This story appears in the January/February 2018 issue of Playboy. Subscribe

Q:I may be the only man ever to admit this to the Playboy Advisor, but I’m not a football fan. The problem is I’m dating a Cheesehead. Football is her life, from playing in a fantasy league to Super Bowl partying. I’ve attended games with her but still feel alienated from the culture—and from her when she talks to other men about football. If I exclude myself, will she hold it against me or, worse, leave me for a Cheesehead?—J.A., East Brunswick, New Jersey

A: You’re not the first guy to admit he doesn’t like football, and there’s no shame in that preference. That said, I too am a die-hard football fan, and though I’ll happily date a man who doesn’t share my passion, I don’t know if I could commit to him long-term. Even if he roots for an opposing team, game watching is something I want to share with my partner. Romantic bonding over sports is common; consider how many couples meet in a sports bar, at a tailgate party or in line for overpriced beer and nachos. Dating a person with different interests can be beneficial to both the relationship and your personal growth, but I can’t say whether you can completely exclude yourself from the billion-dollar Church of Football without her eventually holding it against you. So instead of asking me, ask her, “Is it a problem that I don’t share your passion for football?” If the answer is yes, ask her why she loves the sport. Maybe she can help you discover an interest you didn’t know you had. But if you don’t start the conversation soon, she might leave you for someone in her fantasy football league—or worse, a Vikings fan.

My girlfriend has been hinting that she wants me to buy her a Botox session for her birthday, but I don’t think she needs it. More important, I don’t like the idea of her getting Botox. We live in Los Angeles, so it might be my city’s obsession with looking young and being fake that turns me off. Should I grit my teeth and just buy it for her because it will make her happy?—M.L., Los Angeles, California
It’s awesome you don’t think she needs Botox, and I hope you tell her that. The fact that you love and accept her for exactly who she is is priceless. And I can appreciate why you don’t like the idea of Botox: It’s expensive; once you start, you can’t stop; and it is literally a bacterial toxin. It sounds almost like heroin.

But let’s take a broader view. For one thing, Botox, which pulls in about $2 billion in annual revenue, is actually popular across the country. Miami, Salt Lake City and Austin rank as some of the biggest cities for plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. Soccer moms in suburbs all over America are throwing Botox-and-wine parties. And if someone wants to do something to make themselves feel younger or better, who are we to judge? If they want a breast augmentation, a nose job or a spray tan, that’s entirely their prerogative. Your lady has probably invested in gifts she felt you didn’t necessarily need but knew you wanted. Maybe she got you the latest Call of Duty game—or a July 1968 edition of playboy. Moral of the story: If it makes her happy, man up.

The new year has arrived, and finding love after taking a year off from online dating is on my list of resolutions. During my hiatus I dropped 20 pounds and got a promotion, so all that’s missing is the right woman to celebrate my good fortune with. But I feel rusty. Most women don’t like to chat for too long before being asked out. How can I get to know a girl through only a few questions without her losing interest before I set up a first date? What red flags should I look for on a profile?—L.K., Encino, California
I’m currently writing a book that will answer questions like yours, so I’ll do my best with the CliffsNotes. In terms of starting a conversation, lead with something witty that shows you’ve read her profile. Follow up with a sincere compliment; flattery will get you everywhere. The best way to get a first date is to ask if she’s interested in something that interests you (old movies, hiking, bowling). If she says yes, that’s your cue to ask her out.

Red flags depend on the individual. If 90 percent of her profile pictures show her with alcohol, she might have a problem. But if 90 percent of your profile references liquor, you’ll probably be great drinking buddies (and recovery buddies too). Phrases such as not looking for anything serious aren’t ideal. Some more generic warning signs: No bio? No bueno. The lack of effort reveals laziness or entitlement. An overuse of emojis signals she’s childish. Grammar errors drive me nuts, but I’m a writer. “Follow me on Instagram!” might as well read “I’m a narcissist!” She wants followers, not intimacy. Finally, Snapchat animal filters? Run away.

When my girlfriend and I became official, we agreed to keep the relationship open. I have since “cashed in” about six times, and she has only once. She insists that it’s fine and that open relationships are about trust—but I’m starting to feel guilty. It’s hard to enjoy the freedom when I feel she’s not participating as much as I am. Will these feelings pass?—C.C., Birmingham, Alabama
You’re not doing anything wrong, and you have no reason to feel guilty—unless you’re lying to me (and her). An open relationship, especially your first, comes with growing pains. We’re so conditioned to want monogamy that it’s natural for you to feel guilty for “cashing in” more than she has. These feelings should subside, but there’s no timetable. I’m not suggesting you start sleeping with more people, but if your girlfriend is cool with it, stop robbing yourself of the joy and freedom of consensual nonmonogamy. People are wired differently; to your girlfriend, her one time may be the equivalent of your six times (unless she’s lying about the number of times she’s cashed in). If your guilty feelings don’t pass, then you should stop sleeping with other people, because guess what: You’re truly not okay with being in an open relationship. There’s no shame in admitting you’re old school.

I borrowed my boyfriend’s iPad, and—surprise!—he hadn’t cleared his search history. That led to my obsessively examining his porn-viewing habits. The good news is I didn’t find anything that made me uncomfortable. We joke a lot about watching porn when the other isn’t around, but I’d like to explore watching together. Have you ever brought this up with a lover?—M.P., Ottawa, Canada
Is the pope Catholic? I love watching porn with a man, and I highly recommend it, not only to instigate sexy times but also to get a window into each other’s deeper sexual yearnings. Realize, though, that you may learn things about your partner that you can’t unknow. A few tips for beginners: Let the woman choose what you watch the first time. Don’t let adult-film stars make you feel insecure—it’s their job to have huge penises or fantastic-looking vaginas, bleached assholes and loud, over-the-top orgasms. And keep in mind that it’s okay to spend more time critiquing the film set’s throw pillows than fixating on the actress’s double-Ds. Finally, a tip for women readers: Never say, “Oh my God. I’ve never seen one that big in my life!” Just think it.

I have a question about lube. My friend takes it personally when a woman reaches for it during sex. He thinks her insufficient wetness is some kind of biological commentary on his performance. What does science say?—D.S., Jacksonville, Florida
I don’t need science to tell your friend what I already know: A woman’s wetness is not wholly based on her partner’s performance. He shouldn’t take the blame—or the credit. Like a man’s ejaculate, a woman’s wetness can vary day to day, hour to hour. It depends on many factors beyond her level of arousal—factors like hormones, time of cycle, mood, medications and genetics. I’ve become inexplicably wet for men who are bad for me, yet a good man I really like may not have the same effect. Scientists are still working to understand the exact physiology, but the vagina wants what the vagina wants. It’s not logical. Tell your friend to stop taking it personally and to pick up some Astroglide.


Questions? E-mail advisor@playboy.com.