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September 28, 2006

Reader to Julia: You are a Trite, Hackneyed, Platitude-Loving Truism of a Cliché

"Seriously, the only thing more cliché
than going to Harvard, is maybe being a Sex/Dating Columnist in New York City."  - Justin (commenting on yesterday's post about me crashing the Harvard 045856 party)

Oh yeah?  What about a sex columnist in New York who went to Harvard for Law School and just coincidentally had blonde hair?  That would be EVEN MORE cliché!  And then, what if she were friends with two girls and three guys, and they all hung out in a coffee shop called Central Perk!!  HOW CLICHÉ WOULD THAT BE, HUH, JUSTIN???  HUH???

Okay.  Fine.  Look, Justin, we need to talk.  You are, unfortunately, totally fucking accurate.  I've ruminated on this conundrum for many an unproductive day (and with me, that would be most days).  How does a New York dating columnist kick the Carrie-Bradshaw-was-played-out-seven-years-ago-and-even-Magnolia-Bakery's -fucking-over-it thing?

Wow.  Two f-bombs in one paragraph.  Obviously clichés upset me.

Anyway, so far I haven't come up with an answer, other than changing jobs, which isn't really an option because I don't have any actual skills.

Hmm ... I guess I could go to law school, actually, now that I think about it.

If someone has an idea about how I can possibly lift the dark cloud of banality from my chosen occupation, please do share.  A dozen sex & dating columnists await your brilliance with bated breath and vibrators set to "on."  (Okay, that last part made no sense.  I don't care.  I just wanted to put the word "vibrator" in there.  It's a sex columnist thing.)

And, oh yeah - in case you needed to comment, other synonyms for cliché include:  stale, overused, hackneyed, worn out, threadbare, commonplace, old chestnut.   Yeah, you heard me right.  OLD CHESTNUT.  I checked the thesaurus, bitches.


Oh.  right.

September 27, 2006

Cambridge, Mass: 027589452. or Something ...

Harvard 02138.png

Although I grew up with a locked TV, I was VERY OCCASIONALLY allowed to watch Beverly Hills: 90210.  My father's favorite game was purposely "forgetting" the zip code (ostensibly to demonstrate his distain over the show's sheer retardation).  "Why do you want to watch 90418 anyway?"  "When will Donna Martin graduate from that 95326 show?"  At 13, I considered this highly insulting.  HOW COULD HE NOT REMEMBER SUCH AN IMPORTANT FIVE DIGIT NUMBER??  DAD!!!!

And now, a decade plus later, here comes Harvard, so secure that their zip code is JUST AS MEMORABLE as Beverly Hills' that they've named a whole magazine after it.  But I'm taking a stand.  I refuse to make any attempt at remembering it.  I won't even look at the last three digits.

I will, however, crash their launch party.  And read the actual magazine, which, despite its understandable* focus on a particular university within that zip code, is pretty damn readable.

*I mean, really, are there any interesting or successful people who didn't go to Harvard?  After reading 04865, I think we can safely say "no."  And by "we" I mean the editors of 27639.  Who graduated from Harvard.  Obviously.

Pictures of me at the party posing with people who definitely didn't go to Harvard, after the jump.  Okay, fine.  One guy in the pictures went to Harvard, but it doesn't count, because now he writes theatre reviews.  And c'mon, how Harvard is THAT?  That's like, so totally Yale Drama.  Please.




Old News: How to Ensure Your Customer Service Complaint Circulates the Internet for Half a Decade

So, a friend of mine who's usually on top of his "internet-fad-spotting" game sent me this powerpoint presentation, which is not only true, but absolutely fularious (that would be an abbreviated version of "fucking hilarious" - thanks Urban Dictionary's Word of the Day!)

Given that, and in my excitement at posting about it, I neglected to notice that IT HAPPENED FIVE YEARS AGO.  As in, 2001.  That's almost enough time for the NY Styles to do a trend piece about it.

I felt instantly lame, like I was in severe danger of being THAT woman, the one who forwards you constantly with retarded jokes you've read 47 times and warnings about mercury in your tuna and e.coli in your spinach and those stupid tests where you have to scroll down but DON'T LOOK and the "celebrate women" poems to "lift your spirits" and remind you to "SMILE" because God lugged your fat ass down the beach and those were his footprints you ungrateful sack of lard and then prefaces all of her emails with "don't reply to all" but everyone does anyway and YOU WANT TO INFECT HER COMPUTER WITH A VIRUS but you can't because she's your mom or roommate or something?  Like one of those.

However, I already did all the work of loading the images, so here it is.  And btw, still fularious, even in 2006.

September 26, 2006

Internizing - Like Womanizing. But Younger.

Our most favoritest Washington interns EVER!

BREAKING NEWS: DC Interns Are Hot and Everyone Wants a Piece of Them

Yes, that's the real title.  I swear.  Subtle, eh?

Mike Hume, a fellow Georgetown grad and reporter for the Falls Church News-Press, takes on the sordid world of HOT DC INTERNS and the MEN WHO WANT TO BANG THEM.  (And yes, I realize the article appeared like, over a month ago, but as you may have noticed, I'm not exactly known for my timeliness.)

I have a few small quotes in the piece, where I'm described as a "former Hill worker," which sort of sounds like "former sex worker."  I suppose the two jobs aren't all that different, if you really think about it, except that sex workers get paid a lot more.

Although I've never been an actual Hill intern, I'm nonetheless OBVIOUSLY qualified to talk about skankiness amongst our government's free employees, or "skinterns" as they now call them.

For your amusement, I've pasted the actual transcript of the interview of our interview after the jump.

Reporter Mike Hume: The main thrust of the article is that we've noticed a tremendous infatuation with D.C. interns lately.  What do you think about this whole trend of "skinterns" and inappropriately dressed female interns? Had you heard anything about it prior to this? What's your take on it in a big picture sense?
Julia Allison: The term ‘skinterns’ has been around for years – they were using that back when I was working on the Hill in 2000-2001.   I had taken a year off before my sophomore year to work for my Congressman, but although I was 19, I was a legislative correspondent, not an intern.  To be taken seriously, I made a very conscious effort to be appropriate - I had to throw out my entire collegiate wardrobe.  In fact, I dressed more conservatively than I ever have in my whole LIFE – before or since!

MH: Do you think that girls are doing this on purpose in order to draw attention, or is it more that they aren't aware of what constitutes proper attire?
JA: Girls dress this way because they’ve always dressed this way – how would they know differently?  After all, they’re 19, this is probably their first “professional” job, they’re used to college-campus dress (where less is more) and they’re just popping in for the summer – of course they might not realize how inappropriately clothed they are.  To be fair, it’s not always the girls’ faults – their intern coordinators have a responsibility to make sure they know that Laguna Beach attire won’t fly in the hallowed halls of Congress.  That said, we’re talking about nubile 19-year-olds here - I’m sure there is a distinct cadre that does, in fact, dress to get attention.  I just don’t think they’re the majority.

MH: Do you feel there's any benefit to being "sexy" as a intern? In Washington or otherwise.
JA: There could theoretically be a benefit if you’re smart about using your sexiness – but most girls so young don’t know how to do that.   Especially with the events of the last decade – from Monica to that infamous Vanity Fair article on interns to Jessica Cutler – there is a constant wariness of young, sexy interns amongst staffers and Congressmen.  No one wants to be fodder for the next Reliable Source / Wonkette expose.  So too much overt sexiness will scare away the very people these girls might be trying to attract.

MH: Do you feel that sex appeal is just as, or more beneficial than intellectual appeal?
JA: In 95 out of 100 cases, sex appeal is beneficial – as long as you know how to use it smartly.  It can turn people off just as much as it turns them on, especially other women – so you have to be careful.

MH: A few years back, you were publicly linked to Rep. Harold Ford, has that element of celebrity benefited your career at all or opened any doors that may have been closed?
JA: Being publicly linked to Harold has neither helped nor hurt my career.  Perhaps if I had gone public with more information, it might have had more of an impact, but as it was, I downplayed my involvement with Harold as much as I could.  It certainly never reached the level of Jessica Cutler, nor would I have wanted it to ... I absolutely respect Jessica and I think she’s a fantastic, fiery woman.  But I didn’t want to be known as “that girl who once dated Harold Ford,” - that’s not the career I wanted to have.  Other than a fabulous weekend ski vacation and a few fancy dinners, all Harold gave me was the certainty that dating a [politician] is overrated.
[Julia's Note: I originally wrote "dating a egotisitical wannabe-hotshot is overrated" but in retrospect, that might have been a bit harsh.  And really, that's the EXACT same thing as writing "politician" - so I have changed it accordingly.]

MH: Is there a fascination about interns in New York like there is in D.C.?
JA: Nope.  No one gives a shit about interns in New York.

September 25, 2006

Dating Under the Influence

Having been more than a month since The Boyfriend and I split, I thought the time was right to start dating again.

After all, the last First Date I went on was in 2004 (with The Boyfriend, obviously).  It involved me confusing “sake glasses” with “shot glasses," resulting in intoxication that has been matched only by those needing rehab.  Clad in a bright pink bra and strapless Juicy Couture terrycloth mini-dress (yes, I know, classy), I actually turned cartwheels on the dance floor of Hiro.  No, seriously.  I did.

It’s shocking The Boyfriend agreed to see me a second time.

Anyway, I'd forgotten how truly funny First Dates can be.  Sometimes Funny Good, sometimes Funny Bad, but hopefully Funny Enough for a Decent Story.  I think my date last Friday falls into the last category, but it could have easily made the middle one if not for my spectacular sense of humor.  :)  You know you're in for a bizarre evening when your date starts calling himself Howard Roark.  Er ... right.

The complete date is in today's AM column - or read below (it continues after the jump):

SEPTEMBER 25, 2006

The funny thing about being single again is that all my eagerness to go on first dates has been rapidly replaced by the realization that these events are only valuable insomuch as they provide me with a ridiculous story to tell.

Since I’m a big fan of Ridiculous Stories (note my career choice), I have no problem with such dates.  I happily subscribe to the philosophy espoused by my friend, the comedian and professional recovering frat-boy Aaron Karo – AFS: Anything For a Story.

My date last Friday night falls firmly in that category.
Admittedly, The Guy started off with emails so farcical, he instantly rendered himself AFS Material.  “Julia,” he wrote, “Certain of my friends thought you'd be a good person for me to talk dirty to ...  at the very least, you’ll be entertained.  What do you say we meet for a drink to start?”

To start?  To start what??  Talking dirty?  Um, hold up there, stud.

The ill-advised subject heading of his next missive wasn't much better: “Let’s grab pizza and sex next Wednesday night.”  (Note to future dates: Do not insinuate that girl is a ho before meeting her to confirm such facts.)

He explained that normally he wouldn’t be so forward, but “Conquering a dating columnist has to be one of the ultimate achievments [sic], and may require unconventional tactics....”

Conquering?  Oh dear god.  Even if you were actually thinking something that ludicrous, why would you EVER write it??  With a spelling mistake, no less!

It’s not a coincidence that The Guy works for a hedge fund.

I’m sure I would have blown him off completely, but he was incredibly persistent. I rainchecked and/or canceled on him five times, and the only reason I didn’t reschedule again was that I literally couldn’t.  He was moving to Europe the next day.

I wasn’t particularly in the mood to go on a date that evening.  I did not want to get dressed up.  I did not want to put on makeup.  I did not want to down alcoholic beverages out of boredom.

I wanted to stay home in my PJs and revel in the sheer trashiness of the new book I’d just bought at Barnes & Noble (Bunny Tales, the memoir of a former Hefner Girlfriend - equivalent to 30 copies of US Weekly).

But I couldn’t cancel just hours before the date.  Could I?

Running through the list of excuses (sick, work emergency, dog has asthma), I felt a twinge of guilt.  After all, The Guy had gotten us tickets to The Killers concert, and although I’d never heard any of their songs (there goes my indie music cred), it was his last night in this country.  

Still, I stood in the shower Friday at 6 pm wondering whether, if I called to say I had just broken my ankle, he would try to visit me in the hospital.

I figured he would, so I gave up and just went on the date.  As a preemptive strike, I downed several drinks at the beginning, but not enough to forget him telling me that he could see beyond my “hard shell,” and that he, at 25, was going to prove that “these old guys you’re always dating” were lame.

I just smiled and nodded, enjoying The Guy’s show of amusingly misguided bravado.

That is, until he started kissing me.

I use “kissing” in a loose sense, because what he was really doing could be more accurately described as “jack-hammering his mouth onto mine.”  Now, it’s one thing if your date is a bad kisser.  Fine.  I mean, it’s disappointing, but what can you do?

However, it’s quite another when that Bad Kisser finally lets up jamming his tongue into your mouth and says, “I knew you’d be a good kisser … like me.”

WHAT?!?  He seemed to take my hysterical laughter as an affirmation, which only made me laugh harder.

“You’ve met your match,” The Guy then proclaimed.  Uhh … yeah.  I’ve met something, that’s for sure.

He then informed me that he wanted to go out with me just to see if I was “a genius or a psychopath.”  At this point, I was pretty sure he tended towards one of those categories, and it was didn’t look like the former.

After the concert, I tried to go home, but having mentioned earlier that I just canceled my gym membership, he offered to give me his fitness pass, good till the end of the year (and worthless to him given his impending move).  Because I’m a sucker for free stuff, I reluctantly agreed to go back to The Guy’s apartment to pick it up.

Upon entering, he sat down at his laptop and told me he had a “special song” to play for me.  As the recognizable strains of Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous Girl” filled the room, I couldn’t decide whether to slap him or knee him in the nether regions.

“You know,” I said, “That’s probably not the right song to play ‘in honor’ of the girl you’re trying to get in the mood.  And just FYI, in case you were confused, you’re not even going to come CLOSE to sleeping with me.  In fact, I’m leaving right now.”

At that, he nervously backtracked.

“Oh, I don’t even want to have sex with you tonight,” he lied.  “I’ve already shipped all of my condoms to Europe … But when we do go to bed, it’s going to be amazing.”  I almost choked on my drink.

Thank God for FedEx.

September 24, 2006

Have Laptop, Will Pose. With Laptop. Awkwardly.

I agree, The Blogger-With-Laptop Photos Are Super Lame.

Really, doesn't anyone own a desktop anymore??

Obviously I would NEVER pose in such a cheesy ... oh, crap.

Julia Allison with Laptop .jpg

Actually, I hate the above photo, not just because it's a totally obnoxious, ginormous cliche but because the shocking truth is, I don't actually look like that when I write.  For one, I use both hands.  Also, I never lay on my stomach.  Finally, I'm usually naked.  Okay, okay - wearing granny panties.  Sorry, it's true.  Ask The (Ex) Boyfriend.

Anyway, my web guy refuses to return emails or phone calls, so I can't get the damn photo removed until I convince some nice techy to help me.  HELP!!!!

I plan to replace it with the candid below of my shih-tzu Lilly blogging. Or thinking about blogging (she's a procrastinator).

Lilly was reluctant to take this photo, but I told her that the Puppy-With-Laptop pose hasn't yet been played out.  Yet.

September 23, 2006

GOOD For You.

GOOD Magazine: Giving Editors Pun-gasms since 2006

So, GOOD, a magazine founded by a rich kid with a soul, had its New York launch party, which I crashed last Thursday evening, ostensibly for "work purposes."

Video proof below (note seconds .31-.33.):


The (Ex) Boyfriend says I look like I'm "on a large dosage of crack."  This is obviously not true, because A) I would be a lot skinnier and B) see A.

For the record, I was just showing the studly videographer how I pose for photos.  Usually I don't move my head around so frenetically, but you know, I don't get out much and I DID have one (imported) beer and  ... well, whatever.

The point is, I was NOT dancing to "Hip Hop Hooray," no matter what slick editing those gawkerettes do.  In fact, during the entirety of the time which I was at the More-Hipster-Than-Thou party, I didn't see ANYONE dancing.  Just admiring each other's messenger bags.

And trying not to care that Al Gore was standing next to them.  Shockingly, and perhaps because they were so cool (too cool to push & shove, even for an environmentalist), there weren't many people crowding around the should-be sagamore, so I had no problem waltzing right up and introducing myself as a "New York dating columnist."  Like he gave a damn.

Anyway, because I didn't anticipate actually having a conversation with The Gorester, and because the last memory in my head was of him and his bizarre VMA appearance, the only thing I could think of to say was:

"Mr. Gore, I just wanted to say that I really appreciate you bringing Sexy Back.  We missed that around here."

He laughed uproariously ... then he said I had a "nice outfit" as we posed for a photo together.

If by "nice outfit" he meant "your boobs are falling out of your shirt," he was accurate.

GOOD times.

September 20, 2006


National Singles Week.jpg
A Fate Scarier Than Marriage: Urban Cougar Celebrates National Singles Week

Although I’m rarely accused of “having good timing" (or tact, for that matter), it seems that my luck has finally turned: just one month after my breakup with The Boyfriend comes the nonstop thrill ride that is National Singles Week.  Er, excuse me – National Unmarried and Singles Americans Week.

Because I am nothing if not a serious, professional investigative journalist, I did a hard-hitting piece on the phenomenom that's sweeping our nation: CELEBRATING BEING SINGLE DURING AN ASSIGNED WEEK!

Most reporters would shy away from such a controversial subject.  Not me.  It's all about the story, people.

With that, today's AM New York column, "Party of One."  Cue All By Myself.

Column begins below, continues after the jump ...

SEPTEMBER 20, 2006

If you’re one of the 95 million Americans who stubbornly refuse to join in wedded bliss, the commemorative holiday you’ve been feverishly anticipating is finally here.  That’s right, spouse-less slackers, it’s NATIONAL UNMARRIED AND SINGLE AMERICANS WEEK!

Possessors of a marriage license, get thee to Westchester.  This week is NOT for you!

As for the rest – I know it’s difficult to contain your exuberance.  You’ve no doubt already planned several rollicking events, probably involving whipped cream and speed dating.  After all, times when you can officially celebrate not having a ball & chain come but once a year.  (Excluding bachelor parties.  Obviously.)

The esteemed holiday was founded in 1984 by a courageous group of Ohioans called the Buckeye Singles Council, who clearly had too much free time on their (ring-less) hands.  Disgruntled with the smug marrieds in their state, they decided that they just wouldn’t stand for it anymore.

No longer would they ignore the blatant favoritism accorded to those with marriage certificates!

No longer would they put up with the inferior status of those without contractual agreements sealed with large, expensive parties involving multi-tiered cakes!

No longer would they answer their mother’s insistent phone calls about “that nice Jewish orthodontist”!

They retaliated by proclaiming that forthwith, the third week in September would be reserved solely for honoring unmarried people throughout the nation as well as creating awareness of the rampant discrimination against their kind.

Oh, you think the unattached don’t really suffer discrimination?   I bet you’re married, you single-hater!

According to Lori Miller, dating expert at Lavalife, “America’s #1 Hookup site,” “There is still a stigma and embarrassment about being alone.”

Yeah!  Here’s to all the stigmatized, embarrassed singles out there.  Grab your cats and a bottle of warm white wine and raise a toast to life without joint tax returns, “checking in,” and mandatory visits with ugly in-laws.

“This week single people are finally given permission to actually get out and enjoy themselves,” explains Miller.

Permission?  Singles are the only people who DON’T need permission to go enjoy themselves!

Beyond that, how should we losers without wedding bands celebrate this momentous occasion?  Alcohol, nudity, repeated trips to Scores?

According to Miller, we can “get a good night’s sleep, hang out with friends, or go for a great haircut.”

Personally, I was leaning towards the alcohol and nudity, but okay. I guess a haircut sounds nice too.

And of course, nothing says “I’m going all out to properly commemorate National Unmarried and Single Americans Week” like getting a good night’s sleep.

I knew this was going to be the BEST WEEK EVER.

September 19, 2006

Snakes on a Pink Party Plane. I WISH!

Pink Party Plane.jpg

If you're wondering - and you're probably not - why I've been really MIA and generally unreliable with regular postings lately, it's not (just) because "flakey" is one of the top three adjectives people use most to describe me, but because I've been on a SUPER SECRET ASSIGNMENT in Chicago (read: watching my parents' dogs while they're on vacation).  That's right.  Illinois, baby.  BECAUSE THAT IS HOW I ROLL.

I'm finally returning to civilization tomorrow, hopefully on the Pink Party Plane, pictured above.  Or an anonymous crappy gray United jet, you know, whichever happens to be sitting near the gate at O'Hare around noon on Wednesday.

Honestly, though, how much more fun would it be to travel if all the planes were pink and upon boarding you were required to down three tequila shots?  OBVIOUSLY SO MUCH MORE FUN.  We should all write letters to the airline companies.

(Clearly spending two weeks in a house with only small white shih-tzus for company is not good for my mental health.)

September 16, 2006

See Julia Make a Fool of Herself This Wednesday, Sept 20th at Rachel Kramer Bussel's "Revenge of the Sex Columnists" Reading

When I hear that title, I keep envisioning an angry horde of stilleto-clad women, armed only with pink vibrators, edible panties and a laptop with internet.  Needless to say, it's scary.

Anyway, for some reason I thought it would be a great idea to tell the prolific Village Voice sex columnist Rachel Kramer Bussel that, sure, yeah, I totally want to participate in her reading series (special sex columnist edition) - specificially talking about my experiences as a dating columnist for the past four years.  Except now that the time is rapidly approaching when I should, you know, write something down so I don't stand up there and babble like an idiot, and ... I can't think of anything.  I mean, I'm pretty sure some fairly funny shit has happened, but right now my mind is blank and I sort of feel like vomiting.

In other words, it's going to be awesome.

(B/D to Grand, J/M/Z to Bowery, F to Delancey)
Admission: Free


Hear your favorite sex columnists tell all—from horror stories to hate mail to come-ons and sexcapades! With Julia Allison (“The Dating Life,” AM NY), Nicole Beland (“Ask the Girl Next Door,” Men’s Health), Erin Bradley (“Miss Information,” Nerve.com), Ellen Friedrichs (Teenwire.com), Greg Gilderman (“The Dating Life,” Metro), Laura Leu (“Sex Diary,” Penthouse), Stephanie Sellars (“Lust Life,” New York Press), and Jamye Waxman (“Sex Ed,” Playgirl), and your host, Rachel Kramer Bussel (“Lusty Lady,” The Village Voice). Books and magazines, as well as candy and mini cupcakes, will be given away. In the Flesh is a monthly reading series hosted at the appropriately named Happy Ending Lounge, and features the city's best erotic writers sharing stories to get you hot and bothered, hosted and curated by Village Voice sex columnist and acclaimed erotic writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel. From erotic poetry to down and dirty smut, these authors get naked on the page and will make you lust after them and their words. Future themed nights include Revenge of the Sex Columnists (September), comic sex (November) and erotic memoirs. Since its debut in October 2005, In the Flesh has featured such authors as Lily Burana, Jessica Cutler, Polly Frost, Andy Horwtiz, Maxim Jakubowski, Emily Scarlet Kramer of CAKE, Edith Layton, M.J. Rose, Lauren Sanders, Danyel Smith, Cecilia Tan, Carol Taylor, and many others. The series has gotten press attention from Escape (Hong Kong), The L Magazine, New York, Gothamist, Nerve.com and Wonkette. This series is not Amanda Stern’s Happy Ending Reading Series.

Rachel Kramer Bussel is a New York City-based author and editor. She is Senior Editor at Penthouse Variations, writes the Lusty Lady column for The Village Voice, and conducts interviews for Gothamist.com and Mediabistro.com. Her erotic stories have appeared in over 60 anthologies, including Best American Erotica 2004 and 2006, and she’s edited her own collections, including Naughty Spanking Stories from A to Z 1 and 2, Up All Night, First-Timers, Glamour Girls, Ultimate Undies, Sexiest Soles, Secret Slaves: Erotic Stories of Bondage, and Caught Looking: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists. Rachel has also written for AVN, Bust, Metro, New York Post, Punk Planet, Time Out New York and Velvetpark.

Julia Allison is a writer and columnist, best known for her weekly column, “The Dating Life,” in AM New York, a daily Manhattan newspaper that reaches more than 320,000 readers. She got her start as a now clichéd college sex columnist at Georgetown University, but since then she has written for Cosmopolitan, New York, COED, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Capitol File and Men’s Health, among others. In addition to a regrettable stint on Elimidate, America’s #1 cheesiest dating show, Julia has been featured in The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Fox, CNBC, CBS and NPR. She appears regularly on Fox News as an entertainment pundit.

Nicole Beland, a former Cosmo senior editor, has been the Men's Health Girl Next Door for the past six years and also writes the He Says/She Says sex and relationship column in Women's Health. She's the author of Girl Seeks Bliss: Zen and the Art of Modern Life Maintenance and Sex: The Whole Picture.

Erin Bradley is writer living in New York City. Erin is the author of Miss Information, a weekly sex and dating advice column, and Girlgonemad, an online dating blog, both appearing on Nerve.com. Originally from the Midwest, Erin is a graduate of Michigan State University where she earned a degree in Human Resources (don’t worry, she doesn’t know what that means either). When she’s not writing freelance for various entertainment and tech publications, Erin can be found working on her screenplay and watching television documentaries with Creature, her morbidly obese cat.

Ellen Friedrichs is a Brooklyn based sexuality educator. She holds an MA in health and human sexuality education and started her career in sexuality at Manhattan's Museum of Sex. From there she became the behind the scenes expert for Planned Parenthood's teenwire.com website answering hundreds of thousands of sex questions from information starved teens. Currently, she teaches sex education to teens in the South Bronx and human sexuality to biology students at Rutgers University. She also runs sexuality workshops and writes about the subject when she has a chance. These days she also hangs out with her baby. More information about Ellen can be found at her website: www.sexEdvice.com.

Greg Gilderman’s column reaches 800,000 readers in Metro newspapers of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. He's a contributing writer at Cosmopolitan, and an on-camera advisor for Match.com's new video website. For five years he was the host of the popular late-night cable access talk show "Mr. Greg Live," and his first book, She's the One: What Makes a Woman a Keeper and Other Mysteries of the Male Mind Revealed, will be published by Penguin/Perigee in January 2007.

Laura Leu writes a monthly column for Penthouse called "Sex Diary." She has also written for Maxim, Stuff, Shock, Sync, Riot, Match.com and contributed to the book Naked Ambition: Women Pornographers and How They Are Changing The Sex Industry. As a sex and relationships expert, she has made several TV appearances and does a weekly sex segment on Maxim Sirius Radio. She recently launched a line of underwear, which can be found at www.UnderDares.com.

Stephanie Sellars is a writer, filmmaker, and performer. Her provocative column "Lust Life" appears weekly in New York Press. She also writes features and reviews. Her first film "Twenty Minutes of Immortality" (in which she can be seen in the buff) has been airing regularly on IFC for the past three years. She has sung about town in cabarets and jazz clubs. She has written several screenplays and an autobiographical novel. As Stephanie enjoys channeling dead writers, she co-produces and hosts a reading series of Dorothy Parker material.

Jamye Waxman has been called “the nexxxt generation of sex educator” (Wired.com). With a Masters in sexuality education from Widener University in Pennsylvania. She currently writes three sex columns: "Sex Ed" for Playgirl and two dating and relationship columns for Steppin' Out and The Philly Edge. She is also the co-writer and producer of the latest Candida Royalle feature, "Under the Covers," (Femme Productions) and is currently working on her first book, entitled Women loving Women (Quiver Press, Spring 2007). Jamye also teaches classes on all things sex both privately and for the popular website/social calendar Moxieinthecity.net. Waxman was a producer of the popular Metro TV show Naked New York. She is president of the national organization, Feminists for Free Expression.

September 13, 2006

Men Pretty Much Think Women's Idea of "Fashion" Is a Big Pile of Fugly

Ugly Fashion.jpg

In honor of NY Fashion Week and the general Back-to-School / Fall Clothing Chaos, today's AM New York column is about Men's Opinions on Women's Fashion.

Having just slogged through the ginormous Fall Fashion issues of 2,300 magazines (okay, it's more like 23, but still), I noticed that the trends, uh, trended towards ... how shall I put this?

Really, Really Not Fucking Sexy. But Warm!

As I flipped through photo shoots with various models swathed in tights and hats and mountainous piles of shapeless material, I kept thinking, "What the hell are men going to think of this s--t?

It's not hard to figure out, because guys have only three possible reactions to women's clothing:

A) "Huh?"
B) "Ew."
C) "Did I bring a condom?"

Unfortunately for the Y-chromosomes, most of this fall's fashions land in A or B. In order to get C, they either have to move to Los Angeles or visit the Penthouse Club, which I'm sure they'd be happy to do. In the meantime, I'm going out to buy some seriously opaque tights.

Column starts below, continues after the jump.

SEPTEMBER 13, 2006

Last week, in preparation for the upcoming change in seasons, I lugged twenty pounds of women’s magazines home with me for a Fall Fashion read-in.

Swollen and unwieldy with the traditional glut of September ad pages, the massive Elle, enormous Glamour, and truly elephantine Vogue all trumpeted their opinions on what I “must wear” this autumn:

Layers. Volume. Skinny jeans. Tough Chic. Leggings. Capes. Plaids.

In short, nothing even remotely attractive to men.

Now, maybe that doesn’t really matter – after all, as the saying goes, “women dress for other women.”

Personally, I don’t buy it. Most women dress either to look good or be comfortable (those being mutually exclusive more often than I’d like), but when it’s the former, we certainly want men to notice!

Given that we’re in the glamorous midst of New York Fashion Week, it seemed the right time to ask a few hundred Manhattan men (via an email survey I sent out) critical questions on their favorite subject – ladies’ apparel, of course.

The conclusions? Guys may not know much about designers, but they certainly have strong opinions on what they find “hot,” what they can’t understand, and what they’d prefer you never to wear again. Ever.

In the last category, capris, pointy-toed shoes, and Uggs were the top offenders.

“Capris must be banned from the planet,” West Side resident Robert, 43, declared, “even Jackie O looked like s—t in them.” Advertising exec Mark Duffy hates the trend so much he devoted an entire blog to eviscerating them (www.ihatecapripants.blogspot.com).

Uggs are equally reviled. “I don’t give a s--t how comfortable chicks say they are,” says artist Jon Nissenbaum, 31, “I f--king hate the Ugg boots.”

“You're not an Eskimo, you're not running the Iditarod, you look like an idiot,” wrote radio personality Adam Bernard, 27. (Luckily for him, Uggs have been out for the past two years anyway.)

Skinny jeans got equal rants and raves, as did flip-flops and cowboy boots – some men lusted after them, others couldn’t hide their disgust. Leggings with skirts didn’t fare as well, with 100% of men decrying them as hideous.

“Please stop wearing spandex with dresses,” pleaded one 24-year-old hip hop dancer from Harlem, “Freshman year at NYU is over!”

Other controversial items? Huge handbags, clogs, knee-length shorts, and enormous “old people drug store sunglasses,” which, according to Bernard, “make you look like an insect, and not even the cool kind that eat their mates.”

Other men have a more ambivalent take on the trend towards mammoth sunshades. “I actually kinda like them,” wrote aspiring architect Sean Fisher, 25, “but really, they just hide a girl’s face, which is deceitful if the girl is ugly.”

The current 80s revival wasn’t a crowd favorite, either. “I didn't enjoy much about `80s clothes in the ’80s,” says award-winning theatre artist Bradford Louryk, 27. He doesn’t like them any better now. “I play a game on the subway platform in Greenpoint called ‘Hipster or Eastern Block,’ because – frankly – the difference is harder to see than you might imagine.”

What men loved, universally (this will no doubt shock you): short skirts, tight jeans, and just enough cleavage to entice without looking like he’s paying by the hour.

Still, enough guys mentioned their love of casual attire frequently enough to make me wonder if plunking down my credit cards for the latest in circulation-halting denim and five-inch bloodbaths – sorry – heels – isn’t completely pointless. “In general, I think women should wear more socks and wear sensible lace-up shoes,” says Staten Island resident Scott Hutchins, 30.

Other men agreed. “Girls are at their most attractive in sweatpants, XL sweatshirt, hair down, no makeup,” wrote Adam Zimmerman, 24. “It’s the most natural, easygoing, cozy, lets-get-together-and-snuggle look out there.”

“Women can wear burlap if they can rock that burlap,” wrote SoHo poet Jim Behrle, 33.

Most guys will never understand ladies’ obsession with fashion. “Somehow women have a great talent to make up rules just to make each other miserable, while pretending that abiding by those rules makes women more attractive,” explained a particularly astute thirtysomething New York geneticist. Amen to that!

Of course, there’s one fashion decree we can all be sure of, succinctly summarized by the erstwhile Washington scandalette Jessica Cutler (who would know): “What men hate: Underpants.”

Anna Wintour is taking notes.

September 08, 2006

Breaking News: Teenagers Don't Give a Shit What You Think

MSNBC: Articles You Could Have Written, If You Were Bored Enough

In an investigative coup worthy of the Pulitzer for MOST OBVIOUS STORY EVER, the "science journalists" over at MSNBC have discovered what your mother always suspected: Teenagers Are Retarded (emotionally, that is)

MSNBC Clip - Teens No Empathy.png

MSNBC Clip - Teens No Empathy 2.png

Because I'm sure you're dying to read the rest, here's the link.

And don't miss the other hard-hitting "LiveScience" headlines from today:

MSNBC Clip - Livescience Headlines.png

Next Up - Selling Sinful Urban Sex - Not Deadly!

MSNBC: Journalism At Its Finest

September 07, 2006

Yo, yo, yo - Where My WASPs At?

I realize I'm coming a little late to the ... uh ... tea partay, but in case you haven't yet seen Smirnoff's attempt at creative advertising, definitely press play below.

Cause honestly, they're right - No one's hotter than a New England gangsta.

Except maybe a MID-WESTERN GANGSTA. But that's another fake music video.

The Chicago Sun-Times, which doesn't like any sort of gangsta-bashing, East-Coast or otherwise, penned a stinging denouncement of the vid:

"[It's] a bit of silliness that is not the least bit funny or hip, despite the ever-so-intense attempts to spoof East Coast upper crust culture by presenting images of ultra preppy, pastel-clad rich kids going against the grain and boogeying to an aggressively hip-hop musical number performed by a group known as 'Prep Unit' (how funny, right?)."
Uhhh ... actually, I pretty much thought "Prep Unit" was more or less the funniest thing I'd seen all week long. Then again, what do I know? I like pearls, popped collars, and pants with tiny red whales on them.

I blame Georgetown for this.