posted on March 23, 2009 14:18
Enquiring minds want to know.
The Savvy Navigator – gay travel guy extraordinaire – has been barraged with requests from friends to share the story of how and why he got invited to the Playboy Mansion West this month. In a nutshell, he could not believe his good luck, and was elated that this lifelong dream was fulfilled. Imagine, a guy who spends his life jetting around the world organizing and leading gay tours, gets to spend the evening partying at the Playboy Mansion with Playboy bunnies and Playmates…
Now, in his own words, the back-story:
Several years ago, I fell in love with the E! TV series, The Girls Next Doo
r (aka “TGND”), which chronicles the comings and goings of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner (aka “Hef”) and his three blond girlfriends, Holly, Bridget and Kendra. Having been a lifelong fan of Playboy (the magazine was first discovered at my Uncle Bill’s house when I was 9), I appreciated the inside look at Playboy, and I found the docu-soap format of TGND highly entertaining.
My husband, Travel Channel muckity muck, Michael, a television connoisseur himself, noticed that I was spending a lot of time with Hef and the girls, and started getting curious. Michael soon started watching the show with me and was impressed, in his words, with “the production value” of TGND. Michael dutifully watched the credits after one episode and realized that the show was produced for E! by Kevin Burns, at Prometheus Entertainment in L.A.
The next trip to L.A. Michael and Kevin had breakfast and fell in love with each other in that L.A. TV-production kinda way. As TGND was winding down, and the girlfriends were one-by-one leaving Hef the Mansion, Kevin was interested in finding other shows he could develop and produce and sell to a network like Travel Channel.
To make a long story short, Kevin pitched ex-girlfriend Bridget to Travel Channel in a new show, “Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches,” and Michael and his team committed to the concept and green-lit the show.
For premier week of the new series, it was decided that the “Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches
” launch party would be held at the Playboy Mansion and the Hollywood press and other folks attached to the production would be invited. Since the road to this show somehow started with my guilty, little TV pleasure, Michael insisted that I come to the party as his date.
So here we are, Michael and me with Bridget at the Playboy Mansion. The party was a blast. I hung out in the grotto (everyone was clothed). The food was terrific, and the cocktails plentiful. Hef is old, but still managed to attend with his 3 new girlfriends. All in all, it was a nice evening, and it really could have been any other corporate event my beloved spouse takes me to from time to time.
While not as racy as many would expect, I did feel like I experienced something that will not be around for much longer. If I were to sum up the Playboy Mansion experience, I would say it’s anachronistic more than anything else.
But the reality was that I was just standing by my man that night, and that’s what got me to the Playboy Mansion.
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