Hugh Hefner, who built the Playboy enterprise from his kitchen table to an international brand of a carefree and hedonistic lifestyle, has died at age 91 of natural causes. His influence on the so-called sexual revolution is unmistakable, but whether that influence contributed to the decline of fidelity in marriage, a casual attitude toward sex, or treating sex as an act of biological passion rather than an intimate expression of unselfish love will be judged by the Creator of life, marriage and sex. But one cannot deny his shrewdness as a businessman, entrepreneur, and exploiter of human nature. His empire had fallen in recent decades, perhaps the victim of those who took pornography to new levels, leaving the more subtle Playboy approach seeming tame in comparison.
I can definitely say that in my time of counseling hundreds of couples, I never once heard a person say that Playboy magazine or its advocacy of following one’s lust made theirs a better marriage. It would be fair to say that Hefner didn’t create lust, he just exploited it commercially and made a fortune off it. But his death proves two things: hedonism doesn’t necessarily trim years off of one’s life as he lived to the age of 91…and that such a lifestyle comes to the same conclusion that all lives do, and our legacy will be determined by others.
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