True sex story or guy lying like a dog?

We’ve all seen those steamy letters published in a certain sort of “men’s magazine”—the stories that begin with “I’m a student at a small liberal arts college in the Northeast,” or, “My girlfriend Gidget is a knockout redhead with a body so aerobicized she can use her butt muscles to open walnuts.” Like you, we’ve often questioned the authenticity of such stories. Did the events they describe really happen? Were they really written by readers? Do the stories go through any kind of verification process? Where can we apply for that job? How come we didn’t go to a small liberal arts college in the Northeast? Can somebody please at least send us a catalog from one of those schools?

Endeavoring to discover the truth behind this type of literature, our intrepid investigative reporters* set about tracking down the author of one such letter, entitled “Jacuzzi Doozy.” The letter was allegedly written by an “A.W.” from “Derby Hills, Montana,” and originally appearing in the Spring ’97 issue of the men’s magazine Yankyer Dandy Doodle. As it turned out, Derby Hills, MT is a town of only 1,000 people, any number of whom were happy to point out where A.W. lived. Though wishing to remain anonymous Andy Winkling, the author, after much coaxing (and two Budweisers), was persuaded to reveal to us the true story behind “Jacuzzi Doozy.”

Below is the first half or so of Mr. W’s letter, broken down sentence by sentence. The top sentence of each pair of sentences (the ones marked first Letter, and then L) appeared in the published story. The second sentence (Reality/R) of each pair is what, in Mr. W’s own words, actually occurred.

Letter: I’m a student at a small liberal arts college in the Northeast.
I live in a utility shack in the back of my grandmother’s house in Derby Hills, MT.

Letter: While I enjoy an active, healthy sex life, nothing like what I’m about to tell you has ever happened to me before.
My idea of a really hot date is to dress up my bed pillow in red lingerie and call it “Angela.”

L: For the record, I’m six-feet, three inches tall, weigh 190 lbs., and, being on my college tennis team, have a pretty good body.
For the record, I’m five-feet, three inches tall, weigh 180 lbs., have size 16 feet, and wouldn’t know a tennis racquet from a fly swatter.

L: I’ve been told I look a lot like Elvis Presley.
I’ve been told I look like a pear with acne.

L: Anyway, last weekend me and a couple of my buddies from the tennis team were lying around in the jacuzzi at our friend Mike’s apartment complex.
Anyway, last weekend I was lolling around in a kiddie pool in my grandma’s backyard with my dog Mike, farting.

L: We were just kicking back, having a good time, when suddenly a group of stewardesses came around the corner of the building, giggling and pulling their suitcases behind them.
I was just lying there, trying to remain conscious, when suddenly a group of my grandmother’s cronies came around the corner of the house, yakking and dragging their card table behind them.

L: My eyes popped right out of my head!
I kept my eyes closed.

L: I’ve always loved stewardesses, with their blue and white uniforms, and those legs like long, smooth willows. Not to mention those great, sunny personalities!
I’ve always hated my grandmother’s friends, with their blue and white hair, and those legs like short, veiny bratwursts. Not to mention those troglodyte personalities!

L: These angels from heaven spotted us, and sashayed over to the side of the jacuzzi to say hello.
These creatures from Jurassic Park spotted me, and plodded over to the side of the pool to crab at me.

L: One of them, Cheryl, who had luxurious blonde hair, moist red lips, and a body to die for, told us that she lived in the complex, and that she and her friends were only staying over one night before flying out the next morning for Rio de Janeiro.
One of them, Agnes, whose has thin dingy gray hair, lips moist with slobber, and is as tall as she is wide, brayed at me that she and her friends where supposed to meet my grandmother there to play pinochle, but that my grandmother wasn’t home yet.

L: I can tell you, that kicked my imagination into high gear!
I can tell you, that made me wonder if it was possible to croak from boredom.

L: Then Cheryl asked if we would mind if she and her friends joined us in the jacuzzi, because, as she put it, “There’s no fun like hot, wet fun!”
Then Agnes announced that she and her friends were going inside the house, because, as she put it, “We’re sweating out here like hogs on a spit!”

L: I could barely believe my ears!
I could barely believe my ears!

L: Could this really be happening to me?
Could this really be happening to me?

L: “Please do!” I said enthusiastically. “Would you like us to help you change into your swimsuits, too?”
“Please do!” I said sarcastically. “Would you like me to come in and shuffle your cards for you, too?”

L: “My, aren’t you a nasty little boy?” said Cheryl, her playful, seductive voice having its intended effect upon my nether regions.
“My, ain’t you a big fat pain in the butt?” bleated Agnes, her grating, honking baritone having its intended effect upon my nervous system.

L: The girls turned and pranced off towards the apartments.
The old ladies turned and shuffled off towards the house.

L: In no time at all they were back, looking, in their thong bikinis and bare feet, like nymphs from an island paradise!
In no time at all they were back, looking, in their giant mu-mus and flip-flops, like something a volcano god had barfed back up.

L: It sure hadn’t taken them long to change!
It sure hadn’t taken them long to figure out the house was locked!

L: “Move your muscular bodies over, boys!” said Cheryl happily, stepping into the jacuzzi with one long leg.
“Get your scrawny ass out of that thing, ya bum!” bellowed Agnes, kicking the pool with one ham-like foot.

L: “And let the party begin!”
“And let us into goddamned house!”

L: I knew right then that I was about to have the time of my life.
I knew right then that I was going to have to move out of my grandmother’s house.

But that’s enough.

Trust us. It is.

*I wrote this piece a long time ago, when I was running a general interest magazine in downtown San Diego.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • Diana

    "But I am (apparently: it’s a long story) now done writing books for Bethany House Publishers and/or Steve Arterburn,…"

    So, will you be doing a post on this eventually or would that cause more problems than it's worth?

    • John Shore

      Hi, Diana. I really, really, really want to shut up about the whole thing. And I KNOW I should.

      So I probably won’t.

  • erika

    john i am a new reader,

    that was funner than s**t..

    i almost peed.

    just soz ya know

    • John Shore

      It was funnier than "spot"? What's "spot"?

      Oh, well. The important thing is I almost caused you to suffer from a urinary dysfunction. Cool!

      And thanks.

  • Linda Chimienti

    I'm guessing this article is circa 1980 or so because that's the last time I can recall "stewardesses" being willowy, young, flirtatious, or even female. These days it takes a real man to pass out peanuts and check for tray tables in the upright and locked position.

    • John Shore

      No, it wasn't that long ago. I'd say I wrote it … gosh, 12, 13 years ago? But you're right: it was those now pretty old-school type letters I had in mind when I wrote this. Those kind that in the 80's DID seem to be quite the rage amongst the degenerate literate set.

  • Natalie

    I KNEW IT!!!! I knew all those stories HAD to be false.

    I'd be curious to know if the stories coming from women are just as false though…

    • John Shore

      God, I hope not.

      • erika

        Nah, the ones for woman are true…the question we should ask is…are the letter from woman REALLY letters from women….

  • gooseberrybush

    If the Christian publishers don't want you writing for them, then they don't have any taste. Have you ever thought of appealing to Anne Lamott's publishers. She writes on faith based issues, and she isn't sanctimonious or stuffy or preachy or…theologically or politically conservative. (Horrors!) If there's a market for her, then there's a market for you, probably a larger one than these people are smart enough to understand.

    • John Shore

      Well, it's not so much that they don't want me writing for them, as it is that when you ARE writing for them, you have to be more careful than you might be otherwise not to … offend them. Which is fair: they don't want your name on the front of their books if you're going to be out in the world acting like someone whose name they wouldn't want on the front of one of their books. I dunno. That whole industry is insane, basically. And yes, as you say, the Way of Lamott would be a good way for me. Except I've basically had it with writing about God or Christianity or whatever. It makes people too crazy. None of MY readers, of course—who are the greatest, sanest readers anywhere, from what I can tell–but … too many other people, basically. But you've been very kind! (And who knows? If, out in the real world, I find myself unable to make a living writing—like, say, if my novel fails [which it won't because it's awesome]—then maybe I'll be back in the world of Xtian publishing, sniffing around for anyone to throw me a nut.)

      • Voicedude

        I think Jim Wallis over at sojourners has nuts….

  • Colleen

    Very funny! Enjoyed the back & forth between reality and imagination. I think the story shows its kinda dated w/ references to stewardesses instead of flight attendants and a jacuzzi….isn't 'hot tub' what modern day folk use for foolin' around? ….er… or is 'foolin' around' also dated?! Fortunately today we have internet, so lonely pathetic people can instantly submit their fantasy in real time while sitting in their tee shirts & sweats, eating cheezy doodle snacks.

    • John Shore

      Thanks for … saying it's funny! (You might have missed the part in the intro where I said the piece was quite old.)

      • Melissa

        Remember, everyone, that these stories are only as hip and current as their authors are. Your fantasy can't match actual reality if you don't know any better. I would believe this type of guy would make up this kind of story YESTERDAY.


  • Allen

    John, with a change (or, "new chapter" as you literary people like to say) in your writing content, I'm looking forward to seeing "Jacuzzi" "Stewardesses" "blue hair" begin to appear in the constellation of words on the right side of your site, in between "Jesus" "Great Commission" "Christians and non-believers" etc.

    "Squirrels" was getting lonely, I think.

    This was funny, btw.

    • John Shore

      I'll bet you are. Perv.

    • Sherry Meneley

      dude – that's the famous Booty God Booty – works for Zondervan

  • ric booth

    Hysterical John. I think I remember that story, too. or one exactly like it with with suds or oil or an airplane restroom… Its all a blur…

    • John Shore

      Oh, yeah! I remember that story, too: "Mr. Bubble Gets In Trouble." I liked that one.

  • Sherry Meneley

    Ha-larry-us! "creatures from Jurassic Park…honking baritone…volcano god barf" I think I love Agnes. I have little affinity for Cheryl, that fricken plastic bombshell.

    And on a side note…which means it's really what I wanted to say… I feel ya on the Christian Publisher deal. I'm pretty sure I've gotta go the Lamott way – but she's so damn famous and awesome I will never hold a candle blah blah idoem. Maybe a Rob Bell editor will love me… crap it's hopeless.

  • dave

    Great post. Thank you for bringing back memories of a friend who I lost touch with over twenty years ago.

    When i was a student at a university in the United Kingdom, my mate Billy would post a letter every week about his sexual escapades at college to a ‘soft porn’ newspaper called the Sunday Sport.

    He would use a different pseudonym each time. Every single one of his letters was printed. Every single one of his letters was a work of fiction.

    The lads in the halls of residence would have a great time getting hold of a copy of this newspaper and turning to the letters page, seeing his contribution and cheering him each weekend.

    • John Shore

      Awesome. This is great. Thanks, Dave.

  • Nora

    I used to live across the floor from an editor for Penthouse magazine — boring as helll, middle aged, balding guy who had an equally dull and plain wife and three truly obnoxious teenaged kids.

    Yeah, the letters are total BS.

    However, this guy actually got his older son a Penthouse, er, "model" for his senior prom date, so I guess, in that case, it was reality emulating fiction.

  • skerrib

    Love it.

  • Jeannie

    Okay great, here I am innocently playing on my lap top due to yet another insomnic night AND you have me laughing so hard I woke my kids up! "What's so funny, mommy"? Never mind, go back to sleep sweetie.


  • Sylvie Galloway

    I am now officially a fan. Funny stuff.

  • Voicedude

    John -

    God bless you for being 'real'! This was funny and edgy, yet tasteful and respectful – qualities you don't often see together! Thank you for exhibiting more 'walk' than 'talk' (although your talk is very witty).

    We need more like you – 'we' being both the church body and the example set for non-believers….

    - Voicedude

  • bee

    " I’m a student at a small liberal arts college in the Northeast." Is this a shout out to "The Sure Thing"? Classic Cusack movie.

  • buzz

    I used to work for the company that made these sort of letters famous. I told one of the editors they could have saved themselves a lot of time and effort by just creating a randomizing generator to crank ‘em out. He said that would deprive him of a source of income.

    • blueberrypancakesfor had to PAY to have your letter published?

      • John Shore

        (Yeah, I didn’t get that either.)

        • blueberrypancakesfordinner

          jeez, even readers digest will give you 25 bucks for a lame joke.

      • buzz

        No, the editor got to pocket the freelancer fee by cranking 'em out hizzownsef. If they set up a radomizing generator, they would have cut the freelance budget for the letters column.

  • Robert Meek

    Oy! This reminds me of the 15 years I spend with ex-number-one-of-four. He used to say, "I'm a chameleon! I'm all things to all people!" with great pride. One of his rare moments of truth he said "pathological liar" and "just like his entire family," etc.

    It was true.

    Sadly, it wasn't so cute. Example, I'm dashing out the door to work, mid 1980s, pre-Internet life. Pile of bills ready to go out to the mail, checks written, envelopes stamped & sealed. "Will you take these out and mail them when you go to work today?" "Yes," he said.

    As I was due faster, further, longer, and running late…

    I got home, "Did you mail the mail today?" "Yes," he said. Pause. "No," he said.

    "Why did you lie?" I asked. "Why did you lie!? There was no reason for you to lie! I'm not angry. I'm not upset. The bills aren't late. It's not like as if sending them out tomorrow instead is a problem. Why did you lie!?!?!"

    "I don't know," with bewilderment on his face.

    One of many "red flags" I stupidly ignored.