just unlock my mind
André Ethier, Untitled, 2005
* From Conversations with a Super-Swinger
, a 1969 Playboy interview of Joe Namath:
Playboy: The Broadway Joe legend also pictures you as one of the great womanizers of our time. Do you think your reputation for amorous exploits is merited?
Namath: I think it's merited, in the sense that I'm young, single, I have some money, I'm in the press a lot, and so I do all right with the ladies.
Playboy: What about the thousands of sexual conquests that have been attributed to you?
Namath: Oh, I wouldn't put the number that high.
Playboy: How high would you put it?
Namath: A conservative estimate?
Playboy: That would be fine.
Namath: I'd say at least 300—but that's a conservative estimate. Probably too conservative, because when I was in boring classes at Alabama, I used to start making out lists to see how well I was doing and I guess I was pretty close to 300 by the time I graduated.
Playboy: You say that with a great big smile. Are those fond memories?
Namath: They sure are. And the older I get, the more I enjoy sex—and the more I learn about it. For instance, when I was younger, the aim of making love was simply to reach a climax, achieve your own satisfaction and not even worry about your partner's. Well, as you grow up, you start understanding that sex is a two-way street and that it's much better for both of you to be sexually satisfied. Once you realize this, you should really go all out and make a sincere effort to make 'em happy, because then sex becomes a very beautiful thing.
Playboy: Do you think you're as good in bed as you are on a football field?
Namath: I can't honestly answer that question, because in football, there are comparisons you can make, but I don't think you can do the same with sex. First of all, you're only at your best with a girl who really turns you on. It's a total thing that has to do with how much feeling she has for you and how you feel about her, and that's more important than if she's beautiful or well built. You certainly can't measure your performance by the number of climaxes you reach, because after the first few times, you just can't expect to keep having orgasms. I think the important thing is how long you're able to make love. With the right girl, a guy can go just about all night long. And there have been lots of times when I've done just that. I'm a great believer in sex.
Playboy: We've noticed that. One of sports' great traditions decrees that the night before the big game, the athlete goes to bed early—and by himself. Do you?
Namath: No. I spent the nights before the Jets' two biggest games last year—for the AFL championship and the Super Bowl—with girls. But I don't consider that bad or foolish of me. Look, I'm a football player, and that's my number-one thing. I'm not about to take a chance on how I perform by breaking my own schedule. But I've been playing football for a long time, and by now, I know what I should do and shouldn't do to stay ready at all times. The night before a game, I prepare myself both mentally and physically for the next day. I think a ballplayer has to be relaxed to play well; and if that involves being with a girl that night, he should do it. If some ballplayers don't feel that way, they shouldn't do it. But I feel that way.
Playboy: Do you make a point of going to bed with a girl on the eve of a game?
Namath: I try to; it depends on how I feel that night. Before one game last year, I just sat home by myself and watched television, drank a little tequila to relax and went to sleep fairly early. But most of the nights before games, I'll be with a girl. One of the Jets' team doctors, in fact, told me that it's a good idea to have sexual relations before a game, because it gets rid of the kind of nervous tension an athlete doesn't need.