool!
Emma: He looks cool. We’ll just say that.
Elisa: Oh, flirting with him already!
Emma: (Emma giggles) Oh, I’m sorry!
Elisa: Hugh, thank you for coming in and agreeing to be interviewed.
HH: You’re very welcome. I’d love to be a spokesperson for my life.
Elisa: Good! So, let’s start out with the obvious: Tell me about your childhood. Tell me about your “Mothaaah”.
HH: (Laughs) Well I grew up in a time where lets just say that everything was pretty strict in our day. (Laughs) My parents were Methodists.
Emma: I don’t know what that is, but that’s what he’s saying.
HH: So everything was very restricted: lots of rules, lots of regulations. I had a brother. But, ever since I was little from a pretty early age I was interested in — ‘cause you have to understand, my Mom and my Dad — they were not the heavy lovey kind of people. No hugs given, ever, there were no kisses given, there was no talk about feelings.
Elisa: That’s terrible!
HH: So everything was very like EH… was very like THAT (makes expression of “Boxed in” or “Square”) And so I was kind of a person who I loved — I wanted hugs, I wanted kisses, I wanted affection and physical contact! But, it was not allowed in my family. There was no touching. So, from a very early age… because I could see other people holding hands, hugging, kissing, and it didn’t happen in my family. So that was very weird in my eyes. And so I got really intrigued about why people do the things they do. Why do we hurt each other? Why do we love each other? So from a very early age I became very fascinated with psychology and the behavior of people. But I was also very much into comic books and super heroes and all of that, you know. In that aspect, I was a pretty normal kid.
HH: But you know I can’t say that my parents didn’t love me. They did. They just didn’t show it! That’s just how it was. So as I grew up, I didn’t want to end up like my parents. I didn’t want to be that way. I needed affection, I needed attention, I needed loving. And so as a kid in school I would be the clown mascot in some way or form. I would always pull out pranks and squeeze the girls’ tushies and things like that!
Elisa: Awwww… Of course you would, yeah!
HH: But it was my way of seeking connection, seeking a physical touch. I needed that! But yeah, I was the clown of the whole class and humor was my way of feeling comfortable in a social environment. You know, everything was so different from the home situation… I wanted to be loved, I wanted to be seen, I wanted people to adore me in some way or form. That wasn’t ego; it was just a lack of human connection. I needed it.
Elisa: Everybody wants connection! Now what motivated you to found and publish Playboy and the entire enterprise?
HH: Well I loved writing. That was one of my things, I loved drawings little cartoons and things like that. And so I did go into, although I have a bachelors’ degree in psychology, I also did classes on writing and things like that. And so I started a job where I was publishing a few things here and there, but I wanted to be my own boss, I wanted to be in charge of what I was allowed to write. Because it’s so ‘you can’t write this, you can’t write that’!
Emma: It feels like he was in kind of a restrictive working environment and he really didn’t like that.
HH: So I did what I always dreamt I was gonna do. I always knew that I was gonna publish something myself. I needed to wake up the people; I needed to have my voice heard. I wanted to change things about society because I didn’t like the way that when it came to physical contact, when it came to sex, when it came to love and all of that it was so restrictive. And it was really controlled by church, you know.
HH: You weren’t allowed to have sex until you got married, and if you did you were a sinner. You weren’t allowed to do this, women weren’t allowed to be Sexy. You know, NO, you had to cover yourself up, decent, no cleavage. And even in the daily life, it was the man who decided when they were gonna have sex, how it was gonna be like. Women didn’t have a lot of option in those days. And I know for people now that seems very hard to understand. But it really WAS that way!
HH: You know was in after World War II kind of mode and that’s how it was. You know before that when the war was going on there was actually a lot more freedom in sexuality and in all that.
Elisa: Oh yeah!
HH: The men were fighting and so the women had to take over and kind of took over society for a little bit. But as soon as all of that was over they went back to being the perfect housewives and you needed to be the perfect husband. And everything was supposed to be according to rules. And I wanted to liberate that; I wanted to get rid of that: those really strict rules and regulations. ‘Cause it didn’t make ANYONE happy! Women were miserable in their sexual relationships and men were also miserable. And they didn’t know how to fix it because (whispering) the women weren’t supposed to talk about sex!
Elisa: What do you think about women in general?
HH: Now see, I know that a lot of people think that I was this horn dog and that I didn’t really appreciate women; that I didn’t care for them…
Elisa: Oh no!
HH: …that I was just using them… A lot of people DO think that. But it was really on the other end. I adored them! I saw them as the more powerful… human being, lets just call it that. They were very strong; they were very creative — a lot more creative than men are! And so for me, I really had a fascination for them. They really intrigued me. I wanted to get into their psyche, I wanted to understand them. And so I loved women, I really did!
Elisa: That’s awesome! Well, who was the love of your life? If you had to pick one. There’s probably more than one, but if you HAD to say one?
HH: (Laughs) ‘If I have to say one’ … that’s gonna be TOUGH. I loved every woman I was with. Although there were some girlfriends where the love (Emma laughs) went by REAL fast.
Elisa: But you don’t HAVE to pick one if you don’t have to. That’s fine!
HH: Yeah, I don’t. I love them — all in a different way. It’s really hard to say, ‘You were my BIGGEST Love!’ I think MY biggest Love was my Magazine and what I did with it. I know a lot of people think I didn’t do anything (Laughs), but not in my book! The way I see my life review I did a lot of great things for [unintelligible]
Elisa: Oh yeah! (Reading) Now do you think your work aided in the liberation and the empowerment of women or did it contribute to the objectification and suppression of women?
HH: It depends on how you want to look at it.
Elisa: Yeah. What was your intent?
HH: Everyone has their opinion on that. Through me, I gave people — men AND women — the feeling that it was okay to be sexy, it was ok to have fantasies; it was ok to have a sex life that was more than just making babies. It was okay to enjoy sex, to find pleasure in it. That it’s not a sin, it’s part of the human condition, it is part of who we are. And if it wasn’t supposed to be so much fun, it wasn’t going to be created like that. So we are supposed to enjoy it, we’re supposed to. In some way or form it liberates us because it leaves us in a very vulnerable state. So we have to trust the other person really well in order to make a sex life into a great sex life. So it bonds and creates great relationships and trust in each other.
Elisa: So I’m getting that you MEANT it to be liberating and empowering for women, but there are obviously people who would see it as objectification and suppression and therefore it WOULD if they allowed it to.
HH: …and that’s OK.
Elisa: Now, were you really good in the sack?
HH: (Laughs) I was pretty lousy at the beginning and it was women who taught me how to be good. They were my teachers.
Elisa: Good! (Reads) Alright now for decades you were surrounded by more women than most men will EVER experience: Do you think you understood women, or do you think you only saw what you wanted to see? Oh, that’s a GOOD question from a blog member!
HH: Well, I always knew that it was impossible to truly go into every single woman’s psyche because they’re all SO very different and they were all very unique. So, did I 100% completely understand EVERY single one of them? No! Women are very complex beings. The way that they see and experience the world is so much different than a man. And so I did see women from a more man perspective, but I did try to understand the psyche behind their decision-making, behind what they enjoy, and why they do the things that they do.
Elisa: Ok well, what do you think about homosexuality, bisexuality, and things like that?
HH: It’s all Love, so it’s good!
Elisa: I mean, in my opinion Love is Love is Love, okay.
HH: Love is Love!
Elisa: Yeah! Now somebody wrote here that they’ve actually started a memorial with your faces in different stages. Do you think this is a good idea? Do you like it?
HH: It’s not necessary, but if people need that or want that, then that’s okay.
Elisa: I think it’s sweet! (Reads) The women in your life — this is from another blog member, she or he says, the women in your life seem to Love you. Many say you respectfully opened them up to freedom and owning their sexuality. How do you view the current Weinstein scandal from both a human and spiritual perspective? Do you see this bringing real change in the future?
Elisa: It’s not only Weinstein it’s so many in the media, SO many people in Hollywood!
HH: It’s a lot!
Elisa: So, what’s your human and spiritual perspective, perhaps they’re the same?
HH: Well from a human perspective when it comes to respect towards one another, respect towards each other as individuals, whether they are man, whether they are a female, because believe it or not, even men get raped — by women!
Elisa: Oh, yeah!
HH: It happens all the time. Nobody talks about it, but this happens at times. You know I do feel that we all need to respect each other’s boundaries and we need to respect each other’s choices. So when it comes to forceful sex then yeah, I’m against it, I’m against it.
Elisa: Of course!
HH: From my human perspective as well, now I know there was an incident with my very close friend Bill Cosby. He was a very close friend of mine and things did happen with him and girls. That for me was really hard because him and me, we really have been friends for so long so it was really hard for me to say ‘you’re no longer my friend’. However, I didn’t agree with what he did. And I know some of this might have happened even at my mansion without my knowledge, but he always denied it to me. So I kind of tried to you know go, ‘ok’ and tried to stay open to one thing but also open to the possibility that he did do it. So that was really a hard one for me to make a decision. ‘Do I go that direction or that direction?’ So I just tried to stay neutral in this situation. But I want everyone to know that I do feel that we need to respect each other’s boundaries. Now from a spiritual perspective we always need to understand that sometimes these things DO happen for a reason. That sometimes it IS part of a contract. Now, the fact that all these things are now being revealed, that they’re coming out, it’s actually a good thing.
HH: Because it is empowering people to no longer take it and to stand up and to say NO! This has been going on in Hollywood for centuries. Forever and ever, you know.
Elisa: There’s even with Shirley Temple! Shirley Temple when she was little went into the office of a producer and he just unzipped, exposed himself, so —
HH: It’s people with power! If people have power over your career. And it’s really hard to fight that. In some way there’s a lot of fear that your career will be ruined or will never start because of this person. So it’s a good thing that it’s being exposed. You know, and this is a little bit off this subject, but I just want to mention that a lot of people are asking right now, ‘Why are all these bad things happening? Why is there such a mess?’ But you know what, it is all happening so we could learn and experience, ‘Hey, we don’t want this! We don’t what that. We don’t want this.’ We need to know what we DON’T want so we can then move forward into a direction of what we DO want. And that is why we’re experiencing so much negativity at this moment and why it’s all being revealed as well.
Elisa: I think it’s great! It’s teaching people to be mostly honest with others and set boundaries. And this one person that came forward, if all the other women encouraged to come forward… now I WILL say that I’m VERY disappointed in people like Jane Fonda who KNEW this was going on and didn’t say a thing. And I think she is complicit. People like her should be complicit in the damage, like the rapes etc. that happened when she was already aware of this. She could have saved a LOT of women from being abused and raped. I think she should be criminally charged for that and others like her. You CAN’T just look away! You can’t look away KNOWING that other women are going to be abused, molested, raped, etc.
Emma: This is Erik…
Elisa: OH! Erik, I forgot you were there! No, I’m kidding, I’m kidding!
Erik: (Laughing) I’m still here! I know it can seem like you know, why didn’t you say something, why didn’t you protect them, why didn’t you stand up for ‘em. But there’s always a fear factor attached to it. And so yeah, that’s not an excuse, however just understand that when it does happen you have to make a choice for yourself: Do I get involved or do I not? And whichever choice you choose, it is your free will. And it will come back to you in some way or form. It will affect you later on with maybe guilt, with maybe a lot of questions. So we should respect their choices as well if they wanted to stay out of it.
Elisa: I couldn’t respect it! I mean she was already famous. Even if she wasn’t and could’ve lost her job, I would not think twice about reporting him to the authorities if I knew that he was doing that and would continue to do that. It’s not right!
Erik: Unfortunately not everyone thinks that way, and that’s OK. That’s okay, it’s part of their learning process as well, so that’s okay.
Elisa: Were you friends with Michael Jackson? Do you think he molested those children, those little boys?
Emma: Is this for Erik or is this for Hugh?
Elisa: Oh, Hugh — or either, I don’t care…
HH: I did know him. When it comes to the children he did do some things that from a human perspective would be considered inappropriate, but it was more touching than anything else.
Elisa: Well maybe it was just affection. Do you think it’s mostly just affection or do you think it was it like pedophilic?
HH: I think there was a deep need of love and there was a deep need of connecting to the child that was inside of him because he was never allowed to be a child.
Elisa: That’s true. Okay. Yeah, I don’t think that he did anything nefarious. I think that he just wanted to regain his childhood; the things that he never got to enjoy.
HH: Cuddle; and there might have been some hands touching somewhere, but that’s just part of the cuddling process sometimes.
Elisa: Yeah. So I don’t think — it wasn’t lust then?
HH: (Shakes head no) It doesn’t feel like it was a sexual thing at all.
Elisa: Okay. What about Bill Clinton were you friends with him? Was he at your mansion?
Emma: (smiles) He makes me feel like he does know him. He feels like he’s protecting him right now… if that’s okay.
Elisa: Yeah, that’s fine. You can say or not say whatever you want.
Do you plan to reincarnate?
HH: Not at this moment. I’m not incarnated yet. From your linear perspective, do I come back? Yes, of course.
Elisa: Okay. All right. What are you doing in the afterlife right now?
HH: I’m still adjusting. I’m still getting guidance. Trying to readjust to the new body, to the new environment, to my new super psychic abilities. (Laughs)
Elisa: Oh okay! What was your transition like?
HH: It was very soft, is what I would call it. It almost felt like…
Emma: He’s showing me like a big pillow and he would just land on it really softly and then he would hop up and land a little bit further. It’s almost like he’s in space! (Emma laughs) You know how they walk on the moon?! It feels like he just crossed over into a very soft environment. Looks like clouds, but it feels like he’s just hopping from cloud to cloud.
HH: It was so peaceful. Everything just drops off: All the worries, all the stress, everything from the past seems to slowly disappear. You don’t forget it, but the energies that are attached to everything you’ve done disappear. That energy gets completely neutralized and you just go into a very positive feeling. And I was greeted by my spiritual team first.
Elisa: Oh, really?
HH: I was! I went straight to the spiritual team.
Emma: They’re explaining things, talking to him, almost like a therapist in a way.
HH: After that, my environment around me — so I was in this white room where they were communicating to me, where I was seeing my life’s review and all of a sudden when all of that was being processed the environment around me just dissolved. Like it was air that just faded away, like smoke. What I could see around me: a very bright, very green kind of environment. And I could see people that I had known over the years. My parents were there, my brother was there, my first wife was there, some of the women that worked with me. A lot of familiar faces were just kind of waving at me from far away. And I slowly went towards them trying to figure out how to move. I figured out that you just have to kind of not take a step anymore, but you just have to “think” that you’re stepping. (Laughs)
Elisa: Oh wow, that’s s so weird!
HH: That was a new experience for me, not taking the physical steps.
Elisa: Yeah! Well I want to regress one more time to Bill Clinton. Are you not going to divulge anything about Bill Clinton to protect ME, or to protect him? Or both, I don’t know?
HH: Lets just say that his journey on this planet isn’t over yet and it’s still going to be important and we do not want to in some way or form change the perspective of how people see him as of now.
Elisa: Okay! That’s fine. So it was all green. Are you talking about your afterlife looks like kind of a park?
HH: Yeah it looks more like I was in a forest.
Elisa: Oh! Okay. Kinda like Erik I think had the same – similar thing.
What was your life review like?
HH: I thought it was extremely positive! I was very happy, I’m extremely happy with my life. I know a lot of people say ‘I am very happy with everything that I experienced and I experienced so much! I had a very eventful life. There was just one thing after another. There were just so many people. I connected with so many people. I did a lot of things that I’m very proud of. I liberated America from the restrictive sex cube. I was also anti-discrimination. When I started my TV show “The Playboy Mansion” I would invite Colored people: singers, you know whoever to come and join us. We would be playing together, working together, eating, drinking together. In those days Colored people and white people did not mingle.
Elisa: Oh, no. Yeah, that’s awesome.
HH: There was no eating together, there was no drinking together, so I was very much attacked by white people because I did that. Because I had Black Bunnies! Black Bunnies, Oh my God are you crazy?
Elisa: That’s just terrible.
HH: I’m very proud of that. I didn’t see there was a separation. In my mind there was no separation. I was pro gay rights. There was just so many little things that I did for people that people don’t even notice. There was a man once that I had heard of. Because he had gotten a blowjob he was sent to prison. Because he got a blowjob, people! That’s how bad it was in those days.
Elisa: Just from a black woman?
HH: No! This was a white person. And he got a blowjob and he was thrown into jail because ‘that’s not done’. ‘Jesus will condemn you!’ So he literally went to jail for that. And so when I heard about that I wrote an article about that and about how crazy our society is for doing that to a person. And because of my article he was released from jail!
HH: Most people might not know that, but I did!
Elisa: Yeah! Okay so you built this empire by marketing a liberal view of sexuality and we know how that developed because of your childhood in part. Is there anything in your life you’re conservative about?
HH: Well, I always liked to consider myself really a romantic. I was all about opening the doors to women, I was all about buying them flowers and gifts. So in that aspect I was very traditional in wooing a lady. So I do consider myself a romantic. When it comes to the rest I was very liberated in my thinking — Too liberated for my time. And so I did get a lot of struggle. And to this day we’re still being boycotted by governments, by activists, by feminists…
Elisa: Right wing Christians probably?
HH: Right! It’s just a lot of different groups that are still trying to boycott us. Ever since the 80’s the boycotting got really bad. Even now if you look at the Internet you can find a little bit of Playboy, but it’s not as popular as let’s say some of the other things. So we’re still being boycotted in some way or form. And that’s also why the magazine got less and less popular. We started selling less magazines. Because you started having the sex tape business, and you started having the Internet and all of that. So our sales would go down, but we were in some way or form always kind of boycotted out of that Internet thing. But that’s starting to change now.
Elisa: I don’t think you were ever into the real hard porn. The real raunchy stuff.
HH: I was not about porn. You have to understand, in our days a man’s magazine was all about being a hero. And it was all about men going off on adventures without their women, doing things, hunting and this and that. And what I really wanted to do with Playboy — it really was a romantic connection between the sexes, but from a man’s point of view.
HH: That’s really what the intention was. And also I think because I had my Bunnies in all of that, women all of a sudden seemed to be allowed to be sexy, and to have their own fantasies and to have their own desires. That’s what it really was about. It really was a man’s perspective, I’m not gonna deny that. It wasn’t from a female’s perspective; it was from a man’s perspective.
Elisa: Of course!
HH: But if you look at the interviews and you look at what is in the magazine, it’s always a very famous person, a very influential man that was being interviewed: Martin Luther King, Jr., Nixon…
Emma: He just started summing up a whole bunch, but he’s going too fast. I can’t keep up! (Laughs)
Elisa: (Laughs) Yeah!
HH: And it was all about what men enjoyed, what men loved. So it is from that really manly kind of perspective. But it wasn’t about demeaning women, but it was about showing them that they ARE sexy, they’re allowed to be sexy, and men are allowed to have fantasies! It’s not a sin! You’re not gonna be struck down by lighting because you have a naughty thought! So THAT’S what my magazine was all about.
Elisa: And hey, we have Cosmo and Playgirl!
One last question and then we’ll do the rest in part two, people: Why Bunnies?
HH: That wasn’t the original idea. The original idea, it was supposed to be called Stag Party. And it was supposed to be a stag. It was supposed to be a —
Emma: He’s showing me like a deer.
HH: That’s the original idea, but there was already a magazine that was called Stag. And there was going to be conflict in rights on the name so we had to change it.
(Laughing) Believe it or not the Bunny, it was seems cute, fuzzy, but still kind of naughty for some reason. And I’m gonna tell you something that I don’t tell a lot of people, but when I was a little boy I had a blankie —
Elisa: Awwww! Don’t worry we won’t tell anybody, will we Emma?!
Emma: I swear to God I won’t say anything!
HH: It was red and blue and it had a bunny on it. And I’ve had that blankie forever. And so, you know, masturbation in those days was a NO, NO! When your mother found you masturbating you would get punished, you would get beat — that was the devil inside of you — that needed to go! For some reason I was connected to that bunny, to you know, kind of the sexual adventures of me. ‘Cause I would do it underneath the blankie… (Laughing)
Elisa: Oh my God, how cute! Your secret is safe with us.
Well, that’s a great place to end off, thank you SO much! If you don’t mind we’ll ask you to come in next week, is that OK with you?
HH: That’s fine by me!
Elisa: You’re my new idol! You’re awesome!
Thank you so much, Emma. Thank you Erik. We’ll get you to ask him a question or two.
Emma: I can’t get this picture of him under his blanket out of my head! (Laughing)
Elisa: Ooooooh! Yeah probably the blanket makes it look like the bunny’s jumping. (Emma nods while laughing) Anyway, we won’t go there!
Thank you Erik for bringing in Hugh. Thank you so much for your enlightening words. I love you guys!
Erik: Love you! Bye!