America's leading literary light, Norman Mailer, weighs in this month with his prescription for what ails us in Immodest Proposals, a memo to national political bosses. "I think it's important for the Democrats to recognize that conservatives are vulnerable," he says. "There's a potential split there. There are a lot of conservatives who might be ready to vote for the Democrats as if they were a third party—provided the Democrats can get free of political correctness, which I think is a poison. At present the strongest single force the Democrats have is Bush himself. There's that much animosity toward him. But if Iraq improves and if things look up between Israel and Palestine—two huge ifs—and certainly if joblessness decreases, then the Democrats are going to have to show that they really have more to offer than the Republicans."
How many women masturbate, how often do they do it, and how open are most of them about it? I'm an 18-year-old female high school senior who will soon be living in a dorm room with three women I've never met. The problem is, I love to masturbate. One afternoon after sex ed class I came home and "found myself." That was two years ago. I haven't gotten into or out of bed since without masturbating. And I'm not shy about it with my close friends or family (I have 10 siblings and share a room with three sisters). My parents bought me my first vibrator after my mom had shown me where she keeps hers. I love toys, but some of my best orgasms have been with my fingers while pulling on my nipples. My dad says to do it only when I'm alone; my mom says to be open with my roommates about it. I'm not a screamer, but my sisters know I usually thrash around. What happens if one of my roommates freaks and tries to ruin me? Can you give me any stats to show that this is normal?—J.S., Los Angeles, California
This past summer the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Texas law that banned gay sex. Activists hailed the ruling as a triumph for gay rights. We greeted it as the final victory of the sexual revolution. Besides the practical aspects of the decision, which overturned sodomy laws in 13 states (nine of which banned oral and anal sex for straights as well as gays), it validated a core belief of this magazine: that sex between two or more consenting adults is a basic human right and no business of the state.
In December 1962 Playboy published an editorial by its editor and publisher, Hugh Hefner, that answered critics of the magazine while explaining its fundamental beliefs. Buoyed by the response, Hefner wrote a second editorial and then a third. He quoted judges and Jefferson, ministers and Mencken. He dissected a kooky 1879 sex guide written by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of cereal fame, then praised the more contemporary insights of Dr. Alfred Kinsey. Eventually the series stretched to 25 installments, including four round-table discussions with members of the clergy. The letters from readers became so voluminous we created the Playboy Forum in July 1963 to print them all.
6. Melvin Udall—As Good As It Gets (1997) As the planet's most deranged romance novelist, Nicholson dodges cracks in the sidewalk, never uses the same bar of soap twice and shoves his gay neighbor's dog down the garbage chute.
In December 2000 George W. Bush became president by dint of a Supreme Court decision warped shamelessly in his direction. He may have lost the popular vote, but he won the game. In compensation for a limited intellectual spirit, he now placed his reliance on big-money advisers who were used to playing with high stakes.
Movie directors are accustomed to having two hours to create a mood and explore plots. When we challenged eight of our favorite film helmsmen to do the same thing—with their erotic fantasies—on a single page of our anniversary issue, none shrank from the task. Of course it didn't hurt that we also gave them big budgets and complete casting approval. Considering the results, we're already hoping for a sequel.
This happened, the first part, four or five years before everything else. In those days I was still sweeping a lot of stuff under the rug with Clarissa, and we didn't see the Elstners often, because my wife, given the history, was never really at ease around Paul and Ann. Instead, every few months, Paul Elstner and I would take in a game on our own—basketball in the winter, baseball in the summer—meeting first for an early dinner, usually at Gil's, near the University Field House, formerly Gil's Men's Bar and still a bastion of a lost world, with its walls wainscoted in sleek oak.
On the facing foldout are the first 25 years of Playmates, starting with Marilyn Monroe and ending with Candy Loving. To find your favorite, just locate the corresponding letter and number on the foldout. For the next 25 years, see page 244.
When you publish a lifestyle magazine for half a century, you create a tapestry of memories. When that magazine challenges a society's customs, you create an archive of history. Searching through 100,000 pages of Playboy to assemble a comprehensive compendium of highlights was a daunting and delightful task. Here's to 50 unforgettable years.
Rules, It is Said, Exist to be Broken. But this misses the point. Many rules are already broken, existing like vending machines, long and widely suspected of having been designed with a purposeful and demonic—though seemingly arbitrary—inability to function as advertised. An example of a broken rule is "Money can't buy happiness," which, although theoretically supportable, is of use only to the happy, all others understanding it as "Not only are you poor, you're miserable."
We like our apartment," Hugh Hefner wrote in Playboy's inaugural issue. "We plan on spending most of our time inside." Half a century later we still find ourselves dedicated to the pursuit of indoor sport. Little wonder that Playboy has always considered the proper bachelor pad to be a critical component in achieving the good life. In May 1962 we published plans for the original Playboy Town House, which Hef initially intended to build as his home in Chicago. (He canceled construction when he found the Playboy Mansion.) When we decided to update the concept for the new millennium, we knew only one man could do the job justice: Frank Gehry, the most accomplished and best-known architect since Frank Lloyd Wright.
<p>The exhaustive search for our 50th Anniversary Playmate took us all over North America, as we feverishly collected test shots of nearly 10,000 hopefuls. This Miss January not only needed to shine alongside the classic beauties of Playboy's past but also had to represent the ideal for the next half century of Centerfolds. Three lucky screeners picked the finalists, leaving 50 gorgeous ladies for Hef's perusal. When we finally tell 25-year-old Alaska native Colleen Shannon that she has won the title, she responds with gracious words: "I feel blessed, because I wanted to be a part of Playboy for the longest time," she says. "I had a friend whose dad collected all the issues from the 1970s and 1980s. The girls in them were so beautiful, so classy. Now everything that I wished for has happened. It's so surreal."</p>
Dr. Sex. That was what they called Alfred C. Kinsey, professor of zoology, around the Indiana University campus in the 1940s and 1950s. As in, "There goes Dr. Sex in his secondhand Buick, with his wife beside him and his kids in the back," or "Look, there's Dr. Sex in his barely visible skin-colored shorts (and nothing else), roasting wienies over a fire in the park."
[product]50 Pontiac GTO[/product] [releaseInfo](1964)[/releaseInfo] The memo from Pontiac's top brass to the engineers was clear—no new cars built for speed. In the early 1960s big, slow, "responsible" automobiles were the future. But chief engineer John De Lorean saw a loophole. Instead of designing a new car, he retooled an old one–the Tempest LeMans–fitting it with a 389-cubic-inch Tri-Power engine, bucket seats and a race-car-style floor shifter. The new ride ran low 13s—a quarter mile in 13 seconds. It was the first factory-made muscle car, soon widely known as the Legend or the Great One. De Lorean stole the name from the Ferrari GTO, which had come out in Italy two years earlier, but most folks believed the name stood for "gas, tires and oil," all of which this street bitch burned with considerable ease. Driving wasn't just about style or picking up girls anymore. It was about who had the biggest dick.
Clifford Homer Grimes Jr. got the interview thanks to an uncle on his mother's side of the family. Harry was a bottom-feeder in the Daley machine who had just enough bite to foist his wayward nephew on the city's Department of Transportation. He did this reluctantly, only after his sister Martha got down on her knees and begged. But Uncle Harry came through. After announcing the good news, Harry sat in her living room fingering his pencil-thin mustache as he awaited a token gesture of thanks. Clifford being Clifford, none was forthcoming. Harry moved to the bay window and saw a cop stick a parking ticket under the wipers of his Oldsmobile. He was out the door like a shot It was all a blur to his groggy nephew, who was recovering from a stupendous hangover. Moments later Harry was back, holding an orange ticket. "Too late, goddamn it. but I know people in Traffic. I'll have it squashed. The sons of bitches."
To be sure, picking a Playmate of the Year from 2003's bumper crop will be difficult, but the task does have its rewards: You'll need to reacquaint yourself with a year's worth of gorgeous women and study every fine detail, nook and contour of their dozen eye-popping pictorials. Who makes the strongest impression? The veterinarian? The pharmaceutical rep? The restaurateur? The lingerie designer? The equestrian? The twins? Or maybe one of the students learning about real estate, psychology, business or—no, we wouldn't joke about this—physical therapy. We suggest you get started. After all, you want to do this right. And when you've made your difficult choice, help her win the PMOY title by voting at playboy.com.
Hugh Hefner and I founded our magazines at the same time, 50 years ago in the summer of 1953. Both got going on a shoestring. Hef, by his own account, had less than $200 in the bank—the total investment in Playboy was just under $8,000. Our group in Paris had scratched together $1,500 to start The Paris Review, a literary magazine. Hef's first issue had the famous calendar shot of Marilyn Monroe. Ours had an interview with E.M. Forster, the great novelist who had not written a novel since 1924. Within months Hef's circulation was in the 100,000s—an immediate success, "an event waiting to happen," in Hef's words. Our circulation was about 300. At its peak Playboy's circulation was 7 million; ours crept up to 15,000, which is about all one can hope for with a literary magazine.
Below is a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 52, 57–58, 188–195, 196–197 and 315, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
Hi there, we're your neighbors across the hall! after years of watching an endless procession of strange looking men come & go out of your apartment at all hours of the day and night, we decided to come over and welcome you to the building!
Legend has it that Benedictine monk Dom Perignon created everybody's favorite fizz in 1668, exclaiming to his robed companions, "I'm drinking stars!" More recently, scientist Bill Lembeck computed that a bottle of bubbly contains almost 50 million bubbles (this guy must have had some time on his hands)—perfect for toasting playboy's 50th anniversary. So fill the flutes below with champagne from our star-studded selection, and toast to longevity.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), January 2004, volume 51, number 1. Published monthly by Playboy in national and regional editions, Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, Illinois and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40035534. Subscriptions: in the U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues. Postmaster: Send address change to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. For subscription-related questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.