Jen Miller Loves Edward Cullen
Some confessions of Lower East Side’s DIY elf
Although the 37-year-old former sex columnist doesn’t exactly fall into the Twilight demographic, she still identifies with Bella, the clumsy outcast who falls in love with a vampire. “I’m a huge Twilight fan. Everyone is like, ‘how can you read that?’ It’s Mormon and anti-sex. I don’t care, I love teenage vampire fiction,” says Miller, also known as Reverend Jen, on the phone from the Lower East Side tenement she has lived in for years, which also houses her infamous Troll Museum.
As Miller confesses her love for Edward Cullen, the conversation quickly shifts to the author of the series, Stephenie Meyer, and sex. “Stephenie Meyer may be a Mormon and might be trying to brand a message of abstinence but I really think she writes while masturbating. I want to see her invoice for tissues.”
Writing about vampires and sex isn’t exactly a foreign subject to Miller, so her Stephenie Meyer accusation seems almost factual. After all, in her memoir, Live Nude Elf: The Sexperiments of Reverend Jen, Miller starts a chapter off trying to hook up with bloodsuckers for the sake of the Nerve.com column “I Did It For Science.”
As expected, the wannabe vampires were computer nerds wearing capes and Miller didn’t get laid, sucked, bitten and blessed with eternal youth that night. Fortunately, Miller is not preoccupied with youth, despite saying men her age only want to date twentysomethings. And as she approaches 40, she chooses to embrace her age and being single rather than being ashamed of it.
“The book starts in my early-30s. I was still judging my self-worth to a certain degree on what the men in my life thought of me,” she reflects. “Now my self-worth is no longer based on whether anyone wants to be my boyfriend. I know damned well I am not girlfriend material at this point. I am an artist, first and foremost.”
A true bohemian, Miller is still living hand-to-mouth and has to work two part-time jobs in order to make her rent every month. When her sex column was cancelled in 2007, she decided to stop writing about the subject and began writing for Artnet, where she publishes her “Diary of an Art Star” column. “I never wanted to be pigeonholed as a writer of sex. Give me a pen and an experience and I can write about anything,” says Miller, who went to the School of Visual Arts. “I could have gone to another sex website and kept going but I wanted to reclaim sex as something private and special again.”
Despite her sex column contributing to the failure of some meaningful relationships, Miller has no regrets chronicling her sex life. She’s already working on her next book Dungeons and Drag Queens about the period in her life when she worked in the underground fetish scene. “I figure if you can write about sex, you can write about anything,” she says.