Monday, 30 July 2012

Happy One Year of Blogging to Me

On July 31, 2011 I made the decision to start blogging, and a few days later in August I pressed the share button and allowed my Facebook friends to see my writing.  Within a month of that I sent out my first e-mail to explain to a few members of my family and friends why I was writing and to ask for support.  I have been following some amazing blogs, which you can view by clicking on my profile, and have received some pretty consistent support from the online community.  Not only and am I celebrating one year of writing, over 60’000 words typed, and over 100 posts, but I am also celebrating 20`000 page views which leaves me in awe.  I have had comments, e-mails and Facebook messages which have given me a wave of emotion, mostly reactionary tears (in the most heartfelt way). 

All in all it has been an incredible year starting on an incredible low in trying to find where I fit in, and exploring outside of the box.  I have read some pretty meaningful books, and had some great one on one, conversations with people in my life about the agreement that monogamy just does not feel as natural as western society has lead the majority of us to believe. 

But here is what you the readers have said, Blank blog was the most controversial as shown by over 20 comments.  And so far the most popular has been Saying No Can Be Difficult as a Woman, with Sex Positive and Safe Sex a very close second.  I am starting to show up more in keyword searches online and not always for known reasons.  For example, “bubble bath in a lightning storm”, and more recently “best boobs of stampede”.  All in all though I look forward to another amazing year of writing and I am so happy to be able share my blogs first birthday with such an incredible fan base.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Sucking at First Impressions: The Lighter Side

On Monday I wrote about some troubles I seem to have with first impressions, so I decided to follow up with that rather negative sounding post by sharing a few moments that might make you smile or simply shake your head.  My most recent first date story really got me thinking about how often I seem to do the wrong thing prior to meeting a guy for the first or second time.  Here I was driving to meet a guy for a walk and decide to take a big gulp from my water bottle.  Turns out I had forgotten to screw the lid on and of course spilt about a cups worth of water onto my crotch while wearing light coloured jeans.  Nothing quite says sexy like showing up to a date while looking like you just peed your pants let me tell you.  My buddy Mike, smarty pants that he is, told me I should just “say the thought of him got me wet”, nice advice for a first meeting.

Next on the list of shakes my head at myself moments was me getting lost looking for a coffee shop downtown.  Now I’m not sure how many of you have been in a car with me when I get lost, but I get really frustrated and try to pretend I am less navigationally challenged than I am.  This lead to me getting more lost and confused, while in the process making me over 30 minutes late.  At this point I realize I am starving which is why I am getting so cranky and furious so I pull over to the side of the road, call up the guy and say that I am going for food and he can join me if he wants.  And that I am so sorry for being late, trying to explain the whole thing to a virtual stranger.  Well as luck would have it, the restaurant that I had picked is actually closed when I arrive and with my tail between my legs I have no choice but to call the guy up and change the venue yet again.  By the time I meet the guy at the restaurant it is an hour and 30 minutes later.  I have no idea why, but the guy actually bought me dinner and was one of the sweetest guys I could have ever shown crazy me side to.  Sigh…

It is not just first dates either, oh no.  When I was applying at a really important job a few years ago I was completely caught off guard when my bra strap fell off of my arm and down to my elbow while wearing a white fairly see through blouse.  I was told that I seemed a little shy afterwards, but the truth was that I was being interviewed by a male who I would be mortified if he noticed that I was trying to slide the strap back up so that my boob did not pop out of my bra.  Oddly I did get the job and he swore he had no idea that this happened but did laugh when I told him years later. 

It is a two way street, as far as first meetings go.  My all time favorite has to be the guy who cancelled on meeting me a couple of hours beforehand saying that he had fallen out of a helicopter and was not feeling so good.  It was a unique way of letting me down, and nope he never called me again.  At least I have a funny story out of it.  And finally the one guy I let slip away for some odd reason, Guy – I have a sexy piercing do you want to see it.  Me – why is the piercing sexy? Guy – Because I have a barbell below the head of my cock. Me – shakes my head. Guy – sends me not one but two pictures of said piercing.  No, we did not ever meet, and yes ladies I still have the photo on my phone as a reminder that sometimes it is not necessary to even get to the point of a first and most likely awkward first meeting.

Monday, 23 July 2012

First Impressions, Something I Really Suck At

I have heard it before and it seems that I will hear it again, I absolutely am terrible at first impressions.  I suppose it is a defense mechanism that serves to protect me from getting hurt, and ward off evil villains and the like.  But in all seriousness I just am not one to be my open and bubbly self when I meet a stranger for the first time.  Odd that I worked retail for such a significant portion of my working career which is based on first impressions, especially when dealing with children, and having to feign much cheerfulness.  Perhaps this increased my dismissive qualities or decreased them, it is hard for me to introduce myself to me and pinpoint exactly what I do wrong.

But one thing I have consistently found is that I come off as cold, or shy.  I see all the people who know me nodding their heads in agreement, and I wish I had some magic button with which to undo these first impressions, but sigh I just do not.  Maybe this is the reason why I do not put any stock in love at first sight, if it existed I would be in for a life of loneliness for sure.  I know that I do not put any effort into fixing this problem that I have found in myself, rather I put my focus onto what happens after the first meetings.  That is the part where I am able to shine, and sparkle.  I love the flirting and the dance of emotions that includes the amazing butterfly feelings that happen as you get to know someone special. 

There is also the peculiar possibility that I insist on making challenges for myself.  It would seem to easy to just fall for somebody out of the blue, instead there is a type of seduction that includes building in a chase factor.  If you make it too easy to fall for someone then the likelihood that it will last is very low.  Whereas if someone has to work to gain attention or a place in someone`s mind the odds increase in favour of a longer courtship.  I for one, love a good puzzle or a to be challenged.  I wholeheartedly subscribe to the idea that things in life worth getting involve a great deal of work.  And I was raised to work hard for what I have.  Thus I daily challenge the ideal of first impressions being the most important thing, instead for me, it is what comes afterwards that matters.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Sex Positive and Safe Sex

Safe sex is more than just using protection.  Safe sex is also about asking the tough questions prior to being swept up in the moment.  It’s about loving your body and your safety enough to put on the brakes and ask about sexual history, STI’s and last doctor visits.  The first few times I did this I felt sheepish and nervous, but some things are just worth getting over the uncomfortable feelings for.  When I met E, the idea of being in an open relationship had me the most verbally squeamish about the idea of STI`s being brought into the equation.  Sex is not 100% safe, but there is an increased level of risk when partners are seeking sexual relationships outside of monogamy.  Nothing is or will ever be risk free, however honest communication is of paramount importance.

I can put complete trust in myself taking the time to ask the questions that I need answers to, which include the following: do you have protection? When was your last sexual partner? When was the last time you were tested? And have you ever had an STD or an STI?  These questions matter to me, and if I am not willing to ask these, then I am not of a frame of mind where consensual sex will be on the table.  As much as I would love to say that I do this to protect my partners, really the selfish reason is that I want to protect myself first and foremost.  So love yourself as much as I love myself, and be safe out there.   Use safe toys, , and be as safe and honest as you can with your partners.

Interesting article here about open relationships being STI safer than monogamous ones who cheat.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Walking the Fine Line

No means no means no.  Sounds simple enough, however it is unbelievable how often I have to repeat myself and say no.  I like to think of myself as pretty sex positive, and I try to share what I have learned over the course of time, that being said the biggest learning curve is often found when things go wrong.  I constantly convince myself that woman can be completely platonic with men and build really amazing friendships.  Sometimes these friendships turn sexual, but often the friendship is formed out of a mutual respect whereby if one party says no that is the end of that and the friendship can continue on its journey.  Unfortunately I have a bit of a short fuse when I am put in a position whereby I have to repeat myself to the point of being rude, at this point the friendship is sinking vessel.

I do not mind when a male friend tells me I am good looking as flattery is awesome and I openly applaud things that are awesome.  But I am also incredibly choosy, I am open with my sexuality and my views on relationships but that does not translate into an invitation to sleep with all of my male friends.  The biggest reason for not wanting the men in my life to continuously try to hit on me is a selfish one, and that is that I hate having to put my friends in their places.  It makes me feel horrible when I have to flash that bitchy, and cruel side to the people I care about.  I understand the difficulties men and women alike face, as the chances not taken are wasted opportunities, and for that I will always be respectful the first approach, and often the second.  But when I have to say no a third time, well my inner bitch shows her true colours.

It is a fine line, and I appreciate that, it is one that I have walked more than once.  That decision to take a chance on a friendship being more than just platonic, knowing full well that the friendship may never quite be the same afterwards.  Or that I may lose having that person in my life for a long time after a chance encounter, those are very real risks.  But if I am turned down once, I do not take it upon myself to push and push until the friendship is unsalvageable.  The thing I have learned is that these things do take two mutually willing and able individuals in order to progress into something more.  If one party is not on the same page, take a kind no and back off.  Make it easier for people to be more sex positive and open rather than making it uncomfortable or placing negativity on a freeing situation.  Try to make a healthy and open environment for a bit of playful flirting and teasing, but remember to always listen when a person says no.  If we are heard the first time, it makes it a little easier for us to say exactly what we want and do not want.  It is a two way street in the game of wants and needs, as I have written before where woman have learned to be coy, so respect us when we try and break this ingrained habit.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Calgary Stampede, 100 Years, and the Slut

To any of my readers out there who are do not know me personally I am a born and raised Calgarian.  For 10 days every July since 1912 this city has celebrated the Calgary Stampede Exhibition and Rodeo, and during this time our quiet city transforms into a cowgirl and cowboy party town.  Corporations often will throw Stampede events in lieu of Christmas parties as an opportunity to network, socialize and often most important is the opportunity to wear jeans and a cowboy hat to the workplace.  The city parties, and parties well for these 10 days and with the liquor flowing, and the good times to be had the slut has a perfect playground in which to showcase her true colours. 

As a small child I was dressed up in denim skirts with plaid shirts and a straw hat with a piercingly high pitched whistle.  I learned how to shout “yee haw” while being spun around in circles on the Monster ride at the midway.   I also learned how to walk for an entire day in the scorching sunshine, often reaching highs of the mid 30’s, in heeled cowboy boots or ropers.  When I became a teenager my view of this childhood playground evolved into embracing the time when dressing slutty became acceptable.  For many, the inner slut gets to play on Halloween, but in this fair city we have the stampede to play as well.  For example when I was 16 years old, my best friend and I saw absolutely nothing wrong with wearing tight jeans, and a bandanna wrapped around our boobs for tops.  Since that time I have worn miniskirts, booty shorts, halter jumpers, corset tops, see through white t’s and for this year I sported a pair of pink leather chaps with bikini bottoms underneath.  Why?  Because this fair city expects the inner slut to come out, and damn it is fun to be a proud one and prance in your western finest. 

When I say that the entire city parties I mean just that, but not without a few side effects.  Many couples have a no cheat rule with the exception of Stampede.  During this time the statistics of couples breaking up or divorcing are three times as high as at any other point during the year.  As well sexual health clinics are absolutely bogged down with additional testing and prescriptions being handed out.  Liquor, slutty dressed men and women certainly gets the libido flowing.  And yet the smell of mini doughnuts and bbq’d meat on a stick makes every fond memory of the years prior come flooding back.  The memory of two stepping with some amazingly talented firemen, the great live bands and nightly firework shows are a few of the PG memories. 

Stampede for many is a western festival with which to celebrate our slutiness, male and female alike.  A massive place where inebriation aids in blurring the lines of our inhibitions.  There is comfort in numbers and the stats play to the advantage of the slut, where you have 10 days with which to gain some confidence and approach an appealing partner unlike Halloween where you have only one night to accomplish that sometimes difficult feat.  Proudly I am a Calgarian who tries to safely show off my inner slut for a few days out of these 10 with some amazing company.  Thanks to all who make this the best city to live in, love or hate the Stampede it is a place of tight jeans and even shorter skirts and I would not have it any other way.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Confidence and Dating

I am starting to see a clear and present pattern that I suppose I always knew was there but perhaps did not know the reason.  Dating is a game of skill and practice especially Online.  There are natural flirts, born and raised charmers and charismatic people mixed into the pool.  But the truth is that the majority of us when thrown into the dating pool sunk or swam by trial and error.

When I receive messages from average or under average men on one of the dating sites that I use the notes are almost always thoughtful, personalized and creative.  Not to assume that they are not a pre-written copy and pasted message as many are (proven by a few repeat sendings) but the detail of adding something from my profile is often included in these.  The messages also include an open ended question that many of us feel rude not responding too even if the first glance at the photos or profiles is not up to our normal standards.  I will admit that in this round of using online dating I no longer respond to anyone just for the sake of not coming off as bitchy and judgemental, but the first time I used the site I would almost always politely answer these men’s questions.  This getting the foot in the door tactic is incredibly important.

Now onto the flip side, the very attractive men who rely on their photos only and often post the bare minimum on the about me section.  The messages from these men are lackluster at best with a no foresight into the responses that they expect to get.  “You’re cute”, or “how was your weekend”, leave very little for opening up conversation and quite often the messages die off as quickly as they started.  I feel almost disappointed when I receive a one-liner message from a hot guy as the feeling is he is too good to but any effort into the conversation.  I should be wet at the mere thought that he messaged me and therefore should agree to meet based on looks alone. 

So I am left in the middle of the overconfident based photo, or a charming message from a less than average guy who shows up to a first meeting 30 pounds heavier than his photo and with mustard stains on his shirt (yes this is a true story).  Over promise and under deliver, or under promise and over deliver?  Basically the under average male has had to put in more practice and work to engage in a conversation with a person that he is interested in and it is very apparent in the online world.

When I was between 18 and 20 ish I would play a little game at the bar which would entail seeing how many drinks I could get bought for me.  If I had to take a cab home that night it was a great night, but I would say that I was rejected a solid 95 % of the time.  I would get shot down for drinks, dancing and sometimes even just approaching and saying a simple “hi, how is your night going?”.   All this rejection taught me some incredibly valuable lessons in building a bit thicker skin, changing my approach on the fly and realizing that rejection is not the end of the world.  Some nights it hurt my feelings to be shot down so many times, but it is not always a personal thing, often just bad timing and bad game on both parties.  And I would not be the person I am today without having been put in my place by a room full of strangers.  I learned confidence the old fashioned way with lots of work and practice, long before I grew into whatever looks or boobs that I now have (I know it makes them sound fake saying it like that).  At heart I am that skinny girl with horrible freckles and the brown hair that had a mind of its own.  Despite that though I taught myself to smile with genuine feeling and make myself approachable and learned a confidence that is applicable now to all aspects of my life.  

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Society Frowns on the Single Girl

I read an interesting chapter in the Ethical Slut the other day in regards to being single as a relationship status.  Interestingly it exposed the idea that for whatever reason society views singledom as a transitional state and not as an acceptable permanent status.  People who are single may or may not be in that position because of their own doing, but the bottom line is that our society treats this status as a place of limbo.  Especially when it comes to being a female.

Men again have a scapegoat, and that is the term bachelor.  If a male chooses to be a bachelor then society is OK with that, we even sometime revere this man who has chosen his bachelorhood.  There are exceptions of course whereby if a man is a lifetime bachelor due to circumstances rather than choice we will criticize or feel sorry for him, but if he embraced this term he may be deemed the most interesting man in the world. 

Now for the flip side, the bachelorette, who is not allowed to be a lifetime member of this club.  No, the term is only deemed acceptable during pre wedding celebrations where after a night of partying and celebrating the bachelorette title gets replaced with wife.  What term is reserved for females who choose a lifetime in the single category?  Well my dears, we have spinster, and the new fangled phrase which is cat lady.  I cannot put a positive spin on either of these, so I will not even try.  There is no big breasted, foxy lady meme with the term spinster attached.  Women are just not accepted if they want to embrace a single lifelong sluthood of sorts.  There is shame and scorn for these women, even from a historical stance Mary Queen of Scots was only held in her single esteem because she was celibate.  Had she been a royal slut I guarantee she would have been married off or even been assassinated. 

Woman are taught from a very young age the societal ideal of finding a partner to make us whole and balanced.  We are not given the tools with which to be solitary creatures.  Even the parents who teach their daughters to be strong and independent are at best subliminally told this is to attract a man of equal or better standing.  Creating a relationship with two strong and self-sufficient individuals is the new status to strive toward.  Very few little girls have much support when they say that they want to become a CEO or president of a mult-million dollar company and live happily in solitude.  There is always something or someone who encourages these strong willed little girls to really and truly want to share all this wealth and success with a partner.

When all is said and done though, I personally do not strive to be single forever.  It is not one of my life goals, especially considering that I do want to have children in the future.  I would like a partner, or perhaps a few partners to raise my children with.  The important part I feel is to break down the judgement towards people of both sexes who are enjoying themselves.  If they are happy and it works for the here and now great, and if that party wants to be single for the remainder of their lives that should be acceptable too.  I strongly believe that we are not designed to be solitary creatures, with that said there are billions of us and it would ridiculous to assume that every single human out there craved a lifelong partner.  I question the judgement that I incur from time to time for being single, and although I put a brave face and am quite optimistic there are moments and situations where it would be amazing if singlehood was a legitimate place to be for something more than a fleeting moment.