Call Her Daddy’s Alex Cooper has reeled in some pretty surprising guests this season, but John Mayer, who appeared on Wednesday’s episode, tops that list. And predictably enough, Mayer’s dating life—which for years was the subject of extensive, well-deserved tabloid fodder—was the main topic of conversation.
Mayer told Cooper a number of personal details, including that he’s six years sober. And not being able to rely on “liquid courage” has taught him a lot about romance: “You have to be glaringly honest,” he said. “You have to express your anxieties, you can’t just walk over them by drinking.” Mayer emphasized that he’s dating less—as if it’s even possible to continue dating at the clip he’d reached in the 2000s and 2010s—but he’s clearly still getting it on. After performing a couple songs live for Cooper, she asked, “Do you do this before you have sex with someone?” Mayer responded: “No, I do it after sometimes. You should never play guitar to have sex with someone, but a little naked guitar playing after is very memorable.”
He then got very specific: “With a little gut hanging over, sitting Indian-style on the edge of the bed—it’s nice!” Mayer continued.
Well, that sure is a mental image!
Despite going the TMI route on his current postcoital habits, Mayer did not discuss his many celebrity exes, who include Katy Perry, Jessica Simpson, Minka Kelly, Jennifer Aniston, Kim Kardashian, and, of course, Taylor Swift. Nonetheless, the simple fact of Mayer’s appearance on Cooper’s podcast was enough to enrage many Swift fans, who criticized Cooper calling herself a Swiftie, only to bring on a man widely seen as one of Swift’s worst exes.
Mayer dated Swift when she was 19 and he was 32 almost 15 years ago. Their relationship became the subject of Swift’s not-so-subtly-named 2010 song “Dear John,” in which she put Mayer on blast for hurting her. In 2012, Mayer told Rolling Stone that the song “humiliated” him, called Swift’s songwriting “cheap,” and said that he “didn’t deserve” the criticism.
“Why even give this man the time of day knowing he has never had anything good to say about her?” one Swift fan demanded earlier this week, when Call Her Daddy announced Mayer would be on the show.
And yet, Mayer played it relatively safe on the subject, not mentioning Swift at all, and acknowledging his reputation as a 2000s fuckboy, though he called this characterization of him a “role I play on the big TV show I didn’t write,” conceding “maybe I had a hand in it or something.” He also told Cooper he doesn’t need a “worldwide consensus that [he’s] an OK guy,” and expressed gratitude that he no longer gets the attention he used to: “I don’t have to write a tweet today to fix a tweet from yesterday that didn’t land. I’m only doing what I should be doing.”
Since Mayer didn’t want to talk about his controversial dating history—including alleged mistreatment and disrespectful comments—I will! In 2008, he bragged about dumping Aniston, “I’m the asshole... I basically murdered an ideal,” he said at the time. In a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone, he talked about wanting to date a woman with “the Joshua Tree of vaginas.” That same year, he called Simpson “sexual napalm” and referred to her as “crack cocaine” in an interview with Playboy. In the same interview, he used the N-word and said he didn’t attract Black women because “my dick is sort of like a white supremacist, I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ [KKK leader] David Duke cock.” Even more than a decade later, it is wild to me that he said that to a reporter—though I guess it’s safe to say that TMI is still very much his thing.
In 2020, Simpson told her side of the story, calling Mayer “toxic and manipulative” and said he dumped her nine times, always via email.
All of that is to say: I’m glad this man is dating less.