I keep turning a thought over and over in my head: What would we think of Hugh Hefner if he was 27 years old today and just founding Playboy? The concept would be utterly ridiculous – more so than it was in 1953. Back then, you could pretend that a respectable man would be interested in stories by Vladimir Nabokov and also ogling pictures of naked women. Today, pornography is a cardinal sin of the soixante-huitard – even more so than in, say, the Catholic Church. Catholics can go to confession and be absolved for ‘deliberately taking pleasure in impure thoughts.’ But for a Labor pollie, say, or a Sydney Morning Herald columnist? They’d be ex-communicated.
The reason’s perfectly obvious. Pornography has always been anti-woman, but feminists have only just recently begun to understand why. The majority of ‘adult actresses’ – a wonderfully Orwellian euphuism – suffered from childhood sexual abuse or drug addiction. Millions of women join the profession as single mothers, who need to make a comfortable living for a few hours’ work a week. And many start using drugs because they need to have sex even when they’re not in the mood; otherwise, their bills don’t get paid and their children don’t eat. They’re not raped in the legal sense, but they have sex unwillingly, which can be just as damaging psychologically. In other words, porn’s the closest we’re ever going to get to the Patriarchy: a $4 billion industry that survives only by exploiting vulnerable women for men’s carnal pleasure.
How, then, did Hefner survive? He was a master of changing with the shifting currents of sex politics. He’s been “in the winner’s circle” (to quote one distinguished parliamentarian) as a matter of principle, wherever that circle may be. He was a pioneer in that movement of journalists, politicians, and activists – those that now control the federal Liberal Party, as they’ll loudly boast in the trendiest bars in Melbourne – who see it as their duty, not to lead, men, but to indulge them. So, in 2012, he took up the cause of same-sex marriage, calling it ‘a fight for all our rights.’ ‘Without it,’ he continued, ‘we will turn back the sexual revolution and return to an earlier, puritanical time.’ It’s hard to say which is stranger: a pornographer championing matrimony, or the idea that monogamy is a bulwark against ‘puritanism’? It’s almost enough to make one nostalgic for the free-love movement. At least that was consistent. Old Man Hefner, with his pipe and ascot, with his sprawling mansion full of silicone prostitutes, banging on about the vital importance of marriage? That’s just sad.
Even the charge of ‘puritanism’ is dated. The Left is terrified of human sexuality. Don’t believe me? Read any of the articles written in the last five years explaining why it’s ‘transphobic’ for straight men to reject advances from ‘pre-op trans-women’, i.e. dudes in skirts. Sure, his anatomy is 100 percent male. But his mind is female. The goddess lives within him. So, if his penis turns you off, it’s because you suffer from a profound moral defect. The same goes with ugly women (lookism) and chubby women (fatism). Sex is thereby reduced to a purely political act. It’s not about reproduction. It’s not even about pleasure. It’s about virtue-signaling. To call it ‘puritanical’ is an insult to the Puritans. I don’t blame Hefner for failing to keep up with these trends. It’s impossible for one person to go from sophisticated masturbator to free-lover to gay marriage activist to post-sexualist in a single lifetime. And Hugh knew his limits, if not as a moral agent than at least as a businessman. Playboy dropped its nudes in March 2016, only to bring them back a year later. They couldn’t survive without the elderly perverts who don’t know how to use the Internet but still want to… erm, read interviews with Matthew McConaughey.
But Playboy’s days are numbered. They’ve never actually had a readership – just a wankership. And even that’s dying out. ‘I’ll be the first to admit that the way in which the magazine portrayed nudity was dated, but removing it entirely was a mistake,’ said Cooper Hefner, Playboy’s dauphin, on reversing the decision to restore the smut. I’d love to see how they decide to depict porn in a more ‘contemporary’ way. Will they follow the Internet’s violent, barbaric lead? Or will they feature spreads of flabby men wearing wigs and lipstick, in order to (ehem) arouse the interests of the post-sexual Left? The possibilities are endless, and they’re all disgusting.
All of which is evidence of my theory that cultural counter-revolution is inevitable. The Hefner/Playboy saga illustrates all the depravity, illogic and inconsistency of Cultural Marxism. We’ve tried so hard to find an alternative to one man and one woman, joined together for life; each and every time, we’ve failed spectacularly. Yesterday’s feminists are today’s patriarchs. Last year’s liberationists are this year’s monogamists. I assume we’ll have to give polygamy a go, but that will probably be the end of it. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I don’t foresee Westerners embracing bestiality, incest or paedophilia. In any event, we’re running out of combinations. Eventually, we’ll get discouraged (or bored) and go back to the Judeo-Christian model.
Anyway. RIP Hugh Hefner, King of Pimps. They don’t make ‘em like you anymore, nor should they. Unfortunately, they make ‘em a whole lot worse. Hopefully you took some consolation from watching a rich old guy with a supermodel wife move into the White House. I’m just glad you didn’t live to see the Federalist’s obituary: ‘Hefner’s work celebrates the sexual complementarity that has bound men and women together since the dawn of time.’ What a cruel joke to make at a dead man’s expense. It’s always depressing to see a revolutionary live long enough to become a reactionary.
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