December 1962: We do not consider sex either sacred or profane. The logic that permits a person to call down God's wrath on anyone for displaying a bit of God's own handiwork does, we must admit, escape us.

January 1963: You don't have to be a homosexual to read Oscar Wilde or an alcoholic and a drug addict to appreciate the prose and poetry of Edgar Allan Poe.

February 1963: Man's new zest for living can be seen in his interest in a car that has style and speed, in his savoring the pleasures of the senses with good food and drink and stereo sound, in his involvement in the decor of his apartment and the cut of his clothes.

March 1963: We've successfully sustained our freedom of religion, but not freedom from religion.

May 1963: We do not believe that a satisfactory definition for obscenity can ever be established. It has long seemed quite incredible—indeed, incomprehensible—to us that detailed descriptions of murder, which we consider a crime, are acceptable in our art and literature, while detailed descriptions of sex, which is not a crime, are prohibited. It is as though our society put hate above love—favored death over life. 


September 1963: Modern American morality is an amalgamation of the superstitious paganism and masochistic asceticism of early Christianity; the sexual anxieties, feelings of guilt and shame, witch-hunting sadism and sex repression of the medieval Church; the desexualized courtly love of the troubadours; and England's Romantic Age, wherein love was presumed to conquer all.

December 1963: The anti-intellectual syndrome in America is a part of our society's subconscious desire to elevate the mediocre and demean the uncommon in education and intellect. We think it is natural and right for the individual to be principally concerned with himself. Society should exist as man's servant, not as his master. The purpose in man's life should be found in the full living of life itself and the individual pursuit of happiness.

January 1964: Each man's freedom should be limited only to the extent that it infringes upon the freedom of others.


February 1964: Sin and crime are not synonymous. But many of our laws are evolved from old ecclesiastical laws, from religious beliefs and dogma, to which some of our citizens subscribe, and many others do not. No one can reasonably question the powerful role that sex plays in all our lives. It is a dominant force in society. It can be a force for either good or evil, but sex in itself is neither. Control over marriage gives the government control over sex.

April 1964: The American male's concern over his masculinity amounts to an obsession. And as we have observed in our consideration of the history of antisex in our culture, such an obsession usually represents a repressed fear.

September 1964: Though we are free citizens in most other respects, in sex we are the slaves of society and the state. It is fortunate that no examining officer can single out the majority of the men who have had some homosexual experience, since the ranks of our Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines would be severely depleted if the one male in every three who has engaged in such activity was not permitted to serve.


May 1966: Prostitution flourishes specifically because of the double standard that exists for male and female sexual morality, and the prostitution laws of the United States are, themselves, patently anti-female.

From The Playboy Philosophy, Parts I–XXV