Bed Notches and Groomsticks

Eisenberg’s autobio a love letter to doing it before the I Do’s

Image courtesy of the publisher Howdy, Doo-Me: Ophira’s autobio is a fast read about her randy road to long-term commitment.

Image courtesy of the publisher
Howdy, Doo-Me: Ophira’s autobio is a fast read about her randy road to long-term commitment.

BY SCOTT STIFFLER | She may have a nice, seemingly normal second act existence — living in Brooklyn with her supportive husband and adorable dog — but don’t think for a minute that Ophira Eisenberg has gone soft or settled down.

While the more timid among us are doomed to look in the rearview mirror only to see roads not taken, Eisenberg will be living for years off the worldly confidence one can only get after gingerly hopping from bed to bathtub to the occasional sleazy hotel countertop.

Voyeurs, virgins, prudes and dudes will all find something to recoil from and admire, under the covers of “Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy.”

You could be forgiven for glancing at that title and assuming Eisenberg’s autobiography is just a series of DWI (Dating While Intoxicated) misadventures. But “Screw Everyone” is more than a coming of age story (although there’s some of that) and more than a barfly confessional (there’s plenty of that). Like the author, the book slowly reveals itself to be in possession of a solid moral foundation.

That said, barely a page goes by where sex and pleasure aren’t front and center, described in frank and occasionally graphic detail — usually leavened with crackling observations that are more anthropologic than pornographic.

Fortunately, this teen-to-thirtysomething tale is the work of a professional stand-up comic. So every potential suitor gets the sharp evaluation, and witty punchline, he deserves — while the author (a Village comedy club and Moth story slam veteran who hosts NPR’s game show “Ask Me Another”) never emerges unscathed from her own well-calibrated bullshit detector.

Long before her bed notches reach the double digits, readers who can see beyond the sex on the beach, the sunburns and the social disease scares will realize that this relentless collection of hook-ups and hangovers is really about the rewards of putting it out there and taking chances, without the crippling burden of shame — or the desperate end game goal of settling down just because you don’t want to be alone.

Why, some of the life lessons Eisenberg accrued in the sack actually translate into helpful etiquette and esteem tips for the sober and the celibate! Straight guys will learn more about what women really want by reading this book than indulging in a lifetime of locker room brag sessions (or Lifetime movies).

“Call me an enthusiastic consenter, or a fairly responsible hedonist,” says our conquering hero, “but sleeping around was often a by-product of getting what I wanted.” Right after proclaiming that she “never set out to be a slut,” Eisenberg hits it right on the head, so to speak, when she reasons, “I just thought I was being nice.” She certainly was.

Even when knee-deep in tales of vomit, meth addict sex partners, near-arrests and lesbian flings, Eisenberg rarely disavows her often ill-advised choices. She wears her mistakes and her triumphs equally well — badges of pride that look damn good on her, just like the wedding dress she ends up in by the book’s final chapter.

BOOKS

SCREW EVERYONE: SLEEPING MY WAY TO MONOGAMY

BY OPHIRA EISENBERG
Seal Press (sealpress.com)
$16
Visit ophiraeisenberg.com
NPR’s “ASK ME ANOTHER” LIVE TAPING
Mon., April 8, 7:30pm
At The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY
149 Seventh St. (btw. 2nd & 3rd Aves.)
For tickets ($10), amatickets.org
THE “SCREW EVERYONE” BOOK PARTY
Thurs., April 25, 7-9pm
At Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
126 Crosby St., btw. Houston & Prince Sts.

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2 Responses to Bed Notches and Groomsticks

  1. I wonder about any dicret influence between Jones and Kelly beyond their similar backgrounds in Animation. I haven’t given it much thought, and the only thought I gave the Pogo TV special was that Danny Kay was hawking Pogo soap dishes in the commercial breaks (memories of when it originally aired)Nice to be reminded that some of those T & J comic books WERE as well drafted as they were (at least in comparison to other Gold Key/ Dell products) Seems like the Mouseketeers angle was used a heck of a lot for the books, but I never saw an animated short using the concept.Do you find any value in Kim Deitch’s take on Tom and Jerry? I find a lot about it that I cannot stand on the surface, yet somehow, perhaps because of that WTF crudeness, I find some of them among the funniest of the Tom and Jerry cartoons. Dickey Moe!

  2. The idea of the video was more to show what a missional curchh looks like for people who might not have heard of it as a concept than to critique other models of curchh (though obviously there are reasons positive and negative as to why I land where I do).As far as the missional v attractional discussion goes so long as we start with what the curchh is (and I believe that the curchh is a gathered and scattered people, hence why language of at and in is unhelpful I think)and what the purpose of the curchh is and then work out from that to what the curchh does then it doesn’t matter what model we end up with.As to what we’re planning to do the main difference to the traditional model is that we see the gathering as a celebration of God’s grace and a time for equipping the family.So we won’t advertise the gathering or invite not-yet-family (though they would be very welcome if they wanted to come or turned up).Instead we will invite them into the life of the family in the 6:22 of life (the other 6 days and 22 hours of the week).And so the gospel identities and rhythms I talked about are to help the family to live lives that are changed by the gospel, demonstrating and proclaiming to the gospel.So we intend to gain an audience for the gospel by going to those who aren’t yet family, getting involved in the lives and allowing them to be involved in our life as a community. And if it takes years I can’t see that as a being a problem.Enjoy grace.

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