The Accidental Virgin

The Accidental Virgin

4.1 31
by Valerie Frankel

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From: Venus, Goddess of Love, 120 Main, Mt. Olympus

To: Stacy Temple, lapsed temptress

Stacy, Stacy, Stacy.

You were so promising at the beginning: Sexy, smart, personable and funny. Great on dates and really great afterward-if you know what I mean. But this is a sad state of affairs; or, in your case, non-affairs! It's been nearly an entire year

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From: Venus, Goddess of Love, 120 Main, Mt. Olympus

To: Stacy Temple, lapsed temptress

Stacy, Stacy, Stacy.

You were so promising at the beginning: Sexy, smart, personable and funny. Great on dates and really great afterward-if you know what I mean. But this is a sad state of affairs; or, in your case, non-affairs! It's been nearly an entire year and you haven't had your way with even ONE eligible male. You've been working so hard concocting sexy lingerie for -- and really, Stacy, if that little pink velvet bustier didn't put you in the mood, I don't know what to say! -- that you haven't even tried to be coaxed out of your own!

Are you listening, Stacy? Seven days to find the perfect man -- or else!

Happy hunting!

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Hymeneal high-jinks via a former Mademoiselle editor and self-help co-author. Stacy Temple, cybermarketer of naughty-girl lingerie for, hasn't actually done the horizontal tango for almost a year. Problem: no partner (battery-operated devices don't count). It doesn't really bother her until she stumbles on a little-known rule of contemporary life: According to GiGi XXX, online sex columnist, a year without means automatic demotion to technical virginity. This thought is too depressing for Stacey, who flings herself into finding one good man for a save-me romp. In no particular order but never en masse, she gets up close and personal with several very different men and a not-out-yet lesbian. There's Charlie, her handsome best bud from college, who doesn't want to ruin a beautiful friendship by sleeping with her. Taylor, the lesbian wannabe, is too soft and, well, squishy. Oliver, the cute young loser next door, an amateur vampire by day and hacker by night, singes her eyebrows off during an impromptu hibachi cookout. Brian, her ex, is engaged. Jason, an earnest, brainy type with beaucoup body hair, is simply too sincere. Schlomo, an Israeli Adonis in khaki shorts, speaks very little English but he's a whiz at removing panties. The doe-eyed Albanian pizza boy is underage. And there's fast-talking Stanley Bombicci, the CEO of, who wants Stacy to star in his badly written pornographic fantasy play-or, at the very least, have her read it aloud to him several times. Stacy can't say no, because her firebreathing boss, Fiona Chardonnay, is planning a merger of sorts with Stanley. Fiona herself recommends male escorts and even buys a night of erotic bliss for Stacy, whogets cold feet and actually turns down the studly fake Finn. Okay, she's finally ready for the bottom of the barrel: One big fat liar later, she falls even lower and slinks into a singles' bar. Amusing farce, with pearls of urban wisdom and some great zingers, by the author of, among others, Sweet vs. Pretty (not reviewed).
“Stacey Temple’s adventures are often laugh-out-loud funny, making it impossible not to root for Frankel’s plucky, determined heroine.”

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The Accidental Virgin

Chapter One

Monday morning

Stacy Temple, 32, redheaded and pink of cheek, the very picture of health, if not happiness, lifted the pointed chin of her heart-shaped face and said, "Suicide on a roll."

She'd been waiting on line at the deli for over ten minutes, and had managed to apply full makeup and read up to page six of the New York Post before placing her order.

"Butter, too?" asked the man in the apron behind the chrome counter.

"No, thanks," she said, turning the page of her paper.

"Oh, go ahead," said the deli man. "Two fried eggs with bacon and cheese on a roll? Why not add some butter to lube up your digestion?"

Stacy had been coming to this hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon, crammed between two fifty-story silver towers on Park Avenue, for her weekday breakfasts for over a year. Never once had her conversation with the grill man varied from the usual pattern: her pleasantly issued request, his grunt of acknowledgment, her barely audible appreciation, his forking over the food.

Thrown by the shift from their usual exchange, Stacy looked at the man who prepared her morning meal. He was 24, 25 maybe, with wiry black hair. Greek? Italian? Mediterranean ancestry, but no trace of an accent. His round face rested solidly on a thick bull neck. He showed her his smile now, a wide one that spread across his face like the butter he was pushing. Chiclets for teeth. He vibrated with the nervous edge of a pent-up human animal, forced by financial necessity to flip eggs for strangers over a hot grill in New York City July, seeking a bit of kindness on a Monday morning, asmall friendly exchange with a pretty girl to brighten the drudgery of the day.

She smiled back at him. "That's very considerate of you to think of my digestion, but I'll pass. Thanks again."

From beneath a black, bushy eyebrow, the man winked. Then he winked with his other eye. And after that, he puckered his lips and made a "kissy-kissy" sound.

Stacy Temple, redheaded and suddenly redder of cheek, gasped. Someone behind her laughed. She clutched her tote and the Post to her chest and exited as quickly as possible in kitten-heeled mules.

"And the worst part about it: Where can I go for breakfast now?" Safely at her desk on a floor near the top of one of those silver Park Avenue towers, Stacy cradled the phone on her shoulder, picked grudgingly at the dry bran muffin she purchased from the building's cafeteria vending machine, and scrolled through her E-mail.

On the phone, the impatient voice of her best friend, Charlie Gabriel, asked, "Are you multitasking me? I hear clicking. And chewing."

"I'm swiveling." Guilty, Stacy turned her chair and attention away from the computer screen. Formerly a segment producer at NPR, she currently served as vice president in charge of merchandising and marketing for, the on-line retailer of lacy intimates. Facing her north wall, the one lined with racks of flimsy, strappy things on hangers, bolts of red satin stacked on the industrial gray carpet, Stacy said, "I felt violated."

"Guys must hit on you all the time," ventured Charlie.

"They don't."

"You are low frequency," he said. "Every part of your body language communicates, 'Don't look at me. Don't talk to me. Keep two hundred feet back.' Your clothes mix the signals, though." Charlie was high frequency. When they walked into a room together, any room, all eyes turned toward him and stayed there. It wasn't just his physical bearing (tousled blond hair, six-foot six inches of tautness, red lips and otherworldly green eyes) that drew attention. His voice, baritone, bounced, and the words he chose as effortlessly as a fish swims couldn't be discounted.

"Men can tell you're nonsexual," he said. "They can sniff that out. The faintest whiff of indifference to dick will lead a man to completely ignore, with disdain, the most gorgeous woman in the room."

Stacy said, "If I have such indifference to dick -- which, by the way, would make a great title for your next documentary -- why would the deli man hit on me?"

"Two possible explanations," said Charlie. "His olfactory sense -- the means by which men can deduce a woman's sexuality -- has been bacon impaired. And, two, he can tell that you are a celibate, and he wanted to rattle you for his personal amusement. It's a power trip. A petty form of sexual harassment."

"Then I'm right to feel violated," said Stacy. "I reject the assumption that the entire world can smell sexual inactivity. Besides, I am not a celibate who reeks of disuse. It's just been a long dry spell. And stop saying the word sex or sexuality or sexual. It's not even nine o'clock." Stacy checked her watch. "I've got to go. Emergency meeting."

"Miracle advances in thigh highs?" asked Charlie.

"Desperate search for the next big thing. I'll be pushing for a resurgence of the whalebone corselette," she said.

Charlie, a former doctoral candidate in medieval studies (currently a movie reviewer for and an aspiring documentary filmmaker), asked, "You're selling armored vests?"

"That's a corselet," Stacy corrected. "A corselette is a rib-crushing encasement of Lycra that fits over a woman's body, cramming her breasts, belly and protruding hips into a compact, tight, saucy package. Think Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8. In approximately ninety seconds, I will go into an eight-hour meeting to convince my bosses that this garment of magic and grace would be most appealing to the women of America with silk rosebuds stitched into the cleavage well."

"Then I'll be brief," said Charlie. "Just say yes or no. Are you coming to the screening tonight?"


"Will I see you for lunch on Thursday?"


"That's a no."

"Yes," she said.

"Do you find it ironic that someone who sells crotchless finery for a living never has the occasion to wear it?"

"I'm wearing some right now." Actually, Stacy encased her own tight, saucy body in a knee-length, bias-cut skirt of thin gold leather ...

The Accidental Virgin. Copyright © by Valerie Frankel. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Valerie Frankel has written over thirty books, including three New York Times bestsellers. Her articles have appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine; Parenting; Self; Glamour; Allure; and the New York Times, among other publications. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

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