Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Where the love is

I find it fitting that as I prepared to write this post, Muddy Waters was singing from my stereo, “You need love.” Just bought the latest issue of Mojo magazine today, and the companion CD, The Roots of Led Zeppelin, kicks ass. Little Richard, Garnet Mimms (with whom I fell instantly in love), Robert Johnson, Bukka White, Santo & Johnny (great quasi-surf rock version of “Summertime,”) Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Spirit, Muddy, Howlin’ Wolf, Blind Willie Johnson, Davey Graham, Joan Baez, John Fahey and Owen Hand. Pretty freakin’ decent for $8.99!

In fact, Muddy’s gonna supply this week’s Spooning Fork.

You Need Love
‘You Need Love’ from His Best: 1956-1964
Talk about a sex song! This is a full-out sex-in-the-dirty-bar-bathroom music. Hell, I’m not even convinced it’s dark outside. This is shameless, mid-Saturday afternoon sex ... or at least hot ’n heavy grinding.

But strangely, I feel like this is not the illicit sex of strangers suddenly drawn together by animal chemistry. The way he sings “woman you need love” is just too damn familiar. He’s been with her long enough to know her moods, her looks, her come-ons. So this is the fun, flirty, no-gropes-barred dance of long-acquainted lovers.

Maybe she’s his wife, come by the bar to spice up a painfully dull, no-money afternoon shift where he’s slaving away out of character and necessity more than anything else. If nothing else, their torrid serenade proves some things do improve with time.

It runs in the family ...
My parents could certainly vouch for that. Yesterday they celebrated their 27th anniversary and now that all of us kids are out of the house, they feel quite free to clue us in that they’re still gettin’ frisky. A few weeks ago, Mom IMed me while I was online, but I didn’t see the message. A little later, I tried calling, but the line just rang and rang. I assumed she was merely on another call, since they have call-waiting. A while after that, I called again and finally got through. “Who were you talking to earlier?” I asked curiously.

“Your dad,” she replies impishly. “You mean ... you weren’t on the phone?” “Nope.” And then she just flat-out clarifies they were gettin’ a little busy. Considering my sex-education was provided by romance novels, it’s a little bit weird to be having these conversations. My birds-n-bees tutelage excepted, the folks evidently proved quite frank with my younger siblings. Sis recalls a now-legendary quote from my mom — “sex is a beautiful thing” — that was repeated with relish by my sister’s college roommates (one of whom even consulted our mom for sex advice). Then in the song my dad wrote for Sis’ high-school graduation there is the repeated refrain about how “from an act of love” she came forth (this was also a big hit with the roommates). If you ever wonder where the Broadway libido comes from, it ain’t just frustration talking.

Speaking of frustration, that was definitely not my frame of mind yesterday evening after two late-afternoon posts on Craigslist kicked in beyond my wildest expectations. I thought 6 p.m. EST (3 p.m. PCT) on a Friday was rather late to be advertising Sexless, but turns out that was prime time indeed. Just from those two posts, I broke the previous visitor record: a whopping 1,136 of you stopped by yesterday, generating 1,525 page views. Some seemed quite taken by what they found.
Too bad you’re in Bklyn! I just moved here (SF) from there (Bklyn Hts)....and your words (AND photo) were quite appealing ;_)

Ever get out to SF???
-Brooklyn Transplant
Dear Brooklyn Transplant:
Too bad, indeed. Still, I do have a free domestic ticket on American Airlines to be used. Maybe I’ll take a break from blogging one of these days and use it. Show enough reader love from your city and ... who knows. Maybe!!
What pity you don’t live in SF. I was going to say, “You write so well you should be on every toilet wall in every upscale hotel,” but that seemed somewhat insulting and I didn’t mean that. You DO write well, dammit.

Unemployed? Say not so.

As for celibate, that surely can’t be even remotely possible. Gosh, even I would sleep with someone who could make me laugh that much and who was so generally witty. You should have left a bit of that Sangria for the guys, and then, who knows, you might have got lucky? There is always that magic moment when all inhibitions are down and before total mutual unconsciousness. But you have to catch it quick, (I know, I know, quickLY, pedant!)

Anyway since this love affair seems to be going nowhere I’ll sign off before the grammar goes completely to pot...talking of usually works better than Sangria...see, it did disintegrate... whenever anyone starts using ... you know that the end of civilization, if not the world, is nigh. Certainly the end of this missive. (subject, verb, object? There's got to be Groucho Marx joke about objecting somewhere in there.)

Yours, admiringly and regretfully,
A San Francisco Fan
Dear San Francisco Fan:
Brilliant, dahling, brilliant! One of the best sound-bites I’ve gotten yet. I can only imagine your love bites. ;) By all means start the bathroom-wall revolution! I hadn’t even thought of that myself, but I must say it would be fitting for a girl who once snuck into men’s bathrooms just to photograph graffiti.

Your allusion to the apocalypse reminds me of a class presentation I once did, involving Jimmy Buffett’s song “Apocalypso.” More on that in an entry-to-come...

As for living in San Francisco, I did consider moving there after graduation. According to my city-desirability index, Berkeley rated 4.71, compared to New York’s 4.06. But I’d already lived in Berkeley for two months one summer, and New York not at all. Also, the East Coast made more sense for the publishing career I thought I wanted. Still, enough love from SF men like you and I might at least have to pay a visit to my West Coast readers ...


Speaking of numbers ...
I did a little analysis on the emails generated by yesterday’s posts. A total of 30 men responded via email (far more than the usual rate of reply). Eighty-three percent used the anon@ email generated by Craigslist, though a number showed evidence they’d read the blog. Nine of the 30, almost a third, included pictures. Four (13.3%) mentioned chocolate vaginas specifically, and two (6.7%) mistakenly emailed me twice, the second time with an email intended for another poster. Interestingly, neither of those men were among the eight (27%) who sent generic emails clearly recycled for responses to all personal ads. I don’t really hold it against them; it’s not like one pays much attention to the series of digits distinguishing one anon user from another!

I have to say, the most random of the generic emails was this peculiar “offer”:
Want to Buy a Strip Club in Nevada. 25 years old. I am Very Influential and Fun. UC Berkeley Student. Real Estate Owner/Home Business Owner For Past Year. Have Business Experience. Evaluate The Opportunity. Need Help With Financing Deal. Contact [First Name] For More Information
The email concludes with the URL of a website that mysteriously has “justice” in its name — as if it’s a politics- or policy-oriented site. I could almost believe this email came from a hapless non-English speaker foreignor who cobbled together a response from various spam emails he’s gotten and posts he’s read.

Well, that’s gonna do it for today! Stay tuned for more on that music-collection analysis and a story from the vaults about my other stripping experience (this one happened in a classroom). Don’t forget to cast your vote for Spooning Fork’s new name! Remember, winner gets a j-peg of Anna.


The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
Everyday Apocalypse: The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, the Simpsons, and Other Pop Culture Icons
Everyday Apocalypse

The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, the Simpsons, and Other Pop Culture Icons
Straight Whisky: A Living History of Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll on the Sunset Strip
Straight Whisky

A Living History of Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll on the Sunset Strip
Led Zeppelin
Early Days & Latter Days: Vol. 1 & 2
Muddy Waters
His Best: 1956-1964 CD mp3
Jimmy Buffett: “Apocalypso”

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