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How do I find a Playboy or Penthouse article written about my girlfriend?
May 4, 2011 8:06 AM   Subscribe

How do I find a Playboy or Penthouse article written about my girlfriend?

In the mid 1990s, my girlfriend's then-boyfriend wrote a story about her, submitted it to a magazine, and had it published. She and I would both love to find it, but so far have had zero luck. I know a few things about it: it was published sometime in the 1995-1997 timeframe; it was (obviously) very explicit; it involved a dream sequence of some sort; we know the author's name (last name was Provost); and there was a lot of talk of wetness. She thinks it appeared in Playboy but isn't sure - she does know that it was a magazine.

Can anyone offer some advice on how we can do this kind of search? I have no clue where a searchable repository of these magazines would be. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
You could try and call the editorial offices of the magazine and ask for the archivist. Usually they have some kind of database on the back issues.
posted by zaelic at 8:09 AM on May 4, 2011


Is there something preventing you from asking her ex? Seems like that would be the easiest method.
posted by Flamingo at 8:19 AM on May 4, 2011


If you want to do the search yourself, you might try a large university library. Although you've picked a bad time of year to do this, if you are not affiliated with such a university -- they're likely overrun with students freaking out about finals.

That being said, the library of the Large University I work at has Playboy but not Penthouse. (I did not know this before; I checked precisely to answer this question.) I guess it makes more sense to collect Playboy than Penthouse, because people read Playboy for the articles.
posted by madcaptenor at 8:30 AM on May 4, 2011


Playboy isn't known for having reader submitted fantasy letters, that's Penthouse's forte. Penthouse does letters in their main magazine, but they also have (or had) a separate magazine called Penthouse Letters for just this very thing. So if you run into another dead-end with Penthouse proper, that's another possibility
posted by inturnaround at 8:37 AM on May 4, 2011


You're not specifying here whether you mean "article" (which makes me think nonfiction piece), "story" (which makes me think fiction piece) or reader-submitted fantasy item (i.e. Penthouse letters). If you're thinking of the third item — which seems the most likely, assuming this "then-boyfriend" wasn't a pro writer — then I don't think knowing or searching on the name "Provost" is going to help. Weren't those letters published anonymously?
posted by Joey Bagels at 8:43 AM on May 4, 2011


If it's an actual story and was published in Playboy, you may find it by the author's last name in the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, which IIRC indexes Playboy. AFAIK, no other adult magazine is indexed anywhere except (possibly) by the publishers themselves. If you're willing to do a little digging, you might check out local adult bookstores, which may have back issues of adult magazines for sale.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:55 AM on May 4, 2011


This is going to look great in my history, but here goes.

When I was a teenager in the early 1980s (back before everyone had a magic porn appliance in their living rooms) I bought a Hustler magazine off my friend. This was probably one of the first porn magazines I had and, needless to say, it became an important part of that period of my life.

A few months ago, I became curious about just what issue it was. I like nostalgia, and I pursued this quest in the same way I tracked down an MP3 of the sound effects record for my Earthquake Tower or the 1970s Ricochet Racer commercial. I found an archive of magazine covers and looked through the years I suspected the issue came from. I eventually found the cover and the index. A quick google of some phrases from the index brought me to this... forum. For vintage porn fans. Think Wookipedia or Springfield Nuclear Power Plant but for Hustler and Oui. It was a place where people would post something like "There was this blond posing with a dune buggy in Hustler sometime in the 1970s. Anyone know anything about her?" and then someone would reply with her name, her favorite type of ice cream, what other photosets she did, and her batting average for the 1973 Mets. It was scary and fascinating all at the same time.

Long story short, I was able to find photosets from that April 1983 Hustler I owned when I was 13. Come to find out, they were pretty lame. It was the same reaction I had when I recently played River Raid on a vintage Atari. "Really? This is what I got so excited about?"

My point is that if you remember a few details about the article you should seek out one of these forums and ask around. Somebody out there will know of it and will find the issue for you. I don't remember the name of the forum, something like "Vintage Porn" or "Vintage Adult Magazines" or something of the sort. You'll know it when you find it, it was filled with posts such as "1980s High Society" or "Early 1970s Penthouse."

Don't let the "vintage" aspect fool you, there was plenty of stuff from the 1990s.

Anyway, someone out there in porn land knows of it. Good luck.
posted by bondcliff at 9:00 AM on May 4, 2011 [16 favorites]


Penthouse does letters in their main magazine, but they also have (or had) a separate magazine called Penthouse Letters for just this very thing.

Penthouse also has (or had, I don't know if is still ongoing) other specialty versions of Letters, focusing on the kinkier and less mainstream stuff like golden showers and so on. So, there's potentially several overlapping versions you would need to go through, depending on what was submitted and when it was sent in.
posted by Forktine at 9:03 AM on May 4, 2011


Maybe she would recognize the cover of the issue it was in? You can look through Penthouse covers for that period here. They also have Penthouse Letters (go to second page to get past the "Best of" issues).
posted by beagle at 9:50 AM on May 4, 2011


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