The Crush Letter No 51: DEVOUR

. 19 min read

I'm Dish and I write a weekly newsletter about life, love & sex after 45.  Because we're hotter than hell, people.  And that Super Bowl Half Time Show – Dre, Snoop, Queen Mary J and Eminem – the best we've seen – is proof if ever we needed it (we didn't, but still).  That's what I'm saying, we're hotter than hell.  Don't let them tell you otherwise.  Join us.  Hell yes, sign me up for the Dish.

Hello Crush,

Vibe Shift.  That term was used in a lot of cultural discourse this week.  In the sense of "are we seeing a shift in what's trending?" in everything from the overarching cultural mood, to fashion (it was New York Fashion Week), to an evolving aggregate emotional state (from pandemic inward-looking meditation to a future post-pandemic concert hall).  (Scroll through the DEVOUR section to catch up on the vibe shift discussion from the original sources if you're not caught up.)  

I was digging all the vibe shift conversations. Personally I'm going through one - I'll write more about it soon now that it's wrapped up - but I spent the last five weeks as part of David Stewart's (of Ageist) latest The New Superage Mastermind cohort.  It was an intimate group of about 12 who met weekly (virtually) to do a very deep dive into the latest science on health, wellness and longevity for those over 50.  It has had a profound impact on how I see and feel about myself in midlife, and has already changed how I am taking care of myself.

But the vibe shift conversation that's happening broadly now is not about any one person's (0r 12 peoples') routine or outlook; it's about the larger cultural moment.  And that's what was so exciting to me.  As the New Superage Mastermind cohort wrapped up this past week I started to see that my own shift in how I see and feel myself in midlife (as way hotter than everyone said it would be) is indicative of something bigger happening out there.  That we are at a cultural turning point on midlife where our collective perceptions are going through a vibe shift.

Just take the Super Bowl Halftime Show as one example. Dre, Snoop, Queen Mary J and Eminem - they killed it.  It made me think, who else in midlife is making me feel like it's cool to be just where we're at?  So DEVOUR Contributing Editor Lisa Ellex and I came up with a special list for you:  10 Follows That Will Convince You How Fire It Is To Be Over 40. It was super fun to pull together.

We have much more for you in this Letter as well.  Enjoy!

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.   +DEVOUR. A monthly column on things to do, read, see and have.  This month we're highlighting 10 Follows That Will Convince You How Fire It Is To Be Over 40.  By Dish Stanley & Contributing Editor Lisa Ellex. Things to do, read, see & have.   +A Book That Could Unf*ck Your Relationship: I Want This To Work By Elizabeth Earnshaw. Reviewed by Angela Kempf. The advice she gives is practical and goes beyond common sense—plus, you can use it whether you’re on your first date or your 30th anniversary.   +AMPLIFY!  11 Sex With Emily Podcast Episodes CRUSH Readers Can't-Miss-Out-On.  First up: Winner, Winner, Sex Before Dinner. By Dish Stanley Couples that play together stay together.  +Our Song of the Week But if we’ve wandered into heaven / Well, Jackson Hole’s just not that far

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

10 Follows That Will Convince You How Fire It Is To Be Over 40.

Who: Lynn Goldsmith @lynngoldsmith
What: Celebrity Portrait Photographer
Why: For immortalizing our music icons and other fine faces.

Content: Images of a brilliant career, a life well-lived, personal journaling.
With a body of work that spans over fifty years, more than 100 album covers, and
pieces in the collections at museums including The Smithsonian and the Museum of Modern Art, Lynn Goldstein is the Godmother of Groovy. Shortly after graduating magna cum laude from the University of Michigan, Goldsmith became the youngest member ever to be inducted into the Directors Guild of America. In the mid-seventies, she formed her own company, LGI, the first photo agency to represent images of famous people in the entertainment industry. After 20 years of representing over 300 photographers worldwide, Goldstein sold the company to Corbis. She continues her work in photography to this day.

Who: Eminem @eminem
What: Grammy-winning Rapper, Songwriter, Recording Artist, Producer
Why: Because hard work and determination will get you everywhere.

Content: Music, Merch, Videos, Tour Info, and some stuff just for fun.
Hard to believe it but “Slim Shady” turns fifty this year. His rags-to-rage-to riches story is well known by now: living in his mother’s trailer with his wife and two-year-old baby, he places second in a rap contest, gets his demo into the hands of Dr. Dre, and the rest is history. Considered one of the greatest rappers of all time, he made his film debut in 8 Mile in 2002 and, with his single “Lose Yourself” from the film’s soundtrack and became the first hip-hop artist to ever win an Oscar. After a 2007 drug overdose, he took time off to treat his addiction and came back on the scene with the album, Recovery, which became the best-selling album worldwide in 2010. He is on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” as well as their “100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.” His charity work includes the Marshall Mather Foundation aiding disadvantaged youth, and during CoVid 2020 he donated “mom’s spaghetti'' (a reference to a line from his song “Lose Yourself”) to healthcare workers at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Still can’t get enough? Peloton recently premiered their boxing class series featuring Eminem’s catalog and will continue using it across multiple fitness modalities. (Maybe not the best time to listen to his double-platinum hit, “Till I Collapse”).

Who: Snoopdogg @snoopdogg
Rapper, Media Personality, Entrepreneur.
Do you need more than he is Martha Stewart's unlikely bff?

It's his very own house party that you would likely never be invited to if it weren't virtual.  With the doors thrown open, you get all the rooms he's playing in (and that's a lot).  Music, NFT record labels, humor (lots of it, unfiltered), Snoop Youth Football League, his Momma, Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party (with Martha Stewart), his wine label "Snoop Cali Red".  Oh, and lots of pot.  His feet don't hit the ground ever.  His insta feed is a festival, and I absolutely appreciate partaking in all of it.

Isabella Rossallini

Who: Isabella Rossallini @isabellarossellini
What: Roman Goddess
Why: Because a mere mortal could not achieve what this Italian actress has done in one lifetime.

Content: Work, play, and all things Isabella author, philanthropist, activist, director, model, mother, and ex-partner of Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Gary Oldman, and Jonathan Wiedemann (with whom she has two children). Daughter of the screen legend Ingrid Bergman and Italian film director Roberto Rossellini. Unforgettable in films such as “Blue Velvet” “Big Night” and the short film, “My Dad Is 100 Years Old”, a tribute she created for her father in which she portrays Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock, and Ingrid Bergman. Now approaching her 70th birthday, Rossallini began modeling at age 28 and has been photographed by Bruce Weber, Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Francesco Scavullo, Annie Leibovitz, and Robert Mapplethorpe among others. She is the lead actor, co-writer, and director of the 18-episode web series, “Green Porno” in which she acts out the mating rituals and reproductive behavior of various animals. Her love of biodiversity inspired her to found Mama Farm in 2013, a members-only CSA on Long Island that uses regenerative agriculture to grow food from heirloom seeds with the goal of promoting conservation. As if that’s not enough there’s a B&B on the property complete with Frette linens! Brava, Isabella!

Who: Tracee Ellis Ross @traceeellisross
What: Actress, singer, entrepreneur, daughter of Diana Ross
Because she is as bold, larger-than-life and glamorous as you will find in someone who is also very real.

Content:  The real life of Diana Ross's daughter is, predictably, more glamorous than ours.  That's fun to get a glimpse of, for sure, complete with nostalgic shots of growing up with Motown Royalty. But Ellis Ross is so very real too, and pokes fun of herself.  She does not hide her occasional (very slight, admittedly) belly fat.  Which makes her even more glamorous to me.

Bob Weir

Who: Bob Weir @bobweir
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Founding Member of the Grateful Dead, live music master, fitness maestro, philanthropist
In addition to the links to live performances of a master, there is all the evidence one needs on the power of living a healthy life (physically and spiritually) that is aligned with your values. In his case, that includes a lot of philanthropy (education, the needy, the environment to name a few).

He is as active and vital musically, as he has been since he co-founded the Grateful Dead as its rhythm guitarist in the 1960's.  His health, fitness and wellness routine went viral at the age of 72.  He is also impossibly happy with where he is in his life and very much in love with his wife Natascha.  

We've already written quite a bit about the Men's Health series on Weir's workout routine.  Though Weir in concert many times (with the Grateful Dead, then with The Dead & Co.), it wasn't until I started following him on insta that I appreciated how dedicated he is to a fitness routine that allows him to play hundreds of three-hour concerts a year well into his 70's.  He has filmed his fitness routine on video for insta, but this series of Men's Health articles provide the background and depth worthy of the icon's dedication.  Fitness is one of the key components to being happy into your 70's for Weir.  The other two?  "A sense of purpose," and "meditation."

The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir Is Unbelievably Shredded at 72
Bob Weir stays strong and fit with CrossFit, Tabata workouts, and three-hour concerts.
Watch the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir Show Off His Intense Pre-Show Workout
The 73-year-old musician just shared a look at his training routine on TikTok.
How I Built My Body: Grateful Dead founder, Bob Weir
MH works out with a music and fitness legend
Paulina Porzikova

Who: Paulina Porzikova @paulinaporizkov
What: Supermodel, Advocate for Honest, Sexy Aging as Women
If a supermodel like Paulina can feel like she is being treated as if she's invisible as she ages (and she will convince you that she is, because she is quite articulate), then you know you're not making it up yourself.

Content: A lot of women have DM'd me with links to Porzikova's insta page with the message "you've got to follow her".  My friend Rachel shared a typical reaction: "She powerfully articulates that sinking feeling all of us women feel as we age.  That invisibility thing.  She rages against it, and is brutally honest." If you are for some reason unfamiliar with her story, Porzikova is a Czech-born Swedish-American supermodel who was discovered by a modeling scout at 13.  She married Ric Ocasek, the lead singer for The Cars.  After twenty years of marriage and two sons they separated, but she was caring for him post-surgery when she found him dead. She then discovered that she, along with two of his six sons, had been disinherited, which has resulted in a public legal dispute.  On her insta Porzikova talks openly about her grief and depression, as well as her refusal to get botox and other "tweaks" to her appearance (because she likes to honestly represent what a 56-year old face honestly looks like).  Those are compelling topics, compelling shared.  But what grabbed me was her striking response to @jamesorvin when he criticized her for posting a photo of her in a bikini.  For that, she has become hero to many of us, and I have it to show you (below) because she (it) speaks loudly and forcefully.  We are not supermodels, but damn, this is what we feel.

“V” (formerly known as Eve Ensler)

Who: “V” (formerly known as Eve Ensler) @eveensler
What: Playwright, Activist, Performer, Author
Why: Because she has our backs.

Content: Projects, memories, current events. Formerly known as Eve Ensler, “V” is the writer and creator of the Obie and Tony Award-winning The Vagina Monologues, touted by The New York Times as “one of the most important plays of the past 25 years.” To date, The Vagina Monologues has been published in 48 languages and performed in 140 countries. As an activist, “V” founded the movement V-Day, raising over 120 million dollars to end violence against women (cisgender and transgender), and One Billion Rising, the largest global mass action to end gender violence in over 200 countries. “V” commuted her activism to the Democratic Republic of the Congo where she opened the City of Joy, a center for women survivors of violence in DRC. To terminate her paternal identity, “V” changed her name after writing her memoir, The Apology, a cathartic work concerning the sexual abuse put upon her by her father.

Who: Ageist @weareageist
David Stewart, Founder of Ageist, through his newsletter, podcast, social media and powerful photography, is pioneering a whole new outlook on what it means to age. "90 is the new 40"
The world needs to see us through a different lense. Stewart, a professional photographer, is showing us how we do that.

The kind of potent photographs and stories shown above of people living with unapologetic joy.  An infectious energy for moving forward.  The SuperAge podcast, which explores how we live our best lives, unbound by age, place or culture.  A science and data-driven approach to understanding longevity.  Tools to get you where you want to go.

Who: Caddis Eye Appliances @caddis_life
A mission disguised as reading glasses.
You'll want to know how to answer the question, who do you want at your last dinner party. (A: Every real life person featured in a Caddis ad.)

Technically, they are an eyeglass company, but their mission statement says this "We want to have an open and frank conversation with you about how absolutely right on it is to be the age we are, right here and now.  CADDIS is calling bullshit on ... the notion of raging against the dying of the light ... Now is what we got, and now is pretty awesome."  So a few years ago a group of friends living in cool places across the country (California, Park City, Brooklyn, etc.) set up a warehouse in Salt Lake City and began shipping reading glasses out to the rest of us. To remind us that whatever age we're at, we're "all the way alive."  Every post (ad?) is an invitation to be their friend, and frankly you'll wish you could.  I do.  Hey, I'm hosting a dinner on March 12th ...


Play.  Lewdle, It's Like Wordle Only With Naughty, Profane NSFW Words.  Any game (or any thing?) that starts with "CONTENT ADVISORY: Lewdle is a game about rude words.  If you're likely to be offended by the use of profanity, vulgarity or obscenity, go play Wordle instead!" and I'm in!  I played it today and I had to use the Urban Dictionary link that Lewdle provides to explain the word to me, so let's just say I'm learning things.  It's game-ifying an expansion of my dirty word vocabulary.  Who knows, perhaps I'll be able to deploy some for some fun sexting, which I am a big fan of pre-date to get the whole foreplay ball rolling.  Lewdle is a new game that just hit 1 million players.  Join us!  It's free, it's available on any internet browser, new puzzles reset every 24 hours and you can find it here.

Read. The Viral Vibe Shift Article.  Here is the article by Allison P. Davis in The Cut that accelerated the whole vibe shift discourse thing over the last week, but the original source that Davis was vibing on is Sean Monahan, a professional trendspotter who is at 8ball.

Watch.  Inventing Anna, the Shonda Rhimes Netflix Production on Anna Delvey.  I just finished bingeing this 9-part series on Anna Delvey, who is really Anna Sorokin, a twenty-something fake German heiress who conned some major players in finance, hotels, entertainment and the art world. The series is based on Jessica Pressler's indefatigable reporting for New York Magazine and - first off - the story is a must-read.

How an Aspiring ‘It’ Girl Tricked New York’s Party People — and Its Banks
Somebody had to foot the bill for Anna Delvey’s fabulous new life. The city was full of marks.

Secondly, the series is not perfect, but it is entirely addictive.  Julia Garner does a fabulous job with what apparently is Anna's actual (weird) Euro accent and entirely haughty manner.  The story itself is incredible and the narrative carries a lot of weight in propelling things forward, including through a couple slower episodes (like an episode where we go on a trip to see Anna's German hometown).  It truly falls under the rubrik "life is stranger than fiction," but you will learn valuable things like how to check into extravagant hotels without a working credit card. "Do you accept international wire transfers?" is the phrase you'll need.

A Book That Could Unf*ck Your Relationship: I Want This To Work By Elizabeth Earnshaw. Reviewed by Angela Kempf.

When we think about romantic relationships—and especially their beginnings—we think about the fun stuff. The electricity. The chemistry. The banter. The mystery and the surprise.

What’s less romantic to think about are the patterns in those relationships. It takes some of the stars out of your eyes when you realize that relationships are typically a series of habits so predictable that you could graph them if you wanted to. The first point is where you are attracted to the same type of person as always. The subsequent point is where you are captivated by their scent, humor, and how much your dogs love them. The next point is when you make a series of sacrifices for them that you may or may not be entirely comfortable with. The next point, is resentment.

Your graph will undoubtedly vary from the example above. But chances are, if you’ve had a series of long-term relationships, your graphs would look similar no matter who you’re dating. That’s because it’s difficult to avoid developing a series of habits inside of relationships. And I Want This to Work by Elizabeth Earnshaw guides you through taking an in-depth look at whether those habits are serving you.

In the March 4, 2021, Crush Letter, we told you that Earnshaw’s Instagram was one of the best social media accounts to follow for practical advice that can transform your relationship. So, it’s no surprise that her book is a compendium of helpfulness, a resource you’ll return to again and again for intimate tune-ups. Elizabeth Earnshaw is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and she uses her real-world experience to provide readers with example problems and, more importantly, solutions. The advice she gives is practical and goes beyond common sense—plus, you can use it whether you’re on your first date or your 30th anniversary.

Continue Reading Here

AMPLIFY!  11 Sex With Emily Podcast Episodes CRUSH Readers Can't-Miss-Out-On.  By Dish Stanley

This series highlights the best episodes from our favorite podcasts. One of them is Sex With Emily hosted by Sex Expert Dr. Emily Morse.  Every one is worth a serious listen, but I have picked out 11 invaluable episodes that CRUSH Readers who want to be good in bed really.can't.miss.

If Sex With Emily isn’t on your must-listen podcast list already, you may want to add it.

After searching for and listening through countless podcasts on sexual guidance and technique to recommend to CRUSH Readers, Sex With Emily stands out. It’s not too academic or full of dull, impractical theories, though many podcasts are.  It is not affiliated with a religion, and a surprising number are.  It makes learning about sex fun—and sexy.

Dr. Emily offers practical ways to get outside your comfort zone, but more than that, she can help you redefine your comfort zone. Sex With Emily is the longest-running podcast about sex and relationships, and its mix of interviews and call-in questions covers a lot of ground.

I have listened through Sex With Emily to pick out the absolute best of the best, and most relevant for the CRUSH audience.  Stay tuned to this column over the coming weeks because I will be sharing with you all of the can’t-miss episodes, starting here.

First Up:  Winner, Winner, Sex Before Dinner.

Episode Date: March 19, 2021 (35 minutes)

Some sex advice is vague to the point of ridiculousness, like: “be more creative!” It’s tough to be creative when you’ve had sex with the same person for years. This podcast episode is the opposite of vague. It has ideas you can implement next time you have sex (eg, next month, this week end, tonight—or, come to think of it, even right this minute.  "Hey. Babe?").

Original Ideas for Spicing Things Up

From using pillows to help access your G-spot to using sex toys to make oral sex even more intense, this episode is dedicated to proving that long-term, monogamous sex can be anything but boring.

Continue Reading Here

Song Of The Week

Cottonwood Lullaby by Bob Weir

Cottonwood Lullaby is from Weir's solo album Blue Mountain.  Released in 2016, it is, as he refers to it, an album of "cowboy songs" inspired by his years working on a ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Weir had said in interviews in 1995 that losing his friend and musical half was a cataclysmic shock personally and musically.  They'd beat with one heart for 30 years and more than 2,300 shows.  That might explain why it took so long for Weir to come out with his first solo album, but I'm grateful that he did.  Blue Mountain, in its entirety, is exquisite bluegrass to my ears. Critics heaped praise on it for its musicality and craftmanship.  Felix Contreras, a music reviewer for NPR, wrote

"Now, fans can take a step back and admire Bob Weir for the extremely gifted songwriter he's become. Hiding behind that post-Dead beard is a poet laureate of deep thinking and whimsy. His voice has taken on a character that finally replaces the forever-young, fresh-faced heartthrob fans knew so well, but even with age, he sounds as good as ever."

I'd say sexier than ever myself. Wise, confident, gifted and sexy. I like to listen to the whole album straight through as Weir constructed it.  Jackson Hole is a favorite place of mine, so I get a special thrill when the album gets to Cottonwood, with the line "But if we’ve wandered into heaven / Well, Jackson Hole’s just not that far."  

This isn't a particularly clear live version, so I include a link to the studio version below.

Bob Weir & The Campfire Band - Cottonwood Lullaby Listen Here 

Here is the studio version as well.

Hope your week end is wonderful.  And if you're up for it, it's a great opportunity to hook into the vibe shift that speaks to you.  Good luck.

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 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?

We Don't Want You To Miss A Thing. Links To Previous Favorites.

+The Top 11 Podcasts We've Loved. By Dish Stanley

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

+Podcast Review: Dying for Sex. Why Molly Kochan’s journey of sexual healing is the podcast you need to listen to now.

+‘5 Things’ That Turn Our Crush Readers On. By Dish Stanley

+Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck. A Compendium from the Readers of The Crush Letter.


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