Fireworks may be the ultimate aphrodisiac. Which makes the Fourth of July the sexiest night of the year. All those sunburned bodies on blankets under starry skies watching pinwheels of fire spit rainbow trails over their heads. Swallowing watermelon seeds. Drinking too much Budweiser. Rockets bursting in air.

The first time was with Brucie. We were 7 and walked to the Narberth playground to watch the fireworks with my older sister. We rolled out the scratchy Indian blanket and snuggled. I did an imitation of the Brylcreem commercial in my huskiest voice. Brylcreem--A Little Dab'll Do Ya. It worked. We went steady for the summer.

The next one I remember was five years later. Watching the fireworks with Jimmy. Again, a blanket. Sweaty palms and sloppy kisses. "Let's make out," he said. "What's making out?" I said.

By 16, I rode to the fireworks in another Jimmy's station wagon. Roman candles and roamin' hands. "Watch the fireworks," I said.

A friend of mine lost her virginity one Fourth of July after watching the fireworks on the Mall. She was 18. I asked her if it was a memorable moment. "Not really," she recalled. "I mean, after the fireworks, what could be better?"