Streams

The Bumpy Road to Monogamy

Friday, April 05, 2013

Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR's Ask Me Another and the author of Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamytells her particular story of sexual adventure and settling down in her memoir.

Guests:

Ophira Eisenberg

Comments [35]

BrooklynMichael from Brooklyn, NY

I read the book and it's very funny!

It's not an advice book or a sociological study. It's simply a comedy book written by a stand-up comedian. A funny and insightful one at that.

She's not trying to teach anyone anything, it's just funny stories and that's good enough for me. I caught myself laughing our loud reading it on the subway.

I've seen Ophira at The Moth exhibiting her sensitive side, and at Ask Me Another (one of the most fun shows I've been to in Brooklyn) experiencing her clever wit. This new, funny, sexy side was most welcome and I look forward to more of her writing in the future.

Apr. 11 2013 07:34 PM
claudia from UWS

Ophira Eisenberg is hilarious and I can't wait to read this book.

Apr. 06 2013 03:58 PM
carolita from NYC

In Paris, I had the wonderful experience of dating really nice men who remained caring friends, almost like older brothers once we broke up (I never had to walk home alone after a party, or even avoid a party for fear of bumping into an ex), and having lovers when between boyfriends. I had no idea how good I had it until I moved back to New York after 11 years, and started getting treated like dirt. I was shocked. In Paris, I was treated like a queen. In New York, I was just another applicant for a man's attention. And men sure let it go to their heads. Full of themselves, impolite, inconsiderate - I'll never forget the guy who didn't even wait till I got inside my building in DUMBO (during the time when my neighborhood was known as "the ATM" to muggers), before driving off. Not only this, but all these men thought about was money money money, and their careers. So superficial. I was so glad to go back to Paris for another two years and actually have fun with men who had other things on their minds: like ME. And when I came back again, I dated older men, because they are much nicer than the men my age, who are really all cads, from the evidence.

Apr. 06 2013 11:17 AM
GJ from Manhattan

@ MichaelB - What you say of dating websites is true to my experience also (about 1 in 10 women I write to replies). However, you and I can't really complain, since you say you are targeting "attractive" women. Of course they will get masses of attention - why don't you try writing to "less-attractive" ones? It's obvious why of course, but I'm sure they would answer much more quickly! So it balances out, and it's probably just as tough being a "less-attractive" woman. Just we all work on instinct, and it leads to an imbalance in the market. - Men always pursue more, simply because in general they want sex more.

Apr. 05 2013 05:48 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

Allie and Sarah - I was waiting for something of substance to come out of her mouth about her "experiences," rather than her usual style of a snappy remark, punctuated by that laugh--that's her shtick, and while fine for her game show, doesn't do much to introduce us to her book.

She's been making the press rounds, so I've listened to or read several conversations with her, and none have explained, exactly, what she believes she can teach New York (or other women, for that matter) about dating in New York--but she likes to talk a lot about how we're all crying into our sakitinis about New York men. Doesn't sound like anyone I know.

I tried to read the book--still no revelations there, for all her fascination over the supposed phenomenon of dating here. I certainly didn't say someone need be "squeaky clean;" I'm a huge proponent of someone expressing themselves sexually. I simply don't think she has anything to add. If one's lived long enough, they've read "girls guide" memoirs or witnessed enough mediocre programming about women "playing the big, bad field," and it's all been done. I don't think Ms. Eisenberg does the matter any favors by referring to herself in her book and interviews as a "slut." To wit: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/slept_with_everyone_and_it_led_to_9yuSBiSAdP5v4F8njyZQdM/2

No--I don't think she's advanced the conversation of a supposed "double standard," Sara. But I think if such exists, it's true the world over. Live in a few places, and you'll find that to be true. I don't think we can change it ourselves, but it's easy enough to ignore, unless living in somewhere like Bangalore is in your future.

The comments are a place to express one's opinion. Mine is that there are far too many people are given contracts to write "memoirs" these days. Come back after you've lived to, say, 80. Maybe then it'll be worth reading.

Apr. 05 2013 02:00 PM
BMF from NY

The problem with online dating starts with the notion that the Hollywood 'one line treatment' works as a way of describing a human being. The problem with dating in general? Well, as a man, I say that it's not dating to begin with. It's more of a stress test, with the ante being upped each time you pass a bench mark.

Oh, right, I am a man, so I forgot that I know NOTHING about relationships. Sorry, excuse the hubris. I should have gotten a clue by now.

Apr. 05 2013 01:34 PM

Allie from SI ~

TOTALLY agree.

Apr. 05 2013 01:08 PM

@Michael B - The problem with online dating sites is that you can only contact people when they pay. The dating sites don't let you know which members pay and which ones don't. So its possible that you won't get messages back if you are sending messages & winks to people who haven't paid. This gap is one of the ways how online dating sites make money. They attract you by boasting the numbers of profiles on their site (1,000,000+) but the number of people actively participating and paying is a small percentage.

Apr. 05 2013 01:05 PM
Sara from Brooklyn

I appreciate Ophira's discussion of this topic, though I think likening the scenario to Sex and the City cheapens the content.

I am a bit younger than the older demographic mostly discussed here, but I'm curious about her/anyone's thoughts on the double-standard applied to women's promiscuity as opposed to men's. I think that it's still viewed negatively for a woman to sleep around, even if she does so responsibly.

I'm a NYC native, and despite the empowerment that women seem to hold on to here, this city does not feel to me to be as progressive toward women's behavior as it wants to purport. Furthermore, women themselves perpetuate this ideal, with their expectations of men and marriage.

I commend Ophira for openly discussing her experience, but I don't think it's very interesting social commentary, and doesn't get to the meat of the issue.

Apr. 05 2013 12:16 PM
Allie from SI

It's really great how all these comments just reinforce gender stereotypes and shame women for being sexual. No one has remarked about men being prostitutes or loose and that being bad.

Who says you have to have a squeaky clean background in order to be a good candidate for marriage? Surely commitment and dedication to the other person is all that matters.

And honestly, comments about her laugh/where she's from, yeah now that's a constructive conversation . . .

Apr. 05 2013 12:14 PM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

thatgirl from manhattan - spot on.

Apr. 05 2013 12:08 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

RCUB_Alum - Wait a few minutes and you'll find that book on any garage sale table in Westchester, next to 50 Shades of Gray. I'm sure one of the cleverly-written chapters is called "Don't Pay Retail." Heed that.

Proof they'll give a book contract to anyone today.

Apr. 05 2013 12:06 PM
Shadow from New Jersey

Hey, I came off a heartbreak with a girlfriend of high school and first year of college. I lived that monogamy and after that heartbreak-breakup, I learned it was much better to date as many women as possible to find the right one.

I never limited myself to any color or size, All women of any hue I was willing to date. I am just bent toward females.

I was called a Lothario by my best friend and I told him I was playing the field so that I could be sure.

Well it worked and I have been happily married to the same woman for over 40 years.

Got it out of my system, learned more about myself and learned a lot about women.

Variety... Try to do it before you get married if you can.

Apr. 05 2013 12:04 PM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

Hi, Ophira...I was on AMA...I was the guy who said "John Frankenberry" rather than "Al Frankenberry"...

Any way, I'm looking forward to reading your book. I wanted your take on the current trend of 'stand-up sluts' - women comedians who seemed to make their multiple partners into a game - Silverman, Handler, Wiig - or is Wiig just pretending?

In any case, do you consider such 'loose broad' behavior to be liberated or just an increased vector for disease?

Apr. 05 2013 12:03 PM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

I gather the not-funny Ms. Eisenberg had to sleep with quite a few people in order to get her comedy/writing career going as well.

Apr. 05 2013 12:02 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

Plenty of single, black and very cool black men in New York. You won't find them anywhere in the vicinity of that rock under which you're living.

Apr. 05 2013 12:01 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

Hoping Ms. Eisenberg doesn't represent some sort of new direction for talent on NPR.

And that nervous laughter punctuating every response of hers? Oy.

Apr. 05 2013 11:58 AM
The Truth from Becky

Stop encouraging women to be loose...men still don't marry whores...even the "sexually liberated" ones over 40.

Black Female Caller: when you get beyond your own Black stereotypes,(in jail or gay you said???) you will find a decent Black man, if not, there are OTHER races!!

Apr. 05 2013 11:57 AM
gabo

also, go back to Canada, transplant.

Apr. 05 2013 11:57 AM
M from brooklyn

hahahaha gay or in jail? there are lots of black guys out there i think she's just not eligible and doesn't realize that saying things like that shows her passive aggresive anger.

Apr. 05 2013 11:57 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Thank you for confirming that you have absolutely NOTHING to add to the dating/mating conversation.

Apr. 05 2013 11:56 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The most honest and decent women are prostitutes. They know the two things they want, and go about it in a straightforward way.

Apr. 05 2013 11:56 AM
gabo

treating sexual relations like a consumer. thanks NPR for perpetuating the utterly vapid culture...

Apr. 05 2013 11:56 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

That male:female ratio is a complete myth. Else women would be knocking my door down to make contact. The truth is, on dating sites, if I make perfectly nice contact with 10 women, I'm lucky if I get even a single response (and I'm not even talking about a positive one.)

On OKCupid, almost all attractive women's profiles show "Replies very selectively", many with "Replies selectively" and only a few "Replies often".

With men, the opposite is true: men reply far more often.

It's not scientific, but if the ratios that the guest cited were even remotely true, there's no way this "reply" behavior would continue.

And many women on these sites tell me they are INUNDATED with contacts 10 or 20 a day. If I get 1 every 2 or 3 weeks, it's a lot. It just doesn't add up.

Apr. 05 2013 11:55 AM
Bozo

Forced laughter is very off-putting.

Apr. 05 2013 11:54 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

We've already heard this story--to death--via Sex and the City, hundreds of articles in Cosmo, and Erica Jong.

So you're Canadian, and you started sleeping with as many people as possible, starting at 16 at a truck stop. Is this about espousing some kind of shock value, because, really, this is New York, and we've heard it all. There's nothing some girl from rural Canada can teach us about dating men here--or anywhere.

I've read some excerpts of this book, and it's not that funny. Used to like "Ask Me Another," and thought it Ophira was clever; now I don't.

Apr. 05 2013 11:53 AM
The Truth from Becky

Say NEITHER to drugs!!!

Apr. 05 2013 11:53 AM
michele pirre

Ophira's comment that "no one comes to New York to settle down" put me in mind of a song I heard

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73vpiHm1S9s

Apr. 05 2013 11:52 AM
Hal from Crown Heights

At the age of 45, I married for the first time, a woman who is my age and also marrying for the first time.

Apr. 05 2013 11:51 AM

zzz.

Apr. 05 2013 11:49 AM
Brock from Manhattan

If marriage-mined men have a choice, wouldn't they attempt to avoid women who "slept their way to monogamy?"

Apr. 05 2013 11:49 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

It's easy to date a lot if a woman is attractive. Men will be drawn to her like moths to the proverbial flame. And she gets taken out for drinks & dinner and more...

But for men, we have to chase, cajole, persuade, seduce... and pay through the the nose for each date! (Ladies -- it REALLY adds up!)

It's different for guys! Why is this hardly ever acknowledged by women who write about the gender wars?

Apr. 05 2013 11:49 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

I mean, what new knowledge does she have to add to this played-out discussion?

Apr. 05 2013 11:47 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Why would anyone care about what this woman has to say? Seriously.

Apr. 05 2013 11:45 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Marriage and monogamy are almost dead. "Long live monogamy and marriage!"... NOT!!!

Apr. 05 2013 11:44 AM

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