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Written by J.D. Oxblood.

I thought summer was already over. It’s September, we had some cool nights, and I found myself slipping into a cardigan and feeling good about it, if a little Mister Rogers. And then—whammo!—that stultifying September humidity, and a few real scorchers. Don’t bitch: In the blink of mascara’d eye, it’ll be freezing, we’ll all be bundled in heavy winter coats, slushing our way up the street to the subway, near-suicidal in vitamin D deficiency. It’s a long, dark winter, and after 14 years in New York, I still don’t understand why human beings ever chose to live so far from the equator. And, yes, I’m still looking for a winter gig in, say, Australia or Brazil.

But chances are, if you live in North America, you’re screwed. So as Jane’s Addiction said, “Better take your chances when you get ‘em.”

GO TO THE BEACH: It’s not too late, especially since Coney Island is almost fully resurrected from its Sandy-bashing. And it’s still the last easily-accessible free beach. Don’t worry if you’ve put on a few pounds or gotten a little pasty because you spent all of August holed up in your air-conditioned apartment eating Haagen-Dazs—Coney sets the bar pretty low. Besides, if internet porn has taught us anything, it’s that no matter what you look like, someone wants to fuck you. And someone else wants to watch. Ladies, flaunt it. Men, it’s very, very hard to pull off a beach-sand pickup, so if you manage it, you get legend status. Me, I’d go the easy route and hang out at Ruby’s—Ruby’s didn’t close after all!—and flirt in an environment more conducive: i.e., one that serves booze. 

GO TO THE POOL: You can pay to use certain swimming pools in this city, including the rooftop pool at the Holiday Inn on 57th, the saltwater pool at the Hotel Williamsburg, and my personal favorite, the pool hidden in Chelsea at the Dream Hotel. (Ok, I’m not sure about that one—I think you have to be a guest. But if you walk in wearing a bikini and act like you own the place, I’m sure you can get away with it. Actually, if you walk in anywhere wearing a bikini and acting like you own the place, you can get away with damn near anything.)  The nice thing about hotel pools is that you don’t have to feel guilty about peeing in them. Kidding—you can feel confident that they haven’t been peed in, at least not too much. The pool you don’t want to visit is the McCarren Park public pool in Williamsburg that reopened last year—which has been plagued with so many ‘incidents’ of violence and yuckiness —see here and here and here—that it’s easy to see why it stayed closed for thirty fucking years. You want to show off your body, not expose it to biohazard. And if you’re comfortable with a little bit of raw sewage, why not just go swimming at Coney Island? 

GET INTO BURLESQUE: It’s SO easy, you have no idea—Headmistress Jo Weldon teaches classes over at the New York School of Burlesque. Don’t be intimidated: burlesque isn’t quite like getting a job dancing at a strip club, or dancing with the Bolshoi, or dancing in a Broadway musical. The door is open, providing you want it badly enough. This is something you can sample for fun and then file it away in your bag of tricks—in case you ever want to do a sexy striptease for a girlfriend or boyfriend, or you’re suddenly asked to fill in at a bachelor/bachelorette party, or you really, really, really want to get out of that parking ticket. But the best reason of all to get into burlesque is to show off your fantastic body.  Burlesque performers gain tremendous confidence from taking it off for total strangers. It builds positive body image—and if you grew up in America, you’ve been told you’re too fat, too old, or too ugly about a hundred billion times. That amazingly gorgeous model in the subway ad that makes you feel oh-so-self-conscious? DUDE, she’s FOURTEEN. Of COURSE she looks amazing. Plus she’s giving a lot of men illegal thoughts and they don’t even know it, since she’s been slutted up to look 25. We live in a seriously fucked up society.

HAVE SOME SEX: Too obvious? I think not. People tend to get all randy in the spring, spend the summer prowling for it, and the minute we get to the other side of daylight savings time it’s “Who can I get to be my winter snuggle-buddy?” And while grandma’s itchy afghan is very warm and comforting, it doesn’t necessarily translate as an aphrodisiac. We go out less in the winter, and yet tend to have less sex. Maybe it’s all the chili cookoffs. Whatevs. Here’s my point—get out there and do some do its. Your body has never looked better than when it’s hot, panting, naked, and being viewed by another body that is literally as close as it’s physically possible to be. Inside. Or enveloping. This is literally the way god intended it—naked as animals, hot as freshly fried chicken, the ultimate in pure bodily allure. Come on—haven’t you watched porn? Isn’t there always one shot where you’re like, “Yikes, that’s not flattering,” or, “Wow, that’s a hilarious facial expression”? And you hope it doesn’t happen to you. But it doesn’t happen—because when people see YOU in that unflattering position, he/she is GETTING LAID. Raise your hands, people, if you’ve ever said to your lover, in the clutch, “Baby, roll over—this is a very unflattering position for you.”  Anyone? No? Oh—you in the corner. You said that once? And did she ever go to bed with you again? I thought not. I rest my case.

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