Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Elixir of Life

Je m'appelle Justine. I was born in Paris in 1832 to a French mother and American father. My father left when I was two. He left my mother and me with nothing but a mountain of debt. My mother was forced to sell her flesh so that we would survive. After a few years of being un putain de la rue, she met a man who liked her well enough to give her money so that she could open her own brothel. When I was twelve, she put me to work. I hated the men who fucked me; with their dirty hands and hairy bellies and rank breath. When I turned sixteen and nothing had changed, I had my heart set on killing myself.

Then he came. Tall, handsome, and clean. There was something different about him. It wasn't just his looks that set him apart; there was something in his eyes--a gaping mystery that I could not comprehend at my age. He was the only man who saw that I deserved better than the life I was leading.

When he first came in the room, I opened my legs as I had always done. But he didn't touch me. He didn't even come toward me. He just looked at me with those dark eyes and told me to close my legs, that he wasn't there to hurt me. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "Get out! Degage!" I screamed. When I realized he wasn't lying, I cried. His kindness was too much for me. I cried as he held me like the father I never had.

After I had no more tears to shed, he told me his story. He called himself Dema. He said he was born in Latvia many, many years ago. When he was about my age, a strange man came to kill his father, who was a notorious alchemist specializing in poisons. The man tied Dema and his mother to a post, forcing them to watch as he hung his father from the ceiling, tortured him, skinned him alive and let him bleed to death. Dema watched in horror as the man raped his mother and killed her. However he spared Dema for his own purposes, giving him power in exchange for his devotion and loyalty.

Since then he has been roaming all over Europe, seeking suffering children. He uses his power to release a select few from their misery--those who are prepared and deserving. He first saw me when I was about five, begging for food in the streets. I was not ready then, he said. He was just passing through at the time and couldn't stop but he vowed to himself that he would return to see that I was safe. He said, "I know that you are safe now; you have your mother, a place to live, enough food and money, but I can see that you are not happy." He told me he could offer me a better life. All I had to do was trust him, and he would grant me power and love and endless adventure. "Do you want that?" He asked. As I was planning on dying, I had nothing to lose. "Yes," I said. He whispered promises in my ear--that he would protect me, that I would never be hurt by men again, that I could have all the pleasures in the world without the pain of humanity. Then he brushed my hair aside and leaned in as though he were going to kiss me...

Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain in my neck. I let out a little scream. It was akin to the pain I felt between my legs when I lost my virginity--an acute pain that dissolved into pleasure as it rushed through my veins. Then I felt something warm trickling down my neck, like a man's sperm running down my thigh. He licked my neck before I had the chance to wipe it away. Then gingerly he turned my head, looked into my eyes and kissed me. I tasted blood on his lips. Though it was my blood, I felt euphoria mingle with despair, as my heart crushed in sweet longing for him and thirst for that intoxicating red elixir of life...

To be continued...

Meanwhile, read my impressions of Halloween in last year's column.

There are a few editorial errors in the first paragraph:

"While Eve offered an apple to several salivating Adams, but nobody bit—as far as I know. However, there was at least one vampire victim in addition to myself and the Sea Nymph was nearly devoured by a delicious French creature in a black robe."

It should be:

"Eve offered an apple to several salivating Adams, but nobody bit-as far as I know. However, there was at least one vampire victim, while I, the Sea Nymph, was nearly devoured by a delicious French creature in a black robe."

Perhaps you will see me and Dema tonight, wandering through downtown New York City, seeking lost souls to satisfy our lust. I will be wearing a Victorian cape, and the corset and bloomers I was wearing the night he came into my life, the night I crossed over...

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Last Laugh

He didn't even have the balls to say it to my face.

Why do people break up with you in an email? Why do they say they didn't have time to call and yet they have the time to craft an email which probably took at least twenty minutes (editing and thought prep included), when they could've made a phone call in half the time?

Sometimes it's easier to be clear and bitingly eloquent in the written word, behind the mask of a computer screen. They need not endure the quiver in your voice or the pain on your face in our wonderful world of advanced communication.

If I really love someone, if I really care, and I need to communicate some unpleasant news, I would make time to call or set up a date regardless of how busy I am.

He said, "I don't want to break your heart" and "I don't want to hurt you."

Beware of people who say these things. They will do exactly the opposite.

The lines are ridiculous anyway, especially if you're feeling more than the other person. It is redundant to say, "I don't want to hurt you." It is already understood. (Unless the speaker is a sadist.) Inevitably, they will hurt you when you open your heart to them. But to actually say "I don't want to hurt you" is a cruel set-up spoiling the illusion of the moment.

Those lines and other signs pointed to the end. After "I don't want to hurt you" it was a question regarding another woman during one late-night conversation about polyamory vs. monogamy. He met her a week after me. They never had sex. They were just friends, he thought, until he began to feel more than friendly toward her. He said, "What if my feelings for her are stronger and I only want to be with her?"

"Choosing both would be ideal" was my detached reply.

Then came the sexual withdrawal with the intention to clarify his feelings and get to know me better. Then the changed tone in his emails--from romantic and flirtatious to pragmatic and distant.

I saw it coming just as I saw the death of my column. I thought about gracefully bowing out before it came to this. But no--I had to let it unravel outside the box and live in the possibility that his abstinence experiment would somehow bridge the gap between us. I had to give him the power.

But he buckled under the weight of it.

I will not be his friend.

And one day I shall laugh about the guy with the funny name.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Erotic Art and Fashion Show Recap

I was a last-minute model for Friday night's Erotic Art and Fashion Show presented by OneTaste. Shara, the organizer, had all the models lined up but one had a car accident and the other had a crisis, so an email calling for models was sent out the day of the event. I was planning on attending anyway, and here was a delicious opportunity to perform.

I met Shara at Gothic Renaissance to pick out our outfits for the Fashion Show. Shara was frantic because she was running behind and she hadn't found a second model. She grabbed an extra outfit (vinyl French Maid) and ran out, figuring she would find a willing woman at the event. I stayed a bit longer to buy a few necessities for myself (black and red striped hot pants, a French maid style waist cincher, black vinyl bra). I wasn't wearing any sexy underthings and justified the purchase as a necessary expense I could deduct from my taxes. At least I had the foresight to bring a pair of black fishnets and black patent leather five-inch heels.

The event was held at Centerpoint Studios, a wonderful yoga center with comfy zen lounge and walk-in kitchen. While the art was being installed in the yoga room, the models had their make-up done. The talents of a lovely little make-up artist named Lena B. transformed me into a veritable goth girl with menacing shadows over my eyes.

Shara looked hot in a ratty-slinky black dress and big dominatrix police hat. I gave her my riding crop (which I brought as a prop) because I thought it would look better with her outfit. Besides she was the one in charge.

After I was dressed and made up, I had nothing to do but observe and enjoy myself until the fashion show at 9. People started arriving around 6:30. For the first couple of hours, men dominated the scene. When you open a $5 erotic event to the general public, it inevitably attracts all sorts of fetishists and prurient men who see it as an easy opportunity to get laid. I got some creepy looks during the first few hours. Yet they had no power over me as I walked around like I was in my own living room, not even giving them a smidgen of a smile. Instead I focused on savoring my portion of delectable vegan food--mango couscous and fresh greens, tingly Aphrodisiac Elixir, and organic dark chocolate fondue with fresh fruit and cookies. Yum.

At around 8, the scene was more gender-balanced and appealing with sexy women and several cross dressers added to the mix. I chatted with a couple of friendly ladies involved with Cross Dressers International. They share a communal apartment in Hell's Kitchen. I told them I had been there once when I was interviewing a trans-woman for an article on the transgender experience--she was part of CDI, and we had the interview in the courtyard. So now the two sophisticated ladies who showed up at the erotic art / fashion show were complimenting my make-up and inviting me to dinner at the house. I told them I enjoy dressing in drag and would love to join them sometime.

Meanwhile, across the room, a woman was all knotted up in red rope while being massaged by what is possibly the best vibrator in the world--the Hitachi Magic Wand. This was only a demonstration. Ladies--please try it at home.

At this point several people had asked me, "When does the show start?" Soon, soon...they had come specifically for the fashion show and I had no clue when (other than the approximate hour) I would be walking down the runway; there was no rehearsal nor designated order nor direction on what to do when you reach the end of the runway. I was not worried however. I'm a professional.

A professional model walks with purpose without being obvious, each step crossing gracefully in front of the other, arms hanging loosely and swaying naturally along with the hips like the back end of a cat. The face is forward and expressionless, as if to say "I don't care about you." And yet she exudes confidence. At the end of the runway, she turns (here is where I deviate from the robotic high fashion pivot) and poses--nothing too forced, a subtle suggestion of attitude is best--and looks. It's all in the eyes. I did a few poses then turned around on the "stage," bent over, and lifted my skirt up to expose my ass and new sexy underthings--a purely professional move. Then I walked back in the same mode as I came in.

Many cheers and compliments came my way. "You must be professional. Have you done this before?" (The most professional modeling gig I did was a $1500 job wearing one of Natalie Portman's Queen Amidala costumes in a Star Wars fashion show at the Ziegfeld Theatre--you have to be professional, I guess, to balance a 20 pound headpiece and not fall off the runway while being blinded by camera flashes. Other than that, I got paid to pose nude at art schools and for individual artists for three years, and did a few other amateurish fashion shows like this one. The professionalism has more to do with being a performer, being comfortable in front of an audience, and know-how acquired through observing models at professional shows--a few moments of haute couture shows captured on TV was enough for me. You must have a certain look too, which I've been told I have, although my petite stature has kept me off the Versace runways and out of the Victoria's Secret catalog. Maybe Playboy won't mind that my curves are packed into a tight 5'4'' frame.) "You had it...what you did with your eyes..." "You were by far, the best model."

The other models weren't bad. Shara was her best the second time we went out, when she told me to stop in the middle of the runway and bend over so she could flog me a few times. The French maid walked front and back like a virgin at an orgy, smiling uncomfortably (she was truly a last-minute model). The boys modeling scary-looking spiky pants and masks (the spikes were hard plastic bits resembling twisty-ties) were awesome, considering they could barely see. The third group was most creative, modeling Burning Man-style fashions by Wheylan. They strutted and danced and showed off their tricks on stage (back-bends and glowing hula-hoop spinning). Sure it was all a bit amateurish (we didn't know when we were going out until Morpheus announced the fashions off index cards) but anyone who can turn a yoga studio into a classy art gallery and runway (a path created with strips of masking tape lined with candles) deserves a standing O. Here's an orgasm for you Shara, even though you lost my riding crop half the night.

Overall the event was salaciously successful. I reconnected with several lovers and friends...The Princess Slut (who was pussy-dripping hot modeling a curve-clinging glittery fuchsia body suit by Wheylan) and her ex whom I'll call Nature Boy, the Scottish Princess, my Burning Man Sheik and his Queen, the Pornologist who takes care of my pussies when I'm away, and Anton from Sexy Spirits. I met some intriguing strangers as well--besides the lovely ladies of CDI, I connected with a few men and an attractive butch who graced my neck with luscious vampire nibbles. Oh I musn't forget the sexy woman selling sex toys from Sugar--a lesbian-owned sex store in Baltimore, who looked so turns out we used to know each other through my ex-boyfriend when she was married to a man. It really is a small, sexy world, especially when you work and play within the pleasure-positive community.

After the fashion show, I removed the outfit I was modeling to reveal my sexy underthings. Photographer Michael H. Morgan gave me the most memorable compliment of the night: "For a white girl, you got a great ass." It was worth being a last-minute model just to hear that.

Friday, October 19, 2007


I'm modeling at this event...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sexual Starvation

The guy with the funny name doesn't want to have sex with me. Dozens of people would like to have sex with me, and they can't because either I don't have time for them, I'm not choosing them, or they don't know me. Yet he who could have my juices all over his face within seconds of his penetrating gaze is turning me down. Let me add that we had already been fucking for a couple of months.

This is not a complete rejection. He didn't say he doesn't want to date me, or that he doesn't desire me. He just doesn't want to have sex with me. When he first told me this in a nervous rambling of confused logic, I was so thrown off that I temporarily regressed to the self-pitying mentality of a prom-date reject circa 1993. A litany of excuses followed: "There's so much more to life than sex--not that sex isn't enjoyable, it's just not a priority. Something is missing, I feel shitty afterwards, empty. Maybe I don't know you well enough."

These are all valid reasons for wanting to slow down...if he had a pussy. Don't get me wrong--I adore emotionally-liberated men. I'm just not used to a straight man refusing sex from me, or any hot and horny woman for that matter. If he is physically attracted to me, I expect he wants to fuck me, regardless of whether I pay him any attention. If the attraction is mutual, and we connect on many levels (erotically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually), but he does not wish to act on lust, I am one vexed vixen. Unless he is monogamously married / committed to someone else, frightfully religious, ill or paranoid of STD's.

The guy with the funny name is none of the above. Last time I checked, he was passionately into me. "There's fire between us," he said not too long ago. So why the sudden withdrawal?

He who has only had sex within the context of longterm monogamous relationships threw himself into my libertine world for the sake of trying something new, and now he is experiencing emotional backdraft. Apparently the fire of curious desire was depleting the oxygen of his romantic ideals.

So he says he doesn't want to have sex with me. Chaos of impending doom followed initial shock. "Why does it feel like a break-up? What does this mean? You want an old-fashioned courtship? Can we hold hands? I guess we could only meet in public places. But if I see other people, well, I do see other people, and if I'm having sex with them and not you, I'm going to feel closer to them, and consequently I might lose interest in you."

"I know...that's a reality I have to face," he said.

Later that night, he came up to my place to use the bathroom, and we ended up having passionate sex. He slept over, entwined in my perilous arms. The next morning we fucked again like genuine lovers, for old times sake. I refrained from seduction. He couldn't resist his own desire.

We haven't had sex since then. I respected his needs and convinced myself that it might not be such a bad idea to abstain. It could be romantic. I could fantasize that we're living in the 1950's, or that he's my medieval knight aspiring to the purest form of love. We had a few dates and grew closer as he helped me through a recent crisis. I forgot about the sex for a while, and saw the value in his decision. Maybe there is something about getting to know someone before you get to know his body. But he interrupted our sensual flow! Come on, be an optimist. Intentional abstinence can be erotic. Arousing each other with kisses and eye-gazing then refraining from going any further, building up desire and anticipation while space is filled with meaningful mindful connection...think of it as extended foreplay. And if it doesn't work out, I won't be bawling over orgasms never had.

We were progressing nicely, until I read an article: "He's Just Not That Into It" by Em and Lo on It was about how men are increasingly rejecting casual sex. I forwarded the article to the guy with the funny name because certain parts resonated with me and I thought he might relate to it on some level, particularly the line: "Putting aside any situation-specific reasons—she's too drunk, she's a stalker, she's got a goiter—some guys are finding they don't like how casual sex makes them feel."

His response was confounding. Despite a few flattering words, it felt bitter and disparaging toward casual sex in a way that negatively reflected onto me. It also had the careless undertones of someone who is drifting away.

I never felt like our sex was casual and I suppose he felt the same, but now it seems that anything but that completely in love soul-connected sex is casual to him. Casual sex means different things to different people. I don't like disconnected I guess disconnected sex is casual sex for me. And disconnected sex can exist in any context. I'd rather have a one-night stand with someone with whom I feel a really strong lust connection than disconnected sex within a long-term love relationship--(which is worse than a disconnected one-night stand because you can't just forget about it and move on with your life the next day.)

He wrote that casual sex is a "selfish, empty way to live" and that "using people to quench some temporary lust" leaves him cold. Well, I could say that he used me to investigate something he had been curious about. So what? Everyone uses each other. It may as well be for pleasure than for pain. For me, sex is not just about giving. Most of the time it is give and take--an exchange of desire, pleasure, and ultimately love. Other times it's just for the taking. If it's just desire and pleasure, usually it's great. I've also had the experience where it was just pleasure (passively slipping into a sexual situation without much desire for the person), and although that's not my preferred form of sex, part of me still enjoyed it. (I've had this type of one-way sex in long-term relationships as well). In most situations there was no reason to refuse pleasure if someone was willing to give it to me.

Sex is, above all, pleasure wrapped within a biological drive. Of course sharing this biological drive with someone you deeply love is the highest form of sex. But that type of sex is rare. I have slept with dozens and dozens of takers and encountered the highest form of sex only a few times. Most people are lucky to discover it once in a lifetime. Many people never find it. Should they deny themselves the highest form of physical pleasure on account of an elusive feeling? Are they selfish for taking the least of what is offered to them?

Am I selfish for enjoying sex for whatever it's worth, in all its wonderful variety?

But he says I'm different than the rest! I am, but I'm also part of the rest. I don't judge them for using people to quench their temporary lust. I'm no stranger to that motivation.

What is most authentic about the topic in the article is this: "Women, it seems, just aren't used to guys not wanting sex." Especially me. Says "Jeff," a 27-year-old grad student in New York, "We're socially conditioned to feel like pussies if we don't live up to the guys-will-fuck-anything stereotype. And because of this stereotype, women take sexual rejection more personally than men do." This resonated with me as the guy with the funny name doesn't fit the stereotype. And I definitely felt personally rejected when he first expressed his desire to bottle up our sex.

Ironically, we share the same romantic ideals. The difference is that I don't stop eating if I'm not in love with the food.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Death of a Sex Column Part 1

I saw it coming. It was as nebulously foreboding as an impending break-up, triggered by a single practical change. You know how it is: something's not right, but you're not sure so you convince yourself that they still love you and therefore stay where you are. No, I will not quit, you say to yourself, out of fear of being dumped. I will not race to the end without any specific reason for doing so, or just to avoid a broken heart. And yet your gut is burning with intuition.

The single practical change in this case was when Manhattan Media bought the New York Press. I was not alarmed by this news; actually, my first thought was that I would possibly get paid more than the paltry $100 per column, and if not that, at least get paid on time. (New York Press is notorious for dysfunctional payroll...once I deposited a check that bounced and it took them months to reimburse me for the $10 fee my bank charged).

I visited Jerry Portwood in his new sanitized office then met with the new publisher, Tom Allon, who had nothing but positive things to say about my column. Jerry had prepped me with the news that I was one of the few writers they were keeping. Not only were they keeping me, they didn't want to change a thing. Allon even wanted me to get more involved with the NY Press website; we discussed cultivating reader interaction through sex polls and a blog. Other than the elimination of the sex ads in the back of the paper (I admit I miss those girly Asian asses and She-Male crotch shots) and a few formatting changes, the New York Press was relatively intact after changing ownership. But the offices were too clean, too khaki. And the letters on the wall in the lobby spelling "New York Press" blended eerily with the names of the other publications: The West Side Spirit, New York Family, Our Town.

Everything was cool for about a month. My column, as usual, was published with hardly an altered word. I had completed a "Lust Life" book proposal, and was prepared to write this column every week for at least another year, riding the waves of my inevitable book deal until a few months after publication, when I would appropriately, nobly resign.

That seemed to be the ideal progression, as long as the paper remained an edgy backdrop for my uncompromising style. But I, as well as you readers of the New York Press, saw that "edgy" started to lose its edge when the paper made the ungraceful transition from being "New York's Premier Alternative Weekly" to "New York's Independent Weekly Newspaper."

"Independent." What is independent? Someone or something independent is not influenced by outside authority, opinion, jurisdiction, or corporate sponsorship. I am independent.

As I was independently travelling to Washington D.C. for an independent film festival, I opened that week's "independent" issue of the New York Press (Sept. 12-18) to my independent column, and was horrified that a NYU Cancer Institute ad was placed right in the middle of "Lust Life." A conservative woman posed purse-lipped with the quote "I won't allow colon cancer to take over my life." Now, I have nothing against reaching out to the cancer-stricken population, but why was this ad stuck in the middle of a column about sex at Burning Man? Maybe it had something to do with the title "Burning Desire" (which was the editor's invention after my original title "Erotic Desert"). Mmmm. Burning Desire. That's hot. And that reminds me of my burning intestines. Oh God, maybe I have colon cancer. Now I can't finish reading Lust Life because I'm worried I might have colon cancer. I better call the number in this cancer ad before it's too late. Hey, I won't allow colon cancer to take over my life either--that's why I get colonics.

Wait--there's more! On the editorially devoid page opposite Lust Life / Colon Cancer, were ads for five NYC hospitals, The Conservative Synagogue of Fifth Avenue Family Programs and Tribeca Spa of Traquility (their typo, not mine). Still slackjawed, I turned a few pages and landed upon "Hudson Valley Happenings"--a 10 PAGE promotional guide to regional fall festivities such as organ recitals, Dutch Weekend, Family Day at Constitution Island, and Family Fun Events at Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. It's not that I wouldn't go to Hudson Valley for a pleasant weekend of fucking in the foliage. What disgusted me about these changes was how incongruent they were in relation to my column and New York Press as a whole. New York Press wasn't founded on family values. It was founded on the enlightened cynicism of young liberal urbanites that wouldn't read The West Side Spirit if it was the last free paper in New York.

My lover, who was sitting next to me in the bus, said, "This is not the New York Press. This is something else." We discussed my position in this morass of conservative change. He suggested that the Village Voice might be a better place for my column. For a few moments, the current Voice seemed significantly more appealing than the family-fun filled pages in my hands. Then I remembered that not too long ago, sex writer Rachel Kramer Bussel had her "Lusty Lady" column unceremoniously booted from the other NY alternative paper that used to be cool. "Maybe it's better to stay where I am for now," I said. "The new publisher kept my column; that must mean something."

I saw it coming. After the film festival, I went to an artists community in Vermont to work on my book for two weeks. Alternative Newspaper Suffers a Long, Slow Death, I wrote as a mock headline in a piece about my romantic adventures in DC.

I saw it coming. While in Vermont, I googled myself and found some unflattering comments about me in response to a post on Gawker regarding an offensive rejection letter sent to an aspiring sex columnist for pitching a new column to the Village Voice.

I saw it coming. A couple of days before I finished my column for that week, I received an email from new NY Press editor-in-chief David Blum, saying, "Please call me." I didn't call right away.

I saw it coming. After I emailed my column to Blum and Portwood, I received another email from Blum, saying "Please call me tomorrow morning." I was going to start the column for the following week so I could get it out of the way and focus on my book, but decided to wait until after the conversation with Blum. As if what he had to say would influence my next column. I recalled the comments he inserted into the first column I sent him two weeks earlier (Burning Desire)--he sent the original column back to me with comments like "this is too fantastical to believe" and "what does this mean?" I admit the column I sent was a bit under par--it was late and I was still recovering from the surreal environment of Burning Man. However, in my year and a half of writing this column, I never had a column emailed back to me (occasionally the editor would email me a question or confirm a minor change with me, but this was the first time a column was returned to me with major criticism inserted in capital letters). After my ego revived from the sting, I improved the column and sent it back with some clarifying comments of my own... "two souls connecting in the dust" literally dust of the playa, figuratively magic dust...I trust the intelligent readers of NYPress will get this. He may or may not have appreciated my notes.

The possibility of getting fired did cross my mind.

Meanwhile, the cover story that week was about a publicist's dating debacle with actor Eric Schaeffer...I read Kelly Kreth's article and almost choked at this paragraph: "His particular fascination with excretions spoke to me. Being a woman who is no stranger to poop stories, having published a few of my own on, I imagined Eric and I someday falling love, showing each other our bowel movements—the most intimate of acts in my estimation. I got butterflies just thinking about it." I thought it was strange that such provocatively disgusting details made it into the cover story of a publication that was steadily moving into a conservative zone. Even more disturbing was that Kreth's article read too much like a sex column.

I called David Blum in the morning. With all the signs leading to this moment, it was not shocking to hear him say that he was discontinuing my column. But even if you expect to be dumped, the words still sting. He said he felt bad, that doing this was the worst part of the job, that he was sorry we never even met. (He wanted to meet me and he even invited me to an editorial meeting, but I was so busy in between my recent trips that we never had the chance.) I had just been rejected, but I wasn't going to let him go so easily. I asked why. "And please be honest. I want to know," I said.

"'s a matter of taste," he said. "Your flowery language obfuscates the clarity--"

"But is it my writing? Is it my style?"

"Obviously, you can put two sentences together..." (well, thank you very much) He claimed he didn't know how else to explain it other than a matter of taste.

"Is it the subject matter? Is it too honest, too edgy?"

He referred again to the flowery language, saying that it "obfuscates the clarity so that the stories don't seem true." He brought up the Burning Desire column as an example. "They are all true," I said. "I don't even embellish." He said he believed me, but that he just didn't believe the stories when he read them.

Well, I couldn't argue with that. If he can't see the truth beyond the lyricism, he doesn't get my column.

I probed further. "Is part of the reason political? I mean, the paper has been moving in a more conservative direction since Manhattan Media bought it."

Allow me to paraphrase his response: It has nothing to do with the sex ads being cut, I don't have a problem with sex in the paper, this week's cover story was about sex...Kelly Kreth...did you see it? Anyway, I just got here a few weeks ago and I have to make some decisions and I guess I just want to do something different. I tried to do something different at the Voice (he alluded to the short-lived sex column by two sexless married women...)

Oh my God, this is the same guy who fired Rachel! I didn't remember his name when that news was unleashed and only now realized the connection.

He admitted the sexless sex column was a bad idea. "Don't think it's political," he said.

"Are you hiring a new sex columnist?"

"Eventually, but not right away. We don't have anyone in mind."

I kept him on the phone for at least 20 minutes. He was kind enough to endure my grilling. It was the least he could do. He also mentioned that he really liked the column I just sent him, and that he was going to publish it. He thought it was clear (unlike the flowery others, apparently), and a nice ending that summed it all up.

"You're right, you're not Carrie Bradshaw," he said.

I wasn't sure if he meant that as a compliment or a critical affirmation of where I stand. Maybe both.

We hashed it out a bit more. It was a genuine conversation, or so I thought. He respected me enough to explain that he didn't want to work with me to try to change my column so that it would suit his taste. That's not the role of a columnist. A columnist is autonomous, like the free-spirit who will never change who she is for a lover. "You're a columnist," he said. "I can't change you and I don't want to change you." A columnist cannot write to please an editor. She can only write from her heart.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Parker and Poly

Soon I'll divulge how I got fired from the NY Press...until then, I'm performing in a few events this week.

Potable Productions



Celia Bressack
Prudence Heyert
Andy Horan
and Stephanie Sellars as Mrs. Parker

Thursday October 4th, 2007
9:00 pm

Sadie's Lounge at Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction
34 Avenue A
(212) 777-5660

This reading is the first event of PARKERFEST, the annual celebration of the best (and worst) of Dorothy Parker
For more info on Parkerfest, see


Saturday, October 6th, 2007
Noon - 6pm
Great Hill, Central Park, New York City
Enter from Central Park West at 106th Street

You need not be polyamorous to enjoy these festivities...I'm speaking at 2pm and performing at 4:30. SS

We are thrilled to have the amazing Mr. Murray Hill as MC this year. Described by The Village Voice as "a superstar performer" and by New York magazine as "the emcee of choice", he is sure to make the entire day unforgettable. He has garnered unprecedented mainstream recognition and appeal - bringing everyone together and finding the common denominator with all types of people through laughter and his good-guy style.

Speakers & Entertainers

Robyn Trask, from Loving More Magazine
Nan Wise (Poly Expert and Poly psychotherapist)
REiD Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski (Sex Educators/Relationship coaches, founders of Cuddleparty)
Ken Haslam, from the Kinsey Institue
Stephanie Sellars (NY Press sex columnist)
Diana Adams, Esq., Polyamory lawyer
Anita Wagner (Polyamory/Sexual Freedom Activist)
Barbara Foster, Letha Hadady, and Mike Foster (authors of Three In Love)
Julio Cortes

Hedda Lettuce, Drag Comedienne
The Black and White Cookies, acoustic duo
The Wet Spots
Sean Graham, Comedian
Stephanie Sellars
Robin Renee and Jasmine
Shawna Hamic
Penelope Swales (polyamorous singer/songwriter from Australia)

for more info...

Polyamorous NYC
photo by Mark Reay