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Sex and Dating Advice from Matthew McConaughey

February 21, 2014

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There’s been a lot of talk lately about how Matthew McConaughey has reinvented himself as a Serious Actor, launching himself out of the chick flick ghetto (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past¬†et al) and into Oscar-nominated territory with Important Movies like Dallas Buyers’ Club. But what we want to know is, how has his characters’ approach to love and sex changed over the years, and over the movies?

Turns out, it’s not just¬†McConaughey’s Rust Cohle in HBO’s True Detective who has a bit of a philosophical bent. It was there from the start — it’s just been honed over the years, you might say. So here is a chronological timeline of¬†McConaughey’s advice on love and sex over the years, according to his characters.

 

1993: Dazed and Confused

“Man, it’s the same bullshit they tried to pull in my day. If it ain’t that piece of paper, there’s some other choice they’re gonna try and make for you. You gotta¬†do what Randall Pink Floyd wants to do man. Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin’ man,¬†L-I-V-I-N. ”

“That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”

 

1997: Contact

“Is the world fundamentally a better place because of science and technology? We shop at home, we surf the Web… at the same¬†time, we feel emptier, lonelier and more cut off from each other than at any other time in human history.”

 

2001: The Wedding Planner

“[My fiance] is great. But… what if what I think is great really is great, but not as great as something greater?”

 

 

 

 

2003: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

“Andie: True or False: All’s fair in love and war.
Ben: True.
Andie: Great answer.
Ben: Good question!”

“Andie: Does Princess Sophia want to come out and play?
Ben: Who’s Princess Sophia?
[Andie points at his crotch]
Andie: Little, big, little, big… I don’t know… we will find out!
Ben: You can’t name my member… Princess Sophia.
Andie: Yes, I can!
Ben: If you are gonna name my… member, you have to name it something hyper masculine. Something like Spike, or Butch, or Krull the Warrior¬†King!”

“Guys, a woman’s purse, alright, it’s her secret source of power. Alright? There are many dark and dangerous things in there, that we, the¬†male species, should know nothing about.”

2006: Failure to Launch

“I’m not afraid of love. I love love. Look, I’ve had a lot of girlfriends, right? And sometimes I’m the rebound guy. Other times, when I get lucky, I’m the “explore new areas of your sexuality” guy. But every single time, we have fun. Thank you. I have fun, they have fun. It’s good for me, it’s good for them. And I would argue that it’s damn good for civilization as a whole.”

[You're going to let her walk away?] “I’m giving her space, Mr. Axelrod. Now, I’m going after her.”

 

2009: Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

“Someone once told me that the power in all relationships lies with whoever cares less, and he was right. But power isn’t happiness, and I think that maybe happiness comes from caring more about people rather than less.”

“Get over [him cheating on you]. It was years ago! With some slutty friend of yours! A friend, incidentally, that you’re not even mad at. And you know why? Because you don’t actually care. You love Paul so much you forgave him the second you heard, and that’s what scares you.”

“I’ve been in your shoes. You know what? It scared the hell out of me too. What if she hurt me? What if she left me? What if she died? It would have been the end of me. So I cut it short, before she ever could. And you know what? It was the biggest mistake I ever made. And you’re making the same mistake right now, and I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to sit by and watch. You’ve got to risk love, Sandra! I didn’t and look at me! I’m a lonely ghost of a man. It doesn’t mean that you’re never going to get hurt, but the pain you feel will never compare to the regret that comes from walking away from love. And from someone who’s felt a lot of both, trust me, regret beats pain every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Don’t run away. Don’t do it… Now. Do you still want to get married?”

“When did casual sex become a crime? Really? I mean, now a days being a single means, what? You’ve lost your way? That something is missing? Never mind that every night I swim in a lake of sex, and they fall asleep in each others arms, spooning.” [Spooning is nice.]¬†”Yeah, not as nice as forking.”

2012: Magic Mike

“You are the husband they never had! You are that dreamboat guy that never came along!”

 

 

 

 

2012: Mud

“People just sometimes forget why they fell in love in the first place.”

“Don‚Äôt judge your life on all of our mistakes.You‚Äôll make plenty mistakes of your own, no need takin‚Äô on everybody else‚Äôs.”

 

 

 

2013: The Wolf of Wall Street

“You gotta stay relaxed. Do you jerk off?” [Uh, I don't know, like two, three times a week?] “Okay, you’re going to want to raise those numbers. You’re in the fucking minor leagues. Me, I jack it twelve to fifteen times a week. Twice a day. Once in the morning after I work out, once after lunch. If you don’t do it, the stress of this job, it’ll make you explode. Or worse, you’ll implode. You don’t wanna implode. … I want to jerk off, but that’s not why I do it. I do it because I need to.”

 

 

2013: Dallas Buyers Club

“Watch what you eat and who you eat.”

 

 

 

 

 

2014: True Detective

[Can you imagine if people didn't believe? All the things they'd get up to?] “Exact same thing they do now, just out in the open.” [past]

“I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself, we are creatures that should not exist by natural law. We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self; an accretion of sensory, experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody. Maybe the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, walk hand in hand into extinction, one last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.” [present]

 

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R.I.P., Maggie Estep

February 19, 2014

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We were introduced to Maggie Estep‘s work more than ten years ago, when Nerve.com, where we were both editors at the time, published her fiction. Here are the opening lines to her short story Devil in Her Eye, published on Nerve in 2002:

She wasn’t the kind of girl to make a bishop kick in a stained glass window, but she got to me all the same. Her name was Sylvia. Dirty blonde. Five-foot-four, 122 pounds, thighs just shy of ample. She was quiet. Seldom looked at you straight on, but once she did, you never forgot it. Which is what happened. She looked at me. Right into me.

And I melted. I’m not the kind of guy to go around melting, mind you. I’m pushing thirty-five. I’ve been locked up a few times, and when I wasn’t Inside, I worked on the back side of racetracks. Mucking horse shit and what have you.

I’m not a melter. But Sylvia got me.

Her writing sticks with you, and this stuck with us. (You can read the story in full here.) Neither of us ever met her, but then last week, Em went to a reading at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, NY — it turned out Maggie Estep lived just one town north of us, and had contributed to an anthology about writers leaving New York called Goodbye to All That (hey, we did that, too!). She was charming, hilarious, brilliant, vibrant, and sweet, and Em departed the reading with secret plans to friend-stalk her. And then two days later, she had a heart attack, and two days after that she was dead. At fifty.

Estep was best known as a slam poetry performer — she helped bring the genre into the mainstream, performing on MTV, HBO, and PBS… and how often does a poet whose work is¬†”characterized by gritty honesty, black humor and a post-punk brand of feminism” ¬†(NY Times) get to do that? One of her most famous poems is the blisteringly sarcastic¬†“Happy”, which she performed on the HBO show ‚ÄúRussell Simmons‚Äôs Def Poetry Jam‚ÄĚ (watch her perform it in the video above, it’ll make you happy, no sarcasm):

To hell with sticking my head in the oven
I’m happy
I’m ridiculously, vengefully happy
I’m ripped apart by sunshine
I’m ecstatic
I’m leaping
I’m cutting off all my limbs
I’m doing circus tricks with forks

But the poem that we want to share in full today is the one that Beavis and Butthead poked fun at Estep for (not that she cared). The poem is called¬†¬†”Hey Baby,”¬†and the topic is pretty appropriate for this site:

Hey Baby

So I’m walking down the street
minding my own business
when this guy starts with me
he’s suckin’ his lips goin’
Hey Baby
Yo Baby
Hey Baby
Yo

and I get a little tense and nervous
but I keep walking
but the guy, he’s dogging my every move
hey Miss, he says,
Don’t miss this!
And he grabs his crotch and sneers ear to ear
so finally, I turn around
Hey Buddy, I say
I’m feelin’ kinda tense, Buddy
I got a fuckin’ song in my heart
so come on,
Let’s go

I got a huge bucket of non-dairy creamer
and some time to kill
so let’s do it
we’ll make some foul-smelling artifical milk
and drink gallons and gallons and gallons of it

Get our bladders exceedingly full then
sit on the toilet together and let
the water run in the shower
and torture ourselves by not letting ourselves urinate
as the water rushes loudly
into the bathrub, okay?

We’ll do it together
writhe in utter agony
Just you and me
and I’ll even spring for some of that blue shit
for the toilet bowl, all right?
I mean, that’s my idea of a good time
so how bout it, you wanna?

The guy backs up a bit
Whatsa matter, Baby?
You got somethin’ against men?, he says
No, I say
I don’t have anything against men
Just stupid men

R.I.P., Maggie Estep., you were one of the good ones.

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2013 According to Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Lawrence

December 18, 2013

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2013 was the year when two twenty-something women, Miley Cyrus, 21, and Jennifer Lawrence, 23, mouthed off — like, a lot. They both talked like they couldn’t give a sh*$, but we happen to think that JLaw (is that how the kids do it these days?) really doesn’t¬†care what we think, while¬†Miley’s quotes are a very calculated performance to raise her profile — but we guess you’ve got to give her props for that, in a way, because it’s working. Still, we’re team Jennifer all the way, but maybe that’s just ’cause we’re old. See what you think…

On Popularity

“Even people who want to hate on me, they can‚Äôt even shut down the fact that I’m literally what everyone is talking about. I don’t want to say that I’m on top right now — I feel like I’m kind of an underdog in a cool way. It’s almost punk rock to like me, because it’s not the right thing to do.” — Miley

“My main worry is that people will start hating what I hate about myself. I worry that everybody will think I am really annoying and just want me to shut up. Which would make so much sense because I annoy myself. … I guess I want people to know that if they are annoyed with me, I get it, it’s totally cool. Please forgive me.” — JLaw

On Substance Abuse

“I was just walking out of my room [at the MTV EMAs], and then I was like ‘Oh I have this [joint] in my bag, that will be really funny.’ I just did it mostly because I knew the fans in Amsterdam would love it, and they started going crazy when I did it.” — Miley

[Preparing for the Oscars] “I did a shot before.” — JLaw

On Other Celebrities

“[Steve Carell] always gives me the stank eye because I drive so fast. The other day, I was trying to reverse, and I almost hit a thousand things, and I was getting nervous because I could see him . . . I’m like, oh, my God, Dan in Real Life is watching me right now!” — Miley

“I turned into a perverted guy [at this party], I was following [John Stamos] into rooms and staring at his a**. … I just started really freaking out, and he asked me if I was on mushrooms, and I was like, ‘No, I am dead sober. This is just me.’ ” — JLaw

On Sleep

“I’m gonna sleep when I’m dead ’cause right now, this isn’t the time to be worried about how many hours of sleep you can get or how much you can hang out.” — Miley

“I don’t like going out that much. I’m kind of an old lady. After it’s 11, I’m like ‘Don’t these kids ever get tired?’ When I’m out, I think about my couch.” — JLaw

On Their Own Talents

“I haven’t really seen one bad comment about my twerk video. This is the first thing! All right, I can’t sing, I can’t act, I’m dumb, I’m a hillbilly, but I can twerk, so whatever!” — Miley

“Not to sound rude, but [acting] is stupid. Everybody’s like, ‘How can you remain with a level head?’ And I’m like, ‘Why would I ever get cocky? I’m not saving anybody’s life. There are doctors who save lives and firemen who run into burning buildings. I’m making movies. It’s stupid.’” — JLaw

On Their “Looks”

“It’s a strategic hot mess.” — Miley

“I really would not call myself a fashion icon. I would call myself somebody who gets dressed by professionals. [It's like], ‘Dance, monkey, dance’ right on the red carpet.’ I would call me more of a monkey.” — JLaw

On Beauty

‚ÄúBeauty is the enemy . We try to conquer not feeling beautiful all our lives. It’s a battle that can’t be won. There’s no definition of beauty. The only way to achieve beauty is to feel it from inside without breaking down into individual physical attributes‚ÄĚ — Miley

“Screw those people [who judge others based on appearance]. If you don’t look like an airbrushed model …you have to look past it. You look how you look. What are you going to do, be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.” — JLaw

On Fat-Shaming

“By calling girls like me fat, this is what you‚Äôre doing to other people.‚ÄĚ — Miley, via Twitter alongside a photo of an emaciated woman*

“I just think it should be illegal to call somebody fat on TV. If we’re regulating cigarettes and sex and cuss words because of the effect it has on our younger generation, why aren’t we regulating things like calling people fat?” — JLaw

On Each Other

“People will say, ‘Oh, Liam is so close to Jennifer Lawrence.’ Well, yeah — they shot a movie together! He‚Äôs supposed to ignore her because she‚Äôs a chick?” — Miley

[When asked about the sexualization of women in the entertainment industry like Miley Cyrus] “Sex sells, and for some disgusting reason young sex sells even more.”– JLaw

“Twerking with a dwarf? To each their own.” — JLaw

On Keepin’ It Real

‚ÄúThis is who I am. I think it‚Äôs only hard if you‚Äôre trying to be something you‚Äôre not. Being who you are is really easy.‚ÄĚ — Miley

“I’m so aware of all the B.S. that surrounds Hollywood, and how everyone gets on this high horse and thinks that they’re curing cancer and it makes me so uncomfortable every time I see it. So I go in the exact opposite direction and end up saying something like ‘I’m pregnant!’ when I’m in two franchises.” — JLaw

On Camel Toe

[Not a word from Miley on this topic. She lets her revealing outfits speak for themselves]

“I was surprised at how little camel toe problem there was [when I wore the wetsuit in Catching Fire]. I was expecting a lot more.” — JLaw

On Being Quiet for Just Five Minutes

“I’ve never just been able to be alone, and I’m obsessed with being alone and hearing my thoughts. I’m trying to take this alone time — the five minutes I do have a day — to learn as much as I can.” — Miley

“My therapist said it would be good if for every hour, I tried to be quiet for five minutes. But I couldn’t really hear what she was saying because I was talking.” — JLaw

* Okay, so this one quote is not actually from 2013; turns out Miley had much less to say about fat-shaming once she shrunk herself to near-emaciated proportions.

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What to Do If You Bump Into Tom Hanks

September 11, 2013

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According to scientific research, at least 17% of you, our dear readers, still harbor a sex fantasy based on Elizabeth Perkins’ not-quite pedophilic crush in Big, and 11% of you occasionally indulge in a mermaid-related Splash fantasy. Also, 3% of you have a fantasy based on the Forrest Gump premature ejaculation scene. And let’s not even get started on “Woody.”

So, what would you do if you actually met Tom Hanks? Sure, it may never happen, but¬†wouldn’t you rather be ready, just in case? Enter the hilarious short video¬†Tom Hanks Fan Academy. It’s directed by our pal Valerie Weiss (who made the great film Losing Control that we wrote about last year) and stars another friend of ours, Ben Weber, who bears a striking (okay, more than passing) resemblance to Tom Hanks. (The hilarious Matt Olsen co-wrote the video and also appears in it.)

Enroll in the THFA today! Just maybe keep that Forrest Gump fantasy to yourself.

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A Round-Up of Thoughtful Spankings Over the Miley Cyrus Spectacle

August 30, 2013

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There’s been a LOT of talk this week over Miley Cyrus’s performance at last week’s VMAs. Here’s some of our favorite analysis:

 

 



The 10 Best and Worst Moments from the 2013 VMAs

August 26, 2013

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photo via MTV.com

THE WORST

1. Lady Gaga’s 26 costume changes into smaller and smaller outfits, ending in a Little Mermaid-inspired seashell/thong number. She’s just fucking with us at this point, right?

2. Miley Cyrus’s self-demotion to porny arm candy during her Blurred Lines “duet” with Robin Thicke (or was it the simulated rimming during “We Can’t Stop?).

3. Kevin Hart’s improvised — and painfully unfunny — stand-up bits, amounting to nothing more than drooling over Lady Gaga’s butt cheeks (twice!) and calling *NSYNC fat and farty.

4. A$AP Rocky’s shameless plug for his new album in the middle of a serious statement about gay rights.

5. Katy Perry’s “ring girls” in string bikinis. Why not subvert the whole macho boxing genre with scantily clad ring boys?

 

THE BEST

1. Lady Gaga’s unitard-clad, average-physiqued backup dancers.¬†She’s just fucking with us at this point, right?

2. Taylor Swift caught on camera saying “Shut the fuck up” while One Direction presented the Best Female Pop Video nominees.

3. Justin Timberlake’s classy & graceful greatest hits medley performance in honor of his Vanguard award (which he accepted with class & grace).

4. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s Best Social Message Video win for “Same Love.”

5. Can’t believe we’re saying this: Kanye “Jesus” West’s subdued performance of “Blood to the Leaves,” which was simply¬†his black-out silhouette in front of a nature still. Refreshing!

 

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We Are So Over Celebrities Playing Strippers

August 8, 2013

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Celebrities playing strippers seems to be a sort of rite of passage, a self-inflicted casting couch: Lindsay Lohan, Kristen Stewart, Salma Hayak, Olivia Wilde, Natalie Portman, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Daryl Hannah, Heather Graham, Marisa Tomei, Julianne Hough, Diane Lane, Demi Moore, Elizabeth Berkley, Rose McGowan… we could go on. WTF? And to balance it out, you get the cast of The Full Monty plus Channing Tatum.

Maybe celebrities playing strippers are just the grown-up, well-paid version of college sorority girls who use Halloween as an excuse to dress like a “sexy cat” or “sexy nurse” or “sexy French maid” or “sexy stripper” (ha). Whatever it is, we’re over it.

But actually, you know what we’re more over than celebrities playing strippers on film? Celebrities talking about the crazy diets and work-outs they submitted themselves to in order to “prepare” for their role as a stripper. Because every real-life stripper totally spends hours a day in the gym with a personal trainer and hires a fancy personal chef to prepare kale a hundred different ways to trick her body into feeling satisfied.

The latest contender in this field is Jennifer Aniston, who plays a (yawn) stripper in the new comedy We’re the Millers. “I was on a very like, you know, greens and vegetables and lean proteins and kale,” Aniston said¬†of her diet plan. “When I really wanted to have a cheat day,” she said, “I had to have a kale chip.”

Because that’s totally what strippers do to unwind after a hard day on the pole: Treat themselves to a kale chip. Not a bag of kale chips, mind you, but a single kale chip. In Hollywood, it’s only hard out there for a stripper because she’s so goddamned underfed.

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Can You Beat the Urge to Stray with One Freebie a Year?

August 1, 2013

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photo via flickr

“If I tell my child, ‚ÄėNo pizza, no pizza, no pizza,‚Äô what does he want more than anything Pizza!‚ÄĚ

And so it is with her husband and sex, claims Russian pop star Masha Lopatova. She is married to Andrei Kirilenko, a basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets — and she has told him he can sleep with one woman a year, for one night only.

We like her reasoning: After all, the forbidden is always more desirable. And so far, it seems to be working: Kirilenko claims he hasn’t acted on the offer yet.

‚ÄúIf something isn‚Äôt allowed you, you want to get it,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúBut if it is allowed to you, you will not need it.‚ÄĚ

But here’s the catch: The agreement is not reciprocal. So what happens, a decade into the marriage, if Lopatova suddenly experiences her urge to stray and is doubly frustrated because (a) she’s not allowed to and (b) her husband IS allowed to?

Also, what if¬†Kirilenko sleeps with one woman one time and then wants the forbidden thing: to see that woman again — without waiting 365 days to do so?

What do you think: Can this sort of arrangement bolster monogamy and help a good marriage last longer? Or is it a recipe for disaster if the arrangement is so one-sided? Is it even possible to curb the urge to stray with a once-a-year freebie like this?

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Angelina Jolie’s Boobs

May 14, 2013

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photo via Flickr

Angelina Jolie wrote an op ed in the New York Times today about her decision to have a preventive double¬†mastectomy¬†in order to greatly reduce her risk of breast cancer, which she had an almost 90% chance of getting due to a “faulty” gene (BRCA1)¬†which greatly predisposes carriers to the disease.

Her acting career — indeed her¬†celebrity career — has often revolved and relied on her otherworldly beauty (which includes bodily proportions more akin to Barbie than the average woman). Case in point: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was basically a vehicle for her boobs. Her body has been a fantasy and jealousy maker for both men and women (and not just respectively speaking). And as is the case with any celebrity, but especially one who’s part of an elite power couple known for their physical beauty, her body has been something we feel we own in some way with our Us Weekly ogling.

Which is why this op ed comes as such a shocker. How could she willingly remove these money-making, awe-inspiring assets? Especially without consulting us? She’s taken away the essence of her identity!

Which of course she hasn’t.¬†Jolie could have quietly undergone the procedure, gotten the reconstruction and moved on. But by going public, she’s teaching us several valuable lessons:

- Celebrities aren’t superhuman. Even though being filthy rich can often help with medical matters, celebrities are still just people made of cells that can be prone to illness and disease. They get old (try as they might to fight it) and they die, sometimes accidentally, sometimes prematurely, sometimes naturally. We won’t find double mastectomies featured in Us Weekly’s “Celebrities, They’re Just Like Us” column, but maybe we should.

- Boobs don’t make the woman. We are not defined by our body parts, no matter how much pop culture and porn insist we are. Breasts aren’t just for show — they’re for feeding our babies, for our own pleasure, and sometimes they’re for nothing and nobody. (What woman hasn’t wished them away during a jog or on a hot day or when walking past a bunch of construction workers?) A woman’s worth is comprised of so much more: her intellect, her personality, her accomplishments, her career, her family, her values. Just as “being a man” should not be defined by penis size. (For instance, most people are familiar with Jolie’s enhanced curvature in Tomb Raider, but few know that it was her work abroad on that movie that led her to become involved in important¬†humanitarian¬†causes around the world ‚ÄĒ priorities, people!).

- Speaking of priorities, we as a culture would do well to take breasts off their pedestal, be a little more mature and less ravenous about the accidental nip slip, and not require their gratuitous display in every rated R movie. It might result in women not hating their own boobs so much. It might result in less plastic surgery, especially of the elephantine variety. It might result in more respect for women, which ultimately translates into better pay, more power, and less sexism and violence against women. You know, the little things.

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An Interview with This Week’s “Modern Love” Writer, Laurie Sandell

April 3, 2013

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photo by Alexandra DeFurio

Our good friend, colleague, and fellow shameless Bachelor ¬†fan, Laurie Sandell, is a successful¬†freelance magazine writer (Marie Claire, New York, In Style), graphic memoirist (The Impostor’s Daughter), nonfiction book author (Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family) and coffee shop dweller (18th Street Coffee Shop in Santa Monica). This past weekend, her wonderful essay “How to Break Up with a Two Year Old” was the “Modern Love” column in the New York Times Styles section this past Sunday — her first Times piece! In it, she tells her story of how falling in love with a man, then falling in love with his little girl, then eventually having to break up with¬†both¬†of them ultimately convinced her that she wanted a baby no matter what, partner or no. Now 15 weeks pregnant, Laurie did us the honor of answering a few of our nosy questions about it all:

WHEN YOU LINKED TO YOUR ARTICLE ON FACEBOOK, you mentioned the “surprise” at the end — was this your coming out party to a lot of friends and acquaintances as a now single pregnant woman thanks to artificial insemination?¬†

Many of my friends had no idea I was pursuing this, and part of the surprise came from the fact that it happened so quickly–on the first try, in fact. It was definitely nerve-wracking to share this news in such a public venue–especially because I first submitted the piece when I was only six weeks pregnant and not yet out of the woods–but it’s been a wonderful experience, all around.

Have you just been bathing in the warm glow of praise and adoration all weekend? And what are people more impressed by: this being your first NY Times piece or this being your first pregnancy?

I have been amazed by the number of people who read the Times. I’ve written hundreds of cover stories for major national magazines over the years, and have never gotten close to this level of response. I think I’ve heard from everyone I’ve ever known, offering kudos, support and maternity clothes. I think my age factors into it, too; I’m 42, so a lot of friends and family assumed that I wasn’t going to have kids. I just wish I’d done this years ago. I first visited a fertility doc at the age of 37, but couldn’t pull the trigger. I felt like I was choosing between a husband OR a baby. Now that I’m pregnant, all the pressure has lifted. I feel just as confident about meeting someone as I did, before, but I don’t have to worry about the biological clock. And so many friends have rallied around me, I haven’t felt lonely for even a minute.

Any nay sayers about going this route? 

No one in my own life, but I did stumble across a neo-conservative website having a lively discussion about my piece and single motherhood in general. They tore my character to shreds.

What do you think are the cons of single parenthood?

It’s really hard to tell because my child isn’t here yet. But several of my closest friends are single moms, and they say that the hardest part (aside from the financial pressure and the exhaustion) is not having someone to share the milestones with. But I’ve always been incredibly social with a big group of friends, so it’s hard for me to believe that I’m going to feel that way.

What do you think are the pros? 

I have to admit, I love the idea of making the big decisions on my own, at least in the beginning. I’ve always been very independent and I think I would find it hard to negotiate big childcare decisions with another person, especially if our opinions differed. That said, I hope to integrate someone into my life someday, so I want to learn how to do that.

How do you hope this will affect your dating/love life? How do you think it will?

For one thing, I hope this takes the pressure off in general. As soon as you hit 35, you start hearing whispers about how your fertility is going downhill, and men hear those whispers, too. So it can be hard to find a guy to date who wants kids, but doesn’t feel pressured by the fact that you’re going to want them soon. I think it caused me to jump into a few relationships too quickly. Now I feel like I have the luxury of slowing down and really taking my time getting to know someone. I also feel like I’m going to be meet a better quality guy. True commitment-phobes will run for the hills!

In your Modern Love piece, you talk about how breaking up with your boyfriend was doubly painful because of your love for his baby daughter.  Can you offer any advice about dating someone with a young child? 

Oh, God. I would do EVERYTHING differently. For starters, I met his daughter right away. I would never do that again. The first three months are always a kind of honeymoon period; you don’t really know the person, you just think you do. So I would not allow anyone to meet my child, nor would I want to meet his, until we’d really gotten to know each other and knew that the relationship was serious. Leaving that little girl was absolutely heartbreaking for me, the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was hard on her, too, though I was told by several psychologists I consulted that she was young enough that she wouldn’t be affected, and that it would be easier for her if I did not stay in her life.

Do you think it’s different when kids are older?

When kids are older, I think it’s even more important to tread carefully. I have good friends who are single mothers with older kids, and generally, they do not let anyone meet their kids until things get serious. Even then, they’ll sleep in separate bedrooms for more than a year when they’re at each others’ homes. It used to sound very extreme to me, but I totally get it now.

What’s the best/funniest/worst piece of advice (solicited or unsolicited) about parenthood you’ve received so far?

I just interviewed Sofia Vergara for a cover story for a women’s magazine, and she went on and on for about 15 minutes about buying a girdle after I give birth. She said that none of her friends in Columbia have the “pooch” that American women get, because they all run out and buy girdles. She said, “All of your organs fall down, like, ploop! And you have to hold them in.” It was pretty hilarious.

Finally, and most importantly, you do a lot of celebrity profiles which gives you access to a lot of star-studded events, so: what’s Sean from The Bachelor really like?¬†

Ha! I just met him. I was doing a story on Lisa Vanderpump from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and I got to go to the live taping of Dancing With the Stars. Of course, I only had eyes for Sean. He is so not my type–I have never been into blonde jocks–but in person, he is just this dreamy, musclebound manly man who looks like a gymnast. I am willing to make an exception for him and date a blonde jock; I am even willing to forgo sex before marriage, if that’s what it takes. But I’m not exactly the poster child for that in my condition.

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