The Media are obviously panicky about AIDS, but we're not convinced that the public is--nor that it should be. If you're concerned about your chances of contracting the virus, you need facts, not hysteria. For a levelheaded look at what has become the most widely publicized sexual red flag since herpes (remember herpes?), see our Viewpoint: Can Sex Survive AIDS? You'll probably feel a lot better about the whole thing. But then, maybe you're not as worried about it as Time and Newsweek would have us believe. Since every major article we've read about AIDS emphasizes the fact that the use of condoms greatly reduces the likelihood of its transmission, we figured that there ought to be a big surge in condom sales. So we called George Gori, the vice-president of product development for Schmid, the oldest (102 years) manufacturer of condoms in the U.S. "Well, we're kind of surprised," said Gori, "what with all this publicity about AIDS and herpes, that sales haven't skyrocketed [not that Schmid hasn't tried to shoot Ramses sales sky-high; see The Year in Sex]. But, in fact, sales have only grown slowly--maybe one or two percent." In other words, most people aren't panicking? "Not really--only the people who ought to be, and they know who they are, if you know what I mean."
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), February, 1986, Volume 33, Number 2. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building. 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States and its Possessions, $56 for 36 issues, $38 for 24 Issues. $24 for 12 Issues, Canada. $35 for 12 Issues. Elsewhere, $35 (U.S. Currency) for 12 Issues. Allow 45 days for New Subscriptions and Renewals. Change of Address: Send Both Old and New Addreses to Playboy, Post Office Box 55230, Boulder, Colorado 80323-5230, and allow 45 days for Change. Marketing: ED Condon, Director/Direct Marketing; Jack Bernstein, Circulation Promotion Director. Advertising: Joe Mangione, Advertising Promotion Director; Jay Remer, National Alcoholic Beverages Marketing Manager; Brian Van Mols, National Automotive Marketing Manager, 747 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017; Linda Malanga, Chicago Manager, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611; 3001 West Big Beaver Road, Troy, Michigan 48084; Los Angeles 90010, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 4311 Wilshire Blvd.; San Francisco 94104, Tom Jones, Manager, 417 Montgomery St.
I never Outgrew the need for an occasional dose of science fiction, but I did outgrow most of what passes for it--not because of bug-eyed monsters and space-opera plots, which I love, but because of the hasty clunkety-clank writing and the yank-'em-up cardboard characters. I came to want my favorite debased form to do what other literature does, to be about something, not simply action and imaginative diversion. I kept looking for these dumb space operas to be profound. They almost never are, of course, and those that try to be are often the worst. I'd pretty much given up on the form until a few years back, when I belatedly came upon Philip K. Dick and his 30 or so novels and found that he was an important American novelist who was virtually unknown because he worked the low-rent sciencefiction streets. The discovery was lucky for me, because I was starving, I found, for just what his novels provided: aliens and angst, considered with black humor. But he died four years ago, and I've read them all now and find myself starving again--so over the past months, I've read a baker's dozen of recent science-fiction novels and started half a dozen more I couldn't finish to see how things are going--see if anybody out there comes close to being as good as P.K.D.
Many of the wearisome clichés of youth movies are met head on--and conquered--by the accomplished company collaborating on Smooth Talk (Spectrafilm). Director Joyce Chopra, making her first full-length feature from a short story by Joyce Carol Oates, has created a slight but suspenseful tale of sexual awakening in a California teenager who's muddling through her first long, hot summer of acute boy consciousness. "I'm not used to feeling this excited," mumbles 15-year-old Connie apologetically to one hard-breathing stud with a flashy set of wheels. The crunch comes for Connie when a mysterious, knowing stranger--almost a ringer for the James Dean posters in her bedroom--catches her alone at home on a warm weekend afternoon and tells her the time is now, that this is real, not just more larking around the shopping mall with her girlfriends to spot guys with cute buns. The tentative, tremulous, scary stirrings of desire are caught perfectly by Laura Dern (Bruce's daughter, who was also the blind girl in Mask), playing against some very effective sexual swaggery by Treat Williams as a seducer with a touch of the poet about him. In fact, Talk's poetic flair is such that you may wonder, in the end, whether Connie has truly "done it" or has dreamed away the afternoon in a masturbatory fantasy. While the seemingly deliberate ambiguity is a drag, Dern creates a winsome portrait of a feverish child-woman rushing from adolescence a little too soon. [rating]2-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
Dee's Designing his Own Labels: Dee Snider of Twisted Sister says the band's next album will have a self-imposed H rating, along with the following message: "This record has been rated H. It may contain words and phrases that require a sense of humor. If you lack this prerequisite, do not listen to this album."
The neighbors will have to excuse me for howling at the moon again, but it's time for another convention of hand wringers and textbook thumpers, a gathering of the N.C.A.A. phonies, and I know what to expect from them. They'll mostly be discussing college football's recruiting revelations of this past autumn and how they're going to clean up the sport with test tubes and library cards and a lot more of their breast-beating, evangelistic, public punishing of a group of poor kids, most of them black, who've developed a habit of taking under-the-table money from boosters and alumni in order to have a date and go to Arby's twice a month, while in the meantime, their touchdowns bring in millions of dollars of endowments. A ghastly state of affairs. What is the world coming to if an educator can't expect a halfback to bring great wealth to his college on an empty tank of gas?
I was curled up on the sofa and Rita had settled into a nearby armchair. We were watching Country on cable. Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange's oldest child had just been buried alive under several tons of grain, courtesy of a tornado.
For a while now, I've been working my personal relationships on the assumption that everybody knows everything at all times. A wild hypothesis, maybe; but I've tested this one in a lot of situations, and it pans out amazingly well. As far as I can tell, it's especially true between men and women; but it holds among all of us, really, and what it seems to mean is that you can cheat and lie or not cheat and not lie, and the only difference is that if you do, you'll be known for it, and if you don't, you'll be known for that, because people are never fooled unless they want to be.
I have been married for 15 years to a wonderful wife who has given me two adorable little girls and more sex provided in more ways than one could imagine. The problem? Over the years, my wife and I have engaged in our multifaceted bag of sex tricks only with each other. However, in the past few years, we have been known to skinny-dip occasionally with friends or to hop into the hot tub without clothing and with friends. We play various card games in which the penalty for losing a round is the removal of a piece of clothing. I should also mention that we have taken a multitude of pictures and video tapes (just nudes) and have exchanged them for the same with our assortment of friends. I suppose you're still waiting for the problem. Well, here it is: My wife and I have had great fun at this and I could continue indefinitely, but she has thrown me a real blow. She wants to swap with our friends for sex one time to see if she has missed anything over the years. Being the great and understanding guy that I am, I haven't said no, but I haven't said yes. I'm not sure if I could handle this, because the institutional side of the marriage says to me that we have already extended our-selves far enough, but I want to keep her happy. Please comment.--S. F., Norman, Oklahoma.
Does the coming of AIDS mean the end of the sexual revolution? As the Editorial Director of this magazine, I've been asked that question often lately. Let's begin with part of the answer. The best-kept secret of the AIDS terror is the fact that if you are a healthy, heterosexual male and you don't take intravenous drugs or have sex with prostitutes, there aren't enough zeros on your pocket calculator to indicate the chance of your catching AIDS.
Men, consider this a cautionary tale. Women, whether with their closest friends or with utter strangers, are talking about you. In fact, the word dissecting may be more accurate. While you boys were spending your six-year-old summers torturing tarred frogs, we girls were side by side on our back-yard swings, wondering what it would take to make you stop torturing us. When you were 11 and playing little league, we were setting one another's hair and scheming to get your attention. When you were 16 and greasing old cars, we were cloistered in one another's bedrooms, smoking clandestine cigarettes and wondering how far we should allow you to go with us. What else did we do at slumber parties but giggle and whine and worry about you? What else do we do now, at 20 and 30 and 40, careers or no careers?
Her mouth. Full, juicy, smiling or pouting. Kissing is the greatest act of intimacy. If she nibbles on you, she's making a commitment, confessing a need, asking a question. Lips make promises you hope she'll keep. Her mouth gives you a taste of things to come.
Brett Weston's swimming pool is painted as black as a darkroom. At one end is an optically perfect window through which the 74-year-old photographer, huddled in a hot concrete room, aims his lens at the submerged figure: a nude woman, her body swathed in flickering patterns of refracted light. The world-renowned photographer clicks the shutter, and the moment is frozen.
British Spirits Maven John Doxat--author of Stirred, Not Shaken and the Complete Drinker's Companion--changes his alcohol intake with the weather as faithfully as he changes the oil in his motorcar. Come the first cold snap in autumn, he "abandons gin and vodka" and switches to whiskeys. Doxat's law is neither capricious nor eccentric. Most of us modify our fuel consumption with the seasons--though not, as a rule, as rigidly as this opinionated English scribe. Raw, nasty weather definitely calls for something richer and fuller, something with backbone to it--a drink that will send the blood coursing. What we're talking about are the titans of the back bar, the stalwart, generously endowed dusky infusions known to seasoned sippers as winter whiskeys.
I've always felt that I have little eyes, a mouth full of teeth and ears that I call elf ears. They kind of poke out." That's her opinion. We certainly didn't notice any flaws when Julie McCullough showed up for our salute to The Girls of Texas last February. In fact, we tucked her ears under a Stetson and put her on the cover. It was the first time she'd ever seen a copy of Playboy. Although she was born in Hawaii, Julie was then, and is now, living in Texas. But as the daughter of a Marine Corps lifer, she has moved around a lot. "It bothered me when I was younger; but as I look back, I appreciate it, because it taught me how to get along with different types of people. If you make good friends, you never lose them." During most of her childhood years, Julie thought she wanted to be an artist. "I really love to draw," she says, "but I could never see myself as a starving artist. So I realized art would have to be more of a hobby than a career. And then, in high school, I started entering pageants, and I got (text concluded on page 174) Cover Girl (continued from page 92) a couple of Miss Photogenic awards. And everbody would tell me, 'You should try modeling; you should try modeling.' And all of a sudden, it's like, 'Hey!' "
Ain't it weird, soldier boy?" said the voice in Quinn's ear. "There you are, strollin' along in that little ol' green suit of armor, feelin' all cool and killproof ... and wham! You're down and hurtin' bad. Gotta admit, though, them suits do a job. Can't recall nobody steppin' onna mine and comin' through it as good as you."
If you're a Superhero, it's easy. Your role in life allows for grandiose displays of self-expression. Darth Vader has it down pat, and so does Superman. But if you're a titan of industry or a captain of commerce, dressing for success is serious business. And serious men's-fashion designers have taken this into account. Jeffrey Banks says, "The dark suit is still important in dressing for success." Pierre Cardin thinks that the key to successful dressing is the silhouette: "My new jacket shape gives the man a visible V silhouette that enhances his masculinity." Robert Stock says, "For me, it's fabrics. My silhouettes are classics that have long been acceptable in the business world." Alexander Julian thinks that the power look requires a few subtle-color stripings, with underlying patterns on top of traditional blues and grays, "to give a man individuality." All four designers picked their first choice in spring 1986 business looks, which are worn here by executive movers and shakers who definitely like the view from the top.
I watch as the man who raped my girlfriend 15 years ago walks toward me in this trendy bar. He is now bloated, with a face so fat that his eyes are pinched into a permanent squint. I rise from my table and motion for him to sit down. He is expressionless; he doesn't remember me, doesn't know who I am or why I've called him to join me. But I remember him.
Anthony Pellicano may be America's most tenacious private detective. An expert at locating missing persons, he is also a wizard at criminal-defense work, corporate spying, electronic surveillance and the relatively new science of audio forensics. In 1983, Pellicano gained notoriety by assisting John DeLorean's attorneys in puncturing the cocaine-smuggling charges against the car manufacturer. Now, through an ongoing association with DeLorean lawyer Howard Weitzman, Pellicano is working on another headline-making case: He is gathering information to use in defending Cathy Smith, the former heroin addict and self-described groupie who is expected to go on trial for the murder of comedian John Belushi. Steve Oney talked with Pellicano in the detective's Los Angeles office. He reports, "In L.A., it's impossible to think of private eyes without thinking of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, but there could be no one less Marlowesque than Pellicano, a wiry Mensa member who operates out of a suite high above the Sunset Strip. The heart of the business isn't a file cabinet containing a bottle of Jack Daniel's but an impressive electronics center--computers, spectrum analyzers, microscopes, pieces of equipment so revolutionary that in some cases, Pellicano has had them longer than the FBI."
Making a party tape is, first of all, only for the stronghearted. Those who dare small deeds and live small lives should content themselves with white-wine spritzers, Cheez Whiz, Triscuits, discussion of office politics and everyone home in time for Letterman. But for those who would risk all to win all, there can be no higher calling than the successful party tape. To see joy in the faces of your friends, to profess humility as they slaver their gratitude at the end of the evening, to infuse your enemies with envy so heavy they'll have to walk on their kneecaps, to have beauteous women wonder what you would play during sex (that's another essay)--these are the rewards of a good party tape. Why? Because people want to dance, want to stomp Death itself into your linoleum.
Everyone wants Revenge, but scarcely anyone does anything about it. This is probably a good thing; in fact, this "good thing" is thought of as the social contract, wherein there is an implicit agreement by all to behave themselves, and incidents of misbehavior are to be dealt with by specifically designated authorities.
City girls are one thing, Alaskan women another. Have you ever noticed how the songs of George and Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter always seem to be about women climbing into and out of taxicabs? Elegant, bejeweled, fancy women are fine, if the lighting is right. In Alaska, women have probably known the animals whose coats they are wearing. Can you imagine any of these ladies buying snail forks at Henri Bendel? Are they less captivating because they don't fit the chichi stereotype of a Vogue cover? High heels just don't cut it here in the tundra. These women have taken the notion of femininity to a new frontier. We like the contrast of hot with cold. We think of women at home in a world where the nights are six months long. Goose down and goose bumps. Playboy has been sending its staff to Alaska for a long time. We've photographed porn star Constance Money on a float plane and a lady forest ranger on a glacier. Ansel Adams showed us the black-and-white wonders of the wilderness. Here, Playboy's David Mecey and Stephen Wayda add color and some of God's most beautiful creatures. Let the rest of the world take taxis.
Talk about sending mixed signals: Society in 1985 appeared to be in the throes of sexual schizophrenia. Consider: Just when rock musicians were developing a social conscience and even getting married, some politically well-connected Washington wives were shrilly accusing rock 'n' roll of turning the nation's kids into sex-crazed delinquents. The Reverend Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority Report inveighed against "the infiltration of sex into the American home"--instead, presumably, of keeping it on the streets, where it belongs--but as far as we know said nothing about the display of born-again Christian Cathleen Crowell Web's semen-stained panties on national TV. Network censors OK'd family-planning spots only if there were no references to contraceptives, but ran Calvin Klein's steamy perfume ads intact. A Gallup Poll showed that more than half of the American public believes premarital sex is OK, but busybodies came close to shuttering a privately funded clinic at a Chicago high school because it offered contraceptives to students. We didn't hear so much about herpes in 1985--the best story on that subject was the one about the $10,000 a female sufferer collected from her lover's homeowner's insurance. AIDS, the year's big story, seemed to be propelling victims out of the closet and onto the obituary pages at a frightening rate. The panic reached such levels that the media claimed that people just weren't Doing It anymore. So we were cheered when a Scottish scholar informed the British Association for the Advancement of Science that humans are earth's horniest mammals--"10,000 times more sexually active than the rabbit"--and estimated that there are a billion acts of sexual intercourse per year in Britain alone. Now we know why there'll always be an England.
At six, Bonnie Moore insisted on tagging along when her eight-year-old sister enrolled in ballet school. "I just wanted to do what she was doing," says Moore. That game of copycat paid off recently when Moore was plucked from the corps de ballet (otherwise known as the back row) of the American Ballet Theater by choreographer Kenneth MacMillan to dance the principal role of Juliet in his much-talked-about Romeo and Juliet.
Mick Garris presented an Oscar, sort of, at the 50th Academy Awards. He punched R2-D2's buttons backstage as the Star Wars droid handed out an award. At various times a singer, receptionist, publicist and host of a local cable-TV show--but a writer since he was 12-- Garris, 34, finds himself living every screenwriter's dream. He works all the time and he knows Steven.
"I don't consider it paranoia," says author-lawyer Andrew H. Vachss, speaking of the constant state of snarling suspicion in which the gumshoe protagonist of his acclaimed first novel, Flood, spends his unshaven days and undreaming nights. Vachss's private eye, a guy named Burke, operates in a slimy Lower Manhattan dockside hell populated by various baby rapers, gunrunners, pimps and snuff-film magnates. His client wants him to find the man who raped and murdered her best friend's child, and as the story unfolds, the full ugliness of exploiting kids swells and oozes like a lanced boil. Understandably, Burke won't even pay a social call without toting an assortment of small arms, Mace, flares and tear gas. "Paranoia is fear for no good reason," says Vachss. "These are sound, healthy adaptive mechanisms."