His Father, the Sex Toy Maker

sasha-grey-toy.jpg

That's the title I wanted to use, but didn't, in a nod to this book, for my latest on my Forbes blog: "This Entrepreneur's Sex Toy Business Is All in the Family."

It's a really interesting story -- in part because it's about what happens when your father makes "pleasure products" for a living and you end up in the same line of work.

Another surprising piece of the story I uncovered is their best-selling product.

It surprised me, but does it surprise you?

Click here to find out what it is. 

Forbes Blog Monthly Stats #5

Every month, I review the traffic stats at my Forbes blog. This is my latest.

Last month was terrific. This month was not so much. Last month, I did around 193K unique visitors and 230K page views. This month I did around 115K unique visitors and 140K page views.

Here's what worked and what could use improvement.

The month's post popular post had to do with soft-core lesbian porn. The reasons for its popularity elude me. Another frequently read post was about an MMA fighter on trial for beating up his former porn star ex-girlfriend. The surprise post of the month was about Wonder Woman's armpit hair. Frankly, I wrote that one without thinking much about it, and it caused quite a fuss, getting cited by the National Review and discussed for a full hour on "The Dennis Prager Show." Apparently, armpit hair on female superheroes is a must-click topic. I'll keep that in mind for April. I also wrote a post about some porny YSL ads that upset some Parisians. That post got a nod from the Kansas City Star. The post I thought was the most unique was an interview I did with a lifestyle blogger -- who's armed and dangerous. 

As for what I can work on: post more, be more creative, write better headlines, do more interviews, be more daring, focus more on things that are fun, keep up the regular posting.

I'm noticing that I'm writing more about women-related issues, and I'd like to do more of it. In addition, I'm doing more hot takes, which is good, because that makes you a part of the conversation. And it was nice to get some media attention.

Yo, it's all good in the bloghood.

Final monthly stats: 

Pageviews: 140,725

Total Monthly Visitors: 115,545

One-time Visitors: 112,156

Repeat Visitors: 3,389

Comments: 46

Posts: 12

Current Recency Score: 74.511%

Virgins for Sale

I did an interesting interview with a businessman who sells virgins for a living.

Image via Dynamite

Image via Dynamite

"What makes thinks exklusive? That not everyone can have it. For example a very old Wine or a luxury car which is just produced 100 Times. A woman can give just one time her Virginity and she hold it for at minimum 18 Years. Further demand determines the offer."

The interview was done via email, and I preserved the way in which he wrote it. He's German, so English is a second language. 

Someone once called me a modern-age Studs Terkel. I particularly like when something is written in such a way to as exactly as possible capture not just what someone said, but how they said it, which is equally important. 

In this way, you render what they said and what they meant.

The Rules Do Not Apply to Writing Memoirs

I never really decided to read Ariel Levy's The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir. It just sort of happened. In fact, I never bought the book. I visited a bookstore twice and both times picked up a copy of it (a different one each time, I'm pretty sure) and sat in a chair and read it. For some reason, I read the second half first. Then I left. Then however many days after that, I returned, not really intending to read the rest of it, but thinking maybe I would, and then I read the first half. The book is built around a famous and terrifying essay that Levy wrote for The New Yorker in which she has a miscarriage in a foreign country: "Thanksgiving in Mongolia." I was floored when I read that in 2013. How could she get so raw? I marveled. It was like entering an emotional abattoir. But the problem is that the book feels like she got a book deal based on that essay, and then she sort of padded the book around it. The book is thin. I mean it's 224 pages, but it feels thin. It feels sort of hurried and rushed and manufactured. Maybe it was or maybe it wasn't. I wasn't really a fan of Levy's first book, Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, which was pretty much just a collection of essays, and was also sort of politically opposed to everything I was thinking at the time of its publication. She sort of paints women as dumb marks, but I suppose that is her opinion. In any case, her Rules book is about her unconventional upbringing, and her marriage, and her miscarriage, and how life can be happy, and life can be sad. Frankly, it sort of feels like "book contract fulfilled." I don't know why. She sort of speeds through life at a high rate, and maybe she doesn't want to think about the deep, dark things, and maybe that's OK if you want to write a magazine article, but maybe a book demands more. Or maybe her rules are the ones that apply.

Just Eat It

Carl's Jr. is giving up boobs and butts for burgers and buns! What is the world coming to?

From my latest at Forbes:

In an interview with USA Today, Andrew Puzder, the former CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings, which owns Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, who withdrew his name from consideration for U.S. Labor Secretary in the Trump administration, took a je ne regrette rien stance on the old, oversexed way of hawking Carl's Jr. burgers, stating: "We don't have anything to be ashamed of."

In Praise of Florida

It's a shame more novels haven't been written about Florida. I mean, there have been, some. But maybe not so much. Instead, the gun-shaped state gets relegated to FLORIDA MAN jokes, alligator attack tales, and horror stories about its systemic abuses and exploitations. It misses praise for its geographical diversity, its colorfulness on a blank slate, and the way the water looks when it's just straight up still and there are dolphins diving through it in the distance.