There are a few ways to know if you are a Sexy Lady. First, you should be able to sit down in a skirt with a thigh-high slit without showing off your giblets. You should also have a beauty mark on your cheek, which I think is the same thing as a mole but maybe more circular? Most importantly, you should be able to tie a cherry stem with your tongue, which is a primo way to communicate your awesome French kissing skills.
I can do none of these things. I don’t own any skirts with thigh-high slits, although I did just buy a new pair of shorteralls from the Village Discount. I have a small mole on my cheek, but it’s shaped like Morocco, so I don’t think I can call it a beauty mark. And I certainly can’t tie a cherry stem with my tongue, despite the fact that I once won the nacho-cheese-snarfing contest at church camp. But that’s not for lack of trying. Ever since I saw Audrey Horne neatly tie a maraschino stem while applying for a job at One Eyed Jack’s on Twin Peaks, I knew that the ol’ cherry stem trick was the ultimate hallmark of a Sexy Lady. And so, in an earnest attempt to join the nation’s sexy ranks, I decided to try and teach myself to tie a cherry stem with my tongue.
First, I needed to know: is tying a cherry stem with your tongue physically possible? Or was it just another myth perpetuated by Sexy Lady Media, like jogging in panty hose or staring intensely at a romantic prospect without creeping them out?
The New York Times reports that it’s totally possible. Case in point: Al Gliniecki, who as of 2017 held three Guinness World Records for most cherry stems knotted using the tongue (14 in one minute, 39 in three minutes and 911 in one hour). Gliniecki recommended using longer and thinner stems, preferably maraschino cherry stems over fresh ones, as the sugary syrup helps soften the stems. He also recommended keeping the stems at room temperature so they’re less stiff.
I decided that if a man named Al could achieve this sexy feat, I could, too. With Gliniecki’s advice in mind, I bought a bag of fresh California cherries and a small jar of maraschino cherries. I dispensed about a half dozen cherries into a little salsa bowl, then checked out my tongue in the mirror. It was still there, all right—and looking extra sexy, I thought. Finally, I let my beagle sniff each of the cherries. This step isn’t required, but it was fun and cute.
To begin, I selected the longest, thinnest stem in my little bowl of cherries. It was a fresh California cherry stem, and it was a good 2.5 inches long, which seemed like a good place to start. I’m a visual learner, so I also watched this somewhat suggestive YouTube video, which was actually pretty helpful.
First, the video recommended sticking the stem in your mouth and softening it with your spit for a few seconds. I sloshed the stem around a bit before moving on to the next step: gently scooting the stem so it was positioned horizontally beneath the center of my tongue. From there, I used my tongue to push down on the middle of the stem so it formed an upward U-shape. Things were going well. I was feeling sexy.
From there, I used my tongue to push the ends of the U-shape up against the back of my top row of teeth. Once the stem felt relatively stable, I used my tongue to cross one end over the other to form an X shape.
This is where things get tricky. To form the knot, I had to hold one end of the X-shaped stem between my front teeth, then using my tongue and teeth to push the other end of the X back through the center. I worked on this for a good eight minutes until I was able to form a tiny, tiny knot at one end. After spending another eight minutes trying to figure out how to tighten the damn thing, I gave up and pulled it taut with my fingers.
Next, I tried tying a maraschino stem, which Gliniecki claimed is the easier feat. Reader, I couldn’t do it. The maraschino stems were just too thick, and none of them stretched past two inches. This sucks, because you don’t often see fresh California cherries at bars. It’s maraschino or bust.
Interestingly enough, I got sort of good at tying the California cherry stems. Here’s the problem: it’s really not a sensual endeavor. I spent a minimum of five minutes on each stem, and I looked like a cow chewing cud the whole time. Later, I found out that Sherilyn Fenn, the actor who played Audrey Horne on Twin Peaks, faked her famous cherry-tying scene. That explains how she was able to complete the trick with such speed and sexed-up intensity.
Ultimately, I’m at peace with my short, stubby, minimally dexterous tongue. If this is the cost of membership to the Sexy Lady Club, I’ll just keep a pocketful of pre-tied stems in my backpack for a little sleight of hand. In the meantime, I think I’ll stick with my go-to crowd-pleasing party trick: the armpit fart.