The Crush Letter No 14

. 13 min read

Hello Crush,

Happy Memorial Day Week End. We made it. It's Summer!

But before we let it fly, I want to pass on what I just learned, which is "We're F*cked. It's Mercury In Retrograde." It appears that Mercury dances backward in high heels starting today (and not like the graceful Ginger Rogers or even like the 70's cross-dressing punk band New York Dolls, for that matter). "Mercury In Retrograde" means (evidently) that we're fucked, and not in a good way. But thankfully we are welcoming a new monthly columnist, Wiccan Witch Lynn Eaton, to explain the retrograde thing to us, including how we're going to get through it. (Together. But v.e.r.y. gingerly. ;-) Lynn is a gifted writer, and her column Love / Sex / Moon Magick will be in the fourth issue of The Crush Letter each month from here on in. I definitely need her perspective.

We are also introducing another new regular feature called Hook Ups. It's a column to introduce you to a cool and relevant entrepreneur who we think you should know. We are starting with astrologist Hilary Harley because not only is she a rock star, but she is cosmically aligned with Witch Lynn and on theme (and that happened by coincidence, which is - honestly - feeling very not coincidental as I write this, if you get my drift. Take note.).

And WELCOME New CRUSH READERS! If you're new here, thanks for joining. I'm Dish, the Master of Ceremonies. For more about me and why we're here go here.

In This Issue {eg, A Roadmap for those Who Prefer to Know Where They Are Headed}. In addition to Love / Sex / Moon Magick, our inaugural column from our resident Witch Lynn Eaton, we have the first installment of our new column Hook Ups, featuring astrologist Hilary Harley. Then, I am equally thrilled that Crush Reader Craig J. shares 5 Things That Turn Him On. We offer up many things for you to DEVOUR {things to do, have & know about}. And finally, Samantha (who we have to assume from the question is not the Samantha from SATC), writes to Dear Dish to ask about all the Summer orgies. (I'm afraid you'll have to read it to follow.)

That's a lot, so let's get going.


A new, monthly column by by our resident Wiccan Lynn Eaton.

Mercury Retrograde fucks sex. Not in a good way.

By Lynn Eaton

Lovespeak is a complicated language at the best of times, but during Mercury Retrograde, it’s almost impossible. It’s like trying to rake leaves in a snowstorm.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Mercury Retrograde, let me give you the Reader’s Digest definition of it: Mercury was the ancient Roman god who ruled communication. To the ancients, there were periods of time when the planet Mercury appeared to be travelling backwards through the night sky. Retrograde.

When added together, it means that communication is fucked. All forms of it: texts, emails, phone calls, Zoom meetings, face-to-face. And sex.

Sex is a touchy subject. Literally. Good touch. Energizing touch. Magick touch. (Yes, you can do sex magick. More on that in a future column.)

When I was younger, I was afraid to express my feelings about what felt good in my body during sex. Or what didn’t. Looking back on those days, it’s almost as if I was in a constant state of miscommunication. Retrograde.

There’s that word again. Retrograde. The concept itself is misunderstood. Mercury isn’t really going backwards. It just looks that way. And, so it is with communication. We need to be clear about it. Be sure that what we say, write, and express is what others receive from us.

Our world is much more cluttered than that of the ancient Romans or Greeks. We like to believe that with our technology that communication is easier. It is. And yet it also is not.

Texting is a perfect example of that. I remember a text that my Hunny Man sent to me. I forget exactly what was said, but he meant it to be funny. In person, it would have been. But I misunderstood it and was mightily pissed off. When I got home from work, we were able to clear the air and we had a good chuckle. And checked the planets. Mercury was in retrograde.

From May 29 to June 22 we will experience this phenomenon again. It’s occurring during the entire Gemini sun phase. Wanna guess what rules Gemini? Yup, Mercury. God of communication. Great. (Sarcasm, in case that wasn’t clear.)

As a Gemini, I can look at this two ways: I could take it as an indication that everything I say will be misconstrued. I’ll have to explain the nuances of everything that comes out of my mouth or through my devices. Or—I could look at it as a sort of cross cancellation. Maybe retrograde-ness will be lessened by sun in Gemini. I could revel in all of my communications and the clarity that I intend. The choice is obvious for me.

I usually have a tendency to blurt out whatever is on my mind without thinking about it too much. Sex has been the exception, but I’m getting better at it. I have relied on sending “signals” that I want to “fool around.” Unsurprisingly, I’m often disappointed that even after almost twenty years together, the signals get crossed. This retrograde will be more “Hey, hunny. Let’s go upstairs for some serious lovemaking.” Or even the more blatant, “I am in the mood for sex. Are you too?” And Retrograde be damned.

Hook Ups:  Meet Hilary Harley, Astrologer

“Hook Ups” is a new ongoing feature to introduce our readers to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Humorously explain your job.

I explain people to themselves. After exhausting all mainstream therapies, crisis-driven people seek my advice as a last resort to finally gain clarity, understanding about their purpose and situations.

For how many years?


How important is astrology for the perfect love match?

For love relationships to last, astrology is EXTREMELY important. Coordinating Sun, Moon and Rising signs give a basis for mutual understanding and shared acceptance.

For June, are there any days that stand out for love and sex?

For flings, one night stands and quickies: June is YOUR month! From June 1-21 (due to dominant Gemini energy, the June 10th eclipse and Mercury retrograde until June 22nd all challenging dreamy Neptune) this month is super flirtatious, romantically playful and a real sexual fantasyland. Forget—just fuhgettabout—any expectations for lasting romances begun in June. Romance is fleeting and fantastical this month with zero staying power.

What are the hottest astrological love matches in the zodiac?

The fire signs Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. However, mix a Scorpio with any one of those signs and it is a BONFIRE.

Any special love/relationship warnings?

If you’re seeking long-term love, wait until the end of June (after June 23rd) for a first connection or date. July and August are infinitely better for creating lasting romantic partnerships. As always, show up honest and real. TRUST your gut and intuition. Ask: Does he/she/they make you feel alive, SOULFUL, light you up from the inside out? If not, expect disillusionment and disappointment.

Best way to reach you?

My website or directly at I offer astrology natal/birth charts, current forecasts and solar return readings to understand what’s happening for you right now!

STIR {it up}

"Women my age who are 'unfuckwithable.'" Craig J's 5 Things

5 Things That Turn Me On: Craig J.

Is this your real name: Yep. First name, middlie initial.

Occupation: Consumer goods marketing executive

Current relationship status Divorced Father/Single

Which generation are you in: Gen X, eating it up.

Barcelona. I’ve been around the world and for me, Barcelona has always stood out on the sexy scale. Some of the most beautiful people, the architecture, the culture, the food, the arts, the energy, the warmth.  Can’t be topped.

Janet Jackson’s That’s the Way Love Goes.  Besides the fact that Janet leaks of sexiness in the music video, (remember those?), it’s the rhythm. It’s a tweener for dancing but definitely gets me moving every time.

Touch Me … For me it’s less about location and more about subtlety and spontaneity. Those little reminders – like brushing up against me, grabbing my hand when we cross the street, even a playful tap on the ass.

Women My Age Who Are “Unfuckwithable.” Certainly intelligence, confidence and courage. I like “unfuckwithable” as a mantra. I feel more alive than at any earlier phase of my life, and what I see is that women my age do too. I’m still working out a theory on this, but it might have to do with the fact that we are becoming empty nesters, hitting a 50 milestone, looking up, focusing on what matters to us and accelerating our personal growth, both emotional and physical. That's all very sexy.

My HIZE Hoods. I’m into staying healthy and these HIZE Hoods are my latest peloton-accessory obsession. I get a peloton ride in at least 4x a week and I’ve pimped my ride with a racing seat, improved clip-in pedals and my favorite (simple) upgrade, my HIZE hoods. They make it feel like being on my road bike – more comfortable, less stress, more power, better posture. A great ride gives me a high, makes me feel like embracing life.

DEVOUR {things to do, have & know about}

Listen. Mike Troiano Makes A Racket About Nigella Lawson's Guilty Pleasures. CRUSH Reader @miketrap, who gave us his recipe for Bad Girl Pasta, posted a powerful piece on the new audio social app called Racket. An ardent admirer of domestic goddess Nigella Lawson. (I am too.) He has been partaking in her latest book Cook, Eat, Repeat. (I am too). In his brief Racket rant, he takes issue with a question she gets often about her guilty pleasures, and reads my favorite lines from her book: "No one should feel guilty about what they eat. Or the pleasure they get from eating it. The only thing to feel guilty about, and even then I don't recommend it, is the failure to be grateful for that privilege. I am very aware that the joy I celebrate in food is a privilege." Worth the 2 mins.

Stop asking Nigella about her “guilty pleasures” | Racket
Stop asking Nigella about her “guilty pleasures” by @miketrap

Listen. Everything is Fine Podcast: Why Don't You Just F*ck Someone on Tinder?" I have been reading Kim France's blog Girls of A Certain Age for many years. France had a long career in magazines (including as the Founder of Lucky Magazine) and writes mostly about how "to look chic and distinctive and sexy." She and cohost Jennifer Romolini also put out a terrific podcast: Everything Is Fine. On their most recent episode they speak with Nancy Jo Sales, author of Nothing Personal: My Secret Life in the Dating App Inferno. It's a sobering look at dating for women over 40, but (like all the Everything Is Fine episodes) it's also sitting in on a conversation with some very smart, sophisticated women who have a great sense of humor and an even greater understanding (always) of whatever cultural moment we are living through.

‎Everything is Fine: “Why Don’t You Just F*ck Someone on Tinder?” on Apple Podcasts
Award-winning journalist Nancy Jo Sales is our guest today. Nancy Jo has a new book, “Nothing Personal,” which investigates and explores the world of online dating and, specifically, her experience navigating life in the “dating app inferno” at the age of 49. Don’t forget: We have a Patreon! Sign…

Listen. WSJ's Anne Tergesen on Getting Thru Relationship Conflicts Over How to Invest for Retirement. As we all know, financial matters can be a major stresser in many relationships. I like how this episode of WSJ's Your Money Briefing focuses on the respective risk tolerances of the two people in a partnership, touches on how their respective personal histories might contribute to that and offers ways to manage through those differences. I also like the underlying implication here, which is the importance of both partners being involved in the decision-making process around retirement planning.

How Couples Can Work Through Retirement-Planning Disagreements - Your Money Briefing - WSJ Podcasts
Market volatility can cause tension within couples who have different approaches to investing their retirement funds. Retirement reporter Anne Tergesen joins host J.R. Whalen to discuss some ways couples can find solutions to disagreements and preserve their savings.

Watch It. Mel Robbins. The Simple Secret to Having More Friends. Mel Robbins has shared a great series of short, deep takes on the nature, qualities and evolution of friendship, but I love this one (that she posted this week) because it backs it up to the beginning: how to attract more friends in the first instance. It seems to me that this is a legit starting point to understanding the structure of friendships, and that grasping this basic principle is a first order principle in all relationships.  (Most people are in their relationship with you - regardless of whether it is romantic, friendship, familial - in order to have their own needs met. If you are not meeting their needs (and vice versa), they'll leave. Somehow.)

Look It Up. Dame Products Intimacy Glossary. Dame Products, the sex toy company that gave us AER (the suction vibrator we wrote about in The Crush Letter No 1 ("like getting oral from a cloud")) also publishes a damn good Intimacy Glossary on their blog SWELL. A polyamorous friend recently used the term "compersion" for instance, and where'd I look it up? on Swell's Intimacy Glossary. (It means "The feeling of joy someone vicariously experiences when their romantic partner experiences pleasure with someone else. Basically the antonym of jealousy, compersion is most common among polyamorous and/or open relationships.") Among the other useful definitions I would found:

Potentially useful definition from Dame Products
Like what Dish has for Crush Readers ;-)

SWELL's Intimacy Glossary is here.


Dear Dish:

In The Crush Letter No. 6 you said (read: promised) that Summer would bring us post-pandemic orgies.

It's Summer.

Where you at? Can you drop a pin [on Google Maps]? Better yet, post the (or an) orgy address in your next issue. It seems like you've got a pretty fun crew with the CRUSH Readers!

Looking forward, Samantha

Dear Samantha:

Thanks for being a die-hard Crush Reader! And for writing.

Okay. Well, in No 6 I did say that people like Dr. Nicholas Christakis, Yale Professor and author of Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live were predicting orgies. But honestly (sadly) I haven't been invited to any. (Yet.?!)

However, I did "happen" to take note of a recent article in the New York Post about the re-opening of the world's most exclusive sex party: "NYC's elite sex club SNCTM to reopen with wild orgy masquerade." The accompanying photos are very "eyes wide shut." Perhpas you could take that up, as it were.

How to get through the velvet ropes into SNCTM? I haven't a clue. But if you do get in, our CRUSH Reader crew (yes, they're fun!) would love to read about it. (Our submission policy is here: Hit us with your best shot.)

Good luck! And let us know how the orgies are. (Really.)

XO, Dish

In keeping with this week's theme, our song of the week is Rhiannon. You'll probably recall that this is the song that is the most "Stevie" of all of Stevie Nicks songs, which she frequently introduced by saying "This is a story about a Welsh wtich." Stevie was quoted as saying "it's about a very mystical woman that is finds it very, very hard to be tied down in any kind of way - she's uplifting all through the song ... when you see a seagull and she's lifting up. Well, that's that's Rhiannon. Rhiannon - yeah - she's moving up."*

*Stevie Nicks, interview in Crawdaddy, November 1976.

For more on Rhiannon and Stevie Nicks, and why this particular clip of Rhiannon is the "coolest thing ever," we've got this super 1970's take from the Rolling Stones way-back-machine, "Behold the absolute peak of Stevie-dom" which I must admit that I am ALL ABOUT, for a bit of nostaliga heading into the first week end of Summer post-pandemic (though I probably was a believer after maybe 10 reasons, truth be told).

17 Reasons This ‘Rhiannon’ Clip Is the Coolest Thing Ever
Behold the absolute peak of Stevie-dom

As for you on this first Summer week end, dear CRUSH Readers (paraphrasing from Stevie): Love's a state of mind / Dreams unwind / Rule your life like a bird in flight / Who will be your lover?

Dish Stanley XO,

If you love getting the Dish I'd really appreciate it if you shared it with friends -  here's the link.

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter from Dish Stanley curating articles & intelligence 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?


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