Dig That Spider Coming Out of a Cup! – A WordPress Blog Stat Mystery


spider oneThere was a time, so many months ago, when I found myself obsessed with my blog stats. I know – it’s a shameful thing to admit. Now, when I say ‘obsessed,’ I really mean it. This was General MacArthur style obsession, Captain Ahab, Napoleon. I was obsessed the way great men become obsessed. The opposite, of course, would be how teenage girls have watered down the meaning of the word. “Oh my God, I used to be, like, totally obsessed with ‘N Sync!” And by that, the girl means she had the No Strings Attached CD and a poster of Lance Bass on the wall, which was taken down before he even came out of the closet.

That’s a different kind of obsession, and mine was worse, although maybe not as troubling. I’d keep my stats page up on the screen at all times, refreshing it every 30-40 seconds. I would also do dippy things in an attempt to detect or change trends, like trying to publish posts at different times of the day to see if the hits would go up (they don’t). In time, I mellowed out. Sure, I’ll check my stats once or twice a day, but it isn’t something I think about a lot. My obsession faded away, and I could once again turn my attention to more important things on the Internet, like Facebook and amateur porn.

spider twoAll that is to set up the odd thing that happened two weeks ago, noon on a Tuesday, when I very nonchalantly pulled up my blog stats. I usually have around the same number every day, and when my hit total came up for that particular day, I jumped back, startled. Okay, I didn’t really jump back, that was exaggeration for effect, but you get the idea. I’m not that easily rattled. I was really surprised, though, to see that my blog had already gotten over 1,400 hits.

“Dang, that’s pretty dope,” I thought. “How’d that happen?”

There had to be an explanation. I mean, let’s face it, my posts aren’t that good. I realized that most of these hits had come from the Google search. In addition, a vast majority of them – 1,251 to be exact – were for one single phrase.

Spider coming out of cup.

“What the hell?” I said to my girlfriend. “Spider coming out of a cup? I never wrote about anything like that! That was never even a tag.” How was it possible? As a rational human being, I knew that 1,251 different people couldn’t have Google searched “spider coming out of cup” and ended up at my blog. I thought about it, and then I realized why my original stat obsession had faded away in the first place.

spider threeI like my stats, and when I have good days, I like to think it’s because I wrote something worthwhile and, thus, I should feel good about myself. But the truth probably has much more to do with chance. How many of those hits are people who actually take the time to read a post? How many are accidental? How many are people who click on a link, stay for a second, and split? To go further, how many of my blog hits are even living human beings?

There was no way one person, or any amount of people, could have been responsible for the ‘spider coming out of cup’ explosion. The only thing that made sense to me was that some type of automated computer program somehow got stuck in a loop, and that’s how it happened. That’s my theory. In my all-time stats, ‘spider coming out of cup’ currently ranks as the 4th highest searched Google term, and the number hasn’t gone up by one single hit since I checked my blog at noon that one day. If you’re curious, here is the whole top five:

1. Sex

2. 90210

3. Gunther Von Hagens

4. Spider coming out of cup

5. Namsan Tower

Shit, how random! What a bizarre group of things, eh? I didn’t even write about number four at all, and apart from a few jokes (see porn gag earlier in post), I haven’t really written about sex, either. How do we, bloggers, really know who is out there and why they’re reading us? The Internet is one big, weird place, isn’t it?

spider fourThen again, I could have it all wrong. Maybe somewhere, sitting in a basement, there’s a guy who has spent the last two years meticulously searching out information regarding spiders coming out of cups. It could be spurred on by some sort of awful childhood trauma. No blog has been left unexplored. From morning until night, he keeps looking. Spiders. Cups. It never ends.

Now that, my friends, is obsession.


45 Pages of Sex and Counting (The Disturbing World of Search Engine Terms)


This past week, I noticed a little spike in my blog hit numbers. At first I was happy – who doesn’t like seeing their hit totals go up? With further research, though, my enthusiasm dwindled. All I had to do was look at my Google Search Engine Terms, and my nice hit bump was explained.

426 of my total views this week came from people who Googled the word “Sex.” Yes, sex. Nothing more specific than that. I’m not sure if they were looking for advice, porno, prostitutes, sex offender registries, or information about the saxophone and misspelled it. Whatever it was, they Googled plain old  “Sex” and somehow that led them to my blog.

“So,” my girlfriend asked me, “you’ve been writing a lot about sex?”

No, I don’t think I have. Apart from a post about music lyrics and maybe a few jokes, I don’t think I’ve written about sex at all. Then we got to wondering how many Google pages one would have to go through, having searched the word ‘Sex,’ before he or she (likely he) would end up on my blog. We decided to check it out. We Googled “Sex” and scrolled through page after page. 45 pages later my blog still hadn’t come up, and we were bored by that point and quit.

How many pages of Sex are these people going through? What kind of time do they have? Why don’t they refine their searches? I would think that if someone is still reading after 45 pages of sex, that person is a serious danger to society. Now I like sex as much as the next guy (unless the next guy is David Duchovny), and there’s no way I could read 45 Google pages of it and still want to keep going. That would be sex overdose. Even in my teen years, I tried to limit my Internet sex searches, as I didn’t want to spend too much time erasing my history.

After that, I decided to see what other Search Engine Terms had brought people to my blog. The results were disturbing, but in an enjoyable way, kind of like hearing Sean Hannity talk. Since I’m such a nice guy, I thought I’d share some of my favorite – and most horrifying – Search Engine Terms from the last week.

I want a foot licker” – What, is my blog a genie bottle? Your wishes aren’t getting fulfilled here, Dr. Scholl’s, and please don’t try to rub me.

Ketchup is naughty” – I feel whoever thinks this is projecting. Is ketchup really naughty, or do you just want it to be naughty?

XXX peanut comics” – Disgusting. Maybe I could understand Blondie or Hagar the Horrible.

Asses Sculptures” – Sadly, I do have this on my blog. Seek and ye shall find, Asses-Art-Lover!

Chinese girl with white penis” – Hmm, is it a Chinese girl having sex with a white man that you want? Or is it a tranny, or are you looking for a Chinese girl who happens to have a white penis that she keeps in her cupboard or under her bed or something? The possibilities are endless.

Gay dog gives man blowjob” – Does the dog really have to be gay? If you were to stumble upon, say, a female dog or even a straight dog doing this, would you hit the back button and continue searching? Plus, just out of curiosity, does the man have to be gay as well as a the dog? I like that you seek consent in your animal porn, you sick bastard.

Street fight of little elf people” – Actually, that does sound entertaining. And I think it’s a little racist that my blog on Korean street fighting came up.

Femstache fetish” – Well, at least I learned a new term. Maybe you should get together and hang out with the guy who wants a Chinese girl with a penis.

I think I have more than one nipple” – Just guessing, but I think you do too.

In a way, I’m glad that I’m getting an assortment of eccentric people visiting my blog, although I’m sure they left disappointed. In closing, I’m leaving a link for future Search Engine Term friends. I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog, and you might also find it beneficial to click here. Peace!


Sandy Does SUNY


Back in 1999 I had a ponytail, wore lots of Hawaiian shirts, and went to an art school called SUNY Purchase College.  Purchase wasn’t technically an art school – one could theoretically go there to study biology or history – but the bulk of the students there were majoring in dance, theatre, poetry, film, or some other field that typically ignores the possession of a college degree.  It was there, outside the Farside dorm building, that I met a girl named Sandy, although I had heard about her several times before I actually had the pleasure of saying ‘hello.’

This is because Sandy had a rep.  She had apparently slept with about half of the campus in the first week of the semester and, as a result, the skinny girl with short curly hair had become notoriously known around campus as a “slut.”  Now to be labeled a slut at, say, a Christian school, is not hard.  It’s a real accomplishment, though, to obtain that status at an art school, where people are sexually liberated and don’t judge others.  At an art school, the word “slut” is supposed to sit on a shelf with other obsolete words like “dame” or “flapper.”

The interesting thing, to me, was that Sandy could achieve this feat without being particularly good looking.  She had a small head and a large nose and wore an oversized pair of black rimmed glasses that made her look like a caricature.  I was 21 at the time and had virtually no knowledge in the ways of the woman.  I was lonely and intensely embarrassed by my lack of sexual experience.  While others at our school seemed to look down on Sandy, I looked at her and saw nothing but hope and opportunity. 

In the following weeks I small talked her helplessly.  She was friendly but didn’t seem very interested.  My one chance would eventually come on Halloween night, when she came over to my dorm room dressed up as the Y2K bug, an outfit that consisted of a short, tight dress and the words “Y2K” written on both her arms in glitter.  There were a lot of people in my room, and she climbed up onto the top bunk bed.  Her legs dangled down and a friend of mine, sitting next to me, whispered, “Look, she isn’t wearing any panties.”

I gulped.  As the night wore on, Sandy somehow ended up sitting next to me on my bed.  I didn’t know how exactly it happened – I hadn’t done anything to orchestrate it.  Then, as if fate wanted me to get some lovin’, everyone left the room except for the two of us.  We were alone and just sitting there.  Me, nervous.  She, commando.

Not knowing what to do, I engaged her in a blustered conversation driven by nervous energy.  “I was watching The Man Show,” I said, “and they were talking about how someone can have sex if they just walk around a city asking people to have sex with them.  Eventually someone is bound to say yes.”

“That would be me,” she said, laughing. 

It was bewildering.  I told myself to do something.  Make a move.  Ask her to have sex.  Kiss her.  Jump on her.  I didn’t know.  It would be like shooting a gun blindfolded and hoping to hit something.  I sat there with my finger on the trigger but couldn’t pull it.

Minutes passed and I hadn’t done anything.  I wiped sweat off my forehead.  We were still talking and, the more it went on, the clearer it started to become that nothing was going to happen.  Talking, I learned, is the worst kind of foreplay there is. 

“I had an AIDS test yesterday,” she said.  The comment came out of nowhere and, in an instant, everything crumbled.  “I’m terrified to hear the results.  I feel terrible about myself.”

She went on.  There was some guy she liked, but he didn’t want to be her boyfriend.  It hurt her.  She didn’t understand why.  What was wrong with her?  He’d sleep with her, sure, but that was it.  We talked until there was nothing left to talk about and, at the end of the night, she hugged me, teary eyed, and thanked me for listening to her.  Guys usually didn’t sit and talk with her like that, she said.  I told her it was cool and, if she was comfortable, to let me know how the results of the AIDS test turned out.

Inside, though, I was wracked with disappointment.  If guys didn’t talk to her like that, then I must not have been much of a guy.

Just like the real one, this Y2K bug turned out to be all hype.

About a week after that night, I ran into Sandy in the courtyard.  “Everything okay?” I asked.

“Yup,” she said, smiling.  “Everything’s good.”

There must be something about how we act, and how our behavior is interpreted, that causes others to react to us in such particular ways.  Sandy slept around and seemed carefree and content, and maybe that caused her guy, whoever he was, not to take her very seriously.  Something about the way I acted, unaggressive and asexual, caused Sandy to see me as someone she could talk to.  And in doing so, and by NOT sleeping with me, it caused a part of me to resent her, although I didn’t like admitting that to myself.  By hugging me and saying goodbye, and by being my friend, she made me feel immature and inadequate. 

Sandy walked by me, through the center of the courtyard, passing all the liberated women who spoke so poorly of her.  That talk didn’t change her a bit.  Sometimes a chorus is just a chorus, telling a back-story that’s only really interesting to itself.


A Bow and Bandages









Melanie had a giant vat of Cheeseballs in her living room, and she poured some in a bowel for us to eat while we watched television.  Cheeseballs are Melanie’s favorite snack; I reached into the bowel to have a few and she slapped my hand.

“No!” she said.  “Use fork!”  Melanie handed me a fork.  Trying my best to just go with it, I impaled a Cheeseball and ate it.  “It’s better that way,” Melanie said.  “Using the fork makes it very clean.”

Spending a lot of time with an Asian girl leads to many moments like this, quirky touches a guy like me doesn’t have the creativity to make up.  Melanie (who was dubbed that by her English teacher in high school) eats Cheeseballs with a fork so she doesn’t get cheedle on her fingers.  She told me she learned English by watching Gossip Girls and One Tree Hill.  She is from Taiwan but lives in Korea.  When I asked her how to tell the difference between a Chinese girl and a Korean one, she said, “You must look at the clothes.  If she is naked, it is impossible.”

Melanie and I met at a dance club.  It was her birthday.  We did a few shots and eventually exchanged numbers before Melanie passed out face down on the bar and was carried off by some big Korean dude.  For two weeks we didn’t meet but talked to each other on the phone.  She constantly spoke about teaching me Korean.  Melanie is a translator; she speaks Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese.  Currently, she works with a Korean television actor, translating interviews with him for Chinese and Japanese magazines.

Eventually she and I met up one night, and we had a lot of fun drinking at a bar and playing pool.  Melanie’s English was good enough to hold a decent conversation, and she looked extremely cute with a little bow in her hair.  We made plans to meet again.  But since this is Topiclessbar, you can’t expect things to work out, right? 

On what was really our first date, Melanie had an enormous scab on her lower lip and her right eyelid was red and swollen.  I asked her about her lip and she said, “It was from kissing you.”  I was astonished.  We had barely kissed, and I didn’t recall biting a chunk of her lip off.  Eating dinner at a Chinese restaurant and having coffee together, I let the lip and the eyelid slide because Melanie was terribly sweet, funny, and endearing.  We made future plans and started spending a good deal of time together.

The lip, however, was just the beginning of her physical problems.  Fooling around in bed one night, I took Melanie’s bra off to find one of her nipples bandaged.  “It is scratched,” she said.  The next week, Melanie came to my apartment in a back brace.  “I hurt my waist,” she told me.  She had been to the hospital earlier in the day to have her back worked on.  I’m not sure what procedure they did, but when I looked at her back, it was covered in large red ovals.  Melanie could barely walk or even lay down.  “I am a patient,” she said, and I felt bad because she had ridden the bus an hour with that bum back just to see me.

The physical problems perhaps could’ve been overlooked had they not had such an effect on our sex life, or lack thereof.  At first, Melanie said she could not have sex in her apartment because she lived there for twelve years and didn’t “want any memories” to spoil the place.  Then, at my apartment, her back hurt too much to do anything.  Finally, I just asked her bluntly what the problem was.

“Why can’t we have sex?” I asked.  “Are you a virgin?”

Melanie paused and thought.  She said she didn’t know how to say it in English.  She went over to the computer and used the translator.

“My womb is hurt,” she told me.

“What?” I said, confounded.  “Your womb?  What happened?”

“It is stress,” she said.  “My womb is very painful.”

That wasn’t the only physical manifestation her stress had taken.  One night she took my hand and put it on the back of her neck.  There were several large red bumps there.  “Jesus,” I said, “what is that?” 

“It is from stress,” she said, her body going all Black Swan on her, “because I cannot see you every day.”

I began to feel terrible about my relationship with her.  She called me and texted me all the time, came to my apartment and cleaned it, bought me a scarf when she thought I looked cold, and did many other incredibly nice things.  Still, as much as I tried to force myself into adoring her that same way, I couldn’t.  I began to wonder if I would actually prefer to be with a girl who wasn’t all that nice to me but would sleep with me.  Could I really be that shallow? I had found a girl who was loving and kind, and who wanted to be with me.  The situation got depressing and I started feeling sad when I was around her.  This girl was so good, we got along so well, and still there was no way I could go on seeing her.  Not with that womb.

Melanie and I are still friends.  We talk a few times every week and we have a nice relationship.  She’s such a wonderful human being, and if I was a better person, she would be my lady.  I suppose we all have someone like Melanie in our pasts, or maybe we’ve been the Melanie for somebody else.  I’m talking about the person who gets rejected for not being good enough, when really they’re so much better than the whole damn world. 

Or at least better than the person doing the rejecting.


This is a Student Film









In Blame Logic, all occurrences are the end result of a long and often tedious string of vaguely connected events, strung together by a pitiful individual who thinks too much.  I’m such a person, so I’ve always been a fan.  Let me give you an example of what I mean – My roommate is using the oven to cook dinner.  I go for takeout, and on the way I trip and break my ankle.  Using Blame Logic, the hospital bills should go to my roommate.  If he hadn’t monopolized the oven, none of this would’ve happened.  Blame Logic is a great way for me to never feel responsible for anything bad happening, and a nice way to convince myself that the entire universe is out to get me.

Sticking to this approach, it was really Katie Nelson’s fault that I got into a car wreck on the I-490 and totaled my Ford Taurus station wagon.  Katie was my co-worker at Blockbuster, and I had a disgusting crush on her.  The crush was disgusting due to the combination of its intensity and its one-sidedness.  Like someone who swears the Holocaust never happened, I was in absolute denial that Katie Nelson didn’t have feelings for me.  No facts or evidence would sway me towards recognizing the obvious.  Katie barely paid me any attention when her shift ended at five o’clock and I passed her going through the door on my way to take over her register.  Regardless, I was frantic about getting to the Blockbuster before she left, just so I could savor her cool look as she slid by.

Because of this, I drove far too fast down the expressway and my car spun out of control.  I hit a truck and then went careening into the guard rail at light speed.  As the police cars came and the smoke poured out from under the hood of my demolished family utility vehicle, I could only think, “Damn!  Katie’s got to be gone by now!”

Like I said, it was Katie’s fault that my car was totaled.

Coincidentally, one of the frustrated drivers stuck in the traffic jam created by my accident was Adrian Lozano, who just so happened to be my professor at film school.  Adrian was a fat lesbian who wore all black and disliked everything.  Her range of approval went from mere hatred to all out repulsion.  After screening our projects, certain students would beam with excitement, claiming, “Adrian Lozano only mildly despised my film!”  Perhaps the one thing Adrian disliked more than anything was being stuck on a backed-up highway.  When she found out that I was the cause of it, her lip twitched and she said, “Oh, so you’re the reason I was twenty minutes late getting home.”

I had never felt so ashamed in my life.

Soon after the accident, my mind could only focus on things of the utmost importance: my upcoming final project at film school, the wrecked car, and Katie Nelson.  I became horribly depressed.  Bumming rides to and from school from my friend Richard, I’d hang my head as if all hope was lost.

“Snap out of it!” Richard said.  “You’ve got a student film to make!  Don’t you realize the opportunity you have?  This could be your big break.”

Richard himself was making a documentary on an overweight guy who liked to dance in public.  “It’s going to be called ‘Fat Guy Dancing,’” he said proudly.  “I shot some footage of him dancing by a fountain last night.  It came out really good.  The lighting is perfect.”

With my car out of commission, Richard was my transportation.  He would also be my cameraman once I started my film.  I figured anyone who cared enough to light an obese street dancer like he was lighting Marlene Dietrich had to be worth working with.  Richard gave me some advice about my project.

“Take everything that’s happened,” he said, “and channel it into your film.  That’s what artists do.”

That sounded good, especially since it implied I was an “artist.”  Alone in my bedroom, I poured my heart into a ten page script.  The story involved a man who had accidentally killed someone in an auto wreck.  Now believing that he was capable of anything, he kidnaps the girl he’s crazy about.  He believes he can force her to love him.  But he can’t, and in the end, he sits in a parking lot in his junked car and watches as she goes off with someone else.

The next day, I handed my script to Katie Nelson and asked her to star in my film.

“Who’s gonna play the guy?” she asked.

“I am,” I said.   My student film was turning into a complete exercise in ego: it was about me, would be directed by me, would star the girl I was crazy about, and so it might as well have me in it, too.  Just like in classic painting, I figured – no artist ever painted a self-portrait of someone else.

To my surprise, Katie called me the next day and was enthusiastic about the project.

“I think it’s good,” she said.  “Do you really want me to be in it?”

“Of course,” I said.

“Why do you want me?” she asked.

The obvious answer was, “I desperately love you and see this as my only chance to ever impress or get anywhere near you.”  But I didn’t say that.

Instead I said, “I just need a girl and I don’t know anyone else.”

By this time, most of the other students in my film class had already finished their films.  They showed their work in class to a typically unimpressed Adrian Lozano.

“It’s technically well done,” she’d say, “but I don’t see any emotion in it.”

Aha!  If it was emotion she wanted, my film was going to be stuffed with it.  While the other students aped Kevin Smith, I was putting myself on film without shame.  It was all going to be out there for the world to see – everything I felt in life, naked, captured in crisp digital video.

Finally, the night came when I arranged my film to be shot.  I had more or less run out of time, and so the entire thing would have to shot in one night.  My father let me borrow his car so that I could go pick up my starlet.  Coming out of her house, Katie looked radiant.

I opened the passenger side door for her and Katie hopped in.  Heading in the direction of my apartment – or as I had called it on the phone, “the set” – Katie suddenly began telling me about her sex life.

“So,” she said, “I got laid last night.”

Absorbing the blow of those words, I almost lost control of the car.  It would have been the second wreck Katie would’ve been responsible for.


“I’ve been miserable lately,” she said.  “I decided to sleep with the bartender from Donnie’s.  It was just to cheer me up.  I don’t think I feel any better, though.”

My hands shook on the wheel.  “Why would you do that?” I asked, sneering like Adrian Lozano during my midterm project.  “Don’t you want someone who likes you and would be good to you?”

“No,” she said bluntly.  “Not at all.  I don’t want a boyfriend.  I just want to have sex right now with no strings attached.”

At that point, I might as well have taken her back home and forgotten the whole thing.  It was done.  For the hour or so that we tried to make the film, Richard chain-smoked and worried about the editing of his film, I couldn’t focus on anything other than the mental picture of Katie having sex with some sleazy bartender, and Katie just sat there looking sad.

Finally I threw in the towel and put my student film out of its misery.  Just like that, my ego-trip was over.  All that was shot from my ten page script were a few lines of dialogue and some shots of Katie sitting on my couch, looking lovely.

Later that night, I looked through my prop box in an effort to inspire myself.  I had to shoot something, after all.  Nothing jumped out at me except a fake finger I had in the box.  My new film (shot by me, directed by me, staring me, and featuring special effects by me) consisted of me sitting around chain-smoking.  Near the end, I open the pack for another cigarette and there isn’t one.  Then I take a knife and cut my finger off.  I put the severed finger (which was – relax – the fake finger) into my mouth, light it, and smoke it.  Fade to black.  The end.

“What the hell was that!?” Adrian Lozano gasped.  “It’s terrible!  Poorly shot…there’s no point…what on earth were you thinking?”

Bent over in shame, I muttered, “I thought it would be funny.”

“Well,” she huffed, “I didn’t hear anyone laughing.”

It was true.  That would change, however, in a few moments, when “Fat Guy Dancing” made its premiere.  The class laughed uproariously as the Fat Guy popped and locked to Da Dip.

Squeezing out her words through laughter, Adrian managed to say, “Well done, Richard!  It’s perfect!”

Maybe an artist puts himself on the screen.  Richard put something up there that made people laugh.  In a school of thinkers, his dumb little film turned out to be the best thing made all year.


I didn’t see much of Katie Nelson after that.  She quit Blockbuster and moved away.  Taking her words at face value, all she wanted was someone who didn’t like her so much; she didn’t want the pressure of being admired.  Maybe that was my mistake.  Maybe when she passed by me on the way out the Blockbuster door and shot me that cool look, I should’ve returned it.

A month after the disastrous screening of my half-assed student film (in front of the entire film program), I was kicked out of film school.  I didn’t have what it took.  Not the desire to succeed, or even the knowledge of how to work a camera or read a light meter.

“What are you going to do now?” Richard asked.

“I don’t know,” I said.  “Work more hours at Blockbuster, I guess.”

This is a student film – how it works.  A man picks out his star and pictures Hollywood, oh Hollywood, and the titles of his movies on marquees.  Every story of a student film is the story of a dreamer and his dream.  Then, somehow, things happen.  The car gets wrecked, the star goes away, and the movie doesn’t play the same way it did when he pictured it.  When it’s over, he realizes that he’s put his whole heart into an abject failure.  There was a moment of belief, though – not just for him, for his star as well.  She might have left to pursue less ambitious dreams, true, but he can’t forget something.  He can’t forget that for one brief bit of time, she believed in him, and perhaps she even shared a little bit of his dream, too.

Some people can take an image and capture it on film.  They’re the ones who have everything come out just the way they’ve envisioned it.  I’m not one of those people.  My images only take shape in my head, and usually a long time after I’ve first tried to capture them.  I don’t really envy those first people, I don’t think.  It must be depressing, in a way, to take a look at what you’ve done, and know that you’ve seen it all before.





Talking About Women on a Beach in Brazil


Shane was from Ireland.  He had a great big beard and drank beer the way the Irish are reputed to.  He stood in the sun and stretched his arms out.  He was a young man on a beach in Brazil, enjoying the regression of his hangover, the warmth of the sun, and the memory of the dark-skinned Brazilian girl he’d slept with the night before.

“I think I need to change my methods,” my friend Anthony said, sitting next to me on the sand.  “Whatever it is I’m doing with women, it just isn’t working.”  He and I had not been nearly as successful as Shane had been.  We’d spent the last two nights in Lapa and Copacabana hopelessly trying to meet girls, and had succeeded only in getting drunk and talking to each other.

Maybe the contrast in achievement made us listen to Shane.  “You can’t talk to them,” he said in his thick Irish accent.  “You guys talk too much.  You got to just grab them and start kissing them.  Or dance with the girl for a minute or two.  Then start kissing them.”

Shane stood up, his skin white and unfazed by the Rio sun he’d spent the last month in.  He was a man entirely content with his world.  He sprinted away into the ocean and leapt into the tall white crest of an oncoming wave.

“Perhaps he’s right,” Anthony said, and we both nodded.


Girls On Film


Lesbian sex scenes have never done it for me.  They possess an appeal that misses my radar entirely.  For a sex scene to work for me, there needs to be a character involved that I can put myself in the place of.  Hence, when two girls are going at it, I’m always left on the sidelines.  It’s the same reason I can’t stand UFC.  Neither the lesbian world nor the Octagon are places I can envision myself in.  Other, more daring, people can enjoy them.

The lesbian sex scene in the movie “Black Swan” turned me off for an entirely different reason.  If you haven’t seen the movie, there’s a scene about an hour into the movie where Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis get down like they’ve just come home from an Ani DiFranco concert.  The scene, despite its glaring lack of nudity (the ’70s would be ashamed), is really pretty graphic.  As it played, though, I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable.  This was because the two actresses involved didn’t look like women to me; they looked more like girls who carry fake IDs.

Afterwards, I got to thinking about it.  I remembered how I hit puberty back in the days of Red Shoe Diaries and the “erotic thriller.”  The early nineties were dominated by the likes of Pamela Anderson, Joan Severance, Sharon Stone, and the amazing duo of knockout Shannons (Tweed and Whirry).  It was such a different time from today…a time when the women looked like women.  Thinking hard on the subject matter, I determined that I couldn’t remember anyone from that period who was quite as girlish as Natalie Portman or Mila Kunis.  Yes, we had Drew Barrymore playing “Poison Ivy.”  However, when Drew stripped down, it wasn’t all rib cage and hip bone.  There were actual breasts and hips to disguise those things.  And, if I’m not mistaken, “Poison Ivy” didn’t win any Golden Globe awards.

Taking this train of thought perhaps a bit too seriously, I began to do some research.  First, there was the Maxim Hot 100.  I wanted to know if we really have seen a tectonic shift in taste – if a new Baywatch would be cast with girls in training bras.  The Hot 100 wasn’t too bad, although it certainly had its share of nymphs: Blake Lively, Emma Stone, Hayden Panettiere, and Amanda Bynes to name a few.  The answer came to me, though, when I switched my research into the realm of porn.  There it was, clear as day.  Of the top 12 most popular porn stars in 2010 (measured by Internet searches and hits), a large number looked very, very young (Sasha Grey, Ashlynn Brooke, etc).  Then I found the 30 most circulated porn mags and read the titles – Barely Legal, Just 18, Finally Legal, Girls Gone Wild the Magazine, etc.  It’s not that Hollywood has gone all Humpert Humpert.  Porn has.  Hollywood is just catching up.

To be fair, there were also a few MILF magazines.  Maybe that’s the problem.  It’s not a MILF –  it’s a WOMAN.  It’s only a MILF if you’re a teenager.  I have a feeling it isn’t teenagers buying the MILF magazines, or Barely Legal for that matter.  It’s men whose sexual fantasies peaked at age 17 and have been repeating since then.  Let them download “Black Swan” and get all giddy off it.

Then again, I’m equally as bad, aren’t I?  The only difference is that I grew up in an era where girls hadn’t gone wild yet and, for better or for worse, to see a hot lesbian scene you had to watch Cinemax after 11:00.  And it wouldn’t star an Oscar favorite.  Just a grown woman, possibly named Shannon.