It happened so quickly, and it was so dark, that it was hard to tell what Peggy Olsen was doing in that movie theater. I texted a friend.
“Did Peggy just give a hand job to her boyfriend or a random man?”
“It’s hard to tell the way it was shot, but consensus says random,” my friend wrote back.
That was the answer I was hoping for. I was thrilled that “Mad Men” finally featured a meaningless sexual act involving one of their female characters. Maybe this scene would have been more pedestrian if it were Don or Pete or Roger. We’ve spent the last five seasons watching their messy sex lives. The guys of “Mad Men” have had so many sexual indiscretions that it’s hard to keep track. Keep reading »
Last week, I met a friend for dinner. The restaurant we tried to go to was crowded, so we decided to wander around and look for a different place to eat. We turned down the next block and my pulse raced. It was the block of the restaurant my date rapist worked at.
I considered asking my friend if we could walk down a different block, but that seemed silly. And then another thought crossed my mind. What if she spotted the restaurant and wanted to eat there? What would I say? I tried to mask my anxiety. I was more anxious about telling her why I didn’t want to walk down that block than I was of potentially running into him. Keep reading »
According to an article in this month’s issue of Esquire, the blow job is all but becoming extinct in favor of cunnilingus. In an informal poll, conducted by the writer Geoff Dyer, eight out of 10 of his “more mature male friends” preferred “eating p**sy to having their dicks sucked.” And guess what? The two who preferred BJs were gay! He uses this data to assert that the excitement that surrounded fellatio beginning in the ’70s has all but faded.
Clearly, that must be the case, if his friends say so. But it’s not just his friends. He says blow jobs are out in pop culture as well. I mean, Michael Fassbender’s character in “Shame” tells a man in a bar that he wants to go down on his wife. It’s of no consequence that he’s a sex addict, I suppose. And in a scene from Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, Joey Berglund says he considers getting a blow job as “little more than a glorified jerk off.” Should we talk about how he had been sleeping with his neighbor since he was 13 or something? Perhaps I should remind Dyer of the entire page in Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot dedicated to the sucking of Mitchell Grammaticus’ c**k. That came out just this year.
Dyer says of his perceived decline of the blow job:
“[Cunnilingus] was regarded in much the same way as paying for a round at the bar: You had to do it, but if you could avoid it, you did. It would be a mistake, though, to see this change as meaning that men have gone from being selfish recipients to selfless givers of pleasure; it’s just that what constitutes pleasure has shifted.”
Keep reading »
Dear Loud Sneezer In My Office,
How are you? Good, I hope. I just wanted to bring something to your attention. Every time you sneeze, the air is momentarily sucked out of the office, and we are swallowed into your black hole of sound. Okay, so the “office” is a coffee shop and you and I just happen to use it every day as our home away from home; you’re doing whatever — a screenplay maybe? — while I’m plugging away on my freelance writing gigs. Or I’m trying to — but that SNEEZING! It’s so loud, my nervous system stops. I am startled to the point of duck and cover. When 99.9 percent of people in the world sneeze, I say “bless you” and move on with my life. But when you sneeze, I involuntarily shout out the word “NO!” Intellectually, I understand that you are performing a natural bodily function, but irrationally, I don’t understand. I say “NO!” because I am in shock. In shock that a human sneeze could be that loud. I’ve tried putting my headphones on, listening to Queen at top volume. I still hear you. Your bark sneezes cut through the noise like a sonic boom. There is only one solution, Loud Sneezer: You must lower the volume of your sneezes. (Or I must find another coffee shop/office to work, but really, I’d rather not. The scones here are good.) Keep reading »
By now, many of you may have read Vogue’s annual “Shape” issue and had some reaction to the story of Bea, a seven-year-old girl whose mother was intent on curing her “obesity,” which was, in reality, 16 extra pounds of baby fat.
“One day Bea came home from school in tears, confessing that a boy at school had called her fat. The incident crushed me, but it was a wake-up call. Being overweight is not a private struggle. Everyone can see it,” said Bea’s mother, Dara-Lynn Weiss.
Weiss immediately put Bea on a Weight Watchers-type diet designed for children. Reading this, I felt a familiar pang in my gut. I was also an overweight child who came home from school and complaining about being teased. It was fifth grade, and I was the new kid in school. I didn’t know I was overweight until one of the popular boys spit on my new pair of Vans and called me “fat ass.” The girls were even worse. They attacked me in the bathroom with a barrage of spitballs. I spent most of the school year alone, writing in my journal. There’s one heartbreaking entry I’ll never forget: Dear Diary, Please let me be popular. Please let me not be fat anymore.
Although I’ve moved on and healed from these experiences, which happened more than 20 years ago, it still hurts to write about them. They’re a reminder of how cruel people can be, perhaps without even meaning to. What’s more painful for me, though, is remembering how my mother reacted to these incidents. Keep reading »
You know that muscle in the middle of your forehead, right between your brows? The scowling muscle? Maybe you don’t. Maybe some people are blissfully unaware of their weird, clenchy forehead muscle.
Mine has always been overactive.
As a teenager, I always had this deep cleft of worry and contempt etched between my brows, even when I wasn’t angry. Sometimes, the spot would actually hurt from overuse. In my early twenties, it became more pronounced. The middle of my forehead would ache, and I would rub my fingers over it in circles, trying to relax it. Read more on The Gloss…