We knew immediately that there was something about the Nineties we liked. Dictators out, walls down, McDonald's in Moscow.... But our millennial joy was not complete until we received Michael Kelly's report from the front lines of love titled Sex Is Back! Kelly traveled our great land to document the phenomenon and, happily, found our citizens locked in passionate clinches. Not a moment too soon, we say. Let the celebrations commence!
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), May 1990, Volume 37, Number 5. Published Monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $26 for 12 issues, U.S. Canada, $39 for 12 issues. All other Foreign, $39 U.S. currency only. For new and renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Please allow 6--8 weeks for processing. For change of address, send new and old addresses. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007, and allow 45 days for change. Advertising: New York: 747 Third Avenue, New York 10017; Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611; West Coast: Perkins, Fox & Perkins, 3205 Ocean Park Boulevard, Suite 100, Santa Monica, California 90405.
Sometime near the end of this century, the U.S. has been renamed Gilead. Racist religious zealots and male supremacists are in charge. Women know their place, and the few who are still fertile are forcibly recruited to bear children for the elite. That's the eerie premise of The Handmaid's Tale (Cinecom), first a scalding best seller by Margaret Atwood, now a psychosexual movie shocker full of deadly implications. Starring Natasha Richardson (Vanessa Redgrave's talented daughter) in a strong, subjective performance as Kate, the movie is sharply focused on a widowed female prisoner who has lost her own child and has been ordered to conceive a baby with the elite Commander (Robert Duvall, who vividly projects the evils of sexism). His wife, Serena Joy (Faye Dunaway, mean and smiling), is a former televangelist, ferociously envious of Kate. The beleaguered heroine's only allies are the guard (Aidan Quinn) enlisted to hurry along her pregnancy and the flip "gender traitor" (Elizabeth McGovern), who's condemned to whoredom because, she admits, "I like girls." Victoria Tennant also stands out as Aunt Lydia, the bitchy blonde supervisor of handmaids. While Richardson's character initially seems to be a passive victim, she shows ferocity when her moment of bloody vengeance finally comes. Clearly a hard-sell, Handmaid's Tale boasts a screenplay by England's Harold Pinter, direction by German-born Volker Schlondorff (his first feature film in English, though he won a 1979 foreign-language Oscar for The Tin Drum). Their special touch adds cool eroticism, intelligence and intensity to a politically pessimistic movie that needs all the help it can get. [rating]4 bunnies[/rating]
He is officially known as The Henry Higgins of Hollywood, Inc., and Robert Easton (a.k.a. "the dialect doctor"), at the age of 59, has coached virtually every media star from A (Ann-Margret) to Z (Daphne Zuniga). He started life in Milwaukee with a persistent stammer, moved to Texas, slowed down his speech and became an exceptionally articulate radio Quiz Kid until 1945. "That was my old-age retirement at fourteen," recalls Easton. Since then, he has played more than 1000 roles while teaching dialect and diction to a host of big names who all but fill his full-page ad in Variety. He played a business tycoon in Working Girl, simultaneously teaching a Staten Island accent to Melanie Griffith and Joan Cusack, both Oscar nominees that year. Wellversed in almost 50 dialects that he ad-libs in mid-conversation, Easton also helps his clients overcome accents, as he did with strong man Arnold Schwarzenegger in Red Heat. "It's typically Austrian to substitute a B for a P. Arnold would say, 'Ve are going into the willage looting and blundering.'" Easton coached Mel Gibson for the upcoming Bird on a Wire, in which Gibson hides out under various assumed identities as a Southerner, an Australian and a gay hairdresser. Easton also helped Tom Cruise pick up the speech rhythms of Massapequa, Long Island, to portray Ron Kovic in Born on the Fourth of July. Even top mimics consult Easton. "Last week, Lily Tomlin called from Dallas--she's adding a couple of characters, a man from Boston and a woman from New Orleans, to her one-woman show and asked for help on the dialects." One of Easton's favorite clients is Robert Wagner, whom he coached for TV's Hart to Hart. "Every time we meet, we still use the line we worked on. I say, 'Are you really Swiss?' And he says, 'If I vas any more Sviss, I vould be a cuckoo clock.'"
Before he tackled The Birth of a Nation, D. W. Griffith apprenticed on crude but lively low-budget flicks. Similarly, before John Waters could enter the commercial mainstream with 1988's Hairspray or his new "musical-comedy love story" Cry-Baby (at left), he had to give us an obese transvestite munching dog waste. To each his own, we say. So let's remember Waters' weird old days--all on video. Mondo Trasho (1969): Ponderously over-long first feature redeemed by an inventive sound track and title sequence in which an executioner chops the heads off live chickens. Waters edited the silent b & w film on his kitchen table. And it shows.
Cut!: With Azden's VE-100 Video Editor, the cutting-room floor stays clean--and so do your tapes. Complete with fade-in/fade-out capability, it works with all VCRs with wireless infrared remote and can make as many as 200 cuts in one tape.
Strangest War Video:Ducks Under Siege;Most Desperate Video:Dance for Your Life;Most Inviting Vid Title:All American Hussy;Least Inviting Vid Title:Rick's, Your Place for Fantasy;Most Compelling How-to Video:How to Make Carcase Joints;Best Thrill-a-Minute Video:Marbleized Paper, Crayons with Paint and Other Resists;Best "Let's Not" Video:Let's Go Skate;Best It's-a-Living Video:A Video Guide to Metallic Cartridge Reloading.
When former Herman's Hermit (and current VH-1 featured host) Peter Noone was a wee lad in England, he saw a lot of movies with his dad--"And those are the videos I rent now. Like The Bridge on the River Kwai, The African Queen and Buster Keaton in anything. But war and cowboy movies were the thing for English boys back then, with all-American heroes like John Wayne and Gary Cooper." Noone, who's now recording solo, is also a pushover for movie musicals such as Oliver! and Girl Crazy. And although he tries to sneak in other personal faves (Bang the Drum Slowly, Weeds), he admits that the family VCR really belongs to his daughter. "She's the big renter in the family. Lady and the Tramp and Cinderella are on a lot."
Paula Poundstone is a fast-on-her-feet comic who pops up regularly on "Late Night with David Letterman," among other hot venues. We asked her to pick a record she likes and talk about it. Here is Poundstone's opinion of Tracy Chapman's second LP, "Crossroads."
It's Enough to give you the blues department: G.O.P. National Committee chairman Lee Atwater is recording a blues album, with B. B. King as one of his guest stars. Since all proceeds go to charity, we'll try to be charitable.
Spring is the perfect season for Tom Robbins' new novel, Skinny Legs and All (Bantam)--a book filled with youthful erotic energy, boundless fanciful imagination and a playful sense of humor about even the most profound matters. Robbins leapfrogs from fertility rites to the meaning of art, from Middle Eastern politics to the origins of religion with comic ease and dazzling verbal prestidigitation.
Hundreds of people were milling in the lobby of the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan. Several women were hysterical. "There are no more tickets! It's sold out!" whined a woman in a major mink to the crowd at large. "I must have a ticket right now!" A blonde in a boa was waving money in the air; others were begging at the box office.
I have been sexually active since junior high school. I realized early on that teenage relationships should be only physical, since teenagers are too young to really cope with emotional attachments. Then I met my current girlfriend. I thought she would be like all the others--either sexually active or willing to start. She had never had a real boyfriend, however, and was obviously a virgin. She told me that she did not wish to have sex until marriage. I was going to give up the endeavor when the thought of a nonsexual relationship became rather refreshing. So we just dated--no strings attached--for the next five months, making out more and more as time went on. During that time, she allowed me to get further and further toward touching her body. I didn't pressure her for anything too fast. Around the seventh month, we began sleeping together. She learned to explore my body, as I showed her new experiences for hers. It was kind of fun, like playing doctor again. Finally, one night after a long party, she suddenly asked, "Would you make love to me?" We tried. She was tighter than anyone I had ever known, and the pain I was causing her made me stop penetration. We tried again the next morning. We sat joined for about three hours. An occasional pump here and there, a change in position once or twice, but mainly, we just sat there, enjoying the togetherness we were feeling. Of course, I had an ulterior motive--to let her body adjust to mine, so that she could enjoy the feeling of sex. After a while, she started to get frisky and began moving and grinding, so we finished up and, of course, did it several times that day and evening. Suffice it to say that she was hooked. After a few months, she accepted fellatio and, shortly after that, cunnilingus. It wasn't until after the first pregnancy scare that we slowed down to see what we were doing. We have decided to get married. Anyway, on to the main question: My girlfriend truly enjoys sex but is reluctant to try anything new. She's not into self-stimulation during rear-entry positions and would probably flip if I brought something foreign into the bedroom. Being the open-minded person I am, I thought about introducing her to a small vibrator that I could use during foreplay. I would like to know if they make vibrators the size of a forefinger. My girlfriend tends to lose all orgasmic sensations when she feels any pain. I would hate to get her worked up only to insert the vibrator during, say, cunnilingus and have her hate me because I spoiled it. Any suggestions?--D. A., Tucson, Arizona.
"Eljen a Szabadsag," the ad in The New York Times proclaimed. It means, "Here's to freedom." We used that tag line to announce the birth of the Hungarian edition of Playboy. "On November 29th, Hungarians came one step closer to something they've been fighting for since 1956. Freedom.
Drug babies: infants born to chemically dependent mothers. Their nervous systems might be damaged, their mental capabilities might be diminished, their physical well-being might be affected. In short, their future seems bleak.
In November 1989, two Lakeland, Florida, Ku Klux Klan leaders were questioned on suspiction of impersonating police officers. They had been cruising the streets of a predominanly black neighborhood, searching for drug dealers. Turns out the cruising was part of a Klan campaign called Krush Krack Kocaine, which is an attempt to brush up the Klan's image. The following are comments on the kampaign.
All afternoon, George Bush, wearing tasteful, authoritative charcoal-pinstripe underwear and with a complexion that showed the wonders of liposuction, acted the gracious host to 50 old friends and family members at the White House Easter party. It was business as usual.
Imagine the consternation in the bowels of the White House when they realized the full dimension of their screw-up. The 2000-pound bomb had missed Manuel Noriega. This grotesque progeny of the CIA was still alive to thumb his nose at his creators.
Women talk about them at parties. The conversation is punctuated by giggles, blushes and descriptive hand movements and is terminated the instant a man comes within earshot. The subject is books. Trashy books. Romance novels. The paperbacks that are advertised on the sides of public-transportation vehicles. Books whose covers are emblazoned with bas-relief gold calligraphy or feature a buxom, disheveled heroine draped across her bare-chested mate.
When Patrick Magaud walked into our offices in Chicago, he appeared to be a very sensible 38-year-old Frenchman. He wore clothes in that relaxed, suave sort of fashion French guys have. His hair was close-cropped in that style we see so often in contemporary French movies. He spoke English in that charming way French people do before they have lunch and drink several glasses of French wine and start finding fault with everything American except our women. What was unusual about him, we learned, was his passion for cajoling women to parade about without their clothes while he photographed them in the midst of the world's going about its business. He likes to create a stir. On these and the following pages, you'll see just how great the great outdoors can be when seen through French eyes.
It having become advisable to leave New York City for an indefinite period, Dortmunder and Kelp found themselves in the countryside, in a barn, watching a lot of fairies dance. "I don't know about this," Dortmunder muttered.
The Old Gray Mares Are What They Used to Be: Some called it the Year of the Geezer; we prefer the more dignified Rock of Ages. Nineteen eighty-nine gave fans a chance to get a look at the Rolling Stones, the Who, the All-man Brothers, Jefferson Airplane, Ten Years After, Paul and Ringo (separately) and George, who played guitar on the Traveling Wilburys video, which also included Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan. And guess what? The Stones and the Who dominated the summer in top-grossing tours.
According to Tina Bockrath, Texas beauty and rising star, the move into the Nineties means one thing: the return of the sex goddess. And that, Tina predicts, means one other thing: the rebirth of Marilyn Monroe. "She was the ultimate," insists Tina, her soft brown eyes widening, "with all that glamour, energy, beauty and innocence. That's what attracted people to Marilyn. And that's why my favorite compliment is when people tell me I remind them of her."
After months of scrimping and bargain-hunting to make ends meet, a woman begged her tightfisted husband to give her more money. "Can't you just give me an extra ten dollars so I can buy a roast?" she asked.
When John Malkovich went to London last year to do publicity for the opening of Dangerous Liaisons, he tried to keep a civil tongue in his head while interviewers treated him like an amusing rustic--clever enough, in an untutored Yankee way, though lacking the refined technique that a first-rate British thespian might have brought to his role of the Vicomte de Valmont. But Malkovich, one of the most powerful, original American actors since Brando, finally lost his cool when a reporter from The Independent asked, with exquisite condescension, if he hadn't felt awfully threatened by the demands of the part.
I remember the first clue that sex was back. It came a few months ago, when I was eating lunch in Washington, D.C., with my friend Frank. He was telling me about a date with the daughter of the ambassador of some small, exotic land. He said, "She had on some kind of perfume they wear only in, like, Angkor Wat, and she had a pretty goodsized mustache, which depressed me, but she took off her clothes in the kitchen, which made me feel better." Suddenly I thought: What in the world is Frank, of all people, doing having sex?
High Adventure, that's what excites me. But sometimes, the road has a few bumps. If you survive them, they make you tougher. Rolling with the punches, as my grandfather would say. When Playboy approached me about doing a pictorial, I was amused. I never thought of myself as the Playboy type--long, skinny legs, big boobs, perfect ass. But I took it as a compliment, a perfect launch for my new life. After all, I had been out of the public eye for a while. It had been a long way from Ketchum, Idaho. When I arrived in New York in 1974, my grandfather's name got me started. But I guess the fact that I had a certain lanky openness--Lord, I could get enthusiastic!--got me the rest. In a fairly short time, I was on the fast track with every Beautiful Person you could shake a stick at and had become a big-time model with a $1,000,000 contract as Fabergé's Babe. Then, in 1976, my little sister, Mariel, and I starred in the movie Lipstick, which didn't do well--and starting right about then, neither did I.
Twenty-eight-year-old Jennifer Tilly is by nature distracting. It's more than her perfect figure and the squeaky voice and ditzy character she trotted out for us in "The Fabulous Baker Boys," playing a tone-deaf aspiring singer. It's not even the striking resemblance to her sister, actress Meg Tilly. According to Contributing Editor David Rensin, who interviewed Jennifer in Los Angeles, "It has to do with the way she couldn't sit still on the couch while we talked. That same refreshing energy has made her one of the town's hardest workers, completing eleven films in only three years." They include "Rented Lips," "Let It Ride," "High Spirits" and "He's My Girl." Tilly also created Henry Goldblume's unforgettable Mafia-widow girlfriend for six episodes of "Hill Street Blues." In fact, she is so devoted to work that she said if she died and, as in the movies, could still walk the earth, "I'd probably just hang around movie sets, eat the bagels and watch people film."
To buy the apparel and accessories shown on pages 90--95, check listings below to locate the store nearest you. You may also contact the manufacturers for information on where to purchase the merchandise in your area.
The British have exported many things, but none (excluding the Beatles, of course) has endured as well as that veddy stylish cravat, the ascot. Named after the Ascot Heath race course, it has a peculiar design with an Edwardian flair; the tie is narrow at the neck, to fit comfortably under a shirt collar, with wider blades down the front, to fill in the neckline of a shirt or a sweater. Today's ascots are available in the same fabrics, exciting paisleys, colorful floral prints and sensational patterns as neckties. To tie one, you just make a simple knot in the front of your neck, pass one blade under and over the knot, making a flap, and the job is done. Pip, pip, cheerio! And away you go, old chap.