‘Life is too short to be living somebody else’s dream’, the cigar-smoking hedonist Huge Hefner, who died naturally on September 27 at the age of 91 once famously exclaimed. The silk-robed Casanova became one of America’s original playboy who sparked a revolution that challenged the nation’s views on sexuality.
Born in Chicago in 1926, Hugh Hefner, who liked to be called ‘Hef’, once mentioned that he was raised in a conservative, strict household. Around a time when the United States was on the verge of banning contraceptives, it was Hefner who started the ultra-glamorous Playboy magazine in 1953 in his kitchen (that’s where he produced it), which featured a couple of nude photos of Marilyn Monroe in its first edition.
Hefner’s trailblazing magazine with that bunny logo sold a record number of copies and soon became the holy grail for every teenager and adults alike. A political activist and philanthropist, Hefner not only incepted a magazine but influenced the lifestyle of an entire generation.
As much as Hefner’s Playboy magazine which revolutionised sexual freedom became an iconic part of the US pop culture, the Playboy mansion too became the stuff of legends.
Though the Playboy mansion is quite synonymous to a fantasy land with bunnies, big, wild parties, grand celebrity events, free-flowing champagnes and gorgeous playmates (quite often in their birthday suits), here are 7 secrets you should know about the notorious Playboy Mansion.
1) Dingy furniture and stained bedding:
The bedrooms are apparently on the second floor of the mansion, it also comprises of Hef’s master bedroom. According to Playboy bunnies who have lived there in the past, they say, the mattresses are not clean, the entire place stinks and is unhygienic. The second floor hosts pet dogs who litter at the drop of the hat making the entire place not worthy of living. But Hefner never had a problem with that, he never had a problem with the stains on bed sheets as well. But from the outside, in pictures, it looks gorgeous and hence as youngsters one always wanted to be there.
2) The 9’o clock curfew:
The glitz and glamour make us believe that it is a royal, unforgettable experience to be living in the mansion. But for Playboy bunnies who have lived there, it is like a luxurious prison, where ladies could not leave the mansion after 9 o’ clock, neither could they have visitors visiting them.
3) It’s Party time:
The parties were lavish and one needed that exclusive ticket to be a part of it. Sometimes, the tickets of his swanky, plush parties were auctioned at hotels. Just a tip, if someone says he can provide the tickets at a cheap rate, he probably is looking to dupe you. Surprisingly according to an ex-resident of the mansion, Hef, who looks to portray himself as a big partier, actually does not prefer parties, rather he prefers watching old classical films in his pyjamas.
4) Wild attack:
Can you imagine owning wild animals and having them in your property unchained? Yes, crazy-partygoers or pretty girls are not the only wild people inside the luxe property. Bird lover Hef hosts plenty of peacocks, macaws, flamingos, toucans and ducks. The highlight here happens to be a cage that hosts approximately 100 squirrel monkeys that are adorable. Well, Hef was one of the exclusive persons to possess a zoo license.
5) The Elvis connection:
The Mansion also played host to the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. There was an exclusive room for the style icon, which was touted as the ‘The Elvis Room’. In 1970’s, when Elvis once turned up at the mansion to take a quick nap, he was given company by eight eager bunnies. He must have had a gala time, but since that episode, that particular room has become a figment of every youngster’s imagination. That is one part of the mansion very few have had access to, which adds to the mystery.
6) Hef was not the owner, but a renter:
If you want to experience the mansion and stay in it, it is quite possible. The mansion is owned by Playboy Enterprises and Hef only rents out portions, room by room, for his personal use, areas for the playmates and space for guests. The property is valued at nearly $60 million.
7) The mysterious Grotto:
This is the most infamous part of the mansion. The dim lighting, fake cave of rocks, the blue whirlpool and the waterfall is an ideal hideout if one wants to spend an intimate moment with someone special. But the problem with this place is the bacteria-filled water. It may have been a one-time thing but apparently, 123 people were affected by the Legionnaires’ disease in the whirlpool. Hence, it is much more advisable to stay on the dry surface than risk the temptation of the whirlpool.