Saturday, December 29, 2007

Death of a Sex Column Part 2

Stephanie: Happy New Year, dear readers!

Reader: Wait, I'm confused, why is the date December 29th? I've been looking at this blog every day since the 29th and I don't recall seeing this post. Am I out of my mind?

Stephanie: I don't know, are you? All I can say is that if you were out of your mind, you wouldn't understand when I tell you that the date of this post is figurative.

Reader: What do you mean? I thought this was a sex blog, not some stupid ass poetry site.

Stephanie: Well, my intention was to close the year with final reflections on my columnist career at the New York Press and start the new year as fresh as a virgin in a summer dress. So I typed in the title for a new post on December 29th, intending to go back and write the damn thing before midnight on December 31st, but I got sidetracked by a singing gig in a charming little expat town in Mexico, then flew to Puerto Vallarta for a week-long beach vacation, without my laptop. Now, two weeks after the dawn of the new year, I finally have the time to pen this post, but I'm keeping the original date for poetic reasons. I'm going to write it as if I wrote it before I ate twelve grapes when the latin band yelled "uno" at midnight on the playa. Of course, I could just post it as December 29th and keep my hands off the keyboard for once. But that's not my style. I don't want to mystify you and my other readers into thinking that I made a chronological mistake or that it takes me three weeks to finish a post. I just want you to know how important it is for me to wrap up past events appropriately, through symbolically-intentioned pretense.

Reader: I never notice the dates, but thanks for clarifying.

Stephanie: Thanks for reading...and by the way, as this is a poetic sex blog, I don't mind if you read some of it to your girlfriend as a romantic gesture on Valentine's Day.


"These things are short-lived," David Blum said after he told me he was discontinuing my column. "Once you're fifty, life changes." Uh...and you're telling me this because you think if you don't fire me now I'll still be writing this column in twenty years when I'm fifty? In lieu of pointing out the ludicrousness of his statement, I said, "When I'm fifty, I'm not going to stop having sex...I'm not going to live my life differently just because I've reached a certain age."

Later it occurred to me that while he was offering a trite explanation for his editorial decision, he was probably also projecting resentment about his sex life (which I imagine isn't column-worthy) as well as envy toward my lustful experiences. Just a hunch. Because he's probably over fifty, and I'm not even close.

When the first issue of the New York Press appeared on the street-corners sans "Lust Life", I picked up a copy. I was appalled that there was a new sex column called "Outside the Box" by Kelly Kreth. Why appalled? Number one, when I asked Blum if he was hiring a new sex columnist, he said, "Eventually" and that he didn't have anyone in mind. Number two, more egregiously, was that the new sex columnist had recently written a feature for the paper, and that the title of her new column was the original title of my final column, which was published as "When One Box Closes." Hmmm.

Although I am not one to dwell upon conspiracies in the publishing world, especially as I am relieved of the weekly deadlines and people tell me my writing has soared far above the conservative slosh that is now the New York Press, Ms. Kreth's new column still felt like a slap in the face. Frankly, I am not a fan of her columns. If I had to admire her for something, it would be her boldness in alluding to a poop fetish, but why Blum might consider this less offensive than my flowery descriptions of orgies is beyond me. Unless...well, I'll just say that the thought of Kreth gleefully shitting on Blum while he jerks off screaming, "Yes, yes! I'll give you a column!" has crossed my mind more than once.

Recently, I received this email from a West Coast reader:

You don't know me, so no need to try to recall having met anyone by the name of _____. I live across the country from you....

A friend of mine mentioned your column to me a while back and I read several Lust Life entries. I saw recently that your column has ended. I feel compelled to write to you, and I sense by the way that you write that I can be honest about getting down to why I feel that I want to reach out to you.

So, here goes- you are about my age, have many of the very same skills, and talents - although you are applying them in very different ways on a daily basis. I, too, am unmarried, without children, and lover of theater, writing, art, sensuality, creativity- so you may think that I would be thrilled to find your work. But, no, I (and here is the honesty),- I found myself judging you. And I am generally not a judgemental person, so my awareness popped up immediately- saying "Hey, _____, wtf? Pay attention here."

The judgement reflex did not come from the sex content of your column. Not that at all. It came from this knee-jerk place of being put-off by the amount of attention you call to your self and your work; thinking that you must have quite a hungry Ego. Whether there is truth there or not does not matter at all, what matters is that having any judgement at all is just a projection of my own Ego. Seeing your work- the open and active expression in writing, theater, sexuality - is nearly like seeing a person living a parallel life that a sublimated part of me would be living even more actively. Cheers to you Stephanie! I don't know you at all, but welcome the expression of your human experience, in all it's creative and sensual exploration.

I truly apologize if this email is entirely unwelcome in your life, or oversteps a boundary; and you may be inclined to think something along the lines of, "Fuck off, person I've never met. :)" But, really, if I were in New York, I would come see a show, and say hello.

I am not writing you to tell you that I judged you as my point. I am writing to thank you for doing your work, and for the gift of seeing how quickly the mind can judge someone that is in fact expressing a repressed reflection of Self.

I am grateful for this message. Immediately I thought of Blum and his comment "Once you're fifty, life changes." Looking at the situation from a place of detachment, with the understanding that regardless of other influences (Manhattan Media, advertising, demographics etc.), he was quick to judge in my writing what I perceive as repressed reflections of himself. Whether or not this is true is unimportant. What matters is that I was able to turn this rejection into something positive--the death of my column wasn't about me or my writing; it was about the personal issues of editors at the New York Press and how desperately they are trying to stay connected to alt-weekly life support. Then I looked closely at these people I've never met and thought, "Blum may be an asshole, but he had legitimate reasons for discontinuing my column" and "Kelly Kreth may have poop fetish, but that doesn't make her a horrible person". Although I don't care to discover their redeeming qualities, I am glad that one reader's honesty helped me remember that I am sometimes as quick to judge as the next editor or columnist or lover or human being. In my writing I strive to be open to understanding ways of being and thinking that are not my own, even though I may criticize them.

And now, dear readers, I'm going to argue that I wrote some great columns at the New York Press. I'm grateful for the opportunity to write every week for paid publication. My writing has blossomed along with my lust for words, sex, love, and life. I am glad that the column ended when it did, because in spite of my anger about how it ended, I was ready for a change. No more weekly deadlines (for now) means more time to work on other projects (books, films etc.) and focus on other areas of my life (relationships, pleasure, spirituality). I'm not getting paid for the blog, but I have no word-count, no editors, no deadlines...which means more freedom and that's what Lust Life is about: freedom to live and love as I choose.

Thank you for reading. Here are some thoughts from fans, which I couldn't have written better myself.

Letters Sent to New York Press

No More Lust
Recently, I discovered that Stephanie Sellars column, “Lust Life” was being cancelled by you. How sad! I’m sure other readers as well as myself will miss reading Ms. Sellars column, which mixed both sophistication and sex so well. The NYPress will never be the same again. My condolences.
—Chris C.

Missing Writers Wanted
Congratulations on making a vanilla paper! I have been a reader of the paper for four years and have even given the new New York Press a chance, but this is enough. You think you have done something worthwhile? Where is Dr. Dot (an NYC Dear Abbey), the “Rental Dementia” guy who gave New Yorkers insight into apartment hunting, Ed Koch (a good read half the time) and the sexy girl Stephanie Sellars who always had something important to say about sex, NYC and relationships?

So glad the color escort services are out of the paper but we needed all the columns that I listed above. I was an advertiser in the old New York Press, but my dollars will not be spent with you now that you have destroyed the excellent journalism and fine paper to rival the advertising rag called the Voice. So, no flowers, no hearse, no tombstone = just tears. RIP.
—John Stevens, Manhattan

The Hookup: In Bad Taste (posted by Trishatchill)

Taste is a funny word. It insinuates that there is some sort of value in one person’s opinion over another’s. New York Press editor David Blum fired sex writer Stephanie Sellars, despite her column being a huge success, and said it was “a matter of taste.” To read the full article, click here:

Emails from Fans

"I wish I could say that I'm surprised, but it seems that this guy has
SOMETHING against all forms of sex!!! A real prurient asshole. I do intend to write a letter, since really they'll be nothing worth reading the NYP for so long as he continues to excise every form of sex. I've book-marked your new blog page."

"Ciao stephanie, i think that you should be proud that they fired you. the paper was becoming a piece of shit and you cannot write for such bastards ... !! Brava! Go on
on your writing without them."

"I can't believe this Stephanie.....I loved your pieces....just read the burning man piece......awesome.!!!!!!! sorry to hear the news....NY PRESS is crazy ....."

"I'm sooooo sorry to hear this! When we caught wind of the paper being
bought up by conservative shit-kickers, Adam and I worried they
wouldn't keep you on. But their rejection is just a testament to how
balls-out your writing is. And you've got a great attitude - just
keep working on that book and fuck anyone who can't handle your style!"

"First of all, wanted to write you to tell you that Lust
Life was the first thing I'd turn to every time I picked up the NYPress. Loved reading about your trysts and adventures. Secondly, wanted to write to tell you I haven't read or picked up the NYPress since I got your e-mail, saying the article was canceled. Really loved the work you were doing and the NYPress is nuts to not realize what an asset they had."

"At least you got to write a final column! That is the one thing I
found totally unforgivable about my firing, cause I never would've
ended on the note I did. I'm sure many more things will be headed your
way." Rachel Kramer Bussel


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Solstice!

What better way to spend the longest night of the year than to cuddle up with your friends and lovers and sing pagan songs? Here are my revised versions of a couple of popular Christmas songs. Enjoy...


Swinging around the Christmas Tree
at the Christmas play party hop
Strap-ons worn where you can see
No horny girl wants to stop

Swinging around the Christmas tree
Let the pagan spirit sing
Later we'll have some pussy pie
and we'll do some fellating

You will get a sentimental feeling
when you hear
voices singing "Let's be poly;
Lick his balls like a big lolly!"

Swinging around the Christmas Tree
Have a happy holiday
Everyone fucking merrily
In a new, old-fashioned way!


On the first day of Solstice, my true love gave to me…
A peacock in a fig tree

On the second day...two rubber gloves

On the third day...three French men

On the fourth day...four calling girls

On the fifth day...five gold cock rings

On the sixth day...six chicks a-laying

On the seventh sperm a-swimming

On the eighth day...eight maids a-milking

On the ninth day...nine fairies dancing

On the tenth day...ten Toms a-peeping

On the eleventh day...eleven pipers pumping

On the twelfth day...twelve lovers coming

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Strange Titillation

He broke our agreement. Charlie and I agreed that he would have a date with my friend Athena on a Sunday night while I was on a two-day writers retreat with the Princess Slut. We discussed every boundary, scoured every possible area of misunderstanding, smoothed over every foreseen wrinkle, or so it seemed. He assumed I would be royally entertained in the arms of the Princess Slut all of two nights. It turned out she was staying only one night, and we were both too exhausted for sex the first night. I felt safe spooning her in Montauk, knowing that my love was playing with my goddess friend back in Manhattan. I trusted them both--no need to escape into wild sex to distract myself.

I returned to the city content with the fire of creative productivity and the buzz of female bonding. I listened to my love relate his date, sexual summary included. I felt only tiny twinges of jealousy, until Sunday blended to Monday and one date extended into two nights of pleasure. (The agreement was for one date, not two, nor one and a half). It was challenging enough that he stayed overnight at her place. The fact that he went back for more on Monday was a slap in my crotch.

But that's not the point of this story. I'll just say we worked through the silence, the anger, the hurt, the betrayal, the assumptions. All was well again by the next morning. At least all was well between us. I still felt strange about Athena. She was hosting a play party that Charlie and I were planning on attending. On that day she told me over the phone that she could fall in love with Charlie. Naturally, I was wary. Would they exchange knowing glances behind my back? Would I feel jealous, even though Athena made it clear that she was backing off?

During the round robin massage portion of the party, Athena asked me if Charlie could be in her group. I thought it over and got back to her a few minutes later with a yes. Yes, I would give her that small pleasure, because she is my friend and I want everyone to be in harmony. Harmonious intentions notwithstanding...although the massage was strictly therapeutic and non-sexual, I couldn't help glancing over at the next table to see how they handled each other. His hand is kneading her flesh rather close to her pussy...

It's strange watching your lover interact with someone you know he has fucked. It would have been excruciating if he had lied and cheated. (Can you believe I've never been cheated on?!) But to give him my blessing to be with a woman I know and like...and then see them together afterward, that is strange. I can't say that I felt jealous. Nor can I say that I was thrilled for them. Instead, I was titillated by the mystery of what they shared. I will never know how he appeared before he penetrated her, or what things she said to him when they kissed. Did he cock his head and flash her his devilishly seductive grin just as he pushed her onto the bed? Did he moan with pleasure at the moment she surrounded his plush head with her lips? Did he moan in the same way he moans for me--surrendering to the ecstasy of a long-awaited offering? There are no answers to these questions, even if I were to ask them. Even if he were to tell me, "I looked at her like this, and then she laughed with girlish delight when she grabbed my rock-hard cock..." I still wouldn't know exactly what they looked like, exactly how they felt. I would never feel the energy that stirred between them during each moment of their one-on-one experience. I'd rather live with the mystery of these intimate details than hear them distilled through inadequate words, wasted words that may sting all the more for their inadequacy.

Yet as I watched him massaging her thighs with knowing hands, I chaffed with the thought that her body is familiar to him. Maybe I was a little jealous after all, jealous of his knowingness--that he knows her crevices and how to make them sing. I did not yet know her in this way.

And I didn't expect to get to know her that evening. I imagined that it would be too weird, whether it would be her and me or the three of us together. But when she expressed her desire to be passive with us, to wear a blindfold while we played doctor and nurse, I couldn't resist. I surprised myself with my willingness.


Although Dr. Bigcock has more credentials, we worked together as a team to treat our patient Athena. With his medical expertise and my intuition, we not only found the cause of her malaise, but successfully treated her using the most advanced techniques. I took her temperature, checked her vitals, examined her mouth and genitals while Dr. Bigcock stood back, taking note of symptoms and assessing the patient's reactions. As he mentored me all through nursing school, he fully trusts my capabilities as a healer, so much so that he lets me take charge--especially in this case. Athena responded successfully to my treatments; insertion of the red vaginal probe was smooth and effective, while the doctor's rapid manual vibrational therapy worked wonders. The treatment was so successful that the patient covered her face with a pillow (to muffle her convalescent screams). After Athena was released, Dr. Bigcock laid down to rest and receive his own special treatment from me, well-deserved after such a challenging case. Athena returned shortly for a follow-up appointment, and it was obvious that her symptoms had cleared and she was once again fully functioning in a state of optimal health.

History tells us that "clinical" stimulation cures a woman suffering from hysteria. But how do you heal a broken V? Dr. Bigcock and I agree: turn it into a triangle and thank her in the morning.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Old Flame, New Love

There's only one excuse for falling behind with this blog: falling in love. Actually, the fall began several months ago. I loved him, but he was still entrenched in a lustless marriage. He loved me, but I was not revealing my whole self to him. We loved each other through walls painted with pretty pictures of hot sex. Sometimes I wanted to peel off those pictures, throw them in his face, and leave him to his marital counseling. Instead I gave him compassion. So I peeled off bits of the pretty pictures for nearly a year while distracting myself with other lovers.

In my final column for New York Press, I wrote that this lover--I'll call him Charlie, and I rediscovered our joy together at a film festival. Yet the questions remained. Would he ever have sex with his wife again? How many more months would he work on his marriage? How much longer would I put up with the situation? Even if his marriage were to end, would anything change between us? I wasn't even sure we were compatible enough to sustain a passionate, intimate, soul-connected relationship. When an undeniable obstacle is present in a relationship (e.g. one person is stuck in a marriage), the mind tends to create other obstacles to justify the imbalance.

And the heart tends to look elsewhere. At another film festival, I met a guy (with a funny name) who intoxicated me with an openness and a depth recalling the mysterious layers of my first love. Then while I was at a writing retreat in Vermont, Charlie called to tell me that he was done with his marriage. I was genuinely happy for him, but what did it mean for us? Our relationship had improved during the film festival. But now that the wall was down, would we grow closer? This change came at a time when I was questioning polyamory and falling for someone else--the guy with the funny name, a.k.a. Mr. Monogamous.

Crushing passion deluded me into believing that Mr. Monogamous and I would merge our ideals into a dynamic fusion. I would either abandon my libertine lifestyle for the innocent bliss of monogamy or seduce him into a compromised version of polyamory. Either way, we would be passionately in love. But I was meowing up the wrong cock.

He was too much of a beginner. Intrigued, but not curious enough. I thought I could give up polyamory and sex parties for a chance at the perfect love...WHAT WAS I THINKING? I can never go back. I will never be twenty again. Once you taste the delights of group sex, especially when it lives within an integrity-minded community of sexy people who become your friends, your supporters, your lovers, your family, you cannot go back to a vanilla life. As heartbreaking as it was when he pulled away from me, I am so grateful now that he did. If he hadn't, I might not have seen the perfection of the relationship right in front of me...

A week after Charlie told me he was done with his marriage, he told his newly-ex wife about us. After a year of his living in fear that she would be crushed by this knowledge, and my living with the burden of being denied for the sake of another, she wasn't surprised. Not only that, she was totally okay with it.

So here we are, Charlie and me, completely free with each other for the first time in a year! Within hours of his disclosure, energy began to shift between us. My icy airs dissolved as his beastly lust softened. Restrained kisses melted into sensual exchanges of loving lips. His cock, which used to be painfully large, was now beautifully endowed, sliding inside me with lubricious ease. Our mutual climax propelled us to a higher plane of ecstatic love. Transcendentally moved, we looked at each other with new eyes.

I've experienced a similar transformation in previous relationships, after a period of separation, or following a confession of repressed information or emotion. Time apart often realigns bonded lovers who find themselves in disharmony. A positive disclosure has the same effect as a reunion; the release of tension breaks down the dam of disconnect, allowing pure love to flow through, resulting in a blissful balance of familiarity and newness. Yet those previous experiences, as intense as they were, involved lovers who either didn't know me well enough, or didn't see me for who I am.

Enter Charlie. I no longer push him away in annoyance or perform fellatio with a sense of obligation. I no longer delay returning his phone calls or ignore his emails. How interesting that it no longer seems like he calls too much! Are his kisses truly sweeter or is it only my perception that has changed? Probably a combination of both. He told me once, "I don't think I could domesticate with you." I didn't see that happening either. Yet he's been living with me for the past couple of months--a temporary situation until he moves in with a friend. Our cohabitation couldn't be more harmonious. And I couldn't be more thrilled...

Of course! After a year of experience together, I can relinquish my role as sex ambassador. Now he's at a place in his life where he has the freedom and desire to take his exploration further...with me as his partner in crime. Arrest me please, darling. This is only the beginning.