Playboy’s Tinseled Seductress


Fifth Estate # 17, November 1-15, 1966

from The Rag (UPS) — One of the brighter aspects of the sexual revolution is that it offers this generation whole new levels of personal manipulation. Instead of the older concept of “nice girls” being virgins upon marriage, the liberated standards offer people the chance to express their deepest feelings to one another in a natural way. Marriage counselors often say that successful marriages are built upon compatible interests, liking one another, and a satisfactory sex life.

It would seem that these liberated couples who make love would have the opportunity to get over their sense of prudishness and the puritan remnants that make bodies something “dirty.” It would seem also that, for those who are part of the sexual revolution, marriage would be much less difficult.

But what a nonsensical idyllic notion! As sex and people’s natural eroticism were freed from years of repression, individuals were subjected to waves of pseudo-sophisticated dribble that teach how to be alluring in the liberated society. Instead of finding themselves experiencing sexual activity in their own style and time, young people are barraged by the experts who tell them how to be a success. It happens to be coincidental that most of the new experts make a great deal of money from their advice.

First are the fashion mills which grind out new shades and designs yearly so that the wardrobe is always obsolete. One needs to continually buy new clothes to be stylish and attractive. For years women (who have never been known for their discretion in areas dealing with the opposite sex) were the dupes of this system.

More recently however, men, too read Esquire, Playboy, and visit various merchants to learn what the “in thing” is to wear for fall and spring. In early times young men used to be sure enough of their masculinity to not be sucked in by advertising. Recently developments have proved that men are now in need of the reassurance of hair goop, clothing, deodorant, etc.

For men, the leading exponent of the new sexuality is Playboy magazine. Interspersed between Playboy’s women are articles illustrating that men who get ahead in business and girls, wear smart attire, have the proper enlightened attitudes, and reaffirm the essential goodness of the rat-race. The model of the seductive woman the Play-boy reader should seek is concealed by the magazines diversionary rhetoric, though.

Month after month, Hugh Hefner in the Playboy philosophy beats the tired dog of Puritanism, arguing for the healthy aspects of a less repressed sexual morality. Occasionally campaigns against postal regulation, censorship, and outdated sex laws give the magazine an enlightened air.

The real Playboy philosophy, however, appears throughout the magazine in the cartoons, photos, and advertising. There, in page after page, is exhibited the big breasted and lush “girl-next-door.” Playboy promotes the idea that the sexy woman is young, has large breasts and a cute bottom, is without pubic hair (which Hefner judges as distasteful to most modern males), and unbuttons the latest fashions. She is neatly adorned with cosmetics and has an interesting job, like airlines stewardess, actress, student, therapist, etc. Playboy doesn’t think that married women, older women, girls with dull jobs, or those that don’t shave under their arms are very attractive.

This advertising-promoted point of view of sex is so blatant and sterile that one would think that it would be taken as a joke. But instead of judging sexiness on a person’s natural attributes, people by the millions swear by adornments. So much so that Playboy and the rest have created the images of sexiness. People so revere these images they seek out partners who successfully imitate them.

The poor coed is one of the most frightening examples of this imitative sexuality. She sports absurd lacquered hairdos, false hair switches, poor boy sweaters and the latest above-the-knee length skirt. Just as she covers her face with cosmetics, she molds her natural good sense into a sweet-nothing personality. She, in her sweetness, is the epitome of affected seductiveness.

Filling their roles, the young men seek these commodity-created “girls-next-door. ” After a round of dating, the couples usually end up in bed, and the formula works itself out. The boy’s prestige rises by being seen with these commodity girls, and it soars even higher when he can brag about the numbers he has slept with. The girl in turn is reassured of her attractiveness, and though she has won the boy, by not being herself, at least she has got the boy.

The end of these happy and vigorous arrangements usually comes in the junior or senior year at college, when the couples start seeing their time running out and look to marriage as the next step along the chartered path.

The problem in this step has been created long before. Who could have imagined sleeping with the Playmate of the Month, and finding the next morning she has a foul mouth and burns the toast?

Likewise, it is hard for the girls to imagine that her cool boyfriend straight from her fantasies in magazineland refuses to wake in the morning, has smelly underwear to be washed, and is often more interested in the televised Saturday afternoon football game than her used-to-be charming prattle.

Though they don’t really know each other, the couple ignores the harsh realities and trundles along to the alter. Afterward, the fellow gets a job, they move to suburbia, and in one year find that somehow the glow has gone out of the marriage. About this time they begin sacrificing themselves for their children and preparing to endure the next years.

It would appear that the new liberated American way of finding a spouse isn’t always the most fulfilling. But the system is wise and for the more adventurous, there is always divorce. The couple can once again repeat the same game, but with a little more desperation.

Next time you sit beside that lovely commodity created tinseled seductress, wish her Happy Anniversary.