Gays Reading

Crystal Hefner (Only Say Good Things)

January 30, 2024 Brett Benner, Jason Blitman, Crystal Hefner Season 2 Episode 36
Crystal Hefner (Only Say Good Things)
Gays Reading
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Gays Reading
Crystal Hefner (Only Say Good Things)
Jan 30, 2024 Season 2 Episode 36
Brett Benner, Jason Blitman, Crystal Hefner

Jason and Brett talk to Crystal Hefner (Only Say Good Things) about life following her time in the famed Playboy mansion, beauty standards and carrying the burden of how we want to be perceived in the world, and what she's discovering about herself now that she's on the other side.

Crystal Hefner is a world-renowned model, advocate, and entrepreneur. A former Playboy Playmate, she now works to bring awareness to issues she is passionate about, speaking out on social media to her 10 million followers about body image, objectification, and beauty standards in the media. 

**BOOKS!**
Check out the list of books discussed on each episode on our Bookshop page:
https://bookshop.org/shop/gaysreading | By purchasing books through this Bookshop link, you can support both Gays Reading and an independent bookstore of your choice!

Join our Patreon for exclusive bonus content!

Purchase your Gays Reading podcast Merch!

Follow us on Instagram
@gaysreading | @bretts.book.stack | @jasonblitman

What are you reading?
Send us an email or a voice memo at gaysreading@gmail.com

Show Notes Transcript

Jason and Brett talk to Crystal Hefner (Only Say Good Things) about life following her time in the famed Playboy mansion, beauty standards and carrying the burden of how we want to be perceived in the world, and what she's discovering about herself now that she's on the other side.

Crystal Hefner is a world-renowned model, advocate, and entrepreneur. A former Playboy Playmate, she now works to bring awareness to issues she is passionate about, speaking out on social media to her 10 million followers about body image, objectification, and beauty standards in the media. 

**BOOKS!**
Check out the list of books discussed on each episode on our Bookshop page:
https://bookshop.org/shop/gaysreading | By purchasing books through this Bookshop link, you can support both Gays Reading and an independent bookstore of your choice!

Join our Patreon for exclusive bonus content!

Purchase your Gays Reading podcast Merch!

Follow us on Instagram
@gaysreading | @bretts.book.stack | @jasonblitman

What are you reading?
Send us an email or a voice memo at gaysreading@gmail.com

Jason Blitman:

This is maybe TMI and why am I saying this while we, after you hit record? It's been so rainy here but it's gorgeous out today. And so I was sitting on my little patio, enjoying the sun. And I went to go sit down to zoom with you. but my, my shorts were so wet from, from my furniture outside. And I like, didn't realize.

Brett Benner:

You didn't feel it?

Jason Blitman:

No, cause it's so warm out that wasn't, but, and then when I like sat down on something that was indoors and not, it was so wet. So I'm, I'm, I took my shorts off and I'm just sitting here in my underwear.

Brett Benner:

Okay. I was like, I was like, do you wet yourself normally so you're

Jason Blitman:

No, no, oh my God, it's so silly.

Brett Benner:

Oh my god, that's hilarious.

Jason Blitman:

there's so many good books coming out today. I'm so

Brett Benner:

A lot.

Jason Blitman:

them.

Brett Benner:

It seems, doesn't it? I also feel like it seems too early that so many great books should be getting published already. Like, I'm like, hold off until like later in the year,

Jason Blitman:

Why? Good books can be published always.

Brett Benner:

Oh no, I know. It just, it seems like there's a glut at certain times. And like, looking ahead, like, you know, May and June seem like so massive. But, um, I was, driving back from the desert today and, uh, I was listening to one of these books that are coming out today, which is Hard by a Great Forest. I had to write this down, going off what you were talking about last week, I think, about wanting to pronounce author's names correctly.

Jason Blitman:

Oh,

Brett Benner:

So it's Leo Vardyashvili, that's it, Leo Vardyashvili, um, and I listened to it four times at the end of the recording when the woman's like, you were listening to, um, it was such an amazing novel. I think for anybody who loves, all the light we cannot see, it is. a buddy story, a family story, a war story. I literally like was sobbing in the car. it's a fantastic book and like so far like tops of the year for me. So anyway.

Jason Blitman:

Amazing. I can't wait to check it out. Also out today is a debut novel from Andres N. Ordorica. It's called How We Named the Stars. Equal parts tender and triumphant. How We Named the Stars is a debut novel of love, heartache, redemption, and learning to honor the dead. A story of finding the strength to figure out who you are and who you could be if only the world would let you. I read it and it's lovely. Happy, happy pub day,

Brett Benner:

You know what is interesting about that too, is both that and Hard by a Great Forest, they're two of the ten new authors to watch this year that have sterling debuts. So, I love that, that we both, um, covered one of those. The other thing that's coming out today, which I'm about halfway through, and for those who liked the first one, it's kind of more of the same, which is Everyone on this Train is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson. Um, his first book, Was really fun, um, everyone in my family has killed someone, which was optioned by HBO and is going to be made into a series. And this is more of the same. It's basically his version of Murder on the Orient Express. So that is out

Jason Blitman:

And now we're sort of getting into, quote unquote next month territory. I can't believe it's already the end of January. But next month on Gay's Reading, we have a couple books that are coming out today. One week from now, we will have Dolly Alderton talking about her new book, Good Material. Good Material's out Today, and you'll hear more about that next week.

Brett Benner:

And the other one is, Mark Daly, whose book Safe, A Memoir of Fatherhood, Foster Care and the Risks We Take for Family, which is out today. And you'll be hearing him next week talking about it,

Jason Blitman:

Yeah. We'll have him out, uh, as a, as a little bonus following Dolly. So, that'll be great. So excited. So much fun stuff going on. And, as always, gotta say it, if you like what you're hearing, like us, share us, follow us. Wherever you get your podcasts, make sure you're subscribing, that way you, A, will be the first to know when an episode drops, but also, if you give us a, a five star review or the more subscribers the podcasts have, that's how you get, like, higher up on lists and when people are searching for book podcasts, that's how they'll find us. We also, of course, have, merchandise that we haven't really talked about in a minute, but we have merch. T shirts and tote bags and buttons and all sorts of fun stuff. Mugs. I use my gay reader mug the other day and it made me think of that. And the link to that shop is in our show notes and all of the books that we ever talk about are found, we have our list in our bookshop. org page. So it's both a good list for keeping track of what books we're talking about. And also an easy place for you to buy books and support. authors and support local bookstores, bookshop. org, you can like pick the indie bookstore that you want to give a cut of the money to. And of course our Patreon.

Brett Benner:

our Patreon is great. for those of you who haven't checked it out, it has, a lot of bonus content because our episodes, a lot of times are so much longer. We just can't get everything into our episodes. So this is where we put all that other stuff, it's kind of ever evolving and it's a place where we're going to put a lot of fun stuff going forward. So check it out. It's only 5 a month. So that's less than a Starbucks. I know. Cause I went there yesterday and got coffee.

Jason Blitman:

I know I like can't go there anymore. It's just too expensive.

Brett Benner:

It's it, it's crazy

Jason Blitman:

I should just subscribe to people's Patreons.

Brett Benner:

Yes, that's exactly right. That's exactly right. Only fans for literature people.

Jason Blitman:

yes, it is our, essentially it's our only fan, as I say, sitting in my underwear.

Brett Benner:

That's exactly right. That's exactly right. Bonus content!

Jason Blitman:

On today's show, we have the lovely Crystal Heffner. and she, uh, my mom called me the other day and she was like, I've been seeing this Crystal Hefner popping up all over the place. I know. Have you talked to her yet? I was like, yes, mom, she'll be on next week. Um, so for those who are unfamiliar, Crystal Hefner is a world renowned model advocate and entrepreneur, a former playboy playmate. She now works to bring awareness to issues she's passionate about speaking out on social media to her 10 million followers about body image objectification and beauty standards. In the media, and she joins us to talk about her memoir, only say good things, which just came out last week.

Brett Benner:

And I'm

Jason Blitman:

and enjoy this episode of Gaze Reading. How Are you this morning?

Crystal Hefner:

Pretty good. Yeah. It's a rainy day here in LA. So just enjoying that because it's very rare. Just

Brett Benner:

We're going to get a lot of rain. We're getting a lot. I'm in LA too.

Crystal Hefner:

Oh, cool. It's nice.

Jason Blitman:

Are you like stoked?=Are you anxious? Are you mostly in the sense of you've you're putting this out into the world soon? How are you feeling?

Crystal Hefner:

I know. I think because I have such a, great team behind me I just feel, I feel really good about it. When I first started writing, I was nervous because as the title is only say good things and they're not only good things in the book. So I was a bit nervous. But after reading some other memoirs and a lot of people like just being radically honest, I'm like, okay, just going to be honest, throw it all out there. And at this stage of my life, nothing can be taken away from me. I have nothing to lose. So here it is. And I feel that it was important to have. A different narrative than just, it's just Hef told the story for so long from his point of view and worked so hard to control the narrative for so long that I feel that voices from, other sides of it are important.

Brett Benner:

What was the process for you to get to that point to say, I have to say this.

Crystal Hefner:

I think after The Mansion, I started seeing a therapist and realizing that was harder to function outside of that bubble than I thought. So I would just work through that. And then telling these stories to a friend, she said, you really should write a book. You really should just tell your story and hopefully it'll help people. So

Brett Benner:

Yeah.

Jason Blitman:

God bless our therapists, right? I, I preach all the time. Like, Therapy is so important. It will change your life. untangling your trauma and

Crystal Hefner:

and I think it did I remember watching gosh it was leaving Neverland The Michael Jackson. And I remember Wade Robson kept talking about like dr. Shaw. And I thought, okay, who is this Dr. Shaw? I'm like this high profile weirdness. I'm like, I got to find this guy. So I did find Dr. Larry Shaw and he's been my therapist the last six years. So it works.

Jason Blitman:

You talking about Hef controlling the narrative. As a reader, I don't know that there was too much that I was like, quote unquote, surprised by, because I think that people make assumptions but I do think you owning your truth, but also putting things into unique perspectives was really interesting. And one of those things is you say that he was just a man pretending to be a wizard. And I was like, wow, when you think about all of us as humans, we're all like trying to protect our story and our narrative and hold up the walls of our like skin and bones that is us. And I think just putting it in that frame made it A tragic story.

Crystal Hefner:

I know. It's sad. It is a little bit sad. But yeah, I think we all have this, how burden of how we, how we want to be perceived in the world. And I think that was the same for him. I do think times have changed a little bit where we're okay showing more of our shadow sides and things we need to work on and talking openly about them. He was a person that never really did that. And I think that made him just more isolated from everybody else. Just wanting to keep up this, yeah, like he was the wizard and the great and powerful, all powerful man and just keeping up that charade for so long. Just made it so that he never really got that close with anyone.

Jason Blitman:

In Utah, you talking about putting up the charade for so long. The title only say good things you talk. Not only was that what he'd asked of you before he died, but I think that was also as you describe in the book how you really handled yourself. Throughout your time in the mansion, you helped plug the holes of the veneer as it started to, fade away. And I think when you're in the practice of only saying good things, you forget what it's like to be honest and to express your truth and to strip that away a little bit. How does that part of it feel, like coming out on the other end? Yeah.

Crystal Hefner:

a bit. touching on what we were just talking about trying to keep up this charade or this facade or whatever he, for so long. So it did feel like I was pulling back the curtain and exposing this person. I think what helped is just talking about my own. Issues and problems and how hard it was there and how it wasn't perfect on my end and then just also on his end it was hard, but being there myself, seeing the Picasso's and all these paintings and all these crazy things and amazing things. And over time Oh, those were fake. Oh, this opulent mansion, this incredible place. Oh, it has mold. It's ridden with mold everywhere. So everything crumbled, and with Hef, it's the same kind of, you know what, we would go out and everyone would be like, You're the man, Hugh! Oh my god, wow! I don't know if this man truly knows how to love, or what love is, and, I think that's sad, and I think just being honest has been very helpful. And Yeah,

Jason Blitman:

is like coming back into sort of rediscovering who you are the practice of being honest with yourself, I imagine is challenging because you had your muscle of only saying good things is so strong.

Brett Benner:

I think about it that your whole life, like for me, watching you. Effectively grow up through the process of going through this. It seems like there was a lot of you that was always a caretaker and was always saying good things. And I also look at you as someone who believed in the fairy tale, right? And the fantasy of the happily ever after of the prince. And suddenly you're seeing, the beast behind that and,

Crystal Hefner:

I know

Brett Benner:

but watching who you become and how you take charge, which is an incredibly empowering thing to watch you from that beginning of that first time you arrive in that mansion to when you finally walk out. It's an incredible journey.

Crystal Hefner:

Thank you. Yeah, thank you. I definitely feel that I was, the eternal people pleaser. I feel that I was molded perfectly to be in that situation with Heth, to just like everything he liked and just, be his mirror, just reflecting his self importance back at him. And, yeah, toward the end, I came more into my own and felt better about being there. But even after, trying to date, I remember like being set up with a, like a matchmaker to help me. Cause it's like, how do I meet people in the wild? Like I have no idea.

Brett Benner:

Yeah.

Crystal Hefner:

And they're asking me like, Oh, what are your hobbies? What do you like? I don't know.

Jason Blitman:

Yeah.

Crystal Hefner:

How awkward, right? So it's taken me time to just figure out like, Oh, maybe I don't like all those old timey movies so much. Maybe it's

Jason Blitman:

What are some of these things that you're discovering now? What do you like?

Crystal Hefner:

I know travel travels pretty amazing.

Jason Blitman:

anywhere that you'd been recently that you're like, Oh, this is a must go.

Crystal Hefner:

Gosh, I have become. a little bit obsessed with Hawaii. It's just, it's still America, but it feels just worlds, worlds away.

Jason Blitman:

No, it's far still.

Crystal Hefner:

yeah, and I ended up buying a farm there. Which also taught me that I like being around nature, just far away from people.

Brett Benner:

Do you have dogs or cat?

Crystal Hefner:

I have one dog and she lived in the mansion. She's like, I had like 70 moms and dads and now I just have you. She's I'm

Brett Benner:

I had a grotto.

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah, she had everything. She had people giving her treats at every turn and yeah, now she just has me, but I'm doing my best.

Jason Blitman:

I'm sure she's very happy.

Brett Benner:

Yes. She

Jason Blitman:

Dogs have the life.

Brett Benner:

Yes,

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah.

Jason Blitman:

So that's an interesting discovery.

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah. So many

Jason Blitman:

Yeah. Anything else off the top of my mind? You said so many,

Crystal Hefner:

Gosh. I think I've been just trying new hobbies and I've been getting into real estate more.

Jason Blitman:

Whenever my husband is looking at Zillow, I call it porn.

Brett Benner:

it

Crystal Hefner:

really? Yeah. It is

Brett Benner:

you seen that Saturday Night Live sketch that they do about that, where they have like the people who, they're like in their 40s and they sit down and you think, and it's like the music it sounds like porn music and it starts and they're looking and they're like, this is a three bedroom with a, you know, like, and it is, it's completely that's what it becomes, yes.

Jason Blitman:

I

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah. I love, yeah, I love it. I love looking at Zillow. I look at Zillow like every day. Or LoopNet. I recently discovered LoopNet.

Jason Blitman:

Wait, is LootNet the businesses?

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah, LoopNet is businesses and odd things. It's like car washes and self storage.

Jason Blitman:

Yes. Oh my God. Crystal. I can't believe you're bringing this up. I literally two days ago discovered loop net.

Crystal Hefner:

Wow.

Jason Blitman:

with it.

Crystal Hefner:

It

Brett Benner:

you can buy businesses?

Crystal Hefner:

businesses, like old schools that you can transform into something, and churches, and

Jason Blitman:

Yeah. The thing that I just found that I, that was like more realistic for me and my price bracket is that there's like a Hawaiian shaved ice cart for sale.

Crystal Hefner:

Where?

Jason Blitman:

my next journey?

Crystal Hefner:

Oh my gosh. Yeah, I think it could be.

Jason Blitman:

just can't believe you just brought that up. Cause I was like, wait, I know loop net. I just discovered it two seconds ago. That's so funny.

Brett Benner:

Jason's juicy shaved ice.

Jason Blitman:

You heard it here first, everyone.

Brett Benner:

strolling through the streets oh my god.

Crystal Hefner:

Know. Oh my gosh. Some of my friends have a flower shop and they said just on Valentine's Day, they make enough to get them through the whole

Brett Benner:

I'm sure.

Crystal Hefner:

So yeah, you never know. Keep, you will keep loop netting.

Jason Blitman:

Oh my god. Crystal, let's go into business together. What are we gonna, let's buy something. Oh, that's so funny. Anything good? What have you been what's your shaved ice stand?

Crystal Hefner:

Oh my gosh, I've been looking. Recently, I feel, I don't know, like I've been looking at like old schools or like abandoned things to restore. Just, yeah, stuff like that.

Jason Blitman:

That's cool. I know. See, I, my background is theater. And so anytime I see like an old building, I'm

Crystal Hefner:

That's so cute.

Jason Blitman:

this is going to be a theater.

Crystal Hefner:

Theater!

Jason Blitman:

Just put up curtains and put on a show.

Crystal Hefner:

Oh my gosh.

Brett Benner:

dreams are coming to life,

Jason Blitman:

know. That's all. That's me. Speaking of food carts, your book ruined taquitos for me. I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna say anything more. Our listeners can, you need to read the book to understand why Crystal's book, why Only So Good Things completely ruined taquitos for me.

Crystal Hefner:

somebody, somebody I've been dating was like, oh what's that little scar on your belly button from?

Brett Benner:

Oh.

Crystal Hefner:

I'm like, here, read this.

Jason Blitman:

You want to learn everything? Here you go!

Brett Benner:

How fast, what was the exact timeline from that first night to when you moved in?

Crystal Hefner:

Oh, the timeline with when I met Hef at the party and moved into the house. The party was on a, Friday maybe and I went back to San Diego on a Monday

Brett Benner:

yeah,

Crystal Hefner:

because I did fun in the sun and Sunday a new movie from the theater and then I went back to San Diego and then Monday I thought oh, how do I go from that to back to my normal life? It's whoa and then I think Tuesday I have called and I didn't answer because I didn't recognize the number and he left a message like this is Hugh Hefner I think he said I'd like to invite you to move in on the voicemail.

Brett Benner:

Wow.

Crystal Hefner:

I know it was so weird like that voice on my

Brett Benner:

and what, and what goes through your head at that moment of thinking like, Oh my God, is this real? Is this, is that my being punked? There was a pre cameo days, but

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah, it's so magical and I did have the fairy tale princess feeling vibes, it was like a magic castle up there. But yeah, but like we said earlier, it's okay, this prince is 80, 60 years older than me. What? Oh

Jason Blitman:

the whole book, you reference Little Mermaid and other Disney movies. You know it doesn't come up once? Beauty and the Beast. And I was like, oh my god, this is the Beauty and the Beast story.

Brett Benner:

he never becomes the prince.

Jason Blitman:

No, it's it's the non Disneyfied version. You know what I mean? It's

Brett Benner:

Yes, you're the original. Yes.

Jason Blitman:

yeah.

Crystal Hefner:

able to leave the castle and it's dark and mysterious and weird and

Jason Blitman:

you know, You even saying that you got that voicemail, I think every single person can relate to being chosen. No, we, none of us want to be the last one picked for kickball,

Crystal Hefner:

Oh, I hated that when I was younger. That was the cruelest thing.

Jason Blitman:

right, like,

Crystal Hefner:

last

Brett Benner:

Same.

Jason Blitman:

And I think we all have that experience and what was so interesting to me about the beginning of the book and the beginning of this story is you were just Let's see what happens. And I'm a little scared because that's how I live my life. I'm just like, you know what? Let's try. Why not? Let's just see what happens. And things can go bad or things can go poorly. You know what I mean? It's like a, it's like that interesting just dichotomy of understanding yourself enough to then like combat the things that happen to you. And when you're 21 years old, you don't necessarily, you're not prepared for that.

Crystal Hefner:

yeah.

Brett Benner:

At all. You're frankly, your brain is still developing. All studies show like it's still happening. They're like, everything hasn't set yet. Do you know what I mean?

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah. It was definitely impulsive for sure Yeah, it was impulsive, but it was also Yeah. It's let's try this out. Let's see. Let's see what happens.

Jason Blitman:

Yeah, and let's try this out. What's the worst that can happen? But then also there's, know that I think a lot about Oh, so and so became a doctor or so and so is doing this, has a great job. Like, why can't I I can too. They just tried and therefore no one else tried as hard. So let me try as hard. And that thing will happen to me too. So I can see that happening as well. You're like I'm, I feel beautiful. And I don't, the person to my left and my right is no better looking than me. So let me try, and you can see that. I don't know, it's it's crazy, because on one hand I'm like, that's, it was a valuable effort, and I think it's important for people to take risks and to try things.

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah. And I feel like having a taste of that world or as my mom would say, like how the other half lived for a weekend. I'm like, Oh my gosh, this is an incredible in this world. And I just wanted to be part of it. Like little mermaid. I still had. Like imposter syndrome super like super badly, but I'm like, I'm just gonna go through it I don't know how my mind a 21 kind of figured all that out. But

Brett Benner:

I have a 16 year old daughter

Crystal Hefner:

no

Brett Benner:

Something that, comes up against and I thought about her in regards to you so much. And this is this idea of beauty and desirability and the pressures that are put on young women. And today, and always there's always been there. And Playboy was the pinnacle of the perfect girl, and that everyone would aspire to. And it's even magnified so much because of social media and because of what's constantly being drilled into this is how you should look and social media people and the same. This is what you should get and this is what you should be in order to get your prints to go to the festival, and to live happily ever after right, so I'm curious, your thoughts about that in terms of you were right in the middle of this. For lack of a better word cesspool of beauty and desirability. And it was the, the kind of angling to get to the top position.

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah, I think it was hard and I think you know I talked about in the book like your value is what you look like when it at the end of the day, I mean I have didn't want me up there for my personality at least initially so Yeah, trying to keep up with that can be exhausting, the countless surgeries and all the girls up there, they're comparing themselves to each other and just doing everything they can to just try and stay like looking perfect and it's hard. And when I talked about in the book, coming out of the mansion and seeing social media where it's a continuation of that, where these girls are just striving to be just so perfect. And they're all the, these filters and it's tough and. I went through that with the therapist because it made me see things through that lens, values, what you look like. And it was hard for me to go away from that. I remember the therapist was telling me like, focus on things that it has nothing to do with what you look like, real estate, don't do sponsored social media posts or anything that's like having to present yourself physically, like just, get into stuff like that. And I, I feel that. If women are around the right people, if women are around people who love them for what's internal, I think that's really important. And I've been trying to just surround myself by people who just appreciate me for what's inside. Cause I'm 37. So that fades, beauty isn't forever. So trying to find. Value and other things besides that I think is very important, especially, for younger people.

Jason Blitman:

I think it's so ingrained in us that we don't even realize what we're doing. This morning, I was like, I need to make sure my beard is trimmed and for my zoom with crystal and I want to look good.

Brett Benner:

You do, Jason, you

Jason Blitman:

my face. You know what I mean? It's just at slash, it doesn't matter. But that was even, that was on my mind because of the world we live in,

Crystal Hefner:

absolutely. I put like this thicker concealer because, I used some creams to try and take sun damage off my face and made my face red. So I think we fall victim still. And I don't know, there's something about like beauty and youth and all these things and it's hard.

Jason Blitman:

Yeah. I've needed to unfollow a lot of people on Instagram because I find them so attractive. And I'm like, I, all I do is find myself comparing myself or resenting myself, or it's like bad for my own mental health, like looking at something even to aspire to, because. All I was doing was comparing, and I'm like, that's not good, that's not healthy. It's at our fingertips, and I'm 35, so we like, came of age around a very similar time, where we didn't really have that at our fingertips, in a way that people now do.

Brett Benner:

Back and like you, like even the girls next door, because I went back to see when that actually premiered and it was like one year or it was like a year before or right after the Kardashians first year. So it was all in that same kind of time when these things were just exploding. And certainly if you ask any parent today who has a young girl, they will talk that the Kardashians is the. Number one influence for young girls today in terms of what they're watching, what they're looking at and how they're ascribing values to their looks and what they can be. Many young girls will say, like my daughter originally had said, I think it was like, I want to be an influencer but the question became what beyond that? Because that's a shelf life that lasts this long. And then what is it, what's underneath that and what do you have to say? And that's, what's more interesting. And that's what people are really going to be interested in the long run. Because like you said, beauty fades, all of it changes,

Crystal Hefner:

yeah, and

Jason Blitman:

let's send the Kardashians some books.

Crystal Hefner:

oh my gosh, I know it's, it, I remember being at the mansion and like alongside them seeing them at the reality TV awards and seeing Kim and seeing, because she got her, like the show started with her posing for Playboy. So she's, was very grateful to Hef and. It's also hard seeing people get so much work done in plastic surgery and then also lie about it.

Brett Benner:

Yes.

Crystal Hefner:

So then you're like, Oh, I'm doing these lip kits and my lips are like, it's like, Oh my gosh, it's so sad. The implants, the boobs, but like all the things it's hard and it. It makes it just even harder to attain and make people feel worse about themselves, especially, lot of people like don't have time, money, the same resources

Jason Blitman:

And there are so many degrees of that scale too, like I was just talking about social media and I feel like such a naive kid when it comes to social media. I didn't even realize the amount of people that use Facetune and filters and so many things on their posts, let alone anything they're doing to themselves physically, taking testosterone, who knows all of the little nips and tucks and whatever. I

Brett Benner:

will admit, I take testosterone, I'm 56 years old, so

Crystal Hefner:

you can have a, you can go live and have a filter live now,

Brett Benner:

Yeah, that's crazy.

Crystal Hefner:

that's not even really them.

Jason Blitman:

But you can't have that when you're walking around the world. So what do you do? It's so bizarre to me. You ask so many questions in the book of yourself. And I think like bigger pictures impose really interesting, like thoughtful macro life things. And one that has stuck with me a lot was about just like the sacrifices that we're willing to make and like what's worth a sacrifice. And we also only live once, so it's hard to, have regrets and to look back on certain things. But were you able to give yourself a little redemption story about some of the sacrifices that you made or feel a little bit more confident about some of the sacrifices that you made?

Crystal Hefner:

I, I feel that everything happens for a reason and there was a reason that I ended up there and I do feel everything happens for a reason. And, it wasn't all bad, so that's why I've been saying is. It's not that half's all good or all evil, it's not like he's a hero or a villain. It's, he was just a complicated, complex person. And, yeah, there were good times and bad times. There were times where I felt just very trapped. But there were also times where I made light of things. Yeah, I think it's You know, I'm grateful and yeah, I think it's a good story. I don't regret anything. I definitely, if I had a daughter and the situation was repeated, which it, never will be I would never have allowed her to go there. So I'm like, mom, where were you? My mom was at the party. So

Jason Blitman:

That was interesting to

Brett Benner:

that's what's fascinating or

Crystal Hefner:

a Leo. So she's like

Jason Blitman:

In Utah, it's funny. I was also I'm also an April baby, but early April, so I don't think we're the same sign. But I was like yeah. But I saw some of myself and you too. I also very much believe in everything happening for a reason. And there's While not having regrets, I think there was a lot for you to take away from this experience to build a future.

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Jason Blitman:

Can you talk about some of the work that you're doing now?

Crystal Hefner:

Gosh. On myself or on,

Jason Blitman:

For the greater world,

Crystal Hefner:

my job.

Jason Blitman:

talk a lot about promoting alternative beauty standards and like helping young women like understand their value. And I think that's a huge thing to take away. You have an incredible platform, a huge following and a voice that people will listen to. And, I think that there's incredible value in the experience you had and translating it into a platform.

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah. I've really appreciated that. When I was at the mansion, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. So I started talking about that on social media and I had a lot of other people that, reached out and built community that way. And then I also had my breast implants removed in 2016 and that was at a time where not that many people were talking about. Breast implant illness. And a lot of women were sick and had different symptoms and not realizing what it was coming from. It's a foreign object in your body and you get these to like, feel sexy and all the, but it makes you feel the opposite. So yeah, I just, this network of women now that I have because of that, like coming together, talking about illness and healing a woman reached out to me on Instagram. And she was sick. I recommended my doctor and she said, Oh my gosh, thank you. I'm so much better. Please come and visit me anytime in Hawaii. And that's how that all started. So, So I went and visited her. She had this beautiful house by a waterfall and that's, I fell in love with Hawaii and that's how I found the farm. So through healing, I think it's helping I erased all of my. Photos and bathing suits and, any of the playboy stuff that I just didn't feel authentic to myself. That's all gone now. yeah, I just post what I want and the following is growing and it's nice. It's nice to just be authentic and yeah, I hope other people can feel that they can be that way.

Brett Benner:

you talked about, if you had a daughter, you wouldn't do that. Is that something you want? Do you want kids? Do you want is that something for yourself?

Crystal Hefner:

I hope so. Yeah, I think I. Yeah, I didn't before, but I think that would be nice

Jason Blitman:

More conversations with the matchmaker first.

Crystal Hefner:

I'm trying, it is so hard.

Jason Blitman:

That's my dream. I want to be a matchmaker.

Crystal Hefner:

Really?

Brett Benner:

you

Jason Blitman:

Oh yeah, in like a fantasy land I don't know if you, I don't know if you've watched either Indian matchmaking or Jewish matchmaking on Netflix, but they're both wonderful, and I think will give good pieces of advice, but I interviewed for a different podcast, the Jewish matchmaker, and hearing her stories and talking to her, I was like, this has always been on my radar of something I want to do.

Brett Benner:

How would you have time to do your shaved ice?

Jason Blitman:

What if it was both? What if you like came to the shaved ice person to meet your matches?

Crystal Hefner:

I'm just kidding.

Jason Blitman:

Oh my god, it's between that and when Laura was in San Diego, my husband and I took her and her son sailing and we were on the sailboat and we were giving her son dating advice and They were like, you and Franklin should start a business where you bring couples onto the sailboat and give them relationship advice when they're like stuck on the ship and call it smooth sailing for

Crystal Hefner:

That's so cute! That's a great idea.

Jason Blitman:

I know. I was like, Oh, I'm into that. So

Crystal Hefner:

need help.

Jason Blitman:

you can meet your love, come sailing with Franklin and I we'll do the relationship counseling then you'll get your shaved ice.

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah!

Brett Benner:

at sea. Yes, that's what you get when you get off. That's your sweet treat.

Jason Blitman:

Yes. Oh my God, exactly. Okay, back to your book while we have a little time left with you. You talk a lot about the Playboy mythology, I think as certain generations, certain populations, we all have our own little stories with Playboy, right? I remember being a kid in my parents closet and pulling back my dad's clothes and seeing stacks and stacks of Playboys,

Brett Benner:

Yeah. Every boy did that.

Jason Blitman:

right?

Brett Benner:

Yeah.

Jason Blitman:

I did not open them or flip through them. I just knew they were there.

Brett Benner:

Flipped through them.

Jason Blitman:

I don't think I had, I think I knew very early on that I had no interest. But what does the Playboy mythology mean to you you have very specific experience, but if you had to describe what the mythology is, what would you say that is?

Crystal Hefner:

I guess when I first learned about Playboy through my stepdad at the time and you thinking these are the most beautiful women in the world and this is the best lifestyle and all of these things that it was portrayed to be and then going up to it and watching it crumble before my eyes. I'm not really sure. So in times of change, the world has changed.

Brett Benner:

Yeah. It represented, I think like growing up Playboy, it represented again the ideal woman, and it represented masculine power. And the kind of, it was this whole kind of sexualization and glamorization at the same time, because there was a difference to being young enough to remember the differences between Playboy was the perfect, the girl next door, who was so perfect. And it was not ever done in a play. Yeah. Kind of crass way. There were very tasteful pictorials where the girls of Penthouse was a lot more kind of, for lack of a better word, crude. And it was the pictorials were a lot more almost graphic where it felt like there was a, there was almost like a room, a romanticizing of like sex and the perfect, it was like Barbie, it was like perfect. It was all tied together and for

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah, I think so.

Brett Benner:

thing.

Crystal Hefner:

That was like, for me too, that was a little bit I don't know, maybe it was like the what was fed to us. but when you go up there and I don't know, I just thought. It was it was a darker place than the magazine made it seem. That's for sure. Like it was definitely romanticized in the magazine. And, it's oh, these like beautiful women and power and freedom and the world at their feet, but it's, it wasn't really that way.

Brett Benner:

Yeah. that was

Crystal Hefner:

I don't know what's happening now with Playboy.

Brett Benner:

yeah, but watching the things like and finding out these things like the curfews and, the kind of ball and chain that were around all your feet in terms of the expectations and this kind of schedule that you were all on, I think is something that would really surprise people. All of that. I was like, wait, what? That effectively he was keeping a stable, so to speak of girls that

Jason Blitman:

everyone can read more about in the book,

Brett Benner:

Yes. Yeah. And these are all things that, that surprised me that are revelatory moments of wait, that's what it was.

Jason Blitman:

But it's also interesting because Playboy to me is like a vibe, the hidden secret behind my dad's clothes. The. When my husband and I were living in New York City, we were living on 42nd Street and 12th Avenue as a nightclub was getting turned into Playboy Club

Crystal Hefner:

Wow, really.

Jason Blitman:

and revamped Playboy Club There was a vibe of the people that were going in, a vibe of oozing sexuality, a vibe of masculinity, a vibe, like it was, and

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah.

Jason Blitman:

it presented as cool.

Brett Benner:

Yeah. That's exactly right. No,

Jason Blitman:

I and like I don't, and I think it was almost interesting to see through the veneer a little bit, and then to read the book, and then have a better understanding. Two things that I found very interesting. Prior to reading the book, my, the only question that had popped into my mind for you was about keeping the name. And reading the book, I felt like I got an answer. If you had more to unpack about that or say to it, I'm happy to hear it. But I do feel like reading the book gave me closure to that question.

Crystal Hefner:

What did you, what was the closure? What did you feel?

Jason Blitman:

I feel like you've earned it. I feel like you sacrificed so much and you've earned the platform and the access and you, it's complicated. I imagine it's very complicated.

Crystal Hefner:

It is complicated and it's one of the Top questions I get asked

Jason Blitman:

That doesn't surprise

Crystal Hefner:

by on social media. This is the first time it's been asked, talking to anybody. But on social media, people like, oh if it was so bad, why did you keep the name or why do you still have his name? Are you going to change your name? And yeah, it's a question I get asked and I remember when we got married, his secretary, Mary, did everything change, got my name changed. He wanted it changed immediately to Hefner. One of the playmates I know got married like a year later and she said, Oh, can you help me? Like, how do I change my name with social security, my passport? I said, I have no idea. I have no idea. It was all done for

Jason Blitman:

Yeah.

Crystal Hefner:

But yeah, it's become like my, like all my social media handles, my website, my, it's just become my identity, yeah, I don't know if I have. The answer, I think it goes into the pile of who am I questions

Jason Blitman:

Sure. And and on one hand, there is this erasing this time in your life. But on the other hand, you said you don't have regrets. These are choices that you made. This is the life you led. And You did sign a prenup, so you didn't get access to certain things, but if you did get something, you got the name. And if the name is going to give you a platform to empower young women, it's worth it. To me, that was my takeaway reading the book.

Brett Benner:

you're On your journey still. You're so young. You really are. You're really so young. So who knows how, as you continue to evolve as a woman and as your own person, that you might decide, Hey, I don't want this anymore. And you can do that. So for right now, I think you're exactly where you need to be. And not that it even defy, not that it even needs explanation You're still becoming and you should, and we all hopefully always are so, but you are, so I think it's

Crystal Hefner:

I

Jason Blitman:

But right. Like it does come up in the book. And by the time I got there, I was like, yes, girl, you've earned it. You get to keep that name. I do think early on, I probably had thoughts and feelings like your followers, like the people who've asked the question and certainly haven't read the book yet. It's yeah, I'll be patient and learn her story and figure it out for yourself and you're on your journey and that's okay too. The one other thing that I found so interesting is in the acknowledgments, you thank your fellow Hugh Hefner board members.

Crystal Hefner:

Yes, I do.

Jason Blitman:

And this is maybe like a loaded question, but can you talk a little bit about what it was like writing this story, telling your truth, knowing that they were on board with them, knowing that it was happening? Can, I don't really, I guess that's a, I have lots of

Crystal Hefner:

No, I was nervous. I was very nervous and I. Sent them one of the early like manuscripts. And I think at one point it got to the point where I'm like, if they like it or not, if they approve or not I'm just going to go for it. And if I get kicked off the board, then so be it. But their response was, don't know if I would say a hundred percent positive, but they definitely gave their blessing and Heff's foundation is. Based on founded on like first amendment rights, freedom of speech. So I appreciate them giving their blessings for me to tell my truth. And I am still on the board of the Hugh Hefner foundation. I'm the president now and yeah, we're working on things upcoming auctions with Julian's and. different exhibits and things. So yeah, even the web three space with half. So it's a, yeah, it's interesting to make it just all kind of work together. And they know that half was a complex person.

Jason Blitman:

Wow. It's so interesting. And I think you said earlier, just the he was a complex person. The experience was complex. It wasn't all bad, and you were just like putting the truth down on the page. And so moving forward

Crystal Hefner:

yeah, it's been nice like finding my voice and, helping other people find theirs as well.

Jason Blitman:

Yeah. It's so cool and congratulations on the book and I think it's so meaningful what you're doing in terms of having a platform and using the platform. I think, to what you were saying about most people don't say when they've had plastic surgery, like for you to even say I paid for this. I, this is not an ad. That's. Valuable.

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah, I appreciate that. And I really appreciate you reading my book. That's really,

Brett Benner:

No, of

Jason Blitman:

it. I don't know if you could say all these, I have like tabs and everything

Crystal Hefner:

my gosh, I love this.

Jason Blitman:

and highlights and

Crystal Hefner:

cute. I

Brett Benner:

And congrats on your farm. Are you going to get, are you getting animals?

Crystal Hefner:

I have a bunch of sheep neighbors that I visit.

Brett Benner:

I should say, is that something you'd want? I don't know if it's like you may want, I do

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah, first I'm gonna, first I'm gonna start with this. I have 100 lychee trees

Brett Benner:

Oh my God.

Crystal Hefner:

other things, but I'm gonna just have it just be fruit everywhere and then see if I want to add some chickens or some,

Brett Benner:

yeah.

Crystal Hefner:

before I'm responsible for another life.

Brett Benner:

No, I get it. I get it. And it's a, it's not as easy to leave then if you have someone, if you have the animals and unless someone's even as a caretaker and that's a whole other thing. So

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah.

Jason Blitman:

I'm excited to hear about your LoopNet journey.

Brett Benner:

yeah.

Crystal Hefner:

I'll let you know if I buy anything soon.

Jason Blitman:

If you need shamed ice, let me

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah, let me

Jason Blitman:

Crystal, it's been such a

Brett Benner:

such a pleasure.

Crystal Hefner:

Yeah, that was awesome. You guys are the best. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

Jason Blitman:

Crystal, have a wonderful rest of your day. Thank you all for tuning in.

Brett Benner:

really it.

Jason Blitman:

We always appreciate it. Thank you to all of our listeners and our followers and the folks who reach out and share our content. It just really does mean so much to us and keeps us Doing what we're doing. Um, I don't know what that voice was.

Brett Benner:

was some old

Jason Blitman:

Um, I'm an old man. That's what I feel like right now. Um, again, like, subscribe, follow, share all the things. We're on social media at Gay's Reading, or we're on Instagram at Gay's Reading, and we are, uh, gaysreading at gmail. com should you want to reach out to us. Otherwise, see you next week.

Brett Benner:

everybody.

Jason Blitman:

Bye.