Anka Radakovich was an ‘80s and ‘90s “it” girl. As a sex columnist for Details magazine and the first ever sex columnist in media, she made her mark traipsing through New York documenting wild and wacky sex and dating proclivities — her own and others.
As a wide-eyed 20-something, I interviewed Anka in 1994 for the Philadelphia City Paper after she released her book The Wild Girls Club: Tales From Below the Belt. Now a certified sexologist, Anka just released her third book in paperback, The Wild Girls Club, Part 2, Tales From New York To Hollywood. I figured 21 years later, we had a lot to catch up on.
Margit: When you were writing for Details, I followed your byline like crazy — you were the super hip club girl sexpert that was cooler than I’d ever be.
Anka: Those were exciting times. Working at Details was a dream job! It was a time when everyone read magazines, and Details was the hot magazine. There really had not been a hip style magazine for young men in their 20s that was rock ‘n roll before that in America. The idea for Details actually came from British men’s magazines at the time like ID, Arena, and British GQ. And we had interesting writers contributing to it: Henry Rollins, Brett Easton Ellis, Denis Leary…
M: How did you become the first ever sex columnist?
A: They let me write whatever I wanted. They basically said to me at the time, “Tell us what women think of men.” So that was easy. I think, deep down, I wanted to teach clueless young men to be better men. I traveled around the world looking for stories. I most loved the reporting aspect of it; I often felt subversive crashing a porn convention in Cannes or a swingers party in Las Vegas. I think the most ridiculous thing I did on the job was go to a nudist colony in California, which closed in 2001.
M: So what are you up to now?
A: I’ve never stopped writing about sex! I write a column for British GQ. My editors there are the best people I’ve ever worked for in my life. Those British boys are so sexy! And so polite! American men can learn a lot from them. Especially about being a gentleman. I also just published my third book.
For the rest of the summer, I am concentrating on my two new screenplays. The first new one is a sex comedy, of course, with dick jokes. It will have a mixed male/female audience. I have disgusting sex scenes for the guys, and for the girls I am poking fun at the way men behave. The second script is more of a romantic love story that will hopefully make the ladies laugh and then cry ‘cuz it’s so bittersweet and talks about falling in love and then losing that love. Everyone can relate to that. In the end, love is more important than sex.
M: So you’ve gone legit with your sex studies as a sexologist?
This past year, I became a Certified Sexologist and Sex Educator. Next I want to get my PhD. Then I will become “Dr. Anka!” I also write the “Sex in The News” section for sexpert.com, which keeps me abreast of the current sexual culture and discourse. My college lecture is a sort of “sex ed meets stand up” where I teach the boys to be more respectful and stop date raping the girls, and I teach the girls that they have all the power and should have sex all on their terms. If I can keep one douchebag guy from raping one sweet girl, I’ve done my job.
Does the Wild Girls Club live on? Do you still get together?
I still get together with my girlfriends. And I am always meeting new ones. Girls are the best. Mainly what happens when we get together now is catch up, make each other laugh, and make fun of male behavior. Just like we did 20 years ago. That hasn’t changed.
How is Wild Girls 2 different?
This book is more extreme and peeks into other people’s bedrooms rather than my own. It’s more transgressive. I can’t possibly compete with the couple whose wife has sex with another guy while he sits on the couch– and watches while wearing a Mexican wrestling costume. Writing the book was a fun ride!
What happened with the movie project to do Wild Girls Club?
The movie was bought by Tom Cruise, who had a production company at Paramount Pictures, but unfortunately it never got made. He was with Nicole Kidman at the time; it would have been a dream to have her play my main character. But then they got divorced, and the movie didn’t happen. My new dream is that one of my new screenplays will get made in Hollywood — the “Hollywood Dream.” Quentin Tarantino told me once to keep writing screenplays, and then what will happen is that I will get three of them made in one year! That was cool of him to say.
How is sex these days? How has it changed for you, and how has it changed in general?
Sex has become more pornographic, more fetishistic, and people want to know how they can have “better sex” rather than more sex. People now are more experimental with BDSM and polyamory. The two big questions I get on the college lecture circuit are (from the boys), “How can I have sex without dating?” and (from the girls), “Why am I not having orgasms?” Men want to have all the wild sex they see in pornos, while women want more pleasure. For me personally, I can now only have sex with someone I think is sexy and smart. When I worked at Details, I would have sex with the male models who showed up for casting calls. Hey, I think you should have sex with male models while you can.
Are you married? Kids? Pets?
I’m still single. I would have thought I would have had three husbands by now, but it never happened. I still hold out that I’ll fall in love again. I believe there’s someone out there for everyone, so never give up. I never had kids, but I like them a lot. Dogs are cute, too.
What are your thoughts on the idea of aging and staying cool — can they ever go together?
You can be cool at any age. You don’t stop being cool. Look at Bono — he’s still cool. And Madonna, she continues as an artist, staying aware of the current culture.
You had such a distinct look in the 90s — bright red lips, barrettes, black hair — how has your personal style evolved?
Still have the dark hair and the red lips, although they are more of a pinkish/fuchsia these days. (I’m addicted to MAC Cosmetics.) Because of my frequent travels to California, I now have a bit of a tan, and it’s been hard to keep that white skin that goes with that “soft Goth look” I had going on in the ‘90’s. And I still put barrettes in my hair, but now I put a fancy one in there instead of the cheap plastic ones I wore back then. I noticed Courtney Love still wears them occasionally, too.
Ah Courtney, have you two met?
Yes, in fact I met her in the lobby at The Chateau Marmont. David LaChappelle, a photographer I worked with at Details introduced us. I told her that Live Through This, her album for 1994 was the best punk girl record ever. Then I felt embarrassed for sounding so fawning fan-like. But then she goes, “I always used to read your stuff in Details,” so then I felt less obsequious. I love that word.
In my interview with you in 1994, we waxed on and on about Bob Berkowitz. To continue the irrelevant conversation…are you still in touch?
I haven’t seen Bob in years. Love him, though. He got married years ago, and I lost touch with him. A great guy. He even got a PhD from the “Harvard of Sexology” school I want to get mine from. I should have married him!
Finally, I promised I’d ask: A friend of mine wrote a song for you after hanging out with you in the ‘90s. I just emailed him and he’s offered to send it. Do you want to hear it 20 years later?
Would love to! That’s so romantic!