Sex Sells, Love Don't: The Ophira Eisenberg InterviewLianne Stokes

Photo: Ophira Eisenberg

I’ve always known comedian, NPR and Moth Storyslam host, Ophira Eisenberg to be a lady. Well-dressed, smart and congenial, Eisenberg is aces when it comes to being a classy broad. When I heard she had a book coming out called, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy, I could not get enough. To me, she’d always been with her husband Jonathan and I never thought of her past sex life. I mean, that would be creepy, “I wonder how many lov-ah’s that Eisenberg chick took on before the ring?” Now, I had to know and so should you.

Throughout the pages of her memoir, Ophira fesses up to having a healthy sexual appetite that unfortunately is only acceptable for men in our society. It’s 2013. Twenty years ago we thought we’d be holograms riding space scooters by now. Meanwhile, all we got is DVR and technology that gives a 40-year-old man, who lives with his parents, the ability to ‘internet persona’ his way into making you jealous that he even exists. Come. On. Let’s evolve our thinking a teeny bit. If you’re safe and feel sexual experimentation makes your evenings better, then do it girl!

Screw Everyone is one of the funniest, bravest works of non-fiction my eyes have come upon. I’m proud to know Ophira and that she took the time to share her humor, love and lust with us. We met up on New York City’s Lower East Side and chatted about raucous romps, women’s rights and how to know when someone is worth your time.

LS: You left your boyfriend back home in Calgary and spent a year traveling Australia in the early nineties. You wrote about calling him collect from payphones.

Eisenberg: Payphones!

LS: What the wha? Now we can cyberstalk. When I was in high school we stalked the good old fashioned way. We called it “the psycho drive.” The stalker had someone speed by your crush’s house as you ducked down in the passenger’s seat to see if he/she was home. After our conclusion- the stalker would buy his/her accomplice a slurpie at the Quickie Mart and we’d go home. Now we have Instagram and you can say, “Well, Brent is snowboarding in Utah this weekend.”

Eisenberg: In what set of circumstances should people be subjected to seeing who their exes are dating and then seeing photos of them at parties?

LS: I heard that a lot of twenty-something’s didn’t understand the lack of texting in your relationships. What was that like?

Eisenberg: There were so many miscommunications before the internet that would drive you crazy. The waiting. The waiting. We were all 18th Century women, pining for a letter to arrive. There was nothing instantaneous. While I was traveling Australia, I would tell the hostel workers what city I was traveling to next, and they would send me letters and packages to the “postmaster general” of that location. The funny thing is that in each city that I went to there was a package or letter waiting for me. As far as I know, I didn’t miss one. It seems insane, but it worked. I wrote that guy everyday. I mean… I did spend half my trip at a post office.

LS: You know why the U.S. Post Office announced that there’s no longer mail delivery on Saturday? Because there’s not enough mail anymore!

Eisenberg: They at the post office think, ah that girl with the love letter, she’ll be fine. She’s got a phone now that she can type it up and send it from. I have to say that calling someone and having them not call you back is not as bad as now when you text someone, and they don’t text you back. Just based on the instantaneous nature, it’s way harsher to me.

LS: Now you can see when someone’s writing you back.

Eisenberg: I know, the little bubble… you’re sitting there thinking, what is he  saying? I’m thinking about it now, and I feel like Michael, who I wrote about in the book and I would have figured things out quicker if we had smartphones to play out our romance.

LS: Wow.

Eisenberg: We communicate now on Facebook.

LS: Does he know he’s a character in the book?

Eisenberg: That’s a good question. He knows there is a book. We actually got together five years after we’d ended things and I told him my version of the story. And he told me his side just based on what he was going through. He did not see my desperation. He did not see my love. He saw someone who was unraveling. He was confused if I wanted to connect with him at all.

LS: How do you feel about putting your personal self out there?

Eisenberg: Before the book came out a few people asked, “What do you think about how on page two you come out and say you’re a slut?”

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