Article: 19910701044

Title: The Playboy Advisor

The Playboy Advisor
HMH Publishing Co., Inc.
Reader QA
I'm confused. My past ten or so dates (mostly guys I've met through personal ads or singles dances) have been professional men who act like cheapskates. They want to meet for coffee only. One even told me he didn't know me well enough to buy me dinner. Yet they all have one thing in common: They expect me to give them oral sex after only two hours of conversation. Don't these guys know people can still get AIDS that way? Do they think this is safe sex? Is it just Los Angeles?--Miss D. G., Los Angeles, California.

I'm confused. My past ten or so dates (mostly guys I've met through personal ads or singles dances) have been professional men who act like cheapskates. They want to meet for coffee only. One even told me he didn't know me well enough to buy me dinner. Yet they all have one thing in common: They expect me to give them oral sex after only two hours of conversation. Don't these guys know people can still get AIDS that way? Do they think this is safe sex? Is it just Los Angeles?--Miss D. G., Los Angeles, California.

Maybe they are practicing safe sex, since their odds of actually getting someone to agree to oral sex with this approach are about as remote as their chances of contracting HIV if someone does agree. Maybe guys in Los Angeles know what theywant and, having carefully assessed the risk of acquiring an S.T.D., have decided it's worth asking. After a decade of study, researchers have found only a handful of cases that might be traced to oral sex. Whether your partners ask for oral sex two hours or 20 years into a relationship won't change the odds of acquiring the AIDS virus or your response. So next time they ask, ask them, "What kind of woman do you take me for? I accept/give only manual stimulation on a first date."

When I look at CD players, I am overwhelmed by the options. What are A-B repeat, pitch control and program filing? Are they worth the added expense?--S. Q., Portland, Oregon.

Most CD players are uniformly excellent in the most basic function--reproducing sound from compact discs. The options have less to do with sound and more to do with convenience. The A-B repeat has been called the CD equivalent of the Chinese water torture by non-appreciative roommates: It allows you to designate a passage for endless repetition. If you are trying to learn an Eric Clapton riff, hit the A-B repeat and wail. Program filing lets you store favorite playing sequences. Say you like every cut save one on Sting's last album. You punch up the sequence and it will play the CD without the clunker. There are many controls (time edit, remaining disc time) that facilitate making cassettes. Of the options you mention, only pitch control actually affects the quality of sound. Several players now allow you to correct CDs that were badly mixed, that were made from poor tapes or that for some other reason play sharp. Our advice: Think about how you will use the CD player and choose options accordingly. Or if money is no object, buy one with everything.

My husband and I have been married for nine years. I think that just about everything in our lives is fine. We have two children, two cars, a mortgage and a somewhat active social life. We both work full time, opposite shifts, so we see very little of each other--which is probably why our marriage has lasted this long. While I feel that my husband is not very affectionate or romantic outside the bedroom, he feels that I am not in the bedroom enough. It seems that as he gets older (he's 35, I'm 30), he is developing this increasingly insatiable appetite for sex. He has as much as said that we don't have a good marriage because we don't have intercourse every day. I'm too tired to have sex every day. Because of this, he thinks there is something wrong with me. Please, he is an avid reader of The Playboy Advisor and will read your advice. What is the average sexual activity of a 30-something working couple? And also, isn't there a saying that goes something like, "Sex starts at the kitchen table, not in the bedroom"?--Mrs. N. H., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Let's restate this problem. As far as we can tell from your schedule, you see each other five minutes a day. He uses that five minutes to express his affection and/or satisfy his needs through sex. There's no time left for satisfying the other; nonsexual needs of the relationship; i.e., yours. There are two possible solutions. The first is to redefine sex. If you view sex as any form of intimate physical contact--a discreet grope at the kitchen table (as a way of saying you still view your partner sexually but are willing to save it for later), reaching over and stroking someone's back in the morning, a blow job in the shower--you can fulfill each other's sexual expectations without invoking the full work ethic of intercourse. It doesn't matter how frequently or infrequently other couples have intercourse--this is your relationship. Don't view desire in terms of his and hers--view it as the relationship's level of desire. The second way to approach the problem is by rearranging your schedules. You have two cars, two jobs, two kids--but no time. Carve out three hours of nonsexual time a week just for the two of you. You may find that sex will rush in to fill that time.

At the last party I went to, the host served Jell-O shots. Until then, I had only read about them, but I thought they were great. Do you have a recipe or favorite ingredients?--K. B., Boston, Massachusetts.

This fad seems to be hanging on with unusual tenacity. Follow the directions on the package for regular gelatin dessert, and for two thirds of the cold water, substitute a corresponding amount of alcohol. Pour the concoction into any small containers--the compartments of an ice-cube tray will do nicely--and let it set. Our favorite combo? Chevy Jell-O and vodka. We once made a batch with line Jell-O and tequila, no water. Don't.

When it comes to sex, I've heard it all and done it all: group sex, sex with strangers, sex in strange places, food sex, phone sex--you name it. But a friend of mine recently mentioned something about computer sex--or "C sex," as he called it--but didn't elaborate. Now, if it's fun, I want to try it, but first I should know what I'm doing, right? Furthermore, although I have a home computer, I'm a complete moron on it. So is that going to complicate matters?--H. P., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Not really--provided you're paying attention to what you plug where. Computer sex emerged with the simultaneous arrival of the home-computer craze and the safe-sex era. It's an electronic twist on phone sex and, basically, it works like this: You join any one of the many computer information services throughout the country, from the nationwide CompuServe, GEnie or America OnLine, for example, to the smaller local computer "bulletin boards" in your city. (But make sure the service has a C.B. or "chat line" through which individuals can type--or "talk"--to one another.) After you log on--you'll need communications software and a modem to do this--you move to the talk channel and start typing. Your typed words, and those of the others on the channel, appear on the screen in script fashion, with your chosen handle (Cowboy or Busty Babe, for instance), followed by your message. Once you've struck up a chat with someone you'd like to get to know better you then move off the crowded channel and onto a private channel to which only the two of you have access.

That's when things get hot. You may want to begin by typing descriptions of yourselves to each other--what you look like, what you're wearing, what part of the house you're in, just how horny you are. Then you can slowly drift into your fantasies--typed confessions of sexual scenarios you've dreamed about but have never actually done. (We know of one woman who actually begged her compumate to type an explicit description of how he would tie her to her bed posts and "fuck every part" of her; and one guy tells us he immediately parlayed his C-sex session into an immediate follow-up dose of real, sex.)

Then again, sometimes things can be much more direct, with your new compufriend simply asking you to let your hands wander below your keyboard and then tell her about it. At which point, you're on your own.

I know that certain men's clothes--sports coats, for instance--are appropriate for certain seasons. Can the same be said for the scent a man wears? A friend of mine criticized a man for wearing a cologne in the wrong season. What gives?--D. P., Columbia, Missouri.

Heavier scents are best reserved for fall and winter, light formulations for summer. Many men enjoy a particular scent so much that they make it their personal signature and wear it year round. When one fragrance is a handsdown favorite, wearing a less concentrated version (the after-shave instead of the cologne) during wanner weather should satisfy EPA critics.

This may seem like a trivial question, but I have been unable to find out why the front white-wall tires of some cars get dirtier than the rear ones. No one seems to know the answer. Can you help?--D. H., Goose Creek, South Carolina.

You're very observant. What you've noticed is a combination of asbestos and metal dust that results from the wear and tear put on disc brakes. As you drive your car and wear down the brakes, the mixture of asbestos and metal dust escapes through the rim of the wheel and accumulates on the rim and the white-walls. You don't see this on the rear tires because drum brakes are used in the rear of the car; the drum tends to catch nearly all the dust. (If you watch your mechanic remove the drum when he works on your brakes, you'll probably see enough metallic powder to fill a small shot glass.) Isn't this fascinating?

I'm still shaking. The other evening, in the middle of sex, my girlfriend looked me directly in the eyes and asked me to begin spanking her. My first reaction was to laugh, but I could tell from her look that she was dead serious. So I spanked her--tentatively at first, then with an enthusiasm that took me entirely by surprise. I was inside her at the time and the physical reaction she had--squirming, then damn near bucking--made the intercourse much more pleasurable. The two of us came like never before, and I can honestly say it was the best sex we ever had. But what worries me is, why did we both get turned on by something so, well, kinky?--R. G., Baltimore, Maryland.

For most, spanking is one of those little sexual demons inside us that always take us by surprise when they surface. After all, we're not in bed for the purpose of pain, so anything that even smacks of it is going to be foreign to us. The accepted explanation for the arousal that spanking elicits is that it may simply be a resurfacing of that childhood experience in which you were first subjected to physical aggression while your buttocks were exposed. "Many fantasies have their basis in incidents occurring in early childhood or adolescence," writes Lonnie Barbach in "For Each Other: Sharing Sexual Intimacy," "when sexual feelings were high and a real understanding of sexuality was very limited." Then again, the combined physical--emotional assault may be what's behind the turn-on. One ladyfriend tells us, "For me, spanking is a very distinct, two-headed beast. Emotionally, it's the concept that I am being entirely controlled--consumed, dominated, then conquered. Then there's the actual feel of it: being entered on one side and paddled on the other. I simply lose control."

I heard a wine maven say that six grape varieties are permitted in red Bordeaux wines. Is that correct? I know of only two--cabernet sauvignon and merlot, the grape of Pomerol. If there are others, what do they contribute to the Bordeaux blend?--F. W., San Diego, California.

There are six grape varieties sanctioned for Bordeaux wines, though only five are of special significance. Here they are, along with the characteristics they impart to the wine: Cabernet sauvignon--the most prevalent of all grapes--is slow in maturation and has tannin for longevity. Merlot lends grace, roundness, fruitiness. Cabernet franc has lightness, balance and bouquet. Malbec has finesse, balance and matures early. Petit verdot has full body, tannin, matures slowly and is an easy blender. Carmenere rounds out the sextet of Bordeaux grapes. It's a secondary grape, probably related to cabernet sauvignon; it's seldom used today.

Being interested in lingerie, I have always wondered about certain garments. Sure, I know what a bra is, but what about a French bra? Is it the same as a half-bra? What about a push-up bra: How is it different from a regular bra? How does a bustier differ from a corset or a girdle? How is a teddy different from a chemise?--K. H., Lubbock, Texas.

The so-called French bra is virtually identical to the half-bra--both employ a demicup, with straps set more toward the side. Push-up bras have padding on the bottom half of the cup, which helps lift the bustline. A bustier goes only to the waist, while a corset includes stays and garters. A teddy is made in the style of a body suit, only with snaps in the crotch. A chemise is a slip that resembles a short dress, ending above the knees. Ask your girlfriend to give you a guided tour of her dresser. Pick up a catalog from Victoria's Secret or a Playboy Lingerie special.

I've been on the pill for about three years now and have been thinking about trying something new. I've heard a little bit about the new contraceptive implant. Could you tell me more? What does it involve, is it painful and how reliable is the method?--Miss T. B., Portland, Oregon.

If you like convenience, don't want to get pregnant for the next three to five years and have at least $350, plus doctor's fees, to spend, Norplant, the new contraceptive implant, is perfect for you. Touted as 99 percent effective (that's as much as the pill), Norplant was developed by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories in Philadelphia and approved by the Food and Drug Administration on December 10, 1990. According to one woman who received an implant, the procedure "was a lot easier than I'd expected." It goes like this: Six capsules containing contraceptive hormones are implanted under the skin of the forearm in a fanlike arrangement and, except for the slight pain from the local-anesthesia injection, the 15-minute procedure goes smoothly. Once inserted, Norplant slowly releases a synthetic-progesterone drug called levonorgestrel, which is found in some brands of oral contraceptives. The capsules remain visible and can be removed at any time. A word of warning: Norplant is too new to determine long-term side effects, but during a five-year study f more than 800 women, prolonged or irregular menstrual bleeding, depression and occasional infection at the implant site were reported. And while thousands of doctors across the country currently are being trained to insert Norplant, some are recommending that women who are on the pill stick with the method--partly because of the noncontraceptive benefits, such as reduction in ovarian cancer and menstrual cramps, but also because Norplant doesn't provide an immediate option to change your mind about pregnancy. We also have to point out that although Norplant may be an excellent long-term contraceptive, it doesn't protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. So remember to use a condom.

All reasonable questions--from fashion, food and drink, stereo and sports cars to dating problems, taste and etiquette--will be personally answered if the writer includes a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Send all letters to The Playboy Advisor, Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. The most provocative, pertinent queries will be presented on these pages each month.

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Illustration by Dennis Mukai