What's Hugh Hefner's Secret?

I’m not asking how he gets lots of young hot women, as that is not too hard, particularly if you are a man with some wealth and position.

What I want to know is this: Why do his ex-wives and girlfriends seem to be so positive about him? Whataver happened to “a woman scorned” and all?

Or are there some embittered Hefner exes out there who don’t get much airtime?

Suppose a non-disclosure agreement like you would never believe.

I have always assumed they all remained on the payroll after their dismissal.

I don’t know – he seems pretty on the level about the thing. We’ll be together (though not monogamous), you’ll have a great time, meet lots of interesting people, and we won’t ever, ever get married. Hard to be too scornful when you knew what you were getting into from the beginning.

Plus, don’t discount his opportunities – there are tons of women throwing themselves at him, and so he’s only going to pick the ones who appear to be stable. Most of us don’t get the chance to be so discriminating, nor do we have as much experience in winnowing out the crazy ones.


“A woman scorned?” I think it’s often more of a case of “a woman treated badly” or a “woman who’s nutsy to begin with.”

These are WAGs, but I’d guess the publically positive attitude of his exes is based on a combination of the following factors:

  1. Choosing well to begin with. Hugh Hefner has an enormous amount of experience with women. In all all that time, he’s probably learned a few things, like how to spot red flags and which traits will lead to positive interactions of the types that he seeks. See #2 below:

  2. The women he chooses are focused on self and career. Hugh Hefner’s “girlfriends” probably are in it to further their own careers more than they are because they seek a genuine romantic relationship with him. They may genuinely like him and care for him, and vice versa, but I think everyone knows where they really stand.

  3. Money and contracts. His “girlfriends” are all Playboy models, right? They get publicity and exposure by being his “girlfriends.” I suspect that there are contracts governing their behavior, including gag orders for after the relationships end. I’m sure he had a hell of a prenup with his ex-wife, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she has finanancial incentives for not trashing him in public. Again, this does not preclude the possibility that the people involved genuinely care for each other.

  4. He’s charming. He has tremendous people skills. There are plenty of people out there who manage to dump their girlfriends without pissing them off too much. Given his career success, we can be certain that he knows how to make friends and influence people. Plus, he has Christie to use as an ax-man if necessary.

  5. He’s a decent guy. Now, I really have no idea if he’s a decent guy or not, but I don’t think he would have had these conisistently good results with his exes if he didn’t treat them honestly and fairly. Women may hate to be dumped, but they hate to be deceived and then dumped even more.

And besides, who says that he’s the one “scorning” the women? I’m sure a lot of them are the ones to end things.

On preview: I see that Paul in Saudi said “a non-disclosure agreement like you would never believe.” That’s undoubtedly part of it, as I said in #3. But given all this time and all the women he’s been involved with, I think there have to be other factors. 'Cause could you imagine how much money a tell-all about what a bastard he is would fetch?

I believe that you’ll get better results in just about everything, including life itself, if you play fair and (while still taking reasonable steps to CYA) than if you cheat and lie and steal and try to cover it up. The former isn’t guaranteed to keep you out of trouble, of course, but the latter is almost certain to blow up in your face sooner or later. Maybe Hef plays by the same rules.

(And in the interest of full disclosure, I know someone rather well who knows Hef rather well. It’s in a business-related capacity, but he’s been to the Playboy Mansion on a number of occasions, etc. He doesn’t have a bad word to say about the guy, either, and he’s absolutely not beholden to him in any way.)

His record isn’t perfect. One of his former girlfriends, Carrie Leigh, is apparently bitter and has spoken poorly of Hefner.

Yeah, but one out of hundreds ain’t too shabby. I’ve never even heard of this woman or any complaints about Hef from anyone (I feel dumb calling him that!)

I concur with most of what’s been written above. The women in question know what they’re getting into, have their own reasons for signing on, and appear to be treated well and fairly. Most likely very few of them feel they’ve been done wrong, and even fewer of those feel that their interests are better served by trashing him than by staying on his good side. I’d imagine that Hugh Hefner remains a very valuable resource even once one has stopped being one of his “girlfriends”.

Because he’s a lucky guy who loves women with big knockers. It’s not about power, it’s about worship. Were Hef into the power trip there would be countless horror stories about the guy because the only way to gain power is to take it, which usually leads to some sort of humiliation. Instead he’s a guy who just really digs big breasted women and he posits himself so that he’s surrounded by them. Not such a bad gig for the ladies if they’re not into a romantic relationship really.

But has Hugh Hefner’s Secret dated Victoria’s Secret?

It’s good to read that he’s considered a good guy, but he’s a butt-ugly old man. I guess the motivation of the women is close to the motivation of call girls.

Maybe he’s a great charmer, or has a fabulous sense of humour ? Maybe he’s a nice and smart guy ? Maybe he can sweet-talk better than a greased snake on an all-honey diet ? In my experience, looks don’t matter all that much once you’ve grabbed a person’s attention (thank Og ;)), and when you’ve got that much money, grabbing attention isn’t all that hard.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure lots of his girlfriends are/were in it only for the money but he had the stunning girls before he had the money didn’t he ?

Having met him briefly (and his daughter, at another point) I can only say he’s incredibly smart, funny and charming yet, somehow, not sleazy. Apparently this is becoming less and less the case, though, from what I’ve heard and seen on The Girls Next Door.

Oh, and I always thought he looked like Bill Maher, another odd-looking ladies’ man thanks to a combination of wit and fame.

How is he making money these days? Does it all come from The Girls Next Door show?
I thought the magazine as porn business was pretty much dead these days as the internet has taken over.

I dunno, we have a subscription to Playboy. I like to find the hidden bunny on the cover, and the articles are a good 5 minute read

You’re quite right that the empire is in dire straits. Last I read they are getting rid of the DVD distribution and Hef is selling tickets for his famous parties.

If you ask me, they’re silly to even try to compete with both lad mags (where women keep their clothes on, or at least cover themselves up with strategically-placed limbs and hair) and the hardcore-turned-ho hum cesspool that is online porn. They should be appealing to people’s nostalgia and taking a cue from Mad Men (the esthetic, not the racism/sexism).

I think part of it is the fact that he’s famous and that reputation carries.

A lot of men and women think they can change people. I have known people that went into relationships knowing exactly what the guy or girl was like, but they expected him/her to change. Or they thought he/she could change him/her.

Hefner’s reputation is so well established that you know there ain’t no chance of getting anymore than the others have got. So even if she fell in love with Mr Hefner, it would be much harder to kid one’s self.

Just curious. Why do you ask?

Leigh wasn’t just a casual one-night stand. Hefner and her were together for several years back in the eighties.

Playboy is not as big as it used to be but it’s still making a profit. Its main advantage is that it’s got its own niche - it’s the only mainstream soft-core porno magazine so it’s considered sexy but not sleazy. And it’s established and has a reputation going back decades. By now the brand itself is a commodity - Playboy makes money by licensing its image to other businesses.

I think looks are irrelevant, now. Listen, it’s not a looks thing when you’re as old as him, because there ain’[t a gonna be no physical stuff goin on! And some, if not all of his ‘gfs’ can get their attention got, by somebody younger by 4 or 5 decades.
Also, before Hef had money was 50 plus years ago. He was handsome then.

I also think the women that walk away from Hef have got all that they want from him, and they so pity the kindly old man who gave them their start, that they would be afraid that they would be accused of killing him if they did anything that might agitate him into having a heart attack.