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Playboy (lifestyle)

Playboy (lifestyle)

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A playboy is a modern version of a public Casanova — a man of means with ample time for leisure
Leisure, or free time, is time spent away from business, work, and domestic chores. It is also the periods of time before or after necessary activities such as eating, sleeping and, where it is compulsory, education....

, who demonstratively appreciates the pleasures of the world
Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure .-Etymology:The name derives from the Greek word for "delight" ....


The term has also been applied to a flashy womanizer
In humans, promiscuity refers to less discriminating casual sex with many sexual partners. The term carries a moral or religious judgement and is viewed in the context of the mainstream social ideal for sexual activity to take place within exclusive committed relationships...

, such as a player, pappagallo, or Don Juan
Don Juan
Don Juan is a legendary, fictional libertine whose story has been told many times by many authors. El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra by Tirso de Molina is a play set in the fourteenth century that was published in Spain around 1630...



Initially the term was used in the eighteenth century for boys who performed in the theatre, and later it appears in the 1828 Oxford Dictionary to characterize a person with money who is out to enjoy himself. By the end of the nineteenth century it also implied the connotations of “gambler” and “musician”. By 1907, in J. M. Synge’s comedy The Playboy of the Western World
The Playboy of the Western World
The Playboy of the Western World is a three-act play written by Irish playwright John Millington Synge and first performed at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on January 26, 1907. It is set in Michael James Flaherty's public house in County Mayo during the early 1900s...

, the term had acquired the notion of a womanizer. According to Shawn Levy
Shawn Anthony Levy
Shawn Anthony Levy is an American film critic, author and blogger.Born in New York City, and educated at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Irvine, Levy has been the film critic of The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Oregon since 1997. He is a former Senior Editor...

, the term reached its full meaning in the interwar years and early post WWII years. Postwar intercontinental travel allowed playboys to meet at international nightclubs and famous "playgrounds" such as the Riviera
Riviera is an Italian term originally from the Middle Ages for the coast of Liguria. The term is now more generally applied to any coastal area popular with tourists, particularly in warm areas...

 or Palm Beach
Palm Beach, Florida
The Town of Palm Beach is an incorporated town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The Intracoastal Waterway separates it from the neighboring cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth...

 where they were trailed by papparazzi (immortalized in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita is a 1960 comedy-drama film written and directed by the critically acclaimed director Federico Fellini. The film is a story of a passive journalist's week in Rome, and his search for both happiness and love that will never come...

) who supplied the tabloids with material to be fed to an eager audience. Their sexual conquests are rich, beautiful, and famous. In 1953, Hugh Hefner
Hugh Hefner
Hugh Marston "Hef" Hefner is an American magazine publisher, founder and Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises.-Early life:...

 caught the wave and created the Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...


Famous playboys

Porfirio Rubirosa
Porfirio Rubirosa
Porfirio Rubirosa Ariza was a Dominican diplomat and adherent of Rafael Trujillo. He made his mark as an international playboy, for his jet setting lifestyle, and his legendary prowess with women...

 who died in a car crash in 1965 epitomizes the essence of a playboy. Having been called both the "ultimate" and "last" playboy, the Dominican diplomat claimed to have no time to work being busy charming and impressing the ladies, getting married (briefly and in sequence) to the two richest women in the world, drinking and gambling with his buddies, playing polo, racing cars, and flying his airplane from party to party. He was linked to other famous playboys of his day, Aly Khan, “Baby” Francisco Pignatari, and later, Gunther Sachs
Günther Sachs
Günther Sachs was a highly decorated Generalleutnant in the Luftwaffe during World War II who commanded the 18. Flak-Division. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross . The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful...

, his acolyte, who termed himself a homo ludens
Homo Ludens
Homo Ludens or "Man the Player" is a book written in 1938 by Dutch historian, cultural theorist and professor Johan Huizinga.It discusses the importance of the play element of culture and society....


Other people who adopted the playboy lifestyle included Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes
Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. was an American business magnate, investor, aviator, engineer, film producer, director, and philanthropist. He was one of the wealthiest people in the world...

, Imran Khan
Imran Khan
Imran Khan Niazi is a Pakistani politician and former Pakistani cricketer, playing international cricket for two decades in the late twentieth century. After retiring, he entered politics...

,, Errol Flynn
Errol Flynn
Errol Leslie Flynn was an Australian-born actor. He was known for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films, being a legend and his flamboyant lifestyle.-Early life:...

, Conrad “Nicky” Hilton
Conrad Hilton, Jr.
Conrad Nicholson "Nicky" Hilton, Jr. was an American socialite, hotel heir, businessman, and TWA director. He was one of the sons of Conrad Hilton .-Early life:...

, Fernando Lamas
Fernando Lamas
Fernando Álvaro Lamas was an Argentine-born actor and director, and the father of actor Lorenzo Lamas.-Early life and career:...

, Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Gianni Agnelli
Gianni Agnelli
Giovanni Agnelli , better known as Gianni Agnelli , was an Italian industrialist and principal shareholder of Fiat. As the head of Fiat, he controlled 4.4% of Italy's GDP, 3.1% of its industrial workforce, and 16.5% of its industrial investment in research...

, Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi , also known as Il Cavaliere – from knighthood to the Order of Merit for Labour which he received in 1977 – is an Italian politician and businessman who served three terms as Prime Minister of Italy, from 1994 to 1995, 2001 to 2006, and 2008 to 2011. Berlusconi is also the...

, John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, Alessandro “Dado” Ruspoli
Alessandro Ruspoli, 9th Prince of Cerveteri
Alessandro "Dado", Principe Ruspoli was an occasional actor and a playboy and eccentric aristocrat, the 9th Principe di Cerveteri, 9th Marchese di Riano and 14th Conte di Vignanello, who is said to have inspired Federico Fellini into making his famous movie La Dolce Vita...

 Jorge Guinle, and Carlos de Beistegui
Carlos de Beistegui
Don Carlos de Beistegui y de Yturbe , also known as Charles or Charlie de Beistegui, was an eccentric multi-millionaire art collector and interior decorator and one of the most flamboyant characters of mid-20th century European life. His ball at the Palazzo Labia in Venice in 1951 is still...



With feminism
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights...

, mass tourism, and an expanding "culture of leisure", the role of the playboy has declined. Of the few who became known as playboys in recent decades, Dodi Fayed stood out when he fell in love with Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...


External links