It's a shame that Tristan Taormino never told me about the curious case of the double dong and her anal inferno during our long conversation about phthalates—not because I know how she felt (I can only offer sympathy drawn from the fiery reaches of my imagination), but because whatever it was that ignited her ass like a firecracker, it wasn't a member of the phthalate family of chemicals. Contrary to Taormino's report, phthalates are odorless, not skin irritants, and they do not congregate on the surface of vinyl as a greasy film. This is why they are indispensable in a range of complex, life-saving medical devices designed for use inside the human body. Besides, when have you ever seen a greased-up rubber duck? On second thought, perhaps that's a question best left unanswered.
Trevor Butterworth
Editor, stats.org, Washington, D.C.

Tristan Taormino replies: My column never claimed that phthalates themselves have an odor or are irritants, but rather that when they are added to PVC to make sex toys, the end product smells and can irritate sensitive genital tissue. Mine is not an isolated incident.

Your annual Pazz and Jop feature [February 7–13] suffered from the change of editorship. As a devoted reader of the Voice, I can only ask: Why was Robert Christgau fired?
Keith Rodgers
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

I've got to hand it to this week's Married, Not Dead column ["Are We Not Men? We Are TiVo," February 14–20]: It only took a few sentences to convince me never to waste my time again reading this Shelley. I thought for sure that this was an earlier column, because it was the same narcissistic whining I'd read before. But no—"February 13" was at the top, and I still don't care any more about the problems of the two writers than I did last month. Throwing in a few fucks or shits doesn't make the column any edgier or more informative; it just wastes ink, like the rest of Married, Not Dead. Writers like Dan Savage and Michael Musto actually get me to search out their columns each week; Married, Not Dead makes me want to toss my computer out the window so there's no chance of my reading it again.
Brian Rusch
Waupaca, Wisconsin

The Village Voice has an immediate opening for a managing editor. This position requires writing, editing, and management skills. The managing editor must be able to guide both experienced and beginning staff writers in producing superior magazine-style stories as well as help supervise the day-to-day operations of the editorial department. The ideal candidate will have a solid background in news. The most promising applicants will be asked to take an extensive editing test. The Voice offers competitive salaries and benefits. Qualified candidates should send a cover letter, a résumé, and clips to the address below.

The Village Voice has openings for staff writers with experience in political reporting. We're looking for passionate, energetic journalists with well-developed narrative-writing skills and lots of story ideas. Please send cover letter, résumé, and clips to:

David Blum
Editor in Chief, The Village Voice
36 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003

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