The Crush Letter No 26: Sexy Night In. A Special Issue.

. 20 min read

Hello Crush,

Hope that you are squeezing some laziness and warmth out of the last days of summer.

We've had some great news in the PrimeCrush community.  Jane Boon, who writes our Reports from the Edge column, just received the Pauline Reage Novel Award for her first novel Edge Play.  A mash-up of Fifty Shades of Grey with the Billions t.v. series, it chronicles Amy Lefevre's move from Wall Street investment banking to dominatrix in one of New York's most exclusive S&M dungeons.  Congratulations, Jane.

To celebrate Jane Boon's Pauline Reage Novel Award, we are sending copies of Edge Play to the next five Crush Readers whose 5 Things That Turn Me On we publish. (Here are some past Five Things; write to me at Dish@PrimeCrush.com for a template.)

Jane's own professional moves can be said to mirror that of her leading character.  With a background in manufacturing systems engineering and multiple engineering/data/statistics degrees (including from MIT),  she began researching the world of erotic power to assist a friend who was a dominatrix, eventually leading her to write Edge Play.  The common denominator that runs through Jane's life seems to be openness and curiosity.  In her most recent Reports from the Edge for PrimeCrush, she gave us the inside details on on her latex ensemble for a Parisian fetish party, which may have bailed me out of a personal jam as I (hope to) head to Paris soon and have no idea what to wear (should I be invited to a fetish soiree).  (Hello!  Hosts of fetish soiree's: my email is Dish@PrimeCrush.com. My invite must have gotten lost.)

As we get through these lazy dog days of summer though, there is no place I'd rather go than in.  So this week we are bringing the heat inside with a special issue for you - Sexy Night In.  And it's big, so let's go.


Welcome to the CRUSH Readers who joined us this week.  I'm Dish, the Master of Ceremonies. For more about me and why we're here go here.


In This Letter.  Sexy Night In Special Issue.   +BITE. What to Cook When You Want to F*ck.  Sometimes not much, as it turns out. Chef Ali Waks Adams brings us along on her night in.  +F*ck Songs. Three Best Jazz Albums for a Sexy Night In.  From a jazz vocalist who grew up with the sounds of live jazz wafting through her grandmother's Greenwich Village luncheonette.  +Playing Games: A Review of Esther Perel's Sold Out Card Game Where Should We Begin?  One of our readers tested it out with her husband.  It didn't turn out as expected.  +Stories to Read Aloud To Your Lover.  A.K.A. Darla shares a few to titillate. +PrimeCrush & Chill:  The Hottest Thing to Stream Right Now Is a 1969 French Psychodrama.  Dish was mesmerized by 'La Piscine'.  +Sex/Love/Moon Magick:  The Power of Sex.  For the latest in her regular column, Lynn Eaton feels an orasmic power.  +Our Song of the Week. RIP, Charlie Watts.


BITE. Like Eve except without regret.

BITE.  What to Cook When You Want to F*ck.  By Ali Waks Adams


This time around, Chef Ali designed an easy edible experience that seduces, before and after.

Seduction is my favorite part—it is all about possibilities. You are inviting someone in, showing them just a little of what you got goin’ on. Like a great dish, it starts with the barest whiff of attraction, sliding garlic cloves into warm oil. Soon there’s a legitimate aroma pulling you in, filling the room. Attraction is like that too, even the slightest possibility of sex makes the air a bit thicker, you feel yourself moving through it languidly, every movement means something.

As a chef, I am a professional seductress, I tease, I tantalize, I draw you in to my world.  My food heightens your senses, you find out what this tastes like, what that feels like, what it smells like, you eagerly anticipate what’s next until that final climax and then—ahhhhhh!—we relax together with a few little nibbles, and bites left to linger over. We are temporarily sated, but still curious…what could be next.

Food is a fabulous vehicle for seduction. I fed a man his first fresh fig, teetering on over ripeness - almost sticky, I wrapped it in salty, meaty serrano ham, I fed it to him by hand. I brought one gentleman into my world by leaving tiny bits of food out for him to taste, offering things he’d never thought of eating—truffles, roasted oysters, mushrooms.  Before meeting me he thought the five basic flavors were Ranch, Blue Cheese, Ketchup, BBQ and Cheez (they are, for the uninformed, Salty, Sour, Sweet, Bitter and Umami). I seduced my husband with a cheese plate. After a mouthful of aged cheddar crunchy with crystals and crisp russet apple drizzled with buckwheat honey, he was very interested in finding out what else I had to offer.

The sexiest, most seductive meal is one that invites, one that goes a bit deep, and by that, I mean a meal that has something of you in it. It’s your best, your favorite, it’s that combination that gives you goosebumps.  You don’t have to share every single thing at once, just open a door a crack, just enough so whomever you are seducing wants to get in, whether it’s your long-term partner or that couple in the vacation rental next door.

First, plan an easy edible experience from your own repertoire to seduce, whether that's homemade or a favorite takeout.  Something that makes you - as seducer - happy, whether it’s charcuterie, takeout dumplings, fondue, a great sandwich, a roast chicken or eggplant parmesan.  It should be simple.  

And then, make this beautiful mess of a crumble, warm and sweet, doused in thick cream—it's for after—when you are lying about undressed, half dressed, cross-dressed or whatever you do, and your relaxed, satisfied and hungry.

I have just the thing: Banana Crumble with Miso.

This recipe makes enough for two with leftovers for breakfast…if you are planning to seduce more than one person it is easily doubled or tripled.

If you hate bananas use can use literally any fruit whatsoever. My second favorites are big fat summer blackberries or sour cherries (leave out the miso and rum, substitute brandy or kirsch). Oh yeah and dont forget about apricot, blueberry, apple, pear, mango (mango/peach = amazing!). Just use what’s good and what’s in season. Whatever fruit you use, use the best you can find, use one kind, use two kinds, use three, make it your own!

Banana Miso Crumble

Inside

  • 2 cups sliced banana

(Do not use the bananas you totally forgot about and have shoved in the freezer for smoothies. This is the place for a perfect freckled banana, firm but luscious, this is no place for limp, wan bananas.)

  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs Red Miso
  • ¼ cup dark rum (or shooter of whatever rum if you don’t want to buy a whole bottle)
  • 2 Tbs dark brown sugar (you can sub maple sugar, date or coconut sugar)
  • ½ stick unsalted butter (if you do not use animal product sub nondairy butter or coconut oil)

Topping

  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 cup flour (if you are gluten free you can go straight oats or use a GF flour blend)
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown, preferably Muscovado sugar (again you can sub maple sugar, date or coconut sugar)
  • ¼ cup white sugar (I like this for texture…if you don’t do sugar leave it out)
  • 1 big pinch flaky salt
  • ½ stick of cold unsalted butter- cut in small cubes (can sub non-dairy butter)

How to Make It:

  1. Toss the bananas in the lime juice.
  2. In small saucepan melt ½ stick butter, miso, brown sugar and rum over low-to-medium heat. When it starts to bubble turn it off.
  3. Let cool slightly then pour over the bananas.
  4. Toss/stir to coat them put in an ovenproof dish, a gratin dish is perfect.
  5. In a clean bowl, add oats, flour, sugars and flaky salt whisk them together.
  6. Using your fingers (if you have hot hands run them under cold water for a bit) work the butter in to the oat mixture—you want to coat it with butter—really get it there firm but gentle, rub it, oh yes, just……like……that.
  7. Tumble the topping over top of the bananas…and hold in the fridge until ready to bake.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 -25 minutes.
  9. Serve warm with dollops of softly-whipped, barely-sweetened cream, whipped coconut cream, vanilla or salted caramel ice cream or iced ”cream”. Crème fraiche or mascarpone would also work, so would whipped sour cream or yogurt just barely sweetened and with a splash of vanilla or rum.

Additions: No one will be mad if you add a handful of chocolate chunks (milk would be best even though…yeah, I know dark chocolate is so good for you), a dollop of Nutella, peanut butter or almond butter, or candied ginger to the bananas…adding some toasted pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts or red skinned peanuts to the topping.

F*ck Songs. Yeah, we've got Miles.

F*ck Songs.  Three Best Jazz Albums for a Sexy Night In, from a Jazz Vocalist.  By Lisa Ellex  


Writer and vocalist Lisa Ellex combed her collection for the top three best jazz albums for your sexy night in, whether you’re behind closed doors or going solo, here are her favorites.

Jazz was the first music I ever recall hearing. On any given day, Carmen McRae, Stan Getz, Sergio Mendez, or Antonio Carlos Jobim would be playing in our home, on my father’s car radio, or in my grandmother’s Greenwich Village luncheonette. My parents always began their Saturday date night at the famed Village Vanguard, and Sunday nights meant I would get to hear the music pouring from its doors on our walk home from dinner at my grandmother’s apartment.

It seemed that jazz was everywhere then, and even at my young age, I instinctively knew it was romantic and sexy, and I knew I would sing it one day. And much like the best sex, it’s always a thrill to be immersed in it, while experiencing the element of surprise, and the anticipation of what’s to come.

Getz/Gilberto (1964)

When Brazilian musician/composer Antonio Carlo Jobim brought his band of bossa to Carnegie Hall in 1962, he invited American tenor saxophonist Stan Getz to join the lineup. This single night of music set off the bossa nova craze in the United States that spread the world over. Getz and Jobim’s guitarist/singer, Joao Gilberto, went on to record the now classic Getz/Gilbert and forged this dreamy Brazilian sound that is the bossa we still can’t get enough of -- 57 years later!

The album offers the perfect balance of instrumental and vocal selections and features Gilberto’s wife, Astrud, better known as the “Girl From Ipanema.”  Though I’ve heard it for decades, I never tire of Getz’s gorgeous, breathy solo on this cut.

Every offering on this record is a stand-out, but you’ll especially love the classic “Corcovado” (“Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars”) with vocals provided by Mr. and Mrs. Gilberto in both English and Portuguese. It just doesn’t get much sexier than bossa nova.

Watch: Astrud Gilberto perform “Corcovado” on YouTube

Kind of Blue (1959)

I often wonder if Miles Davis knew he was making the best jazz album of all time when he assembled the rhythm section of pianist Bill Evans, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb, and completed the sextet with saxophonists Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane. Bill Evans sat out on the “Freddie the Freeloader” track to give the bench to gone-too-soon pianist Wynton Kelly, making for a personnel of seven jazz giants. With no charts and no rehearsal, these men changed the sound of jazz.

Watch: Miles Davis and John Coltrane perform “So What” on YouTube

SPARK (2014)

Vocalist/bandleader/composer Marianne Solivan offers the full range of her gifts here with Spark, her second LP release. Leading a killer band comprised of pianist Xavier Davis, bassist Matthew Parish, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, Solivan delivers every note with a vocal emotion that cuts right to your core. From her original composition of the title track to the record’s finale, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve”, this is a must for your ‘Sexy Night In’ collection.

Watch: “The Making of Spark” on YouTube

Playing Games. Review of Esther Perel's New Sold Out Card Game

Playing Games: A Review of Esther Perel's New Sold Out Card Game.  By Sasha Zerulnick

We challenged one PrimeCrush contributor to play Esther Perel’s sold out new card game and what she got was not at all what she was expecting.

In case you haven’t heard, world-renown relationship expert Esther Perel has created a card game of insightful and provocative questions called Where Should We Begin? which, according to her website, was designed “to introduce playfulness and storytelling into your next date, dinner party, or intimate get together.” The game sold out in a flash, and there’s currently a waitlist—and much anticipation—for the upcoming September shipment. I was lucky enough to borrow the game and, knowing it can be played one-on-one or in a group of friends, I opted to play with my husband, anticipation intact.

This is a card game involving a series or questions with varying degrees of intimacy. Each question card has a symbol indicating what type of question it is (the sex ones have a pink triangle). You don't have to answer every question, you can pass unless a player tokens you—then you have no choice, you must answer the question. While there are no  actual winners or losers, we all win just by playing because we learn about each other and we grow as people. I love games. However, I‘m very competitive, and my favorite thing about playing games is winning them. Some people do not enjoy playing games with me, one of those people is my husband.

There is a Yiddish saying: “Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht.” Meaning: Man Plans, God Laughs. Here’s this thing about planning a sexy night in with your long-term partner, timing is everything. I scheduled our sexy night in on the only night this month I didn’t have to work and we didn’t have visitors (we live in a vacation destination). We were both rather exhausted and frankly resentful of each other for various and sundry minor indiscretions. It was a perfect storm.

The game itself was not at fault…but I was mad at my husband for leaving bags of redeemables in the foyer causing flies to accumulate at a terrifying rate and tensions were high. When he pulled the first card and read “I think the concept of marriage is…”, he answered, “Are you f**king kidding me?” I certainly did not feel that we were in a loving enough space for me to announce that my most consistent sexual fantasy is one in which he plays absolutely no part whatsoever and maybe I answered the question I get bored during sex when…. with “WHEN THERE ARE A HUNDRED MILLION FLIES IN THE HOUSE!”

We tried, there were a lot of truly insightful questions, some of which are quite terrifying to share like The last lie I told was and The one who got away… and, of course, the worst thing I’ve ever done to someone is….

Since our game ended in tears I decided to play with myself. These are my answers to the cards I had in my hand when gameplay was aborted and we called a forfeit:

Q: If I could choose the way I’d die I’d pick…

A: Not even knowing it was happening, I’d like my last thought to be “What the Fu….”

Q: My most cringe-worthy sexual experience…

A: Involved a very, very, very small, basically thumb-sized penis…and the other one involved one the size of a baby’s arm holding an apple…I’m very much a Cinderella when it comes to dicks.

Q: If I could whisper something in the ear of my younger self, I would say…

A: Body Fat is not a fatal flaw, it doesn’t make you a bad person, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of…I would also have whispered this to myself yesterday.

By the end of our first attempt of Where Should We Begin?, that delicious banana crumble was gloweringly hate-eaten standing in the kitchen even after taking a full 20 mg cbd gummy.

I have only begun playing this game, there are boundaries of honesty that I am not comfortable with. In order to “win” this game I need to cross those boundaries and be open and honest with myself, my partner, my friends and family, my whole frickin’ life. It’s the scariest game ever, and I can’t wait to play again.

Where Should We Begin - A Game of Stories
Where Should We Begin - A Game of Stories is a new game from Esther Perel designed to introduce playfulness and storytelling into your next date, dinner party, or intimate get together.
Stories to Read Aloud to A Lover.

Stories to Read Aloud to a Lover.  By A.K.A. Darla

One writer conceives a sexy birthday gift for her lover, and shares with us so we can all spread the love.

As my lover’s birthday was approaching, it was time for me to give some thought to his present. Over the years we’ve been together, I’ve gifted him with everything from the sublime to the ridiculous, but this being a milestone birthday, I wanted to think long and hard (hmmm...) about my choice.

Of course, I would pamper him, but how?  Sure, full-service spas and fine dining are swell, but one of the many things I took away from 2020 was how little we really require, and so I wanted to honor the birthday boy with something more meaningful than the contents of a box lobbed at his door by an overworked Amazon driver.

I thought about his passions: baseball, music, wine, and the written word, and decided on three out of four.

When his special day arrived, I softly played Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concertos in another room. Then, I opened a bottle of his favorite Nero D’avola and asked him to get himself comfortable on the divan. With his eyes closed, I began reading aloud my carefully curated erotica and, suddenly, we were transported to a simpler and sexier time. Lazy days of intimacy and undivided attention. Every so often, I would playfully pause before revealing the juicier passages. With each word I read, I could hear his breath quicken. I could see his chest rise. From time to time, a devilish smile appeared.  We two were completely engaged, aroused like a couple of teenagers tangled under a boardwalk. Needless to say, we never made it to the birthday cake, and lover-man has requested that a naughty novel become a regular part of our repertoire.

Here are a few I personally vouch for, for your repertoire:

Delta of Venus (1977) Erotica By Anais Nin

Realizing that the female experience was seldom represented in literature, Anais Nin began her erotic diaries and novels in 1931 and continued through 1966. During the 1940s, she wrote Delta of Venus, a collection of fifteen short stories, for a private collector of erotica, but it was not published until after her death in 1977. In my mind, Nin is both master and mistress of this genre, evoking so much with so few words.

Rubyfruit Jungle (1973)  By Rita Mae Brown

A now-classic of lesbian literature, Brown’s debut novel has been described as groundbreaking, hilarious, and powerful. Her graphic, autobiographical account of her struggle with sexual discovery, spans from her Pennsylvania childhood in the late 1940s to her professional career in late 1960s Manhattan.

Erotic Neighbors: Five Erotic Male Gay Stories for Adults (2021)  By Koby Rennie

Reading through these stories was akin to self-soothing with an entire box of assorted munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts: “bite-size delights in a variety of delicious flavors, so it’s easy to try them all.”

The Sexual Life of Catherine M. (2001)  By Catherine Millet

Originally published in the author/art critic’s native French, writer Edmund White called this memoir “the most explicit book about sex ever written by a woman.”  Moving in and around Paris, Millet’s escapades are fueled by her insatiable desire for group sex and her open marriage with her husband, writer Jacques Henric, for whom each story was originally written as a letter describing her trysts.

Hey, a night in streaming with Toto is a perfect night in.

PrimeCrush & Chill:  The Hottest Thing to Watch Right Now Is a 1969 French Psychodrama 'La Piscine'.  By Dish Stanley

In this periodic column we hook back up with our favorite ex's--as in classic movies worth a re-watch.

If you didn't spend your summer tuned into the NYC heat index, then maybe you missed the fever around the 1969 French film La Piscine ("The Swimming Pool").  There's been a lot.  It opened at the consecrated Greenwich Village art-house cinema the Film Forum in May and never left, only one of the reasons that Glynnis McNichol of The New York Times called it a "film of New York's 2021 summer."  By then Glenn Kenny, also of The New York Times, had named it a "Critic's Pick," The Criterion Collection had added it to its library of vaunted classics and Robert Abele further enflamed with his review in the L.A. Times Desire by the poolside electrifies psychodrama of 1969's 'La Piscine.'  Farran Smith Nehme provided some juicy (and much appreciated, for this viewer) back story in Sun-Kissed Tension: On the Staying Power of Deray's La Piscine on rogerebert.com.  And, in reaction to all that, one of my favorite film critics, Richard Brody, wrote The Movie World's Misplaced Worship of 'The Swimming Pool' in The New Yorker.  

Whether he was successful in dousing out the fire lit by La Piscine I'm not sure.  I can only say that I was glad that I did not read Brody's derisive critique ("American art-house cinema mistakes the film's glamour and nostalgia for oginiality") before watching it.  Brody took the sultry movie seriously, as its weighty themes (possesiveness, manipulation, control, feminine power and objectification) and even more menacing atmosphere might insist.  Also, there was all that ruckus.  Me?  Not so much.  Maybe because I started it on an unseasonally hot, sleepless August night at 2am, or maybe owing to its very slow pace, but I gave up searching for the clues that might ultimately hold the story together early.  About ten minutes in, actually.

That's when a young Jane Birkin, playing the role of a detached young woman named Penelope (though I never saw her as anything other than an early version of the boho sensation she would become) and her father Harry (played by the excellently snakey Maurice Ronet) step out of his burgundy Maserati.  They are joining the central characters, Marianne (a hypnotic Romy Schneider) and Jean-Paul (a sultry and pensive Alain Delon), who had spent most of the opening scenes playing in and around the pool that is the focal point of the spacious villa outside Saint Tropez friends have lent them.  Also by then, viewers had witnessed the one suggestively sadomasochistic scene that could explain the intensity and, ultimately, persistence, of the bond between the two leading characters, Marianne and Jean-Paul (as well as underscore some of the film's themes and connect the story line).

But I'm not going there, because also by then the themes and the story line itself already felt drowned by the weight of the mesmerizing beauty, glamour and cool of the dazzling leads, the villa, the period, the cinematography, the groovy score.  Watching gorgeous, tanned bodies in various states of stylish dress, often wet from the pool, seducing and lusting and stretching and strolling around an elegantly relaxed French Riviera villa--all with a glowering hint of danger mixed into the backdrop--was more than enough reason for me to jump in.  Those are the reasons to watch La Piscine.  It is not soft porn, but La Piscine offers up a kind of quintessentially 60's languid, sultry visual stimulation that slowly builds like drawn-out foreplay, after which you can dive into whatever you'd like.

Watch the trailer on youtube here.  Note that the relative jazzy pace of the trailer belies the lazy crawl of the film itself.

If you are a subscriber to Criterion, stream it here.

Sex/Love/Moon Magick:  The Power of Sex.  By Lynn Eaton

Did you know that your orgasm is pure Magick. Our resident Wiccan explains its loving, sexy power.

Sex. S-E-X. Much has been written, sung, discussed and argued about this very joyful experience. But there is an aspect of sex that perhaps not many folks have experienced. It is Power. It is Magick.

The energy released at orgasm can be magnificent and when channelled effectively can create Magickal Intention to manifest works. But it must be done carefully. It must be done with full knowledge of your partner’s purposes. You must be synchronized with clear focus for the rite. If not, it can be disastrous.

Many years ago, I thought that I had found a perfect partner in my life, love and Magick. He was Wiccan. We worked in a circle together doing full moon rituals and Wheel of the Year celebrations. I thought we were ready for some working together using the energy raised during sex as the apex of our ritual. I bought a new tarot deck as “our” deck that we would also use to focus our intent.

He knew of a secluded spot out in the country where all that was left of an old farmhouse was its fireplace. As the heart of the home, we thought it would make the perfect area for us. We hiked in twice with all our supplies for the night: Candles, symbols of the four directions, blankets, food, a boom box.

We spread our blankets and organized the space. Movement on the old chimney caught our eyes. Ladybugs. Thousands of them. A good luck omen, we thought. We spread out our new tarot deck. We got naked.

The circle was cast, candles were lit, music played softly. We moved with the rhythm. And then… nothing. Maybe it was all of the preparation or the concrete-like hardness of the ground. Maybe it was the coolness of the darkness overtaking us. Maybe it was the mosquitos.

We got dressed. We closed the circle. We had our picnic as we browsed the images on the tarot cards. None of them resonated with either of us. What went wrong?

No clear intention. No goal for the working. We split up as a couple soon afterwards. Intention makes the difference. Well, that and the right partner.

Like my Hunny Man. Together almost twenty years now, we make a good team. We’ve manifested some great things into our lives, too. The place we live is the best example of the culmination of some excellent Sex Magick.

We thought that we were content living in a duplex in the city, camping at a friend’s parent’s lakeside acreage on weekends and holidays. And we were. Until they told us that they were going to sell their place. Our glorious refuge from the hustle and bustle. The site of our handfasting. So, we decided to clear the path to our “perfect place in the country.”

Alone by the campfire, we made it clear what we wanted. We sang. We laughed. We got naked. We moved with the rhythm of our hearts. And then… Magick! Maybe it was the softness of our tent trailer’s bed. Maybe it was the warmth from the glow of the campfire. Maybe it was no bugs.

As the fire between our bodies magnified, we released simultaneously. I spoke aloud, “Find us our perfect place! Find us our home!”  Our intention was clear and united. One month later, we found our spot.

The real difference between these two experiences with Sex Magick is love. True, honest, messy. No bells and whistles with the “right” tools was needed with my Hunny Man. Just love and clear intention.

Song of the Week.  

Needs no explanation.  (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Rolling Stones.  RIP Charlie Watts.

Listen on youtube here.

Here's wishing that your last week of summer is full of heat.

Dish Stanley XO,
Dish

PS:  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, facebook & twitter.

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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