I love "Girls Next Door,” the reality show about Hugh Hefner and his three girlfriends .Some people criticize that, thinking it's superficial or a prurient display of nudity. But as someone who has wanted to be in Playboy before I even understood the word sexuality, the show is a welcome insight into the lives of those who make a career of their sexuality.
My parents raised me without putting restrictions on what I could see. My mother and I shamelessly strolled the house naked together. My father, too, was a nudist in his own right. He swam trunk-less and even had friends who participated in public consummations at their wedding ceremonies. But it wasn't until I was eight-years-old when I knew I wanted to be in Playboy. I was at my mother's hairdresser flipping through magazines, when suddenly the page I flipped felt hairy. I looked down and saw a beautiful naked woman with real hair glued to her pubic area. I laughed at the way the hairdressers had tried to bring the Playboy Centerfold to life, but what captured me was the image of the naked woman.
In Playboy, I had found a forum that accepted the same thing my parents had silently promulgated to me: nudity and sexuality were things to be celebrated, not punished. Since that time, I have grown to appreciate that not only is sexuality something to be shared and respected, but the more accepting society is about sex the more society prospers. Conversely, if more limitations are placed on people's ability to stimulate their bodies and minds, more problems are created. For example, it is well known that Catholic Priests are not allowed to engage in any sort of sexual activity. These restrictions on their sexuality have led to their notorious sexual abuse of young children. If society continues to restrict sexuality, men and women will have fewer outlets to express themselves, and society will become more deeply repressed.
The war on expressive sexuality and its repercussions are also echoed in the war on drugs. The more the government's laws stifle the right of human beings to stimulate their minds as they please, the more harm that is done. The government puts people in jail that could be living productive lives simply because it thinks that certain states of consciousness should be outlawed.
They also continue to put people in jail for participating in the honest business of prostitution. Repressing our consciousness and sexuality only engenders a society where people are made criminals simply for exploring their sexuality and consciousness. I want to change the feature of our culture that most undermines its appeal: our guilt about the very things that make us human, specifically our sexuality and our ability to expand our consciousness. I want America to embrace the Playboy Philosophy, the one Hugh Hefner introduced forty years ago: the notion that we not only have the right to recreate but that it is vital to a healthy society.
I would love to promote that philosophy and the idea that you can be smart and sexual. Actually before I became a lawyer I didn’t realize how much people thought that the two are mutually exclusive. But after having many prosecutors, both male and female treat me like an idiot because I wear short skirts and don’t pretend to be androgynous,
I realized the extent to which the dominant culture (even supposedly intelligent professionals) want to put women in a category, smart or sexy. Maybe it’s that women would really be a threat if they could openly use their intelligence and sexuality, both, to get things. For women, it’s a threat because so many women (especially professionals like lawyers) think they have to act like a man and obscure their sexuality to be professional and to be taken seriously. And they feel comforted by the fact that you can’t be smart and sexy, because they think don’t have to feel burdened to do things like exercise, which so many view as the sport of the vain and unintelligent.
The truth is, as I’ve learned since starting to work out seven years ago, that if you’re not in shape, or you don’t exercise, you really are missing something that could fundamentally add to your confidence: an awareness of yourself as an animal and as a human being, as opposed to an intellect swimming around in a body of little importance other than as shelter to that intelligence. If I could attribute one major thing to saving me mentally and physically over the past few years, there is no doubt that it is exercise.
The culture’s effort to force women to suppress their sexuality because they’re at work, and even to classify women who commit to exercising as vain and obsessive, only further adds to the illusion that women can be sexy or smart.
I try to promote the Playboy philosophy daily by defending drug users, drug sellers, and, prostitutes and I have no qualms about trying to get off those crimes.
But the best promotion I could do is posing nude in the magazine. I can see it now ........... LA’s Dopest Attorney Nude.
By ALLISON MARGOLIN
Criminal Attorney Allison B. Margolin
Allison Margolin is a former Harvard journalist and Columbia University editor/writer