The Crush Letter No 56: DEVOUR

. 15 min read

I'm Dish and I write a weekly newsletter about friendship, love and sex in midlife.  Because midlife is so much hotter than they said it would be.  Hell yes, sign me up for the Dish.

Hello Crush,

I saw this hunky guy power-washing my neighbor's pavers (sidewalks) earlier this week and realized I needed him too, so he came over yesterday.  I paid him (for his power-washing) through a Zelle bank transfer; he was polite, timely, tidy and performed well, so I tipped him boldly. I texted him today to confirm he received the zelle.

I guess he did:

I mean usually (in my experience, but I'm only one woman) a guy knows.

Hope your week had some unintentional sexy something in it, too.

DEVOUR Letters are some of my favorite CRUSH Letters to write for you, so I'm really excited. This is another one co-edited with the perenically in- tune Lisa Ellex, so let's jump into 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.   +DEVOUR.  What to do, read, watch, listen to & know about this week.     +A Song to Make You Wanna Bang. CRUSH Reader Elizabeth submitted a song for our occasional pop-up on Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck. Thanks Elizabeth!  +Love/Sex/Moon Magick. There's a new moon April 1st. To prepare, our resident wiccan shares a ritual to help us banish things we want to get rid of.  +Our Song of the Week. "Baby, take off your coat / Real slow."

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

Watch. This Postcard from 1969 by Neal Foard. Here. It's an example of masterful storytelling, and it's the story we as a country and as human beings need now. "Now matter what you see in the movies or on t.v. or read in the papers, you listen to me, that's how people really are ... keep the faith." and "There's nothing wrong with us that can't be fixed by what's right with us." Neal is an advertising and marketing creative who has mastered communication, who has some good, honest, uplifting things to say. Follow him on instagram @nealfoard.

Photo Credit to Jerrod Harris/Getty Images

Read (& Applaud). Mackenzie Scott Has Given $3.8 Billion to 465 Organizations Since June. Overall, she has donated $12 Billion to 1,257 wide-ranging groups. She published a Medium post this week sharing which organizations have received grants, as well as a little about her approach: "[A]s always, our aim has been to support the needs of underrepresented people from groups of all kinds," she wrote. I am so inspired by Ms. Scott, and so grateful for the hope that she has given to so many. Here's her Medium post:

Helping Any of Us Can Help Us All
The increasing stridency of opinions in the news can be divisive. But lately I’ve heard something different in it. Turned up so loud, all I can notice is how similar it all sounds. The universal…

Watch. The 92nd Academy Awards on March 27th on ABC-TV. What do Licorice Pizza, Power of the Dog, and Belfast have in common? They’ve all been nominated for the 2022 Oscar in the three categories of Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay (original/adapted). What’s more, each of these films is a period piece in which writers/directors Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza), Jane Campion (Power of the Dog), and Kenneth Branagh (Belfast) have developed brave, young, male protagonists, each setting out on a journey of a major discovery. With stunning performances by Cooper Hoffman (son of the late, great Phillip Hoffman), Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Jude Hill, this is a trifecta of beautiful filmmaking.

Read & Then Follow. A Personal Tribute to Well-Dressed Zaftig Gentlemen from Jason Diamond, the Hottest Guy I Follow.  I crush on guys who are bon vivants - guys who love to eat and drink, who are also frequently great cooks, are sensualists (and often, very often, phenomenal lovers).  One of my crushes is on Jason Diamond, who I first discovered when he wrote Searching for John Hughes in the New Yorker.  I follow him on Twitter where I can keep up with what he publishes, and his day-to-day moves, but he has a website that captures his essence in a broader sense - find it here. His most recent piece - for GQ - which he is well-qualified to contribute to regularly, is on "how to dress like a big guy." It is about his odyssey to shape his personal style, a guy who describes himself as "a big guy with weird proportions ... built for dealing with cold Eastern European winters." This piece is personal and smart and stylishly written and it's really an inspiration to all of us who feel like we aren't beautiful in the conventional sense. But Jason, let me tell you, I consider you very cool. Keep track of Jason (with me) on Twitter @imjasondiamond.

How Francis Ford Coppola Taught Me to Dress Like a Big Guy
From Biggie Smalls to James Gandolfini, large men can pull off looks with unique swagger.

Eat. Limited Edition Cakes from Saint Dolly Parton . Duncan-Hines and Dolly Parton have gotten together and launched a line of Southern recipe cake mixes and frostings that make it acceptable to shout out, “Let them eat cake.”If she only ever gave us Jolene that would have been enough, but Saint Dolly (Parton) has blessed us again in the sweetest of ways. Listen more about it here

Eat/Listen. The Brilliant Olivia Coleman Has Performed A Reading of a Letter Written By Queen Elizabeth II to U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1960.  It's been said that Sir Lawrence Olivier could deliver a riveting performance just by reading the phonebook (remember those?).  Here's Olivia Coleman proving the point masterfully. The letter includes the personal recipe of H.R.H’s drop scones.  Now get out in that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans. Watch here

Watch. This Unexpectedly Engrossing Series About the Lakers, Even If You Aren't A Huge Basketball Fan. If you like period pieces, then shut off Gilded Age and tune into this. I have just started this series about the Lakers in the 1980's, and it is some high-quality storytelling with great acting. It opens in 1991 with Magic Johson's retirement after testing positive for HIV, but most of the series takes place in the glorious, messy late 70's, when the hedonistic Larry Buss (played perfectly by John C. Reilly) becomes the Lakers' new owner. My only gripe about the series is that I am a tv binger and have to wait a week for the next episode.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty | Official Website for the HBO Series |
The official website for Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty on HBO, featuring interviews, schedule information, behind the scenes exclusives, and more.

Listen. Luca by Suzanne Vegas. For years, fans pondered the mystery of the song and the true identity of the subject. Here, Vega reveals the answers, 35 years later. Listen here

Suzanne Vega – East Harlem / Upper West Side, Manhattan
Suzanne Vega is that rare singer-songwriter whose work becomes part of the soundtrack of their hometown -- in her case, New York City. In this episode, Suzanne illuminates her childhood in East Harlem in the 1970s and how her experiences of the city, inside and out, flow through her work, even as sh…

Watch. An Adrian Lyne Erotic Psychological Thriller Trilogy, of Sorts. If you are a fan of the director Adrian Lyne (9 1/2 Weeks, Fatal Attraction, Unfaithful), then you've probably heard of his latest erotic film, Deep Water. It is adapted from a book by the master of the psychological thriller, Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Strangers on A Train) about a miserably challenged marriage between a sexy nymph played by a seriously hot Ana de Armas and a brilliant inventor played by Ben Affleck. The good news is that we have a long-awaited entry in the genre of movies actually made for adults, and both de Armas and Affleck are seriously smouldering in this film. The story is ultimately about power and sex, and how sex is used for provacation and power within their relationship. There are a few murders too. It is one of Affleck's finest acting roles, but this psychosexual drama involving beautiful people at (lots of) beautiful parties  is not always compelling. I wouldn't have wanted to miss it, but it is more 3 stars than 4.

One thing it did for me, though, was get me going on a binge of Adrian Lyne erotic thrillers. After finishing Deep Water, I watched Unfaithful one night and 9 1/2 Weeks the next. They both stood up, in no small part because we haven't had a good mainstream adult erotic thriller in a while. I had forgotten how fantastically sexy and good Diane Lane was in her role as a happily married suburban housewife who succumbs to a highly charged sexual affair.  And 9 1/2 Weeks, which I hadn't watched since its release in the 80's, was a new and different kind of joy. The depiction of the obsessive BDSM relationship that develops quickly between Kim Basinger as a Soho art dealer and Mickey Rourke as a commodities trader, so shocking at the time it was originally released, is less charged now. But in another way, the film is more interesting and sexier, in part because there are no graphic sex scenes - those are only hinted at. What we do see is a complicated, sexually charged relationship as it develops into BDSM and many unforgettable sensual and fun scenes. Not to mention that the movie shows scenes of the truly gritty New York of the late 80's and has a a terrific soundtrack.

Because of the 9 1/2 trailer is age restricted, we are restricted from resharing it, but you can watch it here

Follow / Pre-Order: Humans of New York Best Story on Tangueray Is Coming Out with A Book.  Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind the wildly popular instagram feed Humans of New York has shared many incredible stories about the lives of New Yorkers, but perhaps it was his series on the exotic dancer Tangueray that represents his greatest story. "Back in the seventies I was the only black girl making white girl money. I dance in so many mob bars ..." If you missed it, you can start it here. Tangueray and Stanton are coming out with a book, due to be published this upcoming July. You can read more about the book (and its audio version, which will be read by Tangeuray herself) and even pre-order it here.

The Plantkween

Follow. This Serenity-Obsessed Plantkween Will Bring Calm to Your Life. Plantkween (a.k.a. Christopher Griffin) @plantkween. With over 359,000 followers, the Plantkween reigns supreme. This “Brooklyn-based, Black queer, non-binary kween obsessed with the botanical serene” is a purveyor of pure joy. Inspired by her gardening grandma (“the ORIGINAL Plantkween”) Griffin chose her first plant by seeking out the one that appeared to be struggling most. Says Griffin, “I thought, ‘if I can make this plant thrive and grow, then I can grow and allow myself to continue on this journey.’” Indeed she did.  Griffin is Assistant Director at NYU’s LGBTQ+ Center and author of You Grow, Gurl published by Harper Collins. Yes, she still has that very first plant and says it’s her pride and joy.

Another Follow That Will Convince You How Fire It Is To Be Over 40. Our ever-growing list of FOFs (Fire Over Forty) is so burnin’ that we just had to spread the wildfire…

Follow. Lou Featherstone (48), The Fairy Godmother we all wished for! @luinluland_rent_my_wardrobe. The self-described “reckless optimist, sustainable stylist, and all-around general Lover of Life." Fabulous founder of Rent My Wardrobe, she’s a balls-to-the-wall broad whose personal collection of vintage (sustainable!) wardrobe is there for the taking (well, renting) right on IG. See something you like? DM Lou for sizing and pricing and – poof! – it will appear at your door.  And because too much is never enough…

Watch. The Mother-daughter produced series, Style Like U. Founded by ex-fashion industry stylist and anti-ageism activist Elisa Goodkind and her daughter, Lily Mandelbaum, their movement spawned the What’s Underneath Project –  documentary-style pieces, directed and produced by Goodkind and Mandelbaum, aimed to assist people “overcome personal challenges, feel safe to express their authentic genders and sexualities, break free from the oppression of ageism and racism, and in many cases, make the decision to keep on living.”  Some of our favorite episodes:

Cindy Gallop Is Not A Relationship Person And Cannot WAIT To Die Alone. Watch here

Victoria Pedretti Accepting the Gift of Her Sensitivity. Watch here

Kamil Oshundara’s Top Surgery Journey. Watch here

Lou Featherstone,  How A D*ck Pic & A Box of Vibrators Freed Lou Featherstone From The Expectations of Womanhood. Watch here

Follow. Artist Jean Smith. And they said it couldn’t be done.  Remember a few months back when I covered artist Jean Smith’s daily lottery?  {See it re-posted directly below.} Well, after one year of daily entries, I’m a winner!  Really!  Here she is in all her glory, hanging in my dressing room.  Follow Jean Smith on Facebook and you can enter daily to get yours.

{Repost.} Jean Smith, The Painter Art Collectors and Non-Collectors Alike Are Clamoring Over. Smith’s ultimate goal is to purchase the property where she can build the “Free Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change”.  To that end, she posts daily on Facebook for a chance to make a $100 purchase of one of her sought-after paintings of female faces. Smith also has a waitlist for collectors interested in purchasing three or more of the larger pieces for $600 each.  The NY Times covered the Canadian phenom in this January 2021 piece. Read more here

Jean Smith

Read. Nick Paumgarten of the New Yorker Becomes a Parrothead, Briefly. Considering retiring in one of the Jimmy Buffet-branded active lifestyle communities? Read this first. "We like the idea of being happy."

Retirement the Margaritaville Way
At the active-living community for Jimmy Buffett enthusiasts, it’s five o’clock everywhere.

Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck.

An occasional pop-up where we share the songs that make CRUSH Readers wanna bang. {Got one? See below.}

Sex with Me By Rihanna

Submitted by CRUSH Reader Elizabeth. Elizabeth is the creator of the romance app Amorus, an iOS app for couples to get sexier together (games and chat and privacy tools).

What about this song musically does it for you?

I love how powerful this song is. The pulsing synth just makes my hips want to rotate. And it’s an anthem to great sex. It reminds me that “Sex with me” is “so amazing”.

Is there a memory you attach to this song?

This was a favorite song for me in my pole dance classes, so I have a lot of body memories of twisting hips, sliding along the floor, and slow grinds.

What are you thinking of when you listen to this song?

This song makes me feel sunk into my body, surrounded by sensation. When I hear it, I remember my favorite sensual experiences – the hours-long sensual massages, the getaways where the whole world is the hotel room, when you just can’t stop touching.

Anything else...?

Sharing sexy music favorites is a really fun convo starter (and a great part of PrimeCrush!). So keep it in mind for fun with a sexy chat partner(s). It’s personal, but not too intimate, so perfect as a first step in getting sexier together….

Our full list of CRUSH Reader f*ck songs is here.

If you’ve got a song that makes you wanna bang, we’d love to share it with CRUSH Readers. Write to me at to start the groove. I can't wait.

Love/Sex/Moon/Magick: A New Moon Ritual for Banishing Things Out of Your Life.  By Lynn Eaton

With each New Moon comes the opportunity to get rid of the unwanted in your life, and our resident Wiccan has an easy ritual you can try at home. You have a few days to prepare yourself for the new moon on April 1st; start by getting yourself a small black candle.

The new moon is often referred to as the “dark moon.” Living in the country, it’s a noticeable aspect. No streetlights illuminate our yard. It seems quieter too. Animals aren’t as active. And banishment of the light is an apt metaphor for the banishment of a darker aspect of our Self. It’s a time to get rid of old habits, addictions, or even relationships. New moons are a great time for getting rid of unwanted things.

Over the years, I had quit smoking cigarettes several times. I always went back. Sometimes, the excuse was that it was only when I was having a beer or two. Other times, it was because of a traumatic event that happened in my life. Still other times, it was while on holiday with friends.

Whatever the reason to begin though, there was always a good reason to quit: It was too cold outside to smoke, my clothes smelled nasty, it was costing too much. And quitting was a challenge.

I tried hypnosis. It worked for about a week. I tried a prescription cessation drug. It gave me nightmares. I tried cold turkey. It worked for several years. Until it didn’t.

My Hunny Man smokes. He’s tried to quit numerous times over the years, too.

“Hey! You’re a witch! Make a spell for us to quit smoking!” So, I did.

Continue reading here

Song of the Week

You Can Leave Your Hat On by Joe Cocker. This is one of the songs from the 9 1/2 Weeks soundtrack, and the video is a fun and sexy loop through the movie.

Hope you devour your week end.

Dish Stanley XO,

You Won't Want to Miss A Thing. Here Are Links to Some Favorites.

+DEVOUR {things to do, watch, see & have}

+Hook Ups: Founders We Think You Should Know

+Four Indie Bookstores That Stayed In My Life Long After I Left Town. By Dish Stanley

+Five Great Boutique Hotels Around NYC. By Jeanne Bosse’

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


'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 Anything But Dull 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 Eating Out. No Reservations Required. By Sugar Lips 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 Leaving the door open 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 Naked & Not afraid by KC Roth Nice to Meet You. How Are You Crazy? 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 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 Thanksgiving The 3 Things You're Really Fighting About The 4 Most Common Skincare Issues for Men (But Were Afraid to Ask). By Lauren D. Weinstein The Crush Letter 44 The Crush Letter 51: DEVOUR The Crush Letter 58 the crush letter 72 the crush letter 73 The Crush Letter 75 the crush letter 77 The Crush Letter Its a tune The Crush Letter No 33 The Crush letter No 36 The Crush Letter No 39 The Crush Letter No 40 The Crush Letter No 41: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 42 The Crush Letter No 43 The Crush Letter No 45 The Crush Letter No 46: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 50 The Crush Letter No 53 The Crush Letter No 54 The Crush Letter No 55 The Crush Letter No 56 DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 57 The Crush Letter No 59 The Crush Letter No 60: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 61 The Crush Letter No 62 the crush letter no 63 The Crush Letter No 64 The Crush Letter No 65: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 66 The Crush Letter No 67 The Crush Letter No 68 The Crush Letter No 69 The Crush letter No 70 The Crush Letter No 74: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 78 The Crush Letter No 80 The Crush Letter No 81 The Crush Letter No 82 The Crush Letter No 83: DEVOUR The Crush Letter No 84 The Crush letter No 85 The Crush Letter No 86: The Toy Tester Report The Crush letter No:71 DEVOUR The Crush Letter No. 79 The Crush Letter No. 94 The Crush Letter: Culture / Comment The Dynamics of Friendhip By Lauren D. Weinstein The Friendship Files By AKA Darla The Golden Bachelor The Hole. By Kiva Schuler The Holiday Anti-Checklist By Liza Lentini 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 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 You're Wearing A Turtleneck, Again? Your Big Green Heart. By Liza Lentini Your Love Is King & Queen, GQ Zits a poppin Zoning Out in Comfort. By Dean Christopher