editing disabled

ChipRowe-chatbio-02.jpg

CHIP ROWE

The Playboy Advisor
19 May 1997

moderator
Our guest today will be Chip Rowe. He'll be taking your questions and sharing stories about the world of the Playboy Advisor.
Pbadvisor
Let's rock.
moderator
First off, Chip, maybe you could tell us in general, what exactly is the Playboy Advisor?
Pbadvisor
The Advisor answers all reasonable questions from readers about sex, dating, etiquette, whatever interests you.
moderator
What would count as an "unreasonable" question?
Pbadvisor
We had one guy who asked if we knew the name of a song that his father used to hum to himself years ago. He gave us one line of the lyrics. That's probably the extreme of unreasonable. But we try to answer just about anything.
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
On second thought, Moderator, I think your question about unreasonable questions might have been unreasonable.
moderator
That's reasonable.
Roger_rabbit
What's the most memorable letter you ever got as the Advisor?
Pbadvisor
I'd have to say the guy who asked if it was normal to pull a chair into the woods, sit in it naked and then spray bug spray all over himself except on his genitals.

Or maybe the guy who masturbated (once) with sandpaper.
moderator
The gallery goes "OOWwwww."
Pbadvisor
Or "Oucchhhhh." We told him to gradually reduce the coarseness until he was just using paper. Good advice, no?
moderator
So, Advisor, what advice did you have for the bug spray boy?
Pbadvisor
Well, he wanted to know if that was normal. So it was more a question. I asked him if he had seen any other chairs out there.

I have to say I really enjoy letters when readers share their sexual experiences, or sex tricks they've invented.
moderator
You led him to make his own conclusion. Very Socratic.
Pbadvisor
When you start comparing the Playboy Advisor to Socrates, you know we're all in trouble. But you're right, of course.
Roger_rabbit
How many letters does the Advisor get per month?
Pbadvisor
We get 400 to 500 letters a month. Everyone who includes a self-addressed, stamped envelope gets a reply. Of those, we choose the best ones to answer in the magazine as well.
Roger_rabbit
What are your favorite/best resources and references?
Pbadvisor
Well, besides readers, I'd have to say the standard sex manuals, such as Masters and Johnson. But the Playboy library also has a huge collection of obscure sexual reference books. Ever hear of "The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices?" That's a favorite of mine.
Roger_rabbit
What percentage of questions would you say are sex-related?
Pbadvisor
You're the very curious sort, Roger Rabbit. Just the kind of reader we love. I'd say 80 percent are sex-related. The rest are about cars, etiquette, relationships, stereos. I'd guess that 25 percent are from women, too, which people find interesting.
Terry
What type of shaving cream is the best? I have tried numerous different types (extra moisturizing, for sensitive skin, etc.), but what do you recommend for basic skin types?
Pbadvisor
That's a very common question, Terry. Razor burn is the worst. The advice we generally give is that often men don't use enough hot water to soften the beard first. Have you tried shaving in the shower? We might have some resources of special lathers if you want to drop us a line.

Some guys write us whenever we answer a shaving question and say, "What's the big deal? I shave with soap." Wish we could get them in a lab and see what their skin is made of.
moderator
We would like to concur with the Advisor. After 20 minutes in a sauna or steam room you can shave without soap or shaving cream.
Lancelot_link
How long have you been writing the Advisor column?
Pbadvisor
Three years now. James Petersen wrote it for the 22 years previous but felt like he had answered every question known to man (and woman). So now he's writing a history of the sexual revolution.
Terry
What is the "workingman's" position?
Pbadvisor
Well, we all eventually get screwed when we're working, so everybody's experienced it. It's a position, actually, much like when people do the "spoon" position. It's from a book by Brenda Venus.
Terry
I read an article in New City magazine that was entitled "I dated the Playboy Advisor" -- were you the Advisor at the time of this piece's appearance?
Pbadvisor
Yes, I was. Did you enjoy the piece?
Terry
I thought it was very funny...made me think a little bit.
Lancelot_link
What's your opinion on this "secondary virginity" that people are claiming to practice, where after having an active sex life one stops having sex until marrying someone? Sounds like a way to assuage needless guilt to me.
Pbadvisor
Deciding not to have sex is as valid a decision as deciding to have sex, I suppose. And just think, you could have a first second time. Or a second first time. There's a site on the Web I love called "The Society to Reclaim Your Virginity" or some such thing. You even get a certificate.
Mr_boo
Recommend some killer tequila por favor.
Pbadvisor
Is there tequila that isn't *killer*? Cuervo Gold is a favorite, although the Advisor prefers cognac.
Terry
What is the reliability of the Confide AIDS test? Is it more or less reliable than a home-pregnancy test?
Pbadvisor
It's generally more reliable, although it's still new. Our advice to anyone thinking about using Confide or similar products is to take it twice to confirm the results. But they use the same lab procedures you'd get by going to a doctor.
Jbuhrmester
What are the proper duties of a best man at a wedding?
Pbadvisor
First duty is to make sure the groom has nothing to worry about. That means taking care of the little things that will drive him over the edge.

You've got the traditional duties, of course; the ring, the toast, that sort of thing. Most guys who write asking us for advice about being a best man want to know how to give a proper toast.

You should say kind words for everyone in your toast, rib the groom in a good-natured way and thank the parents. That's key.
moderator
Is it tradition that the best man also has an, um, encounter with a bridesmaid?
Pbadvisor
You've been watching The Godfather again, eh, moderator? Look what happened to Sonny when he did a bridesmaid. Let that be a warning. The best advice might be to make sure you're reading the same wedding preparation book as the bride's mother.

Also, don't get drunk at the reception.

And don't hit on the bride.

(Unless she's making eyes at you or something. Then write to the Advisor.)
Terry
What's the deal...is a martini supposed to be shaken or stirred? A bartender scolded me for having my martini shaken up -- I bruised the ice or something.
Pbadvisor
Bruised the ice? Where are you hanging out? You should have the martini any damned way you please. Just please, no chocolate martinis or these newfangled things. There is a proper etiquette to martinis, which you should follow, but we don't generally pay attention to such things when we're thirsty.
Terry
Why does Bond shake his and not stir them, then?
Pbadvisor
He shakes them in public, but stirs them in private. Or so I've heard.
Jbuhrmester
Is it socially acceptable to carry a flask to take nips off of at functions that don't allow alcohol?
Pbadvisor
Socially acceptable? Probably not. But that's why they invented flasks. I can think of several situations where I probably would not bring a flask. Like maybe if you're on trial for murder. Or in the delivery room as your wife has your first child.
Lancelot_link
How soon do you think we can expect to see a male birth control pill?
Pbadvisor
My guess, based on what I've read, is ten years. They're developing stuff that slows the boys down so they don't have the strength or stamina to reach their goal. The problem is that one side effect is sterility. Yikes.
Mr_boo
Do the "drapes need to match the carpet" to determine a true blonde?
Pbadvisor
You're picky? I'd say blondeness comes from within.
Terry
Does that go for red-headed women as well?
Pbadvisor
If you get far enough along that you can tell the drapes and carpet are different shades, I wouldn't let it worry you.
Lancelot_link
How much does the sense of smell come into play in the enjoyment of wine, beer and liquor? I am anosmic and have never enjoyed alcoholic drinks much -- they taste extremely bitter, almost like a mouthful of dirt (or what I imagine a mouthful of dirt would taste like).
Pbadvisor
The sense of smell is very important. You're supposed to drink good liquor through your nose as well as your mouth.
Terry
I am looking to purchase a 1970s Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia; can you tell me any tips on maintenance and general cost (especially if the auto is in good condition)?
Pbadvisor
That's a little too specific to answer off the top of my head. Have you talked with a good mechanic about this before you buy? If the person who owns the car now kept it in good enough condition to sell it to you, you should quiz them on what they did. There are also Volkswagen clubs on the Web where people might be able to offer you some tips.
Mr_boo
Recommend a good personal lubricant?
Pbadvisor
Astroglide or K-Y. Stick with the classics, so to speak.
Mr_boo
Is Hef still a big backgammon freak? I love the game.
Pbadvisor
A great game. Hef still plays, sure.

Hey Eazy_e, got a question?
moderator
Advisor, is there a book somewhere that explains how to take traditional games such as backgammon and turn them into sex games?
Pbadvisor
You need a book? Just take your clothes off.

Strip backgammon. OR winner takes all.
moderator
Some of us like elaborate rules and rituals.
Pbadvisor
You have to be *teased,* Moderator?
Ricciardi
Is there any reliable method of determining whether or not a woman has had a "boob job" (assuming you can't ask her yourself)?
Pbadvisor
I frankly can't understand why anyone cares whether a woman got a boob job or not. She either looks good or she doesn't. Is there some reason you have to know whether they're real? Are you going to dump her if they're not? Technically, there's no way to tell with 100 percent accuracy without an exam, although if they point straight up that's probably a hint.
Eazy_e
I have a longtime female friend I would like to ask out, any suggestions?
Pbadvisor
Always a tough situation. But if you've really got a good friendship, go for it. Your friendship will survive if she isn't interested. If she is, the best relationships often come out of friendships. And keep it simple. Just say, "I'm attracted to you." Don't get all philosophical or trippy on her. You could also say, "Maybe we should go on a date" and gauge her reaction.
Terry
I am a relatively shy individual (although many see me as outgoing). I know that honesty is important when approaching a strange woman, but I don't think that plan of attack works. Can you give us shy cats some advice?
Pbadvisor
First, I say stay away from strange women. You want normal ones.

Shyness arises from insecurities. But you have nothing to be insecure about when approaching a stranger. She doesn't know you, so if she rejects you it's probably based on factors beyond your control (e.g., she's in a relationship). Meeting women cold is tough anyway. It's usually better to be introduced.
moderator
We have about five more minutes folks, so does anybody have any final questions for the Playboy Advisor?
Ricciardi
Where does the Advisor go when he needs advice?
Pbadvisor
Sort of like, "Who does God pray to?"
Ricciardi
Sort of.
moderator
OK folks, that about does it for the Playboy Advisor. We'd like to thank Chip Rowe for sharing his time and his very wise and knowing words with us.
.