Grant: Imagine: it’s the year 2000. I’m living on a piece of linoleum in a Williamsburg kitchen. I’m homeless, I’m girlfriendless, I’m jobless, I’m visaless. […] It was grim. But I loved New York and I wanted to stay forever, because being homeless and living on someone’s kitchen was preferable to moving back to my hometown.
Grant: So I get there and the plan’s changed. Now, I’m not just having sex with her, I’m also having sex with her husband, a limo driver, and this, um, Filipina porn star.
Lila: A limo driver? Is that in the book?
Lila: I don’t remember a limo driver.
Grant: Oh I do… So, anyway, the night starts off with us going to Dover’s one-and-only Hawaiian restaurant. And everything’s strange, and it gets stranger when Lisa, who’s writing the column, cries because she hears a guitar solo in a, in a uh, Dire Straits song that she finds so … emotional, she just falls apart and I’m like: this is gonna be a weird night. And then we go bowling.
In this episode, I lie down with Grant Stoddard, my first repeat guest! (It’s the accent.) (It’s not the accent. You’ll see.)
Grant is an experiential journalist who specializes in reporting from outside of his comfort zone (sometimes way, waaay outside). The wild situations he has experienced bodily have appeared in Thrillist, Vice, T, New York Magazine, Penthouse, and Maxim, among many others. You can hire Grant to sling some words for you. Peruse his zillion-article portfolio here.
He’s the author of one of my favorite memoirs of all-time, Working Stiff: The Misadventures of an Accidental Sexpert. When I was reading it on the bus, I laughed so hard that I completely missed my stop and had to double back about ten blocks. It follows Grant’s journey from lovelorn small town virgin to fresh New York-ophile to sex writer at Nerve.com.
Our quickie elaborates on a story from the book and involves a trivia contest, a twin bed, and doing it for science.
This quickie episode was recorded live at my podcast launch pajama party on May 21st, 2017, at Hacienda Studio, a sex-positive event space in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Guests enjoyed reiki, massage, empathy sessions, and cookies upon arrival. After a brief cuddling tutorial from Tiger, a professional Cuddler, fifty people in kimonos, flannels, onesies, and short-shorts got horizontal and snuggly on an enormous Megabed the size of three kings put together, while, on a bed-island across the room, Grant and I arranged ourselves as we would for any horizontal recording session — lying on our backs, almost ear-to-ear, sharing a pillow, microphones hanging down above us, with a starry blanket as our backdrop…
Links to things:
Grant’s exceptionally funny memoir, Working Stiff: The Misadventures of an Accidental Sexpert
Grant’s zillion-article portfolio
The Lisa Diaries article in which one can peruse Lisa Carver’s take on the same story (highly recommended post-episode reading). There’s also a Part two. And then this interview, much later, where she seems to have some of her facts mixed up / appears to have a different take on the action… (She says that Grant was an immigrant dishwasher, for instance, which is clearly a far cry from shrink-wrapping cd’s. I mean, really.)
Nerve.com, where Grant and I had different, but no less profound, sexual/dating life awakenings
Emily Nussbaum, the editor who made Grant Stoddard a writer
Grant’s first “I Did It For Science” column about subway sex (also ideal post-episode reading)
Show Notes (feel free to share quotes/resources on social media, and please link to iTunes, this website, or my Patreon!):
website link: https://horizontalwithlila.com/
Patreon link: https://www.patreon.com/horizontalwithlila
[3:50] What happened while Grant worked at a record company shrink-wrapping cd’s for lunch.
[5:01] Grant first hears tell of Lisa Carver, of the Nerve.com column The Lisa Diaries.
[5:23] Lisa Carver holds a trivia competition: winner takes her.
[7:36] Grant hops a fateful Greyhound to Portsmith, New Hampshire.
Grant: So I suppose this was a bit of foreshadowing, ‘cause this was somebody putting up a bit of money to get me to do something funny, right.
[9:05] How it winds up an orgy.
Grant: Now I should also say that up until this— point, I’ve been naked in front of this many people, I’m holding up my hand, five people, right, and there’s already four other people in the room, so I’m set to double the amount of people, right, in one, fell swoop.
[10:40] Grant’s attempt to go down on the porn star.
[11:26] Grant and Lisa consummate on a … twin bed. Which reminded me of this little ditty.
[12:09] The morning after pancakes with the porn star and the limo driver.
[12:49] Lisa suggests that Grant apply for a $5/hr Nerve.com internship.
[13:40] Lila’s first experience with Nerve’s on-line personals.
Grant: So I was there, and I was just an intern. All the other interns were, you know, they were creative writing majors mostly, from liberal arts schools, who were trying to get their work in front of the editors faces, to get published. So I guess someone assumed that I was a writer as well. And then Lisa’s article came out, and I didn’t ask for her to change my name because I thought I was about to be deported anyway, I just, I didn’t really care at that point. And so, so one of the editors, I think it was Emily Nussbaum, at the time, came over to me and said, “Wait, are you the guy that went to New Hampshire to have sex with a stranger because you won a trivia competition?” I’m like, “I’m that— very same guy.” And she said, “Will you do anything?” And I said, “Well, for money, yeah. And for money and a visa, yeah!” And she’s like, “Well I can’t promise a visa, and maybe we could find you some more money but yeah, would you uh— could we find some stuff for you to do?” And I was just like, “Sure.” And she said, “Will you have sex on the subway tonight, and write about it?”
[17:09] Grant’s column “I Did It For Science,” formatted like a high school lab report.
[18:22] Lila’s sex on the subway strategy.
[20:00] Grant’s next assignment (extra in a porn, for science).