Howard Dean’s Diary


Dear Diary,

Fuck you.

Sorry, I didn’t mean that. I meant, fuck them all. Fuck Kerry and Chris Matthews and Jodi Wilgoren and Mike Barnicle.

So my Iowa speech is the Paris Hilton tape of the new year.

Big fuckin’ deal. I watched the tape. I don’t think I looked so crazy. Why did Chris Matthews say my shirt was rolled up tight as a tourniquet? What’s that supposed to mean? Fuck him! Oh, gotta quit it. I’m a doctor. Doctor, doctor, doctor. Bedside manner. Gotta stay calm. I’ve tried to keep the lid on-I tried to spin my reluctance to talk about my life story as a dignity thing, a “strong, silent type” thing-but I know how the New York press sees it: rich Park Avenue kid couldn’t hack it in New York, carpetbagged in Vermont, got a fuckin’ bike path built, named governor when the real gov died, decided he could be President …. Fuck them! Oh, and lest we forget: wife hates him , Just have a look at her puss in that Times profile last week. Thanks a whole fuck of a lot, dear.

So: fuck ’em all. Fuck South Carolina. Fuck Arizona. Fuck North Dakota. Fuck New Mexico. Fuck California. Fuck Texas. Fuck New York. Fuck South Dakota. Fuck New Mexico. Double-fuck Oregon. Fuck Oklahoma. Fuck Massachusetts. Fuck Delaware. Fuck Michigan. Fuck Ohio. Fuck Missouri. Fuck North Carolina.

Did I leave anybody out?


Fuck all the slackers who support me-get jobs, you morons.

Fuck you, John Kerry-you smug prick. Your fancy hair and condiment-heiress wife won’t get you to the White House, you’re 57 varieties of bozo, you bozo. Oh, wait, I forgot-you’re a war hero. Big fuckin’ deal. And fuck you, John Edwards, you pretty-boy pansy. “Two Americas,” my ass. You think you’re so fucking cute. And fuck you, Dick Gephardt-the voters hated you in 1988 and now you’re going home to St. Louis. And fuck you, General Clark and Joe Lieberman, and fuck you, Al Sharpton. Actually, I kind of like Al Sharpton.

But fuck him, anyway.

Fuck fuck fuck fuckety-fuck-fuck fuck.


Oh, and fuck the Internet.

Boy, I would have done great in a debate with Bush. I could have told him to go fuck himself.


Girl With a Pearl


So, fellas, you’re sitting there with your honey, maybe it’s a Friday night when neither of you has any energy left from the week to go out, and so one of you sort of suggests, “Hey, let’s watch some, you know …. ” And so you grab the DVD or you order up some pay-per-view and things get a little hot and well, you can’t help but notice-hey, porn is not nuanced-that 99 percent of the time the men in the porn flick climax, they do so on the woman’s face. And the women seem to love it, but hey, you’re no dope. These are actresses ….

But there’s something about “the facial,” as it’s called in the porn lexicon, which appeals to you, but it also seems just so … well, un-P.C. Does that word “facial”-think $100 facials at Bliss-mean something deeper? Then you realize you’re starting to sound like Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex and the City and if you keep this up, you’ll have to blow your brains out to retain a shred of dignity.

I headed out into the dark night.

At the 50th-birthday party for New York Post Page Six impresario Richard Johnson, I asked the birthday boy whether the facial had become part of Manhattan’s sexual repertoire.

“Most women don’t even like it on their back, ” Mr. Johnson said.

“I think it brings you closer together,” said model and Men’s Health columnist Kathryn Eisman, before adding: “It’s never happened to me.”

“I don’t like to discuss my personal life on a tape recorder,” said former Barneys exec Gene Pressman. “My thought is that sex is always mutual.”

Christine, his girlfriend of six years, was next to him.

“I’m in the beauty industry,” she said. “I’m a part owner of a spa, and it’s very good for your skin.”

Actress Rose McGowan, who has heated up plenty a movie screen and dated rocker Marilyn Manson, claimed that she’d never watched a porno in her life.

“It’s not my aesthetic of beauty,” she said.

“I only like to make love, ” said model-agency owner Paolo Zampoli.

Two nights later, I bumped into Saturday Night Live’s Jimmy Fallon.

“I think Dexy’s Midnight Runners were a little out of line to come on Eileen,” he cracked. “Too-rah-loo-rah-yaaay!”

Nearby I saw one of the first girls I’d ever had sex with, in the late 1980’s. At the time, even to give a “pearl necklace” was an anti-feminist act. I wouldn’t have dared.

“I have experienced it many times,” said my lady friend, now 34, of the facial. “Ten years ago, I would have felt ripped off. I’m older now. You know, it depends on who it is. Not degrading-it’s an indulgence. It’s been happening to me lately, because I’ve been interested in his doing that to me, and it is part of the whole experience. It’s mutually hot. It starts in the face, then you move it to the chest, and then you rub it all around and everybody’s happy.”

The next morning I called Candida Royalle, an ex-porn actress turned porn director.

“It’s something that’s becoming less taboo for women,” she said. “I got an e-mail from some young gal a few weeks ago saying some views expressed on my Web site were too conservative. She said, ‘Oh, I love facials!’ A lot more young women are watching mainstream porn-couples together-and I think there’s a place for everything. My only gripe against it was that it was in every single adult movie you saw. It was overdone, and sometimes in the context of a sort of degrading feeling to the movie. But, you know, sometimes it’s good, nasty fun.

“I think that no one talks about the shame and guilt about sex that boys grow up with,” she continued. “It’s like, ‘Well, girls just have to put them at bay, but we know that boys and men have these base urges.’ And no one talks about what kind of attitude this develops in a man about his sexuality. There’s things that boys grow up with that don’t make them feel particularly good about themselves, and one of them is about their ejaculate: how a girl doesn’t want to swallow and thinks it’s icky and disgusting. So what is the best revenge a guy can have on a woman? You know: ‘I’m gonna come on your face .’ So I think it’s a form of revenge. And maybe it’s not always a mean thing. Maybe it’s the ultimate acceptance of something that boys are grown up to think is so offensive and distasteful.”

And from the woman’s point of view?

“I think it goes along with the taking back of the word ‘slut,'” Ms. Royalle said. “You could always kind of keep a woman down and afraid of her own sexual power by using certain terms on her: ‘Oh, you’re a slut .’ That would make a woman cringe-‘I don’t want to be a slut!’ So you’d avoid doing anything that might get you called a slut. Well, the reverse psychologically would be to look it in the face and say, ‘Yeah, I’m a slut. So what? Fuck you.’ It disempowers the whole energy of it. So it’s like, ‘Sure, you want to come in my face? I don’t care. I’m not even going to feel degraded by it.’

“It’s also a way to play with the thrill of violation,” she added. “Those of us who are really sexual probably have guilt and shame, and one way to deal with it is to act out on it. It’s like, ‘Go ahead, violate me. I even like it.’ It’s sort of getting control back over the situation.”

However, she said, “I think it’s fun and exciting if you really find it fun and exciting-not if you’re just trying to accommodate someone and you’re trying to convince yourself that it’s O.K.”

I rang Dian Hanson, the “sexy book editor” at Taschen Books, to get her take.

“Men love their own semen,” she said. “Men judge their virility by the quantities of semen …. They want to revel in what they can produce.”

That night, I went to the Cowgirl Hall of Fame on Hudson Street and chatted up three young ladies who work in fashion.

“I did a lot in high school-that was actually my most sexually active time,” said one, a 23-year-old from Greenwich, Conn. “I was seeing this guy, and he would ask me lots of things: ‘Can I do this? Can I do this?’ Actually, he wouldn’t ask-he would just do it. He peed on me once in the shower.”

She said he also ejaculated on her face once.

“I was like, ‘What ever , you want to try this,'” she said. “And then: ‘Can I wipe it off now? Are you done ?'”

Her friend Bonnie said it had happened to her, too, but by accident.

“It’s extremely taboo,” she said. “I actually think about this a lot. I think it’s really aggressive and exploitative …. I can handle it, but it’s not something I’d want in my face or my hair or my eye. It’s sort of spitting in your face or something. The face is-it’s your face . There is something kind of violent about it.”

My next stop was the Lakeside Lounge. I met a woman named Storm, a 25-year-old brunette who said she works at a nightclub. Storm said that while anal sex could be pleasurable for both parties, she didn’t see the benefits of having a man ejaculate on her face.

“It’s a porn thing, the final humiliation,” she said. “So there’s nothing fun in it for me. It’s kind of like a slap in the face-nothing intimate about it. It’s kind of rude.”

I asked for her name, age and occupation.

“Wow, we’re getting very personal now-why don’t you just come in my face?”

Next to her was her “independently wealthy” friend, Kate, who said that even if she was in love, she would not let a man do it. “It just grosses me out,” she said. “What if it stings my eyes and I’m like, ‘Oh my God!’ Maybe the guy gets off, like, ‘Oh yeah, here comes my wad-and it’s going all over your face!’ But the girl’s like, ‘Oh, great-now I have this sticky, awful shit on my face, so I need to go wash my face now.'”

Dorothy’s is a gay bar on Ninth Avenue, where there’s never a shortage of heterosexual women. I met Mary Beth Quirk, a 22-year-old student and aspiring journalist who was drinking a vodka cranberry.

“I’m a virgin!” she said. But she said she was familiar with the pearl necklace and agreed that in porn, women seemed to enjoy the facials.

“It looks like a fountain of candy,” she said. “If it happened to me, I’d probably be a little shocked and surprised, but I’d slap him in the face and go, ‘Oh, that was kind of funny!’ I mean, I’d get over it.”

Next I found Liz, a 30-year-old TV news anchor on the West Coast who was in town.

“It blows-literally,” she said. “I have to say I’ve done it once, and it’s only because I saw it in porn and I said to a guy, ‘You know what? Do you want to come in my face?’ And he was shocked. Thank God, he’s now my husband.”

Sitting nearby was a heavyset badass named Tuggy Jones, a 30-year-old who works on a porn site.

“Of course I’ve done it,” he said. “There’s a primal male response. It’s like a gut feeling-it’s just incredibly hot. It totally comes right out of porn, absolutely. It’s like the chicken-and-egg thing. They put it in there, I guess, because they think that people think it’s hot, and then people think it’s hot because they see it in porn.”

I woke up groggy the next day, thinking about another girl from college. She’d been the first woman I’d dated who suggested that we try anal sex. I called and asked her about the facial idea. There was a long pause.

“I think it’s disgusting,” she said. “It’s repulsive. You can do all the fun and crazy stuff you want, but don’t come in my face. It’s disrespectful. It’s gross. That’s where I draw the line-right there.”

Finally, I worked up the nerve to ask my present girlfriend.

“Maybe on Valentine’s Day,” she said.

-George Gurley

Howard Dean’s Diary