Brittny Ward is a Gemini in the truest sense—and aren't we lucky for that. A northern California-raised model, our January 2015 Playmate grew up spiking volleyballs and rocking out to Janis, the Stones and Zeppelin with her California Highway Patrol officer dad and indulging her hairdresser mom by becoming a squeaky-clean pageant queen. "Then the teen queen turned to the dark side," says Brittny—who has strong willed tattooed on the back of her neck—with a laugh. "I'm so different from when I was in the pageants, putting on that smile. Now I'm into trying things that scare me, like skydiving and playing with wild animals." One thing that doesn't frighten Brittny is sex. Quite the opposite. "I find I'm much happier when I'm having good sex she says. "I mean, who doesn't like orgasms?" Going fully nude for Playboy is a first in her 12-year modeling career, but it has also turned out to be a highlight. "I felt very badass when shooting this pictorial—a bit like, say, Angelina Jolie. I felt like a hyperconfident, kick-ass woman, and I hope my photos will inspire both men and women to say, 'Fuck yeah, that's hot' and inspire them to be confident." The significance of Brittny's status as a January Playmate isn't lost on her. "It's a big deal to me to be the New Year's Playmate, because starting a new year is like hitting the refresh button. I love that this inaugurates a new chapter in my life— I'm now a Playmate. So cool." Then she laughs. "Happy New Year—I wish everyone 365 days of great sex!"