The Crush Letter No 33

. 9 min read

Hello Crush,

Happy Saturday.  Thanks so much for being here.  My travels in Italy and Tangier with friends felt so exhilarating coming  out of the last year of isolation, but I'm glad to be home.  My return was all the warmer because I was greeted by so many lovely messages from CRUSH Readers.  I share a few below in Love Notes, but your notes mean so much to me.  Thank you, Steve, Sarah, Diana, KT, Sasha, etc., etc.

And I'm home just in time for tomorrow's Season 3 opener for Succession, which I'll have more to say about next week.  What thrilled me most in Season Two was the emerging relationship between Roman Roy, Logan's spoiled and immature youngest son, and Gerri Kellman, Waystar's middle-aged General Counsel whose  "Sister Superior Nun" demeanor has an edgy maternalism that, we discover, is laced with some dominatrix qualities.  After I wrote last week about how eager I am to see their relationship play out, I read this in The Cut:  Kieran Culkin Also Wants Roman and Gerri To Get Freaky.  

Since it's been almost two years since we last saw the two of them, let's make sure we all pick up Season Three on the same page, shall we?  Where we left off between them, Roman had dialed Gerri up in a huff after a failed attempt at phone sex with his hot girlfriend, things led to things with Gerri, and she surprised him (and all of us) by engaging - and getting him off with a slew of lines that culminated in "You little slime puppy."  Here's the youtube clip on that.  That was followed on a subsequent night by Roman visiting Gerri's hotel room for what ended up being a "special conference call" with Gerri on one side of a bathroom door in satin pajama's, saying "You'll bever be anything but a disgrace" to Roman, who is getting off on the other side of the door.   That clip is here.  

What I find most fascinating in all this is Gerri, and the trope-smashing depiction of an ever-so-slightly-frumpy middle-aged professional woman as a sexual provacateur.  In appearance and manner, she doesn't fit any stereotype we've seen in mainstream media (because, for instance, Wendy Rhoades in Billions is pretty conventiaonally hot - beautiful, slender and dressed to kill).  Gerri is a lot of middle-aged women you run into at the grocery store on her way home from work.  The revelation of this side of Gerri is a refreshing acknowledgement that anyone and everyone has a sexy side.  I love seeing it.

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

In This Letter.   +Kathy: This is a love story about three friends. By Amy Ferris.  How far would you go to help a friend with her dying wish?   +QUIVER. Sexual Debut Stories. By Lisa Ellex.   In this series, subjects candidly discuss and reflect upon their “sexual debut” all these years later.  Today we share Mimi's story.  +Love/Sex/Moon Magick: Past Lives, Past Loves. By Lynn Eaton.   Ever met someone and thought you knew them before? Our resident Wiccan reflects on lessons we learn from people from our past.  +AMPLIFY. Double Dates Podcast. Marlo Thomas & Phil Donahue Chat with Justine Leguizamo & John Leguizamo.  This regular column shares a snapshot of our favorite episodes from this podcast where one famous long-term couple discusses marriage with another famous long-term couple.  +Our Song of the Week. Yeah, I'm a midnight rider.

Kathy: This is a love story about three friends.  By Amy Ferris

How far would you go to help a friend with her dying wish? Writer Amy Ferris shares her touching story with us.

These are the very words that changed my life: "Don't tell me how you feel, Amy, tell me what you know."

My best friend Kathy Aiken said those words to me back in the ‘80s while I was snot-nose crying over some guy who broke my heart into a million pieces and I could hardly breathe on the other end of the phone and then she, Kathy, rattled off those words--tell me what you know--and then, after a long sigh, I rattled off all the things I knew.  Continue Reading Here

QUIVER. Sexual Debut Stories.  By Lisa Ellex

In this series, Lisa Ellex and her subjects candidly discuss and reflect upon their “sexual debut” all these years later.

“As he laid me down on the bed that stretched from one wall of the trailer to the other, I confessed to him that this was my first time.”

I visited Mimi in the magical garden of her country home.  An extraordinary visual and performing artist, she is celebrated for her work on the Broadway stage as well as jazz venues throughout the country.  When I asked the septuagenarian how she eluded marriage, she responded with a flawless Sophie Tucker impersonation: “I’m Living Alone and I Like It.”

“Because his father owned the local deli, Howie Spinell was the most popular boy in our small New Jersey town. Every so often, Howie would take one of the foil-wrapped chocolate-covered cherries that were displayed in a box near his father’s cash register and slip it into my school bag with a little note that read, ‘Sweets for my sweet.’ This recurring gesture caused me to consider giving myself to Howie when we were grown-ups, however, I was greatly undecided on this matter because I didn’t like his thumbs.  Continue Reading Here

Dear CRUSH Reader: How did your first sexual encounter shape your adult sex life? If you'd like to tell me about it, reach out to me at and your story could be told here.  Love, Lisa

Love/Sex/Moon Magick: Past Lives, Past Loves.  By Lynn Eaton

Ever met someone and thought you knew them before? Our resident Wiccan reflects on lessons we learn from people from our past.

Have you ever felt, upon first meeting someone, that you just KNOW them? I have. Many times. Sometimes it’s a good, solid connection. But sometimes, all of the hair stands up to attention at the back of my neck.

One such occasion was at a coven’s full moon ritual. A new member was joining and I was looking forward to this new energy within our circle. Immediately upon meeting her, I felt as if I had been hit across the face with negativity. I tried to shake it off, but with each subsequent meeting, the negative impact increased. My energy was being drained away. I realized that this was the result of a past life encounter that was unfinished. I created an amulet for protection and gradually weaned myself from her presence.  Continue Reading Here

This series highlights the best episodes from our favorite podcasts. One of them is Double Dates, hosted by Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue.  It features conversations on enduring love and all its challenges with couples who, like Thomas and Donahue, have been married a long time.

Double Dates Podcast. Marlo Thomas & Phil Donahue Chat with Justine Leguizamo & John Leguizamo. June 21st, 2021  

She grew up in the Upper East Side in a wealthy Jewish family. He was a troublemaker who was born in Colombia but is now a full-fledged New Yorker who spends life on the road a lot. Yet the journey for the Leguizamos has taught them about marriage and each other.

Who They Are.

John Leguizamo: Actor and stand-up comedian famous for Romeo + Juliet, Carlito’s Way, and John Wick.

Justine Leguizamo: She worked in films in the costume department.

Married for: 18 years

How they met: On the set of Carlito’s Way. John was starring in it, and Justine was a costume PA.

Continue Reading Here

Dear Dish.

{We've Gotten Some Love Notes We Wanted To Share. Thank You!}

“ Great issue: I ordered the game, listened to the podcast on men (thinking how lonely my brother was when he let himself die through drugs), going to listen to the Safari podcast and maybe get the book.” D

“Great Crush Letter!  I'm sending the "How Are You Crazy" piece to a bunch of people!” SF

“Just settling into The Crush Letter with my Stumptown coffee and have to ask…you throwing shade at my cats?! That’s okay, I still think I’m sexy. Just need to find someone else who isn’t freaked out by cats on the table.” R.

“One of your best newsletters yet today.” SK

Song of the Week

Six months into 2021, Chris Willman, writing in Variety, said "it might be premature to proclaim Allison Russell’s solo debut the album of the year … but “Outside Child” sure has the inside track.”  If you haven't heard it yet, it is a remarkable album with a stunning emotional core and original musicality.  Russell lays out a harrowing personal story of childhood abuse in her music (with liner notes, if you buy the physical album).  She has said that making the album was empowering, and a personal triumph, and it is that feeling, more than anything, that you experience while listening to the album.  Especially in my favorite song from the album, Nightflyer.  "Yeah, I’m a midnight rider / Stone bonafide night flyer / I’m an angel of the morning too / Promise that the dawn will bring you, you, you.” (Hat tip to KT for sending this over.)

To learn more about Allison - and you’ll want to, she is exceptional - read the NYT “Allison Russell Faces Her Past in Song,” Rolling Stones “How Allison Russell Broke Free of Her Painful Past” and NPR’s “Singer Allison Russell Shares Personal Saga of Trauma and Triumph On ‘Outside Child”.

Hope you have an angel of the morning, too.  If you watch Succession, let me know what you thought of the Season opener.  I look forward to comparing notes with you at

Dish Stanley XO,

We Don't Want You To Miss A Thing.  Links to Last Week's Letter & Previous Favorites

+The Friendship Files: Like A Tattoo. By A.K.A. Darla

+Nice to Meet You. How Are You Crazy? Alain de Botton Suggests the Way We Should Begin to Know the Ones We Love (& More) for On Being. By Dish Stanley.

+"Don't Touch My Hat." Midlife Men & Friendship, Depression, Loneliness. By Dish Stanley

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

+Oasis in the Desert. One Woman's Honest Journey Through Vaginal Rejuvenation. By Lynn Matthews

+Reports from the Edge: Solo at the Sex Party. By Jane Boon

+QUIVER. Sexual Debut Stories. By Lisa Ellex

+BITE. Go Date Yourself! By Ali Waks Adams

+Hefner. By Bob Guccione, Jr

+Field Trip: Five Married Couples, One Powerful Weekend Away With A Renowned Sex Therapist. By Dish Stanley.

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter from the Dish curating intelligence & stories on all things love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. Show us some love by slapping our fanny, or (ummm) subscription button, right down there.

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.


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