Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Actual Christian Sex Toys, Sort of

A stray link from an article in The Onion led me, by joyous accident, to discover not one, but two Christian sex toy web businesses. Book 22 ("Intimacy Products for Married Couples") and My Beloved's Garden both get their titles from Song of Solomon (the 22nd book in the Protestant Bible), for the excellent reason that there's almost nothing else in the Bible to quote if you want to combine sex and enjoyment. Although I suppose the typical response from the blue-state lefties like me is supposed to be snarky dismissal ("Christian sex toys! What a stupid contradiction in terms!"), I have to say that I'm actually quite happy to see this. It makes perfect sense--from the Christian standpoint, at least--for Christians to want access to "marital aids" without being exposed to hardcore pornographic images. Why should you be subjected to passing by DVD photos of, say, violent monster blowjobs, if all you want is to walk in and buy a cock ring and a pair of fuzzy handcuffs? There are people out there who want sex to be fun without it being unduly nasty, and these people are ill-served in the current market, precisely because Christians and the sex industry have been enemies for, oh, two thousand years or so. Maybe this can start to break down some of that divide.

The next step--for a guy like I was, anyway--would be for these sites to have a small selection of actual pornographic movies where there was some guarantee that the women were happy and in charge, and that the proceedings would be relatively tame. (When I first started watching porn, one step into my local adult video store was immediately overwhelming; after looking at, and passing over, title after title of gangbangs and assplay and hard BDSM, I remember thinking, "Gee; the people who are into porn must be mostly quite different from me." Either that, or the tamer stuff was always checked out, I guess.) But I'm not counting on this happening any time soon. Still, this is my blog and I can dream.

LATE UPDATE: Forget two. Thanks to this page at The Marriage Bed, I can now report that there are roughly a dozen evangelical Christian sex sites available. Which leads me to re-propound a theory I've held for years: I have predicted, ever since the mid-90s, that the wide availability of Internet porn would have the effect of making the entire nation--not to say the whole world--a little incrementally more comfortable with sex. Because now, instead of having sexual products be that thing you have to sneak down to that one store to get, and where everyone can see you, suddenly everyone can obtain sexual information from the comfort of their home, and in as close to utter privacy as possible. And people who were curious about things that seem unspeakably naughty--commonish stuff like spanking, foot fetishism, or Catholic schoolgirl uniforms--can now try it at home, realize that it's not that bad, and find a slightly expanded language of happiness. Viva la revolution!

Of course, it wouldn't be a Christian site if it weren't concerned with setting down rules for right and wrong behavior, and here The Marriage Bed provides its take: it is, you might say, a little bit provincial and a little bit rock and roll. (And here's its list of what single people can look forward to, which is not a whole hell of a lot.) Still, even these half measures, laughable as some of them seem from my secular standpoint, represent a significant step forward for Christians everywhere, and replacing even a little bit of fear with a little bit of joy is no small thing. Amen.



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