The Crush Letter No 148

The Crush Letter No 148

. 11 min read

I'm Dish and I write a weekly newsletter about life, love, and culture for those 50+. Because midlife and beyond is so much hotter than they said it would be. Hell yes, sign me up for the Dish.

Hello Crush,

If I were going to host a Super Bowl party this year, I would definitely be making Alton Brown’s Onion Dip and serve it with a big bowl of thick potato chips with ridges (which hold more dip). Yes, it’s a little bit of work, but worth every tart+creamy bite.

Photo from Alton Brown’s page

One more quick funny thing, since it’s Valentine’s this week. A close friend from Boston who now lives in Paris sent me this:

Which resulted in this (I’m the one “in green”):

In This Letter. +Friendship Files: The Goomada Diaries by A.K.A. Darla Back in the good old 80s, when my two roommates and I were ambitious twenty-somethings busy building our careers, my sweet, smart, and savvy roommate, Roz, did something not so smart; she fell in love with a married man. +The Swell’s Sex Symposium: Come Together, A Book by Emily Nagoski On How to Create Lasting Sex In Longterm Partnerships Fuck the spark. These partnerships have certain characteristics. They are friends. They like each other. Admire each other. Trust each other. +Poetry To Read To A Lover: The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present by David Lehman Trust me when I say that I know what I am talking about when I am talking about sexy poems and this is an exemplary collection. +Throw Some Love Around. A Few Suggestions on Better Ways to Spend February 14th. By Dish Stanley Check into a hotel that allows dogs and get room service delivered for you and Fido. Treat! +Our Song of the Week  +Social Media I Loved This Week

Friendship Files: The Goomada Diaries by A.K.A. Darla

What to do when your sweet, smart, and savvy roommate falls in love with a married man? Sit by the sidelines until karma comes to pay a visit.

I knew her well. The Goomada.  Goomah.  Comare.  Mistress. The other woman. The side chick, the side piece, and my favorite– “inamorata.”  

Back in the good old 80s, when my two roommates and I were ambitious twenty-somethings busy building our careers, my sweet, smart, and savvy roommate, Roz, did something not so smart; she fell in love with a married man. It all started when Roz was a student at a famed New York culinary school and met Johnny – a tall, dark, handsome, and wildly charismatic man, ten years her senior.  A retired commercial airline pilot, Johnny came in search of his second career. Despite his good looks, Roz regarded him as an “older man” and ignored his frequent flirtations.  Besides, she was a serious culinary student who was determined to not let anything distract her from making it big in the restaurant business.  So just how did she go from gourmand to goomada?  “He wore me down,” Roz admitted, “he just wore me down.”

The program at the institute was rigorous and left little time for dating or socializing, so Roz looked forward to joining her classmates for a drink at the end of their day. Johnny always made a point to sit near Roz, flirting, seducing, and flattering her, while he entertained the group with wild stories of his previous life flying planes and what it’s like being married to a fashion model. He was the kind of guy people wanted to be around and, before long, Roz wanted to be around him, too.

One Friday night after class, Johnny escorted Roz home and confessed that he thought about her every waking moment. Roz did not reveal her strong attraction toward him and told him she did not date married men. Johnny persisted, doing his best to convince Roz that they could enjoy a mutually advantageous relationship. “Think about it,” he said. “The next two years are gonna be wild for us.  We can make it ever wilder.”

The next night, Roz was home alone when the buzzer rang.  “It’s Johnny,” the voice said through the intercom. Roz opened the door to find Johnny holding a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue (“Because,” he said, “this Johnny is blue without you.”). Roz let him in (despite that dopey line) and, two scotch and sodas later, her goomada game was on.

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The Swell’s Sex Symposium: Come Together, A Book by Emily Nagoski On How to Create Lasting Sex In Longterm Partnerships

Dish recently attended The Sexual Wellness Symposium in New York City hosted by The Swell, Dr. Emily Morse and Dr. Kelly Casperson. The day provided an abundance of information on all aspects of sexual health and wellness for those 50+, including an opportunity to learn about new intimacy products. In this series Dish shares with CRUSH Readers the most important things she learned.

In 2015 Emily Nagoski, Ph.D., wrote “Come As You Are,” a book about the science of sex, a book which created a little earthquake in the world of sex books. One of the big ideas that she popularized was the concept of “responsive desire,” which is to be understood in contrast with spontaneous desire. At that time the narrative on sexual desire was that it just appears — that sex is a drive that just kaboom! is always humming and ready to shift into fifth gear based on the slightest whiff. That kaboom! drive for sex is “spontaneous desire” and is not how it happens for a lot of people, including most women and also anyone over 50. Responsive desire emerges in response to sexy things happening to you – touching, etc. — you get aroused and into a sexual state as the sexy stuff actually starts. She wanted us all to know made that responsive desire is normal. It’s not low libido, it’s not an ailment, it doesn’t need to be fixed. We all just need to understand that we might not be into sex the moment our partner decides to initiate sex, but that we get into it along the way.

Nagoski is back with another book on sex, Come Together, and I predict it’s going to be a blockbuster. It is focused on how to create and sustain a long-term sex life in partnerships. She spoke at the Sexual Wellness Symposium, where I got an advanced copy of her new book. She is, yet again, debunking myths on sex. Nagoski said that in her research so many people kept asking how to “keep the spark alive.“ “Fuck the spark,” Nagoski said. “In long-term relationships, it’s not about spark.“

Come Together: The Science (and Art!) of Creating Lasting Sexual Connections - Nagoski, Emily
Book link here

According to Nagoski, here are the three characteristics of partnerships that sustain a strong sexual connection:

  1. They are friends. They like each other. Admire each other. Trust each other. (What is trust? It is the answer “yes” to the questions: Are you there for me? Are you emotionally responsive and emotionally engaged with me?)
  2. They prioritize sex. They decide that it matters to their relationship that they have sex. They decide that - instead of doing ALL THE OTHER THINGS they could be doing, or have to do, like getting the car washed, reading texts, scanning social media, watching the end of the US Open etc., etc., etc., instead of doing any of those things, they cordon off time, space and energy to do this one thing regularly. Focus on each other, give and receive pleasure to and from each other. Because they understand that in the long run their relationship is one of the most important things in the world to them, and intimacy is a powerful glue (for many, perhaps the most powerful glue) to staying emotionally close.
  3. They reject all of the cultural scripts and other people’s opinions on what they are supposed to be as a couple … all the rules that they were raised with about how to have sex, who should be doing what to whom. All the toxic family patterns. Their past romantic patterns. They ask: do we want that rule to be true in *our* relationship? Over time, together, they become vulnerable and share what they really want to receive and to give. They explore.

It strikes me that it is not a coincidence that all of three characteristics of a good, sustained sex life are the characteristics of a good, sustained relationship. Especially as I consider the second characteristic, prioritizing sex. As I look back at my best relationships, it is pretty easy to immediately assess in each partnership when I was with somebody for whom his romantic partnership was a priority and organizing principle in his life, and for which it became something that was taken for granted.

In Come Together Nagoski writes that in response to her surveys, the answers to the question “What do you want when you want sex with your partner?” inevitably come down to “The Big Four:” feeling connected to your partner; shared pleasure, in other words, the intense feelings of witnessing/contributing to our partner’s pleasure, experiencing our partner’s enjoyment of our pleasure; being wanted by our partner; feeling fully immersed (in sex), e.g., an escape from the ordinary world into an erotic world with our partner. I think it is important to remind ourselves what we really need — and what our partners are really asking for — when they want sex. That perspective, the “he is asking to feel connected to me” or “to be wanted,” it seems to me, provides an accurate accounting of the give-and-take, and what’s really at stake when we may not be “in the mood,” when our partner is.

And by the way, if you ever have a chance to hear Nagoski live, do. She is hysterical.

Poetry To Read To A Lover: The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present by David Lehman By Dish Stanley

The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present - Lehman, David
Book link here

Some of us find that reading erotic poems aloud to our lover — or having them read aloud to us — is a turn on. If you’re one of those people (or you think you, or your lover, may be one of those people), then this is the perfect book of poetry for you. Trust me when I say that I know what I am talking about when I am talking about sexy poems and this is an exemplary collection.

The first thing I did when I got erotic poems was scan it for my favorite poem by my favorite poet, Breasts by Charles Simic. (I will tip each breast / Like a dark heavy grape / Into the hive / Of my drowsy mouth.) And there is also Gertrude Stein’s Lifting Belly. (Kiss my lips over and over and over again she did.) And Edith Wharton’s Terminus (Wonderful was the long secret night you gave me, my Lover.) And Donald Hall’s When I Was Young (Let us pull back the blanket, slide off our / blue jeans, assume familiar positions.)

And then there’s this one, by Jane Kenyon, with its wonderful sense of humor.

Get erotic poems from the PrimeCrush Bookshop to support The CRUSH Letter! Thank you.

Throw Some Love Around. A Few Suggestions on Better Ways to Spend February 14th. By Dish Stanley

You could go ahead and make dinner reservations for another night out on Valentine’s Day {sigh}. Or you could consider some alternatives – many taken from CRUSH Readers and contributors to previous CRUSH Letters – that might spark more joy, as they say, or at least throw some love out to the world.

Check into a hotel that allows dogs and get room service for you and Fido. (Treat! Who deserves it more than the one who loves you unconditionally?)

Have dinner delivered instead of going out and then spend the night with your partner making elaborate plans for your next trip together. A few suggestions for couples’ trips (hat tip to long-married CRUSH Readers K&J for the first two!):

The Mario Andretti Racing Experience has locations in Miami, Charlotte, Michigan, New Hampshire, and other locations. A close friend said she and her husband loved it on a trip to Las Vegas.

- Fly along with Ace Combat Flight Experience

Reserve one of these New York hotels recommended by travel expert Jeanne Bosse Five Great Boutique Hotels Around NYC and get spots in advance at one of these smoldering places recommended by fellow PrimeCrush Readers: The Box NYCDuane Park Cabaret or the cocktail lounge Bergamos (booths in the back!).

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Song of the Week

Feel Like Making Love (Jimmy Fallon & Green Day)

A few CRUSH Readers sent me notes to make sure that I had seen this recent performance of Green Day (with Jimmy Fallon) in a NYC subway station. Fun! Enjoy.

Listen Here

Social Media I Loved This Week





Have a wonderful week filled with love, CRUSHes.

Dish Stanley XO,

Leaving the Door Open, Hoping That You’re Coming Through. By Dish Stanley
In this story, Dish ponders a man she craved but didn’t sleep with and devises a strategy, with a little help from her friends, on a bolder approach. ”I’ma leave the door open, girl Hoping that you feel the way I feel and that you want me like I
Your Big Green Heart. By Liza Lentini
It’s so easy to offer yourself much-needed comfort when you need it. Here’s how.
Girl Crush. By Lady Verity
“When it happens, it’s all-consuming and you think nothing compares to the beauty and perfection of this goddess who walks the earth, the one you’re crushing on.”

If you love me as much as I love you (and I really do love you!), then please help me grow by forwarding this {love} Letter to a friend! And I'd love to have you join us on instagram.

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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