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May 24, 2024 46 mins

In part two of our look at Hugh Hefner and Playboy, we chat with Bridget Todd about packaging the controlling of women's liberation and empowerment, and what it means to take in the true scope of this legacy.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Hey, this is Anny and Samantha and welcome to Stuff
One Never Told You production If I Heart Radio. And
welcome to the second part of the two parter accidental
two parter that we did with bridget Todd, great friend

of the show about Hugh Hefner and legacy of Hugh Hefner.
We just got going and there was a lot to say,
so much to say. Yeah, so we had to split
it up. Go listen to part one if you haven't already, it.

Speaker 2 (00:41):
May be confusing. If you don't, it might be.

Speaker 1 (00:44):
It might be, but then come back.

Speaker 2 (00:46):
And just kind of like the last one. If you did,
listen to the part one of this accidental Part two
that I Am So Infamous for of the Legacy of
Hugh Heffner. Content warning for all the things we are
going to talk about, examples of sexual assault, rape, drug abuse, soliciting, trafficking, death, murder,

like all the things. It is all up in here.
It is as gruesome as you think. It is pretty horrifying.
Not to discourage you, but to let you know what's
coming up. Of course, we're going to have a pretty
detailed conversation about some of the implications this does leave behind.

Speaker 1 (01:22):
So in the last episode, we were deep into conversation
about Hugh Hefner and Playboy and the exploitation and trafficking
and abuse that was happening there, and how controlling so
much of it was, and how the pr machine really

did a great job at hiding it or repackaging it
making it look really nice. So we are going to
jump in right where we lie off and dig into
that a little bit more.

Speaker 3 (02:05):
Some of the most disturbing stuff that I recall from
these memoirs is what it was like to be sexual
with you, and what it was like as one of
the one of his girlfriends in the house. The ways
in which you had to mold yourself to this very
specific version of a woman's sexuality that is being dictated

by Hub and Hugh alone is wild. Probably the most
shocking thing that haunts me to this day. It haunts
me is a revelation that during these orgies, rather than
using lubricant like a water based lube that you bite
from the store, a ky jelly, Hugh Hefner insisted on

using baby oil. If you have a vagina, you know
that scented baby oil in your vagina is the most
horrific thing I can imagine these women would be getting
regular vational infections while having to have sex with you,
Hefner Knightley. They pleaded with the woman who was sort

of like in charge of doing his bidding, like.

Speaker 4 (03:12):
Please let us just use regular lube.

Speaker 3 (03:14):
We're all getting vational infections and we're all having sex constantly,
And they would sometimes try to switch it out, like
they would put lube in the baby oil bottle.

Speaker 4 (03:23):
But somehow Hugh always knew.

Speaker 3 (03:25):
And That's what I'm saying, Like, you are so committed
to this very specific visualization of what this sexual fantasy
is like that you don't even care that it is
preventing you from being able to like actually have sex
because the.

Speaker 4 (03:40):
Women will always have vational infections.

Speaker 3 (03:42):
Crystalline here her memoir talks about how it got so
bad that she would have anal sex with him when
it was her night to have sex with him, because
it was like, well, that was like a million times
better than just getting a bad vational infection from this
baby oil in my vagina.

Speaker 2 (03:57):
Oh my god, like that just it just sounds like again,
this is just control, Like this has nothing to do
with actual pleasure or any of that for him, Like
this doesn't really change much from like a good lubricut
versus baby oil. That this is just about oh I
want this because I said this, that they can change
this this and again that's a form of control and

abuse that happens so often within relationships, which, by the way,
like even for interviews, and I think these things were
coming out a lot before these documentaries and memoirs that
people just randomly, Yo, we got a thousand dollars a week.
We had to go ask for it, and we knew
we asked for it. You know, it meant that he's
gonna give us a chart and rating, and that we

couldn't leave. We left, we had to have people with us, obviously,
but he gave us everything. He gave me a car,
he gave me a dog, and we had a salon
for a little while until we abused it, I guess.
But people were normally this is like, yeah, okay, that's
what you agreed with, right mention, and not anybody saying yo,
that's not cult like yo, that's that's like a literal ring,

Like what is happening? This is the most controlling tactic
that we if we saw that in our friends in relationship,
that we'd be like, you're going to get murdered, you
need to leave.

Speaker 4 (05:17):

Speaker 2 (05:18):

Speaker 1 (05:18):
That's one of the things I keep getting hung up
on about this is that we as a society have
co signed on this is okay by being like, oh,
well he did these other things where it's you know,
women so long have been valued on their body, their desirability,
all of that stuff. Here's where you can make money.

But let's like paint it real nice. And one of
the things that I think about a lot is you
started to use feminism. You have never started to use
feminism to be like, see, it's all good for the
women here because of feminism. This was happening at the
time the sexual Revolution, the second way feminism of the seventies,

and there was this backlash against it. But then it's
almost horrifyingly amazing how well the pr of Playboy did
at turning it into well, we've seen the sexual revolution.
You ladies just want to have sex right.

Speaker 4 (06:20):
Here you go.

Speaker 1 (06:21):
Now, now we get like a feminist stamp of approval,
which is wild.

Speaker 4 (06:29):
You ladies want reoccurring vational infections, right.

Speaker 2 (06:36):
I mean, they really wanted to tell to pretend like
as long as you're not in the kitchen and raising children.
This is feminists, which is kind of that big conversation
with what was kind of wrong with feminism at that
point in time and being like, this is not what
this is not all feminism. This is not what we
were saying when we said equality not to be like
just because you give us at you pay us to

not have children and to not have for some of
us and not being in the house and have a
job that is atypical and I'm quoting jobs or doing
things where I can show something proudly where my you know,
other people would be shamed of. This is not necessarily
what we're talking about in feminism. There was an article
with New Statesmen talking about his co opting of feminism

for his empire, and it says if you ask Hugh Hefner,
he'll tell you he was a feminist before there was
such a thing as feminism. And again, it's just one
of those narcissistic things where like I did this before you, Hey, women,
I saved you. You're welcome.

Speaker 3 (07:33):
And also is the saying he was doing this before
women like Mary wolste Greg Like, what.

Speaker 4 (07:37):
Does that even mean?

Speaker 3 (07:38):
That's right, just not true. There's no way, that's true.
You didn't start the feminist movement, mat.

Speaker 4 (07:44):
My guy, like you just didn't.

Speaker 2 (07:45):
It's not your thing. This is not you and continue.
This week, Cosmopolitan republished He's love letter to himself, arguing
that feminism was his own worst enemy. So we're guessing
this is around the time they're like, yo, this is
not feminism, sh being the true source of women's liberation. Everybody,
he writes, if they got their head on straight, wants
to be a sexual object. This piece was originally published

in two thousand and seven, but have been making the
same argument since the nineteen sixties, and in fact, the
magazine did promote their own version of women's lib back then,
supporting reproductive rights and of course, sexual liberation. The Playboy
Foundation even donated generously to abortion rights organizations and the
American Civil Liberties Union ACLU to fund daycare centers. Longtime

senior editor NTT. Lehrman said the magazine quote came out
on these important feminist issues before feminists had figured out
what their issues were.

Speaker 5 (08:44):
Wow, just to know, I do have to say we
talked about Playboy in our book, because yes, they in
part helped with the putting together of rape kits, which
is something that we must live with.

Speaker 1 (08:59):
I don't know what to do about I don't know
what to do about it.

Speaker 2 (09:06):
Yes, but in that same article they do kind of
call it out and say claiming to support women's rights
while simultaneously insisting on our objectification was unconvincing for the
second wave. But the times they are changing, and the
kind of feminism presented to today's liberal doesn't seem so
far off from the magazine's ethos. In an era that
ascribes empowerment to everything from breast implants to new selfies

to pole dancing classes, and when the hardest conversation of
twenty fourteen was Beyonce's feminism, it only makes sense that
the magazine, when it doubled down on their efforts to
capitalize on the movement. Playboy's existence relies on the notion
of women as sexually liberated proponents of free love. As such,
the introduction of the birth control pill in America was
deeply connected to not only women's liberation, but to the

sexual revolution. Women can now have sex like men, no
streams attached. Playboy was crafting a version of women's lib
that was, in the end still male centered. Women were
permitted to be sexual, but within the confines of a
one dimensional view of sexuality that had to in the
end satisfy men. So there's so many points to this,
because any you and I have talked about this repeatedly,

how to the point that Bumble fumbled their thing. We
just recently had an episode about how, say, chassidy is
not going to be the thing, y'all, you're not going
to stick to that come on type of thing to
come after women who have decided to stop having sex,
or about celibacy or whatever what, or women who are
just a sexual that had come into a criticism of

that that that being a sexual or vowing celibacy is
also like almost anti feminists in some certain realms, like
now that we have our sexual liberation to go backwards
quote unquote and not having sex, you know that that
extreme version which is like no, but we're talking about
choice here, which is so often gets left off the

table in conversation and in this level of like, yes,
they played so hard upon it that they shame you
for not being okay with it.

Speaker 1 (11:11):
Yes, it's the damned if you do, damned if you don't.
If you're a woman, if you have sex, you're a slut.
We're not going to believe you if you say you've
come forward about Hugh Hefner. If you don't have sex,
then you're approved, and Hugh Heffner wouldn't want you run away.
And they say that like it's a threat. But unfortunate,

I mean, unfortunately, we are taught like sexual desirability is
a thing and you should want it. Not you should want,
but you feel like you should. And I've spoken about
that my experience with that too. But it is so
bizarre to me that when we're having this conversation, it's
just like we're trying to make ourselves feel better about

rape culture. That's just what it feels like to me,
is that we're trying to make ourselves feel better about
the fact that women are still mostly judged on their
body and their use and their desirability towards men. And
Hugh Hefner is a good guy, so you should go

with it. And here's all these examples examples as to
why we can feel okay about it.

Speaker 4 (12:20):
That's just.

Speaker 6 (12:23):
That's the vibe, right, I think the lean in well
that again, I have to say this again about corporations anyway,
in general, the way they co op things for their
own for capitalism, like in general, whether it's the queer
movement LGBTQ month or whether it's like Black History Month,

whether it's Women's Month, they do things for name only
in order to gain more power. And this sexual liberation
was a reach for power.

Speaker 3 (12:55):
And it's no coincidence that they are the ones financially benefiting.

Speaker 4 (13:00):
So it's like convincing us to be.

Speaker 3 (13:03):
Super cool with our own exploitation and being a cog
in this machine of rape culture. They cash a check
from that, right, and so it's like it's it's just
it's just exploitation the whole way.

Speaker 4 (13:15):
Down, right.

Speaker 2 (13:26):
I did find the interesting conversation about Gloria Stein I'm
going undercover as a bunny, and she talked about her
experience and how immediately from jump she was like, yeah,
this is not good. Yeah, the costumes are bad. I'm
goned at the first thing I was told. I was like,
the first thing someone yelled at me as I walked
into the club was bunny, Bunny, come here by men,

of course. And then one of the things that they touted,
and they didn't really talk much about this part in
the documentary. I don't know if you had any in
their memoirs that yes, they actually got pretty good pay.
So I think they were paid the equivalent like two
to three hundred dollars a week, which would equal out
to be about seventeen hundred to twenty six hundred dollars
I guess today in its value. I don't know if

that's true or not, but the amount that they had
to pay back to the club for the upkeep actually
took home a lot less. They had to pay for
their own shoes, they had to pay for any mending
of their costume. They had to pay for like any appearance,
upkeep the nylons, their stocking or pante hose, whatever, tights. Now,

I don't know, He's been called so many things, their makeup,
all of the different things they're like standards or beauty.
So whether that's getting facials or nails done, or hair
done or whatever, they had to upkeep because if they
did not upkeep those things they were done, they would
be demoted and moved around. They did talk about the
fact that the costumes, if you did not fit into

their costumes, you had emotions and you were suspended until
you could. So at one point a woman came in.
She talked about the fact that they're like, you look cute,
but you need to lose ten pounds by the next
Monday to get into the costum or you're not going
to be here.

Speaker 7 (15:07):
It's like, I mean, if it was like on Monday,
next Monday, I have to assume a seven days.

Speaker 2 (15:19):
Right, right, it was a four time obviously, like no
matter what. The longest she had was like ten days, right,
Like it was absurd, and like they made sure that
that was the point. They were talking about how their
shoes were so tight or small that they would take
their feet, blit bloody feet, put it into their toilet
and flush the commode repeatedly to get cold water and

get the swelling down so that they could spit back
into their shoes and go back out. They had the
bunny bend. Did you read about this at all? Which
where because the corset it's so tight, but you had
to One of them showed an example where they're facing
away from the table. They're slightly cocked to the side,
but they have to dip lean back a little bit

with the drink in their hand all the way down
and then put it on the table as if you
like a contortionist, but never facing the table. It was
the most absurd thing that I ever heard in my life.
I was like, that looks so like and she was
an older woman showing and I was like, nah, I
can't do that today.

Speaker 4 (16:22):
That's bizarre.

Speaker 3 (16:25):
Yeah, that's something that really strikes me about the memoirs
of some of the more recent women from Girls next Door,
How just how strange some of that stuff is, Like
being in this orbit, some of the expectations are just
bizarre and are cane and specific and just yeah, just

like a really weird, difficult thing to have to maintain
and have your financial livelihood kind of depend on.

Speaker 2 (16:55):
Right, But not only that, this level of like so
they touted again that level of like they protect the women.
So you know, we saw in the article how they
would kick people out if they did these things, if
they asked for these things, if they touched the bunnies.
Apparently that was the like they talked about that rule,
do not touch the bunnies. If you touch the bunnies,
you're kicked out. You cannot have and the only way

you can get into the club was like having a
key or a key ring specifically, and like that's how
you get in and you get the drinks and all
these great things. Is a big show. You're someone someone
if you got these things. But if you touch the bunnies,
you're out. But two, there was a twofold where yeah,
that happened in the club. The minute they were outside

of that club, it was done. They had no security,
they had no one follow out. Even if the women
reported that they were being stalked by someone or that
if someone was coming after them, they did not care.
They were like, eh, literally someone who was a bunny
mother who essentially like was the boss or manager, but
you know, you have to give a cute name. Bunny mother,
of course, was how I was told by several women

that they were being follo, They're being stalked. They were
afraid for their lives, They're afraid that they're going to
get kidnap, they're afraid they're going to be assaulted. And
when she would tell the security team, they're like, Eh,
it's not our problem. Outside of the club. They're big girls.
They can handle themselves. Literally being told that, she's like what.
So they would try to write these incidents about what
was happening. Some of the big some of the people

in documentary. But on top of that, there was another
level of being in the club that was a card,
so think like gold card or like one of those
metal cards, in which they were given unlimited access and
they could do whatever they wanted, and they did. Now
they would never co worce the women necessarily, but they
were encouraged to flirt a lot and take it as

you will type of conversations. And when incidents would happen,
instead of helping, giving therapy, protecting, they women were fired
and they had what they called the cleanup crew to
come and fix the situation. So whether it's to make
sure to hush people up or to put it under
the radar, because they did not need negative things about

their clubs or any of the people. They talked about.
One of the hosts of the Soul Chain taking a woman,
kidnapping her and logging her up in his room, and
the only way she was able to escape was she
had called them and she was able to get out
and say, hurt another person. But he was still allowed
at the club. He was never revoked because he was

so high in the level.

Speaker 1 (19:28):
Yeah, I mean, that's that's just such a level of disposable, right,
how we see women as disposable. Once you age out,
once you can't do this move, once you're not desirable anymore.
You're just not important to us other than the money
that you can make us.

Speaker 2 (19:46):
Right, if you've been used up and you're going to
cause us trouble. And this is again like I want
to vomit just saying those words, but those are the
terms that go through. And if you're going to cause
us money, make us, give us a loss of money,
you're nothing to us. Goodbye.

Speaker 3 (20:01):
When Kendra on Girls next Door asked to be paid
to be on the show, they were like, we're not
going to pay you. You're all replaceable and disposable, and
that like that idea of replaceability that there's you know,
a bunch of women who would kill to be here
that'll take your spot like that if you can plain
or cause us trouble. How much that was used to

keep the whole thing going, Like, it's so interesting hearing Sam,
hearing you describe what it was like in these clubs
in the sixties and seventies and how that same thing
was being used in the nineties and two thousands to
continue to silence and keep these women doing what they
wanted right.

Speaker 2 (20:42):
Yeah, there were some other stories that I was just like,
my god, like some of the things where like people
were actually arrested, but again the women were just fired
and everybody was told to be quiet, and no one
knew about it. Even the people who worked in the
same clubs and like would hear like legends of things
and be like what I didn't know this, what is happening?
And then the other to this is to me? And

I find this interesting because I'm sure you caught up
on this in the memoirs. If whatever reason Hugh Hefner
lost control of a person for the next round of relationships,
he upped the ante, like he would do ten times more.
Because I remember the Shannon Twins talking about the fact
that she was like, okay, when we came in, Holly

would talk about her her experiences, and then when the
Shannon Twins come in would be like, oh, yeah, we
couldn't do that anymore. They wouldn't let us have that
because it caused for Holly to be able to leave
or Kendrick to be able to leave, and so Hugh
Hefner would twist that up so that would be harder
and harder for people to leave.

Speaker 3 (21:42):
Yeah, and the way like yes, and the way that
surveillance was used, like there's only one phone and it's
in the hall, so you can't have any kind of
private conversations. It's like, again, these are not things that
are happening in a living situation where people are there
completely willingly.

Speaker 4 (22:00):
I'm sorry, they're just not right, Like, nobody.

Speaker 3 (22:02):
Surveils my phone calls other than the US government, I
bet certainly not the person that I meant to be
in our relationship with.

Speaker 4 (22:08):
That is not normal. And we were like all watching
that on TV.

Speaker 3 (22:12):
Like oh, this is great, like right, yeah, totally wholesome,
normal stuff.

Speaker 2 (22:18):
It was honestly baffling to go through in these conversations
because obviously I'm bouncing back and forth to his empire
what his empire was doing, which he still like had
heavy hand in. So when it came to like the
Playboy clubs, yes, he had underlings who did what he
wanted without him necessarily coming through and being in the front,

you know, the face of it. But then we have
what's happening with a mansion, with things like girls next
door and the girlfriends and the wives, and the situations
where he is catering or he is creating this chaos
and is the face of this chaos like that, that's
like obviously separate, but both, but the entity of what
the level of powers because it's almost more ominous to

me to hear these stories about the Playboy clubs and
things that would happen and they literally like organized crime
level of covering things up in order to protect this man.
And that was a conversation that was said almost even
those who were advocating for Hugh Hefner specifically was like,
what he didn't know, but they were protecting him like
this level.

Speaker 4 (23:23):
But that's my thing.

Speaker 3 (23:24):
It's like, I understand that what's happening in the clubs
Hugh Hefner, there's an understanding that he is not personally
dictating those policies and all of that happening. But it's
it's obviously related when you look at how similar it
is to how the spheres that he did have a

lot of control over his own domestic sphere, and people
who would say like, oh, well, he didn't know that
was happening, then what is your explanation for his own
home life that he maintained and then hired people to
make sure that it was that it was run to
his liking, and I I just can't see those two

things as unrelated, Like, oh, there happened to have been coercive, exploitative,
possibly illegal behavior happening here, but.

Speaker 4 (24:11):
He had nothing to do with that.

Speaker 3 (24:12):
However, here's some similar behavior happening decades later in his
domestic sphere that was very similar. But obviously there's a correlate,
like a relationship between those twoth spheres.

Speaker 2 (24:22):
You would think it'd be easily like, oh, yeah, Dutt,
connect the dots, but the people who want to advocate
for him so fiercely refuse to look at those connections.
They're like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no no no,
that's not him. They're just trying to pin in that
way is to be a bad guy.

Speaker 4 (24:36):
Oh I get this so deeply.

Speaker 3 (24:38):
I honestly like this might sound weird, but I feel
for those people who really feel they need to uphold
and defend Hugh Hefner. You know, I'm having the same
conversation right now with a lot of people that I
love and respect around Diddy. I think there is something
in our culture where if you have to actually look
at what this person did and represented and the and

what you you were complicit in or thought was cool
or whatever. The work is so hard and the revelation
is so deep that it is that it almost forces you.

Speaker 4 (25:10):
To need jerk be like he would never do that,
and if.

Speaker 3 (25:12):
You did do it, they wanted or something like that,
Like I you know, I think back to this conversation
that one of the Cosby survivors said a black woman
and she was one of the first black women Cosby
survivors to come out on the record and say what
he did to her. And she was having a conversation
with a black man, and you know, this man came

to her and was like, sister, is it true?

Speaker 4 (25:35):
And she was like, I'm so sorry, but.

Speaker 3 (25:38):
Yes, it is like how cruelly we were lied to,
how cruelly we were taken advantage of.

Speaker 4 (25:43):
And I get it.

Speaker 3 (25:44):
I get that peeling back the layers of lies that
you believed that you that you felt empowered by is
difficult work. And I can understand why in the face
of that work you would be like, no, I can't
face that.

Speaker 4 (26:00):
That's too hard.

Speaker 3 (26:01):
I must defend this institution because it would mean looking
at all the times that like people that you would
admired or respected played into this all the times that
you yourself played into it. Like, I really do have empathy
for how hard it is to look at these situations
and see them for what they are, right, But like,
that's the trip of living in our societies. You have

to be willing to come to the table and see
things clearly and have those tough conversations to do that work.

Speaker 2 (26:29):
Yeah, I mean, let's be honest, because I did not realize,
and I don't know why I did not make this
connection that several of the cases and the allegations toward
Bill Cosby originated from the table mansion that I was like,
oh oh oh, because we had one survivor actually speak
about it and went into really sad detail about what
was what happened specifically with him in this level. There's

this other part of this conversation, which is again a
whole other episode in that yes, the likelihood of several
of the people that they talked about and accused out
loud named within the playboad mansion were black men. Again,
we had the soul train I cannot remember his name
host at that point.

Speaker 4 (27:11):
Don Cornelius.

Speaker 2 (27:12):
He was the main Okay, yeah, he was the main
I think host and then the football player, and then
Bill Cosby, and I think the other one was finally
rowand Polanski and yeah right, which is like he's still
technically isn't he still out in about he ran away?

Speaker 3 (27:27):

Speaker 2 (27:27):
Yeah, he's in.

Speaker 3 (27:29):
Europe High Award and like, literally, don't even get me
started about that mother, because literally, celebrities to this day
and twenty twenty four will go out of their way
to be like, well, you know his family was killed
in the Holocaust and did he really do anything wrong?
Like like I am so sorry. People that you like
in respect are on the record like woop be Goldberg

was like, well it wasn't a rape rape Like to
this day, celebrities go out of their way to defend him,
and it makes me want to scream. Yeah, in twenty
twenty four, keep it to yourself, stop talking, keep it
to yourself.

Speaker 2 (28:06):
Stop talking. Why are you why you well keep talking?
I can to avoid each other. Listen now, I haven't
know never to talk to you or look at you
ever again.

Speaker 4 (28:13):
And you're not having my kids around your end. Yeah,
I know every time.

Speaker 2 (28:17):
I see you, I know, oh I know who you are.
I see who you are. But yeah, no, like this
is that bigger conversation is like they are more likely
to separate. And again, because I didn't quite grasp it,
I'm like, oh, it's kind of a prime example. If
Hugh Hefner was kept protected instead of being held liable
for what was happening at the parties that he held, for

the girls that he is supposed to be responsible for,
and I say responsible for, there are his employees, people
he's supposed to be protecting, like all of these things,
and he came out with nothing, Like I really did
not figure this stuff out with that case of like,
oh my god, all these things are awful. This is
all these things. Even with the mention of it, I
was like, he he came out unscathed.

Speaker 3 (28:58):
Yeah, And I want to say something out Cosby because.

Speaker 4 (29:02):
And I don't. I don't want to derail the conversation.

Speaker 3 (29:04):
But Cosby was a known entity to the Playboy Club
and Playboy parties, right. This was when he was making
family friendly comedy and like becoming sort of America's dad.

Speaker 4 (29:19):
Like when I think about the way that Girls next.

Speaker 3 (29:21):
Door was sort of sold A's wholesome and kind of
family friendly, squeaky clean, I keep thinking about Cosby, who
his public image was squeaky clean, wholesome America's dad blah
blah blah while he was going to these Playboy parties.
Like how much it benefits men and allows for men
to build up these these ideas about them in public

that don't square with who they actually are in reality,
and it kind of allows them to test sort of
do this in plain sight, right, like, Oh, I'm a
wholesome guy, but I'm going to the Playboy Club every
night and like sexually assaulting people regularly.

Speaker 4 (29:56):
You know what it's like. And I guess this whole
conversation just goes back to the way that like pr
and media and.

Speaker 3 (30:03):
Doing good things, sometimes all is goes back to creating
this dynamic where men get to do whatever they want
and people.

Speaker 4 (30:12):
Don't ask about it.

Speaker 3 (30:13):
Like there's like the dynamic where it's like, well, don't
tarnish his legacy. It's like, well, I'm not the one
who told him show about the Playboy Club. That was him,
So why can't that be part of his legacy?

Speaker 2 (30:22):
Like that is his legacy? Like as right point, if
he did it, if he's known for it, if he
has been doing things that have like literally destroyed other lives,
that's his legacy. That is a part of his legacy,
and it should be it should be worn as proudly
as he did it, Like that's yeah, Like that's that's
the end of the conversation. And but that's kind of
interesting because it does lead to that other the love

of like Playboy being so wholesome, and this conversation about
the drugs issue like within the Playboy mansion and who
was providing and who was getting, and the conversation of
kueludes yes to that, the fact that Holly again mid
two thousands were like, yeah, he had them in his pocket.

They were called he called them thiye openers. We thought,
like he didn't joke about it, but she said it
so nonchalantly that I'm wondering if she caught herself saying that,
you know, like it really was like he called them
miss thieh openers. And maybe it's just her monotone voice
in general, like she doesn't like except for when she's
like annoyed, but like it just sounded like yeah, of course,

why wouldn't the type of conversation that just blew my mind.
But on top of that this is one of the
drugs that was used throughout a many perpetrator, like many
of the predators who would use different pills like at
that point was the drug of choice for what it
seemed to like be like Hollywood, whether it was Weinstein,
whether it's like all of them like wholla, but it

seemed to be a conversation and it seemed like commonplace
that they just it just was there. It blows my mind.
And in this conversation once again that no everyone is
equating having to use this as rape, like, no one
except for those who are violently raped.

Speaker 3 (32:07):
And I would also add, so I mean, I don't
even know how to put this. If you're Hugh Hefner
and you're in your eighties and you are having sex
with women who are nineteen, and in order to maintain
your ability to do that, you are using Quelus and

that's how that whole thing is happening. How do you
also get to enjoy a public reputation as a you know,
real fox in the bedroom, like oh, like a real
like every like every well, this is such a fantasy,
like right it just I guess That's what I'm saying,
is like how they've been able to build up this
world where it's like yeah, I'm drugging. All the women

have to be drugged to have sex with me, and
I'm enjoying a public image as like the world's best lover.
Like those two things can't be possible except for in
this fantasy land that you built up around yourself.

Speaker 2 (33:02):
I don't know. My image of him has never been
that he was a good lover. It was just it
was accessible.

Speaker 4 (33:08):
Oh my god, in some of these memoirs like he.

Speaker 3 (33:12):
Well, first of all, how good of like if you're
getting a vaginal infection, Nope, that's not sexy, But yeah,
he is having sex with these like young hot women.

Speaker 4 (33:21):
The women.

Speaker 3 (33:21):
Fun fact, when they would have these orgies, they were
a lack because you might be thinking like, well, maybe
the women are having sex with each other and like
they're getting something out of it if like he is
not performing good. They were only able to have simulated
lesbian sex with each other.

Speaker 4 (33:36):
They could not, like they could.

Speaker 3 (33:38):
Not actually kiss each other or do things with each other.

Speaker 4 (33:41):
The women they had to just sort of pretend.

Speaker 3 (33:43):
So even even that is like yeah, yeah, you really
wanted to make sure these women got nothing out of
this encounter that it was as humiliating and unpleasant physically as.

Speaker 4 (33:51):
Possible as possible.

Speaker 2 (33:53):
Yeah, I mean the young twins when they were talking
Shannon's they were talking about their first experience with Hefner.
They the way they imply was like it was was demeaning,
Like he the first thing he did was obviously whatever
was his fantasy for what Like, it's just a whole
level of like, oh, you just really like decided this

is what needs.

Speaker 3 (34:17):
To be yes, And I guess it goes back to
what you were saying about, like, oh, well, don't women
want to be sex objects? And like, you know, isn't
this liberal liberation where like when the sex is demeaning
and not physically satisfying. It's not like he was like, oh,
let's make this about your pleasure, like you like, yes,
you can be a sex object, So like what do

you want?

Speaker 4 (34:39):
Like, what do you like? What are you what are
your likes? What are you not?

Speaker 3 (34:41):
Like, Let's let's make sure this is about you. That's
not what's going on again. I think there is a
world where somebody somewhere could create an empire that that
truth maybe truly is about a woman's sexual liberation and pleasure. However,
one where what the woman wants is not.

Speaker 4 (34:57):
Does not even come up. Just can't be.

Speaker 2 (34:59):
It right, right, and and there's no mention of that.
I don't even think he talks about it within his magazines,
does he?

Speaker 4 (35:06):

Speaker 2 (35:06):
No, no, because he has to give the girl next door
and girl next door can have sex, but they can't
have sexual desire.

Speaker 3 (35:12):
You see, you're at once made into a sex object,
but like in a way unsexed because you're not.

Speaker 4 (35:16):
You were not talking about your desires or what you want.

Speaker 2 (35:19):
Right, And you have to fit our ideas so we
can doman you and we can be the one to
not just the flower, but essentially take that from you.

Speaker 3 (35:31):
It's only liberation if you're being demeaned, ladies, remember that, right.

Speaker 2 (35:46):
Oh my god. And there's so much more that we
need to be talking about because honestly, like this it
went into a deeper conversation about women, apologizing to women
and realizing where they filled each other. In these documentaries again,
Sonia Theodore came into points like I am so sorry
to the women that I brought into this. I did
not know. I was scared and I ruined your life,

like she came in like a full level of conversation
and like to the point that she felt like she
had Stockholm syndrome because she had gone through these things
thinking it was okay, came back year after year after
the year after breaking up with him, having these great relationships,
pretending like telling everyone how great he was, and then
realizing like, wait, this was trauma, which is such a

natural story for everyone. There was one point of the
interview I was telling you about the splits of the
documentary where the journalist is talking to a friend of
hers who was a boxer who posed for Playboy, and
they were she was talking about she could never say
the words rape, She could never say any of these things,
but she said I had to give in because they
saw me as sexual. I was not for Playboy event.

This was for her actual career stuff. But describing an
incident where after the fact she got a lot of
posing for Playboy and being told that she's she's this now,
and she was like, you know, I didn't want to
have sech I told them I didn't want to. This
person was married, but you know, I was a part
of this industry. That's what they expected. I was a
part of their team. So I just went hand gave in,

And the reporter was like, oh, my god, Oh my god.
And they were actual friends and she's like, you never
told me this, you never told me this. She's like,
I wouldn't quite say it's rape. And the friends stopped.
It's like, no, that's rape. You did not want to
do this, And like the woman sat there was like
the athletes sat there and was like okay, like kind
of in that level. But that's what you see playing
out as these different women are talking about these incidents

of like not understanding consent in the first place, not
understanding that what was happening was the level of manipulation,
and then not understanding that they were a part of
the trafficking ring when they were bringing other women in
to be a part of this cycle. So this is
such a big conversation within that. Again, I told about

the one woman who was just going after other women saying,
you're just being a gold digger. You knew what you
were coming into, which again that phrase was said so
many times, Like my heart is racing thinking about it now,
because the phrase is like you knew what they were
we were coming into. They knew what they were going into,
they knew what this was about. Like as if to
validate what was happening, and it's like, but that that

wasn't even like honestly tore into. That wasn't even like
opened up to like that level of conversation in this
documentary because they really didn't have time and they didn't
have the space and the emotional space to really dig
through all of that because kind of like reliving the
stories and saying it out loud was like, oh, these

are the things that happened. But again, like and there
were a couple of accusations of Hugh Hefner forcibly raping women,
which hasn't been said previously, And one one victim spoke
up about what she had gone through and I think
this one hit too close to me like my own

experiences that I almost like threw up, like what she
was talking about through her own childhood, uh, and then
getting to this point with this man who she told
she was told that this was safe, that she was safe,
and then being ripped apart, and then everybody ignoring it
and to the point like she went to a higher
up who was a woman and was like, oh my god,
this happened. She's like, oh, is that all? You're fine?

He's not gonna he's not gonna do anything against you.
You're fine, Like he's not gonna as it would be retaliatory,
or he's not gonna being to you for this. It's fine.
And that was what she had to walk away with.
But like those levels like yeah, he has been personally
accused of raping women. That needs to be said out loud. Uh,
though everybody else wants to dance around this whole like, oh,

you know she had to be talked into a little bit,
or oh we were being paid or whoa, we knew
what we were walking into. Do what I like it?
Did I want to know? Did I have to smoke
a lot of weed? Sure, but we knew, Like that
level that's still coorsion, that is still considered a type
of rape, that is still goods to your will, but
like true levels of like that higher level like yeah,

this dude got away with it. This dude got away
with it. And in these conversations again like the wider
range he may have got like there's allegations of him
being a part of cover ups of deaths, allegations of
cover ups of drug trafficking, like literally, FBI, Like there's

just level though, and you almost tell me like there's
so much of like the anti like anti hero conversations,
especially when it comes to drug use and like almost
like organized crime level that you root for the bad.

Speaker 1 (40:47):
Guys, you know what I mean.

Speaker 2 (40:49):
And that's still that part of you of like huh,
like people would take that and credit him as being cool,
you know what I mean, even though allegations are so gross.

Speaker 3 (41:03):
Yeah, I mean I think that moving drugs, you might
look at that and be like, oh, he really knew
how to do what it took to keep the party going.

Speaker 4 (41:10):
And it's like, well, also.

Speaker 3 (41:14):
Moving women as cargo, as sociable cargo, that part is
le right, like.

Speaker 2 (41:18):
Using them as mules. Yes, yes, it's not quite cool.
This is not the thing. This is not the thing.
But like there's the depths of what goes into the story,
like the depths of like things that are hidden. So
like we also talked about the exploitation that he had taken,
the tapes they had taken, the extra photos and like
all of not only the tapes of them taking pictures

being taken, pictures of which had been released to the
shock of many of the women, especially like the older
women who had told that this would never exist because
that medium hadn't existed at that point or didn't think
they needed that at that point, as now being released
because Playboy sold it without any of the women consenting
nor getting money for it. Once again, and this was
not too long ago, but in the actual videos made

from the security cameras, like from what I gathered, Mickey
Garcia and Sonya Theodore actually came together and started trying
to petition to find out what was happening or what
happened with those videos, because many of them were so
petrified that these would be released and they were told

that it is somewhere in the sea. Now I'm wondering,
like if people heard that and we're gonna try to
find it.

Speaker 4 (42:30):
Oh, I think so.

Speaker 3 (42:31):
I mean something that you said that six with me
is like he got away with it, And I feel
like where we are now in twenty twenty four, I'm happy,
Like I would have said, yes, I remember when he died,
we saw all the conversations about free speech and racial
equity and women's lib and sexual freedom and all of that.

But I and so it does kind of feel like
broadly he got away with it. But I am happy
that we are in a place now where women's voices
are being elevated in this conversation and that we are
actually creating a legacy where maybe he won't get away
with it. Maybe we we'll continue to speak up and
continue to listen to people who speak up and not

just be like, oh, well, they knew what they were
getting into their being paid, and actually have a full
accounting of his legacy. And even for people who like
Hugh Hefner, which obviously I don't think. I don't think
anybody will be surprised that we probably don't fit into
that category. You should be able to contend with his
full legacy. And this is all part of that legacy.

And so if you want to honor who he was,
honor him fully.

Speaker 4 (43:38):
This is part of that.

Speaker 3 (43:39):
Even if you love his free speech and love all
the other things that he's done, don't just take the good.

Speaker 4 (43:45):
Take a full accounting of who the man was.

Speaker 2 (43:48):
Right, right, agreed, And you're right. I think that that's
got to be something that we have to remember, is
that as long as we keep talking about it and
making sure we tell the full story, or at least
the full story as we know it, and continue to
unfold for the sake of all the survivors like those
who are speaking out that we support them by making

sure that we elevate their voice.

Speaker 1 (44:13):
Yes, yes, well obviously we had a lot of thoughts,
we had a lot to say. So, Bridgets, where can
the good listeners find you?

Speaker 3 (44:28):
Well, you can find me at my podcast. There are
no girls on the internet where we were having similar
conversations about the legacy of women and technology and digital media.

Speaker 1 (44:37):
Well, thank you as always, Bridget for being here. We
love having you. Clearly we could go on and on
and on, so thank you so much for taking the time.
And this brings us to the end of our epic
conversation on you Efner. Maybe there will be an epilogue,
as we discussed.

Speaker 2 (44:54):
Yeah, I honestly there's gonna be so much more because
I honestly forgot one big chunk that on Hugh Hefner's
real like the beginning may have been because he was
essentially kind of an in cell like he may have
been essentially an in cel because he changed his whole
perspective on women and what he had to be in

order to get women. So the legend goes, because he
was rejected biogirl in his high school to the point
that he wrote about her for many years later. Wow,
and then this and then that he changed his whole
appearance and his whole like uh I guess out like
his whole personality essentially according to old friends. So yeah,

I think there has to be an epilogue because we definitely,
even with the two hours that we spent in this conversation,
there was so much more that we had left out.
Is intense.

Speaker 1 (45:46):
It's sad how often that is the case of like
a guy gets spurned in high school and then becomes
the founder of Facebook or what have you. Right, that's
not exactly what happened there, but similar well, I look
forward to and I'm nervous about the epilogue. It's always

great to hang out with Bridget, who's so kind with
her time when we kept going and had so much
to say. Listeners. If you have any thoughts about this,
you can contact us. You can email ust Stephanie and
mom Stuff at iHeartMedia dot com. You can find us
on Twitter at mom Stuff podcast, our Instagram and TikTok
at stuff We've Never told You. We're also on YouTube.
We have a tea public store, and we have a

book you can get wherever you get your books. Thanks
as always too, our super produced Christina, our executive producer,
my intrbutor Joey, thank you and thanks to you for listening.
Stuff Never told you his prediction of iHeartRadio. For more
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