The Crush Letter No 19

. 14 min read

Hello Crush,

Happy Saturday, CRUSHes.  

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

And a big fat welcome to ELSA, who has graced the Northeast with her "vibrant" energy.  ... Just A Box of Rain, friends ...  I'm working on my zen/growth mindset/summer of lovin' attitude here, so I've been playing the Grateful Dead on repeat and humming to the stormy Elsa - "Just a box of rain / Wind and water / Believe it if you need it / If you don't, just pass it on."   I hope this Letter finds everyone who was in ELSA's way (or not), safe, warm and dry.

The shot below is not an ELSA shot, but she made me think of the last storm (physical, not metaphorical) that rolled through my life while in Wyoming in the winter of 2019.  The sun came out after that one, too. (The metaphysical storms? My zen teacher says that they are always brewing.)

We've had a lot of feedback on recent stories, including some publishable ones on the Midlife Friendship Audit: You Need Good Friends, But Who Is Good? and the 50th anniversary of Joni Mitchell's album Blue, as well as a reaction to our piece Hand Job. Lube Up and Lend Yourself a Hand, which is not quite as publishable but guess what? I am anyway. (You know me so well by now that I bet you saw that coming.) I'm sharing those in "Dear Dish" below, but I want to thank Diana, Mark and "Job Blues" for writing in. Love you! Love getting all your thoughts/suggestions/feedback - please write to me at

In This Letter.  +Willin'. Size Really Does Matter. A new series on love+life from Ida Clare, a new and wonderful adventurer/writer out of Charleston, SC.   +The Four Most Common Skincare Issues for Men. (But Were Afraid to Ask) from Lauren D. Weinstein's series devoted to men's self-care.  +DEVOUR.  What to do, read, watch, listen to & know about this week.  Starting with PrimeCrush+Chill, where we re-watch the divinely 1969 movie Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. +Dear Dish. And Our Song of the Week. We may lose, and we may win / Though we will never be here again / So open up, I'm climbin' in.

Willin’: Size Really Does Matter. By Ida Clare

A new series from an adventurous writer out of Charleston, South Carolina that begins with the painful tale of how she learned that size does matter—and too big can be a painful discovery.

I've been single a long time, a really loooooong time. And in my singleness, I've had long dry spells…loooong. When this particular event occurred, I was well into, but not through, menopause. I met this man online. He was hot, intelligent….and foreign...yum.

We had lunch, then he asked to see my house because he…ready?...restored historic homes in Charleston. He began that vocation by restoring historic homes in Europe. Listen, I’m an educated, progressive woman who lives in rural South Carolina. Any man who can use the English language correctly, with an accent no less, and form cohesive thoughts, turns the “you might want to think about this” part of my brain to mush. Long gray hair, olive skin, white teeth, hazel eyes…a dad bod (I love that)…great hands…hot.

When I unlocked my front door, the first thing he did was brush past me and walk straight into my home looking at the ceiling while explaining what the house looked like originally. He walked me around my house and showed me where the hallways were and where the parlor used to be. My day job is as a theatre historian…I’m all about it. He told me my house had good bones, “like you, dear…” (Holy shitballs). After much kissing, which was uh, freaking amazing (imagine a hot Jacques Clouseau from The Pink Panther, only Chilean, and hot) and then heavy petting, we moved upstairs to the bedroom. “(Kiss!) You know dat dese stairs (Kiss!) are no original? (Long kiss, shirt flies off…) Dis was merely de attick (Kiss!).” I thought, “thank you…finally…a hot, intelligent, Latin (bonus)…Oh MY GOD…Hooray….”

Except, suddenly…

Spinning red lights. Alarms bells. Slap in the face. Full STOP!

He had THE BIGGEST DICK I HAVE/HAD/PROBABLY WILL EVER see EVER! It was otherworldly, alien, colossal, uncircumcised…and terrifying! What was I supposed to do with that? Let me digress for a moment, you know how you have that other person inside of you that we actors call the “observer” commenting on the action, but objective and distant? She totally kicked in. I had seen an uncircumcised penis before, but I had never handled one. And this one was…vast! I handed him a condom, which he had problems wrestling onto that massive shit… After more hot action, when he slid it in, it hurt like a mofo…a gigantic uncircumcised mofo! Then the whole thing turned…awkward.  Again, that observer: Pain had never happened during sex. What. The. Fuck. Per my observer, as a side note, in my limited experience, it seems the bigger they are, the less they know about pleasure. It’s like a jack hammer…But this guy, thankfully, not so much… I really felt like he felt as uncomfortable as I did.

Regardless of the awkwardness, he stayed the night, held my hand while we slept, made me breakfast, then had to drive back to Charleston for work. After that he called daily, wanted to know when he could see me again. I left for an extended summer trip three days after our encounter. He continued to call.

Do you know that if you don’t use it, it closes up? I didn’t either. Vaginal Atrophy. I felt as confused and self-conscious as I did my first time. At my in-the-middle-of-menopausal age, he was my first one-night stand… See, I can count the number of men I've slept with on two hands. I'm a Scorpio sun/Cancer moon/sex has to be a spiritual experience. Plus, being raised in the rural South, it has taken me a long time to manage, and I say manage not conquer, that whole guilt about sex bullshit. For a split second, I thought maybe I deserved it because it was a one-night stand. I thought and thought and obsessed and then…I got angry. My various fucking GYNs never mentioned this possibility. It’s not like they don’t ask you at every appointment if you are sexually active. You would think vaginal atrophy would be something of interest to an aging, single, sexually active-in-spurts woman! So, I had to educate myself. I didn’t know about lube (never needed it). There are even dildos, for lack of a better word, to help expand what has contracted…didn’t know that. “Back in my day” we were worried about “stretching out.”

Oh, and hot Chilean, Jacques Clouseau? Never saw him again. Absence does not make the heart or the big dick grow…fonder…or more comfortable.

The 4 Most Common Skincare Issues for Men (But Were Afraid to Ask). By Lauren D. Weinstein

Guys, when it comes to looking your best, knowledge is power. I’ve compiled a simple, no-nonsense guide to help demystify and resolve four main skin-care issues that many men have or are likely to experience in their lifetime.

1. Razor Bumps. We expect bumps on the road, but don’t want them on our face. Razor bumps (pseudofolliculitis barbae) are ingrown hairs that develop after shaving or using other hair removal techniques. They can develop on the face, legs, underarms and pubic area. (Manscaping, anyone?) They’re usually red, and can range in size or become pus-filled. Generally, they do not cause serious health problems but can be painful, unattractive and affect a person’s confidence.


  1. Shave less often.
  2. Use shaving cream or gel on wet skin (or right after a shower). Make sure it’s appropriate for your skin type.
  3. Shave in the direction of hair growth.
  4. Use a fresh razor and wipe with alcohol before and after using.
  5. Try an electric razor on a low setting to keep hair slightly longer and less likely to become ingrown.
  6. Use products that contain salicylic acid, it exfoliates, unclogs pores and reduces inflammation.

Try: Tends Solution: Apply post shaving. Contains salicylic acid, glycerin 8 oz. $24.99 Amazon

Anthony Ingrown Hair Treatment: Apply post shaving, underneath moisturizer. Contains glycolic, salicylic acid, willow herb and lavender. Free of parabens, phthalates and gluten, cruelty free. 2.5 oz. $34.00

2. Uneven Skin Tone. Dark under-eye circles, age spots, pimples and scarring.


Sunscreen. Wear daily, minimum SPF 15 to prevent sun damage and spots.

Try: Aesop’s Protective Facial Lotion SPF 25 1.69 oz. $60.00

Silwhasoo’s non-sticky Men’s Relaxing UV Protector SPF 50 1.7oz. $36.00 Amazon

Concealer: This may be a hard sell, but the stigma is lifting in the face of logic and the desire to look rested and feel confident. Alex Rodriguez has partnered with the company Hims & Hers endorsing The Blur Stick: sleek, discreet, easily blends into skin with your fingers. Available in 8 shades. Made with Aloe and jojoba seed oil. $17.00,

War Pain Liquid Concealer Pen. Lightweight, conceals circles, spots ,scars,blemishes. Click the pen to dispense, apply to the area, dab and blend. Available in five shades. Cruelty free, vegan. .01fl oz. $25.00

3. Dry, Cracked Feet and Heels. Caused by athlete's foot, eczema, pressure from standing, or exercising.


A. Soak feet for 20 minutes in warm water.

B. Use a pumice stone or loofah to gently remove hardened, thick skin.

C. Apply moisturizer often, especially after cleansing. Look for ingredients that contain urea, glycerin, glycolic acid, shea butter, petrolatum (good old Vaseline). Bonus points if you put on socks and sleep with them overnight! It may not look hot, but much better than having raggety, neanderthal feet that scratch your partner’s skin under the covers.

Try: Pursources Urea 40% Foot Cream 4oz.$15.99

O'Keeffe's for Healthy Feet Night Treatment, 3 oz. $6.96 Walmart

4. Below the Belt/Jock Itch/Schweddy Balls (Thank you SNL and Alec Baldwin).

Jock Itch is caused by fungus. Symptoms include: itching, burning, circular rash that is red, scaly, flaking or peeling. Most likely found on the groin, inner thighs, or butt. People that sweat a lot or are overweight (it thrives in the folds of skin) are more prone to getting it.


  1. Bathe daily and after exercising. Dry the area with a clean and separate towel to avoid spreading to other body parts.
  2. Wear clean clothes and underwear. You may want to switch to boxers instead of briefs to avoid chafing.
  3. Do not wear a wet bathing suit for long periods of time.
  5. Apply over-the-counter antifungals creams, powders (which absorb moisture) or sprays
  6. Do not neglect! Consult a doctor if you experience pain, swelling, pus or red streaks from a rash.

Try: Fungicure Medicated Antifungal Wash: Homeopathic, with tea tree oil, 6oz. $8.97 Amazon

Gold Bond Medicated Powder Talc Free, cornstarch based, 10 oz. $9.79 Amazon and most common retail chains

Fear no more! Now you have all the information you need to address the most baffling skincare concerns. The more you know, the more empowered and confident you become and that’s sexy AF.

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

PrimeCrush & Chill: Movie’s Worth a Re-watch

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)

PrimeCrush & Chill” is a new series where we re-review and recommend movies we think are perfect for a sexy night in.

By Rowan Wilder

Movie Title: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

Starring: Natalie Wood, Robert Culp, Elliot Gould and Dyan Cannon

Released: September 16, 1969 (New York Film Festival), October 8, 1969 (New York)

Basic Plot: It’s 1969, and Bob and Carol Sanders are ready to embrace the newfound idea of an open marriage, and share the news with their close, conservative friends, Ted and Alice Henderson. After Bob and Carol test the waters with affairs, and everyone’s had an opportunity to wrap their head around this “new way” of thinking, the four decide to trade partners on a trip to Vegas, only to decide that they really do want to stay with the one they’d married.

Why Re-watch: Revolutionary for its time, and right in line with 1969’s free love crusade, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is only dated in its now groovy period-piece style. Plot-wise, it could easily be renamed The Perils of Bored, White Rich People, but its stars have never been more beautiful and vibrant, and this is reason enough to revisit. It earned four Academy Award nominations (including Gould and Cannon), and one for its screenplay. Moreover, like any great work of art, you’re able to remember the first time you watched, who you were, what you thought, and reflect and assess how you’ve changed—or not. There’s a good chance you saw this movie when you were young, and now that you’re older and perhaps wiser…what do you think? Would you ever? Would your movie have the same ending? The questions and theme of “what the world needs now, is love sweet love” will never become dated.

Watch the Trailer Here.

Read This.  Before Spicing Up Your Romantic Life, Married Couples. (And everyone else.) Don't ask me how, but I had come across this article in Married Christian Sex promoting the idea of adding a sense of danger to your sex life by having public sex. To keep married sex exciting. It is from 2014, and is really quite a practical (and detailed) list, if not hysterical. For instance "If your wife is shy [I guess the site presumes that is the husband trying to spice things up], try starting your public adventures slowly with a blow job. She won't need to undress at all. Assuming she swallows, clean-up will be easy." (There's a mouthful to swallow there, starting with why a shy wife would be more relaxed giving a public blow job than, say, receiving a much more potentially subtle stimulation up her skirt, but anyway, that's not what I want to focus on.) I don't even want to focus on the many other nuggets in this list, or on the site altogether - which I got a lot out of. What I do want to make Christian Married Couples (and everyone else) aware of is this disturbing list recently published by Tyler Cowen in Marginal Revolution of Some Major Cities Ranked By Surveillance Cameras per km. They are not what he (or probably anyone) expected. Boston, NYC and Baltimore CRUSH Readers, beware before you bare.

Read. The 100 Greatest Rock Stars Since That Was A Thing in SPIN. This is a highly subjective (and entertaining) list of the greatest "Rock Stars" from somebody with the taste and life-experience to know – Bob Guccione Jr, the publisher of SPIN.  You might fairly quibble with where certain rock stars notch on the list. I do – Ozzy Osbourne #72 over Jerry Garcia #87, for instance. (Really? Did Ben & Jerry's name an ice cream after Ozzy?). But the top ten all belong in the top ten, to my estimation. And Guccione inarguably gets #1 right. Take your shot at his list here.

And if you like Bob Guccione Jr's "Rock Star" list you may enjoy his list of the 5 Things That Turn Him On from Letter No 11, or his personal essay on Hefner we published in Letter No 15.

Read. Harper's Bazaar on How Patti Smeed Started An Electric Hairstlye Trend. She is a retired nurse from Tennessee, and she's obviously cool as all get out.

The Tweet That Launched a Thousand Dye Jobs
A reminder that color doesn’t fade with age.

Check Out. First Photos from Sex and the City Reboot. We here at PrimeCrush are not overwhelmingly fans of the Sex and the City reboot - see the story And I Wondered ... Do We Really Need a SATC Reboot? from Letter No 9, not to mention the results of our Reader poll here on who would be watching the Reboot (2/3 of us voted "I'm sorry I can't. Don't hate me."). But still. I had to peek at these photos ... and "just like that" I'm being pulled back in by (of all things) Miranda's updated and very (dare I say) "man repeller" inspired look. Into it.

‘And Just Like That…’: First photos from ‘Sex and the City’ revival series
The “Sex and the City” reboot series is now shooting in New York City — and just like that, HBO Max has released first-look images for fans. A series of photos dropped Friday featuring …

Dear Dish,

Re: the 50th anniversary of Joni Mitchell's album Blue

Loved the Crush #18 this morning. Joni Mitchell’s Blue is unbelievably good, and relevant, after 50 yrs (crazy to write that).


Dear Mark,

Thank you! And with lyrics like "But when he's gone, me and them lonesome blues collide / The bed's too big, the frying pan's too wide" how can she not remain relevant? I mean, I was shrugging at my frying pan just this morning.

XO, Dish

Dear Dish,

Re: Midlife Friendship Audit: You Need Good Friends, But Who Is Good?

Brilliant CRUSH article on friendships! I forwarded it to a close gal friend ... we wrote off a mutual weak friend last night in comparing notes on how we felt about her and how she sucks energy from us etc.!


Dear Dee,

Thank you! We try to sometimes give "actionable advice" (as they say). But I'm sorry to hear that you had to get actionable on it.

XO, Dish

{dated Friday night, 10:00 pm}

Dear Dish,

Re: Hand Job. Lube Up and Lend Yourself a Hand

Always insightful reads in the CRUSH Letter. I think women need to practice h and b jobs. It's a lost art.

"Got the Job Blues"

Dear "Job Blues,"

Noted! And, oh dear.  I take it that you spent the evening offering your services up for - you know - practice?  It's not easy being that generous.

Rest up, buttercup.

XO, Dish

Song of the Week:

We may lose and we may win / But we will never be here again. Take It Easy. I came across this clip from 1974 of the Eagles live with - get this - Jackson Browne and Linda Rondstadt on the backup vocals. It doesn't get better than that.

Watch the youtube here.

"We will never be here again / So open up I'm climbin' in."

Let's remember that, dear friends. We will never be here again, so open up and climb in. And take it easy.

Dish Stanley XO,

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?


"Don't Touch My Hat.*" Midlife Men & Loneliness 5 Things That Turn Me On: Ali Waks Adams 5 Things That Turn Me On: Bob Guccione, Jr 5 Things That Turn Me On: Craig J 5 Things That Turn Me On: Dish Stanley 5 Things That Turn Me On: Jane Boon 5 Things That Turn Me On: Lady Verity 5 Things That Turn Me On: Liza Lentini A Turntable and a Candle: F-ing Classics About Face: Skincare Essentials for Men An Upbeat Playlist for the Divorce-curious And I Wondered ... Do We Really Need A SATC Reboot? Bisexually Anxious Among the Noodges. Review: shiva Baby Book Review: A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers Book Review: Norma Kamali: I Am Invincible Book Review: The Lover. By Marguerite Duras. Book Review: The Story of O CRUSH Summer Reading List! From CRUSH Reader Sharon Weinberg, Owner of The Chatham Bookstore Dear Dish Dear Dish. About those summer orgies ... DEVOUR {things to do, have & know about} Dish Gets A Kink Assessment. Doing Nothing With Friends French Kiss: French Girls Do It Better, Right? Grief. By Lauren D. Weinstein Hefner. By Bob Guccione, Jr Hide A Love Note In Their Pocket. Hook Ups: Hilary Harley, Astrologer Hook Ups: Meet Barrie Rosencrans, Spa Director & Dharma Yoga Teacher Hook Ups: Meet Heather Fink, Founder & CEO of the Sexiest Beauty Hot Thots I'm Dish, the Master of Ceremonies Let's Reconsider, with Adam Grant Love & Mike's "Bad Girl Pasta" Love / Sex / Moon Magick. Mercury Retrograde fucks sex. Not in a good way. Love/Sex/Magick. Hey There, Lover! By Lynn Eaton Love/Sex/Moon Magick: Endings, Happy and Otherwise. By Lynn Eaton Nice to Meet You. How Are You Crazy? Oasis in the Desert. One woman's honest journey through vaginal rejuvenation. OMG Yes. Podcast Review: Dying for Sex. Why You Need to Listen to Molly's Journey. PrimeCrush & Chill: Movies Worth a Re-Watch Quiver. Sexual Debut Stories: Violet Reports from the Edge: Skirt Club. By Jane Boon. Reports from the Edge: Solo at the Sex Party Six Ways to Get the Friends Who Count Snapshot Rec: Get Yourself Sexify-ed on Netflix. Snapshot Rec: Read Liza Lentini on the Indigo Girls in SPIN Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck Stanley Tucci Is Paradise Stories & Conversations The 3 Things You're Really Fighting About The 4 Most Common Skincare Issues for Men (But Were Afraid to Ask). By Lauren D. Weinstein The Dynamics of Friendhip By Lauren D. Weinstein To get all of us, subscribe. Willin'. Size Really Does Matter. You're My Medicine You're Wearing A Turtleneck, Again? Your Love Is King & Queen, GQ