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Advisor: January 2016

Advisor: January 2016: Skip Sterling

Skip Sterling

I recently started dating a woman who gives me no time to get undressed before sex. She’s all over me before I have a chance to take off my socks or even my shirt. Sex like this is shown on TV as if it’s hot, but for me it’s just awkward. It limits what I can do and eliminates foreplay entirely. Part of me worries she doesn’t like my body and doesn’t want to see me naked. Is clothed sex a fetish?— T.T., Tampa, Florida
Just about anything imaginable is a fetish to someone out there, but this sounds more like ambivalence on her part and passivity on yours. Try this: Either talk about it with her or simply take charge and remove your clothes before letting her jump you. It could be that she wants you to act more in control. You might find that fully naked sex is off the charts. Either way, address the dressed sex.

It seems to me that women have gone back and forth between having a bush and being completely bare down there. What determines which look is “in” at any given time? My impression is that Playmates and other models over the past 15 years or so have been relatively free of pubic hair, but in the November 2015 issue of Playboy, both the Playmate and the model in the feature pictorial sport sizable bushes, which I consider very sexy. This seems to be a departure from the current norm. What’s causing this?— H.R., Mobile, Alabama
Trends in physical appearance—from grooming to breast size to hairstyles (on top as well as down below)—are both cyclical and unpredictable, making it impossible to definitively predict when or precisely explain why things change. That said, there are some factors we believe influence pubic-hair styles. Throughout the years, one of the biggest determinants has been the shifting size of bikini bottoms. As bikinis got smaller in the 1960s and 1970s, women began to shave or wax larger areas so hair wouldn’t show. The trend toward removing more and more hair evolved in the late 1980s with the arrival in a New York City salon of the Brazilian waxing technique, which temporarily removes all pubic hair. The method became increasingly popular and grew from a metropolitan trend to a nationwide one.

Every fashion eventually falls out of favor, so it is no surprise to see the return of the bush. You can blame (or thank) pornography for the shift toward more and bigger bushes on nonporn models. The adult films that proliferate on the internet predominantly feature female performers without a single strand of pubic hair. This trend has been in full force long enough that women who don’t want to be aesthetically associated with adult-film stars now often prefer to have some hair, from a narrow strip known as the French wax up to the fuller coverage of a manicured triangle. Current tastes overall seem to favor a return to natural, unenhanced beauty, after a period that saw an abundance of breast implants and other forms of plastic surgery. It’s highly unlikely we’ll see a return to the full-grown, untrimmed bushes of the early 1970s, but yes, pubic hair is, pun intended, a growing trend.

All my favorite XXX actresses have several scenes that can be downloaded. Unfortunately, I can’t do that because the only computer I have access to is the one I use at work. Do you know of a business that will download the scenes of a particular porn star and record them onto a DVD that can be viewed on my television at home?— T.W., Branson, Missouri
Nope. There’s no such thing. We searched the entire internet for you and couldn’t find a single business that specializes in locating free clips of your favorite porn stars and burning them onto DVDs. If you’re interested in viewing scenes of your favorite film stars on a DVD player without paying for it, we suggest you befriend someone who owns a computer with a built-in DVD burner. Buy a blank DVD at an office-supply store, carve out a few hours to search for such clips and do it yourself. But this is a simple, technologically unchallenging work-around; you can do much better, and for not a ton of money. We live in the golden era of free pornography, so we suggest you save up for your very own Google Chromebook, a net-based laptop that for only $249 will grant you access to an overwhelming amount of adult material.

I’ve recently gotten into the specialty coffee habit. This can get pretty expensive, so I usually save my leftovers for reheating later, with disappointing results. Why does coffee that’s been microwaved never taste as good as freshly brewed joe? It seems a whole lot less flavorful than, say, reheated spaghetti and meatballs.— H.B., Cayucos, California
Much of what we consider the most flavorful elements in coffee come from volatile organic compounds in the bean. An unroasted coffee bean contains about 300 such compounds. A roasted bean can contain up to 1,000, but these compounds begin to disappear shortly after roasting; then, brewing releases even more compounds, at a faster rate, which means the fresher the better at every step of the process. The most complex and delicious cup of coffee would be made from freshly roasted, freshly ground beans that are then brewed immediately before the coffee is to be consumed. The quickest way to kill the flavors in a cup of coffee is to microwave it. Microwaving heats the compounds and releases the last of them, making for a flat-tasting cup.

My wife is unpredictably amorous. She will often be completely uninterested in sex for up to two months at a time, then suddenly become horny and then just as suddenly return to not being interested, again for weeks at a time. I would gladly have sex every day, but she almost never wants to. I have a big penis, and she says it hurts when we have sex. I usually don’t even get the head in. We’ve used lube, which helps but doesn’t work as well as her natural lube when she’s excited. What can we do to improve our sex life?— B.D., Bridgeport, West Virginia
The fact that her natural lubricant works better than store-bought lube leads us to believe your wife isn’t sufficiently aroused when you try to have intercourse. As you say, she’s usually not excited. When sex does work for you, it’s probably not simply due to her natural lubricant; most likely it’s also because she’s more engaged, more relaxed and basically more open to your large penis as a result. Practice makes perfect, so make a point of committing to being regularly intimate in a way that’s not so much about penetration as it is about enjoying each other’s bodies. Don’t rush; don’t pressure her or yourself. Play with foreplay. Allow her to be on top and to determine the rhythm when it comes time to have intercourse.

As a newlywed in my 40s, I’m having problems keeping up with my younger bride. A few years ago I suffered some trauma to my penis, and now it just doesn’t work right. I have a hard time maintaining an erection. She didn’t want to have sex until after we married, and I think she’s now disappointed. She wants to have children and is already talking about in vitro fertilization because sex isn’t happening. Is it possible to have a happy marriage without sex, or am I in trouble?— J.G., Santa Rosa, California
It’s less about what goes on in your head and more about how you handle it in the sack. Don’t get ahead of yourself and write sex off entirely (ever). It’s still early in your marriage. You can get an erection. Your wife wants sex. She wants to have kids. These are all good things. Now let’s focus on what you can improve, category by category. You don’t mention whether you’ve received treatment for your condition, so first make sure to explore all possible options with a urologist. At least you can get an erection, however fleeting, which leads us to hope there are ways to maintain it medically. Regarding your wife’s possible sexual disappointment, a sex therapist can help the two of you come up with ways to be intimate that don’t involve full penetration. Even without a sex therapist’s advice you can fool around, and you can satisfy your wife orally or with your hands. If in the future you can’t keep an erection, there are many aids out there to help with arousal and sexual satisfaction that don’t involve classic intercourse. Our society tends to overvalue penis-in-vagina sex, when in reality there’s a world of pleasure beyond that. As far as in vitro goes: If that’s the only way she can get pregnant, then so be it. Be grateful for her fertility. This is all a long way of saying: There’s hope for you and your marriage.

Can a penis become smaller due to nonuse? I understand the mechanics of erections, and I believe mine got larger because of all the attention from my incredibly sexy wife over the many years of our relationship. She died six years ago, and I’ve had infrequent sexual relations since. Now when I look down I think I’m seeing a smaller penis. Is this possible?— D.P., Farmingdale, New York
Yes, a penis can get smaller from disuse, as any muscle can. Your penis needs regular “workouts,” so to speak, to maintain its ability to become and remain erect. But the workout needn’t involve actual sex or masturbation; an erection alone is enough to keep your penis in shape. If you’re physically and psychologically healthy and have the usual nocturnal erections that most men experience (and sometimes wake up with, à la “morning wood”), then chances are your penis is getting the exercise it needs. However, there’s not a lot of evidence out there that shows men’s penises shrink with age. Have you considered the possibility that your belly has gotten bigger than it was six years ago and your penis just appears smaller in comparison?

Earlier this year I realized I was interested in purchasing men’s thong underwear. However, I had no luck finding a brick-and-mortar store that sells it. I looked on Amazon, but the only options were weird styles that came in confusing Asian sizes. I then checked Macy’s website and found Calvin Klein thongs, which I bought and love; they’re so comfortable. Do you know of any other sites I can check out? I’d like to get a drawerful.— T.C., Washington, D.C.
You can buy yourself an entire walk-in closet’s worth at, which at press time stocked nearly 140 styles of men’s thong underwear.

I have two questions about tipping. First, what is an appropriate gratuity for a hotel chambermaid? Should the tip be a flat rate per night, or should it be based on the cost of the room? I’m talking about standard rooms, not suites. Should the tip be the same in a low-budget highway motel as in an expensive upscale resort? Second, when dining out, I’ve always felt that a 20 percent gratuity for food service is the least I can give for the hard work the waitstaff does. More food ordered translates to more service provided, which I am happy to pay for. I’m conflicted when it comes to wine service, however. Should the tip on a $300 bottle of wine be 10 times as much as on a $30 bottle even though no additional service, such as decanting, is provided? The common thread between these questions is: Should a gratuity be based on the amount of service provided or on the cost of the product?— K.M., Hartsdale, New York
The last time we ventured into the tricky subject of tipping, we got some pretty heated mail from readers, and we expect the same this time around. We wish we could answer your question simply, but tipping has proven itself to be a subject open to eternal debate. Some people apply flat formulas across all types of service, while others have a different rationale depending on what is provided. The economics of motels versus resorts (or the cost of living in motel towns versus the cost of living in resort towns) is just one factor that begins to get at the complexity of the issue. So, as we basically said last time: Don’t be a jerk. Lean toward tipping too much rather than too little, and be decent, generous and kind. On the hotel front: Go by the size of the room, as a bigger room requires more cleaning. If you want to tip by the day, try five bucks per day for a single room, $10 for a king, $20 for a suite and $25 for a cabana. Or maybe we’re being cheap. We agree that 20 percent is a good and proper tip; we consistently tip that much and have never been met with disappointment, disapproval or bad service upon returning to the establishment. Moreover, we tip 20 percent whether the wine is $300 or $30. If you can afford to tip generously (or even ask questions about what to tip on $300 bottles of wine), keep it up and feel confident you’ve been a good customer. Bad tippers typically have bad attitudes, and we’ve found the world regularly dispenses its own karmic justice to punish them. We realize that’s completely irrational but also sort of true. Are you a bad tipper? Do you feel your blood boiling as you compose an outraged letter in response to our answer? That’s karma. As for us, we feel pretty relaxed all the time, we try to always be nice and as a result we tend to get nice treatment in return.

I’m 72 years old; since I started using Viagra I’ve noticed my penis has a bend in it. My wife asked me what���s going on. I watch mature porn and have noticed a lot of other guys have the same problem. Is this caused by taking Viagra?— J.A., Garden City, South Carolina
You should go to the doctor to rule out Peyronie’s disease, which causes one side of the penis to contract and the other to lengthen, resulting in curvature. Most penises have a slight bend; perhaps the firm erections caused by Viagra are simply making your natural curve more noticeable.

I’m writing in response to the letter from P.L. in Iowa, whose girlfriend had a problem with him reading Playboy (October). I’m a happily married straight woman and proud to say that Playboy has been a part of my life for many years, thanks to my brothers and brothers-in-law. When I met the man who is now my husband of 15 years I was thrilled to see that he had a subscription. He has asked me over the years if I would like him to drop it, and I keep answering, emphatically, no. Playboy is consistently intelligent, informative and fun. Sorry, P.L., I can’t say your girlfriend is “smart.” Rather, she’s closed-minded and judgmental. We will always welcome Playboy in our home. We share our old issues with friends, and they—both men and women—are happy to receive them.— P.P., Payson, Arizona
We thank you and your extended—and very wise—family for your continued loyalty. It’s because of subscribers like you that we have a little saying around here in regard to reader correspondence: “We read it for the compliments.”

For answers to reasonable questions relating to food and drink, fashion and taste, and sex and dating, write the Playboy Advisor, 9346 Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210, or e-mail The most interesting and pertinent questions will be presented in these pages each month.

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