"I find it impossible to be just a little bit outrageous.”
March 4, 2018 10:52 AM   Subscribe

Cynthia Heimel, columnist who brought humor to hanky-panky, dies at 70 (Washington Post) "Cynthia Heimel, a humor columnist whose biting, ribald commentary on sex, romance and late-century womanhood were collected in books including “Sex Tips for Girls” and “Get Your Tongue out of My Mouth, I’m Kissing You Good-Bye,” died Feb. 25 at an assisted-living community in Los Angeles. She was 70. The cause was complications from dementia, said her son Brodie Ransom. Ms. Heimel had been diagnosed about a year ago."

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posted by jenfullmoon (31 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Oh dammit. I remember finding and reading her stuff when I was in my late teens.
posted by dilettante at 11:02 AM on March 4

posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:08 AM on March 4

Oh damn. I read her stuff all the time in the 80's. She was the best.
posted by freakazoid at 11:12 AM on March 4 [3 favorites]

posted by karen in austin at 11:54 AM on March 4

Thanks for such an in-depth remembrance! I remember crying with laughter reading Sex Tips for Girls while riding home on the bus one night way back when. Cynthia Heimel was great.
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 11:59 AM on March 4

Thanks for posting this, I'd missed it. It didn't make it into any of my newsfeeds, which is a shame in itself. I admit I probably haven't thought about her since I got rid of her books a long time ago, but I read them enough that I could finish some of the quotes in those articles.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 12:00 PM on March 4

RIP Dr. Sex Tips! I was given Sex Tips For Girls as a birthday gift lo these many, many years ago, and I loved it so much I wound up getting a couple other Heimel books when they came out. I'm sad to hear of her passing, though happy to know she didn't suffer through dementia for years.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:11 PM on March 4

Cynthia was a friend once, and she was awesome in real life as you assume she was. We had a bit of a falling out eventually, so I didn't see her or hear from her for the last few years of her life, and I was shocked and saddened to hear of her dementia diagnosis (which, looking back on it, probably contributed to the falling out, and I regret not knowing it at the time). The world is a sadder place without her. RIP.
posted by holborne at 12:28 PM on March 4 [19 favorites]

St Peter: Eh, ooh. Yeah... well... ah... look, you know what? What the fuck, go on in.
posted by Segundus at 12:48 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]

Dammit! Dammit dammit dammit. Well. What an awesome lady. Thanks for all the laughter.
posted by knitcrazybooknut at 1:02 PM on March 4


I have a well read paperback copy of 'Get Your Tongue Out Of My Mouth, I'm Kissing You Goodbye'

It was my sass bible in my early teens.

She was a remarkable writer. Reading her, I always felt like I was just chatting to my older wiser friend.
posted by Faintdreams at 1:40 PM on March 4

posted by GrammarMoses at 2:01 PM on March 4

posted by valkane at 2:23 PM on March 4

So who's our grande dame now? Anka Rakadovich?
posted by Guy Smiley at 2:31 PM on March 4

Um no.
posted by holborne at 2:32 PM on March 4

posted by camyram at 3:04 PM on March 4

posted by Lynsey at 3:07 PM on March 4

posted by Secret Sparrow at 3:10 PM on March 4

I remember reading an article she wrote that I've not been able to find since then. She talked about how she decided to see what it was like to be a guy, so she got some testosterone patches. She put on three! She said she was just incredibly horny, and that colors were brighter.
posted by Xoc at 3:43 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]

Used to read her stuff regularly in the Village Voice back in the 1980s, but hadn't thought about her for a long time. It's especially sad that someone with her sharp wit & facility for language ended up with dementia.

posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 5:39 PM on March 4

I have all her books. They were a godsend after my divorce 17 years ago

posted by infini at 12:30 AM on March 5

posted by filtergik at 3:46 AM on March 5

I always thought “If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?!” was an amazing book title.
posted by tomcooke at 5:33 AM on March 5 [2 favorites]

posted by dlugoczaj at 6:44 AM on March 5

I too read her stuff regularly in the Voice in the 1980s, and I'm very sorry not only that she's gone but that she suffered from dementia. Thanks for the post—I was afraid MeFi wouldn't know who she was.

> I always thought “If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?!” was an amazing book title.

All her book titles were pretty great.
posted by languagehat at 6:48 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]

I've known this column for nearly 20 years and always loved it. I love old dogs and this is exactly the reason why.
posted by dlugoczaj at 6:55 AM on March 5

Is it appropriate for a father to give his daughter a copy of Sex Tips For Girls, and if so at what age? (Hers, not mine.)
posted by Hogshead at 8:52 AM on March 5

It's not really an advice book; it's humor, and it's not aimed at teens, but at adult women. Might be a bit dated, as humor from the eighties (hence the 'girls' for adult women).

I read it as a teen when it came out -- I was fifteen or so, maybe? And loved it, but it was raunchier than anything I would have been comfortable getting from my dad. It was raunchier than anything I was comfortable knowing that my dad was aware I had read. Come to think, it'd probably still fit in that category, but my dad is pretty uptight.

Overall, no. Steer her toward Scarleteen or something. (But it is a great book -- I'd buy it yourself and read it for the feminism and the laughs.)
posted by LizardBreath at 9:36 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]

Oh hell yeah, totally concur with LizardBreath; that is not a book you want to give your teenage daughter. If my dad had given me that book, I would have been mortified beyond belief, and he wasn't uptight at all.

OTOH, if you want to buy it and then leave it visible on your bookshelf after you read it -- well, that's different.
posted by holborne at 10:38 AM on March 5

I read it in my early 20s, several times. Might buy a copy and give it to my sister to give to my daughter. I imagine my sister would benefit from reading it too.
posted by Hogshead at 3:16 PM on March 5

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