Sexiquette

“Cruel To Be Kind Means That I Love You Baby You Gotta Be Cruel to Be Kind”

As a child we were told by our parents that if a boy picked on us on the playground it meant that he liked us.  As adults we chase after the guys who don’t call us back or ignore our texts while dismissing the ones who take us out for dinner and pick up the tab then text us after to tell us what a great time they had.  We want what we can’t have and we are led to believe since we are children that cruelty and unkindness equate to attraction and love.  This is a sick fallacy that has warped all of our minds and we have consumed the myth and spit it out as fact.

https://i2.wp.com/cdn.freehandmusic.com/preview/530x4/warner/hlclnctbk.pngI have written before about nice guys finishing last and girls liking the bad boys but it is sadly so true.  I was working the other day when Cruel to Be Kind came on the stereo and while bopping along to the familiar tune the lyrics finally sunk in for me, “cruel to be kind means that I love you baby you gotta be cruel to be kind.”  How does this even make sense?  How is it that we allow ourselves to fall for the bad guys and leave the good guys behind?

https://i0.wp.com/www.tuneremedy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/niceguy.gifI’ve finally found a good guy and let me say what a world of difference it makes in your life.   There is less stress, more laughing and smiles, and an overall feeling of happiness when there is a guy in your life who treats you right.  I spent years dating the guys who treated me like a booty call or broke my belongings in a fit of rage and my heart in a callous maneuver and I also spent years depressed and never put the two together.  We claim that good guys don’t exist or they are hard to find but is that really the case or do we subconsciously date the wrong ones because of the old adage our mother told us about the boys on the playground?  We tell ourselves that something is wrong with the ‘always nice guy’ or that if something is too good to be true it probably is so we follow around the bad boys and douchebags like a lost puppy begging for an owner.  Or worse, we tell ourselves that there is something wrong with us and we are not worthy of a good guy so we waste our times and our hearts on men who are just no good.  We date the guys who aren’t really dating material while nice guys struggle to find the right girl.

I’m not saying all girls are nice girls because there are many heartbreakers on our team too but for those of us who are sweethearts, we need to aim higher.  We need to go after the good guys and cast aside the ones who suck.  If he doesn’t call, fuck him.  If he doesn’t text you back, onto the next.  If he doesn’t pay, screw him.  If he treats you like dirt, good riddence!  We should aim to be alone before we are unhappy.  You are never really alone anyway, you have your friends, pets, family, jobs, etc. to keep you company and consume your time while you work on finding Mr. Right.  I think sometimes we are so afraid of being alone that we date jerks to just be dating somebody and we believe that being treated like crap is acceptable or is just how men express their affections when in reality this is not the case and we are only doing ourselves a disservice.  Worry less about being alone and more about being happy.  Don’t date a guy just because he’s mean to you and if you get treated badly have the courage to stand up for yourself and get out of a bad situation.  Let’s change the tune and acknowledge that cruelty isn’t kindness in a guise, it’s just plain mean.

The Danger of Doubt

So after writing about dread the other day I began to ponder about it further and realized just how much it consumes so many people’s lives.  Friends often tell me that they are so happy with the people whom they are with that they are actually scared of it.  What has happened to us that we are so conditioned to being miserable that we have become afraid of being content and blissful?  We are so pessimistic and fearful in nature that we allow unfounded fears and misguided concerns rule our daily lives.  I am no exception of course and I too now know the torture that is dread.  And it’s true, while fear of being alone is bad, dread is just as as awful.

I am finally, for the first time in my life, happy with my relationship status.  Sure it is still undefined and we aren’t at a level of calling one another boyfriend/girlfriend but we are having a great time and everything he does just makes me smile.  Yet, I live in a space of fear…dread for the day it all ends and I go back to my state of cynical and unhappy.  When we have plans and he texts me that day to say something sweet or confirm the time, I am afraid to read the text because I suspect it is a last minute cancellation because something better came along.  That of course is never the case and he has never once backed out of plans we had or sent me a text that’s done anything short of lighting up my eyes and bringing a big smile to my face but what about the day when he does…if he does?

Dread is essentially a byproduct of doubt.  We doubt our luck, our significant other’s feelings for us and/or faithfulness to us and it is this doubt that leads to problems.  With doubt comes a lack of faith–a lack of trust which only breeds problems.  Yet, it is inevitable to doubt something that seems to be going so well in our lives because we are raised to believe that if things are too good to be true, they probably are.  Of course a part of relationships is disappointments because no one can be perfectly agreeable or acquiescent all the time and I wouldn’t want to be with someone who is devoid of his own opinions and desires.  However, I have an irrational fear of getting hurt and losing anything in life that makes me happy because it seems to be all I’ve ever known.  When something wonderful comes our way it is rational to be afraid of it being taken away from us but not to the point where we spend each day worrying about it, where each time a great guy texts us we wonder if this is the one where he tells us goodbye.  Doubt is a slippery slope because once the first seed of fear is planted it seems to spread like wild fire and effect us each day, ruining the moments of happiness we do have.

Doubt is a dangerous monster because it can become difficult to discern our fears from reality and we can lose ourselves in a world of questions and worry.  The trick is to stay as grounded as possible (easier said than done) and assure yourself of what you do know.  Base your opinions, fears, suspicions, and feelings only on fact as much as possible and you can steer clear of much of the danger.  If  he is always being sweet and thoughtful, the sex is great, he seems to enjoy spending time with you, texts you back and communicates with you unprovoked by you then it is safe to say he is happy and isn’t going anywhere.  Conversely, if he is being sneaky, getting lots of texts that he seems to be hiding, is bad about keeping in touch with you and seems to blow you off you should confront him with your concerns and see whether the relationship is salvageable or should be ended.  By staying in tune with reality and halting these fears the moment they begin you can save yourself a lot of unnecessary heartache and fear–leaving you with more time to live in the moment and enjoy the great time you are having.

When Is A Relationship Official?

Dating used to be simple.  In the olden days men courted ladies who strolled through the countryside with a parasol in hand on chaperoned dates with their suitors.  In the 50’s guys gave girls a pin and were asked to “go steady” solidifying that the relationship was official.  Now things are so complicated with there being all different levels of dating, hookups, and relationships that it is nearly impossible to keep track.  There are friends with benefits, there is dating  but not in a relationship, and there is dating while not sleeping with other people yet still not in a relationship and it is all very confusing.  Older generations have trouble understanding what today’s youth is doing and even the young adults amidst this crazy dating world are perplexed at times as well.  What happened to the simple times where a guy asked a girl out, you went and got a milk shake, and soon enough you were holding hands and going steady?

I am currently dating a guy and honestly couldn’t be happier.  I’ve grown to care less about putting labels on things and have learned to live in the  moment.  However, I’m still curious as to what exactly my relationship status is.  We have established that we are not with other people but have also decided to take things slow.  We talk daily and have a great time together.  We went on vacation together and spend nearly the entire weekend together yet I do not refer to him as my boyfriend and we are not official yet.  I can’t help but wonder if there is an intent to head in that direction or if the jury is still out on his end and I wonder if just because we haven’t sat down and defined that we are couple that it means we actually aren’t.  We do everything that a couple does, we aren’t with other people and I personally don’t want to be, and we have a great time whenever we hang out (which is often).  However, he has not asked me to be his girlfriend and does not call me that…so where do we stand?

It is easy to tell when you are just hooking up with someone and it is not going to go anywhere because guys make it very known when they are not looking for a relationship.  In the first weeks of courting they all lie and pretend to want a relationship because they want to get laid and know if they are up front from minute one, that is not going to happen.   However, shortly thereafter they do admit that they “don’t want to be obligated to hang out with you” or “aren’t looking for anything serious”…i.e. they just want a fling.  There is nothing wrong with a ‘friends with benefits’ scenario as long as there is honesty and understanding by both individuals that things will not go much beyond the bedroom and late night calls and it won’t amount to anything serious.  Yet, what about a situation where the guy seems to truly want a relationship and every action he takes screams “ready for commitment” while he states he “just wants to take things slow?”  How do you know when he means that and when he is just saying it as a formality?  How do we know when we are in a relationship and it is ok to refer to our significant other as our boyfriend if there is no conversation establishing such salutations?

Relationships have become so confusing and I feel as though both guys and girls don’t know exactly how to act or what to think.  We spend so much time worrying about labels and what level our relationship is at rather than just enjoying the moments with that other person.  Sure I’m curious where my relationship is headed and I spend time thinking about it or I wouldn’t be writing about it.  Yet, I don’t let the “what ifs” get me down and I try not to think too much beyond the week ahead.  Modern dating is all about letting things take their course, not rushing into a serious commitment, and enjoying yourself as much as possible while respecting your significant other.  The formalities and steps towards becoming one’s girlfriend may have gone out the window but when the time comes for you to cross the line from one level to the next you will know.  It may not be asserted or discussed but rather it will just evolve with time.  Dating has changed from a game of rigid guidelines to a loose endeavor of fun and excitement.  Not every relationship has to be a committed one and not every connection has to go somewhere.  Courting should certainly still take place (it’s the best part of dating!) but rather than strolling on a date with a chaperon we instead have our potential new guy meet our friends, we try out the goods before we buy, and we go where the wind takes us.

Chivalry is Not Dead

Well everyone, I’m back…finally.  After an unexpectedly long hiatus due to work responsibilities, I have returned to my daily ramblings about dating, relationships, and love gone awry.  In the month or so I’ve been gone so much has changed in my life and my perception on dating has even further evolved.  I am less cynical and bitter but certainly not any less witty and I have positive experiences to thank for my attitude change.  I’m sure my jaded acrimonious perspective will be back in no time and rest assured I still have plenty of dating horror stories and controversial opinions to share; however today in this article that will not be the case.

Ladies I have some great news, chivalry is in fact NOT dead after all.  After years of dating guys who were totally wrong for me and/or who left me with a broken heart and a knife in my back, I found one who has class, manners, kindness, and who is honestly just amazing.  He holds open doors, he carries my heavy belongings, holds my hand when I’m scared, buys me flowers, pays for dinner, and talks to me nearly everyday.  I had grown so accustomed to wanting a mere fraction of these qualities and was always remaining in a longing state.   With him, the friendship we have is like the main course while the great sex is dessert.  With other guys I’d dated sex was the only meal and friendship was the dessert I craved. I’ve dated a lot of guys in my 26 years and none have compared.  I’m used to the guy who calls you at four in the morning or shows up unexpectedly at your front door shitfaced and comes in your apartment falling down drunk and breaking things.  I’ve grown to expect being used for sex or having texts completely ignored for days.  The men I tend to date were never good enough for me and that was largely because I didn’t set my standards high enough and I did not consider myself to be worthy of a great guy.

Self esteem and confidence really do play a critical role in attracting the right man.  These attributes will also draw in the users and abusers so it’s critical that we don’t give in to our sexual desires too quickly or set our standards low.  If you know what you want and believe you are a good person, don’t settle for any less in a man than you truly deserve.  It’s one thing to have casual hookups and friends with benefits but when looking for someone you want to spend your life with or at least have a serious relationship with, it is both nonsensical and a waste of time to be with someone who doesn’t meet your criteria and doesn’t make you happy.

Being confident in who you are, being comfortable in singledom, and not being out looking for a guy is really the best way to find one.  When I was less evolved I spent much of my time searching for the right guy and then after a while just a guy so I wouldn’t have to be alone.  Then, after some life changing events I learned that the most important thing in life is being happy and in order to do that, you need to be happy with yourself.  You are the only person whom you spend 24/7 with and you don’t like who you are inside, lack self esteem, or ever feel you don’t deserve someone and something great then you will never really enjoy the life you have.  Rather than waste time longing for things and wishing for what you don’t have you need to learn to appreciate the things and people in your life already.  I’m certainly not saying to settle  but I am saying take a step back and really look at your life and everything in it.  If you have great friends, show them some love by taking them out for dinner on you or maybe cook for them one night.  If you have a great man in your life, tell him how amazing he is.  Life is too short to spend settling, wishing, and longing so don’t let singledom or bad boyfriends keep you from appreciating your life and living it to the fullest.

Is It Worth Messing With the Zip Code Rule?

Those of you who have been in the dating world a little while are aware of the “rule” about cheating and zip codes.  Urban Dictionary states that “if you have a girl in one zip code it is not cheating when you enter a new zip code.”  While zip code is a bit of a stretch and 2 miles or 100 miles away you are still cheating, is it cheating when you are separated and living in different countries?

I pose this question because I currently have an on/off involvement with a guy who has a “girlfriend” who lives in France.  They are Facebook official and he claims that “he loves her but he likes me.”  That right there sounds like disaster, heartbreak, and that I should head for the hills yet I keep up the charade.  Why?  A sane person would ask.  Well, he’s fun and we have a good time.  Supposedly due to them living in different countries it is open for them to date other people so it is not technically cheating and he seems to be open to it being something more if things progress that way.

I have been through a lot dating wise this past year and casual seemed right up my alley so the scenario at first seemed like a win-win.  However, as of late, I am starting to actually want something more out of this hook up scenario and am stuck at a crossroads.  He still talks to his girlfriend, tells her he loves her, and has plans to see her as far out as August.  Yet, we talk almost daily as well and I get the vibe that this is not a one way potential relationship.  But ultimately, where can it possibly go if  he is already romantically entangled.  I ponder daily whether or not I should just end this and save myself inevitable upset or if should stick it out and perhaps win him over.  However, that latter choice sounds absurd when said out loud.  Why should I win over some guy?  Why be with a guy who is willing to pseudo-cheat?  Why invest emotionality and energy into a guy who is in love with someone else?  Am I just setting my self up to be used and hurt?

Perhaps there is something wrong with me and I have a penchant for setting myself up for disaster.  Maybe all my relationships and attempts fail because I subconsciously select men who are all wrong for me.  Or, maybe it isn’t some Freudian psychology complexity but rather that I just have bad taste.  Yet, girlfriend aside, he is a good guy.  My dog approves and did not bark once.  He even let him pick him up!  The sex is also good but there definitely is more than physicality and pet bonding.  I can talk to him about serious stuff…things that it is normally very difficult for me to talk about.  I’ve opened up about personal issues and he listened and supported me–qualities I have looked for my entire life in a guy.  He even was so sweet as to make me french toast one morning  just because I mentioned that I was craving it.  He is thoughtful, fun, conversational, and great it bed so he’d be a catch…if he didn’t have a girlfriend he supposedly loved.

I’m at a crossroads because I just don’t know if I should let this go entirely and cut off communication, transition us into “just friends,” keep things as a “friends with benefits” scenario, or invest myself in a potential relationship that is likely to not work out.  I don’t mean to sound pessimistic and that is not my normal style, but I’m a realist and my  heart has been wounded too many times this past year to be capable of handling one more stabbing.  Yet, I also am a romantic so I am torn.  I suppose I will yet again opt to “proceed with caution” and keep things as casual as possible.  If they progress, they progress.  If they fizzle and fail, I will say “oh well” and move on…or at least that is all the plan.  Has anyone been in a similar situation and have words of wisdom or a story to share?  Please feel free to comment because I’d love to hear whatever you have to say.

Dating Within the Friend Group

I am at that stage in my life where my education is completed for the time being, I am settled in a job, and have most of the friends that I am going to have for the rest of my life.  I don’t want to meet a guy in a bar so where does that leave me to find someone to help me change my Facebook status from single to “in a relationship”?  There is the world of online dating, which I will share my experiences with you at another time, you can meet someone by chance, or there is dating within the friend group and dating friends of friends.  Over the past year the latter has been my method and I must admit I have mixed reviews.

Dating friends of friends is a tricky situation.  On one hand it is great because you have common people and experiences to chat about and it takes away some of the nerves and fear.  On the other hand, if things end badly you may still have to see him/her or your friends will have to choose who they want at their events and outings.  Dating may be no one’s business but yours and your significant other’s; however, when dating within the friend group it becomes their business too.  Friends can’t help but get mixed up in the drama and often are torn because they hear both sides and want to support both friends.  I dated two different guys who are friends with the same friend of mine and as much as I tried to not to involve him, it was inevitable.

When you date someone close with your best friend you cannot help but go to your bestie with details or for advice because that is what we as friends do.  Yet when they know your other half and are likely talking to him/her too things get complicated and uncomfortable fast.  Your friend will listen and try to be supportive but it’s a tough call when your friend does not like two of you dating and thinks you are incompatible or when he/she has to hear all about the pain you are in from his her friend.  It is especailly rough when the person caught in the middle is close with both members of the relationship.  When you and your boyfriend/girlfriend fight or breakup, your friends are left in tough situation and have to deal with a change of events entirely beyond their control.  They want both friends at their parties or to go to bars but if the couple is not on amicable terms then friends must make a choice and someone gets hurt even worse.  In these situations you not only have to worry about getting dumped by the person you are dating, you may get dumped by your friend too.  So, when entering a sexual and/or romantic relationship with a friend of a friend, you must ask yourself if the potential rewards are worth the possible risks.

While in an ideal world we should be able to date whomever we want without it affecting those around us and our friends should be able to remain neutral, in the real world is just not so.  Friendships are relationships and such entanglements come with emotions.  We care about our friends and don’t want to see them hurt so when two of our friends date each other it is hard to not be torn or caught in the middle and feel upset and frustrated.  I can’t help but think to bring up the Jersey Shore again.  Ron and Sam live with their friends so when they are fighting, screaming, or having an all out brawl, their closest friends not only witness the chaos but become drawn into it as well.  It is difficult on the house mates because they are friends with both Ron and Sam.  They love them as individudals but as a couple they are a disaster.  I suppose that is on some level how one of my relationships was.

First off, I use the word relationship loosely since we were not dating but we were more than friends who had sex.  He was the only guy I’d ever let myself fall for since I am usually a guarded person and a casual dater.  However, there was some connection there that drew me to him instantly and it never really went away.  After 8 months of hooking up, I was in love and he was indifferent.  I struggled with the emotional disparity for a long time and I don’t know that the hurt of not being loved or really even cared about back will ever fully go away but it was a valuable lesson learned and life changing experience none the less.  Over those 8  months where I was falling for my best friend’s friend, I was always turning to my BFF for advice or help with my emotional frustrations.  I hurt everyday, wracking my brain as to how he could not feel the same for me…how he could not love me too.  All the while I was not thinking about how unfair and/or uncomfortable this was for our mutual friend.

The entire “relationship” came to an abrupt end thanks to one evening filled with alcohol-induced ramblings and love proclamations.  I will get over the guy and if he is going to stop being friend with me because I got drunk and said that I loved him than he wasn’t worth my time anyway.  What I cannot move on from is that the entire event ruined my best friend’s birthday and negatively affected our friendship for some time.  While everything seems to be fine now and I believe the drunken debacle was far overreacted to, I still get upset over the fact that I hurt one of the best friends I’ve ever had and all over a boy.  Now, since his friend and I are no longer speaking, he has to choose who goes to what event and feels uncomfortable having both of us at the same parties and occasions.  While I am an adult and can fully handle seeing this guy, it is still an unfair situation to put my friend in and after his chaotic birthday he wants to avoid future drama at all costs.

Dating within the friend group of course works out very well for some people but my advice is ultimately to proceed with caution.  If you can handle the casual hookup scenario where you will have to see him again for potentially years to come and possibly with other girls then go for it.  Yet, be wary that you may fall for him or it may hurt to see him hitting on other people, watch him marry someone else, or have him not feel the same for you as you do for him and all of these things can affect your mutual friends and your important interpersonal relationships.  Was it worth it for me?  Well the jury is still out because who knows what the future can bring.  Will I date a friend of a friend again?  Probably because we cannot help who we are attracted to but I will do so more judiciously in the future and ever since the events with this guy I’ve had a very guarded heart and I don’t see that changing any time soon.  I suppose my advice for dating within the friend group is the same for dating in general, be careful not to fall to quickly and be wary of a broken heart yet don’t be so guarded that you are closed off for the possibility of love.  Remember who you friends are and never prioritize new people over those who have been there through the thick and thin and anyone who bails when things get the slightest bit tough have done you a favor so don’t stress, move on.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Somehow, despite my consistent relationship failures, I seem to be the go-to person for my closest friends when it comes to dating and relationship advice.  Perhaps it is because I am so open and honest about my sexploits as well as my emotional highs and lows that people feel comfortable disclosing their own dating tribulations.  Or, maybe because I am a good listener and have a degree in psychology, people appreciate the way I validate their upset, help them to draw their own conclusions, and enable them to select a course of action they find best rather than solely dictating my opinions and expecting them to adhere.  Whatever the reason, my friends come to me almost daily to discuss their forays in singledom, long-term relationship woes, or pre-marital bliss and I never tire of being on speed dial.

The other day I received a flurry of texts from one of my besties who is conflicted about her current relationship.  She has been on and off with her guy for over a year and is not sure whether she should stay with him and make it work or leave to try and find happiness with someone else since she is not attaining it with him.  She loves him and feels as though she needs him in her life but he always leaves her upset, filled with self-doubt, and questioning if she is capable of ever being loved or if there something inherently wrong with her.  I think a lot of young woman experience this same situation.  They date a guy because there is a comfort in companionship and consistency; then, suddenly it is six months later and they have become dependent upon a relationship they are not even entirely certain they want to be in.

I am not sure how much time guys spend thinking about their relationships or worrying about how their other half perceives them because only rarely do my guy friends confide details that intimate to me.  I tend to think they do not have the fear and dread that women do and once in a steady, committed partnership they no longer worry about it.  They just live their lives, are happy to see their significant others and spend time with them, and text their girls when they feel like it without over-analyzing or thinking the situation through beyond the facts of the moment.  However, when it comes to dating, women are never really comfortable and settled.  We always have a fear of him dumping us or cheating on us and worry that he is not the one and that we may be missing out on someone better.  We are afraid that he will leave yet we are scared to stay and endure the tribulations of our cognitive dissonance every day.

When my friend texted me about how confused and miserable she was with her boyfriend, what I deduced from her series of texts was that the two of them differed in what they wanted out of the relationship.  He wants casual and has friends and family as his top priorities while she wants something more serious and puts her relationship above all else.  She is not sure if she is in love with him or perhaps just the idea of him.  With everyone around her telling her that she can do better and deserves to be happy, she is beginning to wonder if the relationship will ever meet her expectations and if he will ever give her what she needs.  He is indifferent about her feelings and does what he pleases; yet, if she goes out with friends or does something independent of him that gives her a few minutes of bliss, he finds reason to be indignant and puts her down until she feels bad about it.  She is a hardworking, witty, beautiful, sexy, confident woman—except when it comes to him.  While it never ceases to baffle me that some of the most amazing women date guys who make them feel inferior and chip away at their self-esteem daily, I have been in the same boat as my friend and I would reason that countless other girls have as well.

Sometimes we get comfortable with someone or get so caught up in the attraction we have for a guy that we lose sight of the big picture.  There is a fine line between accepting someone as they are and adapting yourself to fit someone else’s needs.  I once dated a guy who I was extremely attracted to and quickly began to fall for.  He did not meet all of the criteria of my type but there was something about him that drew me in  So many of his behaviors were actions that would annoy me if performed by anyone else and I let him get away with whatever he pleased because I cared about him and wanted to make things work.  However, you get to a point where you have to evaluate the situation and ensure that you are not compromising yourself and your morals to be with someone.  If you are looking for something serious, which I was, yet are with someone who wants infrequent and casual, which he did, and neither of you are willing to budge, then you need to admit defeat and go your separate ways.  In my case, I decided to take a break from dating in general and was fine with a friends with benefits scenario, but you have to ensure that when you make the decision to meet him where he is at that you are doing it for yourself and are fine with the reality that it will likely never go anywhere further.

If you are in a relationship where you and your partner are in different places and looking for dissimilar things, do not blame yourself and do not force yourself to endure daily strain over the disparity between what you have and what you want.  Either make your intentions known and give him an ultimatum or take some time to cool off and re-evaluate.  While I hate to buy into the notion that dating is a game and every move has to be calculated, sometimes being forthright and open does not work and you have to resort to more devious measures.  I personally have a habit of being passive aggressive when I am upset and it has really never worked out for me because men take things at face value and if you say “no it’s fine,” they assume that to be the case and do not dig deeper to learn that you are pissed off.  If you are not getting what you want from your guy but are not willing to call it quits just yet, take a communication break.  Stop calling, texting, Facebooking, chatting, etc.  Do not click like on his Facebook statuses and do not get yourself upset by checking out his page several times a day.  If he texts or calls you then it is ok to respond but do not hang on his every word or jump at the chance to see him.  Live your life, spend time with friends, and take up activities that you find gratifying and if he wants to be with you he will have to fit into your life.

Do not let yourself to fall into the trap of allowing him to dictate your life.  If you get invited to a party on the weekend and want to go, confirm attendance without checking with him.  If he asks you later in the week what you are doing Saturday, tell him about the party and only bring him with you if he expresses interest.  Ultimately, dating and relationships are about finding someone to share a life with who will be a loving companion, an equal, and will enhance your life but not rule it.  Changing personal characteristics that you find flawed or improving yourself because you want to is an integral part of growing up and evolving with the world; just make sure you never change for anyone else or allow someone to make you think you are not worthy.  If someone was does not want to be with you, then they do not deserve all that you have to offer and you should move on to the next.

Despite What You Were Told, If a Boy Is Mean to You That Does Not Mean He Likes You

“But, despite the truth that I know
I find it hard to let go and give up on you
Seems I love the things you do
Like the meaner you treat me the more eager I am
To persist with this heartbreak and running around
And I think that I know things may never change
I’m still hoping one day I might hear you say
I make you feel a way you’ve never felt before
And I’m all you need and that you never want more”

-Adele

Growing up we girls were told that if a boy picked on us or was mean to us that meant he liked us.  This makes some sense in children because young boys may not understand their feelings or be confused at what they mean but adult men should know how to treat a girl like a lady and I just don’t buy this adage being applicable to anyone over the age of 13. As we got older our understanding of the dating world grew with us but somehow we females managed to ingrain the idea in our heads that mean boys act rude because they like us .  We innately respond to being treated like crap by reciprocating with feelings of love and devotion.  However, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your man isn’t nice to you or you like a guy and he doesn’t act like he likes you back–he doesn’t have feelings for you and you should move on.

So many times in my life I have dated guys or had crushes on boys who have treated me badly and it almost seemed as if the meaner they got, the more I wanted them.  It’s all part of that wanting what you can’t have mentality too.  We always want the guys who aren’t interested or are jerks probably because we like the challenge, feel that we can change their minds, or still believe what our parents and teachers told us about the boys who pushed us on the playground.  Girls get the idea in their head that they can change a guy’s mind or if we hang out with a guy enough he will realize how great we are and develop feelings.  Yet, the reality is, if you are hanging out with him and giving him what he wants, he won’t ask for something deeper and if you are holding out and he isn’t trying to make it something more, he isn’t interested.  It’s like the movie and book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, He’s Just Not That Into You, says, if a guy isn’t nice to you or isn’t trying to get with you, he is not interested so save your energy for someone who cares.

A friends of mine was recently hanging out with a boy who would treat her like crap.  He would tell her he didn’t want a relationship and wasn’t looking for anything but would still persuade her to sleep with him.  He would ignore her calls and texts unless he wanted something or openly talk about making plans with his exes.  For some reason, when a guy does these things we pursue and persist a relationship with them and develop what we believe to be feelings for them.  This is likely us mistaking lust for love or falling in love with the idea of someone rather than the actual person (article to come).  These are easy mistakes to make and they only mean that you are human; but knowing this doesn’t make it any easier to accept the reality of it all.

I have dated guys who could be downright awful.  I was once involved with a guy who would choose Call of Duty over my booty any day and would choose boozing to a blackout level over quality time with me.  I also have dated a guy who would use me for sex and did not really care about me but I convinced myself I was love with him when really it was only the idea of him that enticed me.  He once was so rude that during sex he told me “get off me and suck my dick.”  I was stunned and replied “no.”  So, he proceeded to tell me “ok then stop because if you won’t then someone out there will” in reference to his roommate’s friends in the living room.  Well I certainly did stop and start getting dressed to leave with tears in my eyes but did I end up going home?  No.  He apologized.  He was drunk.  I forgave him.  Yet, that stung like a thousand bees and staying was like pouring my self worth into a toilet and flushing it away.  I stayed because I “loved” him and would rather be with him as he was then lose him all together.

Sadly, I had mistaken great sex and a fun friendship for love and believed there was relationship potential despite him telling me that we would never be anything more than what we were because that wasn’t what he was looking for.  I had convinced myself that he really did have feelings for me, that over time he could grow to want something more, but I was wrong.  He never really wanted anything more than sex and companionship on his terms from me and I was foolish to ever believe otherwise.  If a guy wants to date you, he will try to make it happen.  We may have friends who had a hook-up or friends-with-benefits scenario turn into romance but those are just exceptions to the rule, as He’s Just Not That Into You will confirm.  The majority of men mean it when they say they don’t want a relationship and if they treat you like shit it’s because they don’t like you and/or they are a dick.  When you encounter one of these jerks don’t doodle his name on your notebook or dream about the beautiful babies you will have.  Instead be wise and run the other way.  Save you energy, vagina, and time for someone worthy of those things.

Platonic Sleepovers: Friends of the Opposite Sex

In doing research for the blog, I polled friends of both sexes to get ideas for what to post next and to better understand what my target audience wants to hear about.  I recently talked with a guy friend of mine who had quite a lot to say about dating and relationships despite having claimed to care about neither.  He informed me of his 3 unwavering requirements for dating girls.  First, she has to be financially independent.  Secondly, you must never allow yourself to fall in love with every girl you date.  You can have sex with her and spend time with her, but don’t get too attached.  (Apparently guys tend to fall in love with girls easily which was shocking news to me.  Where are these men when I’m dating??). And thirdly, she either cannot have a lot of guy friends or you cannot be a jealous man.  This point was of interest to me because I have tons of male friends that will always be just friends, but for the first time I wondered what guys would think about this.  Personally, when I like a guy or am dating someone I can get really jealous when he is spending time with girls or they are writing cutesy comments all over his Facebook page that are sexually ambiguous or downright lascivious.  I of course never would say anything and keep that envy and fear locked away inside, but the thoughts ultimately do cross my mind.  Obviously trust is the key to sustaining a relationship but does anything other than physical cheating count as crossing the line?

This past weekend I went out with one of my best friends to a concert.  Afterwards we got food and drinks and went back to his house to hang out more.  We fell asleep on the couch watching Inglorious Bastards and when we woke up late at night I opted to sleep there with him rather than to get up and drive home.  The next morning he made me breakfast (a request I make every time we hang out because his award winning pancakes are delicious), we went grocery shopping, and hung out the rest of the day watching funny videos and finishing the film from the night before.  This entire friend power-session was strictly platonic as we are truly just friends, but looking at it from a guy’s perspective I could faintly hear the lyrics of Biz Markie in the background.  Since I am single I certainly did nothing wrong and I have a number of single friends who have platonic sleepovers as well.  Interestingly, I know people happily in relationships who also sleep over at the homes of friends of the opposite gender.  While nothing sexual or physical takes place I still cannot help but wonder, is it wrong when you are dating someone to spend the night at the house of an opposite sex friend?  Inherently, I would say no since there is no attraction, cheating, or breaking of trust but I still would be deeply hurt if I had a boyfriend who spent the night in a hot girl’s bed having a “platonic sleepover.”

While we personally may not be attracted to these opposite sex friends, I do question if it becomes wrong when we know that a friend has feelings for us and we still spend a physicality-free night at his/her place.  When I first starting dating someone a while back, I slept on sofa with a friend who I knew liked me.  Nothing happened other then us sharing the couch and some platonic touching.  Additonally,  this other guy and I had done nothing more than kiss and had literally just begun dating; yet, it still felt wrong because we were friends for a while before deciding to take it to another level.  If he had done the same thing I would not have been mad but I would have been hurt or taken it as a sign that he was not truly interested in me.  Even when in a relationship, so many people spend the night at an opposite sex friends’ place and think nothing of it.  If no cheating takes place and there is no attraction then technically there is not anything wrong with it but I still can’t see any boyfriend or girlfriend accepting platonic sleepovers as just part of their significant other’s life.  Despite it not being innately wrong, I would feel somewhat guilty telling a boyfriend that I spent the night at some guys house and yada, yada, yada he cooked me breakfast the next day.  In this instance the yada would be sleep not sex but what guy would be cool with that?  Moreover, if it does not phase him, what is he doing when you are not around?

Aside from platonic sleepovers, overall friendships with members of the alternate gender can be tricky.  I grew up with more guy friends than girl ones and even now still have a lot of close friends who are male.  Being a talkative person, I am always sharing stories of times with one guy friend or another and while I know they are just friends and I am telling people about them because they are interesting or funny, it only recently has occurred to me that it could appear as though something more was going on.  This compounded with all the joke-flirting that I engage in with all my close male and female friends on social networking sites (mainly Facebook) may give the appearance of impropriety or scare some guys away who might like me but think that I am not single or capable of commitment.  Perhaps part of why many of my relationship attempts do not work out is because my close friendships and extreme comfortableness with members of the opposite sex is intimidating.  However, since it is best to always be ourselves and be honest in relationships and without trust a partnership will never work, are we really supposed to change our friendships or hide the truth for fear of upsetting our significant others when we know that what we are doing is not cheating and that we only have eyes for our partners?  I suppose my friend’s guypinion was correct and when it comes to dating we have to either draw our own lines and set boundaries for ourselves for the good our sexual relationships or we must opt to date people who are not the jealous type…which is so rare being that it is ingrained in our nature as human beings.

I would never expect a guy I was dating to change who he is or give up any of his friends but I also do not know how well I’d handle him sharing his bed with a girl for a platonic cuddle session either.  Additionally, I do not want to alter the nature of my present friendships for someone else, especially when I have no attraction to these male friends.  Yet, I could understand a boyfriend wanting me to out of respect for him.  Ultimately, I do not really have any answer for this one.  It is not wrong but it also is not right.  Modern relationships are so much more complicated then they were hundreds of years ago or even just a few decades ago with society being far more liberal.  Opposite sex adult sleepovers are a more recently common happening; so I wonder that while society as a whole is evolving and setting looser boundaries, is the individual American mentally and emotionally capable of handling the complexities of twenty-first century dating or are the innate sensitivities of human nature unavoidable?

I would love to hear everyone’s opinion on this so please share any stories you may have.

Can Sex Really Ever Be Casual

I find myself repeating like a broken tune
And I’m forever excusing your intentions
And I give in to my pretendings
Which forgive you each time
Without me knowing
They melt my heart to stone

And I hear your words that I made up
You say my name like there could be an us
I best tidy up my head I’m the only one in love
I’m the only one in love”

-Adele

Can sex really ever be casual?  Are we ever truly capable of reaching the ultimate physical level with a person and not feeling a thing beyond an orgasm?  If so, does this make us less humane or immoral?  Should we feel attached to someone we make that level of a connection with or is it acceptable for two people to use one another for sexual gratification and pleasure without intentions on either end of it ever going further?  What happens when one person falls in love?

All these questions constantly come up in my life either in my own head, in various social mediums, or from friends of mine wondering the same things we all really do.  We all love sex, if it didn’t feel good people wouldn’t do it other than for procreation and it is totally natural.  However, how much of the emotionality tied into it is psychological and is any part of it is physiological?  Evidence shows it is a bit of both.

There is a natural hormone in the human body called oxytocin.    Oxytocin is best known for roles in female reproduction:

  1. It is released in large amounts after distension of the cervix and uterus during labor, and
  2. After stimulation of the nipples, facilitating birth and breastfeeding.

Recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin’s role in various behaviors, including orgasms.  The relationship between oxytocin and human sexual response is unclear; however, at least two non-controlled studies have found increases in plasma oxytocin at orgasm – in both men and women.  Oxytocin evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security around the mate.Many studies have already shown a correlation of oxytocin with human bonding, increases in trust, and decreases in fear.

One study confirmed that there was a positive correlation between oxytocin plasma levels and an anxiety scale measuring the adult romantic attachment.This suggests that oxytocin may be important for the inhibition of brain regions that are associated with behavioral control, fear, and anxiety, thus allowing orgasm to occur.  In a risky investment game, experimental subjects given nasally administered oxytocin displayed “the highest level of trust” twice as often as the control group.  Since it has found to increase trust and reducing fear it is believed that the chemical may be responsible for the feelings of trust, attachment and “love” after having sex with someone, mainly in females since it is a reproductive hormone.  So ladies, you aren’t actually crazy, you are just female if you feel like you’ve fallen for a guy quickly.  This is yet another reason to hold off on sex until you get to know a guy or you could get attached to a douche and waste months of your life like I have sadly too many times.

Ok, enough of the science lesson, let’s talk experience.  I have written a number of times about Lust vs. Love and how do you know when it’s real and when it’s just a phase.  Oftentimes you start hooking up with someone with the intent of it being a casual, sporadic, and fun thing; yet, it evolves into something of meaning for at least one of the individuals, usually the female.  She begins to have feelings and fall for him, while he has her on a rotation with a number of other girls or thinks nothing much of her.  Obviously this does not happen with every casual sex relationship but many hook-ups also come with an accompanying friendship and it is easy to blur the lines between friendship and feelings.

While two parties can enter into an agreement of casual fun sex or a “friends with benefits” scenario where promises are made to keep emotionality out of the mix, we cannot help but develop feelings.  It is both a chemical, physiological response and a byproduct of spending time being that close to someone.  If two friends are hooking up but also hanging out, a relationship forms whether or not the parties involved choose for that to happen.  Some people are better at remaining detached and may have feelings but choose to ignore them because they do not want the complications and obligations in life that a relationship brings.  Others may start to fall for their eff buddy and begin to believe that it is becoming something more while their partners are just not interested.

It is hard to tell if your sex friend is into you as something more than just that because all the tell-tale signs go out the window.  Normally you can tell if a guy likes you buy the way he looks at you, body language, his proximity to you during conversation, even the tone of his voice. Girls just know when a guy likes them.  Plus things get more defined when the girl is asked out on a date.  With the “friends with benefits” scenario, all of this is skipped.  There is an obvious attraction and likely a friendship so technically the two would be a good fit for a relationship; however, for some reason both parties are not looking for something serious at the time of initiation.  Some common reasons for entering into such arrangements would be a busy work schedule, fear of getting hurt, a recent breakup, or disinterest in serious commitment.  So, for whatever reason two people engage in casual sex and assume they can remain otherwise platonic.

Another form of casual sex is the post-bar hookup.  How often have you gone home with someone after a night of drinking but actually turn out to like the person on some level so you exchange numbers and continue to hook up with them?  You may have met under very casual, heat of the moment circumstances; yet, a relationship can still stem from this.  The post-bar hook-up turned serious-committed-relationship is not a myth as they occasionally do work out.  Don’t ever go into such an engagement with the notion that it will go somewhere because the majority of times it will go nowhere other than wherever you two do it that evening.  There are exceptions every once and a while and these can turn into something more; however, only rarely does that happen.

So, back to my initial question.  Can sex ever really be casual?  Can we ever have a strictly platonic sexual relationship in which emotionality is removed and only physicality remains?  I would guess that some guys can do this  but I have never met a girl capable of it.  I am really curious to hear examples and opinions so please feel free to comment or submit a follow-up article to me at max.sexiquette@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Nice Guys Finish Last…and So Do Girls Who Fall For Bad Boys

You once made this promise to stay by my side
But after some time, you just pushed me aside
You never thought that a girl could be strong
Now, I’ll show you, how to go on

Be my bad boy, be my man
Be my weekend lover, but don’t be my friend
You can be my bad boy, but understand
That I don’t need you in my life again

-Cascada

It never ceases to amaze me how dumb we girls can be.  We date “nice” guys who do and say all the right things but we end up hurting them or leaving them because they are boring or “too nice.”  Yet when we date a guy who says words that hurt us, treats us like dirt, or is not invested in us or looking for a relationship we fall in love and allow ourselves to get hurt.  I’ve done it, my friends have done it, and I’m sure you have too.  It seems irrational, almost pathological to go back to the men who hurt us and to leave the ones capable of love and devotion; yet, is is statistically the norm.

I have a friend who is dating a guy presently who meets a lot of prime criteria.  He is very good looking, nice, knowledgeable, educated, hard working, and has a great body.  He is overall well-rounded person and would make prime boyfriend material.  However, this friend states that he is kind of boring and that she secretly also has feelings for another guy.  This other guy is the epitome of a bad boy all grown up.  He had a kid at 19, is in his 30’s still working in a simple, thoughtless job to just pay the bills and party, and sleeps around.  He would sleep with her one day then be hanging out with another girl in front of her the next.  Mr. Bad Boy stated that he wasn’t looking for a relationship and it seems as though once men utter those words we want them more than ever.  When we hear that they are not looking for anything serious we somehow decide that we have already fallen for them and we cannot lose them.  We convince ourselves that if we try harder and we give it our all, things will turn around and they will eventually see all that we have to offer and fall for us.  We also have a bad habit of wanting what we can’t have but if we can’t have it that is usually for the best in the long run…if only we could see that right away.

I once dated a “nice” guy who even went so far as to cook me dinner on his birthday.  I really tried to like him but there was no attraction.  I found myself irked at random things he did and the thought of having sex with him creeped me out after a while so I did the most immature thing you can do; I stopped returning his texts and he very quickly got the hint.  On the flip side, I dated a guy who was likely all wrong for me.  I’m what you would call a good girl (despite having a sex blog) and surprisingly enough have not slept with a lot of people, graduated summa cum laude from a good university, work two jobs, etc.  I in no way think I’m better than others and if anything have an inferiority complex at times.  However, I work hard, abide by the rules and laws, and am an honest, sweet person at heart.  This guy had gone to jail, smoked, and was only looking for something casual while I am Ms. Goody Two-Shoes and wanted a relationship.  Yet, while a number of decent guys wanted something serious with me, I went back to Mr. Bad Boy.  The sad thing is, I don’t have regrets and would do it all over again despite getting hurt.  Why, you might ask?  Well, it’s simple, bad boys are fun and the sex is usually good.  We sometimes date these guys for the same reason they are attracted to us, the challenge.  We hold out on sex and they want it.  They hold back on love and we desire emotionality beyond physicality.  There also is some sort of a savior complex with the bad boys where we think we can be the ones to change them.  We believe that we can somehow tame them and the difficulty of that prospect is exciting to us and motivates us to persist.

At my all time dating low I dated a bad  boy who was the worst of the worst.  He at first acted like he was attending a good college and that he wanted a relationship.  Come to find out, he dropped out of school, got his license revoked for 2 DUIs, and moved back in with his mom so he could play Call of Duty and drink all day.  I sure knew how to pick the winners back then.  Instead of running for the hills I was convinced I could change him and help him.  We dated for a little over 6 months, I got him a job, worked hard to be there for him, and was was trying to get him to be the better person I thought he could be.  Instead of being appreciative, he would get shit-faced and drunk-drive to my house and break stuff.  He would yell at me and throw me out of the car sometimes over dumb stuff like money (because I worked and had it while he didn’t so I paid for everything).  This bad boy had anger issues, was immature, and treated me like dirt yet I convinced myself I loved him to justify being with him.  Eventually I’d had enough and cut my ties with him (after he got fired from the job I got him) and I vowed to never date down and compromise myself ever again.  I don’t believe in regret but I do wish I’d ditched him sooner.  Yet, everything happens for a reason and I became stronger through the experience.  He also is a prime example of when not to have sex on the first date.  (In my defense we were talking for quite a while before officially going on a date but still, it’s never a wise move).

My roommate and I were recently talking bad boys and she was frustrated because so many of our friends go back with guys they shouldn’t when they deserve so much better and she and I have been known to do it as well.  We also tend to compromise our morals and be with guys who aren’t looking for the same things so rather then cease the sex and just be friends our say good riddance, we allow them to get the milk for free in hopes that they will change their mind. We actually discussed this over some wine the other night with a male friend who laughed at the thought of a non-committal, anti-relationship guy being persuaded by free sex to stick around for something more.  If they are getting what they want and you are compromising yourself to give them everything that they are looking for, why would they initiate a discussion about becoming more serious or ask you for something they were never looking for.  Maybe if you walk away or if you are with someone else they may care enough to compromise some of their desires to keep you but it’s a risky game and you have to  be willing to lose him–but  you didn’t really have him to begin with.

It amazes me how guys will say that you two are open to sleep with other people yet they get upset if you are with someone else.  They feel free to bang everything human with tits and yet we are expected to be exclusive to them.  This double standard really irritates me.  It’s not that I want to be with other people because I can only be actively sleeping with one person at a time.  It is more that I don’t want the one guy I’m with to be with other people.  Even if we aren’t exclusive, it hurts.  A million questions race through my mind.  Am I not good enough?  Will he want a relationship with one of them?  What do they have that I don’t?  How can I keep compromising my morals and keep sleeping with someone who doesn’t value me?  Does this make me a screwed up?  Etc.  While we are racking our brains with negative thoughts and an over analysis  of the situation, men aren’t thinking much at all.  They are thinking about what to eat for lunch, what they are doing tonight, and work.  Whether this is due to some genetic predisposition or just the social construction of our genders, men tend to be casual while women lean towards neuroticism.  Obviously that is a rash generalization but in the majority of cases women care too much while men do not care enough.  There is really no way to rectify this.  The only solution I can come up with is to not get involved with people who are wrong for you.  Get to know someone before you sleep with them so you can tell if they are someone you would like to continue seeing and potentially date and stay away from those  bad boys unless you want to get hurt or you are a bad girl.  Nothing good comes from dating those who are wrong for us except maybe a few life lessons and some great sex…if you’re lucky.

Cheated Hearts

“Cheated by
The opposite of love
Held on high
From up up up above
Kept my high
From the second one
Kept my eye
On the first one

Now take these rings
And stow them safe away
I’ll wear them on
Another rainy day
Take these rings
And stow them safe away
I’ll wear them on
Another rainy day”

-Yeah Yeah Yeahs

As I grow older, gain more experience in the dating world, continue working on this blog, and increase my number of friends, the more I learn about the dark side of dating. We like to believe that the hardest part is finding the right person, that once we find that special someone we are set for life.  However, oftentimes that isn’t the case.  When I began the blog I started to become more in tune with all things dating, including my friends’ perceptions of it and experiences with it.  I also am frequently coming up with ideas as the world is so inspirational to me.  One topic that keeps recurring in my life is cheating and all variations on it.

I’ve worked in bars for years and seeing business men from out of town taking girls home from the bar while they were wed to someone else was an early glimpse of just how dubious people’s ethics can be and how dishonest and shameless people can be in relationships.  While in Albuquerque on a work trip my friend and I met a group of cute guys who we were hanging out with and who wanted to take us back to their hotel; however, only one of them was not married.  So we turned down these married navy men because neither one of us could stomach being the other woman in an extramarital affair.
Some men hide their rings, knowing how wrong what they are doing is.  Others wear them and expect us to be ok with the fact that they have a wife (and maybe kids) at home who think her husband if off working hard for the family when really he’s getting hard betraying his family.  I am so curious as to who these women are that see a wedding ring on a man’s finger but ignore it and bang him anyway.  They know it can’t go anywhere, especially if he is from out of town, and no matter who you are you can envision how much it would hurt to learn you’ve been cheated on.  How any girl can violate girl code and do that to another woman, whether they know her or not, is beyond me.  It’s just so wrong and there is no way to justify it.

The above tales are examples downright cheating; however, I have also seen and experienced a lot of instances where something may not technically be cheating but still isn’t right.  A friend of mine recently learned that while she was out of town, her live-in  boyfriend had a female coworker whom she had never met over for wine alone.  This woman drank wine in her place with her boyfriend and used her computer to go on Facebook.  My friend uncovered the secret and her man at first lied about it.  While he claims that nothing happened and they are just friends, what he did was wrong.  There are lines you don’t cross and gray areas you don’t enter if you want to stay in your relationship and be a good person and putting yourself into situations of potential cheating is one of those lines.

Interestingly, I am currently friends with a guy who is in a relationship and lives with his girlfriend.  The other night we met up for a drink on a Saturday at about midnight.  He had just finished work and I was heading home from a friend’s house and we had been texting throughout the evening.  I outright stated to him that this hang out session was strictly platonic.  There was potential for some cross promotional work with his company and my blog plus we just got along well and I want to be friends with him.  However, what was supposed to be a friendly get together definitely felt more like a date.  His body language and things he said made me certain that he was interested in more than just friendship.  So, here I was in a bar, having a drink with a man who wants to sleep with me who also has an unsuspecting live-in girlfriend.  I questioned why I was there because I knew that this was wrong.  Of course I didn’t allow for anything to happen and kept the meeting physically platonic with nothing transpiring beyond a good-bye hug but I still feel as though I had betrayed girl code and done something that was immoral.  My intentions were nothing beyond friendship but he had impure motives that I was aware of which makes this one of those gray areas that can be seen as cheating and end a relationship.

Bear in mind that these lines are not only crossed  by men and that women are equally as guilty.  A few years ago I had a girl friend who was in a serious, committed relationship and was living with a man she loved and whom she intended to one day marry.  However, she would infrequently text an old flame or sometimes even sext him and would occasionally meet up with this boy in person but do nothing other than chat at a public place.  There were times I was with her at a bar when he would meet up and hang out for a little then leave with nothing more than conversation and a little flirting having taken place.  He was aware that she had a boyfriend but definitely was interested in her beyond friendship and she still was attracted to him, placing her in one of those gray areas that just isn’t worth the risk.

At what point is one crossing the line in these above examples?  Is it only when any form of physicality takes place between the two?  Must it be kissing or sex?  Is just the fact that one was alone with someone whom they are attracted to who is single a violation in the relationship?

Over the past few years I’ve sadly learned how ubiquitous cheating is.  Be it a gray area or outright cheating with a someone becoming sexually involved with someone other than his/her, I see it all around me.  My friends have been cheated on, some of my friends are players, and most of my friends have crossed a line without actually getting physical with someone.  Essentially it all boils down to what the terms and “rules” of your relationship are and of course trust is key.  However, if you are in a relationship and spending time away from your partner with someone whom you are attracted to and would like to be something more with, what you are doing is wrong if you feel the need to keep it from your significant other because he or she would be angry and your actions could possibly lead to a breakup.  It is best to stay out of these gray areas and on the right side of the line if you want to hold onto your man or lady.  And ultimately, if you aren’t happy with whom you are with end it, don’t cheat.  I never have understood cheating because if you don’t love the person you are with, don’t see a future, or have feelings/attraction for other people then you should get out before you risk hurting your significant other (and even yourself) even further.

“You’re a Cool Chick and All But I’m Just Not Interested In a Relationship Right Now”

Didn’t I give it all?
Tried my best,
Gave you everything I had,
Everything and no less,
Didn’t I do it right?
Did I let you down?

Maybe you got too used to,
Having me around,
Still, how can you walk away,
From all my tears?
It’s gonna be an empty road,
Without me right here,

But go on and take it,
Take it all with you,
Don’t look back,
At this crumbling fool,
Just take it all,
With my love,
Take it all,
With my love

– Adele

Ladies, how many guys have you been with where you wanted something more while he claimed to not feel anything for you?  Men, how often have you really liked a girl and gotten the “it’s not you it’s me” line?  We all experience a situation or two or ten at some point(s) in our dating lives in which we allow ourselves to feel for someone while they claim to feel nothing for us (other then just below the waist of course).  As girls, we swap stories of the shitty men we date and grumble about how much men suck.  We like to rationalize and blame it on the gender and men do the exact thing about us.  However, while often times we tend to read into things that aren’t there, in some instances there is something going on that is more than meets the eye.

While over my friend’s house last night having a relaxing, chill evening enjoying various shows via Netfilix on her XBOX, we decided to watch an episode of “My So Called Life.”  For those of you who have never heard of it, MSCL is a drama from back in the 90’s when my age was not even in double digits yet.  It starred Claire Danes and I believe it was actually her big break.  I recall the show airing originally on ABC but it only survived one season.  MTV ended up picking up the show for syndication and it became an instant cult classic.  I haven’t seen the show in years but I remember loving it is as a kid.  Well, nearly 20 years later and the show’s concepts still are relevant and relatable.

In the episode I watched entitled “Guns and Gossip,” the plot line revolved around the main character, Claire Danes’ Angela, having rumors spread about her that she slept with her crush Jordan (a young, dreamy Jared Leto).  Near the end of the episode there was a moment where Jordan told Angela that she means nothing to him and he doesn’t feel anything for her.  While in this particular instance the show Hollywoodized relationships and in later episodes the two date and you realize he was lying, to her and to himself at this point in the courtship.  However, this got me thinking about how many guys I’ve dated or hooked-up with on regular basis who wouldn’t commit.  Lately, I’ve come to realize this isn’t an irritating issue that I alone face repeatedly but rather, this is a factor that effects most single girls my age.  I’ve recently been hanging out with some single friends, as opposed to my merry band of coupled-out pals, and have begun to hear them complaining about situations just like my own.  They are hooking up with certain guys and want it to be something more but because he doesn’t they all settle for what it is.  But why is it that we settle?  Why do we let men control the fate of a relationship?  Not to sound all feminist because I’m sure guys have been in similar sets of circumstances and feel the same but I just do not get why we allow our own hopes and happiness to be remodeled into someone else’s desires.  How do we make the conscious decision to sacrifice what we ultimately want so that we can enjoy some portions of needs and wants rather than losing everything all together?

Well while I obviously don’t have the answer, I do have an opinion or two about the rationale behind it.  I believe that we often subconciously or consciously convince ourselves that when he tells us that he isn’t looking for anything serious or doesn’t want a relationship right now what he really means is “keep hooking-up with me and you can change my mind” or “I do have feelings but I am not going to admit them easily so continue to be with me to draw them out.”  We like to think that they are just hiding their true emotions or that given more time with us they will learn to appreciate and love who we are and what we have to offer.  In some cases this happens to be a true.  When grumbling to a guy friend of mine about how I was dating someone who said he didn’t want a relationship, he laughed and said “no guy wants a relationship, but then one day you wake up and you realize ‘shit I’m in a relationship.'”  Hearing something like that gives us girls false hope though because this guy is somewhat of an exception and is quite romantic with his now girlfriend.  Not all guys are like this but we tend to base our interpersonal and sexual relations and decisions on the exception to the rule as opposed to the norm.  If 1 girlfriend of ours who is in a serious relationship would adamently state that her man was not looking for anything serious when they started but now he’s in love, we ignore the 30 other friends’ stories to the contrary and believe our situation can be the exception too.  But again, why do we torture ourselves?  There are plenty of guys out there that are better men or more suitable companions so why do we try so hard to make things work with the ones who do not want us?

I personally happen to have the irritating flaw of/obsession with wanting the ones who don’t feel the same  way back and this is true for both friendships and intimate relationships.  If someone isn’t interested or rejects me, I want them even more.  I somehow get myself into a situation where I am regularly or semi-regularly sleeping with guys that don’t want anything serious.  This gets me to a point where I want something and get frustrated with the lack of respect or he decides he’s bored and moves onto an easier lay (not that I’m easy though!).  I’m sure there are times I try too hard or I buy into their false intentions early in the game and get screwed.  With other guys, I just fizzle them out when I realize we aren’t compatible.  In order to protect myself from getting to attached or having sex to soon I recently had a phase where I dated guys that were not my type who I wasn’t that attracted to.  The rationale was that I would date these men and be capable of waiting a long time before caving in and having sex and in the process I would grow to be attracted to them and they would fall for me.  Well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad I suppose.  This situation backfired to the point where the guys fell for me and wanted me badly and actually were really trying (cooking me dinner, etc.) and I never gave in sexually; however, I never became attracted to them either.  Part of it was not just appearance but personality too and the whole experiment in dating made me wonder if I waited longer with other guys I’d hooked up with would I realize they weren’t compatible as well?

I have had my share of rejection and being as sensitive as I am I tend to take things far more personally than I should.  There was one guy I dated whom I really liked.  I cannot exactly articulate what it is that I loved about him, it was likely just that he had a certain je ne sais quoi about him the drew me in.  It also didn’t hurt that the sex was great and he was very attractive in an unconventional way…just my type.  He also was super sweet in the beginning and acted like he was really looking for something and we had mutual friends so I envisioned things going somewhere.  Then one day three hours before we were supposed to go on a date I got a phone call that basically said “Hey so you’re a cool chick and all but I’m not looking for a relationship right now and we can like be friends and all but I just wanna hang out with my guy friends and do the brother thing…you know?”  I think the saddest part of this story is that following this call I still would hang out with him, sleep with him, and convinced myself that someday we would be together.  Needless to say, things never worked out and I wound up getting hurt in the end when I believed that we were at the very least friends and thought he could be there for me during a tough time and he instead avoided me.

Despite things not working out, I had fun while it was good, I had  a few months of great sex, and I learned a number of important lessons.  Going through a rough time also helps you see who your real friends are and the ones who don’t call, visit, send flowers, or at least just tell you that they hope you are ok aren’t worthy of your time.  If a guy or girl ever calls you up, texts you, facebook messages you, or meets you in person to tell you that he/she doesn’t want to be with you or isn’t looking for a relationship be glad you are hearing this now while it is still early and not months or years down the line when your heart is capable of being crushed because heartbreak is far worse than rejection.  Respect their honesty and head for the hills because if you are looking for something real you sure as hell do not want to be caught up in a situation where you waste months hooking up with someone believing it will go somewhere only to get hurt and realize that you could have missed viable opportunities with men capable of commitment to be with a dick who just wants you for sex.  As I said in the Lust vs. Love article, if you take away the sex, what is there?  Would he still come around?  Would you?

Follow-Up: The Facebook Break-Up

Seeing as this is a blog on Sexiquette, I have wanted to do an all-encompassing break-up post discussing the number of methods used by others to end things with me or by me to end a relationship with someone else.  However, after posting the recent article on Facebook and social networking, I have an addendum posting to add that addresses a new low in the dating world–being dumped on FB.

While it is hard for me to fathom someone using FB chat to end a relationship and it seems more like something out of commercial plot line than real life, I have experienced this appalling violation of sexiquette first hand.  Well, let me start from the beginning.  A friend of mine who I had grown close to over a period of months and been hanging out with weekly eventually became intoxicated and professed his love to me.  He said a number of very sweet things and it came out that he’d had a crush on me for months but was too nervous to ask me out because he was intimated by me.  Given my self esteem issues at the time this was very flattering, especially considering that I found him cute.  He wasn’t my type and there were a number of large reasons not to date him pertaining to his family and our friend group; however, I decided to give it a shot.  While the first few dates went really well and he was super affectionate, holding my hand and kissing me a lot, apparently words wound up speaking louder than actions for once.  We had not yet had sex but heavy fooling around and other activities had occurred.  We also had a number of honest conversations about ourselves and our families that were rather personal given that we had been friends for months before taking things to another level.

After our last date I could tell things had changed suddenly.  He went from texting me daily to disappearing and when I reached out to him to see if he wanted to hang out, he told me that he needed to go to the gym at night and didn’t have much time.  Rather than beat myself up about it I did what I do best, find a physical distraction.  I slept with my on and off friend-with-benefits and set a date with a new guy who had been asking me out.  This may have been rash but my suspicions were right.  All of this happened over a weekend so when the following week started I was chatting with this boy on FB chat and finally just called him out on the situation.  I outright told him that I’d had a lot of fun so far and would like to go out again if he’s interested.  He proceeded to tell me that he had a lot of fun too but seeing as he didn’t have a car, worked nights, lived at home with his Mom, and wanted to work out on his evenings off he just didn’t have time for a relationship.  While all of the aforementioned reasons would serve as valid excuses on my end as reasons to dump him and should have been major red flags before even agreeing to go out with him, I still managed to get sucked into his flattery and date him.  Since he had asked me out and was the one with the crush on me I was shocked and called him out on such facts.  He replied “I know, I feel like such a turd burger.”  Ok, one, what the hell is a turd burger?  Two, who the hell says turd burger?   Three, damn I dodged a douche.  Unbelievable!  Who the hell uses such lame excuses or ends things on FB after things had gotten physical and we had been good friends for month especially when he was the one who took things to the next level in the first place?!  Honestly I can do much better and I know it but I’m still pissed when I think about it.  Here I was dating a guy who was not my type because he seemed like a nice guy (who cares if he didn’t meet my physical criteria, lived at home, worked nights, and didn’t have a car so I always had to pick him up) and he still turned out to be a total shit.  This made me lose my faith in nice guys a bit and pissed me off more than it hurt me.  I did my best to shrug it off and say “his loss” and was onto the next.

So I began hanging out with a new guy and about a week after the FB dumping I was creeping on this boys page, just to see what he was up to, and saw that some girl was writing hearts on his page.  Red flag!  This was suspicious activity given that I’d never seen this girl on his page before and he supposedly wasn’t looking to date.  I know I probably sound like a stalker but I really was not excessively creeping and I had a right to see what he was up to.  If he didn’t want me to see his postings he could have blocked me or changed his privacy settings.  So, I thought it was a little weird but did nothing about it.  Less than a week after that, he updated his relationship status to “in a relationship” with Miss Hearts and the two were writing “I love you” on each other’s walls daily.  WTF?  I was again appalled.  “Turd burger” does not even begin to describe this dipshit.  Here I was giving this kid a chance and falling for his bullshit about having a crush on me for months when all the while he was playing me and hanging out with this less attractive bitch too.  The sad part is, if he had just been honest with me I would have been cool with it.  I am a very truthful person and highly value sincerity and rectitude in others.  I had been very candid with him about situations in my life and since we were good friends he owed me the same.  However, instead of just being honest and admitting he was a dick but keeping his friend, he chose to lose me as a friend and be an even bigger ass.

Well, there is one final piece to this story and it really serves as the icing on the cake.  Following his bullshit stories and newly found love I began this blog.  When I wrote one of my very first articles, Lying Sexiquette, I posted it up on FB on my page and a number of friends’ pages, including his.  Within 24 hours, I was unfriended.  So not only did he fuck with my emotions, manipulate me, lie to me repeatedly, and dick me over…he gave me a final slap in the face by being the one to defriend me.  Rather than waste tears on this scumbag I just laughed and said my mental good riddance.  Aside from the facts that I’m prettier than this other girl, I can do so much better, and he saved me from getting too involved with a guy who was totally wrong for me and who only was capable of providing me with an increased weekly gas bill, I was disappointed to lose a friend out of all of this.  I had liked hanging out with him and it heart to no longer be able to hang out with all of his friends who I had really grown to like.  But, since they were his friends first and we barely dated, he wins them in the custody battle without a doubt.  So, I got lied to, manipulated, used, and hurt while “turd burger” got some fun out of the deal and only lost one friend whom he apparently did not care much about anyway.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, “the power in a relationship lies with the one who cares the least.”   I’m  not advising anyone to become devoid of emotionality or be apathetic to love and relationships, but I am saying “proceed with caution” because the dating world is dangerous and depressing if you don’t take the right path.  Relationships are kind of like roses, beautiful to look at but you have to be careful when you get up close because you might get pricked by a thorn.  Anyway, being the poet that I am I could use analogies all day but I will spare my readers.  The point is, dating is difficult and you get hurt more times than you get lucky (in the relationships sense not the sexual one) and finding true love is extraordinarily difficult in the present day and age.  Yet, it is all worth it when you find someone to share a life with.  Break-ups happen and they hurt for both parties involved and there is an etiquette involved in dumping people, which I will write all about later.  However, under no circumstances is a break-up via Facebook chat acceptable, it’s just plain bad sexiquette.

Facebook…Good or Bad for Relationships

It’s crazy to think how different the dating world of 2011 is compared to those of just a decade or so ago.  Everyone has cell phones, there are more social  networking sites then there are Dunkin Donuts, and the rules have changed significantly.  I remember when I was in 5th or 6th grade and chat rooms were new and cool, now they have been replaced by BBM, Twitter, and Facebook.  While we have grown dependent upon all this technology, is it really such a good thing?

In my case, the easy ability to connect to the world via the virtual realm probably has a very negetive effect.  Given all my fears of winding up alone, Facebook and other social networking sites give me 24/7 access to communication with anyone of my “547” friends, so when I am home by myself and need a social connection, it is always available.  I use quotations since the disparity between FB friends and real friends is usually quite high.  I love FB for the ability to chat with people from my home state or friends I haven’t had time to see.  It’s funny to write silly things on people’s walls or have joke conversations on someone’s wall for everyone to see and join in on and I love watching or posting funny videos.  However, FB also has caused me a lot of tears.

One feature about FB is the fact that it has privacy settings, so we choose who sees us and what they see.  There is nothing worse in the virtual realm than being un-friended (except maybe libel).  I do not know what it is that I do to people, but I feel as though I’ve been de-friended more than an acceptable number of times which has made me reevaluate my reliance on such technological social mediums.  If we aren’t dating and we aren’t friends in the real world then why should I care that we are also not friends in the virtual one?  Well, there are a number of reasons.

First, it’s just plain rude.  We are all adults and unless you are being stalked or work with the person in some capacity that you don’t want them to see you are dating someone new then de-friending is just an unnecessary slap in the face.  Second,everyone wants to know what their ex is up to post-breakup.  We ALL creep, there’s no denying it.  I suppose this is why we get de-friended and it makes it easier to move on if you can’t see what they are up to but if you share mutual friends you still come a cross photos of them and your heart breaks a little every time you do.  Seeing an ex who removed you from his list of friends or  blocked you hurts because here is a guy you had feelings for who doesn’t want anything to do with you continuing to live his life spending time with the people you care about.  You can’t help but feel as though he won them in some sort of custody dispute.  Thirdly, if you do share friends, it would be in your best interest to remain on amicable terms in order to still be around each other at the same events and outings.  Un-friending someone makes it very awkward to ever see them again and feel comfortable.

There are also valid reasons to un-friend someone as well because perhaps you do not want someone who you broke up with or ended a hookup with to see what you are up to and look through your pics.  You may want space and not being reminded of the other person every time you log in by posts and updates can help with that.  Yet, the hurt of being de-friended or blocked takes a long time to go away because it’s just another way of being rejected and tossed aside which is rough to take if you have self-esteem issues.

I was recently de-friended by my “friend with benefits.”  While I wanted a relationship for a long time, I had decided a month or so ago to take a break and just have fun and work on myself.  I tend to put so much of my time and energy into who I want to be and what others think of me that I sometimes lose site of who I am and how I view myself.  I was so fearful of being alone that I latched on to whoever I dated that was decent and attractive, even if they really weren’t relationship material.  So after a year of heavy dating that didn’t go anywhere, I was happy to be just hooking up with a guy; but, I made the mistake of developing strong feelings for him.  Long story short, PMS, high stress, high emotionality, and alcohol do not mix.  I took some time away from FB and even the blog to get myself back on track and when I returned, he had de-friended me with no explanation–though I suppose one wasn’t really necessary.

The ironic part of the story is that I had feelings for him since very early on and he never really reciprocated anything beyond strong attraction and physicality.  I would allow myself to  be jealous if I saw him in pics with other girls or if girls flirted with him on the page.  I would never say anything about that, even if in a relationship, because we weren’t dating, we were not exclusive, and if we were then there would be trust and I would assume that the posts and pics were harmless.  He and I would argue or he would do something to hurt me and then I would be haunted by his FB statuses and pics as I viewed my homepage.  I would even cry sometimes when he upset me but could never bring myself to move on or unfriend him, even when my friends repeatedly told me to and that I deserved better.  So, I got drunk and embarrassed myself and then I didn’t have to de-friend him because he did it for me.  While I was hurt because I did care about him as a friend, I have to go by Marilyn Monroe’s quote,

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

break-upAll of the above observations and sexiquette only cover the issues of Facebook and other social networking sites when you are single; yet, FB causes serious drama in relationships as well.  I cannot even count how many friends have had fights with their significant others’ over messages and posts or who express their dating upset via status updates.  One person actually had to break up with her boyfriend due to drama caused by the site.  Additionally, I have friends who have access to their boyfriend/girlfriend’s account and sneak on to see what messages he/she is getting.  As I always say, it all ultimately comes down to trust.  If you have to check to see if he is faithful or you have to ask why a guy is writing on her wall, either you or your significant other has an issue that needs to be addressed.

The reality is, we all have friends of the opposite sex and we joke flirt.  We also are human and get jealous.  Ultimately, when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, and the like, moderation is key.  Don’t put yourself in situations where you will see statuses or pics of someone that will make you cry and avoid creeping because it never bodes well.  Also remember that social networking sites are no replacement for real personal interactions so try to get off the comp (except when reading Sexiquette.net of course) and get out to see your friends in person.  The people who you see in real life, talk to on a regular basis,  who would never unfriend you because your relationship is far deeper than a computer, and who will be there for you when times get tough rather than block you and move on to the next are the only ones who matter and who are worthy of your time.

Have any Facebook stories to share?  How has it effected your relationship?  Your friendships?  Comment below.

The Man Who Doesn’t Masturbate and the History of Masturbation

I know this may sound like an urban myth or as if it belongs in the realm of the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.  Honestly it is hard to believe that anyone, male or female, in the 21st century doesn’t masturbate.  It is even more unfathomable to conceive that there are men who will have sex, premarital sex at that, yet will not pleasure themselves.  Well, they do exist…apparently.I have a guy friend who does not do this human, innate act.  Sure, we all don’t really talk about it much or at least girls don’t, but usually when someone denies doing it we know it’s a lie.  I obviously do not follow my guy friend around 24/7 to monitor his self-touching level but I did see his facial expression when his girlfriend told me that he does not.  After getting over the initial embarrassment of the explicit details of his sex life being exposed to his girlfriend’s friend, he was seriously grossed out at the thought of masturbation.  So as he displayed a look of disgust, I reciprocated with a look of shock.  I did not know such men were real and I to be honest, I find it very strange.

I remember about a year or so ago getting in a debate with a group of friends as to how often men masturbate.  We all began texting our guy friends and I won in saying that it was approximately once a day.  While for women it may be a few times a week/once a week thing, for men it is often a daily occurrence much like brushing one’s teeth.  Wake up, beat off, shower, get dressed, do hair, brush teeth, spray cologne, put on shoes, and go to work.  I just cannot imagine there being a guy out there who does not incorporate self pleasuring in part of his life.  As gross as it is, it’s also natural and a hell of a lot safer than banging prostitutes or taking home different random girls from bars for wasted, unprotected sex.  I also feel as though, seeing as it is natural, how does a boy not ever try it or do it only to decide that he doesn’t like it?  If you like the feeling of hand job it shouldn’t really matter whose hand it is.  Obviously it’s preferably a hot chick but in a pinch one’s own hand should do.

So, what kind of trauma would have to happen to frighten someone away from masturbation?  In this instance I believe that trauma was religion.  Yet, how one can pick and choose what aspects of faith and what peices of the Bible he will follow (be against gay marriage) and selectively ignore those that he does not like (sex only for procreation) is beyond me.  When challenging his notions I was shot down as a liberal hedonist simply because I follow the laws of society and my own moral compass as opposed to the one dictated for me by a cult.  Yet, this is in no way a religious debate so let’s get back to the topic at hand, masturbation.

Well I decided to do some research and add some science backing to this article.  First of all, masturbation is strongly believed to have origins with early man as there were depictions of men masturbating painted on the walls of caves which date back to the cavemen era.  So, even back then men were drawing pics of penises on public property and looking at dirty pics in their homes–wow, some things never change.  Male masturbation was also an important process in ancient Egypt.  When performed by a god it could be considered a creative or magical act: the god Atum was believed to have created the universe by masturbating to ejaculation, and the ebb and flow of the Nile was attributed to the frequency of his ejaculations. Egyptian Pharaohs, in response to this, were at one time required to masturbate ceremonially into the Nile.  Wow…disgusting.  I much prefer them doing it behind closed doors with a tissue box handy.

Well, Egypt wasn’t the only ancient nationality to do it.  The ancient Indian Hindu text Kama Sutra explains in detail the best procedure to masturbate; “Churn your instrument with a lion’s pounce: sit with legs stretched out at right angles to one another, propping yourself up with two hands planted on the ground between in them, and it between your arms”.  Again, gross…”churn your instrument?”  You are beating off not making butter.  Lastly, the ancient Greeks had a more relaxed attitude toward masturbation than the Egyptians did, regarding the act as a normal and healthy substitute for other forms of sexual pleasure. They considered it a safety valve against destructive sexual frustration. The Greeks also dealt with female masturbation in both their art and writings. One common term used for it was anaphlan, which roughly translates as “up-fire”.  Ahh the good old Greeks, finally one culture to not make it totally creepy.

So that is the abridged history but what about today…how common is masturbation?  An old joke says that 98 percent of people masturbate–and the other 2 percent are lying.  A 2009 Psychology Today article reported on a study that was performed based on a representative sample of American adults which found that only 38 percent of women said they’d masturbated at all during the past year. The figure for men was 61 percent.  This was just one study however and I don’t buy it.  Of course people sitting in a room by a two way mirror are going to lie about touching themselves.  So, I looked further and found some more information including frequency data.

Wikipedia’s masturbation page (check this out in case you don’t know how to do it or you just want to see creepy pics of people doing it) states that:

Frequency of masturbation is determined by many factors, e.g., one’s resistance to sexual tension, hormone levels influencing sexual arousal, sexual habits, peer influences, health and one’s attitude to masturbation formed by culture. Medical causes have also been associated with masturbation.

Different studies have found that masturbation is frequent in humans.  Kinsey’s studies in the US in the 50’s showed that 92% of men and 62% of women have masturbated during their lifespan. Similar results were been found in a 2007 British national probability survey. It was found that, between individuals aged 16 to 44, 95% of men and 71% of women masturbated at some point in their lives. 73% of men and 37% of women reported masturbating in the four weeks before their interview, while 53% of men and 18% of women reported masturbating in the previous seven days.  Now here are some stats I buy.  I feel as though men are raised to believe it’s not only social acceptable, it’s habitual.  Women aren’t ever told to do it or that it is ok and they don’t talk about it with their girlfriends until they reach college and start talking about which vibrators work the best.  Many girls are afraid or weirded our by doing it while to men it is natural; so, these study results would substantiate that line of thinking.

Well, I know what the research says…but what about my readers?  I know this is a crazy topic and somewhat X rated compared to my usual intellectual, romantic ramblings but I am curious, how often do you masturbate or at least what are your thoughts on anything in this article?

Jersey Shore: Going Back When You Know You Shouldn’t, The Power Men Hold

So I finally caught up on my Jersey Shore over the weekend and, shocking, Ronnie and Sam are at it again.  While watching them in Miami last season I would be constantly appalled by the fact that no matter how poorly Ron treated Sam, she always took him back.  Now, this season, Sam finally tries to walk away so Ron shows her a little respect and love and she just goes back to him.  Yet, she texts a guy so now she is the antagonist  in their whirlwind of a relationship…it really never ends with them.  I’m not sure what to make of the alleged text to that guy friend of hers and if she was looking too hook up with him or he was just starting trouble; but, regardless, things got heated.  The episode left off with Ron pinning Sam into a corner yelling in her face while she screamed for him to move out of the way and he refused.

The house mates, as well as anyone watching the show, can tell that the relationship is volatile and unhealthy.  Having gone to school for psychology and taken courses specifically on domestic violence, I am aware that statistics show the majority of abuse in relationships is mutual with both parties physically abusing the other.  The issue, however, is that Sam is a small girl and Ron is a jacked, aggressive male so he will always be stronger and has the capacity to damage her more than she could him.  No matter who is physically abusive in a relationship, it is obviously wrong and dangerous and it is clear that Ron and Sam both are emotional people who take their frustrations out physically–so they are a bad combination.  This makes for great entertainment but a tragic life.

Whenever I see unhappy couples like that I don’t understand how it is that they don’t just break up and be happy apart as opposed to miserable together.  They claim to love each other but they seem to only express it in heated arguments and physical altercations.  It seems so illogical for them to be together when they are clearly a toxic couple.  I can’t speak for them as individuals (though there does not appear to be much depth in either of them) yet I can attest that what I’ve seen on the show makes me confident that they are not capable of ever being a healthy, happy couple and things will only get worse because together they are always just a volcano waiting to erupt.

While it is unfathomable to me how the two of them can stay together, I can’t help but acknowledge the parallels in my own life and the lives of my friends.  I feel as though we all have either dated someone who seemed to hurt us far more then they enhanced our lives or at least had a friend or family member in a bad situation, dating a douche but unable to walk away.  I realize that I must have appeared nearly as crazy and dumb to my friends as Sam did hers when I was involved with guys who would bring me to tears instead of on dates and repeatedly broke my heart.  Granted, I never had physical altercations with any of them or screamed like she did but I’ve had my share of public cries followed by sex after no apology so I suppose it’s just as bad.  I’ve had guys say some of the worst things to me, knowing my self-esteem issues and I’d forgive them because I loved them and would make excuses and justifications so that I could continue to be with them just so I wouldn’t be alone.

I’ve been just as degraded as Sam has and gone back too…and I never even got the “I love you.”  Of course, I’ve grown from those experiences and will never let a guy walk all over me again, but it is so hard when you are in it because once you’ve fallen for someone you can feel powerless.  We all at some point or another go back when we know we shouldn’t because we believe he will change, he is sorry, he really is a good guy, or we convince ourselves that it was our fault.  So, we essentially bury our self esteem in the ground or lock it away like Mol did her top in Inception, to keep living a lie of a life that really only causes us pain.  It makes no sense really and yet it is a common fallacy.

Love is annoyingly powerful, as is the fear of being alone.  These feelings can drive one to do crazy things or be with awful people.  When a relationship isn’t working and you can’t bring yourself to end it, the best thing to do is get space–and not a few days like Sam did, but a few months.  Time apart will help you to see if what you are feeling is transient or real, lust or love.  One of my best friends dated a guy whom she really liked then, one day, he fell off the face of the Earth.  A few months later he resurfaced and was all about her while she was skeptical and rightfully had her guard up.  Over three months later and they are one of the happiest couples I know.  For them, getting space and a break allowed them to see that what they felt was real and was not lust or heat of the moment passion.  They were not getting caught up in attraction and loving the rest because it came with the body, they truly did feel for one another.  He took the time away to convince himself that what he was feeling was not true and that he was not in love but all that space did was validate his emotions and prove to him that he loved her and could not stay away.  Obviously everyone is different and in many instances I’m sure space would show that he/she is utterly wrong and you will feel relief that you dodged a douche.

I personally have been caught up in the lust of things and lost sight of what was real but given time realized how wrong the guy was for me and thank fate for not having me end up with someone so wrong for me.  It’s a great feeling when a few years after a breakup you catch up with your ex and learn that he’s still a degenerate loser and/or married a stripper while you have a great job, bought a house, and are doing well for yourself.  It’s also frightening to think how you and your life would be different had you not walked or been pushed away.  While I hate to believe in magical thinking, I can’t help but hold on to the ideal that things happen for a reason and that some of our worst, most trying times shape us and our lives for the better and bring about a richer life in the future.

Does anyone have comments or similar stories?  Share below.

Knowing When It’s Time to Move On

“Close enough to start a war,
All that I have is on the floor,
God only knows what we’re fighting for,
All that I say, you always say more,

I can’t keep up with your turning tables,
Under your thumb, I can’t breathe,

So I won’t let you close enough to hurt me,
No, I won’t ask you, you to just desert me,
I cant give you what you think you gave me,
It’s time to say goodbye to turning tables”                                                                                                                                          -Adele

We’ve all  been there–gotten dumped or had to end things with someone for our own good while the memories and feelings linger long past the relationship.  Even if we utterly hate someone, hate is still an emotion, a feeling–and a powerful one at that.  Letting go can be the hardest thing we will ever do but there are some cases where it is for the best that we cut our ties.  There are some instances where too much has been said or done to justify attempting to stay friends with someone after the relationship is over.  Down the line when the dust settles it can always be revisited; but, for at least 6 months space is essential to get ourselves back on track and let the feelings dissipate.  As much as we may want to see them, we cannot trust ourselves from making bad decisions after a break and rather than risk falling back into bed with that special someone or allowing all the pain and suffering to return, knowing our will may not be strong enough we must issue restraining orders on ourselves and keep a solid distance for him/her.

Being a highly sensitive and emotional person about everything in life, a break-up or the ending of any relationship (dating, hooking up, friendship, etc.) is always especially arduous for me.  It is tough on my heart to handle rejection of any kind or to push someone away despite how much it may be for the better.  Even when dating people who treated me like garbage, were constantly intoxicated, or had no respect for me, I continued to keep them in my life long past the relationship’s expiration date due to a deep rooted fear of loneliness.  It has taken me 25 years to learn that I would rather be single wishing for a guy then be trapped in a bad relationship or be dating someone who is all wrong for me.

For a long time I used to compromise my desires and sense of self to please a guy just to not be alone.  Yet, while I may have had a guy and regular availability of sex, I still felt lonely and empty.  Part of mature dating is knowing when it is time to get out of dodge and move on.  Obviously physical abuse or putting you in harm’s way in any capacity renders an immediate cut of ties with your significant other.  Yet, emotional abuse or just plain toxicity can be harder to see and less easy to walk away from.  Like the shocked dog in the cage, we learn helplessness and adapt to our negetive environments.  We as girls become accustomed to being treated far worse then we could ever deserve.  Perhaps this goes back to when we were in elementary school and used to get hit and picked on by boys and our parents and teachers would tell us that this was a sign they liked us.  Why is it that when a guy likes a girl he is so afraid of it he would rather hurt her than give in and risk his heart by dating and potentially finding love?  Do men really ever grow out of this?  I am truly beginning to wonder.

We grow up with a hollywoodized view of life, believing in happy endings, everything happening for a reason, and things working themselves out.  Yet, in the real world, magical forces do not intervene in our lives, we must take control and make our own fate.  When something isn’t working and efforts to rectify it are unsuccessful, we must accept that the relationship needs to end.  All relationships, friendships and dating alike, serve the purpose of enhancing our lives and adding something positive that we alone cannot provide for ourselves.  Sure, intimate partnerships afford us sex but, let’s face it, we can get off on our own.  True relationships are about a deep interpersonal connections and those closest to you should be able to cheer you up when you are down, make you laugh and smile, be there for you when you need them most, and should revolve around having fun together.  Sure, we all have our ups and downs and everyone disagrees or fights for what they want so compromise, listening, and understanding play important roles.  However, if you were to way the pros and cons of all your relationships and find any where the negatives outweighed the positives, you should strongly consider cutting ties or least aim to work on the issues.

When you are in relationship with someone or have a friend whom you care about deeply, it can be hard to let them go.  Songs on the radio, tv shows, objects and personal belongings all will remind you of that person and so forgetting about their feelings is easier said then done.  This very blog reminds me of a guy I liked and cared about as friend and something more because he helped me set it up, but we no longer speak.  I could either wallow in the misery that someone who caused more tears then smiles is no longer a part of my life and give up this blog or, I can move on with my life, say good riddance, and continue posting.  Obviously I opted for the latter.  While the traces of old friendships and the ghosts of boyfriends past haunt us in our daily lives, it does get easier with time until eventually the memories will fade to the back and newer more positive remembrances take over.  While in the immediate you may feel codependent upon someone, if the pain is greater than the reward, it is time to let him/her go and move on.  As hard as it may be, understand that it is for the best and that time heals all wounds.  When struggling with the idea of letting go, having a positive affirmation can aid in calming your racing thoughts.  Marilyn Monroe said it best so I will end this with two of her quotes:

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

Sex on the First Date FOLLOW-UP

When I first created this blog and it existed only as a figment of my conscious thought and had no tangible base in reality, I wrote a number of posts for when the site was actualized.  I put my thoughts about dating, relationships, and sex down on paper (or Microsoft Word paper rather) so that when the blog was up and running I would have posts ready to go.  One of those pre-drafted articles was the one pertaining to sex on the first date, “Sex in the Early Stages of Dating: Sex on the First Date…” At the time I wrote it I also devised a follow-up sexploit article giving two examples of sex on the first date–one that worked out and one that didn’t.  I believed that sex on the first date was not always a bad idea.  Crazy how much one’s convictions can change in a month…

I am not sure if I will post that sexploit article; I suppose if people request it then I will put it up because I have nothing to hide.  However, subsequent to writing my beliefs about first date hookups, I had a number of dramatic life experiences that changed my perceptions of such endeavors.  While I still believe that everyone is different and sex on the first date doesn’t mean that a relationship is doomed, I now understand that in my life such actions will not ever result in anything healthy or long-lasting.  Sex on a first date will 99 times out of 100 lead to nothing more than casual hooking up and a guy who sees you as a great lay on a good day.  Since most of us ladies don’t have sex with 100 guys, we are unlikely to come across that one in a hundred guy who is the exception.

I had believed that things could be different, that with time a guy could grow to love you for the person you are but now that my only example of a decent guy to sleep with on a first date turned out to neither be at all right for me nor be capable of caring about me beyond what my body could do for him on his terms, I have to come accept the truth I’ve always known yet chosen to ignore.  The vast majority of men are capable of a relationship and actually are decent guys but they keep up a wall of insensitivity and have a fear of caring about women as some sort of self-preservation modality, likely due to the social construction of their gender.  So, they treat us like shit and tell us they aren’t looking for a relationship to test us and to keep us at a distance–hoping to get all different brands of  milk for free without ever buying a cow.

I can also assume that no matter how much you swear that you’ve never had sex on a first date or say ” I don’t normally do this,” guys will assume you do and think less of you for it.  Even if what you are saying is true, it still reflects poorly on you and that is just a sad reality of our world.  Additionally, guys make restraining from emotionality post first-date-sex exceedingly difficult because they feel abliged to take you on a subsequent date or two and make promises of many more dates to come.  They wine you, dine you, and woo you into believing that this hook-up will go somewhere.  While to us women it means “he likes us,” to men it means “she gave me her vagina on date one so to prove I’m not a total dick I will take her out one or two more times and get laid again and ‘do the right thing’  since girls don’t like if we fuck and run right away.”  Guys out there, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but men think it somehow makes it better for us if they do call and do take us out again, only to disappear or blow us off after a few dates.  Well for those of you men who do this, it is not better.  If all you are looking for is a hookup and you don’t want a relationship, just say so.   I guarantee you will still get laid by most girls and the ones who won’t because they do want a boyfriend are better off un-fucked anyway since they will not just disappear after the hook-up and won’t be a name to add to the booty call list.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of “good girls” out there who will give it up on the first date.  Whatever the reason, be it extreme attraction prevailing, high consumption of alcohol, or her believing  that she has met someone special–it happens.  The reality is that many women see a hookup as a just sex too and we are capable of being completely fine with it.  However, we only develop all those emotions and feelings men detest so much when the guy asks us out again and acts as though he is open to it becoming something more.  It is then that we exchange personal stories about our childhoods, engage in mutually enjoyed activities, and develop a fondness for one another beyond the sexual and physical realm.  Just the very act of asking one out on a date implies that this has some semblance of potential for being more than a one time fling and when it is not expressed early on that a relationship will never be in the picture, we ladies will start to think it’s on the table and invest ourselves and that is when we are most vulnerable to be hurt.

I used to believe that sex on the first date just got the ball rolling faster, set things into motion quicker than all that fanfare and waiting–but I now fully accept that all that small talk and getting to  know one another prior to becoming physical is essential if the two people involved are seeking a relationship.  Something is sparked in men when they get laid on the first date to put up a wall for all emotionality and perhaps they innately feel that said woman is a bad potential life partner so they close themselves off to the possibility of fostering love with that woman.  It is the sad truth that sex on the first date is an all around bad idea.  It took making that mistake with the wrong guy who I really let get under my skin and was utterly unworthy of it to realize what an error in judgement it was.  With this particular boy I had never regretted it because the sex was great and we were friends but when I was going through something very tough in my life, he not only was not there for me but actually shut me out of his life when I needed my friends the most.  Only after the dust settled from said events did I realize how wrong we were for each other.   Sure he has a number of good qualities, as do I; but we were never meant to be more than friends.  Had I not had sex with him on date one, I could have learned that and perhaps not ruined a potentially great friendship with all the drama of mistaking lust for love.  Yet, I of course did and I will have to live with the consequences of that.

Sex in the Early Dating Stages  Sex on the First Date: Too Soon or Just Right

A major tenet of the female dating handbook is to hold off on having sex for as long as possible when newly dating a guy and to never, under any circumstances, have sex on the first date.  While girls try to exert all the will power they can muster and flirt without follow-through, men try their hardest to get us to break our resolve and give in to our shared desires.  I am not sure if this is some sort of test to see how classy and/or challenging we are or if sex on the first date really makes no difference to them.  I have heard from some friends that it really does not matter when you have sex with someone, if it is meant to work out then it will.  Other people determinately state that sex on the first date ensures that the two people involved will never enter into a committed relationship.

Sex on the first date can be a heat-of-the-moment, passionate hookup and be viewed as something that “just happened,” emitting no impact on the overall relationship outcomes.  However, because of the implications of and stigmatism surrounding premature physical encounters, more often than not, the situation is made out to be something more than it is.  While for men it is a satisfying experience regardless of the consequences after, women tend to not be able to take the experience for what it is without subsequent assumptions or needs.  Girls are raised to believe that sex is sacred and should be done only with someone you love as a means of expressing that love or for procreation.  As girls enter their preteen and teen years and venture into the dating world, they frequently hear derogatory comments  about females who are sexually expressive and grow to believe that if they give it up too soon the guy will think they are a slut or not enough of a challenge.  Girls feel that if they have sex on the first date they will be perceived as “easy” and the guy will not have respect for them or bother sticking around to get to know them.  So, while their bodies tell them to do it, their minds tell them to make him wait.  They stress about all the taboos of dating and have anxiety over the guys’ perceptions of them.  Ultimately, since girls are raised to believe that sex has all this meaning to it and that it is part of love, they make it an emotional act.  Conversely, men are raised with the viewpoint that sex is a pleasurable act where a relationship is optional or possible, but not essential.

Obviously, being that it is the twenty-first century and the above paragraph is based on societal spin and not sound facts, there are girls who can have sex with no strings attached and guys who fall in love with ever girl they sleep with.  However, the majority of society tends to believe the above notions and opts to base their actions and convictions around them.  As a girl, my mom never lied to me about sex or told me that babies came from storks.  I was given a detailed educational text book on sex and puberty when I was too young and too creeped-out to read it.  Despite my mom’s openness and my growing-up to be a diehard liberal and moderate feminist, I still fear judgment, loss of respect, and loss of relationship potential when deciding whether or not to have sex with a guy.  I do not know whether this is a byproduct of the societal construction of my gender, is just an innate response based on my personality, or is a valid fear because the assumptions about sex on the first date are true.  My guess is that it is a bit of all three.

Everyone is different, but for me choosing to have sex with someone is a decision not to be made lightly.  A girl should not do it because she feels obligated to or fears that he will not like her if she doesn’t.  She should never do so without caution and contemplation of all the possible ramifications nor should she have sex because it is expected of her by the guy or her peers.  It is a decision she should make without influence of any of these factors—which is very hard to do in the heat of the moment.  Therefore, it is best to go into a date with a plan.  You should decide that you are not going to have sex with the guy no matter what and devise an escape route or be ready and willing to have sex if certain criteria are met.  The only bad choice you can really make is to go into a date totally unprepared and lose sight of yourself and what you are looking for when the pressure is on.

In my personal dating life I tend to not follow the rules of girl world.  While I may try or say that I will adhere to the widely held guidelines of my peers, my intentions and actions are never quite in sync.  However, despite this, I rarely have sex with a guy on a first date.  More often than not, I go on several dates that have minimal physical interaction and one or both parties conclude that it is not going to work out.  That being said, there are those atypical dates that end with us in bed.  In general, I feel that sex on the first date is not a deal breaker and the fate of a relationship does not rest on merely one measure.  The potential for future dates is really more dependent upon the overall attraction and connection between the two people and whether or not there are other likeable qualities that make you want to see him/her again.  It certainly can be reasoned that waiting longer to have sex allows both parties to get to know each other better and assess these positive/negative attributes before becoming intimate.  In fact, in most instances it is probably best to hold off on sex for a few dates so that you can build some trust and relationship foundations before electing to up your number.  Yet, all of us have certain exceptions to the rules that allow us to cheat our own system and surrender to our desires.   If there is extreme attraction, an intense connection, he possesses a certain je ne sais quoi, and you are confident that you will be ok with any conceivable ramifications, then why not have some fun?

Conclusively deeming first date sex as either too soon or just right would be a mistake because neither is definitively true.  There are certain times where it is done with regret and other times where it can result in marriage.  Ultimately, all we can do is watch out for red flags, follow our hearts and instincts, and abide by our individual standards and the only way to correctly answer that question is to ask it of ourselves on every first date we go on.  However, this is just my opinion and I would love to hear more perspectives on the topic so please feel free to share your thoughts below.

The Evolution of the Booty Call

“It’s a quarter after one,

I’m all alone and I need you now.

And I said I wouldn’t call,

But I’m a little drunk and I need you now.

And I don’t know how I can do without,

I just need you now.”

Lady Antebellum

We have all either been the victim or perpetrator of that late night phone call or text, full of desperation and desire—the booty call.  While there once was a time where sex really did happen strictly after marriage and the topic of sexuality was taboo, times have changed and phone calls with provocative solicitations are not only accepted, they are expected.  However, I would guess that late night drunk-dialing did not really become so prevalent until the rise in popularity of the cell phone.  Since I was a bit too young during the beeper/pager phase, I am merely guessing that people were paging their friends with benefits and significant others for late-night lovin’ even back then.  Yet, once cell phones became as ubiquitous as pens and the payphone went out like the dinosaurs, drunken hook-up attempts sky rocketed.  In more recent years, such pleading has required even less courage thanks to texting becoming so commonplace.  Now just a few taps of your thumb and a sex request is on its way and cannot be taken back.

Someone recently told me that the technology currently in our cell phones is the same technology NASA used to land the first man on the moon.  All this power at our fingertips and we still resort to the most primordial instincts and use this magnificent tool to get laid.  Of course I am not saying there is anything wrong with it and it’s usually really funny, unless you are the one waking up to a phone full of texts to your ex-boyfriend and pangs of regret.  While this technology is amazing and has changed the course of history, it also allows for a lot more mishaps and awkward situations.  In the olden days you had to go home to make a call and ask for an operator to connect you to someone.  Eventually we gained the ability to dial a person directly on our rotary phones.  Then we had clunky cordless units.  Now, fifteen years later, we have phones that double as miniature computers in our pockets and some of us carry more than one around.  Times have changed and not entirely for the better.

Last week I was home on my computer browsing through Facebook after a long day at work.  An old friend who I hadn’t talked to in months popped up in a chat box wondering what I was up to.  This male friend of mine actually dated one of my best friends for about six months and it did not end well.  She had texted me that night to inform me that said ex had called her at 8:30pm looking to hook up.  It was now 10:30pm and he had reached a whole other level of shitfaced and was reaching out to me.  He and I were not close and actually had only hung out a handful of times.  This guy also knows I am good friends with his ex so I can only imagine the level of intoxication he had to be at to contact me.  I engaged him in conversation just for my own amusement and came to find out that he was at a bar chatting me while boozing and was hoping I would come out and meet up with him (i.e. let him get it in).  I told him I was going to bed and shooed him away but I was a bit taken aback.  This was a new experience for me—not the booty call itself obviously but the usage of Facebook chat as the contact medium for this request.  What has happened to society that sexual propositioning now takes place at 10:30pm on a Tuesday via a social networking site’s chat??

Honestly, I am still a bit blown away by the entire experience.  I have drunk dialed.  I have drunk texted.  I have confiscated friends’ phones to save them of the humiliation of both forms of booty calls but I have never thought to use Facebook chat on my phone to plot a hook up with an acquaintance.  I received an apology chat message the following day—rightfully so—and honestly just found the whole thing hilarious.  However, this still got me thinking about the evolution of the booty call being synonymous with the evolution of dating.  There used to be so much courting and work involved and in Victorian times ladies even had to have chaperons for dates.  Now, two people meet at a bar and hook up potentially without even knowing each others names and this doesn’t phase anyone in the slightest.  While I see consent as the defining factor of whether or not an action is morally reprehensible, I still cannot help but feel like this is a bit sad.  Gone are the days of flowers and chivalry.  Gone are the days when a guy calls you up for a date.  Now you get a few texts with some emoticons and a guy expect you to spread your legs.  I know that I may be contradicting my other posts and my usually free-spirited, liberal self but I am becoming a bit afraid to see how much worse and more socially removed things will become.  How much more of our dating lives will we move into the electronic realm before the only times we see our significant others is for sex?  I may be all for sexual liberation and feminism, but I’m not for throwing human interaction and the exciting parts of dating out the window.  And honestly, if anyone thinks I’m going to drop what I’m doing to come over to a bar on a Tuesday night because he asked me on Facebook chat with his drunken fat fingers he is either an idiot or I’m just insulted that anyone could think that would actually work on me.  I hope that the next generation opts for a backlash of all this technology based communication but considering that 7 years olds now have cell phones and twitter accounts, I won’t be holding my breath.

Sex in the Early Dating Stages:

The Blowjob First Rule

Countless times over the past year while filling in my best friend “A” on my forays in the dating world, I found myself grumbling about my failure in this arena.  She is 13 years older than me and all of the dates she has ever been on have resulted in serious, long-term relationships with her holding all the power.  Mine, on the other hand, start off steamy then fizzle out quickly and for a long time I felt powerless to this cycle.  Whenever I would see her, we would spend our evenings catching up on all my dating mishaps and adventures while eating dinner and watching the latest episodes of our guilty pleasure shows like Jersey Shore.  At one point I had been on dates with so many guys that she couldn’t even keep track of all their names and corresponding stories.  Each guy tale ended with the ridiculous reason why I ran the other way or the awful excuse he used to cut his ties.  Some of these men I had slept with but most of the dating encounters never got that far and stopped at first base.  This made for some humorous anecdotes which provoked a lot of laughs from my friends, but it also chipped away at my self esteem and poked holes in my heart.  I found myself lying awake at night wondering what was wrong with me and what was I doing to attract crazy guys and scare the quality ones away.

One day, while hanging out with my best friend and her roommate, she asked me about the physicality of my dating relations.  She and all my female friends are incessantly telling me to hold off on sex for as long as possible because if you sleep with a guy too soon, before the emotional connection has time to mature, they will have no reason to come back and will move on to the next girl.  Since I am apparently dissimilar to most young women and can differentiate between a lustful encounter and a meaningful bond, I do not get invested too quickly or easily.  I opt to sleep with a guy when I want to—not when an arbitrarily sufficient amount of time has passed, a certain number of dates have occurred, or I am emotionally invested.  My thoughts are, why pursue a relationship with someone if the sex is bad?  If you have a strong physical connection you have half of the requirements of a successful couple and all the rest can follow if the attraction is there.  In my opinion, it is worse to develop a strong affinity for someone only to find out that there is no sexual chemistry than to have sex early on and realize that you are not compatible.

When I shared my viewpoint on sexuality with “A”, she was stunned and appalled.  She takes the Patti Stranger Millionaire Matchmaker viewpoint of waiting until monogamy to have sex and finds it distressing that someone could “give a man their vagina” without knowing for certain that the relationship is going somewhere.  However, they do not take my vagina; they utilize it temporarily, and the majority of the time they aren’t the only ones enjoying that exchange because I’m still attached when they employ it.  Additionally, no one can ever rest assured that their significant other will not cheat or leave them because thoughts and actions are not always consistent with one another and someone can say they love you or that they will never leave but those are simply promises yet to be fulfilled.  Moreover, as time goes on, people change and can grow apart.  All we truly have is the here and now.

Anyway, after getting over the initial shock regarding my sexual proclivities, “A” and her roommate asked me why I did not follow the blowjob first rule.  I apparently never got the memo that if a girl wants to keep a guy interested and get another date, she must give a memorable and complete blow job before having sex with him.  The unwritten rule book of female dating etiquette states that girls must hold off on physicality until a few dates have passed, a connection beyond attraction has formed, and there is considerable potential for a committed relationship.  Then, before sliding into home, the girl should give a skilled blow job and hold off on further sexual endeavors until a later date.  While I have certainly taken care of the guys I’ve dated, having not known about this dating prerequisite I realized that I have always opted to sleep with a guy first.  Was this why I seem to always be dating yet single and not in an exclusive relationship?  I decided to solicit all of my female friends’ opinions, wondering what other girls had to say.  After asking around, I came to realize that I had apparently been in the dark about a critical dating strategy that almost always ensures that a guy will start to fall for you.  Unbeknownst to me, it is common knowledge in girl world that you “trick” a guy into dating you by luring him in with a blow job first.

Rather than accept the fact that I had spent 24 years in the dark about this rule (during approx. ten of which it would have proved useful) and take my female friends’ advice, I queried my guy friends to get their viewpoint on the topic.  As it turns out, guys concur with the blowjob first rule.  I was given several reasons why this tactic is a smart maneuver for females to make.  First, guys believe that girls become emotional after sex; whereas, for them, physicality can be completely detached from emotionality.  If a girl sleeps with a guy too soon, the guy can get afraid that she wants a commitment and head for the hills.  The blowjob, however, does nothing for the girl so she theoretically remains emotionally neutral while the guy is fully satisfied.  Second, while the blowjob may seem like a degrading act for the female, she actually possesses all the power in this position.  She is holding the guy’s manhood fractions of a centimeter from her teeth, one wrong move and the guy could be severely pained.  By completing an injury free, enjoyable BJ the girl earns some trust with the man and faith in a person’s good nature is instrumental to any relationship, dating or other.  Third, guys love blowjobs and once in a committed relationship, the times in which they get one are few and far between.  A girl who gives head, especially good head, is a typically a keeper.  Fourth, since it really does not do much for the girl, it is a somewhat selfless act.  By taking care of the guy and expecting nothing in return (though reciprocity is often appreciated) she becomes exponentially more likeable in his eyes.  Lastly, it provides a mean of getting off while there is still more intimacy to look forward to—it is kind of the like the previews for great movie with you on the edge of your seat dying to see more.

So, I decided to test out this theory and, sadly, the jury is still out.  Yet, rest assured, there will be a follow-up to this article as I continue my ventures in dating.  I am, however, very curious as to what people outside of my immediate social circle have to say.  Please feel free to share your opinions on this topic because I would love to know if the understood but unprinted rules of girl world hold water in the real world.


Lying Sexiquette

“I’m not calling you a liar,

Just don’t lie to me.

I’m not calling you a thief,

Just don’t steal from me.

I’m not calling you a ghost

Just stop haunting me.

I love you so much,

I’m gonna let you kill me…”

Florence & the Machine

I will make an educated conjecture that everyone has lied at some point in his or her life.  Maybe to get out of trouble with your parents you have emphatically stated “I didn’t do it, I swear,” to spare your friend’s feeling when asked if an outfit makes her look fat you have said “No honey you look great,” or to end a relationship that you did not want to be in you have pulled an “it’s not you, it’s me.”  However, just because it seems commonplace and socially acceptable, can help you avoid trouble in the present, and may appear to assuage one’s own feelings of guilt or spare someone of heartache—pretending something didn’t happen or isn’t true doesn’t make it so.  Lies catch up to you and like money in a bank account growing interest, they fester and metastasize into cancerous plagues.  They eventually surface and have a far more detrimental impact at a later date than they would have at the initial moment you chose to fabricate reality for your own benefit.  For example, telling your girlfriend that you didn’t sleep with someone before you were official may seem to spare her feelings but when she learns later that you covered up a meaningless hookup that took place before your involvement with her it will now have far more weight and significance.  The gravity of learning that hidden truth could pull a relationship apart and render it un-repairable.  Oftentimes it is not the facts of the betrayal, a mistake, or failed connection that truly upset us to the point of no forgiveness but rather one’s dishonesty and perfidy surrounding the events in question that we can never pardon.

I am certainly not suggesting that people be open and honest about things no one asked for an opinion on but I am saying that whenever given the opportunity to be truthful, take it.  The consequences of coming forward when directly asked are negligible compared to those when confronted with exposure of your lie.    We may tell tall tales to seem more important than we really are or give false reasons when dumping someone to avoid conflict but like the tell tale heart beating under the floorboards, we are our own worst enemies.  With the exception of sociopaths and pathological liars, we cannot help but give ourselves away in time because while truths are absolved, lies linger, burning beneath the surface and eventually force their way out.  Whether we come clean ourselves, others involved narc us out, or the facts come to light despite our best attempts to keep them buried there is no undoing the past.  When dumping someone, it is inevitable that he/she will be hurt but when the dust settles, honesty is appreciated.  When you’ve stolen from a friend, apologizing and repaying him/her can result in forgiveness with time, but lying when confronted and never admitting to any wrongdoing will assuredly destroy a friendship.

Of course there are certain instances where a white lie can do some good, like telling your friend “no that outfit doesn’t make you look fat, but I think this black dress would be more flattering.”  However, it is typically bad sexiquette to tell untruths.  When you have done something wrong like cheated, stolen, smoked after promising to quit, etc., want to end a relationship with as little heartache as possible, or when you feel a certain way but hide your emotional upset, being honest tends to seem too frightening to bear and we instinctively concoct an alternate chain of events.  Yet, whether this is to protect ourselves or to protect others it is never a wise idea.  When being dumped, no matter what the reason, we will be hurt and upset, rack our brains wondering what we did wrong, and will shed a few tears.  This is virtually unavoidable.  However, if the dumper is honest with the dumpee and gives a factual reason for ending the relationship (e.g. I met someone else, I got back with my ex, you are too histrionic for me, I don’t want to be obligated to hang out with you or anyone because I’m not looking for anything serious and I’m sorry I gave you that impression) we will appreciate it when the initial emotional distress has subsided.  Personally I appreciate brutal honesty and would rather hear “you’re terrible in bed” than “I’m moving to Maryland” if the former were true and the latter were a lie because at least I’m walking away with constructive criticism.  In that instance you may think you are being kind and sparing one’s feelings but when the girl who is bad at sex has several failed relationships over the course of a lifetime, that hurts far more than hearing what was really wrong and being empowered to fix it.

Honesty is imperative in all relationships at any stage of the game but it is expected as a given once sex enters the equation.  So many of us rush into the physical far before the emotional has time to develop and while I’m not saying this is always a mistake, it often results in misunderstanding and bad sexiquette by one or both parties.  When we allow the emotional component to grow first and develop a mutual trust we are justified in expecting honest communication, however if we rush into the physicality we may still expect that same sincerity and openness while the other partner feels that it was never established.  Lying is never really justified and whether or not it is excusable can only be determined by the one who was lied to.

Sure, in an ideal world, no one would lie.  We would all be happy, honest, and blissful but the reality is that while human beings may be a highly evolved species, we are still quite primitive in nature.  We opt for the path of least resistance and self preservation over doing the right thing and taking the high road 9 times out of 10.  While it is bad sexiquette and all around unethical to lie, it still happens.  So while I can say not to do it and that it is a violation of dating code, I must also say to expect it and not beat yourself up should you become a victim of dishonesty.  Whether you are lied to for you own protection or for the benefit of the liar is irrelevant because in either instance the untruth was never really about you.  Lying is ultimately a selfish act, even if we are trying to not hurt the person we are deceiving it is not really about sparing them the pain but rather about saving ourselves from seeing someone else hurt due to our words and actions.  Lying is, in my opinion, one of the worst non-criminal acts you can commit and only causes you undue stress and others confusion, upset, and anguish in the long term even if appears to do the opposite in the short term.  Yet, it is also an innate reaction fundamental to human nature.  It is wrong, it is cruel, and it is unnecessary but it is also a sad reality of modern times.  So, all that we can really do is be honest and hope that others reciprocate, make our needs and expectations clear to those around us, and remove people from our lives who do not assent with our moral scruples.

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