The Brutal Truth About Hugh Hefner’s Legacy of Exploitation, Objectification, and Lust


Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine who lived his life exactly as the title of his life’s work would suggest has died at the age of 91.

Hefner was a massive cultural icon, and the left-wing media is spewing out adoration and praise for his “impact” on society. The New York Times is full of gushing accounts of his life and his legacy, while The Independent gives a long, thoughtful and favorable biography. Leftist celebrities took to Twitter to wish “RIP” and muse about his personal influence in their lives.

It’s probably fitting that the left would fondly remember Hefner. After all, he was a key figure in the movement to destroy values, marriage, and basic human dignity and decency in America, a legacy they most certainly seek to continue both politically and culturally.

At his passing, we can look back at a culture that has been dramatically changed by his risque magazine. The results? Skyrocketing divorce rates and out-of-wedlock birth rates, STDs no one had even heard of when Playboy was first published, anal sex tutorials for children in fashion magazines, a massive and ubiquitous internet porn industry, sex slavery, child porn, and hardly any scrap of decency or honor left.

Hefner normalized the objectification of women and made pre-marital sex and promiscuity hip and cool. He helped turn society’s view of women from that of lifelong partner and nurturer to disposable sex partner.

He was proud of what he did, too. As an adherent to the despicable ideas of Alfred Kinsey,  he believed that satisfaction was found in sexual fulfillment and that traditional sexual values were repressive. Kinsey was a “sex psychologist”, homosexual, and sexual deviant whose work, despite being now largely debunked, was nothing short of demonic and involved studying and encouraging homosexuality, bestiality, and pedophilia.

Hefner began publishing Playboy in 1953, debuting with nude pictures of Marilyn Monroe. His intended goal, and what Playboy would become, was to make smutty nude magazines edgy and sophisticated, by adding poetry from beat poets or interviews with figures like Fidel Castro.

When asked in 1992 by his big fans at the NYT what he was most proud of in his career, he replied, “That I changed attitudes toward sex. That nice people can live together now. That I decontaminated the notion of premarital sex. That gives me great satisfaction.”

Hefner himself claimed to have slept with over 2000 women, was married three times, with a string of live-in girlfriends in between, three of whom were the subject of a reality TV show. Long before the magazine was founded, Hefner’s first wife, Mildred, had an affair with another man while he was away at war. It is said that she allowed him to have relationships with other women. After two children, the couple divorced in 1959. When he married his third and final wife, Krystal Harris, he was 86 while she was 26.

The icon the left is fondly remembering today had a dark underbelly. Not only did he make millions treating women like sex objects for all America’s men to lust after and had a long string of relationships with women who almost always were in their 20s as he aged. But he was also accused of bringing minor women to the sex-filled parties at the Playboy mansion and likely involved in the sexual battery and rape of women. 

Hefner lived the fantasy life of many men who desire to satisfy only their flesh. However, beneath the fortune, the mansions, the fame, and the women was a fallen man in need of a Savior. And now, he most likely died without knowing his Savior.


Whenever someone dies without Christ, it is sad. But that does not mean we need to remember their lives as virtuous. The fact that Hefner may never repent of the sin he has committed and the massive stumbling blocks he has laid before others is the real tragedy.

Blogger Matt Walsh might have had the truest obituary of Hefner today, writing that:

It’s unfortunate that we must point out the fact that Hefner was a pornographer and a pimp. That his life’s work was to amass a collection of desperate women who were willing to be used and exploited. But we must tell this truth in order to combat the untruths that people are now saying about him.

We live in a country where men like Hefner are immediately canonized upon death. I’ve seen Hefner described as a “hero” and a “role model.” These are lies, and we must call them lies. The fact that Hefner is dead does not change the fact that he was a peddler of filth. If a man wishes to be remembered as virtuous and decent, he must live virtuously and decently. We don’t become virtuous and decent when we die, as if death itself washes away every bad thing we’ve done. Quite the opposite, actually. Death is when we reckon with the bad things.

The only thing that washes us clean of everything we have done is the blood of Christ. If you have lived a life of sin as well or are struggling with lust or temptation, there is still forgiveness for you at the Cross.

If you have been hurt by the legacy of hedonism and pornography Hefner has left behind and are need of some help, Covenant Eyes is a wonderful way to help control yourself and protect your family’s eyes from the awful content one can so easily find on the internet these days.