The Wages Of Sin And Ignorance
By John Ward
Recently Playboy Enterprises announced that they are going to change their magazine format from primarily nude women to a super clothing catalog on steroids.
It’s a pity. I know they are struggling with so many enemies of nudity – feminists who say it is exploitation of women, despite the fact that the women who pose for playboy do it of their own volition, other magazines like Hustler, Penthouse and Club (which show slightly more of the female anatomy with less photo-shopping), religious zealots and pandering politicians.
I hope they succeed with their new format, because they tried to open the world’s mind to nudity not being a nasty thing, which, in the Fifties everyone below a college education seemed to believe. Hugh Hefner was a pioneer of amazing bravery and insight, although I am amazed he was never burned at the stake by insecure and stupid women with low self-esteem and sexually frightened men who can’t stand the idea of a sexually emancipated woman. These self-appointed bastions of morality didn’t like the classy nudes he offered in his publication out of jealousy, fear, low self-esteem, and various other self-serving agendas.
I still believe there is a niche for the “beautiful and classy” magazine. Now it is either: dressed up, or “look at my cervix, damn you!” And that’s just not how it should be.
Nudists understand the difference. I had a friend who ran a nudist resort in Northern Georgia—if you can believe that! It was family- oriented, so kids ran around nude with adults. It was not a sexual thing, just a health and freedom thing. After the first 10 minutes of being there, even non-nudists had stopped staring at breasts, etc., because it is human to want to see the reaction to what one says, and that is only readable in the face, not the rest of the body. Even kids that were at crotch height, would look up into faces and say “Can I have 25 cents to play the video game?” or “When’s lunch?” or something equally benign. I did a TV show segment on this resort.
The human body only becomes fascinating when it is hidden away and only revealed at specific times. Deprivation leads to depravity. If we walked around stark naked all the time, only covering our noses, which could only be revealed during sex, people would see noses as a sex object and you’d hear people exclaiming: “OMG, the wind blew and her veil lifted slightly… I nearly lost it when I caught a glimpse of her right nostril!” “No way! You saw her right nostril? You lucky bastard!”
My grandfather, Salvatore. was standing on the street corner in Cefalu, Sicily 1918, when my grandmother Maria-Madalena started to cross the street in her long “modest” clothing. She lifted her dress ever so slightly as she stepped off the pavement, so that the hem would not drag in the street mud. He caught a glimpse of her ankle and followed her home to woo and finally marry her.
Women have an instinct about this. They don’t think about it consciously, but they know instinctively that if they hide certain appendages away, only revealing them for sexual activity, the scarcity becomes extremely important in the courtship ritual. The problem is: it also results in harassment, sexual abuse, molestation, rape, etc. A more sexually open society, one that does not deprive or label a natural need as wicked, does not suffer the horrors that a sexually repressed society suffers.
The number of serial killers who do it because “women are evil, they are selling sex, they are enticing me to do this wicked thing” is enormous. The sexual predators are mostly a result of religious/sexual repression. Imagine what people would do for any other physiological need – say, water, or food, or sleep… they would do almost anything to get what they need physiologically.
Playboy didn’t invent desire. It was there all the time. Whether you believe God “made” us, or you believe we’re just Mother Nature’s play things, the hormones are there, the need is there, the physiological desire is there.
I am so sick of religion, government, self-appointed purveyors of morality, all trying to deny the existence of these natural needs. In the Sixties, when Scandinavian countries legalized porn – all the sexual crimes but one, dropped by close to 90%! The one that didn’t was voyeurism or peeping Tom-ism and that dropped by about 50%. The fact that legalizing porn would create an atmosphere where some young woman would not have to experience the trauma of being raped seemed not to compute with other governments… so the predatory activity continues.
I am not saying legalized pornography is the answer, I am saying that a less sexually repressive society will result in less morbid fascination, which is the root of that particular evil. Thank you, Hef, you did a good thing.