There's a new documentary piece on Hugh Hefner coming out, about his role as a social activist. Seem weird? Yeah, to me, too. This article takes a look at some of the driving motivation behind the documentary. I have yet to see the documentary (it opened yesterday), but I am really looking forward to it.
The things he, Kinsey, Steinem, and Meads have done - their contributions to the Sexual Revolution, have changed society in a lot of ways. The internet has contributed. In discussing the documentary with my mom the other day, we discussed the fact that she first encountered BDSM culture in her 30s, while she was living in San Francisco. I encountered it in a fairly mainstream fantasy novel when I was 15 and so, curious, Googled it, and found a well-laid-out Wikipedia page.
And that was normal for me, for my generation. Yes, there is a lot of hypersexualization, but there's also a lot of information available to work with that - information on STDs and where and how to get tested, information on how to be safe in myriad ways. In my social circle, at least, it's something to discuss -openly - near the beginning of a relationship, just to determine compatibility. Kinsey and later, when we were old enough to sneakily read The Onion, Dan Savage taught us that nothing was weird, simply potentially incompatible. And that was okay.
Hefner, of course, isn't solely responsible for the social movement towards openness. But he's a contributing factor, and one in iconic silk pajamas, so I very much look forward to the documentary.