Inka Essenhigh, ‘Electric Underground’, 2013
HIM: Max seemed to be silently fuming as I stood beside him in the door to our family room. By the fireplace was a massage table, and lying on that massage table was his wife, Melissa, naked and clearly in a state of bliss. You were looking pretty happy yourself, baby, as you and two male accomplices rubbed Melissa down with hot coconut oil. I asked Max if he and Melissa had discussed their boundaries for this type of scenario in advance, and the lid popped off his simmering rage — quietly, but unmistakably.
“No,” he replied, “we didn’t at all. In fact, we had one of the biggest fights of our marriage just this afternoon. I don’t see how she can magically become a totally different person so quickly.” I asked him if he wanted me to go over and diplomatically put an end to it. He told me not to bother. “She’s free to do what she wants,” he said, with a note of bitter resignation, “but that doesn’t mean I have to stand here and watch it.” As he walked away, I worried that we might have inadvertently made their already rocky relationship worse by inviting them to this party.
Marina Abramovic, Self Portrait with Skeleton, 2003
HER: What happens when swingers lose the desire to have sex?
HIM: Not much swinging.
HER: Nope. Or much of anything in the bedroom. This has been our reality for the past several months.
R. B. Kitaj, No. 22, 2002
HIM: There is a lot of talk on the internet these days about longevity. If you listen to the Joe Rogan podcast, it seems like every second guest has a strategy for living until you’re 150. Various approaches to diet, fasting, and supplementation are put forward with extravagant claims. Our society is clearly obsessed by the subject of age. A recent article in The Atlantic magazine featured one of the most depressing clickbait headlines ever. “A massive new study finds that a woman’s desirability peaks 32 years before a man’s does.” That’s 18 years old for the ladies and 50 for the gentlemen, in case you were wondering. As usual, it seems custom-designed to make the maximum number of people feel terrible about themselves. Continue reading
Pablo Picasso, LE SAUVETAGE, 1932
HER: If you’re a regular consumer of lifestyle podcasts and blogs, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Desire is the only swinger-friendly resort out there. When Hedonism does get mentioned, it’s quite often in a dismissive fashion. It’s as if all the cool kids are hanging out in Cancun, Mexico while the wannabe’s are relegated to Negril, Jamaica.
HIM: I have to admit, that attitude makes me feel a little defensive of Hedonism. Of course it has its weaknesses, but we have so much history there. However, after ten trips to Jamaica in four years, even I had to admit it was time for a change. So, instead of spending New Year’s Eve at Hedo this year, as we usually do, we opted to book a week at Desire Riviera Maya Pearl. Continue reading
George Grosz, “Ménage-à-trois (Eva, Lotte and George)”, 1927
HER: Sitting in the Metro Burger Bar at LaGuardia airport, we’re doing what we always do after a lifestyle event: talking incessantly about it. So while the details are fresh in our minds, we thought we’d jot down the highlights of the first ever Podcast-A-Palooza.
Wait, what was Podcast-A-Palooza, you ask? Well, it was all about meeting and sharing and learning, to be sure, but it ultimately led to podcasters doing dirty things to other podcasters. Continue reading
Lisa Yuskavage, BONFIRE, 2013-15
HER: As we looked back over our last few articles, we realized there hasn’t been much sexiness. But that doesn’t mean we’ve been behaving ourselves. Quite the contrary, actually. We’ve been very busy. Last month was one for the record books – four lifestyle events, four weekends in a row. So, for our sixtieth article (trumpet flourish), here are the highlights. Continue reading
Palma Giovani, THE RAPE OF LUCRECIA, 1570
HER: Like many women, I have watched in horror and awe the events of the last year. The wave of protests and #MeToo stories sparked by the Harvey Weinstein case (which broke almost exactly one year ago) seemed to crash over the rocks of the recent Brett Kavenaugh confirmation hearings. Just when we thought things were changing, that our voices were being heard and taken seriously, a three-time accused sexual offender is confirmed as a Supreme Court Judge. Continue reading
Pierre Bonnard, MAN AND WOMAN, 1900
HER: You don’t have to spend much time on non-monogamy blogs, chatrooms, or podcasts to come across the idea of wife-sharing. Search #hotwife or #sharedwife, and you’ll get a myriad of videos and erotica, often including words like ‘bull’ and ‘cuckold’. We’re not fans of the shaming that is often inherent in these scenarios, but we have talked about the possibility of sending me off on a date with another man. It’s an idea that I had put off for ‘maybe someday,’ but I recently got an offer I had trouble refusing. That offer forced us to confront my fears about opening us up to new possibilities in the world of wife sharing. Continue reading
Andy Warhol, Penis (Diptych), 1977
HIM: We recently watched the movie ‘Weiner’, a documentary directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg. You probably remember the story of Anthony Weiner, the New York state congressman who fell from grace in 2011 after he tweeted a picture of his bulging underwear to a woman who was not his wife. Two years after that fiasco, he decided to stage a comeback by running for Mayor of New York City, and that’s where the documentary picks up the story. We see him leading in the polls when more women come forward with still more explicit photos, many of them sent by Weiner after he promised voters he had changed his ways. His campaign implodes before our eyes.
George Grosz, ‘Far in the South, beautiful Spain’, 1919
HER: If you’re in the market for a sexy vacation, but you haven’t got the budget for a European or Carribean getaway, please allow me to suggest something a little different. I’m talking about a city where you will find the greatest concentration of sex clubs in North America. No, it isn’t Las Vegas or New York City or New Orleans … it’s Toronto. Continue reading