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Sexuality in Conversation

Nina Daniele Gave a Rousing Playmate of the Year Speech About Female Sexuality: Read the Full Transcript

So, my aunt thinks I do porn—and I let her. When Playboy asked if I could give a speech, I got excited. I love speaking, especially in front of groups of people who don't know me that well. It's my specialty; "Don’t worry," they said, "only if you feel comfortable—nothing crazy, just five minutes. If you don't feel comfortable, it's totally okay."

Five minutes? I thought, Well damn, I'm gonna use all six, maybe even debut some of my stand-up comedy in case Netflix catches wind of this. "Perfect, I'd love do it," I said. "I already know exactly what I’m going to say." Thats when I got the reply—and I think they thought twice about it—"Okay, great! It's only two minutes, so no worries if you don't want to do it...even if its just a minute." I thought, "Can’t go back now. I got the receipts."

It's funny, people's reactions to you when they hear you posed for Playboy, especially the people who have no idea what they’re talking about but feel a need to express all of their thoughts, opinions and concerns—loudly but not always clearly. I like these people not because I have a propensity for wasting my time, but because it allows me to see how capable I am of conducting myself in situations that aren't always in my favor. It's in these situations that I feel myself grow as a woman and as a person. Playboy has absolutely been a factor in many of these moments of growth for me.

Anyway, so my aunt thinks I do porn and I let her.

I came to this conclusion one day sitting on my cousin's couch, during which she asked me what kind of protection I use and how I am not pregnant yet. It took me a minute to realize what she was saying—that she was equating Playboy with adult film acting—and before I even thought to correct her, my instinct was to roll with it.

“I use condoms,” I said. She replied, perplexed and yearning to know more, “But don't they not always work? What about the pill? Aren’t you afraid of STDs?”

“Well,” I said, trying to stay composed even though I could feel the laughter bubbling inside of me, "so far I claim zero dependents every April, so they seem to be doing their job. As for the STDs, I’ve stopped getting checked years ago. I figure if it hasn’t turned black and fallen off yet, why waste the time when it’s nothing a little ointment cant fix?"

There was a moment of silence, and I held my ground, stared straight into her eyes and refused to blink. For once she was at a loss for words. So, miracles do happen. And you’re a savage, I said to myself, in my head (not out loud obviously).
Taking your clothes off doesn’t imply empowerment. That's too literal. It implies that I don't care what you have to say about my body. It is just the shell of the person inside and I refuse to let what you or society say about me dim my light and taint my truth as a person, as a human and as a woman.
I can’t say I was genuinely shocked at the question. In a way, that train of thought, coming from her, seemed normal. I think I was just interested in how long she’d been wanting to ask me, and how many other family members had pitched in their two cents over tea.

It amazes me how little some people know about this brand and how strong their views are; how influenced some people are in their decision-making when they speak to you, as if they’re running the show themselves and know more about Playboy and female empowerment than you ever will. I mean, hey, maybe they do—I just have to listen and find out. I've come to the realization that the stronger the negativity of the opinion, the less the person knows. It’s just a defense. Nothing to be taken personally. But it’s my job as an ambassador of the brand to make sure I leave the situation influencing (at least) that person in a positive way about how incredibly powerful Playboy is in transcending the right of choice, what a woman chooses to do with her body, what she chooses to show and how, in a tangible, physical form, that makes history every month and every year, decade after decade.

Long story short, I sent my aunt a couple copies of my Playboy cover with no return address and wrote, "Thank you for all your support on the cover and a welcome to your lifetime subscription. #entertainmentforall"

Playboy seems to hit a nerve with a lot of people. They're either extremely positive, intrigued and supportive, telling me they've always wanted to pose nude themselves, or they are appalled, concerned for the welfare of my family or suggest I seek salvation in the Lord. Luckily, the only person who's opinion of me that matters is my own. What I chose to do with my body and how I do it does not involve anyone else, and if they can't let it go, their lives must be very boring. People will say, “You just want attention! How does taking off your clothing empower women? What do you even stand for?” 

Of course I want attention, hello! Have you seen my Instagram? It's called being an only child.

But taking your clothes off doesn’t imply empowerment. That's too literal. It implies that I don't care what you have to say about my body. It is just the shell of the person inside and I refuse to let what you or society say about me dim my light and taint my truth as a person, as a human, and as a woman. I consciously make this choice before stepping on set, and that is why nothing and no one can get to me. Posing nude is a metaphor for building my armor: the stronger and more impervious I become, the more my spirit has a fighting chance to grow unaffected by outside thoughts and opinions of me, thus allowing me to become the person I was always meant to be. Allowing me to show other girls and other women we are not the opinions of society; we are the opinions of ourselves, and we are beautiful because we say we are.

This is why I am honored to portray the Femlin.

As Hugh Hefner said, she is mischievous, she is spunky, she knows how to strike when the iron is hot and she is impervious to societies restrictions. I don't wanna toot my own horn or point any elbows, but if I were physically able to, both of my elbows would be pointed at me right now.

I never met Hef, and boy, do I have a lot of respect for that man; but I know Cooper, an incredibly special, generous, kind and brilliant person. I am honored to know and work with you. In the past year, so much has happened but nothing has changed. Together we are going to show the world exactly what we have to offer—the next wave but the same core, same values.

Playboy has been a pioneer since day one; I am elated to be a part of this chapter. I am ecstatic to be your Playmate of the Year, to be a part of the movement that allows women to stand in our truth, with and for each other, with Cooper Hefner as our captain.

Even though I'm French and Italian, I have a background of savage blood; those who follow my Instagram know that I love drama. And many have asked me, "Nina, what would you have done if you didn’t win Playmate of the Year?" Well...I guess we'll never know.

And don't forget to follow me: @ninamariedaniele #nakedisnormal. Thank you, everyone, and Playboy, for making a girls dream come true. I wont let you down.

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Nina Daniele
Nina Daniele
April 2017 Playmate
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