The Crush Letter No 13

. 13 min read

Hello Crush,

A glorious Saturday morning to you, Crush Readers. Thanks for sharing it with me.

If you're new here (welcome!), I'm Dish, the Master of Ceremonies. For more about me and why we're here go here.

Part of what I am trying to do with PrimeCrush is to center my life – and yours – around what matters most to our happiness. Each other. More broadly put, the quality of our connections to the people we love the most. Our relational wellbeing is the largest input to our happiness. So, yes, it's been a week out there, in the world. But here, in The Crush Letter, I am offering a space to step back from that for a moment in order to consider (and enjoy) the emotional and literal ways we touch each other. And we've got a lot this week, so let's get started.

We are getting STIRRED up with Crush Reader Ali Waks Adams, a chef and pop-up producer, who is sharing the 5 Things That Turn Her On. And as a head's up, proper behavior is not all that sexy to Ali. In our weekly DEVOUR {things to do, read, see and listen to} we've got podcast recommendations and advance notice on a cool wellness series.

In SIMMER {original essays and opinions to consider} we are incredibly lucky to get a personal, candid, indepenendent and totally frank take on one woman's journey through vaginal rejuvenation. Maybe you haven't heard of this new procedure yet. But believe us, you will. Because just like a lot of men in midlife start reaching for their little blue or purple pill, a lot of women to continue to be able to have the kind of hot sex that Thelma (Geena Davis) had with J.D. (Brad Pitt) in Thelma and Louise. Lynn Matthews tells us about her experience with the new procedure that offers to "rejuvenate, tighten, lubricate and restore [your] vagina and sex life to the tune of 1977." (I don't know about you but my mind is queing the Bee Gees Stayin' Alive right now.)

STIR {it up}

"I Burn For You." Ali Waks Adams 5 Things

5 Things That Turn Me On: Ali Waks Adams

Is this your real name: Yes

Occupation: Chef/Pop-up Producer.

Current relationship status:  Married.

Which generation are you in: Gen X, Bitches.

“I Burn For You” by Sting: When I was but a girl, I had a full on Sting crush. I once sat outside Radio City Music Hall one night to give him a letter I wrote on my unicorn stationery. Now not so much, I mean we’ve both changed so much over the years, but back then I devoured the entire Sting oeuvre. He was in this indie film called Brimstone and Treacle where he played a total creepy sex offender…which was not very sexy BUT this song has a beat that is so sexy…ba ba ba da ba ba ba dum, ba ba ba… it’s totally the rhythm of a fantastic f*ck, and to this day I hear it and get a little buzz.

Words: There was a man who I was involved with who would just go “MMMM” a sort of grunt/hum, like “yes…I want it now” when he saw me and it was really sexy.

Kiss Me…: My lower back.

Touch Me…: Pull my hair and slap my ass.

Confidence (in Context): It’s all about context, context and consent. I love a confident man, who looks at you like you are a Milk Bone and they are a Golden Lab, but of course only if I find him attractive ‘cause otherwise it’s disgusting. But there is just something about that power dynamic of “me Tarzan, you Jane -- and I am going to rock your world”, that just gets me going. I realize it’s very un-PC, anti-#metoo, but if we’re talking about what turns me on not what I think is proper behavior, and proper behavior is not really all that sexy to me, I like it a little bit rough and nasty…and when a man obviously wants to rip my clothes off (but again only If I want him to), it makes me feel hot and desirable and feminine.

We started all this with my 5 Things. Then we've had  5 Things from Liza Lentini, 5 Things from Bob Guccione, Jr and 5 Things from Jane Boon.

What turns you on? We are thrilled to introduce you to this recurring column where we share five things that light our fire. We'd love to hear from you! (Yes, you!) If you’d like us to send you a template to fill out, it’s really easy and fun, please email me at dish@primecrush.com. You must be a subscriber! (PS you can publish under your alias.)

DEVOUR {things to do, read, see & have}

In The Crush Letter No 5 I reviewed Nikki Boyer and Molly Kochan's powerful and addictive podcast series Dying For Sex. This week Dying for Sex was honored with an Ambie for Best Podcast in the ___ at the inaugural Awards for Excellence in Audio program. I am re-running my essay on the series below. Read more about the Ambie winners here.

Sexual Healing.*

Podcast Review: Dying for Sex. Why Molly Kochan's Journey of Sexual Healing Is the Podcast You Need To Listen to Now.

Molly Kochan is a 44 year old heteronormative married woman living in LA who leaves a controlling husband, begins having wide-ranging sexual escapades and starts a podcast with her best friend Nikki Boyer to share the stories.  Molly is funny, introspective, empathetic, creative, unguarded, curious, unnervingly honest, enchanting.  And always "looking" (as they'd say on Grindr).  She is eager for all of the experiences, including just about anyone else's kinks.  Molly and Nikki's podcast gives us an intimate introduction to Molly's sexcapades, revealing a lot about this whole being human thing.  There is a surprise happy ending that ignites Molly's journey, some fetish play, some BDSM, and a lot of frank and humorous talk about it all.  One thing that makes the sexual carnival relatable and poignant is where the encounters take place.  Not in the sex clubs, dungeons and designated play rooms of erotic fantasy, but in the ordinary spots in Molly's life:  a bath tub, the back seat of a Toyota Corolla, a bed in an ICU.  

Why an ICU?  Because Molly has Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.  When we meet Molly she has anywhere from a day to five years to live.  We learn that at the point when she receives the terminal diagnosis, her marriage hadn't been working on any front for a while. With the diagnosis came the news that she could never bear children, so the cancer, according to Molly, changed her as a woman. "It makes you feel sexually irrelevant." But "sex is about life, and it's about creation. So it counters death in so many ways".  After the diagnosis she tells her husband, "I really really need to be feminized and sexualized."  It is when they realize that he isn't able to do that that Molly's journey begins.

Sex for Molly is more than an antidote to death, though.  It is only toward the end of the six episodes that we start to figure out that Molly's sex trek is how she becomes whole, and why she needs to.  Her lively sexual encounters, we realize, are the stage on which Molly has chosen to express her abundant creativity, the stage where she finally receives the attention she needs and has sought for a lifetime, where she finally finds true intimacy with men, discovers and communicates her boundaries, and ultimately transcends from mere actor to playwright in the story of her life.  Molly is open to sharing in so many other's kinks and stories,  and I often wondered about hers or how much of herself she was revealing to her many sexual partners (like her condition).  I was glad that these areas got addressed in the end, but I wanted more here.  

The friendship between Molly and Nikki (and its complicated beginning) is a love story as animating as any romance.  Molly and Nikki's  podcast, Dying for Sex, is so many things - it is about how you face off with death, the primacy of longstanding friendships, the beauty and significance of even passing intimate connections.  More than anything else though, it is about the power and healing of a woman through her sexual awakening.  

Sound pretty dramatic?  It is.  I binged it like a can of Pringles.  Listening to Molly's story gives a titillating glimpse into a very real but foreign world (to me).  While that alone is worth the listen, more powerful was the reminder to remain open and check my judgment of others, to focus with earnestness on my own path to wellness and wholeness, and mostly for its urgent call to become the author of my own life story.  Today.

Listen here.  Dying for Sex.

*Sexual Healing, Marvin Gaye

Quickies:

Listen. This Life Explains It All Podcast on Happiness & Mindset. Stefania Romeo and Katherine Griffiths are the enchanting and informative hosts of the podcast series This Life Explains It All, as well as the Founders of VirraLife, a modern wellness community . They just re-released their Science of Happiness podcast episode featuring Dr. Catherine A. Sanderson, Chair of the Psychology Department at Amherst College and author The Postive Shift: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health and Longetivity. In this conversation Dr. Sanderson shares relatable, actionable insight and tips on how to be happier. She answers questions like: How much of your happiness is in your control? How much of it is predetermined? And how do shift your mindset when you are not predisposed towards looking at the bright side? How do you reframe anxiety? The power of placebo and mindset on health. There's been a lot out there about how to be happier, but this episode makes it stick. Listen to the Science of Happiness episode here.

Also Be First To Hear About The Next Know Thyself Series. VirraLife runs a self-care workshop series where a practitioner focused on a different wellness modality – using your subconscious mind, energy healing, the somatic nervous system, traditional Chinese medicine, etc. – shares tools in an intimate group setting that allows for questions and exercises. It offers a unique and personal introduction to a range of wellness approaches. You need to be a subscriber to their newsletter in order to be first to get the sign-up information for this highly sought-after series. Subscribe here.

‎This Life Explains It All on Apple Podcasts
This Life Explains It All is hosted by Stefania Romeo and Katherine Griffiths, founders of Virra, the support system for the modern woman. On this podcast, we’re sharing discoveries and resources in the world of holistic health and wellness and inspirational journeys. We are talking about everything…

Read. CRUSH Summer Reading Lists. You'll want to check them out if you missed them in our last couple of issues. We published Part 1 of our Crush Summer Reading List on the theme of Everything Love. It contained multitudes on love – from friendship to marriage to thwarted desire. Then we gave you Part 2: EroticLit – Late Nights and Lazy Mornings, and from classic literature to emerging writers, it is an exceptional list of tantalizing masterpieces.

Watch. It's FIRE. I can't stop watching Ashley Imani roller dance to the Ohio Players 1974 hit FIRE.  

"The way you walk and talk really sets me off / To a fuller love, child, yes, it does, uh

The way you squeeze and tease, knocks me to me knees"

Watch her in her insta reels here.

SIMMER {original essays & opinions to consider}

Oasis in the Desert.

One woman’s honest journey through vaginal rejuvenation.

By Lynn Matthews

The waiting room was filled with women over a certain age, either alone or with their significant other. We had one thing in common: a dry vagina. Other symptoms can include itching, burning, painful intercourse, urinary incontinence—and then some—along with the strong desire to still connect, play and orgasm. It was comforting and at the same time tragically sad to know that I was not alone. But this is one club I didn’t want to belong to.

I’d had a few conversations about this intimate topic, secretly whispering with a few of my closest female friends—those not too uptight to discuss it—to see if anybody would fess up to the same issue. They didn’t. I then took the uncomfortable conversation to my OBGYN, and, after a fear of reintroducing estrogen via my temple, I literally turned my head one day and saw a poster on the wall in a doctor’s office about a procedure that sounded too good to be true.

The poster was for MonaLisa Touch®, a new noninvasive procedure designed to restore the trophic conditions of the vaginal and vulvar areas. Now, don’t get the wrong idea. I don’t work for the company, and this isn’t an ad. Procedures like this don’t exist without demand, but no one I knew was talking about it, so here I am, providing some inside information for anyone that has an interest in partying like it’s 1999 (again).

Is it right for you? Well, speaking for myself, I was tired of feeling like a tossed salad. There’s only so much coconut oil, olive oil and whatever else one kitty kat can stand. Because the thrill was gone physiologically, I shopped, mainly shoes. You should see my shoe closet—packed to the gills. Even Imelda Marcos would envy me.

The introductory seminar explained that the procedure would rejuvenate, tighten, lubricate and restore my vagina and sex life to the tune of 1977. Vaginal rejuvenation? Sign me up! I made my appointment.

The day before the procedure you can choose to tough it out, bite the rawhide, or ask your physician to put a call into your pharmacy for a mild sedative. In my experience, there was no anesthesia needed, a topical anesthetic cream is applied to the vulva and allowed to be absorbed for 20-30 minutes since treatment of this delicate area can be uncomfortable. (And yes, the numbing cream worked!)

Feeling jittery the morning of the procedure (even after an Ativan) and humming “Like a Virgin” all morning on repeat, I slipped on the hospital gown, hopped onto the examination table and not-so-enthusiastically put my feet in the stirrups and spread eagle.

I anxiously looked over at this ominous, large, grey, cold laser machine with its dildo-like wand attachment. The instrument that is inserted internally is similar to a vaginal ultrasound. I was told by my doctor that there may also be the need for some external lasering.

As my trepidation mounted (did I just say “mounted”?) my husband is sitting in the waiting room like a kid in the candy store wanting to gouge himself on endless sweets.

The actual laser procedure takes all of about five minutes, and gives off a soft vibration, though nothing traumatic. The machine itself gives off a lot of heat, so dress in loose light clothing for comfort. The whole thing was over before I knew it.

We were told to wait two-three days to resume sexual activity (and anything insert-able), and truth be told, I was really nervous about it. You know what they say: “If you don’t use it you lose it”, and, amongst the women I’ve known, that’s especially true for some women regarding their sexual activity and menopause; the lack of hormones not only affects one physically but also emotionally.

Prior to beginning sexual activity, one might experience a slight discharge or even some staining—thankfully I had neither—your surgeon should provide you with information on how to handle this.

When it was time to test it out, all I can say is, for me the results were nothing short of a miracle.

However, here are a few words of caution, if you’re thinking of moving forward.

The results are not always permanent. There’s a possibility of a temporary, mild “lit match/sunburn” sensation. Tenderness is also a possibility.

Not every gynecologist is certified to administer this procedure so choose wisely. Do the research regarding what different doctors charge. I started this process in 2018, and I found that the fees for three MonaLisa Touch treatments range from $1800—$3,000 depending on where you live, and a yearly one-time follow-up can be approximately $500—$1500. Full benefit is gained with a complete course of three treatments six weeks apart. If the effects wear off, you can be retreated with one course yearly.

Unfortunately, and much to my dismay, at the time I did this the procedure wasn’t covered by insurance. In an attempt to change this, I reached out to my insurance company, as well as the laser company, trying to ascertain why this treatment modality is not seen as medical necessity and part of healthy human sexuality and good sexual health.

Most insurance companies cover Viagra, right?

So why isn’t postmenopausal vaginal atrophy/dryness considered vaginal dysfunction and covered by insurance as a treatment option just like HRT/hormone replacement therapy?

Vaginal health isn’t a one-way street, people.

That said, it’s worth every penny, and, in my opinion, a great alternative medically for many women that don’t want to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or use in conjunction with it. I’m not a doctor, so you’ll want to be sure you have those open, and sometimes uncomfortable conversations to find out what’s right and best for you.

So, when your kegled out, drier than the Mojave, and find yourself only reaching climax in the Nordstrom shoe department as you slip on that next pair you are about to splurge on, just know you have options—so long as you and your doctor agree.

Word of warning: Be prepared for better orgasms, improved vaginal tightness and regained sensations. Remember what Dr. Ruth used to say: “Have good sex!”. Dr. Ruth would be so proud of me.


And then OMFG Crush Readers, for our song of the week you've got to watch this live performance of FIRE by the Ohio Players. The baby blue satin outfits, the afro's, the dancing, the horns. It is SO MUCH Of EVERYTHING.

And for the week end, Crush Readers, I can tell by your game, you're gonna start a flame so light it up.

Dish Stanley XO,
Dish

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The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter from Dish Stanley curating articles & intelligence on everything love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. If you’d like to take a look at some of our best stories go to Read Us. Want the Dish?



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