Playboy’s Miss November 1986, the lovely and talented Donna Edmondson, was named the Playmate of the Year in 1987, fitting given that her high school yearbook predicted she was “Most Likely to Become a Bunny.” (What the hell kind of high school yearbook adviser approves that as a category?!) However, her more lasting claim to fame has been her reknown as The Virgin Playmate.
She had at least gotten to first base; that was her position on her softball team in high school (rimshot!). Actually, it was, in all seriousness — she played first base for her high school in Greensboro, North Carolina. But back to the more interesting issue. Quite the controversy was sparked by the 20-year-old real estate agent’s vow of virginity, which she discussed in her Playmate interview.
“Men are wonderful, but I haven’t really let one close enough to me that I can talk about sex the way some girls can. Virginity isn’t something you discuss. I’m not ashamed of still having mine, mind you. It’s just not something I really want to talk about — except, of course, with the man who takes it away from me.” (“Sold on Donna,” Playboy, November 1986)
That’s pretty much all she said, but some fits were pitched and fell back in because of where America was, pornography-wise at this time. Let me bend your ear a tick on this topic, if it is news to you. What Ms. Edmondson accidentally stepped her pretty feet in was a total quagmire of hypocrisy and legal issues which had not much to do with her but plenty to do with the Meese Commission and how entertainment dealt with and tacitly sold the lifestyle of the modern single, the aftermath of the Sexual Revolution including the devastating consequences of HIV, and general assumptions of viewer maturity made by media distribution outlets vis-a-vis sexual morals at that particular juncture. What you had was a total flood of the market with new porn and ever-developing potential technologies for its procurement. So you had morality cops panicking bigtime.
Think about it. There was an explosion of private media possibilities in the 1980′s, and they were readily affordable to Joe Vaseline, which means, no matter where the man of the house stashed them, the chance lurked that Junior, too, would have access. Suddenly you could get porn in a pack of spank-sock’s worth of new forms, an embarassment of riches: direct-to-VHS format, dedicated adult cable channels, and even at the good ol’ liquor store from the more and more competing –and niche– skin magazines all making porn less controlled and more widely sold than ever before. Oh, the heyday! But of course, religion and politics intervened.
Sitcom stars, rock musicians, magazine publishers, freaking everyone was caught by Tipper Gore and Edwin Meese with their dicks in their hands on Capitol Hill, and the religious right was burning Blondie records for moral turpitude. Like, Jesus Jumped-Up Christ-Bananas! That is some ticklish shit to accidentally have come your way! And you’d think they would have all been proud of her …
I will let Ms. Edmondson’s official Playboy biography tell the rest of this interesting story.
The text to my original pictorial announced my virginity — and that created quite a stir. Also at this time, the anti-pornography report of the Meese Commission had prompted all 7-Elevens to pull the magazine from their shelves. I was thrown right in the middle of the scandal! All the talk shows immediately wanted to book the virgin PMOY from the Bible Belt. Joan Rivers made a huge deal out of my virginity on her show, but I just explained that you don’t have to have sex to be sexy.
On Larry King’s show, one caller accused me of not being religious because I let men see my body. But I don’t think that posing in Playboy has anything to do with whether I’m a good person. I knew I wasn’t hurting anyone. I defended myself by saying that God made us nude. We were born that way!
So how did the story work out for Ms. Edmondson? Seems it worked out smashingly, so in the haters’ faces. Once again, her words:
I took a job as a tax accountant, and on my first day of work I met the man who would become my husband. It was his last day of work; our eyes met, and I just knew he was the one. So I asked HIM out, we had lunch together the next week and we were together from then on.
Dig the cover: ironically, Joan Rivers, who gave Ms. Edmondson such “holy hell,” so to speak, over the next several months after this issue was published, was herself profiled in the magazine the very same month. So it’s okay to be interviewed but not to pose? Or is it just for young women, or ones who you perceive as less bright than yourself, that the you-cannot-be-a-role-model-and-be-in-Playboy’s-pages applies? Is it that if a woman wants to be sexy she must want to be sexual? Do you enjoy pointing out hypocrisy only when it is not you, yourself, who is being a hypocrite? Where are the lines in the sand for you, Joanie? Is it not merely the case that you want attention at any cost and have made a career of glomming on to hot button people and topics in order to clutch every possible shred of spotlight in your cruel, manicured claws? Booyakasha!
Sorry, I do not normally take such personal issue with anyone who has appeared on camera with a Muppet, but Joan Rivers literally makes her living by being a mean hag, so screw her. Her career could have been great, she could have been an important special woman in the history of females on television, and she pissed it away to keep the level of fame she was accustomed to, with no integrity. Fuck Joan Rivers.
Anyway, so, Virgin Playmate. Tight, huh!