~ by Joel Martens, Editor in Chief ~
“I’d rather regret the things I have done, than the things that I haven’t.” —Lucille Ball
The temptation in February for me is to let my cynical side run rampant. It’s a month laden with implicit rules and undertones about love and relationships. The pressure to “be in love,” or to “have someone to share your life with” is everywhere—syrupy cards say it, television ads espouse it, even tiny candy hearts have dithering ditties about it—ain’t that sweet?
I can be very sardonic during Valentine’s; my favorite “Bah Humbug” for the holiday is to refer to it as VD day. I kept an image on my phone’s screen last year to show anyone who gushed, of the fat little twerp, Cupid, flat on his face with one of his own little heart-shaped arrows shot through his little tiny heart. At least it made me laugh—kind of twisted, I know—but damn funny.
That’s the kind of humor I grew up with, very acerbic, totally cynical and always funny—it’s not a bad way to get through a tough day—or any kind of day for that matter. All you have to do is look at my sister Molly’s facebook posts to understand… she puts up daily witticizms that often leave me rolling on the ground. Her most recent was no exception: “I scream, you scream, the police come, it’s awkward…” Hilarious.
What does this have to do with February and our Love and Sex issue you ask? One of the delightful things about putting together this magazine is that you get the opportunity to see and hear so many other perspectives on just about everything—even love.
I interviewed one of my all-time-favorite icons this month, the vibrant, lovely Lily Tomlin. I said to her at one point, “you are like one of my oldest and dearest friends.” And no my dear readers, it’s not in a stalker kind of way; it’s in more of a familial, constant kind of way. After all, she has been a constant part of my life since my earliest memories of her on television. So to chat with someone like her is truly a gift because of our concomitant timelines.
She talked of her early days on Laugh-In, which incidentally is when I first heard of her (or at least her characters Edith Ann and Ernestine), sharing a myriad of stories about her career—truly amazing how prolific it has been—the people she has worked with and how much a part of history she has been. To hear her talk devotedly of those experiences and of her partner, Jane, a woman who has been by her side since the early ‘70s, was a deeply touching moment. The perspective she has on her life, the love, admiration and respect implicit in the description of it was humbling. I hope it touches you as much as it did me.
We searched for a topical writer for February’s Love and Sex issue and Christopher Donaghue, the licenced sex therapist and clinical sexologist, was kind enough to pen an article on those very topics. You may remember him from his Logo television series BAD SEX, the thought-provoking reality series exploring the hidden world of sexual compulsions, addictions and intimacy disorders.
In the article he talks about the changing landscape of sexual mores, dating and connections. He refers to himself as being sex positive, which is refreshing in our shame-based society; “I am highly supportive of sex being seen as a healthy, functional part of our society and culture.” Such a novel perspective if you ask me—and another example of a new twist on something as old as sexual gratification.
He also shared his opinion about dating rules in the age of Internet connectivity: “My clinical mantra: If you want a penis, stay online. But if you want a partner, get out into the real world!”
So unzip your heart and open up to the experience of life—in all its forms.