Mon, Feb 12, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Shy Englishman becomes sex god of New York City

THE OBSERVER , NEW YORK

Grant Stoddard is an unlikely sex god. The slightly built native of the county of Essex in England, arrived in New York virtually penniless in the late 1990s. While not technically a virgin, his sexual experiences were limited and he admits he was cripplingly shy around women.

That was then. This is now. In a city famed for its dating scene, Stoddard has risen to the top of the pile as one of Manhattan's most famous sex writers. He has just brought out a book chronicling his adventures, and Paramount is planning a movie about his transformation from sexual neophyte to notorious Lothario.`

It is being heralded as a male version of Sex and the City. For Stoddard's success in his sexual career was carried out in public as a columnist for the Web site Nerve.com.

That led to writing for Playgirl and later his own TV show. Stoddard, 30, has now joined the elite list of Britons who made it big in Manhattan media, though it is likely that he is the only one who has attended an orgy. Or been an extra in a porn film. Or been tracked down by fans keen to lose their virginity to him. Or stripped in a gay bar. Or gone to a week-long sado-masochistic retreat in New Jersey.

Stoddard's story, recounted in his book Working Stiff, is a classic immigrant's rags-to-riches tale. He grew up in the working-class Essex village of Corringham, moved across the Atlantic and struggled to make money.

He was on the verge of going home when he entered an Internet quiz in which the prize was to have sex with a married sex columnist.

He won. His experiences turned into an infamous and wildly popular sex column on Nerve called "I did it for science." In each piece Stoddard would have to experience any sexual situation or activity that he or his editors could come up with.

Now he has caught the attention of Hollywood he is able to speculate on the final unlikely twist in his unlikely story.

Who will play him in the eventual movie?

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