The Crush Letter No 53

. 12 min read

I'm Dish and I write a weekly newsletter about friendship, love and sex in midlife.  Because we need something fun right now.  And also because midlife is so much hotter than they said it would be.  Hell yes, sign me up for the Dish.

Hello Crush,

Aren't we glad it's Saturday?  I made a large, indulgent taco salad for dinner last night and put on Munich - The Edge of War (Jeremy Irons plays Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain).  It is set in 1938 in the days before Hitler annexed the Sudetanland in the former Czechoslovakia. While I considered passing on it given the unsettling parallels to the current horrific news, I was compelled to watch it because I had both read the Robert Harris book Munich that it is based on (highly recommend - meticulously researched, well-paced thriller) and I've also visited that area.  I love great historical dramas, and this is one, but suffice it to say I'll be sleeping in this morning.

Speaking of great historical dramas, I am so grateful that I heard from so many of you after last week's The Crush Letter, my Brief Digression.  It meant so much that you reached out, and I am including a few of the notes I got from Readers in "Dear Dish" below.

But let's move forward.  I'm very excited to tell you about a new series we will be starting next week: Sighs & Moans. Written by Ralph T. Greco, the host of the podcast Licking Non-Vanilla, it's a column on love, sex and kink (even for those who don't think they're very kinky).  Ralph has spent a lot of time contemplating all of it in his sixty years of being alive, and I think we're all going to learn a lot. I can't wait.

Thanks for being here.

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.  +Hook Ups: Meet Kiva Schuler, CEO & Co-Founder of The Jai Institute for Parenting. What we now know is that the very ideas of obedience and compliance impact brain development, self-worth, and mental health in negative ways.   +Willin’: Rich Guy.  By Ida Clare. However, he took me to great restaurants AND after a few dates, he told me that he really loved performing oral sex…SCORE!   +Sexual Healing: Getting to the Root (Chakra) of Things.  By Liza Lentini. Think of yourself like a flower. Yes, we see the flower as a beautiful bloom, but really, it starts at the root. Without the root, there is no flower.  +Great Escapes. Already Streamed All the Obvious Series?  Here Are 10 Excellent Gems to Watch.  By Dish Stanley.  If you’ve missed any of these engrossing series, now’s the time for you to let them check you out of real life.   +Our Song of the Week  You, my brown-eyed girl.   +Dear Dish. I love your letters.

Hook Ups: Meet Kiva Schuler, CEO & Co-Founder of The Jai Institute for Parenting

“Hook Ups” is an ongoing feature introducing our readers to some of our favorite entrepreneurs.

Our beautiful ‘secret’ is that people come to us because they want to be self-employed doing work they love…or they’re struggling with yelling at their kids, or have a teenager who is withdrawn and participating in risky behavior…but what they learn is how to be a better human being, they learn to speak the language of feelings and needs, and reduce or eliminate blame, shame, and judgment from their relationships.

This impacts everything: marriages, friendships, careers. It’s life-changing stuff.

In sum, what do you do?

My company trains and certifies Parenting Coaches, who then work with families to create more peace, connection, cooperation, and fulfillment in their parenting--whether their kids are two or 42.

For how many years?
I founded Jai with a partner in 2011 and left the company in 2014 (ah--business divorces--so fun). I acquired the company back from her in 2019 and it’s been an epic ride. I got my baby back, so to speak ;)

How would you describe the impact your company has made throughout the years?

Every time a customer enrolls in our training, at least one child’s life gets changed. The impact of “normal” or “traditional” parenting wasn’t challenged through research until very recently (within the last 30 years). What we now know is that the very ideas of obedience and compliance impact brain development, self-worth, and mental health in negative ways.

By shifting the frame to values-based leadership for parents, we allow children to develop into the leaders and creators our society so desperately needs.

Continue Reading Here.

Willin’:  Rich Guy.  By Ida Clare

In her ongoing Willin' series, one PrimeCrush writer shares her post-divorce life stories. In this one, finally dating the wealthy guy of her dreams, she learned some valuable lessons.

“I want to date a rich guy,” I remember asking the universe. I had a rich uncle who was my godfather. When I was a kid, he always bought me the best presents. He was loud and funny, drove a Porsche, but was really kind of an asshole to the adults. Some backstory: I got married young (from the rural South, it’s what you did) and so I didn’t get a chance to experiment sexually as a young woman (or travel or have a home by myself…). I stayed married for 16 long years. Sex in the marriage was boring…but how would I know? I really had no previous experiences.

So about four years after my divorce, I met this guy on a blind date set up by a colleague. Let’s call him Al and let’s call her B. When I asked why she didn’t date him, she said he was great, he just wasn’t her type. (More backstory: B had been Al’s dead wife’s best friend.) Al wasn’t very good looking, he was about six years older than me, he drove a Corvette, was kind of funny, loud, but not somebody I would be immediately attracted to. However, he took me to great restaurants AND after a few dates, he told me that he really loved performing oral sex…SCORE! (This was something my ex-husband hated to do).

Continue Reading Here

Sexual Healing: Getting to the Root (Chakra) of Things.  By Liza Lentini

Want to improve your sex life? Start at the bottom with easy chakra work you can perform today.

For most, when they first hear the word “sex” they think about the physical: Sex is something you physically engage in with someone else. It’s only after the word marinates that we remember that sex is about so much more: connection, intimacy, and, most importantly, our relationship with ourselves. That’s not to say that sweaty, stinky physical sex isn’t often exactly what we want and need, it’s only saying that even the most animalistic desires can be enhanced when we keep our sexual centers in balance.

Our body is filled with likely countless spinning wheels of energy, and we’ve located and named seven of them. Knowing and caring for our chakras is an underrated and super easy way for us to get in touch with ourselves. Chakras can be in so many phases, but when they are “open” and flowing, we can live in a better state of balance which affects everything we do in life.

To test your chakras, place your hands one on top of the other, position them about two inches from the top of your head and slowly move downward over the center of your body. Pay attention to what you feel where and the emotions that come up.

The first chakra is the Root Chakra, located at the base of your spine. Because we place our hands in front, you can go ahead and reference your lower abdominal region. Traditionally, the Root Chakra is associated with the male sex organs, but it’s impossible to ignore this chakra’s placement for absolutely everyone. The Root Chakra associates with the color red, one of passion and desire, but also anger and celebration.

Continue Reading Here.

Great Escapes.  Already Streamed All the Obvious Series?  Here Are 10 Excellent Gems to Watch.  By Dish Stanley

You’re up-to-date on Ozark, over your withdrawal from Inventing Anna, ready to put the disappointing And Just Like That experience behind you?  Simply put, we can not have too many escapes from the news right now.  Don’t call it bingeing, let’s reframe it to something healthier: self-care. If you’ve missed any of these engrossing series, now’s the time for you to let them check you out of real life.

Giri/Haji (Netflix) Thriller. A Tokyo detective scours London’s underworld to find his brother, who is equal parts poet and master assassin.  The story includes one of the most sophisticated, maturely handled love affairs I’ve seen since Casablanca.

Borgen (Netflix) A Danish political drama in which a minor centrist potician ends up as the first prime minister of Denmark, with all the personal and family reverberations that entails. The fictional inside look at the political maneuvering and compromise required in a multi-party parliamentary democracy adds to the intrigue, especially seen from an American perspective.

Scenes of a Marriage (HBO) Superb acting and an intelligent script turn this Ingmar Bergman adaptation about the disintegration of a marriage into a closely observed, brutally honest, moving tale of intense love, betrayal, jealousy and justice.

On the Verge (Netflix) A smarter, less commercial and more honest look at the friendship and love lives of four midlife women in L.A. It has an indie, loose-edged feel; hoping for a Season 2.

Trapped (Amazon Prime) If you like Nordic noir, this mystery series set in a remote town in Iceland is your thing.  It opens with a mutilated corpse found by fishermen, and continues with a cold, gritty, engrossing story. Slow Burn. Aces.

Offspring (Netflix) Absolutely addictive lighthearted Australian series that revolves around an anxious midlife obstetrician and very quirky family and up-and-down love life. If you need to good people getting improbably entangled and having fun, this is your show.

Babylon Berlin (Netflix) Set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic, this period piece is dripping with gorgeous art deco setting and costumes (reportedly the most expensive non English-language show ever made).  It requires close attention because the historical time and place is rich with intrigue, political factions and duplicity but the pay-off is huge. Deliciously sleazy/sexy underground scenes.

Fauda (Netflix) Two former Israeli Defense Force soldiers wrote this propulsive series based roughly on their personal and professional experiences as fighters. The story opens with an elite IDF agent getting pulled back into military service after retirement upon learning that the Palestinian terrorist he thought he had assasinated was still alive.   Psychologically and emotionally complex, thrilling portrayal of life in the IDF.

Call My Agent (Netflix) A Parisian talent agency fun by four partners who are struggling to keep their business alive after the sudden death of the agency's founder.  An entertaining look at the outrageous days and nights of being a French talent agent to major and minor stars, with all the ego, drama and beauty you'd expect.

Narcos Mexico (Netflix) A gripping portrayal of the origins of the modern war on drugs that began in the 1980's between the U.S. and Mexico. Mostly accurate, fascinating depiction of the power and politics behind the hunt by American DEA Agents on the ground in Mexico to destroy Mexico's drug cartels.

Dear Dish ... Love Letters from the CRUSH Crowd.

It was so comforting to hear from a number of you after you read last week's Letter No 52: A Brief Digression.  In it, we took a break from our usual content to mark the enormity of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and I shared my perspective of it from having grown up in a military family.  Here are just a few of the comments I received. x-oh-x, Dish.

Dear Dish,
I was moved by your post about what it means to go to war from a military family's perspective. As always it was beautifully written but it also conveyed the intensity of fear and love as it relates to current events.


Dear Dish,
Thanks for the insightful PrimeCrush this morning. I especially appreciated your sharing your Father's views.


Dear Dish,
Thanks for the Brief Digression. There’s just such a disconnect - we see the news, it’s horrendous, but it doesn’t feel personal.

Your piece helped bring it home, made it real.


Dear Dish,
Thanks for your special edition of PC. What is happening in Ukraine is heartbreaking, a crime, and terrifying. I'm glad you marked it.


Good Morning Dish,
Your Letter 52 is an important share and I thank you…for it is almost impossible to feel sexy and in the mood when the world at large is witnessing brutal might and how one person’s insatiable need for power and control can topple the physical and emotional equilibrium of the entire world ...

My grandparents and great grandparents left that part of Russia/Eastern Europe years ago,  running for their lives… without them, I would not be here…I miss them deeply. This is tragic, triggering, and heartbreak on many levels ...

Drink the Vodka
Eat the caviar….before the prices go up!!!& for Fuck Sake (literally)… don’t let Putin or anyone else take away or diminish your flame


Song Of The Week

Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison

About a year after my husband passed away, I got romantically involved with a guy I met playing golf.  He was living in Palm Springs, I was in Boston.  In addition to our shared love of playing golf, we were both passionate (obsessively so) about Van Morrison.  When we were together, usually on road trips driving to a fabulous golf course, we listened to his library of unauthorized concert recordings. While apart we stayed connected by comparing various versions of his songs, arguing the merits of each.  One Spring Monday he called saying he had scored two tickets to the Van Morrison concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl for the upcoming Saturday night.  Could I fly into LAX Friday?  He'd pick me up and we’d drive up 101 along the Coast and go to the concert Saturday night?  

The Santa Barbara Bowl, if you’ve never been, is a wonderful, intimate outdoor venue (seating 4,500) with a natural amphitheater surrounded by the beautiful Santa Ynez mountains. It was originally constructed in 1936 from federal Works Progress Administration funds and is now run as a nonprofit to bring seasonal musical concerts to the area.  It was a honey warm evening and we were three rows from the stage.

Van Morrison looked very much like he does in this shot below - hat pulled down low over large sunglasses, even though it was a low-lit evening.  This is a mellower version of the song than what he played that night because he came in hot.  

Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl (In Concert)

I only recently discovered this Van Morrison compilation album from a friend, The Authorized Bang Collection (great title!).  I’ve had it on repeat the last couple of weeks.

I also love this version of the two songs from Come Running and Who Drove the Red Sports Car? from the 70’s. He looks so early Van-ny.

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?

You Won't Want to Miss A Thing. Here Are Links to Earlier Stories in These Series.

+ If you missed the Dish’s Brief Digression in The Crush Letter No 52 you can read it here.

+Willin’: Bloody Good Sex. By Ida Clare

+ Sexual Healing. By Liza Lentini

+Hook Ups. Our Series on Founders We Think You Should Know

+PrimeCrush & Chill: Movies Worth A Re-Watch. By Dish Stanley

+ AMPLIFY! The {11} Sex With Emily Podcast Episodes CRUSH Readers Can't-Miss. First up: Winner, Winner, Sex Before Dinner. By Dish Stanley

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


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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. 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