The Crush Letter No 24

. 17 min read

Hello Crush,

Thanks for opening us up.  (The Letter, goodness gracious.)  Some stats.  Last week's lettter had a 60% open rate.  That's pretty close to our highest open rate, which was 64% (late April).  We regularly see open rates in the mid-to-high 50%.  By newsletter industry rates, these are "solidly high" numbers.  Thank you dear CRUSH Readers!  Although I believe that we would all be better off if stories about love and connection were a greater part of everyday conversation, PrimeCrush often gets flagged (meaning, dinged) on insta and facebook for the most innocuous plain-vanilla posts.  We have been in facebook's crosshairs for weeks.  And the "wizard behind the curtain" at instagram also routinely blocks us from promoting stories like Lynn Eaton's column – titled "Love/Sex/Moon Magick" (presumably because "sex" is in the title) – even though it is one of the sweetest, most spiritual and affirming columns anywhere.  The world certainly would be a better place if more people read Lynn's column.  (And we're trying to reach you, people out there!)

Which is why I bring up open rates.  It means so much to me that you spend your Saturday morning with us (and a coffee!).  I like to think of it as you saying "hello!" back to me every week.  I really love you for that. If there is anything that will make you love the Letter more, please let me know at dish@primecrush.com.  Thank you!

ANNOUNCEMENT! OUR FIRST GIVE-AWAY!  We have our very first give-away this week!  It's a late summer PrimeCrush Cocktail Coaster Give-Away - read more about it below. (Here's a little visual teaser.)


In This Letter.    +Reports from the Edge: Latex Stretches.  PrimeCrush columnist Jane Boon slides into latex, and tells us how we can too.   +Love/Sex/Moon Magick. In honor of this month's upcoming full moon, columnist Lynn Eaton writes Full Moons I Have Known and Loved.  +Hook Up. This week we're hooking up with Theola Wong, Founder & Creative Director of Moon Babe Blankets.  +DEVOUR.  What to do, read, watch, listen to & know about this week.  I have bloooooown this column out this week with a little help from my friend Lisa Ellex, so make sure you let us know if you like the extended version. +Our First Giveaway!  Details below.  +Our Song of the Week.  "Turn off trouble like you turn off a light."


Reports from the Edge:  Latex Stretches. By Jane Boon

What to wear to a fetish soirée in France? Our in-house expert and regular Edge columnist has some ideas…

“Latex stretches,” became my mantra as I tried to find something appropriate to wear to a fetish soirée happening outside of Paris this September. I’m doing a reading from my novel, EDGE PLAY. Because my book was published last summer, at the height of the pandemic, this will be my first live event in support of it. But I’m making my reading brief, because I’m no fool. There will be actual, elite dominatrixes there with whips to command the attention of the crowd. Up against them, a mere author doesn’t stand a chance, even if her novel is also about an elite dominatrix taking on one of Wall Street’s biggest swinging dicks, and bringing him to his knees.

The party is held every year by Gérard Musy, a top fetish and fashion photographer, and I’ve seen pictures and videos. It’s held in a medieval chapel. There’s champagne and great food. People dress for the occasion, wearing leather, latex, corsets. Regrettably, my wardrobe had nothing chapel appropriate, which gave me an excuse to shop.

My first stop was Google. A search on “latex dress designer” revealed that Saint Laurent had a sexy wrap dress in a rich burgundy latex for $4,290. I’d been imagining prices that were much lower, so I kept going. Soon, I found myself on some UK websites -- the English seem to have a knack for producing appealing latex and rubber garments at prices that won’t make you faint. My search got narrowed down to two makers:  Catalyst Latex and William Wilde.

I’m in my 50s. Wearing latex at this stage in my life is very different from my 20s, when I first donned a latex dress; a time when gravity had not become my enemy. Fortunately, “latex stretches.” It will conform to your body, and the trick is getting it just tight enough to give you a pleasant squeeze, but not so tight where if you sneeze, a seam bursts or a zipper flies open. Moreover, it looks great on most bodies. It’s forgiving and smoothing, like wearing a shiny girdle.

Wanting to hide the consequences of aging and of COVID-induced-sloth, I decided on something with sleeves and a high neck. There were two choices, each featuring a pussy bow. I picked the design with contrasting accents. At £160 (or about $220 USD + shipping), the dress would be made to my color and size specifications, a process that would take about one month. Since black and red are the most common colors at fetish events, I opted for a metallic peacock with milky white trim, just to be perverse. I sent in my measurements, and Kit (who works at Catalyst) guided me towards the correct size.

Seven weeks after I ordered it, the dress arrived in New York. I was nervous, as I opened the envelope. Would it fit? Would it suit? It looked tiny, but then I remembered, “Latex stretches.” I put it on. My husband had to help me with the back zipper because the latex needed to be pulled taut to be fastened. But it didn’t take long before I had that nice, snug feeling and the dress was on. No bra was required, because the latex compressed my breasts against my rib cage and molded to my body. My new frock would be both second skin and armor, the ideal thing to wear for a book reading, on a pervy Parisian night. And maybe I’ll wear it back in New York, too. After a year and a half of yoga pants, can’t we all use some fashion surprises and a little drama?

If you're new here, you'll want to read Jane's previous stories for PrimeCrush, Reports from the Edge: Skirt Club and Solo at the Sex Party.

An entertaining mash-up of "Fifty Shades" with "Billions," order Jane's novel EDGE PLAY here.

Love/Sex/Moon Magick:  Full Moons I Have Known and Loved. By Lynn Eaton

In this entry in her regular column, our resident Wiccan reminisces about her life with full moons and bright blessings.

I can feel its power grow. I feel the pull of it coursing through my very veins, like the tides it also controls. Full moons make me wide awake and energized. My sleep patterns go wonky.

There has been much written about full moons and their effect on humans and animals alike. Accounts of emergency room visits climb. Children run around like banshees. Werewolves are on the prowl.

As a nine-year-old, I remember walking the snow-covered roads near my house under the full moon. It felt right somehow. I felt safe. Its glow cast shadows and illuminated the sparkling whiteness surrounding me. I danced and sang its glory.

When my daughter was nine, we drove 3,000 kilometers to my sister’s house in Northern Ontario. It was a long, long drive through questionable, snowy highways. The sun had been set for hours as we neared her house. It was Winter Solstice, December 21st. It was also a full moon. The sky had cleared by then and the full moon shone down in all its glory. The Northern Lights danced for us. As we pulled into her driveway, a shooting star streaked across overhead. A magickal memory filled with gratitude and love.

Two years later, I was days away from moving my daughter, our two cats and all of our worldly possessions across the continent. Our destination was another sister’s house in Nova Scotia with her husband, son and two cats. It was a daunting task. The moon was full and I couldn’t sleep. I went out barefoot onto the damp grass and looked up for guidance.

Staring up at the fullness of the representation of the Goddess, I began to chant softly. I raised my arms and felt the power being drawn down into my body. The connection grew stronger. My feet tingled with energy. It spread throughout my body and I pulsed with power. I gave thanks and knew that I would be okay.

Many years passed and dozens of full moons.

I met my Hunny Man and we were handfasted (Wiccan wedding). We were driving across Canada with our truck camper and decided to overnight near Thunder Bay, Ontario. There’s a monument there of his hero, Terry Fox. The sun was setting as we walked up to his statue. It felt calm and potent.

As it turned out, it was a calm before the storm. Thunder, lightning and torrential rain pounded our little camper. It rocked in the wind. And other things. Great orgasmic things. And the full moon greeted us early the next morning as we left in the calm of the dawn.

Most recently, the full moon in Athens rocked my world. It had always been a dream of mine to sip ouzo in view of the Parthenon (Acropolis) in Athens during the Summer Solstice. I travelled there alone for three weeks of adventure. I explored Athens, took a five-day bus tour, visited my best friend from high school, and lazed on Greek island beaches.

I was taking a photo with my phone when a male voice said, “You’ll have a better view from the rooftop café. It’s just through here. Take the elevator.” He was right. It was spectacular. The full moon was just rising, pink in the reflection of the setting sun. Olive trees framed the majestic structure. I raised my glass of ouzo, toasted and gave thanks for the bright blessings of this trip.

In the light of this month’s full moon, I am grateful for all of these and the many more to come. I will share its power and strength with my friends, my family and my Hunny Man. Bright Blessings to you all.

Hook Ups: Meet Theola Wong, Founder & Creative Director of Moon Babe Blankets

"Hook Ups” is an ongoing feature introducing our readers to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Humorously explain your job.

I help tired and overloaded moms channel their energy into good magic for babies via warm snuggly blankets “crafted to conjure up good vibes”.

Your products are inspired and created “by the good witch in all of us”. How did you come up with that as an idea for your business?

I am a firm believer that the objects in our homes should be meaningful, and add value to our lives. All of our products are created with the intention to help moms and babes focus energy in a healthy, positive and productive way.

I like to think our blankets are like a magic wand: created and designed as a tool to help you focus on the moment through gratitude, recognize and live your values with creativity, and raise your emotional and physical energy through protection and love.

Does someone do a blessing or cast a good spell over the products?

Me! I personally wrap up every blanket with an intention. It’s a little different each time depending on who it’s going to or if I know anything about them, but it always gets a wish or blessing before being sent out our door.

Tell us about the magical, mystical power of love?

A parent’s love is one of the most powerful energies in existence, and magic is about channeling that energy to fulfill our goals. It’s about intentionally willing change for you and your family, and consciously using your resolve to create the world you want to live in. Love can bless us with the ability to transform negative into positive, and I think as parents that’s what we want. The ability to help our children navigate and experience the world.

As a new mother, what’s surprised you as the sexiest thing about motherhood?

I have never been more proud of my body. Before I had the baby, I used to be a pretty serious fitness and health food enthusiast. At the time, I would say that I had never felt stronger or healthier in my entire life. But after having my baby I have a completely different understanding of what “strong” really means. I am in love with the shapes and the curves that my son has blessed me with. Though I may not yet be able to do all the things I was able to do before (like, jumping jacks, forget it!) I have never felt more beautiful. I love every inch of my body because it made the most beautiful thing I have ever known in my life. I feel powerful and feminine at the same time.

Also, what if I wanted to buy one for my dog?

Dogs are babes, too!

Best way to reach you?

www.moonbabeblankets.com

Instagram: @moonbabeblankets

Promo Code for PrimeCrush Readers:  TELEPORT for free shipping :)

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

I get such good feedback from you, CRUSH Readers, on our DEVOUR column that I wanted to explore giving you more this week, with the help of PrimeCrush columnist Lisa Ellex.  What do you think about the additional offerings?  Let me know at dish@primecrush.com.  And if you have stuff you want to contribute to DEVOUR, you'll want to check out the Cocktail Coaster Giveaway Details below.

Watch.  Adriana Trigiani's Rollercoaster Interviews with Other Authors.  There is never a dull moment in this two-hour rollercoaster where best-selling author Trigiani interviews other authors about their new works.  Watch one of the smartest and funniest minds you'll meet get inside the minds and hearts of the likes of Matthew McConaughy, Julianna Margulies, Tia Williams, Bill Persky, Craig Ferguson, Peter Duchin, Lorenzo Carcaterra and Rosella Rago – and marvel at her uncanny ability to bring out original, fun and revealing shares.  I'm telling you, most cocktail parties are not as fun as Trigiani's live show.

The only place to see Trigiani's full interviews is on her LIVE stream on facebook (where multiple hundreds of thousands of followers regularly tune in).  Her facebook page is here.  

You can see edited, shorter versions on Trigiani's youtube channel here (but for the full party, try to tune into the live version!).  On youtube, start by checking out a favorte – this pandemic interview with the fabulous and hilarious actor, vocalist and stand-up comedian Mario Cantone (also known as the interior decorator in SEX IN THE CITY): watch Season 3, Episode 17 here.  (You have to be a subscriber.)

And here's Trigiani's website:

Adriana Trigiani | Intro
Adriana Trigiani is the New York Times bestselling author of 18 books in fiction and nonfiction. She has been published in 38 countries around the world.

Listen. The Secret Room Podcast.  Voyeurism at its finest. Host Ben Hamm hears first-time confessions that will have you on the edge of your fainting couch.  From the law school drop-out who faked speaking German to become an international flight attendant, to the housewife secretly selling photos of her feet, it’ll make you wonder whether you truly know even your closest loved ones.

Start with our favorite episodes: #76 "Celebrity Chicken Caper," #128 "Fetish," #117 "The Takedown," and #60 "My Secret Career.'

And (in case it's helpful) if I had it to do over, I'd pass on #146 "Reckless," and #137 "TORCH"

‎The Secret Room | True Stories on Apple Podcasts
‎Society & Culture · 2021

Read.  A Short Erotic Story Aloud To Yourself (Or Someone Else) from "Coming Soon: Women's Orgasm Erotica".  I am making my way through this recently published, latest compilation of erotica edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel.  Bussel has edited over 60 erotica anthologies over the last 20 years, including six volumes of "Best Women's Erotica of the Year."  (Most of which I am going to admit were read aloud to me by an ex over a few years. Sometimes I actually miss him.)  Coming Soon has a range of stories from tame to more kinky, bondage to scifi to love in a retirement home. My early favorite is I'm Her by Henry Corrigan, which hits my personal sweet spot for erotica:  short, suspenseful, slightly quirky and straightforward sexy.

Coming Soon: Women’s Orgasm Erotica
Multiple orgasms? Oh, yes! What does it feel like to climax? Coming Soon: Women’s Orgasm Erotica offers wild and thrilling tales of female sexual pleasure that explore that question in a variety of wondrous ways. From a fetish that will appeal to any book lover and a waitress who’s seduced by her v…

Watch.  Pretend It’s a City (Netflix 2021).  These seven episodes, produced, moderated, and directed by Martin Scorsese, had me laughing out loud during a time when there was nothing to laugh about. Scorsese follows deliciously prickly author Fran Leibowitz as she recounts her decades living through the good, the bad, and the ugly of magnificent New York City.  If you haven’t caught it yet, it’s not too late.  If the pull of New York speaks to you, know that this work will no doubt be archived among the best of classic New York documentaries.


Listen.  NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli on Triest.  I may not be all Italian, but ALL of me craves ALL things Italian ALL the time. In this piece, NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli uncovers the wonder of Trieste. Best line: “Being a Triestina today means being an open-minded and unbiased person because you are raised in a city in which you see people from all the different parts of the world that speak different languages, and you appreciate the diversity around you.”  Listen here.


Read.  Joe Pinsker Interviewing Oliver Burkeman on Why We Really Want to Manage Our Time Better.  I am tiring of efficiency advice because I've noticed that becoming more efficient has inevitably resulted in me doing more shit (not less). More shit because I "created" time with the increased efficiency that I ended up using to do yet more things I didn't really want to do.  (Oh, I probably have just enough time fit in a wax ...) But in this interview in The Atlantic, Burkeman, the author of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, shifts the horizon.  "The average human lifespan is absurdly, terrifyingly, insultingly short."  Burkeman calls us out on the lies we tell ourselves about how we spend the time we have.  The truth?  That "we will die not having done a tremendous number of things we care about; that every commitment we make to a person, place, or line of work rules out countless others that may fulfill us ..." says Burkeman.  We need to consider efficiency in light of the deeper understanding of what it is for:  to focus our lives on the people and things most meaningful to us.  That's advice I need to adopt as a mantra.

The Best Time-Management Advice Is Depressing But Liberating
You can make time for things that matter, or you can make time for more email.

BUY?  This Doormat.  I might!  From the people who first brought us the original We're Not Really Strangers card game (that we loved playing!), and then brought us expansion card packs for "Honest Dating" (actually helpful!) and "Relationships" (not in one, haven't tried yet!).  We can now get "I'm So Happy" doormats for $38 (plus shipping/tax).  (No, we don't collect any affiliated fees for product recommendations.)


CRUSH Reader George lunching with Zach.

Enter.  Your Dog In the Orvis Dog Cover Contest. We follow a lot of you on insta and our CRUSH Readers have some very photogenic dogs.  (Hello, Moka, Osa, Arnie, Alfie and Zach!)  I think they have a shot at Orvis glory.  You have until October 31st to pull together your worthiest snaps.  Leave your best friend out? Things could get ruff (boom).  Entry info below.  

New Cover Dog is LIVE. Shout it from the rooftops!
After four months of upgrades, the Orvis Cover Dog Contest is back and better than ever! New features include: more mobile-friendly, easier shareability to social (so friends and family can vote for your pup), and it’s way more fun! This first contest runs through October. Enter your dog now and tag…

Check Out.  Our Favorite Regrams This Week:

PrimeCrush Cocktail Coaster Giveaway!

Here's the Deal on PrimeCrush's First Giveaway.  It's as easy as your favorite lube:  (x) You submit one of the three things listed below, (y) I publish it in The Crush Letter (probably after a little editing) and (z) you get a set of 8 PrimeCrush Cocktail Coasters.

The Three Things:

1) a 5 Things That Turn You On column (see some here) (and ps - write to me for our template to make your life easier) (and pss - you can use an alias) or

2) a F*ck Song piece (see some here) (and ps - write to me for our template to make your life easier) (and pss - you can use an alias) or

3) a DEVOUR item with your concise few sentences on why CRUSH Readers would want to devour said devourable thing.

Now thru Labor Day (or while supplies last)!  Send to me at Dish@PrimeCrush.com.  Thank you!

Song of the Week.

Here's Lucinda Williams, the great roots-music country blues singer, singing Can't Let Go live from Austin, Texas in 2007.  Lucinda is terrific here, and accompanied by some terrific guitar playing with Kenny Vaughan, Jim Lauderdale and John Jackson.  I just learned that Lucinda had a stroke last November, months after receiving Grammy nominations for her critically acclaimed 2020 album Good Souls Better Angels.  In this Rolling Stones article, she says she is writing and "singing her ass off."  I can't wait to see her live again.

In the meantime, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss just released their own version of Can't Let Go, and its a fast-paced rollicking tribute to Lucinda.  I'm here for it.  It's the first song released from their upcoming November album Raise the Roof.  I'm happy to see those two back together again after 14 years, and with guitarist and producer T. Bone Burnett.  Feels like such a warm hug.  Here's their version of Can't Let Go.

Watch Lucinda live from Austin playing Can't Let Go on youtube here.

Lucinda Williams "Can't Let Go"

I hope that the rest of your week end is full of poetic lyrics and some good rockin'.

I'd love to hear from you at Dish@PrimeCrush.com.

Dish Stanley XO,
Dish

PS:  I ordered the Catalyst Latex Amelie dress.  Thanks Jane!  This is it. Where shall I go?  I guess I'll keep reading Reports from the Edge to find out.  I'd love to hear which one you get. Tell me at Dish@PrimeCrush.com.

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter curated by Dish Stanley 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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