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Written by Ronke Idowu Reeves Photography by Jean Pierrot Published on March 31, 2019

PLAYBOY ASIA - Long before she was christened our March 2019 Playmate, Playboy knew Miki Hamano was special. First featured in our pages in a March 2018 pictorial, she also starred in the Playboy Collection by Coco de Mer SS19 campaign. Today, Hamano's popularity is soaring—her @misshamino Instagram handle boasts nearly 90,000 followers and her talents even extend to the silver screen; she made her film debut in the 2018 movie Perfect starring Abbie Cornish.

This Wilhelmina model is not just a natural beauty; she is a laid back stunner who thrives on adventure. At the age of 19, Hamano arrived in the United States from Japan speaking no English but went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. “Modeling is my favorite thing to do,” she says. “But I also love traveling and meeting new people around the world.” Below, Hamano spoke to Playboy about why Los Angeles women are special, her favorite place to be naked and the secret behind her positive outlook on life.



Is it true you got into modeling in art school?

Yes. I would model for my friends for their student projects and those kinds of things.


Many models, costume designers and photographers have backgrounds in art. You were a business major, but did you study art, too?

At College of the Desert, I studied art history. I did figure drawing and all kinds of art and photography. I have so much respect for artists. If you can draw anything— that is having true talent. Even though I don’t really paint anymore, my love for art is still with me. Every time I go on a trip, I make sure to go to local museums to get inspired!


So do you consider yourself an artist?

I tried everything [while studying art history], like sculpture, painting, collage making, all of that. I appreciate art, but I’m not a good painter or sculptor. I wasn’t happy with anything I made. But now I live in Los Angeles, and most of my friends are artists, so I’d love to get back to creating collages. It was my favorite thing to do back then.

It sounds like you’re probably a strong artist. But it's obvious you’re an amazing model. How has that experience been for you?

Modeling comes naturally to me. It’s also my dream job! I have so much fun doing it. It’s been great for me because it’s something that makes me happy—it’s my passion. I love all the people I get to work with and the places it takes me.

You're in amazing shape. What’s your go-to fitness routine?

I love doing yoga and stretching. I’m also double-jointed, so that makes me really flexible. I used to walk everywhere when I lived in San Francisco, so I still try to do that in L.A. when I can.


As a Playboy model who’s been featured in multiple pictorial, you’re obviously comfortable with nudity. Where is your favorite place to be naked?

I enjoy being naked in nature. That’s my favorite place to shoot nude. My happy place in nature is the forest or woods. So definitely the forest—I’m not really a beachy person.

We know that you are married. Where did you meet your husband?

We met through work! We were both living in San Francisco at the time.

What does he do for a living?

He’s a photographer!


That’s cool—you guys balance each other career-wise. How long have you been married?

It’s been two years, and we’ve been together four.

What is the best thing about having a husband?

He supports me emotionally and helps me realize my dreams! It’s amazing to have someone who always helps me find a forward way to my goals.

You’re married but don’t wear your wedding ring, is there a reason why?

I should more than I do! On set, I have to remove all of my accessories, and I forget where I put them. So I am learning to trust myself more with expensive things since I tend to lose them. But I’m currently trying to fix the habit.


You’re originally from Sapporo, Hokkaido in Japan but now currently reside in Los Angeles. Where do you ultimately want to live?

As I get older, I miss Japan more and more. Los Angeles is amazing for work and day to day life right now, but I’d love to go back to Japan one day. I just miss simple things like Japanese convenience stores and vending machines.

As a recent transplant, what's a characteristic about  L.A. women that makes them special in comparison to other women around the world?

In L.A., women tend to be more outspoken and liberal in their reactions and personality, I think that’s an L.A. thing in general. But it empowers women here to be themselves and explore ideas about spirituality and creativity. Women in Los Angeles also don’t wear bras that much. I love that!



Modeling seems like a challenging career because you’re judged on your looks. Your ability to work depends on your appearance and your relationship with the camera. So a lot of what you do is cerebral, tied to your self-esteem and self-image. How do you stay in a positive state of mind?
In the past, when something really sad or bad happened to me, I would hold onto that sadness.

My husband introduced me to a book called ShambhalaThe Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chogyam Trungpa. Then I read another called Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss. The common theme of those self-help books is that happiness in our daily lives is simply an issue of perspective. It's something you are capable of changing at any time if you are patient and determined. Today, I’m a very positive person. Things always turn out much better when you think positively! (Playboy)
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PLAYBOY ASIA - "I came to the United States as an exchange student when I was 19 years old. Until then, I had never been outside Japan. When you’re young, you can do anything.

I first went to Palm Desert for three years, then I moved to San Francisco and got my business degree. It was really difficult because I didn’t speak any English—but at the same time, it was an adventure, so I loved it. I learned so many life lessons and I’m much stronger mentally. Still, I don’t think I could do it now, so I want to say “good job” to my younger self.



People ask me, “What do you want to do 10 years from now? What do you want to be?” I don’t know. I don’t make life plans. I live each moment as it comes. What’s meant to happen will happen. Maybe you don’t know why now, but you will later. I think super positive thoughts; I constantly say, “This is going to be good.” It’s all about your brain. It’s all about how you think.


I used to be hard on myself—a result of comparing myself to other people. All the girls in L.A. are so gorgeous, I thought I had to be like them. I worked out constantly and did all these injections, which are gone now. I felt like I was trying to be somebody else. Now I know there’s freedom in being in your natural state. That’s why everyone should be allowed to speak their mind and express themselves without fear. Being comfortable in my own skin doesn’t mean I want to be objectified; it means I’m loving myself and embracing who I am.

The technology we have access to now makes it easy to share our ideas, and good ones are being shared a lot faster. It’s amazing to see strong women, and men too, from all over the world speaking up for what they believe in and making a huge impact on issues that have existed for probably every generation before ours. I’m thankful I live in a time and place when people can express themselves so freely. It’s relatively recent that people started talking about feminism. We have a long way to go; it all takes time.



ON INDEPENDENCE
When I was growing up, my parents were always busy, so I never really saw much of them. I learned to be self--sufficient at a young age. I have always been independent. I don’t expect anybody to do things for me. I just want to be myself—that’s the goal.

ON CRAVINGS
Lately I’ve been eating raw. I love Japanese food, and Mexican too. Burritos, tacos, ceviche—I eat Mexican food every day.

ON GOALS
My life is here now. I don’t want to go back to Japan. Where I’m from is just a lot of trees and nothing much happening. But I still love nature! San Francisco is my future home. I want a dog and a big yard surrounded by trees. I want to have apple trees and a garden. That’s my complete life.

ON FINDING IT
I definitely appreciate art, and I have a lot of respect for artists. I’m not a very good painter or sculptor, but I’ve done everything. You just need something, one thing you love, something you’re good at. Every one of us can find it.

ON VISION
I intentionally never wear glasses or contacts when I’m shooting. I like not being able to see everything. I guess I still get a little nervous sometimes, so I prefer not seeing everyone’s facial expressions. I can just do my own thing, go into my own world.


ON WHAT’S REAL
I get it: People feel uncomfortable with nipples, but we all have nipples. I hope people get more comfortable with what we have. I don’t feel uncomfortable being naked. It’s a natural thing. It’s soothing when my bare skin touches the earth; it reminds me what’s real.

ON EARTHLY POSSESSIONS
I just don’t own expensive things. I get scared that I’m going to lose them.

ON ICONS
When I think about what’s sexy, I envision Marilyn Monroe—that classic ideal. That’s the kind of sexiness I don’t have, and that’s perfectly fine. I’m content with being myself. The best compliment is being told you’re not trying too hard.

ON ATTRACTION
I like guys who are straightforward, smart and kind to others. For me, sexy is not only how you look but how much you’re connected to your true self. I feel sexy when I’m being true to myself and living boldly! (Playboy)




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On National Coming Out Day, we explore the benefits of sexual experimentation

Written by Zachary Zane

Before coming out, Devon Moretti, age 23, was filled with “fear and shame” for wanting to be in relationships with both men and women. An Instagram-era personal trainer whose mantra is to help clients “feel confident AF in the bedroom,” Moretti describes her heterosexual sex life as having been “traditional” and one in which she routinely found herself in a submissive role. “This was in line with what I’d been socialized to believe as ‘normal,’” she says, “[so] I never questioned it.”


The first time she had sex with another woman was during group sex. As she is polyamorous, her boyfriend was present. The experience changed her life. “I later realized how well [bisexuality] fit my sexual preferences, in how it allowed me to experience fluidity with regard to the power dynamic of sex,” she tells Playboy. In other words, Moretti’s bisexuality linked her mind with her body like never before. When asked to describe her sex life now, she doesn’t mince words: “Excitement and curiosity,” she says, adding that she’s now “more open to fluctuation with women.”

No matter your sex, the way in which you approach intimate relationships will no doubt evolve when you embrace or explore an attraction to multiple genders. (I assert this as someone who identifies as a bisexual male.) For heterosexual people, separating oneself from the heteronormative world and the traditional scripts society has imposed upon us—either consciously or subconsciously—can allow one to approach intimacy outside conventional constraints, such as power politics of dominance versus submission in the bedroom.

For American women in particular, who are most encouraged by society and pop culture to be patient, giving and submissive lovers, the possibilities of sex can feel immediately endless. But while pornography would lead you to believe that almost every woman on the planet has had a bisexual experience, the Centers of Disease Control reported in 2016 that only 5.5 percent of women in the United States identify as bisexual; one-third of those women are out of the closet. While a healthy amount of bisexual women are content settling down with a cisgender, heterosexual man for their rest of their lives, many crave more.

For National Coming Out Day, I interviewed some of these women, who speak frankly about being turned on by their abilities to push the boundaries of traditional intimacy and adopt different roles in the boudoir, based on their partners. Of course, there are many obvious reasons why having sex with a man and woman is different. The permutations of physical size, body parts and positions can open the door to hundreds of new sexual experiences.

But society likes to dictate “customary” ways to have sex. That is, the man is usually more dominant, whereas the woman plays the more submissive role. That’s why any man (or woman) may find it so hot when a woman takes control, pushes you down and rides you reverse cowboy. It’s not what’s usually done on a one-night stand.

“My favorite thing about being bisexual is that it gives me more options to see myself in different ways,” says Candice Leigh, a somatic sex educator. “When I’m with men, I love being an equal or more submissive.” But when she’s with women, she loves the “masculine energy” and being a top. “[It] makes me feel powerful and assertive, and that follows me into my life, work and dealings with other people. With each of my previous girlfriends, I’ve developed a masculine side and certain qualities get refined, such as being more present, energetic and goal-oriented. I feel more driven to make money and buy her gifts.”

Devon, the physical trainer, also tells me she changes it up sexually depending on the gender of her partner. “With men, I’m completely submissive. With women, I’m open to switching roles and expressing dominance.” She also questions whether being submissive actually has anything to do with identifying as a woman or bisexual or conversely, with with the gender or sexual orientation of her partners. Instead, she believes it’s about their energy and how her partners approach having sex.  (Playboy)
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Gideon Rubin began creating his nostalgic, dreamlike art late in life. “It never occurred to me that I could do it—or want to do it,” he explains, despite being son to a curator and grandson to a painter. “In Israel [his hometown], there was no inclination that I could ever become an artist,” says the now London-based artist. “I started painting late. Art was in my DNA, but I rejected it.”

And then everything changed when he was 22. While on release from military service, Rubin backpacked across South America with friends. It was there, surrounded by lush landscapes and new people, that he discovered his passion for painting—but not before ingesting a psychoactive that gave him the key he needed to unlock his artistic potential. “I took a sort-of peyote in Ecuador,” says Rubin, “which showed me that there’s more than the eye can see, that somehow you have to trust your senses. Like the experience you have as a child, when you can focus on something so minute as an ant walking or your hair in a stream of water, I found the experience poetic and reminiscent of childhood memories.”



A couple weeks later, in Salar de Uyuni, a salt desert in southwest Bolivia, he picked up the brush in earnest for the first time. “We were traveling with a girl who had some watercolors and brushes. When I put my hand on the brush, in some godforsaken place with a beautiful landscape, that’s when it felt right. It felt like something I was supposed to do. Traveling and backpacking opened a door,” he says, “but I’m sure the peyote helped.” Although he found painting in South America, Rubin struggled for years to find his voice. “I had to find out who I was first. I knew my grandfather [Reuven Rubin], and I knew his work, but that was not me,” he says of his early life. “I needed to find my voice. That happened in New York.”

Rubin found his signature style at New York’s School of Visual Arts (SVA) and later at London’s Slade School of Fine Art. “That was my initial four or five years, just training myself academically.” While he was in New York, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 struck the Twin Towers. The world and Rubin changed forever. “At SVA, I was painting from life: myself, my friends, models. After 9/11, I couldn’t look myself in the mirror. I could not make self-portraits anymore,” he says. “I was finished.”


Unable to continue the path he was on, Rubin found inspiration in discarded toys and damaged dolls. “These dolls and toys, being antiques, were missing parts: a headlight, an eye, an arm. I began to use them to make still life works. Instead of making a self-portrait in three months, I made three paintings a day. I had to clear my head and my heart,” says Rubin. “I was painting frantically.” These discarded objects were, in many ways, indicative of the nation’s condition after the towers fell.


“I painted these objects for a couple years, and then slowly shifted to painting photographs around 2005. But between 2002 and 2005, the faces slowly vanished. It slowly left me,” he says. Rubin’s faceless portraits are, ironically, instantly recognizable and an outgrowth of his fixation with the intimacy of the past, memory and loss. There is a vulnerability in each of his pieces that is no easy feat. Still, a more daunting endeavor lied ahead. Rubin debuted his Black Book at the Freud Museum in London, but he was initially sickened by the notion of painting over 18 volumes of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. He could barely be in the presence of the vile text, let alone touch it.

“When I visited the Freud Museum two years ago, I began to think about how magazines looked when Freud fled Vienna in ‘38, just before the war. Eventually, I got a bunch of German magazines. For me, being Jewish from Israel, it was a heavy subject,” he says. “I started painting on them, erasing text or imagery. There was a dark undertone to the work that appealed to me.”


Before long, the project became increasingly challenging. “I asked my wife to get me more German magazines and, to my horror, she got me the first serialized English translation of Mein Kampf, published in 18 parts. She didn’t intend on buying that,” he says. Rubin’s gut reaction was to trash the Nazi propaganda, but he “couldn’t because it was almost too dirty for the bin.” His friend suggested he make artwork from it, but Rubin resisted.


“I thought that was the worst idea, but somehow I took one of the volumes and painted the cover black. I was repulsed by it and drawn to it.” He trusted his disgust until he had transformed all 18 volumes. He admits it was “horrific,” but Rubin’s redaction of Hitler’s words renders the hate powerless. By erasing the dictator’s heinous rhetoric, Rubin is not denying the past but reclaiming it. “It’s not Mein Kampf anymore. It’s my Black Book.”

Even after completing the project, Rubin worried about how Holocaust survivors would react. “I was apprehensive about what actual survivors would think of the exhibit. If they found it abusive or hurtful in anyway, there was nothing I could do to make it better,” he says. An attendee at the Black Book exhibition quickly assuaged his fears. “This lovely artist, a good friend, brought her dad who is a Holocaust survivor, and he was in tears,” he says. “He was touched by it and especially moved by how I integrated the work, this heavy source material within the very personal space of Sigmund Freud, blending the personal memory with the collective one. They asked what I felt was different in this project from work I've done before, and I said, ‘It’s as if I was practicing for 15 years until I got to the Black Book.’”

With his artistic eye focused on the past, Rubin is still troubled by the future. “In my early 30s, I went to Auschwitz, and at the end of the visit, after a flood of tears, the guide said, ‘We have to remember, as I speak to you now, horrific things are being done.’” Rubin pauses, reflects, and mournfully says, “The world is not learning.” (Playboy)





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PLAYBOY ASIA - Return to form with Cassandra Dawn, a big-deal art dealer from Los Angeles, California. She’s Asian and East Indian, with brown hair, brown eyes, and natural breasts.


“I’m a native Angeleno,” she says, “and I’m one of a set of twins. I’m an old soul, and I’m very creative – I’ve been singing and playing guitar since I was four years old, and I did theater in high school.”


There’s no more creative city than Los Angeles – it’s hub for writers, artists, actors and musicians, and Cassandra is right at home. “There’s always something to do,” she says. When she’s not working, she catches up with friends over coffee, lunch or dinner – or catches up with herself over a good book and a bottle of wine.


Playboy is on set with Cassandra Dawn to shoot her exclusive pictorial. Get to know more about Cassandra Dawn by watching our behind the scenes footage and the complete nude version available exclusively on Playboy.


Watch the video as Cassandra Dawn reveals all her little secrets, adventures, fantasies, along with her fun & wild experiences. Playboy brings you all the latest news, lifestyle, movie reviews, gamer experiences and event coverage on Playmates, CyberGirls, Amateurs, Coeds and Celebrities.
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PLAYBOY ASIA - You’ll deep under the International model, Taya Vais’ sultry spell in this totally seductive pictorial with the photographer, David Merenyi. This Russian goddess is a natural posing for the camera.


Dressed in black lace and leather, Taya is absolutely flawless on the set of a cocktail lounge. It’s after hours, and instead of going home, Taya decides to give her new Playboy fans a little show. Grab a front-row seat to this lovely lady’s tantalizing curves as she shows us sexy pose after sexy pose.


First removing her leather pants, we get a glimpse of her plump behind in a lace thong, and long, long legs. Soon enough she’s totally nude, giving you the show of a lifetime. “What makes me, me is my emotional intelligence, my sensuality, and the passionate way I express myself through art,” she tells us thoughtfully.


When it comes it her body, Taya is rather confident and loves her all natural curves. “I have a lean and rather fit body,” she tells us, running her hands down her frame. “My face and arms are my best assets.” In terms of love, Taya thinks it’s an important element in the bedroom.


“My best piece of sex advice would be to love each other,” she shares. “Sex without love just makes it emotionally and spiritually empty.” Feel a little love with Taya in her beautiful pictorials, right here on Playboy.
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PLAYBOY ASIA - Chinese beauty Wu Muxi breaks tradition with this sexy set from photographer Shawn Liu.


Hailing from Beijing, Wu is a student of the dramatic arts—she loves acting and film, art and travel, and appreciates the finer things in life.


“I was totally immersed in this shoot,” says Wu. “The light, the beautiful scenes—I was deeply attracted by all of this, and as an actress, I enjoyed creating something personal and unique.


” Slipping out of her silk print dress and into the nude, Wu knows exactly what to do. Like a flower in full bloom, she intoxicates the world around her.


“I would liken a woman to a rose,” she says suggestively. “The blooming time is short, but it’s stunning.” Stop and smell the roses with the sensuous Wu Muxi, only on Playboy.