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I do not come to mourn Heffner. He lived to 91, and had what he wanted from life. What he wanted was desperately limited, although hedonistically exciting - he had the devil's bargain, as it were - all the sex, money, fame, and influence he asked for. Why mourn the villain who makes crime pay?

His impact on Post-war Western society was akin to that of the atomic bomb, and just as destructive. His "lifestyle" - never harmless boys will be boys fun - for all its purported social-justice elements and literary collusions (with sex-creeps like Sartre), was about radically free access to a certain kind of sexual pleasure - mostly white male middle-class heterosexual freedom (though he did advocate for gay rights at some stage, likely as a cover for his own need for total access to sex objects).

What brand is better known, or more sinister, than the bunny ears, other than the swastika? His persuasive Playboy stood for the idea of a male fantasy of never having to grow up, of high-end scotches, cigars; stereo and sports car acquisitions - and mostly, of endless available big-breasted women. Women as sex toys, and never as thinking beings, with hearts or souls. The staple at the heart of his nudes killed so many ways of loving properly.

It is hard to claim, though his daughter would, that Heffner's image or idea of women was empowering. It was demeaning.  Heffner's empire of media and clubs established a permissiveness that encouraged men like me to be male babies, craving easy sex, mommy's milk, and no responsibolity - it is the offer of the glamour of evil. It is very tempting. 
So, TV actors like OJ Simpson, rock gods, and celebrities entered his shadowy man-cave, and never left. But enslaving women - in word, thought, deed, ideology or costume - to serve your every whim is, in fact, criminal, or at least deeply amoral, and the Playboy Mansions should be bull-dozed as scenes of great social wrongs, just as we do with sex-crime murder houses.

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