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the reality issue 2001
hef's reality
by dave thompson
i.e: every man's fantasy

HUGH Marston Hefner is back on top again - and being on top is Hef's favorite position.

To prove it, the Playboy Mansion, that sinful touchstone of the sexual revolution, is the hottest ticket in town for a new generation which has been impatiently waiting to storm its grand gates in Holmby Hills. Hollywood's biggest stars are ready to party hard with Hef - no-one calls him Mr. Hefner - as he revels in the single life again.

By the mid-Eighties the all-night pool parties had ended after he suffered a mild stroke and as he played family man with Playmate Kimberly Conrad, his second failed marriage. But to prove it's time to move on, the fabled publisher, 74, has cleared house, splitting from live-in-love twins Mandy and Sandy Bentley, 22.

As famous for his custom silk pajamas as his beautiful Bunnies, the Viagra-munching sex tycoon has traded up and is now dating seven blondes - Regina Allen, Stephanie Heinrick, Buffy Tyler, Tina Jordan, Tiffany Holliday, Cathi O'Malley and Katie Loemann - unveiling them at his infamous New Year's bash. That's one woman for every decade of his life. So it's little wonder then that Hef's still youthful features wear a permanent Cheshire cat grin.

Here, the man who launched an empire from his kitchen table and is responsible for millions of adult fantasies, talks exclusively to us about his amazing life, dreams, a tomb with a view, and, oh yes, those beautiful women.

The book: What is it like to know that your reality is most men's fantasy? hef: It feels very, very good. My success and my life are a direct reflection of the fact that I am living out a lot of men's fantasies. The best part of all is that they are my fantasies as well.

The book: Do you ever take your amazing lifestyle for granted? hef: I get a kick out of it every day. I am very introspective, very much aware of the unique nature of my life and how lucky I am.

The book: What advice would you give to others who want your success? hef: In our world, there are a lot of forces encouraging people to accept a life handed to them by their family, peers and society. Holding on to the dreams of childhood, and adolescence and pursuing those dreams is what life is all about. It's certainly what I've done.

The book: Describe your ideal woman. Who do you see when you close your eyes? hef: The images come from movies of my childhood. I'm susceptible to a particular kind of look; blonde in nature and baby-faced. I love women like Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe and Pamela Anderson. I'm presently dating seven girls, all baby-faced blondes. Picasso had his pink period and his blue period. I'm in my blonde period.

The book: Please describe your ultimate fantasy. hef: I'm living it.

The book: What about the rebirth of the Playboy Mansion? hef: It's a culmination of various factors; I was off the scene for 10 years in a marriage. I came out at the end of that relationship at the beginning of 1998 and a whole generation had grown up, waiting for me to come out and play. It was also the close of the century, the start of a new millennium and a tremendous amount of reflection back on all things retro. I don't think it's any coincidence that Bond, the Beatles and the Bunnies are all hot again. Many people, both men and women, have identified with my life and the freedom I've represented, and the mansion encapsulates that.

The book: You've bought the tomb next to Marilyn Monroe, your first centerfold. hef: It's a nice kind of completion to my life. I like those little touches. The Westwood Cemetery is close. A number of very dear friends are buried there - Mel Torme, Buddy Rich and Marilyn. I hope to be buried there myself, but not in the immediate future.

The book: How would you like to be remembered? hef: As someone who had a positive impact on the changing social sexual values of his time.

The book: Has Viagra helped you to fulfill even more of your fantasies? hef: Absolutely. When I returned to the single life three years ago, Viagra came on the scene the weekend of my birthday at the beginning of April - the timing could not have been any better.

Indeed, timing IS everything, not just in the bedroom. So, Hef, we were wondering about those invites to your next bash.

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