My Interview with the World’s First Hot Sauce Sommelier


How do you become the world’s first “hot sauce sommelier”? It’s simple, really. You start calling yourself a hot sauce sommelier before anyone else does.

OK, it’s not that simple. You have to be able to back up a claim like that with some major chops. Brooklyn hot sauce maven Noah Chaimberg can. The hot sauce sommelier spent years hosting pop-up events in New York that paired foods with hot sauces. “People always come up and say what’s your favorite hot sauce?” Chaimberg said. “I always say it depends on what I’m eating.”

In a few weeks Chaimberg will open Heatonist, New York’s first hot sauce tasting room, which will be located in a yet-to-be-disclosed location in Williamsburg. (A business venture that was funded, like all things Brooklyn, on Kickstarter.) Heatonist a hot sauce store with an innovative twist – patrons will be able to try hot sauces before they buy them.

And if they still need some advice? There’s the hot sauce sommelier himself.

Read my interview with Chaimberg for here.


Bruce Jenner is a Woman: Let’s All be OK with That


Bruce Jenner did more for his country Friday night than he did during the 1976 Olympics. When winning the Olympic decathlon is the second-most-impressive thing you’ve ever done, you’ve lived some kind of life.

Like most people, I’m not an expert on transgender. I’m getting up to speed with the rest of the country. But it seems to me he did something very necessary for himself and the trans community.

Why was this necessary?

He identifies as a woman. He needed to make this announcement for himself, so he could live an honest life. We all owe that to ourselves. And because there are many trans people out there who are afraid to live public lives, or who live in fear – attacks, murders and suicides are not uncommon for trans folk – he needed to do so publicly, to let others know it’s OK. If he (the epitome of macho as the “greatest athlete in the world” and a sex symbol) can do it, so can the high school kid or the woman in the suburbs.

Good for Bruce Jenner.


This Non-Stoner’s Case for Legalizing It


I am coming out of the (hydroponic) closet.

I’ve never smoked weed.

I know, I know. As the Sex & Culture editor of it’s practically in the job description. I check off a number of marijuana smoker qualifications – grew up in the suburbs, stoner friends in high school and college, Californian, writer, Jimmy Buffett album owner – I can go on.

There have been plenty of chances. I always just said no. It wasn’t because of Nancy Reagan or DARE. I said no because getting high has zero appeal to me the way that becoming an ultra-marathoner has zero appeal to me. I’m no teetotaler. I like a glass of whiskey. I just don’t desire marijuana or ever think about it.

So, on a personal level, I could care less. If the world ran out of weed tomorrow, it would not affect me, except that I would feel sorrow for everyone whom it aids medicinally. But on a societal level, it’s a different story. Marijuana prohibition is an issue that’s absolutely ridiculous – like, I can’t believe we’re even still talking about this. Not because I’ve never heard one logical reason why marijuana should be illegal for adults, which is true – I haven’t. I’m for legalizing it because it’s become quite clear that the prohibition of marijuana use is more dangerous than marijuana itself.

Read the rest of this article at (the now non-nude)


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