Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Ahhh Pickup Lines

When I was in junior high, one of the boys in the school said to me at a band concert, “why don’t you sit on my lap and see what pops up”.  I was mortified, but not because I had any clue what he meant by that statement, but rather the implication that it must be vulgar in some way.  My girlfriends and I never talked to each other in one line banter, so it was dismissed as disgusting and I proceeded to avoid this guy.  Which of course being in junior high my running away from him only made him chase me more, ah the clueless of youth.  Now to this day, I wish this clueless mentality had worn off, and yet men are still using pickup lines on me and I am still confused by them.

Last weekend, I had a guy approach me to ask where the washroom was, then proceed to try and chat me up in a number of different ways.  None of which worked including “you look like the type of girl who enjoys football” (no I was not wearing a jersey or anything of the sort).  Did I react with some witty banter, or tell him to get lost as years of “practice” should have taught me?  Oh no, I sat there just hoping the guy would get the hint with one word answers, and when that failed I pulled out my phone and completely ignored him until he went away.  I could not muster up the words to say flatly that I was not interested, or that he was creeping me out.  Oh no, I did the passive aggressive pretend he wasn’t there, my modern day version of just running away. 

Is this a direct result of woman being cultured to be far too polite for their own goods?  When I re-iterated this story to some male friends, they naturally asked why I did not just say screw off.  And of course that is what I should have done, but the guy was in no way rude or abrasive so I just could not bring myself to be outright rude to him.  But as with every pickup line, the guys have a motive behind them whether vulgar, or sweet.  They are opening you up to a conversation, and for some damn reason I still feel uncomfortable after all these years speaking my mind to a complete stranger who means absolutely nothing to me.

I guess my inability to react in a rational way to pickup lines is just one of the reasons that guys still try and use them.  And I am sorry to all my female friends out there, that I have done absolutely nothing to call out the douche, who uses them in a creepy way.  I will try in future if for nothing else than to prevent somebody else feeling that uncomfortable skin crawling feeling when some stranger uses an unwelcome one liner.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Fictitious Dating Profiles

A small inconsistency that I have encountered in the dating world is misrepresentation by men.  In that I mean, men using fake pictures and profiles to entice woman.  Now I am all for privacy, and keeping your personal life separate from your online life, but when it comes time to online dating the lines get blurry.  It feels downright dangerous meeting a guy who looks absolutely nothing like his picture, or is a good 5 inches shorter than on his profile.  These may seem like superficial things, but it begs the question, if they lied about something so blatantly obvious then what else are they lying about?  Do they actually have 5 kids under the age of 5, living off of welfare, and a dungeon type playroom that they want their new partner to just stumble upon?

It is all a matter of safety and personal preference, but it puzzles me in that men are very visual in their sexual needs.  So if they have a picture of them selves that represents a tall, 6 packed Greek god type persona, and in reality they are short, pudgy, and balding, it makes me wonder just how skewed their reality really is.  Yes we can all fantasize that we look a certain way, and perhaps this image is more of a goal than just craziness, but it is hard to give someone a second chance when they have such bold image misrepresentation. 

I read men complain all the time that woman never write them back.  I have read articles where men test the superficiality of woman by setting up multiple profiles with various paying careers listed and track the variances of responses.  Unsurprisingly the higher paying jobs the more interest, so yes woman seek financial security as a primary dating characteristic.  The lesson learned from this should not be that woman are superficial, and only go after the rich.  Rather that woman may find you less attractive if you are in your 40’s working minimum wage and hate your job.  No fake pictures and profiles are needed if you work a job for less money, but absolutely love what you do and your passion shines through.  Work life balance is taking on more importance than 6 figures.  And yes it is all about how you sell yourself, if anything under promise and over deliver as the other way around is creepy at best.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Effort is An Opportunity Area

It really seems like the vast amount of men feel like getting laid should be a privilege with minimal work and effort required.  I am not saying this to whine and complain, more to point out that there is a huge opportunity for men to rise to the top.  The men that stand out in my mind are the men who made an effort to try and get to know me, to remember things about me, and in action do what I like.  It seems like a pretty basic and simple concept, but it is astounding just how often this is forgotten.  I see so many woman do back flips to try and please their men.  To dress the way they like, cook their favorite foods, and to fulfill every fantasy they have.  All the while keeping silent in the fact that there is rarely reciprocation.  It is no wonder that we have such a broad gender gap with men expecting this type of treatment and woman not speaking up nearly enough to have their needs met.

This is a two way street, and I think a little more effort from the male side of things would go such a long way.  Men in general are selfish, and this is coming from an only child so I know my kind pretty accurately.  And selfishness can be a good thing, it means you know how to ask and ensure that you get what you want.  If those needs are not being met, you love yourself enough to change the situation.  Giving selflessly is not an option, there is acknowledgement that in giving you know you will get more in the long run.  But this is a point that I think needs more reminding.  There are times when givers receive much more, than the takers.  It’s a balance game, and it is remarkably simple if you look more long term and less immediate gains, such as just getting laid that one time. 

There is a very popular dating site that I frequent, and I would say that a good 70 percent of new male users have something negative in their profile.  Something along the lines of just checking this out, do not have much hope that I will find something meaningful, and the always depressing “ok, this is my last shot on here”.  What this message portrays is that you will put no effort into finding a girl, and furthermore you are questioning what type of woman would frequent this place.  Woman have long, thoughtful profiles, the effort put into theirs is much more noticeable.  Many even go so far overboard that they list activities that they know will appeal to men.  It is no secret that woman are a lot more fluid in their likes and dislikes, often times gaining so much from the push a man provides.  In my own case with skydiving, it is not a sport I would have ever given serious thought about, but here I am loving it taking every opportunity to get better at it.  But I needed that push, and woman play this game well.  Showing interest, trying new things and often liking them much more than they ever would have thought.  It just would be nice if men played back a little more often, but I suppose the men who do not already know that are not worth the pursuit or maybe just needed a little reminder.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Monogamy Seems Much Less Normal Now

I grew up in an environment where I was outside of the norm.  The majority of my friends lived with their mother and their father, where as I lived with my mother and my step dad.  The natural inquiry was always to ask where my real dad was.  And I would answer that I lived with my dad, and I did not know where my biological was.  It made a complex situation a little clearer, as the idea of having two male figures was not accepted by either my friends, and sometimes even my family. It was not until my grad banquet from high school that I even officially “came out” so to speak as to having two fathers.  And I did it in a symbolic way, by dancing with both of them together during the father daughter dance.  It was not the most co-ordinated dancing, more of a ring around the rosy time event, but it certainly made an impression on many of the catholic parents that were watching.

But in my mind, growing up, I always felt like an outsider.  That my family was just not like everybody else’s and that I needed to keep quiet about what my home life was really like.  As I do more and more research into different relationships types it is becoming clear that monogamy has a mystical quality to it.  Monogamy is more of an illusion rather than a natural norm.  It is a pedestal that humans really do not ever get to stand on and yet publicly most say that they do.  But what if more of us became brave and started questioning what monogamy has really done for us.  What real benefits does it provide?  Are you happier having to stifle and suppress your mutual lust for that person you see every year at that convention?  What is normal about containing feelings of happiness in order to fit into society and keep sex for only one person until the day you die?

I think there is a trick that we play on our minds to reward us when we stay away from temptation.  That conviction that we are better and stronger for avoiding that amazing piece of strange, and somehow overcome our baser instincts for even a moment.  I do not mean to imply that you should sleep with everything that gives you a second glance, but I am saying that the feelings of guilt that arise from temptations are just not healthy.  I was a victim of this mentality for a very long time, in fact I took monogamy so seriously that it would even play a role in my fantasy life.  If I was thinking about sleeping with someone other than my ex D, I would actually have to first create a premise whereby he died, or somehow gave me permission to fulfill my fantasy.  There were monogamous restrictions within my own mind, and daydream world.  How can that possibly be healthy?  Or the other extreme whereby you can think and do any number of sordid things in your imagination, so much so that you are not really present when having that vanilla sex that you deem acceptable to society.

I struggle to understand why our society tries to tell us that feelings that are good are bad, and feelings of suppression and submissiveness are good.  The idea that our base instincts are thing that need to be overcome, rather than enjoyed and explored.  Media is constantly persecuting celebrities and people in power for having affairs, and trysts outside of their marriages.  These people are publicly shamed for having consensual sex, and families are destroyed in the wake.  I have yet to see a wife stand up and say that they were in an open relationship and she has some strange on the side too.  When that day happens some real ground will be made.  And there will be a positive movement to breaking the restrictions and guilt that coincide with monogamy.  Monogamy is a freedom, and should be mutually decided by two people, and not the expectation. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Keep the Spontaneity

Ever find yourself trying far too hard to perfectly orchestrate the most intimate or exciting sexual tryst?  Well I have and it is exhausting and just never seems to go as planned.  The most exciting adventures have been those that have been a little more last minute, a little more spontaneous than planned.  I get wrapped up in the details and getting everything just right, and people just do not seem designed for that.  I find that the most excitement comes from taking a step back and letting a certain amount of pieces fall where they may.

A perfect example is sex in the great outdoors.  Quite frankly, living in Calgary, it is damn near impossible to plan ahead of time.  The perfect opportunities for the people very often clash with what the weather decides to do.  To this day, I have not once had an outdoor excursion go to plan if ever decided on more than an hour in advance… well except for that one time on the roof. 

Then there is event or birthday sex.  We all know the special events that come around every year, and I hazard a guess that very few of us can say that every year on our birthday the sex is more amazing then at any other time.  Why?   Because it is a planned event.  There is so much going on, such as a big meal, social obligations and time constraints that sex usually has to fit in around.  I have learned over the years to simply take sex as a highlight off the table, and to stop putting so much damn pressure on it.  If something is going to happen that is noteworthy, it works better for me a few days away from the birthday or other event.  It takes the pressure off and eases things.  There are of course exceptions to this rule, but for the most part the planning of something sexy and special on a day that already has so much going on, tends to fail.  

So try to keep it spontaneous, lower the expectations and planning.  Keep it spicy with surprises and unique ideas every so often.  And if things fall through, be sure to laugh about it and not hold a grudge.  Sex is silly, and fun, nothing to get too uptight or worked up about. 

Friday, 9 November 2012

My Irrational Fears of Sex Stores

When I was in my early 20’s the idea of even walking into a sex store terrified me.  My boyfriend at the time would have to go in alone and I would literally hide in the car so that no one could see me.  After a few visits I would ask him to go inside and tell me if there was anyone creepy before I would go inside. Then one magical day I mustered up the courage to go and look inside.  I touched NOTHING and barely even looked at anything.   I was twitchy and grouchy, begging to leave as soon as possible.  Completely insecure about what I was surrounded by and having no concept about the added pleasure that items in the sex store could provide.  I felt a real threat by inanimate objects, and I bet I am not the only one out there who has felt like this at one time or another.

What really helped me loosen up was of all things, going to a sex toy party with my mom.  I was squeamish and a little icked out.  But all in all, I was surrounded by woman who were laughing, drinking wine, and celebrating their sexuality.  We were all laughing at the ridiculous tingling creams, tasting the flavored lubes, and egging each other on to make purchases that would make our men swoon.  It was amazingly liberating.  Sex toys became fun, and were explained to me in a really fun and friendly environment.  The woman at the party varied in ages from early 20’s (myself) all the way up to mid 60’s.  And each and everyone there was having fun.  Even the most timid woman who was in her 40’s surprised us all by bravely sampling the newest jelly concoction to increase the fires below. 

After that point, my very irrational fears started to diminish.  The thing that was never explained to me was suddenly shown in a really sex positive format.  I wrongly had perceived sex toys as something used when things were not working, rather than aids to make things even better or just add some variety.  I went from hiding in the back of my car at sex stores, to the woman here, writing about my relationships and things that give me joy from a sexual perspective.  I have made quite the journey so far, and in my estimation it just keeps getting better and better the more open to new possibilities that I become.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Illusion of Stability

I can almost always see both sides to every discussion.  It is a quality that I really like about myself although it has come across as indecisive or look like I am irresolute in my convictions.  Recently I had that discussion about where are we going, and where are we at with E.  It is a conversation that I know men do not enjoy and yet it seems that women in general just cannot help but have from time to time.  I know I like the fantasy of stability, and security.  I would like to know that I have a partner who is with me and I can openly talk to and lean on in times of trouble as well as share my joys with.  I believe in working on a strong foundation in a relationship and that makes living an open lifestyle easier and more fulfilling.

My perspective however is not shared, and it is not the first time I have heard this.  The male mentality of things are going good why change things is often infuriating to hear.  I am a person who sets goals for the future, plans, and enjoys working on things and making relationships better.   Although I have done a tone of soul searching and found the benefits of living in the moment, inherently I like targets.  I do not like living in a linear feeling situation, I would much rather have little hills and valleys that make life interesting.  An ever changing vantage point versus just the status quo.  Every man that I have talked to about this though looks at me with that same look, the one that just does not comprehend how it can make any sense to change a good thing.

And I recognize when I see that incredulous look cross my partners face, that baffled look of shock implying that you cannot force or work on stability and security.  It just does not exist and is an illusion.  Aside from paperwork there is as much instability in marriage as there is in dating, these societal institutions do nothing to prevent one or both parties from changing their minds, or feelings.  And when put to me this way, I absolutely agree and I understand this rational and reasoning.  I understand the rolling of the eyes from my male counterparts, sighing that they are even have such an absurd conversation.  And yet, knowing all this and seeing both sides, I still bring it up.  I still long for the illusion of security and stability.  I still battle with myself and find temptation in wanting a norm.

I wrote this a few days ago, and now that I have had time to truly process both the conversation and this post I know deep down that stability and security is not a good place for me to be.  It promotes laziness, it creates a place where I stop trying to seduce, to have fun and to flirt.  It is a place I have been before, and that complacency is right where things end.  When partners become relaxed and far too at ease, partners stray and seek excitement elsewhere.  A gentle wake up call to myself that although I seek complacency from time to time, the reality is that that place is the most unstable of all.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Bullying is Obviously Bad, Not Knowing How to Deal With it May Be Worse

I read a blog on Halloween about a father who was no longer allowing his children to watch the Charlie Brown Halloween special because it focused on bullying.  Here is the link to his blog if you are curious.  My initial reaction after reading this blog was outrage that the parents would rather hide this TV show from their children rather than watching it as a family and having some open dialogue about the subject of bullying.  But then I began to think about this a little further, this is an excellent example about just how sheltered the next generation is becoming and how ill prepared they are going to be with dealing with many members of our society especially when it comes to dating. 

When I was younger I was bullied for being too skinny, I was bullied for just not fitting in and being too small in general.  It sucked and I remember for all of grade 8 and 9 wearing a big oversized navy blue hoodie to help me not stand out anymore.  I soon learned to ignore the whispers and to just deal with people on an individual basis only, I hated doing anything in a group where I would have to draw attention to myself to be heard.  As I grew into my body, I developed the skills to only stand out when I wanted to, the more common solution I found was to just blend in.  I watched people I knew get bullied for being too tall, for being too smart, or for being too fat.  At some point or another we were all targets for something.  I hated going through this, but I am so much stronger and more aware of situations now that I am an adult then I would have ever been had I been sheltered as a child.

I have dealt with bullying in the workplace a couple of different times with grown adults and it absolutely sucks to deal with.  But how in the world are the generation of protected youths going to possibly deal with my generation or the generation ahead of me when they start adult interactions with us.  There are skills that are critical and will be missed.  What is even more concerning to me is how will this effect relationships.  It seems to me that as a group of people develop a weakness, there is a group of people who with equal force develop a strength.  I have watched with great sadness loved ones not stand up for themselves while being bullied or abused in a relationship.  Our generation has empathy for these abused individuals and a desire to help them because we have the skills learned from our childhood bullies, but I do not think this upcoming  generation will be quite so lucky.

As a child I recall my mom telling me when I was being picked on, that the other child was probably picking on me for a reason that had nothing to do with me.  As I grew up I learned that this was almost always true.  If I deserved harassment for something I did, I knew it.  When I was picked on for unknown reasons then I knew something must be going for that child at home or somewhere else.  It did not make it alright, but it helped me deal with my own anger and emotions in a more positive way, and kept me from picking on someone who was smaller than me when I got the chance.  

I have used this to find my voice when guys try to pull something on me that I am not comfortable, or a woman for that matter.  I cannot be pressured or coerced to do anything that I do not want to do.  If I had not been bullied as a child I would not have that same skill set as an adult.  I would be so eager to please that I would likely act in a much more submissive way.  I would be ill equipped to say no.  I am not saying this to scare any would be parents.  I can absolutely empathize with the pain in watching your child get bullied, but with talking with the child, helping them through it, and teaching them empathy it goes a long way to building a whole individual capable of dealing with the good and bad out there.  Of course if there is every violence or threats that are of an adult nature the police need to be involved, but again conversation about adult behavior and child behavior is necessary every step of the way. 

It will be interesting to see what new relationships form for the next generation and what sort of issues that they will deal with.  I hope they will be more capable of dealing with abuse and bullying than it looks like now.  Bullying is a harsh reality of our society, and in a relationships where intimacy exists our younger generation needs to practice saying no and finding their voice.