If there were to be a single, most powerful symbol of the sexual revolution in the 20th century, that symbol as an individual would’ve been Hugh Hefner — the founder of Playboy magazine who died recently at age 91.
The 20th century was the great century of sexual revolution. One of the driving engines of that change was the modern industry of pornography—and you cannot separate that industry from the one man who made it most mainstream and most profitable.
The Playboy founder sought to redefine not only femininity in terms of pornography but also masculinity in terms of a kind of sophisticated, urban model that would be very attracted to pornography in terms of a normal pursuit and a normal entertainment.
By any analysis, what Hefner left behind as his contribution to our society is not only a breaking down of an old sexual morality, it is the new enslavement of people who declare themselves liberated and “free,” but are absolutely enslaved to pornography.
That’s the real legacy of Hugh Hefner.