In my new book, The Harm in Asking, one of the chapters, “The Boogie Rhythm,” is dedicated entirely to the topic of farting. To be a bit more specific, it is all about what we, as women, go through when it comes to our gas.
In the run up to the book’s release I’ve done a handful interviews and without fail, each one of these interviews has focused on this particular chapter of my book. This surprised me considering the book itself is 306 pages long. The chapter on farting is 7.
As I was writing, it did not occur to me that devoting seven pages of a 306 page book to farts would garner such such dramatic reactions. I never imagined it would be the only thing my interviewers cared to talk about. I hoped it would be funny. I knew some readers would find it un-funny. Lewd. Offensive. That I had prepared for, but I hoped that by keeping it brief, light, to the point, intentionally amusing and so on, I would seem like less of all those things. Keep reading »
I am a writer.
Having said that, I ask that you bear in mind how broad that category is. I call myself a writer, and so does Philip Roth. So does my personal public enemy #1, a young woman I met in college who writes lip gloss reviews for a living. My point is that being a writer can mean a wide variety of things, and this week, for me, it meant getting in touch with male porn stars. Or rather, trying and mostly failing to get in touch with male porn stars.
The story started as all good stories do: With a penis. Surely you’ve heard the saying that you can judge a penis just by looking at the feet. Well, the other day I was sitting around bored and aimless, trying to decide what to write, when I started thinking about penises. This happens often, but on this specific occasion, the penises I’d started thinking about were The Penises That I Have Known. (I used CAPS just then because when you write about The Penises That You Have Known, it is important to be respectful.) Anyway, there I was thinking about The Penises That I Have Known, and as I continued thinking about them, I wondered if maybe there wasn’t a story there, a story in investigating whether the saying is true.
Alas: Although I could bring to mind the penises, I couldn’t remember the feet. It occurred to me then that thing to do would be to prove/disprove the idea, not with reference to my own experience, but by using male porn stars. Their penises are available to view, of course, so all I’d have to do was find the shoe size. Keep reading »
They say no good deed goes unpunished, and I agree. I’ve seen plenty of evidence in my own life: For example, one time, I baked a pie for my then-boyfriend, and his two best friends. They were coming over to watch the Oscars, and I said, “Oh, great! I’ll make a pie.”
“Great!” he said.
My then-boyfriend and his friends planned a boys’ afternoon out. They’d have their afternoon out, then pick up food for dinner. Tacos? Pizza? Chinese? We decided on pizza. We’d all reconvene later at my place for pizza, pie, and Oscars.
But then they arrived, all three of them, having picked up individual pizzas for themselves, and having forgotten to get one for me. This may – may – have been forgivable, if they’d made an appropriate apology, and offered to run out in that moment to pick me something up. But no. The boyfriend’s friends shrugged and said, “Oh, crap. Sorry.” When they finished their pizzas – each man offered me a sliver of their own – they left all the garbage of their takeout food strewn across the kitchen table. It sat there even as they waved goodbye, and escorted themselves out. I turned to my boyfriend, desperate for some acknowledgement of how absurd his friends’ behavior had been. He just shrugged, though, like boys will be boys, and turned back toward the TV. Keep reading »
Hello there. How are you? Good? Good. I’m good too. Why? Because: I just got engaged. My man got down on bended knee, and offered up a FANCY ring. In the words of Beyonce: He liked it. And so he put a ring on it.
Before going further, I would like to state for the record here that I believe engagement stories are never that interesting to anyone other than your parents and maybe your very best friend. They’re like weddings that way. It’s like, “Yay for you. You met a dude and the dude bought you a diamond. Congrats.” Or, “Yay for you. You spent a lot of money, and so yes, your place cards were nice and so were the canapés.” It’s not that I’m not excited for people to find love. I am. What I take issue with is the stuff that surrounds the commercialization of marriage. That which asks the betrothed and, more to the point, their guests to shell out so much godforsaken cash, and to get excited at the prospect of doing so.
This is all to say: I know that the details pertaining to someone else’s engagement/wedding aren’t that interesting. But, you see, my boyfriend proposed by hiding the ring in the toilet. He got me to find it by pretending he’d taken the world’s biggest sh*t. Keep reading »
A few months back, I had a horrifying experience at an Apple Genius Bar. My computer died while I was in the midst of the some important business, and try as I might, I couldn’t bring it back to life. Regarding the “important business,” it was this: Engagement rings. My boyfriend and I had been in the beginning stages of the engagement conversation; we’d started the process of looking at rings. On this particular night, we’d been looking on a website. Eventually, my boyfriend got tired and went to sleep. But I stayed up for a while. I stayed up looking at rings.
Here, it bears mention that my current screen saver shows both my father and my younger brother at my younger brother’s wedding. So, my boyfriend was asleep, and I was looking at rings against the backdrop of my newly married brother. And then my computer went kaput. Immediately, I scheduled a Genius appointment for the following morning. When I went in, the helpful young Genius had it working again in a matter of minutes. He did one thing and then another, and then my computer came back to life. And when it did, the visuals flashed in this order: SCREENSAVER OF BROTHER AT WEDDING! FIVE DIFFERENT ENGAGEMENT RING WEBSITES! Keep reading »
Two years ago, I was at my local coffee shop when I spotted a certain gentleman, and after a series of boring events he and I wound up having sex. It was mostly uneventful, except for the fact that during the proceedings, I sprained my neck. We’d had sex and gone to bed, and the next morning I woke up and couldn’t move it.
“Oh no!” I exclaimed, and my companion groaned wordlessly in response. I rotated the entirety of my torso so as to be able to face him.
“I think I sprained my neck,” I said.
“From the blowjobs?” he asked, but nodding yes was not an option. I briskly pitched my torso back and forth.
“Oh, crap!” he laughed. “Wow. That’s really funny.” Keep reading »
My parents raised me with a certain set of values: 1) The sunny side of the street causes headaches, 2) Lateness is rude and disrespectful, 3) No one wants to see photos of another person’s vacation. Not, like, genuinely. Not, like, ever. Society pitched in and taught me a handful of others including the all-important: All men want sex all the time.
I absorbed this message and, under its guidance, I threw myself at my high school friend Bob. I was 17 when this happened and I’d had a crush on Bob for ages. We’d gone to see a movie, and when we were about to say goodbye, I said, “Hey. Bob. What if I kissed you goodnight?”
And Bob said, “Oh. Gosh. Um, I’m not sure that’s a good idea. I think of us as being just, you know, like, friends.”
Now, in fairness to Bob, were you to see a photo of me in 1996, you’d understand his position. You’d be, like, “Wow. Well, I bet that you were pretty on the inside.” Regardless, the rejection was traumatic. Keep reading »
I am a woman 33 years of age who practices safe sex. But it wasn’t always that way. As a woman of 19, 20 and 21, I was in no uncertain terms an idiot where safe sex was concerned. Sometimes I forced a guy to wear a condom, sometimes I didn’t.
But that all changed when I hit 22.For it was at this stage that I that I met a man in a bar, went home with him, had sex with him. And not just any man. This man was drummed up in a dive bar. He was covered in tattoos, and I’m quite sure his continued trips to the bathroom were cocaine-related. When we got back to his place I quickly discovered that he owned a pet iguana, a leathery little thing named Juan who he allowed to roam free around his East Village bedroom. I had condom-less sex with this gentleman, and spent the whole of the next day convinced his myriad STIs were coursing through my system.
Now: I know you can’t judge a book by its cover. I know that just because a man is covered in tattoos and owns a pet iguana and has a whiff of the cocaine addict about him, that doesn’t mean that he’s got chlamydia. BUT … Keep reading »
The first thing you need to know is that I didn’t start masturbating until the age of 17. I’d gone through the ol’ puberty at 12 – I’d felt the universal stirrings down below – but it took me that extra five years to work out what I ought to do about it. Had I been interviewed at age 15 about female arousal, I would’ve said something like, “The only way to reach orgasm is through having sex.”
I believed that this feeling, whatever it was, could be … solved, let’s say, solely through use of the male penis. (As though there’s any other kind!)
But, oh: How wrong I was.
It’s hard to remember exactly what happened when finally it struck me all those years later that I could tend to things myself. I know the movie “Gas, Food, Lodgings” was involved. I’d been watching it in the basement of my family’s empty house, and there’d been some scene wherein some attractive male actor pushes Ione Skye up against a wall, and then they have very satisfying sex in an upright position in what appears to be a cave. It was terribly arousing, and the house was so terribly empty, and somehow, finally, I saw my right hand, and I knew. Keep reading »
In college, I was madly in love with a guy named Elijah who looked like Denzel Washington. We were both undergraduate acting majors, and I spent the whole of freshman year ogling his perfect face, and perfect bottom. All I wanted out of life was the chance to have a romantic make out session with him, and seeing as how Elijah actually asking me out on a date was as likely as the Second Coming of Christ, I knew I’d have to be the one to make a move.
Dreams do come true, you see. It’s just, they tend to take an awful lot of work.
A holiday soiree was coming up at my acting school and I thought it the perfect opportunity for a casual but flirtatious conversation between and Elijah and me. There’d be free drinks and dancing and I planned to wear this slinky, red acrylic number. I also planned for Elijah to be drunk enough to think Sara Barron sure looks good in that slinky, red acrylic number. I bought my college friend, Melanie, along with me so she could act as personal cheerleader. “Go! Go! Go!” she’d shout whenever she saw Elijah disengaged from other conversations. I procrastinated for hours, however, until her enthusiasm waned. Keep reading »