Each era is defined by handful of well-known individuals. Elvis dominated the ‘50s while Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan claimed the ‘80s. The ‘90s however? That moment in history belongs to the likes of Michael Jordan, Bill Clinton, Matt Groening, Kurt Cobain and most certainly to Pamela Anderson. The buxom blonde towered over popular culture at the twilight of the 20th century like no other woman, and if you were old enough to have felt horniness at the time, chances are she was your top celebrity crush. Or maybe I’m just projecting, because she certainly was mine.
From Baywatch to multiple Playboy covers (she currently holds the record for most covers with a grand total of 14) and Barb Wire, Pam was inescapable in the 1990s, but after a decade-and-a-half out of the spotlight she’s back to serve as the brand ambassador for London-based lingerie maker, Coco De Mer.
She recently designed her own line of sexy lingerie for the brand so we sat down with Pam to talk it over, in addition to asking for some advice in sexiness and whether she finds Donald Trump hot or not.
Hi Pam, so what have you been up to today?
We did a photo shoot, some videos and now some interviews. We’ve been talking about the launch of my new line for Coco De Mer. It’s very exciting and it’s gonna be a massive success because the lingerie is associated with me!
Maybe people might not recognize you in lingerie. Perhaps they’re more used to seeing you naked in Playboy?
You know, there was actually a lot of lingerie in Playboy — it’s just that it was usually dangling from something.
Exactly. Dangling from bedposts and whatnot.
But it was there!
So, you recently wrote a book called The Sensual Revolution — what does this sensual revolution look like?
Well, I’ll let you know the title’s been changed. It’s now called Lust for Love and The Lost Art of Intimacy. I don’t know why, I liked “Sensual Revolution” because I think the sexual revolution gave us a lot of great things, but it also gave us some really bad sex.
I think it gave us a lot of empty relationships. I’ve discussed this with so many people from that time and most of them are alone now. So I think this book is about cultivating human relationships with romance and chivalry and all those great things, which kind of play into all the lingerie that we are doing. It’s playful about sex; about keeping relationships alive and romantic.
There probably were some bad sides to the sexual revolution, but I think we’re still better off than before when everyone was basically Mormon.
Yes and I don’t wanna go back to that kind of time. But also, we have to take stock in what we’re being influenced by and how it’s affecting our relationships and our loved ones. Especially with the internet and dating apps and having so many options. I think it’s having a negative effect on relationships. I don’t think it has to a negative thing, I just think we need to be aware of it. I don’t believe in regulation or censorship, but I think that we need to have honest conversations with ourselves about how it’s affecting our relationships; “am I addicted to pornography? Am I desensitized in any way? Am I neglecting my wife or my husband because of this? What can I do to kind of bring back all those great things we fell in love with in the past?”
So that’s how the book kind of came about. I spoke at Cambridge, then I spoke at Oxford about the same thing and had women come up to me with tears in their eyes saying “thank you so much for bringing this up.” Before publishing the book, I asked myself if I qualified to talk about these issues because I’m a Playboy playmate. But women tell me: “you’re the perfect person to start this conversation because you’re not a religious advisor; you’re a playmate and you feel the same way we do.” Besides, Playboy was titillating, it was innocent, I don’t look at it as pornography. I thought it was very girl next door.
And your new lingerie?
With the lingerie line I just wanted to do something very playful and sexy. It’s not super, super hardcore; it’s very playful yet it looks good on so many people. It’s really built for women of all shapes and sizes and has beautiful colors, beautiful fabrics. It has longevity, it will keep its features for a long time. Its good quality and inspiring people to have fun in their erotic relationships.
I think it’s really good that you’re leading this conversation because, like you said, you’re not a religious puritan who’s gonna shame someone for their sexuality. I think that most of the time it tends to come from a very moralizing, oppressive and Republican standpoint.
Right, and I’m not a moralist or a republican. Young men and women are thinking twice about their actions and how they could harm their relationships. I mean, I don’t want to grow old alone. We all want to have a partner in our lives and treat them with respect.
My dad has the best expression. He always says, “being with someone is like a mirror — if you’re doing it, they’re doing it.” So before you do it, think: “would you be okay with them doing it?” I’ve lived my life by this. It was really one of the best pieces of advice I was given because we’re all tempted. Especially now there’s so much temptation out there. But you can really have a lot of fun and a lot of romance with one person. You can be with that person forever and have everything you want by keeping it fun and fresh and having the freedom within the relationship to keep it sexy.
But don’t you think this whole idea of even being with one person forever is unrealistic and a lot of pressure to put on a relationship?
People do it. My parents are still madly in love and they’ve been together since they were 16. That was a different time, obviously, but it still exists. It probably helped that my father was a poet. He wrote my mother poetry every day. My mother’s always creating beautiful adventures and meals and they are a really funny, sexy couple. Always. That was my model growing up. Of course, they had ups and downs, but they are still madly in love so I think it does exist. But you’re right; with so many options now, it’s much more difficult. But I guess the romantic in me believes that it’s still a possibility.
That is very sweet. What, in your opinion, is the sexiest quality someone could have?
I think it’s just to be confident but also to have some kind of engagement with the world — to be involved in arts and culture. I find it very sexy when someone cares about the rest of the world, even in politics or whatever it is, not just themselves.
You are someone who’s very much involved in the world. You are involved in a lot of animal rights work with Sea Shepherd and PETA and also politically as well. You wrote an open letter to Obama about legalizing cannabis so it sounds like you’re kind of attracted to someone like you.
No! I like people that I can learn from, you know, I like people that are from different worlds. I’ve learned so much from people like Vivienne Westwood and Julian Assange, and people that have taught me things that I know absolutely nothing about. I think activism is sexy.
I find it really interesting how heavily involved you are in activism. Do you feel like you encounter a lot of prejudice?
Well, I don’t know if everyone thinks that I’m a pretty face, but I think that my career has created a certain image that people have of me. It has opened certain doors for me that otherwise wouldn’t have opened, so I try to take advantage of that. It’s been helpful in a lot of ways, even when speaking to governments. As long as I can get in the door and I can talk to somebody, then I can usually hold a pretty good conversation about an issue, be it animal rights or whatever. It’s worked, even though they want to take a bunch of pictures.
I spoke at the Kremlin in December and they’re really funny. They always say: “Pamela, we’re saving the best for last. We know you’re really going to give it to us.” I talked about environmental issues and the impact Russia can have on the environment. That they could be more of a leader. I just keep doing what I’m doing, causing problems, annoying people.
Have you ever met Vladimir Putin in your trips to the Kremlin?
Well, I’ll say yes.
You’ll say yes?
I’ll just say my trips to the Kremlin have been very effective. I’ve met a lot of powerful people and I try to make the best of it.
Is power inherently sexy?
Unfortunately, I think it is. I think a very powerful person is sexy. I think some of the presence, some of the strength and character is sexy, of course. I know there’s a real conversation about people using power in the wrong ways going on right now – you don’t want to use it negatively — but a powerful person, a successful person, is sexy.
Is Donald Trump sexy?
He’s not sexy. No.
I think most people would agree. Okay so, final word on the lingerie?
Wear more lingerie, have more sex, have more fun. It could save the world. I don’t think this world is gonna last another day the way were going, so go enjoy it. That’s my advice.
Creative agency The Full Service partnered with luxury lingerie brand Coco de Mer and global superstar Pamela Anderson for the release of her first collection as Brand Ambassador. In partnership with photographer Rankin, the campaign brings the collection to life with Pamela taking control (of the camera) in a modern take on 1960’s pin ups. All topped off with lashings of Pamela’s signature flirtatious fun. The 34 piece collection — Pamela Loves Coco de Mer — will launch globally on December 6.
Next up; here’s how James Franco went from McDonald’s worker to cult Hollywood icon.
- Photography: Rankin / The Full Service