The Naked Apple

Repoting from the modern middle class

A New Treatize on Porn

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I do not understand pornography nor my relationship to it. It’s an invisible billion dollar empire that touches every empty American male hand.

I purchased my first spank mag at the age of 14 or 15 from an Asian newsagents in the UK and actually ran home with the cellophane wrapped wonder package. This sense of forbidden fruit to a school boy is something that has stayed with my carnal tastes and would likely be of great interest to Mr. Freud . With the advent of a 56k modem connection for my father’s PC, I migrated to surfing for pictoral titillation ( – I personally contributed 50,000 of your unique hits between 1997 and 1998, any success you achieved in becoming one of the world’s biggest distributors of free skin clips I feel is in no small part due to my teenage lusting). With an anthropologist’s objectivity, it’s possible to track the evolution of my tastes by analysing 140,000 Google searches (I’m estimating a median of 20 a week for 14 years allowing for vacations, periods without Internet access and self imposed on-line celibacy).

Predictably the search terms have evolved from women a 15 year old school boy would feel comfortable with to generally accepted American standards of erotica with a few brief escapades into the more creative aspects of the human arousal.

Still, I find on-line porn disappointing. Magazines have a nostalgic hold on my libido and probably represented a high point in the evolution of solo sexuality in terms of ease of access. The Internet’s anytime, anyplace (within the commonly accepted standards of social decency) is just too much. On-line arousal is ultimately an empty experience and I disagree with any psychologist who writes otherwise. The Big Mac of the the spank wank, the fast food fix for your sexual appetite. Sometimes minutes, sometimes hours drift by until the happy ending trance is broken with “how did I end up sat in front of a PC – used by my wife just hours ago to write her resume – with my pants around my ankles observing a middle class couple somewhere in the US copulate on the kitchen table (complete with checked table cloth)”. It is this “what the fuck factor” that reminds me most of “why did I just eat that”.
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Written by The Naked Apple

February 24, 2009 at 8:38 am

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Lap Dancing – A Client’s Perspective

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I was first inaugurated into Flashdancers, a strip club in Midtown Manhattan by a banker from Citi and my boss , a Texan whose life would have lacked meaning except for his singular ability to sell things he didn’t understand to people he didn’t care about.

Flashdancers recently caused a small media scandal after they plastered what seemed like, every New York taxi cab with their advertisement.  It featured a woman with a bad perm, excessive lipstick, the club’s name, address and nothing more.  For a period I was convinced I was going mad seeing their ad everywhere (just like a new mother sees adverts for Pampers on every street corner).  To resolve the matter, I conducted a short impromptu survey of 100 or so taxi cabs driving past a cafe in Tribeca on a Sunday afternoon.  I recorded three Flash Dancers taxi advertisement for every mobile billboard advising me to go see the Lion King on Broadway; my sanity was still in check.

Unlike most clubs that stack their clients over a series of ascending floors (Centerfolds in Boston is a prime example of this) Flashdancers is a sprawling open-plan palace of decadence.  Walking in off the street, slightly inebriated by a flight of Tom Collins, the experience can be a little disorientating and akin to stumbling on a Russian harem a few blocks north of the Disney World, wonderland that is Times Square today.

A certain Flashdancers employee named Diana, is an important but minor character in my life.  Her part is limited to a a few spoken lines onscreen and a mention in the closing films credits of life.  Our paths have crossed a few times now and she holds the honor of being the only stripper who has sent me home with an unspent $100 in my wallet, a feat that even she is amazed by.  Born in Czechoslovakia twenty three years ago, her life seems to consist of bouncing between working in Manhattan and flopping around on the beach in Miami.  Neither of which I believe fulfills her very much.
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Written by The Naked Apple

February 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Love 2.0

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I met you five years ago after you read my dating profile on the internet. We met for an evening and then I said I didn’t want to see you again and we didn’t. Your name has faded from my memory but I remember a lot about you.

“I ran past you in the park the other day when you were smelling a flower. Yesterday, you left the restaurant as I arrived. This morning you stood on the uptown platform while I waited for the downtown train. For one evening, be more than a perfect stranger.”

You liked this profile – I felt awkward writing it but I was glad it had found you.

I chose the Fitzpatrick Hotel on the Upper Eastside for us to meet and share a small meal. You’d move from Nebraska where you lived with your grand parents to pursue a career in New York’s publishing scene. Your life was filled with books and running; running mile after mile on your own. You preferred the company of older country people and I don’t think you’d made too many new friends.

The carefully applied makeup sat uncomfortably on your face that night and I appreciated it all the more. You were comically beautiful, like an American who moves to Japan and finds she is suddenly very tall. At home you were a pretty grand daughter and took this as just another complement among many. Here you were a young woman with lips that longed to be kissed.
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Written by The Naked Apple

February 23, 2009 at 12:09 pm

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Nurse Megan Says – Stop Smoking!

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Megan and Nisa work at a hospital in Richmond; they rehabilitate men returning from Iraq who are unable to move their arms and legs.  Nisa is forty years old and enjoys talking to me about her work.  She has ten years service with the Army medical corps, tended to soldiers in two Gulf wars and picked up the pieces from numerous conflicts in the Balkans.  Megan is twenty three and more interested in pushing me on to the bar’s dance floor.

The women assume the man standing to my left is a friend from New York; in reality we met at the bar upstairs about an hour ago.  He is a banker from Connecticut appraising two Virginia venture capital funds that his father-in-law wants to buy. 

I find Megan fascinating; she is both beautiful and interested in me.  But more than this, she is two separate lives that she has unknowingly combined into one.  With the relaxed talk of a recently retired bar tender she flips her conversation between two sides of a vinyl record.  On Side A, she is s buying a Coach handbag with her a tax refund check and getting drunk in Times Square for the first time. On Side B she is washing bodies that don’t move anymore and explaining what days are like without a set of bowels.  It strikes me as cruel when she refers to an ex-boyfriend as a douche bag.

With an Orthodox wedding ring on my right hand, the bar incorrectly decides I am the perfect British bachelor and that Megan and I should be together.  My acquaintance from Connecticut has been relegated to just, interesting as he wears his wedding ring on the more conventional left hand.  Later on when Megan lies naked in my arms, I will bury my guilty right hand deep beneath the pillows.
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Written by The Naked Apple

February 23, 2009 at 11:37 am

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Hermes and The Hooker

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Getting an STD test after sleeping with a prostitute in the UK was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.  I had gone out for a quick drink to “unwind” during a 3-day business trip to London.  A couple of pints and a beef sandwich, led to a cockney pub complete with Eastern European girls stripping on an astro-turf stage for pound coins in a beer glass.  From there, bar hopping around So-Ho and finally slipping into China White, a respectable night club by any standard on the ruse that I was meeting some friends inside.

I hit the bar and the euphoria of 6 hours of alcohol laced with a pack of Marlborough Lights shook my brain.  I bought drinks at the crushed zinc top hugging an unnamed young Arab who had neither the need nor the desire to work due to his father’s wealth.  At the time I felt on top of the world; in reality I was merely six JD and cokes away from solitude.

And then I got talking with a girl at the bar, normal stuff – like any conversation drowned out by the anthems of dance.  Regressing back to a 17 year old out on the pull, I confidently told her we should go back to “my place”.  It was only in the taxi that I realized this all was not quite right.

“You need to pay me two hundred pound.”

“You didn’t tell me this in the club?”

“No, no, no.  I tell you.  You say ok.”  The bubble was popped in full view of the cabbie who played the role of spectator to this public humiliation.  I weighed up the situation, I was very drunk and in a cab heading back to a 3 star hotel with a Thai hooker.  It all seemed kind of predictable, as if the night had edged towards this inevitable conclusion from the first pint.
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Written by The Naked Apple

February 20, 2009 at 2:36 pm

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How I Bought My Second Engagement Ring

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“I need you to make a decision, as I can’t start married life with a white lie. I have found the engagement ring of your dreams, bigger than you could ever imagine in a red Cartier box from Paris. But, the ring is for sale by a divorcee in Manhattan.” Pause. “This is the only way we can afford such a ring. But I won’t be able to lie about how I acquired it. So that’s your first option, perfect ring – bad story. The second is something a little more modest and will be bought by conventional means from a jeweler in the diamond district.” I waited for her to speak like she was deciding where we’d spend the rest of out lives together. Would we chase trinkets, ambition or love together.

“Will you be cross if I want the Cartier one?”

With the matter settled and my conscience clear, I began the transaction. The seller and I communicated by email and when we finally met on the corner of Church and Broadway, I was surprised to learn that Charlie was a woman. She’d brought a male friend with her in case I was setting her up though he looked too small for the job; until then I hadn’t contemplated the transaction from the seller’s side. Our meeting took place in a small jeweler’s store that I’d chosen where an elderly gent, armed with a monocle, confirmed the stone’s authenticity.

We met a second time, a few days later at a Commerce Bank in Brooklyn Heights. Sat at the bank manager’s desk together, I wired $16,000 to her account and handed her the receipt. The cashier assumed we were a couple nervously transferring a deposit on our first apartment; I smiled, and explained that the world moves in funny ways sometimes and summarized my short relationship to Charlie.
Afterwards, we crossed the road, talking like awkward friends who have neglected to stay in touch, and found a table in a nearby Starbucks . The red box was passed across the table and she began to cry quietly as if letting go of an unwanted love like it was an abandoned infant. I quickly placed the box out of sight and stumbled over the appropriate things to say.
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Written by The Naked Apple

February 19, 2009 at 3:04 pm