Sunday, June 19, 2011

Playboy Bunnies and Grown-Ups

by Jeffe Kennedy

People start asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up as soon as the kid can answer questions.

I think it's a way to get a fix on the child's personality. What do you love? Which things are exciting and interesting to you? Who do you envision yourself becoming?

Unfortunately the answers are usually prosaic - largely because little kids have no idea of the possibilities in the world. Even bigger kids don't. So they say things like fireman or teacher or movie star, because those are the roles they can easily see. It's really an enormous question, and many of us are still looking to find out the answer. Sometimes we run into people with really cool jobs and say, whoa, how did you get to be that? Other times we're strategizing ways to get someone to give us money to do something we'd really like to be doing. Mostly we'd like to become this amazing person we vaguely envision - and get paid really well to be that.

When I was about seven, some guests at my parents' dinner party asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. My answer? "A Playboy Bunny."

Not the answer they expected. It somewhat brought down the house.

What I meant, in my young-girl way, was that I wanted to grow up to be a woman. I wanted to be curvy and lovely and sensual, like those women in the magazines. I wanted to be part of that world of sexual energy.

Yesterday I gave a talk to the River City Romance Writers, about the industry, about Petals and Thorns and my upcoming release, Sapphire. As most up and coming writers do, they asked about my career path, specifically if my degrees are in English or Writing. I told them that I double-majored in biology and religious studies. They laughed, pointing out the irony that I now write erotica.

But really - I can see the path that brought me here. Sex to me is about intimacy, powerful desires and fully expressing our inner selves. It's both carnal and spiritual. I love to explore that world. I particularly like finding a way to make a living that way, without actually baring all on the centerfold pages.

I think I'm finding the thing that little girl had in mind.


  1. Awesome Jeffe! Being where--and who/what--you need to be (i feel) is so satisfying...and knowing it is the bomb. Kudos!

  2. Is that how it sounded, Linda? I didn't mean it quite that way. Maybe it's just that I'm getting closer. Thanks!

  3. Great post, Jeffe. I think this is so true. When I first went to college I wanted to write. Ten majors later, I ended up back at writing. Sometimes we know the path we want to follow. It's just traveling the road to get there that's tricky. And sometimes we can't even voice what we want at the time, but looking back we can see how everything came together.

  4. Great post. I wish I could have seen the faces of those grown-ups ;-)

  5. Tell me you own the bunny costume. Tell me you own the ears, the poofy tail, and the strapless one-piece. I know you own the shoes.

  6. Love it! And I can totally see you as the bunny in the costume KAK describes!

  7. Thanks Kinley! It *is* fascinating to look back and see how one thing leads to another.

    Sullivan - it was truly priceless! They had no idea how to respond...

    KAK, I do *not* own the costume. Once I learned more about feminism and exploitation, I just couldn't go there.

    No bunny costume, Laura! I tell you gals: I won't do it!!