The Nerve 100

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Some sex is news, some news is sex. The two categories are as separate as private and public, which is to say, not very. Sex continually laps over into the pool of the notable, creating awkward ripples and splashy little shudders and complaints about adulteration. Lately, reading the daily paper may remind one of Aldous Huxley’s characterization of the rhythm of life itself: “routine punctuated by orgies.”


Of course, when sex and news get really confused — as they did two years ago, when each presidential press conference took on the savor of an awkward sex-ed class — the public freaks out with a very peanut-butter-in-my-chocolate intensity. This year was calmer, but it has had its own tweaks and shivers, its mood swings between greedy titillation and too much information.


Why fight it? Let two become one. Here, in no particular order, the Nerve 100. — Emily Nussbaum with Maggie Cutler, Lorelei Sharkey, Jeremy Simon and Emma Taylor.

with sidebars by Bob Morris, Jack Murnighan, Maggie Cutler, Dan Reines, Mark Bibbins, Jeremy Countryman, Ross Martin, Donna Minkowitz Louis Bayard and David Berreby

1. Y2K hysteria enables revelers to seduce one another under the classic “world is coming to an end” scenario.

2. Sports Illustrated cover strumpet Anna Kournikova becomes everything a man ever wanted in a women’s tennis player, without all that distracting tennis.

3. The ILOVEYOU virus floods computers, disappointing corporate romantics as they open their morning email.

4. “Sometimes it’s like, ‘Listen, sweetheart, you don’t have to reinvent sex to please me, and the majority of that stuff you’re doing just hurts, so back the fuck off.'” (Charlie Sheen, on sex with porn stars.)

5. Oprah’s new magazine, O, faces lawsuit from German latex fetish magazine of the same name.

6. Beaver College votes to change its name.

7. The nearby Pennsylvania town of Intercourse keeps its name.

8. Hilary Swank wins Best Actress for her role in the dark horse genderfuck tragedy Boys Don’t Cry.

9. AOL penetrates Time Warner.



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10. Americans rent 711,000,000 hardcore sex films.

11. A Crunch Gym in Chicago offers showers with frosted glass doors that can be viewed from the entire gym, to the rousing approval of members.

12. Big fat hairy men become sex symbols.

13. In March, the Supreme Court rules that cities can order “nude dancers” to cover their nipples in private clubs.

14. In June, the Supreme Court refuses to block Spencer Tunick from documenting a writhing mass of naked people in a public park.

15. Strippers in England volunteer to let blind men feel their breasts.

16. Posing for Rolling Stone in clinging khakis, Al Gore displays what looks suspiciously like a plank for the Democratic platform.

17. Wizened ass-kisser Liz Smith comes out as bi.

18. Wizened ass-kicker New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani comes out as an adulterer.

19. Sex-poz play The Vagina Monologues becomes a platform for pissed-off women — including Giuliani’s estranged wife, Donna Hanover.

20. Elderly women in Rylstone, England raise charitable funds by posing for a genteel nude calendar, naughty bits masked by teapots and sunflowers.

21. Vermont legalizes gay unions.

22. Ellen & Anne, Julie & Melissa dissolve theirs.

23. Researchers announce that homosexuality can be measured in the right hand’s index finger length. (Americans everywhere discover they are gay.)

24. “I am a sexomatic Venus freak all over you / and I will stop it — only when you tell me to!” (Afro’d love machine Macy Gray, singing on the make-out album of the year.)

25. Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria, holds sperm races and lets spectators bet on the winner.

26. The puzzle of the human genome is solved; one man’s every secret is revealed.

27. The FDA gives the thumbs-up to abortion pill RU-486, making the “RU pregnant?” question a little less daunting.

28. Sex And The City provides McLaughlin Group-like meditations on everything from “funky spunk” to the appeal of the fireman’s hose.

29. Turned on by the monster success of Viagra, pharmaceutical companies come on to frustrated women, pumping out suction cups, Vulva creams and everything except a mechanical slow hand/easy touch.




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30. Testosterone is released in gel form.

31. Flooded with the hormone (in its organic state), rampaging gangs of men turn the New York Puerto Rican Day Parade into an open-air Tailhook.

32. Joy of Sex guru Alex Comfort dies.

33. Guilt of Sex guru John Cardinal O’Connor dies.

34. Romance novelist Barbara Cartland swoons her last.

35. “If you don’t want cancer, feel your balls.” (Comedian Tom Green, after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.)

36. Rogue nations get an even sexier name.

37. Pioneering Mormon students campaign for the kiss.

38. The Supreme Court strikes down a “safe harbor” law that had restricted racy cable television programming to the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Circadian cycles around the nation return to normal.

39. American television’s Big Brother house features no sex except cuddling with a virgin; in Italy, full-out fucking occurs four days after the program begins.

40. In a notable NCMO (see No. 37), George W. Bush  nuzzles Oprah Winfrey.

41. Less non-committally, Tipper and Al tongue-wrestle on stage at the Democratic National Convention, seducing some voters and repelling others.

42. Italian man invents a chastity timer that sets off an alarm if your underwear is off for too long.

43. Montreal prostitutes form a political party — Parti Populaire des Putes — to decriminalize sex-for-pay.

44. The Supreme Court rules the Boy Scouts can legally exclude homosexuals; sex-positive activists forsake the square knot, the bowline and the double figure-eight.

45. “We were in bunk beds. They couldn’t really see anything because I was under the covers, but after I’d finished, they all applauded and cheered. At least they kept quiet while I was doing it.” (George Harrison, on losing his virginity in front of his bandmates.)

46. Love goddess Venus Williams wins the Open.

47. Romanian prostitutes cut out the middleman and start accepting housework for sex.

48. Urological researchers find that men with waistlines measuring forty-two inches (a.k.a. “bears,” see No. 12) are nearly twice as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction compared with those whose girth measures thirty-two inches.

49. Scientists ply shy, endangered pandas with Viagra and species-appropriate smut to encourage them to do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.




© 2000 Nerve.com, Inc.


50. Intersexuals fight for their rights.

51. George W. “Goofus” Bush calls a New York Times reporter an “asshole,” earning the admiration of assholes everywhere.

52. Meanwhile, Al “Gallant” Gore decries “cultural pollution.”

53. Providing a prime example, virgin/whore pop vixen Britney Spears coos, “I’m not that innocent” — then proves it with a thong-baring rendition of “Satisfaction” at the MTV Video Music Awards.

54. In a Footloose for the new millennium, a Milwaukee high school principal bans dirty dancing — then sends parents a letter graphically describing the grind, and suggesting they attend a dance to get a closer look.

55. “I need more sex, okay? Before I die, I wanna taste everyone in the world.” (Angelina Jolie, flavor of the year.)

56. Heretofore het Willow gets a girlfriend.

57. Gang-bang porn star Houston auctions off pieces of her labia after labiaplasty surgery.

58. Pittsburgh man founds NORM (National Organization for Restoring Men) to advocate the restoration of lost foreskins.

59. Foreskin-challenged Joe Lieberman nominated for Vice President.

60. Microsoft gets snipped.

61. Playboy founder Hugh Hefner demonstrates the limits of Viagra when his fivesome — with Brande, Mandy, Sandy and Jessica — dissolves.

62. Traditional medicinal bark yohimbe is tested as an aphrodisiac for post-menopausal women. (Tom Jones fantasies still available without prescription.)

63. California Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez courts the Playboy Mansion for a Democratic National Convention money-raiser, but party officials decline to fund like bunnies.

64. HBO’s Oz breaks out.

65. Italian cable television station mixes up a Vatican broadcast and a porn soundtrack.

66. Bitter litterateur Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) becomes a sex symbol for liberal arts majors who can’t decide whether they want to mother him or fuck him.

67. Angelina Jolie does the same for boys who want to be stripped naked, coated in motor oil, then tied to a bedpost.  

68. Long-held myths about the relationship between abstinence and athletic performance collapse when 70,000 condoms are given out in the Olympic Village in Sydney — and they still run out.

69. Drag queens march in closing ceremonies, giving new meaning to the term “Olympic flame.”




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70. Who Wants to Outlive a Millionaire? The widow Anna Nicole Smith wins nearly $450 million in a court battle with the son of her late ninety-year-old husband.

71. Palm Pilot ads make “hot-synching” a metaphor for public sex.

72. Is that a vibrating box in your pocket or are you just happy to meet me? Japanese teenagers sport pagers that buzz when a love match comes near.

73. Harry Potter hits puberty.

74. Dr. Laura calls gays a “biological error,” gets a TV talk show, bombs in the ratings, then makes a half-assed apology on Yom Kippur.

75. Rapper Eminem and basketball star Allen Iverson reclaim the term “fag” for homophobes.

76. “He’s very pretty. Maybe that’s why he’s so paranoid. Any man that’s kind of attractive is going to be paranoid about his sexuality.” (Boy George analyzing Eminem.)

77. Madonna manages to have a baby and get engaged without going all sex-repentant on us.

78. Kathleen Turner and Jerry Hall strip full-frontal to play Mrs. Robinson in a London production of The Graduate; Catherine Deneuve says non to nudity.

79. “They couldn’t believe it in Europe. They kept asking if I was a lesbian.” (Super-sweet pop tart Jessica Simpson on her virginity.)

80. National census triggers fantasies about sultry door-to-door government employees.

81. Subaru’s gay-friendly ads — “it’s not a choice, it’s the way we’re built” — get thumbs-up from GLAAD.

82. The John Hancock Insurance Company’s gay-friendly ads — two lesbians adopting a Chinese baby — get thumbs-down from the Chinese government.

83. A nation of exhibitionists says “Look at me!”

84. Researchers find that infidelity is associated with thinking about sex several times a day, living in a central city, being male and having been part of a couple for a long time. Next project: Is orgasm linked to pleasure?

85. Ginger-esque runaway bride Darva Conger takes her clothes off for Playboy, while Mary Ann-like Survivor sweetheart Colleen Haskell keeps hers on.

86. Climax Gentleman’s Club near Pittsburgh opens a drive-through window; the Super-Size comes gratis.

87. Not content to rely on the sweat of British ravers, U.K. dance clubs market pheromone-laced moist towelettes. (Randi-Wipe, guvnor?)

88. Clad in filmy green fabric, a Versace label, toupee glue and cleavage to the crotch, Jennifer Lopez flashes the Grammies.

89. Swaziland bans mini-skirts for girls over the age of ten in an effort to curb the spread of AIDS.

90. Italian court rules that cheating on your spouse is okay “in moderation” — and as long as the cheater doesn’t abandon the spouse.

91. Meg Ryan abandons her husband, Dennis Quaid, for sexual gladiator Russell Crowe.

92. In Washington, youthful WTO rioters protest, then spend downtime flirting with anarchists of all nations.

93. In Philadelphia, youthful Republican yahoos smirk contentedly, then spend downtime cruising chat rooms as “Newt2842.”

94. Napster gives it away.

95. Peek: Photographs from the Kinsey Institute reveals charmingly old-fashioned shots of 505 adults in kinky poses, traumatizing hundreds of grandchildren.

96. Oddly sexy — yet politically creepy — Russian president Vladimir Putin sports a fetching midriff-tied blouse in the pages of the New York Times Magazine.

97. Oddly creepy— yet politically sexy — soon-to-be-ex-Prez Bill Clinton signs a woman’s T-shirt, only to have her suddenly peel it off.

98. Monica Lewinsky goes into the handbag business, delighting psychoanalysts everywhere.

99. Bring It On catalyzes sublimated cheerleader fantasies — in the women who sneered at them in high school.

100. Media says everything is sexy.



© 2000 Nerve.com, Inc.