Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Tales from Inside the Bunny: A Book Review

I'm in love with the idea of a tell-all biography. To me, it feels the same as sitting down with the author, doing shots and getting her to tell secrets. So, when I came across Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion by Izabella St. James at the library I had to get it. I have a long-standing obsession with The Girls Next Door so it was an easy decision.

I thought, hey, easy book to review, I'll be all snarky and copy/paste quotes of the crazy. I thought I'd be making of fun of Izabella, the author, and yet, I can't bring myself to do it. While often writing too informally, she is articulate and honest and obviously still conflicted. I'm a sucker for people being honest about their flaws (see: every mistake I've ever dated) and so I excuse her for walking out of the California Bar Exam, for abandoning international law. "We knew we were spoiled," she says repeatedly. She admits to surgeries, cattery, resentment and so I waded through one-too-many chapters of her early childhood years to get the real stuff: Hefner.

Some things you need me to tell you:

All of the Girlfriends are not dumb blondes. Some of them just die their hair that way.

But really, Izabella is pretty smart. I mean, she excelled in high school, college, and law school, and managed to get someone to throw money and gifts at her for no reason.

Oh, and then, when she saw that there was an industry based on her experience, she wrote a book. Genius.

Hugh Hefner has a lot of diagnosable problems. Definitely narcissistic personality disorder and OCD.

Apparently he has a Marilyn Monroe obsession. She was the first magazine centerfold and--get this!--he bought the gravesite/crypt/thing next to hers. Creepy?

Every week the Girlfriends had to come to his room during a very small window of time each week to get their allowance. He would withhold it if they had displeased him in any way.

Also, I learned a ton about Holly, Hef's Number One Girlfriend and star of the TV show. I guess she worked really hard to be the perfect girlfriend: she had her nose done like Hef's former Great Love Barbi Benton, and she got her hair done like Marilyn Monroe.

Hef got really mad at her after the Marilyn hair thing. Anger was attributed to his hate for change.

Bridget is married. Yup.

Hef pays for all their surgeries but they do have to ask for it. He makes them ask for everything because he is a controlling douchebag. Yes they get cars and boobs and dogs and parties but they have to manipulate and plot their ways of asking.

Also, they can only go out at night after 9 pm if they are with him. Even then they only stay in the clubs til around midnight when they come back for Sex Night.

Sex Night is two nights a week and no one is required to participate. Sometimes there is pressure from other girls, but Hef never forces you into the bedroom and never forces you to take your underwear off.

Since this is a family place (hi mom!), I'm not going to go into explicit detail about the sex, but Izabella does. And it's pretty much nothing to write home about. There are no orgies. No weirdness. One man has sort-of sex with several consenting women. It is not fun.

The mansion has a full-service kitchen (can feed up to 1,000 guests!) and the Girlfriends are allowed whatever they want whenever they want. They simply dial 0 and request fries or a sandwich or a milkshake or whatever they want ever. HOWEVER, they are never allowed in the kitchen themselves because Hef doesn't want them fraternizing (aka sleeping around with) the help.

CEO of Playboy Enterprises is Hef's daughter, Christie, and Christie (and the Playboy Board of Directors) believe Hef's spending to be frivolous and a huge drain on the corporation.

Izabella (or her publishing company protecting her from libel) withholds certain names. Stories about married celebrities propositioning her, sometimes other Girlfriends doing stuff they shouldn't have, that kind of thing.

I've watched a ton of Girls Next Door and the E! True Hollywood Story, Hugh Hefner: Girlfriends, Wives, and Centerfolds so I was surprised to find more things I didn't already know. If you're a fan of the show, you have to read this book. I've always wanted free stuff, and the playboy mansion IS only like 20 miles from my house. Should I dye my hair blonde and pin on a bunny tail and have not fun sex with Hef in hopes of getting them?

Probably not. (See again: Hi, mom!) and also (mistakes I've dated.)

(If you have any questions regarding Playboy, Playmates, the Playboy Mansion, or Hefner's eating habits, I can answer them. Just comment.)

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