The Crush Letter No.80

. 8 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,

Has anyone else watched Blonde yet? It's the new, heavily panned Marilyn Monroe biopic by Director Andrew Dominik based on the fictionalized Joyce Carol Oates novel. There's been a lot of agita around its release for months and between that and the fact that Monroe continues to remain an elusive, fascinating character I jumped on it when it dropped this week. And Oh Boy. What a colossal, disturbing, confused mess it is.  It is directed in a pastiche style of disjointed images and snippets and is nearly impossible to follow as a narrative – I mean, you get the larger arc – but between the unconventional camera angles, the switching from black-and-white to color and the chaotic chronology  – you're always lost. And then there's the portrait it paints of Monroe as an unmitigated victim. Surely true that she was a repeated victim, but has Dominik not seen her luminous performance in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes?, did he not know that she started her own production company? She contains more multitudes than are evident in Domik's mosaic. The movie is unwatchable. Disturbing. An utter mess. A vulgarity and an affront, IMHO. You're fair warned.

Moving on! We have so much to offer you this Saturday that is good and enjoyable and helpful. Partake!

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.  +A Life Redirected. By Lisa Ellex My faint “laugh lines” have graduated to deep “life lines.”   +I Redesigned My Closet for My Midlife Lifestyle: Here’s What Happened. By Daisy Foster That’s when I realized I didn’t need a closet cleanout, I needed a redesign.   +5 Things That Turn Me On: Hilary H Shoulders, collar bone, neck. Tease me, baby.  +Social I Loved This Week. By Dish Stanley Kevin Bacon’s Silky Moves.   +Our Song of the Week cause I speak of the pompatus of love


A Life Redirected.  By Lisa Ellex

‘Transitions’ is a new series where we address the all-important issue of redirecting our lives at this midlife stage. In the first of the series, PrimeCrush writer Lisa Ellex broaches the question of what it takes to do it all alone.

“I wish I knew when I was going to die.”  The comment sent my eyes darting to the mirror before me that reflected the fit 50-year-old woman cutting my hair. I understood exactly what she meant.  

“I just want to know that I have enough money to live out my life. I’ve made a good living doing hair but I just can’t do this anymore. I’m done.”

Tears welled up in her eyes. I did my best to comfort my stylist friend (and save myself from leaving the salon with an Edward Scissorhands haircut) and assured her that she was not alone in her angst. Of late, it seems the conversations amongst my peers focus on questions like. “Will I have to work until I die?”; “Can I start a new career or business at this stage of my life”; “Who will care for me if I become ill?”; “How do I know my children will be financially secure?”; “Can I really afford to take that dream vacation next year?”; “Would I make it through another pandemic?”; “Is it better to take social security benefits earlier or later?”; “Would life be easier if I sold my home and rented something?”  And finally: “Will I really break a hip if I don’t start HRT ASAP?”  

Major life changes, whether expected or unexpected, can be enough to send even the steadiest of us to the ER in a panic attack. And worrying alone in the dark at 3:00 a.m. is far more frightening than worrying alongside a partner. But as more women are finding themselves solo in life, finding a companion becomes more difficult as our male counterparts seek women at least ten years their junior. Doing the math, I figure that my potential other half is already 70-something-years-old. Hmmmmm.

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I Redesigned My Closet for My Midlife Lifestyle: Here’s What Happened.  By Daisy Foster

I know what you must be thinking: “Ugh! Not another closet cleanout…” Well, it’s not. Nor is it one of those insidious you-can’t-wear-this-after-40 “advice” articles. First things first: wear what you want to wear no matter what your age. And keep all of your stuff forever if you choose. For me, though, my body and my lifestyle have gone through some radical changes over the last few years, and my closet didn’t suit either anymore.

Some might say I was lucky in that my weight hadn’t shifted too much since college, and, when it did, the changes were too insignificant to demolish my self-esteem. I worked at my weight rigorously though, with calorie restrictions, and weekend warrior workouts–it was closely monitored and accommodated. Conquered, is more like it. I saw my weight as a battle to be won.

Enter midlife menopause, and suddenly all the clichés are true. Your body somehow takes on a shape you never knew possible. What’s worse, I’d seen this coming for years and none of my old tricks were working. I went to doctor after doctor and they all said the same thing: “Women of your age don’t need many calories.” I was in my early to mid-40s and trying to find a way to restrict even less. All that did, now I know, was mess things up even more.

Then, one day, at the end of 2020, I woke up, and quite literally, none of my clothes fit. Sure, plenty of people had gained weight during the COVID lockdown, and now I was working from home, but the weight seemed to be more stubborn than ever. I found myself going to bed every night fearing getting dressed in the morning. And if you think for a moment this is a privileged problem—as if I had nothing else to think about, or nothing else going on in my life—I’ll have you know that’s not true. However, throughout life’s inevitable trials I’d always found solace in my morning ritual of costuming myself, in a sense, for the day to come. I collected clothing, I loved every piece of it. I invested in it. My clothes gave me an armor of joy against life’s tougher times. With nothing fitting me now, that joy felt fruitless. I decided to try and clean out my closet.

Continue reading here.

5 Things That Turn Me On: Hilary H.

What turns you on?  We'd love to hear from you! (Yes, you!) If you’d like us to send you a template to fill out, it’s really easy and fun, please email me at You must be a CRUSH Reader! (PS you can publish under your alias.)

Name: Hilary H.

Is this your real name Yes! (at least the first name is! ;)

5 Things That Turn Me On:

Sexiest Song: Bryan Ferry’sDon’t Stop the Dance” from the album Boys and Girls, 1985. It is romance set to music. This is the song he plays in the car to get you into his place. No need for wine.  Just take me. Now.

Sexiest City:  Montreal. No need to fly to Paris. Art, music, wine, cheese, winding cobblestone streets, the best-dressed men EVER… et tous les choses.

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Social I Loved This Week.  By Dish Stanley

Kevin Bacon’s Silky Moves. I’m not the only one grooving to heavy doses of Silk Sonic. Insta @kevinbacon

Song of the Week

The Joker By Steve Miller Band

Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah
Some call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Maurice
‘Cause I speak of the pompatus of love

One of the funnest lines in this song with a lot of really fun lines is "the pompatus of love." It's nonsensical, thrown in for fun and rhythm. Evidently when asked what it meant Steve Miller was known to respond, "It means whatever you want it to mean." Very e.e. cummings of him – cummings was a 20th Century American poet who was known to invent words (often by combining two common words into one like "girlgold" in his poem youful ). The invented words, among other things, let you project yourself into it.

The rest of The Joker is just as playful.

'Cause I'm a picker
I'm a grinner
I'm a lover
And I'm a sinner

I mean what does it even mean to be "a picker?" I think it's just a word that sounds good there.

The Joker was the title song of Miller's eighth studio album, released in 1973, Miller's first hit album. Previously Miller had focused on the blues and his earlier albums had a psychedelic feel and sound. The Joker had a distinctly classic rock& roll vibe. The follow-up album was also a hit Fly Like An Eagle.

Frequently I just need some classic rock to sing out loud to, particularly when I'm cooking or have been driving a while – the funner the better. The Joker hits that mood perfectly.

Steve Miller Band playing The Joker Live From Chicago

This weekend I hope you partake in the pompatus of love. And lots of it.

Dish Stanley XO,

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

+In Good Hands: A Midlife Couple’s Immersive Porn Surprise. By A.K.A Darla In search of titillation, one PrimeCrush columnist shares a sexy story about a long-term couple’s search for a porn experience that they could both enjoy, together...

+How to Find Porn That’s Actually Good. By Dish Stanley How to find porn that’s actually good? As in ethical as well as enjoyable? Porn may be ubiquitous, but finding good porn is much like finding a good book. You often pick up some bombs before you find an author you love. But once you land on (in this case, a director) you like, you might want to stick with them.

+Hefner. By Bob Guccione, Jr Bob Guccione, Jr. is the founder and Editor in Chief of WONDERLUST ( and the son of the founder of Penthouse Magazine. His father and Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, were great rivals. Here are Bob's reflections on that rivalry and Hefner's place in the publishing Pantheon following Hef's death in 2017.


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