No dating, no drinking… and keep your ears straight! 1960s Playboy Bunny Manual

In the heady days of the 1960s, being a  Playboy Bunny was considered one of the most exciting jobs  around.

But even Hugh Hefner’s glamour girls could  not escape a bit of workplace drudgery, as revealed by this amazing ‘Bunny  Manual’.

The 1968 pamphlet, handed out to new  employees of the Playboy Club, concentrates as much on timekeeping and cleaning  as it does on drinking and dancing.

Vintage: This amazing 'Bunny Manual' from 1968 shows the joys and difficulties of life at the Playboy Club

Vintage: This amazing ‘Bunny Manual’ from 1968 shows the  joys and difficulties of life at the Playboy Club

Detailed: The manual gives exhaustive information on the employees' daily routine and regulationsDetailed: The manual gives exhaustive information on the  employees’ daily routine and regulations 

The vintage document was uploaded to a site for former  Bunnies by ‘Bunny Regina’, who worked  at the club’s Detroit branch in the late 60s.

It is divided into sections such as ‘Bunny  Benefits’, ‘Bunny Behavior’ and ‘Appearance and Grooming’, all detailing the ins  and outs of daily life at the swinging establishments.

The pamphlet’s introduction starts: ‘Welcome  to the world of Playboy! You can take great pride in being selected as a Bunny;  it’s a job that you will find is both unique and exciting.

‘The Playboy Bunny has created a new  definition and standard for charm, beauty and friendly service.’

Introduction: The guide encourages new employees to take pride in their glamorous career

Introduction: The guide encourages new employees to take  pride in their glamorous career

Contest: Parts of the manual detail various Bunny competitions designed to pit the girls against one another

Contest: Parts of the manual detail various Bunny  competitions designed to pit the girls against one another 

Endorsement: Bunnies used to appear in promotional campaigns on behalf of Playboy and other companies

Endorsement: Bunnies used to appear in promotional  campaigns on behalf of Playboy and other companies 

The company was clearly proud of its  reputation, and boasts in the document of its rigorous recruitment  process.

‘To guarantee the high standards which our  Keyholders have come to expect, we are extremely selective in our Bunny hiring  procedures,’ it says.

‘For instance, in opening a recent Club, we  interviewed 500 girls but only selected 40 as having the personality and  physical beauty required of our Bunnies.’

Seeking to allay fears that the scantily clad  waitresses might be considered in any way trashy, the manual describes being a  Bunny as ‘the top job in the country for a young girl’.

It continues: ‘Our Bunnies represent varied  backgrounds – among them are former school teachers, secretaries, actresses,  dancers, models and co-eds.’

On the job: Bunnies worked as hostesses and waitresses at Playboy Clubs around the world

On the job: Bunnies worked as hostesses and waitresses  at Playboy Clubs around the world

 

Dollar: The girls were given cash incentives to encourage their friends to join Playboy too

Dollar: The girls were given cash incentives to  encourage their friends to join Playboy too

 

Friends: Bunnies could share a close bond from working together in such bizarre circumstances

Friends: Bunnies could share a close bond from working  together in such bizarre circumstances

However, the joys of the Bunny lifestyle  clearly did not extend to generous vacation benefits – the girls were entitled  to just one week off in their first year at Playboy.

And several pages of the manual are devoted  to outlining exactly what rules could lead to the Bunnies getting fired from  their dream jobs.

While most of these offences, such as  insubordination and tardiness, could apply to any workplace, some are unique to  the Playboy Club.

Employees are warned to avoid ‘bunny ears not  worn in center of head’, ‘bikini panties showing or not worn’ and ‘unkept  tail’.

The bizarre regulations governing the girls’  conduct also extends to regular ‘Bunny Councils’ with the ‘Bunny Mother’, a  senior employee responsible for the workers’ welfare.

Bunny Regina: This is the Playboy veteran who uploaded the Bunny Manual to the internet

Bunny Regina: This is the Playboy veteran who uploaded  the Bunny Manual to the internet

One activity which the Bunnies were allowed  to take part in was smoking – but here too there were regulations on exactly how  they conducted themselves.

‘In all cases when a Bunny is smoking on  duty, she is to “take a puff” and set the cigarette in an ashtray,’ the pamphlet  says. ‘Bunnies are not to stand or sit holding a cigarette.’

Although Playboy has always presented itself  as a brand for the sophisticated gentleman, it has also attracted less  salubrious characters – and the Bunny Manual leaves the girls in no doubt how to  deal with them.

Bunnies are explicitly forbidden from dating  customers, and from divulging personal information such as their surnames and  telephone numbers – and since they were banned from drinking on the job, they  were unlikely ever to let their guard down.

But the employees are allowed to dance with  patrons – and the manual even suggests ‘acceptable dances’ such as ‘twist,  watusi, bugaloo, etc.’

While the majority of the pamphlet could  apply to most workplaces, it does have a couple of completely inexplicable  pieces of advice.

‘Good grooming starts with a daily bath and  good deodorant,’ it says. ‘Regular use of body lotion will keep your skin soft  and pretty.’

And in a section entitled ‘Helpful Hints’,  the manual tells Bunnies: ‘Try rolling your feet over an empty Coke  bottle.’

The first Playboy Club, with distinctive  Bunnies as waitresses, opened in 1960, and there were dozens of branches around  the world before the last one closed in 1991.

The brand was resurrected in 2006, with mixed  success.

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