The Crush Letter No 45

. 8 min read

I'm Dish and I write a weekly newsletter about friendship, love, sex and marriage in midlife. Because honestly, it's more marvelous than they told you it would be. Want the Dish? Hell yes, sign me up for the Dish.

Hello Crush,

Greetings from Wyoming, where we've gotten over 18 inches of fresh snow in the last couple days and I am laid up with a bum knee. Still, it's a glorious view from the couch, where I have dug into Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley series. I love a civilized narcissistic psychopath, especially at a distance.

The thing about a new year is that everyone seems to become a self-help expert, have you noticed that? Scrolling through social media means subjecting yourself to aggressive advice of this sort - currently a "trending meme" - "Take this energy into 2022: If It's Not A F*ck Yes, Then It's a F*ck No." My initial reaction to it was an "Eff Yeah" since on its face it appeared unambiguously correct in the moment. In this case, though, I then realized I had just signed onto some random person's half-baked sentiment, which runs entirely counter to my fully considered "I'm game" approach to midlife. Hiking the Dolomites with a group of mostly strangers?  Yet another first date? Trying the new ramen place down the block instead of my tried-and-true bar seat at my favorite local Italian? All were adventures with unknown outcomes that I was hopeful about, but pretty far from "F*ck Yes" at the point when I was heading out the door. All were eye-opening thrills.

It turns out, the very next post after the "F*ck No" post was this insta reel (with Bob Marley and the Wailers as background music no less) posted by Jimmy Chin (the climber and film director of Free Solo). He's skiing through today's fresh powder here in his homebase of Jackson Hole. Chin is someone whose notable ascents (in the mountains and otherwise) continue to rack up and astound. So affirming. He's living a big, bold midlife, with a "this next thing could be a great adventure" momentum. That's the approach to midlife I want to have. It's like his reel was the confirmation I needed: "Stick with it, Dish. Just keep throwing yourself into things you have a good hunch on."

Speaking of good hunches, we've got a great Letter for you this first full week of 2022. Enjoy!

In This Letter.  +A PrimeCrush Toy Tester Precursor.Everything’s Better Wetter: A Few Words About Lube! By Dish Stanley "I’m wet enough that I didn’t think I *had* to have it. But the sex was wetter. Wetter is always better when it comes to sex."  +EXTENDED ENCOUNTERS: “Emma and Eve.” By Lisa Ellex  That “right place” was a beach at the Jersey Shore. The “wrong time” was 1963. +Solo in my Sixties. By Jeanne Bosse I must have been Dracula…or a spin instructor...or something. +Amplify. Best Lines from the Double Dates Podcast Hosted By Marlo Thomas & Phil Donahue with Bryan Cranston & Robin Dearden. I never wanted to get married. It wasn’t high on my list, and my parents never instilled in me the need to be married.  +Our Song of the Week  "I'm the only John Wayne left in this town."

A PrimeCrush Toy Tester Precursor.

Everything’s Better Wetter: A Few Words About Lube! By Dish Stanley

Lube is a Toy Box favorite for me, but I've learned to make sure to check the ingredients because the same standards for clean products that have infused other parts of the health & wellness industries haven't gone as deep into the intimacy products market.

Reviews from our PrimeCrush Toy Testers will be com’ing (ahem) very soon. Our testers are (at this very moment, some of them), sharing their thoughts on the variety of items we sent them in their first Toy Box.  

What one thing was in a lot of the toy boxes? Lube. We’ll wait to say more on any particular lube brands until we collate more of the Toy Tester’s reviews, but I thought we’d slide into the topic of lube with a little precursor. It’s a highly subjective area, yet there are a couple of things most people should consider when considering lube.

Wetter Is Better (or Why Lube Is Liquid Magic).  Lube is like a liquefied Silk Sonic song as far as I'm concerned. It turns me on. It makes everything feel smoother, more intense and like we're leaning into something exciting.  One of my best friends is adamant about only one thing when it comes to sex.  (She's a fluid sort.) It’s better, and she has more orgasms, with lube than without it. Why? It’s silky and soothing, it’s fun, it can become part of a foreplay ritual (eg, a hand job that glides smoothly while applying the desired pressure), it can allow you to have sex longer (if you want!), and if you use it every single time it eliminates not only dryness but also (even more importantly) anxiety about potential dryness. (Because even if you are naturally well-lubricated, some day-to-day variation is inevitable.)

Consider this: I have another girlfriend who had never tried it because, she said, she didn’t need it. But she’s a game person and with some urging from me and another girlfriend (in a Sex And The City moment over brunch), gave it a shot. What’d she say?

Continue Reading Here

EXTENDED ENCOUNTERS: “Emma and Eve.”  By Lisa Ellex

In her series exploring the magic in long-term relationships, Lisa Ellex speaks to Emma, a retired school administrator, and Eve, a retired police dispatcher–and the 57-year- relationship they fought for.

Of all the couples I know, Emma and Eve have been together the longest. After having to remain silent for decades, they now speak openly. Their tale is one of bravery, love, and commitment. When I asked how they met, Emma answered quickly.

“We were in the right place at the wrong time.”

That “right place” was a beach at the Jersey Shore. The “wrong time” was 1963.

Continue Reading Here

Solo in my Sixties.  By Jeanne Bosse

Though admittedly rarely lonely, one PrimeCrush writer explores the ups and downs (but mostly ups!) of single life.

My sixties were supposed to have a different scenario. In this decade, I was expecting to be in a long and still-happy marriage with a few grown children and fulfilling work. Being solo at this stage of life (solo sounds more adventurous than single) was not part of the plan. Perhaps I was wearing rose-colored glasses, but I always did have an active fantasy life. And I still do.
What I did not have, ninety-eight percent of the time was a successful romantic life.  When I heard David Rose of Schitt’s Creek describing his romantic travails, I roared with laughter, as it is definitely attributable to my own: “It’s just one long string of really bad luck and I don’t know what kind of carnage I inflicted in my past life to deserve it.  I must have been Dracula…or a spin instructor...or something.”

Continue Reading Here

Amplify. Best Lines from the Double Dates Podcast Hosted By Marlo Thomas & Phil Donahue with Bryan Cranston & Robin Dearden

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 Bryan Cranston & Robin Dearden. Episode Date July 12, 2021 (31 Minutes)

Bryan and Robin are proof that you can grow up with poor role models, disagree on the fundamentals of marriage, and still make it work. If you go to therapy, that is.

Who They Are.

Bryan Cranston: Actor who rose to fame from roles in Malcolm in the Middle, Breaking Bad, and more.

Robin Dearden: Robin was an actor in shows like Magnum P.I., Highway to Heaven, and The A-Team.

Married for: 32 years

How they met: On the set of Airwolf. They both had partners at the time, but as they slowly got to know each other, they realized they were soulmates.

Continue Reading Here

Song of the Week

Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy.  I heard this on the radio driving down Moose-Wilson Road in Jackson Hole yesterday and it threw me back to 2010, the year it came out. If you like your music a little raucous, a lot of fun and politically incorrect, this video holds it up.  Try to stay in your seat. Hah. Watch it here.

Go cowboy, go. Trying to chase the Lone Ranger down.

Dish Stanley XO,

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 from the Dish curating intelligence & stories on all things 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.

We Dont Want You To Miss A Thing. Links to Previous Favorites.

+ TREATS: A Sex Toy Tester Update (& Preview). By Dish Stanley

+ Extended Encounters. By Lisa Ellex

+ Amplify. Best Lines from the Double Dates Podcast Hosted By Marlo Thomas & Phil Donahue

+ Oasis in the Desert. One woman’s honest journey through vaginal rejuvenation. By Lynn Matthews

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


'Merci'! to Emily in Paris for one of the most riverting women in pop culture "Divorce, Baby, Divorce" by Liza Lentini "Don't Touch My Hat.*" Midlife Men & Loneliness "This is a Tale of Modern Love ..." 2022 2024 Hit List 3 things I'm crushing on 5 Books to Help You Chill TF Out 5 Great Boutique Hotels Around NYC. By Jeanne Bosse 5 things that turn our crush readers on A Book That Could Unf*ck Your Relationship: I Want This To Work By Elizabeth Earnshaw. Reviewed By Angela Kempf. A Circle of Crones. By Elayne Clift A Roman Love Affair. By Lady Verity 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? And Just Like That... Who Are These People?? By Jeanne Bosse And so this is Another brother gained and lost. By Jeanne Bosse Ask Dish Bedtime Rituals for Couples. By Lauren D. Weinstein Bisexually Anxious Among the Noodges. Review: shiva Baby Bloody Good Sex Book review Book Review: A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers Book Review: I'm With The Band by Pamela Des Barres. Reviewed by Evie Arnaude Book Review: Maurice Book Review: Norma Kamali: I Am Invincible Book Review: Swan Dive: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina by Georgina Pazcoguins. Reviewed By Lady Varity Book Review: The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It Every Time By Maria Konnikova' Book Review: The Lover. By Marguerite Duras. Book Review: The Story of O Book Review: VOX by Nicholson Baker. Reviewed by Christian Pan Building The Perfect Music Collection Calm App Review: “If I Traveled Or Worked In An Office, I Would Rely On This App Heavily”. By Evie Arnaude Christian Pan CRUSH Summer Reading List! From CRUSH Reader Sharon Weinberg, Owner of The Chatham Bookstore Culture/Comments Dear Dish devour DEVOUR {things to do, have & know about} Devour: Reads we think you should devour Dish Gets A Kink Assessment. Dish Stanley Dish Stanley's Rules for Polite Society Doing Nothing With Friends Effortless, Natural Holiday Makeup. By Lauren D. Weinstein Emily In Paris Extended Encounters. By Lisa Ellex F*ck Songs. Three Best Jazz Albums for a Sexy Night In. By Lisa Ellex Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style and Attitude: Mireille Guiliano. Reviewed by Evie Arnaude Five Best Jazz Clubs Around The Country. By Lisa Ellex Foria's Totally Useful Guide to Sexting Four Indie Bookstore That Stayed In My Life Long After I Left Town. By Dish Stanley French Kiss: French Girls Do It Better, Right? friendship Fun in the sun skincare tips get your spy thrill on Girl Crush. By Lady Verity Grief. By Lauren D. Weinstein Healing Through Change. By Lauren D Weinstein Heard It at The Grammys: Dishs Crush on Silk Sonic Hefner. By Bob Guccione, Jr Hide A Love Note In Their Pocket. Hit List Holiday Invites Holiday Perspectives. By Dean Christopher Hook Ups Hot Thots How to Be the Most Charming Person at a Holiday Party. By Evie Arnaude How to find porn thats actually good I am my own family I just turned 60 but I feel 22 I redesigned my closet. I'm Dish, the Master of Ceremonies Im glad my mom died In Good Hands. Kathy: This Is A Love Story About Three Friends La Mia Famiglia by Lisa Ellex Lamentations on the Lost Art of Kissing. By Elisabeth C. Lamotte Leave the husband, bring the cannoli. By A.K.A. Darla Let's Reconsider, with Adam Grant Love & Mike's "Bad Girl Pasta" Love/Sex/Moon Magick By Lynn Eaton LXIX. By A.K.A. Darla Meeting Across the River Melissa Biggs Bradley's New Book Safari Style Makes Me Want To Go On A Safari midlife MIDLIFE CRISIS: When Reality Strikes, By Dean Christopher Movie Magic. By Amy Ferris My First Solo Trip: Mexico, Part I. By Dawn Larsen My Prostate Journey: A Personal Story My Tits Contain MulTITudes Naked & Not afraid by KC Roth Oasis in the Desert. One woman's honest journey through vaginal rejuvenation. OMG Yes. Pamela Anderson: What Her Story Says About Us paris Pillow Tawk (or NOT)? Play well with others. By Dish Stanley Playing Games: A Review of Esther Perel's New Sold Out Card Game. Podcast Review: Dying for Sex. Why You Need to Listen to Molly's Journey. political thrillers PrimeCrush & Chill: Movies Worth a Re-Watch PrimeCrush Bookshop PrimeCrush Cocktail Coaster Giveaway! QUIVER. Sexual Debut Stories. recommedations Red Flags Reports from the edge. By Jane Boon separate bedrooms Sexual Frustrations. By Elisabeth C Lamotte Shameless Quick & Easy Mac & Cheese. By Evie Arnaude Sighs & Moans. By Ralph Greco SIP. Best Lines from the Double Dates Podcast Hosted by Marlo Thomas & Phil Donahue 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 Solo in my Sixties. By Jeanne Bosse Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck. Stanley Tucci Is Paradise Stories to Read Aloud to a Lover. By A.K.A. Darla Tell Me More. By Dish Stanley The 3 Things You're Really Fighting About The 4 Most Common Skincare Issues for Men (But Were Afraid to Ask). By Lauren D. 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Weinstein The Friendship Files By AKA Darla The Golden Bachelor The Hole. By Kiva Schuler The Holiday Anti-Checklist By Liza Lentini The New Menopause By Dr. Mary Claire Haver The Perfect Snowy Saturday. By Jeanne Bosse The Ritual of Comforts. By Lady Verity The Sex Position Report. By Dish Stanley The Solo Series Thee Timeless Travel Books. By Bob Guccione Jr. Things To Let Go Of. By Dish Stanley This must be the place To get all of us, subscribe. Top Ten Jazz Albums To Soothe Your Soul. By Lisa Ellex TOPIX Transitions Travel tips Treats: A Sex Toy Tester Update Under The Radar Series. By Dish Stanley Valentines day what dead to me taught me about family. Who Are CRUSH Readers Grateful For? Women of a Certain Age Whose Style I Admire You're My Medicine Your Big Green Heart. By Liza Lentini Your Love Is King & Queen, GQ Zits a poppin Zoning Out in Comfort. By Dean Christopher