An Unforgettable Birthday…at the Playboy Mansion

“The interesting thing is how one guy through living out his own fantasies, is living out the fantasies of so many other people.”

-Hugh Hefner

This blog is dedicated to the beautiful Terri Mitchell who helped make this Playboy dream come true.Terri Mitchell Shawn Valentino










Recently, a piece of history has been offered to the world, at least to the lucky one who can afford to purchase the most famous of all pleasure palaces. The Playboy Mansion is now for sale, a place that has become like a second home to me because I have attended every major party that takes place at the center of the Playboy Empire. It signals what may be the end of an era of decades of delightful decadence. As I heard the news, I had chills down my spine because I remembered the first time I was invited to the Mansion.

shawn valentino blondes playboy mansion nyeWhen I was a young boy growing up in Michigan, the Mansion was the ultimate fantasy. Upon moving to Los Angeles, I attended the famous Glamourcon model convention, and I spoke to some Playmates about attending the famous parties. They told me that it was nearly impossible for a guy to be invited to the Mansion. As the magician David Copperfield famously says, “When people tell you something is impossible, live the impossible.” The Showstopper Lifestyle has always had an element of magic, and when I first received an invitation card to Hugh Hefner’s home, it almost felt like an illusion. It was a real life Hollywood dream come true.

I will never forget it. It was 8pm, December 31st, 2008, New Year’s Eve and the eve of my birthday. I was walking down the Avenue of the Stars by myself having a cocktail. It was a warm sparkly starlit night in the City of Angels, and it was my own personal prelude to a dream. That night, I was to attend the annual New Year’s Eve party at the Playboy Mansion.

As I entered the gateway to the legendary home, and I saw the glitzy lights that illuminated the manor, it may as well have been the doorway to heaven itself.  I was in the presence of everything I had dreamed of my whole life.  I have been to over sixty countries and seen more beautiful women in my life than almost anyone alive, but I must say nothing can prepare you for the dreamlike atmosphere of this palatial home.

shawn valentino blondes playboy mansionnye 2It is truly a gentleman’s Shangri-La. There are beautiful women decked out in unbelievably sexy outfits surrounding you everywhere and there are about two girls to every guy on the premise.  Beautiful waitresses in the classic bunny outfits are constantly serving you impeccably delectable food, and there are multiple bars serving complimentary cocktails all night. As I wandered through the storied hallways and looked up at the pictures of Hef, it was as if a myth had come to life. As far as mythical experiences go, it could not get more majestic than when I stood in the legendary grotto by myself. I was overcome by emotion and had tears streaming down my face realizing I was in the presence of history. Putting my hands in the pool, I felt that I had taken a dip in magic waters.

shawn valentino grotto nye playboy mansionPlayboy models came up to me all night to wish me a happy birthday, and I shared many memorable birthday kisses to say the least.  And how do I even begin to explain the out-of-body experience of kissing a beautiful blonde on my birthday in the grotto of the Playboy Mansion. It was a surreal night in the setting of the world’s greatest erotic fairy-tale.

For me, what made the night so special was not so much the glamour and the gorgeous girls, but it was about the underlying ideals of what Playboy represents.  When I had read Hefner’s Playboy Philosophy as a teen, it was as if somebody had transcribed my beliefs in one timeless document.  The lifestyle is not just about the exotic travels and the erotic adventures but the idea that a person should spend every moment of his existence living life to the fullest. It is about having the courage to live your own unique life in a world that brainwashes the masses into conformity and the mundane. It is what inspired my own book, and more importantly, my lifestyle. Like Playboy, the Showstopper Lifestyle is about freeing yourself from social restrictions and creating your own universe where you are king and the world is your kingdom.
shawn valentino hugh hefner playboy mansion nyeSpeaking of royalty, the centerpiece of the party was none other than the emperor of eroticism himself, Hugh Hefner.  He sat in his robe in a harem-like canopy surrounded by dazzling women celebrating the empire he has built.  When I shook his hand and thanked him for the party and how he has inspired me, I was literally in the shadow of greatness. The most captivating moment of this astonishing experience was as the clock counted down to the New Year, I stood there right behind Hugh Hefner, with merely a transparent sheath between us.  I saw it as a symbolic moment of inspiration. Like me, he was a regular guy from a conservative Midwestern family that had extraordinary dreams and an inner superhero that allowed all of his fantasies to become a reality.  He has built his empire and his livelihood as a celebration of his unique vision and lifestyle, and his dreams inspired my own Showstopper Lifestyle. I could not imagine at the time that years later the first thing that would show up on Google searches when someone types in “The Next Hugh Hefner” would be my photos. Yes kids, dreams do come true.
the next hugh hefnerSo as I sit in this moment of reflection, I am hoping there will be many more magical parties at the Playboy Mansion. It is not just a pleasure palace, but it is a historical home that symbolizes the boyhood dreams in all of us. Thank you to Hugh Hefner for inspiring aspiring playboys to live our lives honestly and openly and teaching us that the ultimate goal is to make a living off your lifestyle and then share it with the friends and family you love. No matter what the fate of the Mansion holds, the Playboy legend will live forever.


“Life’s too short to be living someone else’s dream.”

-Hugh Hefner

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