Was Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner Bisexual?

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A&E’s docuseries ‘Secrets of Playboy‘ have caused a wave in the entertainment world by delving into several facts behind the Playboy empire that were kept hidden to date. It studies the world and culture that Hugh Hefner created and charts how the Playboy empire affected the past and present generation’s views on sexuality, power, and what is considered a good life. While the controversies surrounding the late Hugh Hefner are common knowledge, the docuseries shines a light on claims about his sexuality, an avenue that hasn’t been explored much before. Hence, with people now quite curious, we decided to find out if Hugh Hefner was bisexual.

Was Hugh Hefner Bisexual?

Back in 1953, Hugh Hefner launched the first issue of Playboy after leaving his job as a copywriter at Esquire Magazine in the previous year. Hefner’s magazine was met with immediate success, and Playboy soon grew into an empire that spawned an entire culture surrounding its lavish and almost utopian lifestyle. In 1955, Playboy faced massive controversy when Hefner gave the go-ahead to publish a short story titled ‘The Crooked Man,’ which spoke of a future where heterosexuals were persecuted and looked down upon by homosexuals.

The story didn’t sit well with many, who bombarded the magazine with angry letters. However, Hefner stood by his decision, saying, “If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society then the reverse was wrong, too.” This, along with Hefner’s strong support of same-sex marriage, were early signs of him being quite advanced on his views about the LGBTQ+ community. Besides, according to historian Marc Stein, Playboy magazine offered the public one of the safest and most influential places to discuss sexual freedom in such conservative times.

However, Hefner’s alleged liaisons with men only came to light when his ex-girlfriend, Carrie Leigh, claimed in a 1999 interview that Hefner had an inclination towards having sexual encounters with men. She even went on to assert how she had interrupted his “gay encounters.” At that time, Hefner confessed by saying, “There was some bisexuality in the heterosexual, swinging part of my life.” However, he went on to clarify that it was just a phase of sexual discovery that he managed to shake off soon after.

However, the A&E docuseries also features an interview with another of Hefner’s ex-girlfriends, Sondra Theodore, who claimed that the late magazine mogul had a romantic relationship with his personal doctor, Mark Saginor. This view has also been supported by Dr. Saginor’s daughter, Jennifer Saginor, who spent her early years in the Playboy mansion and claimed to have witnessed her father’s love affair. While admitting that Dr. Saginor and Hefner were “best friends” and “soulmates,” Jennifer went on to talk about their alleged sexual encounters.

Jennifer stated, “They (Hefner and Dr. Saginor) had a physical relationship. In the context of these different orgies, the orgies sort of started as something that was an opportunity for people to sort of experience their open sexuality.” She even revealed how Dr. Saginor allegedly gave up on his family life and his practice to be with Hefner and was present at the Playboy founder’s side when he passed away in September 2017. Thus, although there can never be an official confirmation about Hefner’s sexuality, recent developments and revelations make it seem like he was indeed bisexual.

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