The Crush Letter No 58

. 11 min read

I'm Dish and I write a weekly newsletter about friendship, love, sex, and life after 45. Because like that slice of pizza you bite into right out of the oven, it's so much hotter than you thought it would be.  Hell yes, sign me up for the Dish.

Hello Crush,

Did you watch the Grammys? Compared to the Oscars, it was a wild night at a disco. Jon Batiste's short and powerful acceptance speech for album of the year was all class. One of those moments when getting a glimpse into an artist's heart and soul makes you appreciate their music more.

I am not someone who can't appreciate the art made by someone I come to learn is an asshole. I took a deep dive into thinking through that before deciding it's not black and white for me. I don't like seeing someone celebrated who is abusive. It's not right, doesn't feel good. But there are a lot of factors at play, and particularly when I have a deep and lengthy personal attachment to the art like it's already woven into the fabric of my life, I've found that I am able to separate the art from the artist. As if I've come to own it as mine and I'm not going to give it up. I can still enjoy a Picasso or an Eric Clapton song for instance, notwithstanding. Not everyone is where I'm at on that, and I respect that, too.

On the flip side, do I much prefer to respect the artist as a person? Yes. And do I then feel more attached to their art? Absolutely. That's where I was with Batiste after the Grammys. Making music, he said, is an "act of inheritance and of community ... a spiritual practice." "There is no best musician, the best artist, best dancer, best actor.” He invited all artists to share in his award. "Let's just keep going," he said. "Be you."

It struck me that the open, improvisational heart of jazz, so intricately collaborative--that riffing off each other live--was at the core of Batiste's speech.  I had read in Giovanni Russonello's Why the Grammys Couldn't Resist Jon Batiste that Batiste's biggest model as a musician and human being is Louis Armstrong. Batiste certainly channeled him--the givingness, the charm, the humility, the seriousness, all balanced. I am not a musician, but still, I wanted to let Batiste’s notes roll through me, and as if I were playing music with him live, send it all back out there to him, and everyone, in my own way like a wave.

Speaking of music and waves, after last week's Song of the Week--Lynyrd Skynyrd playing Freebird to a packed Oakland Coliseum (CA) in 1977--I got the loveliest note from a CRUSH Reader, "jk".

"I really appreciated the Song of the Week this week. That was part of a series called "A Day on the Green". I went to two of these in 1975 ... I had never seen that video.  ... All the beautiful people in the audience ... just digging on the great and famous song. Lynyrd Skynyrd playing their hearts out like it mattered ... Thanks for that. I felt so grateful."

jk is something of a musicologist and he sent his own wave of musical love over to us and it's this Letter's Song of the Week. It's from a fabulously fun and joyous band I hadn't heard of. Check that out below. Thanks jk.

We've got an extra packed CRUSH Letter for you today because I'm taking next Saturday off. 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.  +Friendship Files. Sunday in the Park with Gus.  By A.K.A. Darla.  Two Broadway Babes singing our hearts out in the nude.  +Sexual Healing: Is Orange the Sexiest Color?  By Liza Lentini. Want to know how to turn it on? Our in-house energy healer has got you. +Amplify! Sex With Emily Podcast: The 12 Episodes CRUSH Readers Should Get On Top Of. {No 4 of 12} We can't hear enough of Esther Perel reminding us that it's not about new positions, it's about harnessing your imagination.  +Heard It at The Grammys: Dish’s Crush on Silk Sonic.  By Dish Stanley Having an orgasm is great and all that, but have you heard Silk Sonic's latest single?   +Our Song of the Week  I got the big D


Friendship Files.

Sunday in the Park with Gus.  By A.K.A. Darla

A friendship built on show tunes is a friendship built to last. Here our own AKA Darla revisits one of her favorites.

No girl ever forgets her first gay husband. Mine was Gus, a gifted pianist and a full-on lover of life. We met in college in an “Intro to Musical Theater” class, bonding over the deep fear we shared of Karen Swensen, the prickly instructor who would berate us for being ill-prepared, singing the wrong lyric, or anything else she considered unfit for the piece we were presenting. Whenever she critiqued our performances, she would gesture wildly with her arms, causing her signature wooden bangles to click and clack with each movement. It was not until we embarked on the real world of show business that we appreciated how Swensen had thickened our skin enough so that we could endure the slings and arrows of auditioning. Gus would often help me prepare for those auditions and, on occasion, come along as my accompanist. Over time, my encounters with Gus became as infrequent as my auditions, until the day my phone rang.

“Hello?”  
“This is Mrs. Swensen. Did you vocalize today, you lazy bitch?“

Knowing it could be no one but Gus, I roared. After catching up, Gus confessed his reason for calling. “Honey, I’m gonna cut to the chase. I booked a duo gig at a cute little queer-friendly nudist park and the chick singer I hired backed out. You’re the only singer I know with enough balls to do it.”

“Do I have to take off my clothes?”
“Only if you want to.”
“I don’t.”
“Fine.”
“Are YOU taking off your clothes?”
“Only if you want me to.”
“I don’t.”
“Fine. So are you in?”
“I don’t know…”
“It’s just a bunch of people doing their thing. I promise you’ll get used to it.”
“Can I think about it?”
And then Gus said those magic words. “It pays a ton of money and we’ll have a barrel of laughs.”

And that Sunday I found myself driving up to the mountains with my truly outrageous college counterpart.

Continue reading here

Sexual Healing

Is Orange the Sexiest Color?  By Liza Lentini

Our in-house energy healer shows us how to turn it on by re-adjusting our secret sex spot, the Sacra Chakra.

Just below your belly button lies a whole energetic world all about sex. It’s called your Sacral Chakra, and because of its physical location, the Sacral Chakra refers to women’s sex organs but has special meaning for men, also. The Sacral Chakra is the second of the seven chakras.

Most women, they’ll recognize the Sacral Chakra as the place where they’ve suffered period cramps and labor pains. It’s believed that for both sexes the rise and fall of libido live here. (Though, always keep in mind that sex and intimacy are about our whole self and not just one area.) Those with lower back issues potentially have a blockage in this chakra. Sacral Chakra misalignment can also cause reproductive problems, urinary tract infections, or issues with the bladder, kidneys, or adrenals. This is the area of creative expression. A blocked Sacra Chakra is also associated with co-dependency or any other unhealthy sexual connection.

Orange is the color associated with the Sacral Chakra. It’s the color of passion and warmth. Creativity and joy. Success and determination. In the world of chakras, it is also the color of sexuality. As a reminder, sexuality isn’t always about physical sex, it also refers to gender identity, as well as sexual attraction.

If you read my last article all about the first chakra, the Root Chakra, you know that reading your own chakras is an incredibly simple and easy ritual you can do just about anywhere. 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 and the emotions that come up. An unbalanced chakra feels intense and unruly and will make you stop in your tracks. Even though the Root Chakra is the first in the order, we test them from our last (Crown Chakra), downward.

Here are a few easy things you can do today to align your Sacral Chakra and live your sexiest/most intimate/most creative life:

1. Wear orange. While clothing might be the first to come to mind, you can always wear orange in the form of healing stone jewelry, like orangey citrine and carnelian. Orange underpants would be especially healing.

Continue reading here

Amplify! Sex With Emily Podcast: The 12 Episodes CRUSH Readers Should Get On Top Of.

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 the 12 invaluable episodes that CRUSH Readers who want to be good in bed really.can't.miss. To read more on why you need Sex With Emily in our intro on this series, go here.

{No. 4} Turn Yourself On With Esther Perel

Episode Date August 31, 2021 (57 Minutes)

Esther Perel has a magical way of bringing the contradictions of modern sex to light. Why does whatever is forbidden suddenly become erotic? Why does the partner who makes you feel emotionally safe also make you feel bored in the bedroom? Can risk and excitement co-exist with stability and reliability?

Esther talks about the crisis of desire, where the demands on our relationships grow longer as our lifespans grow longer. A lack of desire—or the temptation to look elsewhere to satisfy sexual desire—can feel almost inevitable. She rejects the notion that good sex is about trying new positions but instead believes it’s about harnessing your imagination.

Want to have more orgasms? Esther recommends that you find something to boost your ego. For Esther, pleasurable sex and self-worth are inextricably linked.

Best lines:

6:37 “‘Can we want what we already have is the fundamental question of desire.”

Continue reading here.

Heard It at The Grammys: Dish’s Crush on Silk Sonic.  By Dish Stanley

CRUSH Readers who follow the Song of the Week religiously know how hard I fell for Silk Sonic over the past eight months. Their music was like the hard all-enveloping squeeze I didn't have but really craved during the pandemic. It was some kind of gift from heaven that I happened to come across their first song Skate minutes after it dropped this past summer in July. From that point on I was a purring cat.

Skate, the first song they released from what would become their debut album, An Evening With Silk Sonic, got featured as a CRUSH Song of the Week a day after its release.  All three of the songs they released on video--Skate, Leave the Door Open, and Smokin' Out the Window--were featured as CRUSH Songs of the Week after they dropped. For me it felt like a running joke:

"Having an orgasm is great and all that, but have you heard Silk Sonic's latest single?"

They've packaged up all their formidable musical talent and charisma and turned it into a sound that is sex. I mean, why haven't I written up one of their songs as part of the PrimeCrush Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck series? Because that would be redundant. Their music doesn't make me wanna bang; listening to it, I feel as if I have. They are turbo-charged retro-cool--their smooth sound, their humorous, sly, and knowing lyrics, their over-the-top blown-up seventies look. They are heaven if heaven were groovy cool, riding around in a red 1973 Chevy Camaro Z28 (which we know it's not).

By now you've probably heard that Leave the Door Open won both song and record of the year.

Continue reading here.

Song of the Week

The Chaise Lounge by Wet Leg

Lead singer and guitarist Rhian Teasdale grew up on the Isle of Wight with her friend, vocalist, and guitarist Hester Chambers. They started playing together in 2019, and at some point in 2021, the wry and catchy alt-sound of their song The Chaise Lounge started to catch hold of people. CRUSH Reader jk, whose ears are in tune with good things happening in new music described The Chaise Lounge as "an earworm that lasts for weeks, at which time a booster listen restores it to earworm status." In my favorite version, below, they are playing with Jools Holland for the BBC.

Listen here 

What is obvious from the band's name alone ("Wet Leg") is that their lyrics are cheeky and full of glorious double entendres and innuendo. I dove into their debut album and laughed aloud at some of the wry lines. In Wet Dream, "I was in your wet dream driving in my car ... Baby do you want to come home with me / I've got Buffalo 66 on DVD."

To get a sense of their whimsical, joyous fun, here they are in a live performance at The Fonda Theater in L.A. last week. Look at how the crowd takes over for them. Infectious.

"Anyway, this is a first-class fun song that had been flying a bit under the radar," wrote CRUSH Reader jk.

I don't know how long that will last. Since getting jk's note this week, I noted that in the last two days the New Yorker had published this piece by Amanda Petrusich, The Glorious Lightness of Wet Leg's Rock.  

The band’s long-awaited debut album is charming, addictive, and endlessly cool. Photo by Elizabeth Renstrom for The New Yorker

And the WSJ's rock and pop music critic Mark Richardson wrote The Buoyant Fun of Wet Leg's Self-Titled Debut Album.

(Hat tip to CRUSH Reader jk)

Wet Leg kicks it out.

And that's a wrap for this week. Hoping that waves of love crash over you this weekend. We will be back in two weeks on Saturday, April 23rd. Have fun!

I always love to hear from you! Write me at Dish@PrimeCrush.com.

Dish Stanley XO,
Dish

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.

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

+ The Hole. By Kiva Schuler

+ Bite. Sheet Pan Dinners: The Simple Solution to No-Fuss Cooking.  By Lauren D. Weinstein

+ PrimeCrush & Chill. Movie’s Worth a Re-watch: Blue Is the Warmest Color. By Daisy Foster

+ Sexual Healing. By Liza Lentini








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