Editors’ note: We received a flurry of letters and calls objecting to our July issue. A sample:
DON’T LOVE IT
My husband and I have subscribed to your magazine for a number of years.
I am really bothered by this current issue. I don’t believe it is necessary to advertise sex in any magazine. To show places to go for sex is encouraging more young people to visit these places of immorality. We have enough sex shown on TV, [the] Internet, etc. Please give us more encouraging articles about the great city of Chicago rather than demoralizing it!
South Bend, Indiana
I have been a subscriber to your magazine off and on since its inception. I am a lifelong Chicagoan. I now find it necessary to voice my opinion for the first time in nearly thirty years. I am very dismayed by the July cover photo of a very young woman with the headlines of the July main features regarding sex. If I wanted a titillating rag, I would go out and buy one.
I’m sure the girl must be 18 or you wouldn’t have used her photo. However, the decision to use the photo of a very young woman perpetuates a problem that permeates our society—the association of ever-younger girls with sex.
I am done with you. Please cancel my subscription.
I can’t believe you found it necessary to devote an entire issue to sex and love. With all that is going on in our city and the world, is [this] the best your staff can come up with? The issue read like Cosmo, and really, haven’t we had enough of that? I would be really disappointed if I were one of the singles featured in the cartoon article [The Adventures of Supermen and Wonderwomen]. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of a trashy future for your otherwise fine publication.
I was thoroughly disgusted by the July edition. I usually leave the issue on my coffee table and then pass it on. Not this issue; directly in the garbage, as that was what it was. Surely the magazine could feature many exciting things in Chicago rather than this immoral trash!
I surely did not want this reading material in my home.
If we wanted the content of your July issue, we’d purchase other magazines. Who needs this?
ON THE OTHER HAND
We know that sex sells, and thrills, but also fulfills. Our society, while trying to look comfortable with all sorts of sexual situations, remains surprisingly over-titillated and guilt-ridden about what ought to be a more natural, open involvement with sex in sensible adult forms.
The cutting-edge discussion of personal sexual practices in your July issue challenges readers to learn to talk frankly about taboo topics such as sexual intimacy, masturbation, and orgasm. The issue brings these life functions into perspective, while also respecting religious, philosophical, medical, and physical considerations. Such overdue learning represents a win for all.
Leon J. Hoffman
I want all the editors of Chicago magazine to know how truly blown away I am by your remarkable piece on life at the Playboy Mansion in the sixties [The Big Party, by Bryan Smith, July]. It was a time like no other and is remembered most fondly by those of us who were privileged to be there.
As for the death of Bobbie Arnstein, anyone who suggests that [the investigation] wasn’t a politically inspired witch hunt knows better.
Hugh M. Hefner
Los Angeles, California
Bryan Smith’s story regarding the heyday of Playboy was very interesting and certainly brought back memories; however, there were a few inaccuracies.
As a former magazine staffer who worked there for more than seven years and who was there during the drug bust that involved Bobbie Arnstein (I actually read the indictment papers), I clearly recall that her involvement was completely indirect. She was Hefner’s right hand and an extremely psychologically fragile woman who was very depressed, which [the prosecutor Jim] Thompson took great advantage of in his massive efforts to somehow implicate Hefner in being involved with drugs, which he wasn’t.
Moreover, during the time I spent working on the magazine, as far as staffers fornicating in the “curvy” corners or in the bathrooms, I think some of the people interviewed, who were there when I was, might have “exaggerated” memories about what life was like at 919 North Michigan Avenue. If anyone had visited, they would most likely have been disappointed, since our staff, casually dressed in jeans or whatever, were working hard, just as they would be at any other publication.
Beverly Hills, California
Omitted from the credit information for the July cover were the name and agency of the model: Whitney/Elite Chicago.
“The Fitzgerald Era,” in August’s Arena, misstated when a practice took place. The practice occurred in April, not May.