Wasn't it Henry Kissinger who once claimed that power was the ultimate aphrodisiac? Apart from giving possibly far too much insight into seduction techniques in the world of Realpolitik, one can't help seeing a certain connection when learning of Hugh Hefner's recent marriage to his former runaway bride, Crystal Harris.
Former Playmate Harris, who jilted Hugh back in 2011, has put aside their differences (and, some will sneer, 60-year age difference) to finally seal the deal. No doubt the naysayers will be coming out in their droves to accuse Harris of gold digging and make erectile dysfunction jokes;some already are.
With four Hefner offsprings already in the queue, though, one can't imagine Harris's cut of the Playboy pie - no pun intended - is going to amount to a controlling interest.
The attraction of a partner who has experience and seeming wisdom is a huge draw when you're young. Some people want to grow up together; others want a partner who's already a grownup. As well as the lifestyle Hef offers, you can bet he's got some great stories… and I'll bet they don't just spend their time doing what rabbits do, but having actual conversations and all, just like any other couple.
The fact that there are inequalities in all kinds of relationships is not in doubt. And the union of aged tycoon and pneumatic bride is a well-worn cliche: Douglas and Zeta Jones (age difference 25 years), Trump and Knauss (24 years), Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn (35 years).
As for the older woman/younger man arrangement, those are a bit rarer in the wild, women with cash and power in their later years being somewhat thinner on the ground. This leaves us, in this post-Demi and Ashton age, with fictional cougar-led pairings like Harold and Maude (age difference 60 years) and Lord Of The Rings's Arwen and Aragorn to look to (a snip at 2680 years, you go elf!)
I have to confess here to some experience with… well, differences in experience. First I dated someone twice my age when I was a student. Were there power inequalities in the relationship? To me at the time, no: we were both students, albeit he was a postgrad and I wasn't (yet). Were there financial inequalities? No. He was poor as dirt. Were there experience inequalities? You betcha, and that's exactly what I was attracted to. He'd lived in Europe and drank whisky and was a million miles away from the kind of towheaded cowtown football players I'd dated at school, the ones who may have had BMWs bought and paid for by Mummy and Daddy but couldn't have pointed to Milan on a map, much less known where to find the best cotoletta.
And oh yes, I married a poorer, younger man. Not 60 years younger mind - I'd be waiting until 2051 to make that particular arrangement legal - but just young enough for us to joke about the fact that he still gets carded for buying booze, whereas I have always looked approximately 42. Even as a teenager.
We can only speculate about what happens in the private relationship of Mr and Mrs Hefner - so let's accept the fact that a woman who has worked to become sexually appealing to a wide range of men, and thus no doubt has her choice of mainstream suitors, has selected the one that is most appealing to her. If it makes you uncomfortable, don't hate the player, hate the game.
Instead of tearing her down for making her choice, let's ask why older women are still underrepresented in positions of money and power. Why cougars and MILFs are still the exception rather than the rule. Now if only we lived in a world where the young studs of the land were queuing up for a piece of Hilary Clinton...