Run Catch Kiss

Philadelphia City Paper

“Amy Sohn” – August 6-August 12, 1999

interview by Howard Altman

Amy Sohn, the 25-year-old author of Run Catch Kiss (Simon & Schuster) — a largely

autobiographic novel about the meteoric rise of a New York sex columnist — discovered her yen to perform in the living room of her grandparents’ Mount Airy home when she did a striptease at the age of two. City Paper recently caught up with Sohn — whose Female Trouble column appears in the New York Press.

What reaction do you get from a prospective date when you tell him about your column?

Everything from sort of immediate fear [laughs] to increased interest. Well, everybody’s very concerned about covering their own ass. Nobody wants to be written about, and I think guys particularly are really insecure about being evaluated on any kind of sexual level.

Do you find that some guys have an increased expectation of what’s going to happen at the end of the night because of the column?

This is something I’ve had to deal with a lot lately, where they think I’m gonna be easy [laughs]. And they think that I maybe won’t necessarily expect anything of them emotionally, and that’s not true at all. I mean, I don’t know anyone like that. My persona in the column is so sexually voracious and so jaded that I think a lot of guys make the mistake of buying into the persona.

I think for a lot of guys the idea of sex without the attachment is great.

But at the same time in the column I’ve also written about always being the more vulnerable one in relationships, and, you know, being in a monogamous relationship, and my incredible romanticism. So sometimes I wonder.… I think they think that I’m going to be the one girl who doesn’t ask anything of them.

Who does the dumping in your relationships?

I’m usually dumped.

Why?

I don’t know. I mean, the first one, it was because I cheated on him. I feel like I always invest more quickly than the guys do, and I spent a lot of time trying to stop doing that.

How divorced are you from that persona in the column?

That’s a good question — I mean, look, I have an active sex drive, I’m an aggressive person, I have a dirty mouth, I don’t have a problem saying what I think. Those are all traits that I share with the voice of the column, but at the same time, sex isn’t the first thing that I think about when I read about her.

Are you dating someone now?

Yes, I’m seeing someone now, a goy [laughs]. His column name is Paul, but in real life he has an even more Christian name.

What’s that?

I’m not saying.

You can’t get much more Christian than Paul unless it’s Jesus.

It’s not Jesus.

Is it another disciple’s name? Doesn’t matter…

There are a couple of apostles in there.

I was going to ask you about what your grandparents in Philly think about your book.

I don’t think they’ve read my book.

Have they read your column?

Um, luckily, they’re probably not going to read this article because they only read the Jewish Exponent and The Inquirer.

You know, my cover story this week is about a Jewish guy from Mount Airy who’s running for mayor, so…

Oh no. Oh no.

Do they know Sam Katz?

Sam Katz?

Oh yeah, they’re practically neighbors. So back to your book…

Basically, what happened was, my book came out. You know, my book contains um, uh, let’s see, the character strips for her guy, he ejaculates on himself, she has sex with the guy in a porno booth at Show World. She masturbates.

Is any of this based on…

I’m not telling.

Come on.

No, of course it’s all based on reality, but not each of the experiences happened exactly the way they… um.

Is there anything you’ve done that’s been too raunchy for the column?

Yeah, but all that stuff I put in the book.

When did you lose your virginity?

I was 14.

Can you tell me that story?

No, you should read it. It’s in the book.

[After everything I said about not wanting my grandparents to read this article, someone else in my family did read it and did pass it onto them. Embarrassment city. I'm really mad about it but I don't know the relative well enough to let in on him. I just can't believe anyone in their right mind would read everything I said in this interview, then made a conscious decision to show it to my grandparents – unless he was deliberately trying to infuriate me, which I don't think he was.]