David Gabber/PR Photos
April 10, 2011 12:30 PM

Karina Smirnoff says she posed for Playboy to test her limits. But Hugh Hefner’s reason for having the Dancing with the Stars pro pose is more clear cut.

“I think it’s obvious,” Hefner told PEOPLE at his 85th birthday party at Las Vegas’s Palms Casino Resort on Saturday. “She has a very good following from the show and the pictorial is unforgettable.”

The Playboy head honcho wasn’t at Smirnoff’s photo shoot but has certainly seen the spread. The pictures, in which Smirnoff wears little more than a few red ribbons, incorporates her dancing, as well.

RELATED: Karina Smirnoff: Why I Posed Nude in Playboy

“It’s a beautiful shoot and I’m very proud of it,” added Hefner.

When asked what is sexy, Smirnoff told Playboy, “Sexy is the comfortable feeling of being who you are.”

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