Hugh Hefner announces ‘the new sexual revolution’

The founder of Playboy claims the GOP is waging a “war on sex.”
By Ben Johnson

By Ben Johnson

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, May 1, 2012, ( – Despite the overwhelming, ready availability of the most hardcore, graphic pornographic content to almost anyone today, especially via the Internet, Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner worries the nation is teetering upon the precipice of another Victorian age.

In a rare editorial, “The War on Sex,” Hefner wrote in the May issue of Playboy that “repressed conservatives”are “pounding on America’s bedroom” to “again regulate our sex lives.” He specifically named Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rush Limbaugh. “While wooing the conservative vote, these candidate revealed the ways a GOP-led government would decide whom we can have sex and for what reasons — singled, married, straight, or gay.”

His editorial seemed to criticize “allowing employers to avoid providing contraception for religious reasons.”

“If these zealots have their way, our hard-won sexual liberation — women’s rights, reproductive rights, and rights to privacy — lie [sic] in peril.” He deemed this “an organized attack on our most basic human freedom.”

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“We won’t let that happen,” he continued. “Welcome to the new sexual revolution.”

Hefner, who turned 86 on April 9, describes himself as an independent. However, he has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Democratic politicians including Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart, John Kerry, Jerry Brown, Dianne Feinstein, Julian Bond and George McGovern. He has also funded the Democratic National Committee, the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee, and Hispanic Unity USA.

Ana Marie Cox, a liberal blogger for the UK Guardian, told MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell that the pajama-clad publisher had not gone far enough. “It’s titillating to talk about this as the war against sex,” she said, “but this is really about civil rights and human rights and about gender equality.”

“If anyone has been waging a ‘war on sex’ it is Hugh Hefner and other pornographers like him who have objectified the bodies of women and have taken a beautiful act – one that God created to be an expression of total, self-giving love and to transmit new human life – and cheapened and reduced it to the mere satisfaction of a bodily appetite,” Fr. Peter West, vice president for missions at Human Life International, told “The ‘hard won sexual liberation’ he speaks of has come at the cost of over 53 million dead from abortion, an explosion of sexually transmitted diseases, millions of broken relationships, and millions of hollow, immature men who are incapable of mature and faithful relationships.”

The decision to frame the issue as a political attack meant little to Fr. West. “Human Life International does not identify with a political party, and we’re sure the GOP can take care of itself in that respect,” he said.

However, the social doctrines of the Playboy philosophy motivated him to point out the sexual liberation’s real social harms, including pornography’s ability to alter neurobiology. Exposure is particularly dangerous for young people. For example, a 13-year-old boy molested his five-year-old sister after years of pornographic addiction.

But the profits are high for its producers. The magazine ExtremeTech estimates that pornography accounts for 30 percent of the web’s total traffic. Its consumers spend $3,075.64 every second of the day to get their fix.

Fr. West said, “Looking at the whole picture, it is impossible to call the radical sexual liberation of the last several decades a ‘win’ for anyone” – except perhaps Hefner and other pornographers.

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