Meet, Pay, Love

Another one of my favorite articles. Originally published in the New York Times book review section, August 2o, 2009


Money and sex. Sex and money. Sounds dirty already. Is it the money that makes the sex dirty? Or the sex that makes the money dirty? Or, rather, the puritan strain that says they’re both dirty? How sexy! I mean, how inappropriate! And yet here we are again and again . . . and again. It’s former Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York spending $80,000 on escorts, the parents (the parents!) of Senator John Ensign of Nevada distributing $96,000 to their son’s mistress and her family, Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina using taxpayer dollars to visit his South American “soul mate” and the $4 million rock on Kobe Bryant’s wife’s finger after his adulterous mishap. Money to get the sex, and money to make it go away.


Geoffrey Grandfield

If you are thinking this dynamic pairing is only for public figures, just contemplate your own divorce, past, present or future. And yet, still, it is taboo to regard sex and money as inextricably interwoven, to openly speak of them together. Why is sex supposed to be free? It never is. Ask anyone. Like Sebastian Horsley, England’s low-rent Oscar Wilde. “The difference between sex for money and sex for free,” he writes, “is that sex for money always costs a lot less.” Money is the elephant in every bedroom, making your parents’ constant presence look positively bourgeois.

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7 Tips For Getting Away With It

Men, Take Your Lessons From The Pros: Women

(Reprinted from one of the greatest articles I’ve ever read, “Have Your Cake…and Eat It, Too,” by Gillian Telling, Maxim magazine, March 2010 issue)

According to a recent MSNBC poll, one in five people in a monogamous relationship has a side piece—and that figure includes women. Yet you almost never read about female betrayal in newspapers and tabloids. Why? Because we’re better at hiding it. Sure, it may be a stereotype to say that women are naturally sneakier or more cautious than men. But both of those things just may be true. So if you’re itching for a fling, you should take a few tips from the ladies. To help your cause, we contacted the most adulterous women we know—most of whom have never been called on their indiscretions—and pumped them for advice on stepping out on a mate. Study up!


News Flash: Every woman looks at her man’s cell phone log when the opportunity arises. The same goes for sideways glances at your phone when a new text arrives. Is it your friend Joe commenting on the Cubs game? Or is it, that whore in your office you’ve been boning—I knew it, you filthy pig!

If it is, in fact, that whore in your office, by no means should she be in your phone under her real name—or a female name at all. “A little gender swap has saved me ass numerous times, says Jessica*, a 29-year-old benefits coordinator. “For a while I was boning a guy named Jake, who was in my phone as ‘Jackie,’ and this other guy Mark, whom I entered as ‘Marcy.’” When her boyfriend asked who this “Jackie” chick was that was texting her all the time, Jess simply said it was a friend she’d reconnected with through Facebook. “Then, for effect, I rolled my eyes and complained about how needy she was,” Jessica says.

Whatever name you choose, just be sure to adjust settings on your phone regarding incoming texts. Some, like the iPhone, show not only the name but the message as soon as it arrives. If she sees a message from “Steve” that reads “I want you inside me,” you could have some ‘splainin’ to do.


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Things My Gal Pals Say: Part I

Lines Taken From Real E-Mail & G-Chat Convos Amongst Single Friends

*I have no idea about —–. He is def a keeper, but maybe not for me. And to be completely honest, I really need to bang this weekend and he’s the type you don’t want to rush into that stuff with. So I think I will probably be slutting it up with —–. Sex just wins over a relationship for me right now. I’m so shameless, JEEZE.

*Once I get what I want, it doesn’t look so desirable anymore.

*Let me tell you, sometimes having your period comes in handy lol.

*Keep him around, hey u never know sometimes having “special” friends in different area codes has its advantages

*Well that’s a good sign…Shows that you owned a brother in in the bedroom. Uh oh you go on girl with your bad self lol!! Def need to hear the full details

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What’s in a Name?

A few years ago, I dated a guy named Carl. I cringe even typing that out. See, Carl was great and all, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that his name was Carl. What an unsexy name. As a romance magazine editor, I constantly have to change the names of characters so they are more in the Fabio genre. Yesterday, the male protagonist of the story I was editing was named Karl, yes with a “K.” Even worse!

Most of my exes and guys I’m attracted to have exotic names. Perhaps that is because my name, Gia, is not that common and my full name, Gianina, even less common, and I’m naturally drawn to others with unique names. More likely though, it is simply that unique names seem to be better identifiers of their owners. There’s something to be said for Varick, Pierce, Dante, Marcello, Tal, Tarun, Micah, Mikel. Instantly they seem more intriguing than the one hundred Matts, Chrises, and Joes I know. Which brings me to my next point. Do you ever find yourself attracted to guys with the same name? I must’ve had crushes on most Kevins, Gregs, Jays, Johns, and those three names that I mentioned above throughout my life, but I can’t associate any other common names with an attraction.

So what’s in a name? I think my name is inextricably tied to my identity, and I’m naturally drawn to those who have names that no one else I know has. I also have a pattern of being attracted to people with certain ordinary names, which could be akin to predicting how you’ll get along with someone according to his or her zodiac sign.

Do you feel like the name your parents gave you is the right name for you? Do you find yourself constantly drawn to people with certain names? How strong is the correlation between name and identity?

White Snow Black

snow whiteFat flakes fondle
still Air

Capturing pockets
that spiral
to moist pavement.

It’s pretty for the time

But I like the dirt

the grit, the grime

The need to measure out our time
to an imperfectly perfect rhyme

With our all-consuming prance
Of life and love and chance

I guess this is what they call Romance.

Mind Tricks

mind tricks

I’ve successfully convinced my mind
That you are him
To recreate the love and lust and longing
The drama.
The passion of the past

My need for volatility
Too strong to bear
I submerged myself in a fake reality.

Or is it, if I believe it to be truth?

I’m a thief, a trick, a liar.
Talented enough to deceive myself
For my own happiness.

I’ve successfully convinced you
That I’m in love
But it’s him, not you.
I play pretend.

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