Fresh after the mayhem of the Playboy Playmate party at Fez in Cape Town, my mind started wondering about what it meant to be a playboy in the age of social media. I am a huge fan of Playboy and lifestyle that it advocates but wondered how to make the aspirational content within the publication the reality of my everyday life.
Times have really changed since Playboy first came out in the early 1950’s. Since then modern society has gone on to invent and popularize the internet, flavoured condoms and that amazing rubber floor-mop thing. Even Hef has embraced the changes, with Tweets now coming straight from his iPad to the Twitter masses.
In this same time period the traditional sense of what a playboy is has changed as well. When I think back to someone, who in my mind occupies that particular description, my brain begins to race towards images of tuxes, suits, silk robes, women and lavish parties. I think of pipe smoke and charm that flows more freely than South African tax-payers’ money towards private jets and flights for Ministers to Switzerland. It was something that most straight boys longed for- a simpler life, more Garden of Edenish, if you will, except without the need for any snakes other than your own.
Even though I was living in a world where laughing had been reduced to the letters LOL, I still aspired to be retro cool like Hugh Hefner, but this would prove to be more difficult than I thought. With things like the movement towards Metrosexuality and David Beckham’s impossibly well-groomed appearance, coupled with the fast-paced lifestyle of the modern age, the definition of a playboy started shifting to become something completely different. Even here in South Africa we had become more exposed to global trends and somehow, between the mix of high speed internet and snail-paced Government service delivery, we managed to land up with people that wear visually disturbing choices of attire and sing inappropriate songs as our local examples to follow.
As a guy in South Africa aspiring to be sexually liberated and wanting to live the life of a fragrance ad, I spent a great deal of my early adult life confused. South African and global Sexuality was all messed up- there were movies available that suggested almost every discerning young female would enjoy a massive bukkake party on their off weekends- oh you don’t know what a bukkake party is? Type it into Google Images and take the safe search off- I warned you… Japanese jizz baths aside, at the same time people were so conservative that mixed raced relationships would still gather a definite look and spot of whispering in most malls.
In search of some direction I visited the film vaults and the internet, this time avoiding any image searches. I looked at Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Steve Mcqueen and of course Hef to try and see what it was that I was missing- what I needed to become a playboy too. All of the above men were always impeccably dressed, had a way with words and were always able to effortlessly handle any situation whether it was a career-defining media interview or a simple conversation had over lunch. They were quintessentially cool. So what was my plan of action? Well… to go out and buy a crisp white shirt and a suit jacket. They all wore suit jackets and smoked.
I had countless nights on the town at the swankiest of places and stood in the corner looking all mysterious in my tailored suit jacket, while sucking on a rather phallic looking cigar. Still, something wasn’t right. There was more to it. It was the playboy lifestyle consisting of drinking martinis, making women feel engaged and loved, throwing big parties and living in penthouses, which was the difference between Hugh Hefner and a guy in a coat.
I needed to aim higher than Gold Reef City and instead aspire to birthday celebrations in Las Vegas with tigers and other pussy (s). I took one look at Hef and realized that this could be a life-long journey, one that required dedication and commitment. The new playboy is not bound to be one particular thing… While being about high end technology, gadgets and having a love for women, the playboy remains someone who you aspire to be. Its about finding your way down the garden path/s (see what I did there?) to find the playboy in you.