You Make Us Feel

Jeff and Jocelyn. Photo: Lindsay May Photographs 2006

The State of the Union, ladies and gentlemen, is tingly.

Maybe you're all Celexa-ed out, your private parts gone numb from all your dopamine inhibitors, or however that pharma-voodoo works, and you didn't realize it, but this is indeed a sexy time to be alive. Oh, it's not as sexy as New York post 9/11, with all the doomsday people getting one last love on before this crazy old world goes boom, but it's sexy nonetheless. Fear heightens sexiness—don't make me look up the citations (the fornicating in medieval cemeteries, etc.), it just does. Fear makes you couple up. And we got all the fear we could possible want. There's al-Qaida fears, endlessly stoked by those smiling men listening on your line, and global warming fears, and fears of growing older and having to become one of those Newport pod people with the preternaturally skinny noses and the sad, juiceless flat ass in order to hang onto your meal ticket—I mean husband—like that old Frankie Valli song (or is it a Folgers commercial?): just a little bit longer.

So, like I was saying, these are sexy times.

Unfortunately, they're only sexy times for some, and those some seem mostly to be married. To each other. Think about it: if you were sexy, you wouldn't plight your troth to someone who wasn't—unless of course that someone who wasn't was willing to pay your billz. And we want no part of the sexy someones who would stoop to that—unless, of course, they're . . .

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Newport Beach Whores. A friend says that everywhere he goes in Newport Beach, he sees whores. Not metaphorical whores—girls who give it up for the sheer joy of being alive and drunk—but actual whores, who do it for money. Not metaphorical money, like the aforementioned meal tickets or even unacknowledged but tangible quid pros of clothes, drugs and spa treatments, but the kind that is green and made out of paper and left on the nightstand by a fat man the whore hasn't met before. I find this terribly thrilling. I mean, I wouldn't actually want to be friends with one, because I find them appalling and they make me feel dumpy. But it's nice to see them out, as I did at Josh Slocum's one night, and get to feel that frisson of superiority and disgust. I'm a big fan of superiority and disgust. Mitigating Factor: Today's whore is tomorrow's member of Italian Parliament.

Elyse Pignolet and Sandow Birk.Handsome, boyish genius meets girl who looks like Salma Hayek, butwith more-delicate features. Girl, it turns out, is a bad-ass artist in her own right. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: whatever. Mitigating Factor:People like that can make you feel small.

The Noon Alton Parkway Meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.Well, from what I've heard. Mitigating Factor:They're all finance types and talk about leads a lot, and you can only make the same "Glengarry leads" jokes so many times before you're even boring yourself.

Roger Moon.We caught the sexy tot at the Gypsy Lounge one night. "This one's by the Beatles!" he chirped, introducing a song off Abbey Road. "I hope you know it!" Playing lilting acoustic originals and soft, melodic covers, Moon was a sweet break from the posturing scene. Mitigating Factor:I'm not sure he's allowed out after curfew.

Camille Rose Garcia.The ex-Anaheimer is hands-down one of the county's sexiest artists: a bitchen painter—and a great artist. Her recent Santa Ana show of eerie, sad, oil-soaked children and woebegone animals wound up in these massive, creepy assemblages that were direct from another world—or, as it's also known, Mike Harrah's basement. Also? She's genuinely hot: a lanky bod, cascading, curly black hair, and dark eyes as big and soulful as one of the characters she paints. Mitigating Factor:Those evil peppermint men and scary monsters in her painting are still stuffed up in her cute head somewhere. Calls her vagina "The Saddest Place on Earth." (Not really.) And she's in a relationship. Really.

Duane Peters.All weatherbeaten and teriyaki beef jerky-ey, the frontman for Die Hunns would be punk's answer to Keith Richards (on a purely jerky level) if Richards were anything more than the 600-year-old guitarist in some bar band. Peters, an Orange County native, is infinitely more. He's always been one step ahead aesthetically—first in skintight Staprest and bleached flattops, later in tattoos and one of those plastic German army-style helmets—and you just know that at the end of the night, he'd fall on you just as hard as he did on the ramp, trying to rip off another invert revert. Mitigating Factor:Broken collarbones, missing teeth, won't stop talking about the underwater White House.

Dov Charney.American Apparel head Dov Charney has only one OC store notched in his belt thus far, in Huntington Beach. (A second is slated for Santa Ana's Artists Village.) But you know that if he wanted to, he could conquer you—and this county—with one long, crazy look, or a flip of his greasy hair. His sexual harassment lawsuits resolved, Charney has been downgraded from lethal to merely dangerous—and dangerous is always sexy. You know he hired you because he thinks, like you do, that you're kinda hot—and the whole '70s sporty uniform he makes you wear is totally smokin', in a daddy sort of way. Oooh, did he just look at you? Mitigating Factor:"A flip of his greasy hair." Charney is someone who always looks shiny—the shiny they make Neutrogena for.

Cassie DeYoung.The candidate for the OC Board of Supervisors needs to post a new website photo—and give Billie Jean King back her hairstyle. In person, she's much hotter than that. When we saw her speak against—again!—the tunnel at an OCTA board meeting, she was totally wearing the pants, bossing those preachy supervisors around. Secretly you know you want her to order you around too. You want her to wear that pants suit when . . . you know. Mitigating Factor:Calls her vagina "The Terrible Tunnel." No, not really. Won't stop talking about "The Terrible Tunnel" (the tunnel). Really.

Lisa Piho.This former Mr. J's topless dancer's bad driving killed a man and helped launch one of the sexiest scandals in recent Orange County history. After Piho ran over a Huntington Beach man in July 2001, police found drugs in her car and Piho faced years in prison. To win her a lighter sentence, her boyfriend, an ex-Tustin police explorer named Sammy Johar whose family owned the recently-closed Santa Ana strip club where she worked, brought her to his friends in the Buena Park police department, and got her a job as a police informant. With Johar's help, Piho set up drug dealers like her ex-boyfriend, Jason Trumbauer, who was arrested by Johar's friend, Buena Park police detective Jason Parsons. Thanks to Joe Stickles, a Tustin police lieutenant who told Piho's judge she was a valuable informant, she spent only a year in jail. At her sentencing hearing, the widow of the man she ran over says she witnessed Stickles rubbing her leg, all of which suggests Piho was one sexy gal. Mitigating Factor:Everybody who slept with Piho ended up regretting it: Trumbauer's in federal prison for drug dealing, Sammy Johar—whom Piho also ultimately informed against—is a fugitive wanted on drug charges, and Parsons lost his job for sleeping with Piho in Vegas around the same time she helped him arrest Trumbauer.

Shea Gauer and Se' Reed.The co-founders of Long Beach culture center Open appeal more to the ascendent head than the descendent one, but there's still some serious charisma in the air. Power is sexy and they've got power, retooling a limp East Village night scene ("Burn that tchotchke-fest down!" young artists have been heard to snarl) into a legit-on-the-way-to-inspiring real-live creative showcase. Smarts is sexy and they've got smarts, impeccably hand-selecting the contents of the best used-books-and-more-store for maximum overlap between intellectual-cool and actual-cool, stocking lurid '60s pulps alongside lurid '60s social theory and lurid '60s fiction (plus lots of used mags, books from eras that weren't the '60s, and several things that aren't lurid), and that means hip and hip is sexy, too—it's like your mysterious older bro/sis put a half-price tag on everything they'd hidden in their closets and gave you a few hours to get yourself together. Between the two of them, they got a sort of revolutionary everything-is-possible vibe, or maybe that's just Shea's young-Trotsky mustache. Either way, you'll always respect yourself in the morning. Mitigating Factor:They're both taken—you slept, you wept!

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