In the aftermath of the Starr Report, playing footsie at a pajama party may seem downright prudish. But Hugh Hefner was shrewd at pacing the public's slow acceptance of his vaunted "Girl Next Door" fantasy world. Throughout the '60s the art of suggestion was foremost in Hefner's playbook.

The title was a pricey investment. But that was the cost of admission into the raciest mainstream publication in American history. So what did you get for your 60 cents? Not much nudity by today's standards, that's for sure, but the quality? Four stars, like the erotic equivalent of the Nelson Riddle Orchestra in full swing.


Exhibit A: the blockbuster centerfold, a 20th Century masterpiece from the team of publisher Hugh Hefner, photographer Mario Casilli and Miss July, a Norweigan-born 19 year-old shop girl named Unne Terjesen. Line this vintage glamour shot up against the silicon replicants of today's "male interest" publishing, and you rediscover a liberal Shangri-La of naturalistic sexuality. Hef, what in the hell happened?

Other highlights in the July '62 issue: a memoir on reporting from master dramatist/screenwriter Ben Hecht; plus venerable jazz-scene liberal Nat Henthoff writes "a perceptive report on the American Negro and his new militancy for uncompromising equality."

  stella stevens  
  Five-O superstarlet Stella Stevens "co-stars with Elvis Presley in Hal Wallis' 'Girls! Girls! Girls!" proclaims this ad for Coppertone.  
  Polly-Jo 38-21-38. Surely this must be Camelot. Did we read that right? That's right, say the pimps at Chesterfield Kings, Polly-Jo's bust measures a formidable 38 inches, her waist tapers to a nearly impossible 21 inches, and her bombshell hips flare to a fulsome and sublime 38 inches, making her "almost as attractive as her cigarette is satisfying." Good old Polly-Jo. She was a little bit classy and a little bit sassy. She knew a few good times in her day, drank a little too much and let herself go. She moved to Florida, turned tricks in a mobile home and died of an inoperable lung tumor at age 38.  
Playboy staffer and proto-Playmate Janet Pilgrim makes hay in at El Mirador in Palm Springs. Not pictured: the living hell of sexual harassment traditionally enacted by bosses expecting their offices to come equipped with secretarial sex slaves. 

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