News & Politics

Sex and the Single Village Girl


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

July 26, 1962, Vol. VII, No. 40

In Greenwich Village, Sex Is Where You Find It

By Stephanie Gervis

“Sex and the Single Girl” is not a how-to-do-it book but a how-to-get-him book.

What it would help you get, however, is not what most Greenwich Village girls would want. Moreover, it is written for “girls” over 30, and there are no girls that age down here — only boys. Finally, the book isn’t even really about how to get sex but about how to get married — and here the author’s credentials come into question. By her own admission, it took Helen Gurley Brown (who is not a “wobbly” in the trade union sense) 37 years. This, however, is not surprising. Who would want to marry anyone who uses words like “pippy-poo” (Mrs. Brown’s adjective for the essential trivia of man-baiting). The answer, obviously, is Mr. Brown, but he’s a Hollywood producer.

Even more dubious is Lorelei Levy, alleged author of “The Single Girl’s Sexual Guide” in the latest issue of Nugget. There can be only two possible explanations for Miss Levy:

1. She doesn’t exist.
2. She is a man.

Worst of all, both the Brown and Levy methods are frantic — obviously ill-suited to the cool society of Greenwich Village. With the single Village girl thus left with no reliable procedural guide, The Voice, living up to its responsibility as a community newspaper, herein attempts to fill the gap with its own guide, based not on personal experience, like the Brown-Levy approaches, but on objective observation of the scene around us. The guide is called “Greenwich Village on Five Traumas a Day.” If you follow it, we will feel that we have contributed at least a little to Our Village; if you don’t, like who cares?

What’s Available?

Just about anything. Poets, painters, sculptors, writers, folk singers, radicals, electricians, journalists, bartenders, advertising copywriters, politicians, public relations executives, lawyers, stockbrokers, merchant seamen, property owners, and even doctors. Also available are collectors — of antiques, old automobile parts, weapons, women, and unemployment checks.

What Are They Good For?

Sex. Also food and drink. In the broad field of sex, folk singers seem currently to have the most to offer. The Bitter End used to display a sign that read “Folksingers are Promiscuous; Don’t Spoil the Image.” They don’t. Particularly the Gaelic School. Sex, however, and a good sense of rhythm is about all they have to offer, except for an occasional chorus of “When I wore my apron low.”

The property owners are also active in the area of sex. Since the property they own is the coffee houses where the folk singers perform, they, too, have a stake in the image — and, fortunately for you, they have to preserve the image with steak. Since most of them can’t sing, they can’t win you with song and have to buy you dinner instead. Also good in the food and drink department are the stock brokers, advertising copywriters, and PR boys.

Poets, writers, sculptors, and painters (unless they have galleries on Bleecker Street) are strictly for aesthetic nourishment and, of course, sex. Electricians are good for installing the hi fi set the stockbroker buys for you. Collectors can furnish the rest of your apartment. Bartenders are helpful in keeping you posted on which men are in which bars when. Journalists are good for getting your wedding announcement in the papers when you finally make it, and doctors and lawyers for cutting down on medical and legal expenses. Radicals are good for nothing — they’re always off making speeches. That leaves merchant seamen. I’m not quite sure what they’re good for, unless, of course, you decide some day that you want to be tattooed…

What To Do With Them When You Get Them:

If you don’t know the answer to that one, you shouldn’t be living here in the first place. Try Mrs. Brown.

How To Save Money So You Can Afford the Chase:

Mrs. Brown…suggests saving on things like buying newspapers. This is very reckless advice. If you live in the Village, the paper on which you save may be The Voice, and my salary is low enough as it is…

How To Work Up The Energy For All This Mishigas:

Mrs. Brown, a health food fanatic, recommends “Gladys Lindberg’s Serenity Cocktail.” No, I’m not kidding. The ingredients are chunk pineapple, soybean oil, calcium lactate, vanilla, milk, brewer’s yeast or dried liver powder (really, I’m not kidding), banana, and frozen orange juice — well-blended. We have come up with some substitute ingredients: two tablespoons of powdered pot, one-half pound of hallucinatory mushrooms, two quarts of Irish whiskey, six black olives (finely chopped), a dash of mescalin, two teaspoons of poppy seeds, one herb bouquet (preferably from the Black Forest), four Preludin tablets (good for the diet), and two sticks of incense. Add ingredients to a cauldron of boiling water fetched from the Carmine Street swimming pool. Jump in.

Swing, baby.

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]

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