Pssst! Want to start the new year out right by reading a really feeelthy story? Then turn to page 115 and Erica Jong's The Rolls-Royce Love Affair, a funny tale about the further adventures of Isadora, the lady who merrily fornicated her way through the pages of Jong's best seller, Fear of Flying. Love Affair answers the age-old question: Can a nice Jewish girl from New York get her rocks off with a beautiful, wealthy Midwestern lady WASP--and vice versa? Our lips are sealed as to the outcome. (Isadora's definitely weren't.) But one thing's for sure, after reading The Rolls-Royce Love Affair, which is an excerpt from Jong's forthcoming book, How to Save Your Own Life, to be published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in the States and by Martin Secker & Warburg, Ltd. in England, you'll never again be able to look at a bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne.
Playboy, January, 1977, Volume 24, Number 1. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States, its possessions and Canada, $30 for three years, $22 for two years, $12 for one year. Elsewhere $25 per year. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of address: send both old and new addresses to Playboy, P.O. Box 2420, Boulder, Colorado 80302 and allow 30 days for change. Marketing: Nelson Futch, Marketing Manager; Lee Gottlieb, Director of Public Relations; Michael J. Murphy, Circulation Promotion Director. Advertising: Henry W. Marks, Advertising Director; Harold Duchin, National Sales Manager, 747 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017; Sherman Keats, Associate Advertising Manager, John Thompson, Central Regional Manager, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611; Atlanta, Richard Christiansen, Manager, 3340 Peachtree Rd., N.E.; Detroit, William F. Moore, Manager, 818 Fisher Bldg.; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Blvd.; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 417 Montgomery St.
Well, it's better than getting no head at all: Over an article about the Hartford, Connecticut, Board of Education's naming a temporary school superintendent, The New Haven Register ran this headline: "Mystic oral school gets interim head."
A Detroit couple was awarded $275,000 in a suit against a local group of oral surgeons. The wife testified that following a 1968 dental operation, her lower lip and jaw were numb, so that her husband's kisses no longer excited her.
Voted in for his contribution to the ever-expanding field of religious absurdity: a Massachusetts Biblical scholar who claims that Detroit, Michigan, is the locale of the original Garden of Eden. According to his research, Detroit is the only place on earth that conforms in every respect to the Scriptural description of the home of Adam and Eve.
In the olden days before television, when people weren't procreating, busting frontiers or watching stock markets crash, they were reading schlock. But their schlock, unlike ours, was high quality. For example, in 1920, H. L. Mencken started a magazine called Black Mask, which published the authors who would shape the modern detective story. The Hard-Boiled Detective (Random House), edited by Herbert Ruhm, is a collection of 14 of the best yarns published in Black Mask between 1920 and 1951, including stories by Dashiell Hammett (in one instance, using the pseudonym Peter Collinson), Raymond Chandler, Erle Stanley Gardner and Merle constiner. Our current TV versions of these guys look like a bunch of refugees from hairdressing universities in comparison with the real thing (" 'Adieu!' she said softly. And I put a bullet in the calf of her left leg.").
It isn't easy for a performer to convince an audience that's sitting on its preconceived notions that he's got much more going for him than the stereotype projected by the media. The audience usually wants its prejudices reinforced and when the object of its affection strays into unfamiliar territory, it becomes uncomfortable. Which is a somewhat circuitous way of introducing Archie Shepp's Montreux One (Arista). Tenor man Shepp has long been a leading explorer of jazz's avant-garde tributary. And that may have made a lot of people put him in an antimelody, antiballad, anti-easy-on-the-ears bag. If so, it's a bum rap, as this LP recorded at the 1975 jazz festival can attest. Shepp stretches out with extraordinary lyricism not only on Billy Stray-horn's Lush Life but even on the three other tracks--those much closer to an avant-gardist's heart. The attack is so natural, so organic, the listener is completely at ease. Shepp is aided no little by trombonist Charles Majid Greenlee, pianist Dave Burrell, bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Beaver Harris.
One of the best things about the holiday season is that it affords an opportunity to demonstrate to one and all (including yourself) that you are generous and tasteful. And there are all kinds of recordings available to let you show off both of those qualities. RCA, for instance, is offering a couple of irresistible packages of that splendid sound machine, the Philadelphia Orchestra. First and foremost is a five-LP collection of its 1941-1942 recordings under the baton of the maestro, Arturo Toscanini; included are Schubert's Ninth Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Sixth. The latter is also available in combination with the Fourth and the Fifth in a three-LP set of the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted. by the estimable Eugene Ormandy. Then there's the sumptuous Angel recording of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the London Philharmonic, the New Philharmonia Chorus and such soloists as Heather Harper and Janet Baker under the direction of Carlo Maria Giulini, who gives that cult figure Georg Solti a run for his money whenever he takes over the Chicago Symphony.
Most of the world's men and women have reached the conclusion that limits to population growth are not only desirable but imperative. There still are places, though, where people--influenced by religion, local mores or just odd psychological quirks--feel impelled to procreate. Robert Thomson, visiting Afghanistan on a Fulbright scholarship, sends word on some--well--far-out practices there:
Sylvester Stallone, with just three movies behind him at the age of 30 (his first was The Lords of Flatbush), must be the first actor in film history to achieve stardom by writing a dynamite role for himself, then playing it with such effortless power and poignancy that you can jot down his name right now as an Oscar nominee in at least two categories. Actor-writer Stallone's hot contender is Rocky, a small miracle of a movie about a not-very-bright palooka who fights for maybe $40 in prize money on a lucky night and supplements his stunted boxing career by working as strong-arm man for a loan shark in the slums of south Philadelphia. His only real friends, whom he addresses like street-corner thugs, are a pair of pet turtles named Cuff and Link. Through a fluke--dreamed up more or less as a publicity stunt to fill a local booking commitment--this lonely born loser gets a chance to fight the heavyweight champion of the world. Rocky takes the challenge seriously, largely because he's too dumb and innocent to realize he is being used. The movie's climax is a bloody, bruisingly suspenseful fight scene that ranks with the classics of its kind; yet Rocky is not really a film about prize fighting any more than Marty was a film about being a butcher in the Bronx. Human striving is the theme, expressed in one man's struggle to salvage, however briefly, a scrap of dignity and self-esteem from his unrewarding life. Rocky pulls an audience into total identification with its underdog hero and director John G. (Joe, Save the Tiger) Avildsen has hit on exactly the right chemistry throughout, carefully balancing the toughness and poetry of a story that is full of opportunities to become conventionally or cheaply heart-warming. Talia Shire, as the painfully shy neighborhood spinster who begins to like herself because Rocky loves her, Burt Young, as her covetous brother, and Burgess Meredith, as Rocky's trainer, portray stock characters with disarmingly total credibility. Rocky is not just Stallone's bid for the big time, it's Avildsen's best movie and one of the year's ten best by any standard.
Blowdry, a hard-core comedy that works up a lather by ripping off Shampoo, goes from job to job with a hair-dresser named Warren Peece (played by a baby-faced stud whose nom de film is Pepe). Warren solicits most of his trade, natch, in a beauty salon known as The Head Shop. Sad to say, after that catchy title, the movie has shot its load satirically, and a fairly funny idea soon dwindles into the standard brand of suck-and-fuck footage. Shampoo itself was a highly sophisticated sex film of sorts and cannot be spoofed merely by substituting cum shots and maximum penetration for wit, style and relevance. Blowdry has some heavy sexual athletics and shows a bit of natural curl here and there--a couple making it atop a Xerox machine or Warren balling the Oriental bank officer who wants to see his assets--but it's a flaccid imitation in general. The actors are only passably attractive, the acting ranges from adequate to awful and the gags don't make it.
After 100 years of American experimentation with coeducation, it is clear that it is a failure. In most central cities, primary and secondary coeducational schools are an unqualified disaster. Nationally, more boys than girls are academic failures. The reason is coeducation itself--because of its institutional refusal to admit the natural inequality of boys and girls. Coeducation is a costly mistake that ought to be abolished. It doesn't work.
After many years of indulging in the most basic form of sex--intercourse--I met an uninhibited girl who introduced me to the fine art of fellatio. She was surprised that I had never before experienced that particular delight. After all, she said, it's been around forever. Curiosity got the better of me: How old is oral sex? Certainly, the unsung heroine who first gave head ranks with the inventor of the wheel, bread and pants. Kenneth Clark somehow missed this point in his history of civilization. Can you enlighten me? What is the earliest mention of fellatio?--L. P., Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The Motel is situated somewhere in the United States. The building itself is a simple rectangle, brick on the front and cement block elsewhere, 60 picture windows looking out over a parking lot to a fast-food stand, a topless bar and a lumberyard.
You've Seen her in those Winston ads, svelte in tube top and sailor jeans, her long hair streaming in the (studio) wind. You may also have seen her trotting on horseback in the British Sterling TV spots, a bottle of the touted cologne on a silver tray precariously balanced in one hand. Or in any one of two dozen other television commercials Barbara Leigh has done.
The ability to fashion classic repartees on the spur of the moment and deliver them with style is, indeed, a God-given gift. Most of us mere mortals, when confronted with the opportunity to say something singularly witty or derisive, are tragically reduced to blurting out the first idiotic thing that comes to mind. Others of us concoct piercing retorts long after the opportunity has passed and are thus ineffectual. Since most of us will never achieve the dazzling heights attained by the Winston Churchills, Benjamin Disraelis and Dorothy Parkers of the world, we've compiled 50 of the best comeback lines ever. If you fancy yourself a great wit among men, try covering up the last lines of each paragraph and thinking up a better comeback.
Wouldn't you Know that a French director would be the first to see the erotic potential of vampirism? Charles Matton's science-fiction sex fantasy Spermula has an odd angle: The female vampires do not live on blood alone but, rather, on semen taken from helpless male victims. The mysterious society lives in perfect harmony (we can see why) until it is caught up in a mania of shuttle diplomacy. An expedition of French-kissing Kissingers travels to Earth. The ladies hope to cure the disorder that reigns on the planet by draining world leaders of vile virility--via fellatio. The mission of mercy is headed by Spermula, a spectacular beauty who can carry on successful negotiations above and below the table. Unlike most diplomats, she doesn't put her foot in her mouth. This film should be required viewing for the State Department.
OK. Time for another lesson in American history. Topic: the California girl. More than a decade ago, The Beach Boys released a song praising the particular heart-stopping qualities of the girls of the Golden State. Subsequently, Brian Wilson went into seclusion and refused to come out of his bedroom for several years. Perhaps he had one or two of the creatures stashed away. How else can we explain the sacrifice involved in not looking upon the likes of Susan Lynn Kiger, the lady who graces our gatefold this month? Miss January is a genuine California girl, a top-of-the-line model who (except for one brief trip to Hawaii) has never left the state. She is, like others of her kind, spontaneous, agile, sun-tanned, lithe, athletic, willing and able to take on all comers. She can drink the best of us under the table, having learned that trick at rugby games, where she was keeper of the chest. Exhausted teams would come off the field and ask, "Hey, wasn't there a six-pack in there a minute ago?" Smile. She will do almost anything on a dare. When a friend asked her if she would pose for a Kansas City Meat Company poster explaining the choice cuts of a well-turned back ("You can't beat Western meat"), Kiger donned a stetson and obliged. Nowadays, she lives in an apartment with her sister and dreams of the day when she will have a yard big enough for a large dog and a horse. (She grew up riding bareback through the surf at Laguna Beach.) Also big enough for a one-on-one relationship. Kiger needs space. Mind you, Susan gets along well enough with people, she just likes her privacy. She worked for a year as a cocktail waitress at a place called Charlie Brown's, then used her money to spend a winter in the mountains. Getting away from the crowds seems to be her main occupation these days. ("I plan to take the money I earn as a Playmate and invest it in land--my own piece of the earth.") Being a California girl has its drawbacks. Susan has a collection of stories about run-ins with other kinds of Californians--such as the Hollywood weirdo: "If a man is old, rich and unattached, he's a pervert. Take my word for it." Miss January describes herself as old-fashioned: She wants to marry and have kids. Well, someone has to supply the demand for California girls, right?
The subject of this interview is an explosives expert who worked for 20 years designing assassination devices for the CIA while holding various cover jobs in military research and development. While still in high school, he was regularly approached by CIA contacts with requests for poisons, explosives, guns, silencers and specially designed gadgets for killing or incapacitating people. He worked his way through a number of employers during this period and finally ended up director of research at a large, well-known firearms manufacturer, where he continued to do work for the CIA as well as implement projects for the gun company, which, in turn, sold its work to the military.
In the Heder that I attended in Warsaw, there was a boy, Mendel, with the nickname "I Thought." That's what the boys called him and the reason for it was that he made countless mistakes for which he always had the same answer: "I thought." For instance--one time, as winter approached, he tried to slide over the sewer in front of our heder. The real frosts hadn't yet started and the sewer was merely covered by a thin layer of ice. Mendel took off on the run and sank knee-deep into the dirty, cold water. The other boys managed to pull him out. When they asked him why he had attempted a slide over such a thin layer of ice, he said, "I thought the ice was thicker."
For some time now, we've been hearing about women's sexual fantasies. In several recently published books, women have admitted what they dream about. Now they're beginning to own up to what they're doing about those dreams. In "The Secret Fire: A New View of Women and Passion," to be published this month by Playboy Press, Rosemarie Santini adds yet another dimension to our understanding of female eroticism. The author interviewed hundreds of women from all walks of life--the arts, the professions, homemaking, prostitution--on the subject of what they want from life and love and how they're going about getting it. The candor of their answers is astonishing. Here we present a handful of Santini's "Secret Fire" sexual case histories of a variety of women, from dedicated S/M practitioners to a motorcycle-gang member's "old lady."
Our Fantasies about winding highways leading toward distant horizons to the contrary, the mundane fact remains that a vast percentage of American driving takes place in the ruck of urban and suburban streets and freeways. Most of us operate automobiles not in some zesty liaison with a splendid machine on an open road but in the turgid mire of workaday commuters struggling against their own presence to get to and from work. This reality tends to negate the need for interesting, nimble cars and causes many to seek mobility via insulated, hermetically sealed cocoons wherein stereo music and air conditioning isolate them from the chore of driving. This is one rationale, based on the reasoning that most traffic operates so slowly that the need for a machine with any sporting instincts whatsoever is akin to hunting quail with a bazooka; there is simply no need for that brand of firepower.
It was a hard job. This particular part of it would take many hours yet, and Vito the workman, built like a tight end, sweat dripping from his chin, stood on the bar and ripped at the insides of this dumb-waiter that for years had blocked customers from being served at one end of the bar.
The Year just past was one of celebration; how often, after all, does a nation get to be 200? Readers of Playboy had their own causes for celebration--12 of them, to be exact--and though the Bicentennial is history now, we can bring back the golden days of that particular yesteryear for you in the form of our annual Playmate Review. So here they are, again, Misses January through December: a dozen girls you'd like to know better. We've checked in with them to see how they've been doing since we last heard from them, and everything's upbeat. Before long, it'll be time to pick one as our Playmate of the Year; the final choice, as always, belongs to our editors, but we'd be glad to hear what you think.
I heard the burglar-alarm siren the moment I turned the corner into my street. I immediately looked at the dashboard clock. The time was 25 minutes past five. I could not imagine why the siren was going or why Reginald Soames was standing on the sidewalk in front of my house, together with a handful of other neighbors. The sound of the siren was piercing. I pulled into my driveway, got out of the car and immediately said, "What is it? Has someone broken in?"
Anyone can learn tennis in a very short time. The important thing is to know a few basic principles of the game and the rest will come naturally. To prove my point, I visited John Gardiner's Tennis Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona, not very long ago and selected a 41-year-old man named Ken Rosewall from a group of would-be tennis players. Rosewall, an Australian, told me he had never before held a racket in his hand and was hopeful of learning the game. In just a week, by teaching him a few tricks, I had Rosewall scrambling all over the court, playing like a pro.
Happy New Year? With a mouth full of feathers? A vise around your head? And your mother phoning from Little Falls, promptly at eight A.M., to be sure of catching you in? Bah, humbug! Well, all right. You can sit around like the senior sufferer at a masochists' convention--or do something constructive, such as fixing yourself a soothing, settling spiked-coffee reviver. Most highly touted hangover remedies are evil-tasting, bitter and punishing, on the plausible theory that anything so bad has to be good for you. Coffee grogs are different--bracing, (continued on page 188) morning glories! (continued from page 185) invigorating ... and delicious! You know what a cup of Java does for you in the morning. Apparently, the synergistic interaction of caffeine and alcohol both accentuates and accelerates the salutary effect.
A great way to encourage a writer, we've found, is to tell him he's wonderful and give him some money. And so were born our Annual Writing Awards. The choices, which are made by polling the editors, are so difficult that you can usually tell it's voting time by the amount of shouting that's going on in our offices. But after much heated lobbying, majority rule, if not pure reason, prevails. Each of the winners gets $1000, each runner-up, $500. And all get the silver medallion pictured here, to remind them that they're still wonderful long after the money's gone.
With jeans, denim work shirts and hefty boots being prized for their rugged individualism and no-frills style, it's logical that what you pack these clothes in should travel the same route. Today's unluggage ranges from ths leather L. L. Bean-inspired hunter's totes to an inexpensive canvas carpenter's tool satchel. Hearty aluminum camera cases now hold clothes instead of film. Sturdy mountain climber's packs, wicker fishing baskets, Army duffel bags and knapsacks perform double duty as rugged carryalls. Unluggage rekindles that bandana-on-a-stick siren call of the open road. It smacks of high style and says have fun. --Robert L. Green
Living with a woman or contemplating it? Then you ought to know how the law deals with that arrangement. First, let's get one thing straight. It's not common-law marriage, which is the same as any other marriage but doesn't require a third person's saying the words to make it so. If you reside in a state that recognizes common-law marriage, the two of you can be married by declaring yourselves married. The only way to end a marriage, whether it's ceremonial or common law, is by death or divorce.
There's a lot more to fragrance than meets the nose. Many men start the day by looking themselves squarely in the mirror and lying. Although they tell themselves they're slapping on after-shaves to soothe their dewhiskered faces, most conventional concoctions sting the raw skin. To smell swell is the true, though usually unacknowledged, motivation. Historically, after-shave lotions were applied as antiseptics to fight infection from primitive shaving tools. Witch hazel or alcohol often sufficed. Then therapeutic balms were brewed from plants and herbs. Fragrance was a side effect, but a nice one. In this century, razors were greatly improved, but the notion was entrenched that after-shave lotions should both brace the skin and have a pleasant aroma. However, to make sense of contemporary scents, fragrance should be liberated from the shaving syndrome.
Let's assume for the moment that you would like to change your tax bracket in less than a day. Can you name an activity that would allow you to enter a room, unarmed, and emerge a few hours later several thousand dollars richer? We can: It's called a job interview and it's completely legal.
T here was a time in these United States when we, the people, turned as one toward the nearest automobile agency and vibrated with anticipation until the new models were revealed. This eagerness to catch the first glimpse of Detroit's latest filigree of chrome or bulge of sheet metal bordered on a national craze, reaching a peak in September and October of each year, when the latest offerings actually appeared in public. Styling studios at Ford, G.M., et al., were guarded with a ClAlike fanaticism, lest the latest fender contour be tipped to the prying public, and the actual introduction of the new cars was choreographed in a fiendishly complicated and expensive arrangement of marketing, promotion and advertising that would make the biggest of Hollywood hustles look puny by comparison.