Sunday, June 29, 2014

Done, And Done.

Despite my seemingly tough girl exterior, I really do tend to give people - my friends specifically - the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes, to the point where they don't deserve it. I care about the people in my life a lot, and for that reason, when someone I care about lets me down, I find myself really disappointed and hurt. And while it may take me a long time or a lot of crap to arrive at the I'm done point, once I'm done, I am done. 

Right now, I'm feeling very done. I have spent the past 12 months being a damn good friend; being patient, considerate, kind, and without expectation. I've asked all the right questions and have had all the right answers, and without giving myself a high five, I have to say I've been nothing but a great friend. And yet, it has occurred to me that I am not getting the same out of this friendship that I am putting into it. I am on the back burner and am the only one making an effort; I am a second thought (if that) and am not a priority. And I've exhausted myself trying to justify and excuse someone else's poor behavior, while the reality is, I am just not as important to this person, as this person has been to me. 

So I'm done. I will not continue to make that effort. If you want to talk to me, you'll call. If you want to see me, you'll drive to my place and take me to dinner. You won't say stupid or hurtful shit in front of me to impress your other friends, because you'll figure out that my feelings are important. And more than anything else, you'll make me a priority, the way I've made you one in the past year. It's very simple. And you'll either step up to the plate, or we won't continue to be friends. It's been hard to come to that realization, and it's hard to say it that way, but it's true - the ball is no longer in my court, but in yours. 

It's not as easy to make new friends as an adult. It's also not as important to have a thousand friends you party with. I care much more about developing closer, deeper friendships with fewer people these days. Do I want to have fun? Of course! But I don't want to surround myself with a ton of people who really, at the end of the day, don't care about me enough to make an effort for me. I deserve more than that from people. We all do. We deserve friends who support and encourage us, who inspire us to be better people, and who are there for us when we need somebody. When you find yourself in a one-sided friendship, sometimes the only thing you can do is take a few steps back and wait to see whether your friend really cares enough to put in the effort, or if it may be time to admit defeat and walk away. 

It's hard to get to the point where you're done. It's hard to wipe your hands of someone you care about. But sometimes people just don't do what you need from them; sometimes they fail to come through on their end of a relationship. And when that happens, in order to take the best care of yourself, it may be necessary to walk away. 

Good friends are hard to come by. When you find a good one, hold tight. Make the effort. Do your best. Remind that person how important they are and how much you enjoy having them in your life. As good friends, we all need to hear that sometimes. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yoga for the Soul

365 days ago, I was smack dab in the middle of my very first Advocare 24 Day Cleanse. I was starving, detoxing off of caffeine, craving salt like a crazy woman, and was one cranky bitch. And yet, I was doing the best thing possible for myself - eating green! The cleanse itself was the jumping off point to a whole new mindset for me: green is better, processed is bad. Seems fairly simple. 

When the Cleanse was complete, I wrote this blog about organics, and about the ways that I'd learned that eating green and choosing organics was completely worth all of the hype. Food tasted better. Fruit looked real instead of plastic, veggies needed to be rinsed off because they came out of the dirt, and I could not believe the difference in my meat and dairy, especially eggs. I was on board! 

A year later, I still believe that organic food is the best for you. Where I used to spend an hour grocery shopping at Fred Meyer, I now spend a whole Saturday picking berries and visiting local farmer's markets. And honestly, I love it. I have always enjoyed my "me" time at the grocery store, but spending a day in the sun, with some chill music and a friend, is even better - it's like yoga for the soul! I spent an entire day outside this weekend, buying much more local produce than I could possibly need, but just enjoying some best friend time and good music, and then ended the day with a local hard cider out on Sauvie's Island - it was great!

Could I do better? Yes. I don't buy 100% organic produce, because sadly I can't afford to. (Which is bull shit, by the way, that it costs a percentage more to purchase clean, non GMO, non cancer causing fruits and veggies.) 

But I am doing much better than I was at this time last year. I read labels. I never, ever buy meat that isn't organic. I also only buy organic eggs and milk. I buy as much of my produce as possible from local farmers. So it is a change I was - and still am - committed to. Because I don't want to get cancer from my lunch. 

It seems so easy, the whole eating green mentality. And yet, it's not. And it's not because of - big fucking shocker - money and politics. Because of course, we cannot just eat food. Instead it has to be about being spoon fed by whoever makes the most money. And suddenly, reading your food labels becomes way more challenging than it should be - to the point where half the time I just say fuck it, and take a leap of faith that the yogurt I am buying is not full of chemicals (though I am sure more often than not, it is). 

Did you know that Naked Juice is owned by Coca Cola? And that Odwalla is owned by Pepsi? Or maybe vice versa, but the point is, what the fuck kinda double dipped bull shit it that?!? Soda is like, literally, the worst thing to put in your body, and the giant soda-producing companies are going to trick me into thinking that Odwalla and Naked are chemical free?! Yea right! Sure enough, they just recently came under attack for having cyanide or some shit, in their Naked juices. No, not cyanide...formaldahyde! Umm, yes, the shit that you put the dead pig in that you have to dissect in high school. The stuff that prevents your dead pig from decomposing in your classroom before you're done studying it's guts. 

Fuck that.

It becomes so difficult to choose healthy, non-GMO, pesticide free products, that I bet half of the people who are trying to do right by their bodies end up giving up. It's hard! Grocery shopping, which I did used to enjoy, now feels like homework, and most of the time, I just decide that all I need is produce because I'm too freaked out by what is in anything else. And it should not be that hard. Nobody should be able to trick us on their labels; it should be straight forward: this shit will cause cancer, and this shit won't. People should not be scouring labels for the truth after some bold faced lie about "natural" ingredients is blasted on the front of the box - these labels fool people into buying unhealthy, dirty foods instead of the natural, green options they are after. It's wrong. And we should be mad about it. And we should not be tolerating it.

But we are. I mean, some of us are. It is very refreshing to see my Facebook bombarded with posts from people not tolerating it, from people writing articles and publicizing what really is a serious issue. 

365 days after my initial cleanse and my initial attempt at eating more locally grown, chemical free, organic foods, I have learned a lot about what is safe to go in my body and what isn't. I have learned that non-fat is usually worse than full fat, and that the best things for you are generally not even sold in the grocery store. I have learned that I love picking berries, looking for new farmer's markets, and being outside when I buy my food. In reality, it is unlikely that I will ever be able to consume 100% clean food - but I can try my best to do so. All it takes is more effort and more patience, and if it means my salad won't give me cancer, I am willing to do the leg work.

You should be too. Read your labels. Know your product. And most importantly, buy foods that make you feel good. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

As Long as You Learn Something

Day #3: What lessons have your learned from blogging

When I started this blog in last July (almost a year ago, wow!!), my goals were to blog 4-6 times per week, on topics which both irritated and amused me, hence the "rants and raves." I wanted to find a way to get people to read it, and I wanted people outside of my immediate friends and family to read it.

I learned how to put my own blog on a selfless blast on the regular. I learned to post a blog and then Pin it on Pinterest with a photo that people would surely click on. I began Tweeting each post and I started a Tumblr account (which I still am unsure of). I also, of course, publicly post each blog to Facebook. Additionally I learned that I could link other blogs in my own new blog (thanks Matthew). This resulted in a much larger audience than I knew I was capable of. I have posts which have been viewed 300-500 times, which is so amazing - people outside the US are following it...just what I wanted!

By writing a public blog and not locking down any privacy settings, I have learned that crazy people do, in fact, like to see what I am doing on the internet. I have learned that my former family stalks me online, which I think is hysterical. The less funny part is, they also make attempts to sabotage my already distant relationship with my own grandmother. So that's just really mean. But do what you gotta do to feel better about your pathetic little life, I suppose.

I have learned that my rants are more widely read than my raves. When I get on a tangent about how much I hate dogs, or even more so when I talk about victim shaming or body image, people respond and are generally super energetic about it - apparently it's a more entertaining read to listen to me complain. Even more than my bitching about things that piss me off, readers (except my mom) enjoy when I write about sexsex, or more sex. Which makes sense.

Overall, by writing this blog, I have grown much more confident in my writing ability; I feel like I have a great following, I get a ton of compliments on my posts, and people often share or re-tweet them as well. I have learned that maybe "being a writer" isn't something I will ever make a living off of, but it is certainly something that I do. I write. I am a writer. I don't necessarily need for that to be my source of income (though what I wouldn't give for that), for it to be successful. I have learned that when I do receive criticism on something I post, I don't have to change it or remove it; it's my blog, it's my writing, and I don't have to censor it for people I know are reading it.

Ahhh, writing. Like free therapy.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Like Ripping Off a Band-Aid

Day #2: Update an old post

In December, I wrote this post about emotional baggage, and the way it affects your new relationships. At that point, I was spending a lot of time with someone who had gone through a pretty shattering breakup a couple of months before that, and there was definitely a lot of baggage in the way of anything potentially happening. And that was fine - as I wrote in that blog post, I understand (and have) baggage just as much as anyone else. I respect it, and I know that sometimes it can truly be the reason that something doesn't work out.

Here we are, almost 7 months after I initially wrote this blog post, and my perspective on baggage has changed a little bit. I still understand and respect it, and I get that there are things that will never go away...but I also feel that baggage easily becomes a crutch or an excuse for not moving on, in which case, you need to take some responsibility.

They (whoever they are) say that time heals all wounds. And I believe that to be mostly accurate. Time will heal a broken heart, and time will help alleviate the grief of that failed relationship. But time isn't going to eliminate the emotional baggage that you are holding onto. That's your responsibility. Letting go of your fear, your lack of faith, your unwillingness to let someone else in - that's up to you.

At what point are you letting your fear take over? At what point are you guarding your heart so much that you aren't letting anyone else get close enough to you for you to care about them? And when do you acknowledge that as losing the battle? You're not winning because you're alone or because you're in control of your feelings and not letting your heart find someone else. That's not how you find happiness in a life with someone. That's the recipe for being alone. More importantly, that's the recipe for waking up one day and seeing exactly what you missed out on by being scared and closed off, and by letting your baggage control you. Do you want to open your eyes one day, when the person who was with you through all of it is happy with someone else, and realize that what you wanted was staring you in the face all that time and you were too scared, mad, hurt - whatever - to see it?

It's easy to close your heart off. It's easy to say you don't care and that you don't have feelings and that you want to be alone. I've said it, I've felt it. It's easy to let your emotional baggage control you and to let yourself be convinced that it's better to be alone than to be hurt. It's more difficult to open your eyes and see how much you care about someone. It's harder to recognize your jealousy when they talk about other dates they're on or other people they've been seeing. It's harder to admit that you care, even harder to say it out loud. But in the end, nothing that was truly worth it, was ever super easy.

We all have baggage from previous relationships that we will always carry, that friends, therapists, and new relationships will help lighten but will likely always be there. Time will fade the heartache, and will heal the wounds. But it's our own responsibility to make a conscious choice to be open to the next person who could love us. Do you want to miss out? Do you want to blame someone else for what someone else did you to? Do you want to be the one that gets left behind because you were scared to close your eyes and jump?

Time heals all wounds, but you're the one who has to rip off the Band-Aid. What exactly are you waiting for?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Epic Life Fail

Thanks to Juliana, who writes one of the fab blogs I follow regularly, I am starting on a new 30 day blog challenge. I find that the weeks that I am able to blog 3-4 times, I see much more traffic and page views, and I also am just more excited about it, because let's be real, this nerdy girl loves to write! But I can only come up with so many ideas on my own in a week, so I am often in search of a new blog challenge to give me fresh topics.

After all, it can't all be sex ed and parties, right?

Day 1#: Share a recent failure and what you learned from it...

Does this include failing at life? Because lately, I feel like I am just experiencing some general life failure. I've just been so tired, and feeling so blah,  that I haven't had much drive to get up and do anything. A big contributor to that is that right now, I am experiencing some health issues in which I am throwing up almost everything I eat or drink. So I'm hangry, like, all the time. Barfing five to ten times in a day makes me tired, and not keeping any food down makes me tired, and grouchy, and hungry. Plus, it is super awkward to be out to lunch or dinner with a friend and have to go in some nasty public bathroom to throw up. So I have just been sticking closer to home the last several weeks, which is an uncommon thing for me once the summer sunshine sets in.

So overall I just feel a little bit like I am failing at summer maybe - I haven't been traveling or taking a day to run to the coast, and I haven't been on any hikes or nice long walks. And I am certainly not consuming enough summer brews right now.

What have I learned? I've learned that I am not a fan of being sick, nor do I enjoy vomiting in public. Or anywhere, really. I have learned, though, that there are things I enjoy doing closer to home, that don't involve food and drink, that still allow for some fun with friends. My friend Kattie and I just recently refinished a desk, and are now starting on another. What I have learned is, I am obsessed with power tools. I am having so much fun sanding and staining and painting, and none of those things are causing me to toss cookies, so that's awesome. I have planted an array of plants on my patio, and I've learned that while I may struggle to keep them alive, I enjoy potting flowers and I enjoy having them there. I've learned that I read a lot more books when I don't feel good and want to do nothing but lay on the couch. And I've learned that I am much happier when I can get off the couch, and when I have the energy to go out, eat & drink with my friends, visit my family, hang out with their babies, and be outside.

Still Missing You

I wrote this blog on July 2nd, 2012, after learning that my ex-boyfriend had been killed in a car accident. Zach died two years ago, and these words ring true just as much today as they did the day I wrote them...

When I first read the article about Zach's car wreck and that he'd died in the collision, I was shocked. Numb even. I stared at my computer for several minutes, read the short blurb over and over, and then went on with my day. I spent the next few days reading and re-reading the articles and still, just shocked. 

The accident was the Monday before last, and his memorial service was this past Friday. Up until the night before his service, I had yet to show any real emotion or feel anything other than complete surprise. I had a couple short conversations with Stacey, Juliana and Nick, and I had to email the story to a handful of our old coworkers, but nothing was really getting through. The night before the service, though, I laid in bed for hours crying, remembering awesome moments we'd shared, thinking of his family, just sobbing. 

Raphael, one of my coworkers from BWW, picked me up for the service (I didn't want to go alone), and we met Christine and Eric there (also from BWW). Zach and Eric had been pretty close, as had Christine and I, so it was great to see them all, despite the sad occasion. We sat together, cried together, and it was comforting to have the arms of old friends on my shoulders as we listened to eulogies, memories, stories, and watched several slide shows. It was very, very hard, and I left the service feeling like reality was sinking in. 

The 4 of us headed to McMenamins from the service to have a drink and some lunch before we all had to go to work. Before any of us knew the extent of Zach's problems with alcohol, we all had great times at Rialto, a dive downtown where Zach would always drink Rumplemintz (YUCK). Eric, in an attempt to pay tribute to his friend in a more "manly" way, ordered a round of Rumplemintz, and toasted Zach with that, several kind words, and more tears. We were then able to share lots of great moments of working with Zach at BWW - I loved hearing my friends tell me all the ways they knew Zach and I were sneaking around together at the beginning, and I was so happy that they all had so many fun stories to share with me. Zach had such a bad experience at BWW, and I felt really comforted that during that shitty time, he'd made a few real friends who are truly suffering his loss right along with me.

I went to work for an hour or so and was just unable to get myself together, so I left and went up to Kelso to visit LaDonna and see the baby, knowing that baby snuggles are healing. I cried the entire way there...and by cried, I mean, I could barely see the road I was bawling so hard. It was the entire 10 days worth of emotion and feeling coming out, and I just cried. I visited my family for a long time, and I really did feel so much better holding Landon, eating waffles with my family, and just feeling loved. 

I took off around 9:00pm for home, and when I got to the freeway, traffic stopped completely. They were paving the highway, so it was narrowing to one lane. There I was, after an exhausting day of saying goodbye, sitting on I-5 in one lane construction...I looked up, and right in front of me was a semi truck. I completely lost it. I cried and cried and cried, the whole 30 minutes I sat parked behind this semi, until I was physically so tired I could not wait to get into bed. I was sitting in Zach's scenario, sitting there thinking, all he'd had to do was brake harder. How many times in a week am I behind a semi truck on the freeway? About a hundred. 

My final conversations with Zach were not as pleasant as I would have liked to remembered our relationship by, and I am so thankful that I can look back on a million other, more positive, truly happy moments instead of having to focus on those last couple of jealous, insecure, sad ones. I sat on Saturday night and wrote his mom a Facebook message that was probably 3 pages of text, telling her stories, asking about him, just wanting her to know how incredibly touched my life was by her son. I then sat for hours typing a message into his Facebook page...something I hope no one has the password to and will never be seen, but it was so cathartic to say the things I should have said when I had the chance. 

On my own Facebook, the night before the memorial service, I posted my favorite photo of Zach and me, along with exactly what I was thinking: "For encouraging & supporting me. For always making me laugh my hardest & for never making me cry. For escorting me to weddings, entertaining my friends & meeting my grandparents. For taking me hiking & camping, and for lazy nights at home. For being my friend first, my boyfriend next, and never for a moment being my enemy. For your generous heart, your strong will, your carefree spirit and your kind soul. For these reasons and a hundred more, I will miss you, think of you, and appreciate the man you were. Thank you for touching my life, my heart, and my entire world..."

Zach was not a perfect man. He was not a perfect boyfriend. But he was amazing. He was fun and full of life and always laughing. He was comforting and happy and he was doting. What I wanted to do, so did he. When he took me somewhere, he acted proud to have me at his side. He bragged about me, he told his friends about me, he took me places and told me I was beautiful. He never hurt me, called me names or picked fights with me. He was a friend - a wonderful friend. He held me close, he was kind, and he had the best smile. He truly did touch my life. He taught me to have fun and take life less seriously. He calmed me down when I was mad...except when it was him I was mad at. He was the first man I ever loved, and I am so thankful to have told him so when I had the chance. 

I am sad. My heart hurts and my soul is broken. I miss him, and I want to tell him a million things. If that means I continue to write about him or to his Facebook page, maybe that's what it takes. I hope with all I have that he knew what he meant to so many people, and that he knew how immensely proud we all were of what he was doing with his life. I am grateful for the months he was mine, and I will always remember only the good things he did for my life. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

When Will Enough Be Enough?

It is a rare day that I use this blog as a soap box for my own political agenda. Mostly, that is because I don't often have a strong political agenda. I believe myself to think fairly liberally, and I know that I support and agree with certain things, and that I am appalled by certain other things. I know that I am pro-choice and that I support gay marriage, but I don't delve too deep into politics. Since I don't do a lot of research, and I don't watch much news, I generally feel like I don't know enough about even my own agenda, to argue much about it either way. So generally, I don't.

That said, I feel very, very strongly about one thing in particular, and today seems like an appropriate day to say it: STOP GLORIFYING SCHOOL SHOOTERS. Stop it. Stop releasing their names, their pictures, their plans, their agendas, the stories of their parents, or what they liked to do for fun before they went out on a tirade, shot up a school, and then shot themselves, leaving us all in awe of what the fuck just happened.

Who the killer is, does not matter. Who his victims are, matter. It seems so fucking black and white, but our local and national news stations, along with our own social media obsessions, have it backwards. Instead of hearing the facts - kid on crazy rampage kills his classmates - we hear all about how the shooter grew up, who raised him, how his parents were divorced, what his mom did for a living, who babysat him, and how he "was just such a nice, quiet, troubled soul." It does not matter! No one cares - or, no one should care! What matters is, this person walked into a grade school full of babies, or a high school full of promising young adults, or a mall full of innocent shoppers, and fucking started shooting people. For no reason at all. What matters is that teachers are having to use their bodies as shields for the babies they are teaching, that college campus monitors are having to pin down armed gunmen, that high school gym teachers are having to put their students in lock down. That is what matters, not the name of some "tortured" teenager just trying to go down in history with the seventy-something other school shooters in the United States in the past 18 months.

Just this weekend, my dad and I were talking about the shooting last week in Seattle, and he made a comment that really resonated with me. He said, "the thing is, this isn't even a unique thing anymore - it happens every week, so what do these guys even hope to get out of it now?" And that is so true. You know whose name we remember? Kip Kinkel, who killed his parents and then shot up his high school. You know why we remember him? Because when he did it, he was the exception, not the rule. The sad truth is, though, that now, it isn't the exception. It is now the rule - go to school prepared, install a metal detector, arm your security guards, practice lock down drills. The question isn't if a mass shooting will happen in a school, the question is when a mass shooting will happen in a school.

So to that I say, fuck you, dude who fired bullets at your classmate and your gym teacher yesterday at Reynolds High School. I don't care where you grew up or how many people are "sharing" your selfie on Facebook - I am embarrassed to even be associated with any of those people on a social media site. I choose to not acknowledge you. And guess what. No one is going to remember you as some trail blazer out to seek revenge on the world that treated you so badly. Nobody is going to remember your name. You are not going to be in anyone's history book in 20 years when they learn about all the school shootings that happened way back in the 2000's. Because you are just as nameless as you were yesterday, you just happen to be floating around the internet today dressed in a wife beater tank top looking like a punk kid with an attitude. You're just "that one guy who ruined the last week of school for everyone, and who ruined the lives of Emilio's family."

We live in a reality where mass shootings are the norm, and that's incredibly sad - and scary, to be honest. We live in a place where my mom, who works in a school, has to say things like "if I die at work, know that I was doing what I really loved," and in a place where her children have to hear her say that. We live in a place where these things happen, and happen far too often, and where the news of another tragic shooting is a regular thing. And we may not be able to change that reality. But what we can change is our reaction. We can change the way that we obsess over the life of the killer. We can stop caring who they are. We can stop publicizing them, stop talking about them on the news and on Facebook and Twitter, stop building them up for the possibility of being remembered.

Someone who walks into a school with a bunch of assault weapons, starts firing, and then shoots himself at the end of his rampage, wants to be on the news, wants to be noticed, wants to be remembered. So here's a staggering idea: STOP REMEMBERING THEM.

This is not an argument about gun control or the lack thereof - I don't really even have an opinion on gun control. This is not a political rant about how this is the fault of the government, or how it's not. I am leaving out the portion of my opinion involving the rampant need for better mental health care in America because I don't want to fight about politics. I just want people to stop shooting babies. I just want to see this stop. And it won't, as long as any disturbed young person sees any hope that by killing a classroom of people, they too, like Kip Kinkel, will be remembered - and feared - forever. So stop the glorification; a mass shooting is not something to be proud of; it is not a way to commit suicide in a loud, proud fury. It's sick. And sad. And it needs to stop, now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I Never Have Sex on a First Date (Except for When I Do)

Yesterday I talked about some of the things that men need to know about sex, that they seem to have missed in their high school sex education classes. My post was fully intended as a snarky look at the myths we believe about sex. In reality, I believe that the gaps in sex education aren't funny and that they do truly need to be addressed - but this is a blog, and it's meant to be fun, and I try not to get too serious most of the time.

Today, to be fair - and to make both sexes look equally like ass holes - I am addressing the things that (many) women believe to be true about sex, based on what we learned in our high school sex education classes. While I do not believe these things to be true now, I may or may not have been taught more than one of them in my Catholic high school, Abstinence-is-the-only-way sex education. Just saying.

And so, from the book writing itself in my head, I give you the things that girls learn in health class, which we may believe to be true far too long into adulthood, thus spending years of could-be fun, not really enjoying sex all that much.

1. You are not a slut if you have sex with a guy you're dating. You're not even a slut if you give it up on the occasional first date. I remember sitting in health class learning that the only way to do it, was to not do it til you're married. Guess what, it's 2014. Nobody expects you to be a virgin when you're married. Hell, nobody expects you to be a virgin when you graduate high school these days. If you choose to stay a virgin til your wedding night, more power to ya girl! But it isn't the only way to live life anymore, nor is it expected. And truth be told, guys don't care. Nobody cares. Except maybe your parents, who had high hopes for you when they sent you to that overpriced Catholic school.

2. You are not a freak because missionary with the lights off is not your favorite position. You're also not a freak if it is your favorite, actually. Whatever floats your boat, just go for it. My point here is, women are taught - by society mostly - that we should be these delicate and demure little flowers; we're not taught to embrace our sexuality or to admit that we may be into something a little more spicy. You know why the 50 Shades series was so amazing? Not because the writing was great (it wasn't), but because it was outside the box! That girl had no idea what she was getting into, but she gave it a go and ended up loving all of it. And that's how I look at sex - go ahead and try that new thing - it may end up being your favorite! Don't let society convince you that your job is to lay on your back and take it how your partner wants to give it to you; turn the lights on, utilize the other furniture - or floors - in your house, and throw out the inhibitions. Nobody will think it's weird. They'll be jealous of the pages you can check off in the Kama Sutra that they can't.

3. It's normal (and awesome) to enjoy oral sex - both giving and receiving. I feel like this goes without saying, but the number of girlfriends I have that give a lot of blow jobs in exchange for no oral action of their own, astounds me. And don't put words in my mouth (see what I did there?) - I am in no way suggesting that you keep score; sex, including oral sex, isn't about who owes one to whom. But if you are giving it your all in the oral department, and you're the only one, that's not really cool - especially if, like many women, that is the most likely way for you to actually orgasm. Hey, sad but true fact, some ladies can't get there from intercourse. Speak up, and ask for what you want!

4. Your fantasies are as valid as your partners; communicate them. Seems simple enough to the 30-year-old women we are now, I know...but remember when you were first having sex, and that all-about-the-guy mentality was running rampant through your mind at all times? Silence that shit. What you think is hot, is hot. What you want to try, you should try.

5. You can have casual sex just as easily as the next guy. This may be the real kicker. Women are taught to believe that we are incapable of sex without emotion, and that we cannot enjoy sex without an emotional connection. It seems to be general knowledge that sex always invokes deeper feelings from a woman, that a casual sex encounter cannot work because women always get attached. While I am sure this may be true for some women, it is not a universal blanket truth. Sex is a physical act. Sometimes, an orgasm is all the connection a girl really wants! It's these gender role stereotypes that are drilled into our brains that prevent us from having the great time we deserve. Sometimes we all just need a friend to help us scratch an itch - and that's fine - again it is all just about communicating and being open and honest about your feelings as they come up!

6. You should never, ever fake an orgasm. Ever! No good ever comes from faking it. You're not getting off, and by faking that you are, your partner doesn't know that he may not be doing something to your liking - how is that a success?! Be. Honest. Faking an orgasm is like, telling a lie. And a stupid one at that.

7. Girls can masturbate too. And you don't have to pretend that you don't, because we all know that we all do it on the regular. Own it!

8. Girls can also watch porn. And you don't have to pretend that you don't. It can be a damn good time!

Again, like I said yesterday, it's just so important to be honest and to communicate with the people you get naked with. As a society, we tend to not be as open and honest about human sexuality as we should be, but we are the only people who can change that dynamic. Be honest with yourself, and with your partners. Be honest with your kids - age appropriately, of course - and help change the cycle where sex is seen as shameful or secretive. Men like sex. Women like sex. There is nothing to be awkward about.

My advice for today: Just go out and fuck somebody. 

I'm just kidding. 

No, but really. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

It's Important to Know Your Fuck Number

Attention Mom - Don't Read This Post

In conversations with men about sex, I often find myself replaying that scene in Bride Wars, where Kate Hudson is standing in her closet, trying to cram herself into her wedding dress, and yells to her fiancee, "God, what do boys learn in school?!?" I find it hard to believe the number of men I encounter who say some seriously dumb shit about sex. 

And before you get all uppity and start a new hash tag over my mistreatment of the male species, yes I am well aware of the dumb shit women say about sex, too. Maybe I'll address those in another post...

But today, I am focusing on the things men believe are true about sex, that aren't. And the things men never learned in sex ed class, that they should have. I do strongly believe that there is a serious problem with sexual education in our country, but that is on a serious note, and today, I am really feeling more snarky than serious. My lucky readers, right? 

Things (some) men never learned about sex, 
as pulled from what will someday be a book but are currently just ideas floating in my brain:

1. Sex is not a race to the Big Finish. In fact, (most) women prefer that it take some time. We can't just get revved up that fast; we need a minute. I recently had a conversation with one of my male friends, in which I was told "some guys forget that girls are involved and think it's a race." Epic fail. Forget a girl is involved? How do you forget a girl is involved when you literally are - well - in her?!

During this conversation, I explained to my friend that what he should have learned from a high school gym teacher  is, you should always masturbate before a date. It even rhymes, so you can't forget! Just like women masturbate before a date to lessen the chances of fucking you in the booth over an appetizer (yea, we do that sometimes, when we're super into you), you too should be prepared. It's like, the motto for life: Always be prepared [to get laid after dinner]. You're welcome Boy Scouts, I just made that better for you. 

2.  On the flip side, women do not require marathon sex on a nightly basis either. It's true what they say, the more often you have sex, the more you want it - at least that is the facts for the women I am friends with. But nobody has time to have marathon sex every day. As they say, ain't nobody got time for that! I mean, we have to work early sometimes, or we have laundry to get done, or maybe my lady biz is still recovering from the marathon we did make time for yesterday. In any case, while is is not always a race, it also doesn't always have to take all night. In the same recent conversation, I was told that quickies are a man's best friend. Good news, homeboys, a quickie can also be a woman's best friend - especially if you do it right. Sometimes all it takes is one dirty text from her man at work, to give a woman the spins, resulting in the best quickie you ever had. Plus, there is a lot of grey area between marathon and quickie, and we're down for all that too.

3. We don't care how big your dick is. No really, we don't. We only care that you know how it works.

4. (Most) women who say they "don't like" something in the bedroom, haven't tried it, had a bad experience, or are lazy. I was talking to a girlfriend about food yesterday, because I tend to say I don't like food I've never tasted, like mushrooms. I have never eaten a mushroom, but I claim not to like them. A lot of women are the same way with blow jobs. I don't like like giving head is not a reason for you to run, but rather an invitation for a follow up question. Why not? What don't you like about it? Chances are, if she's young, she's never done it, or if she's not super young, some other dude freaked her out one time and since it causes her no physical pleasure, she went with I don't like it. Maybe you're the lucky guy who gets to remind her of how enjoyable it can This is not to say, of course, that you should force something on your female counterpart that she isn't into or is not comfortable with (obviously). I'm just saying, women are probably more into things than they even think, and maybe we should just all talk a bit more openly about it and see what happens.

The same can be said for different positions, toys, dirty talk, anal...chances are, based on the anatomy of a human, most of us could be fairly into several common "favorite" positions, including anal sex. It is what it is. Anatomically, pleasure can happen that way - for the vast majority of us. But lots of women I know - most of whom have not given it a chance - would claim not to like it, based solely on a mental roadblock. Again, I am just a big advocate of open communication, as well as of trying new things that turn on your partner. So the next time your lady says she doesn't like something, I invite you to just ask her why that is. Maybe she'll like it with you.

5. Her G Spot is a real thing. So is her clit. These are not mythological creatures that some man-hater made up in an effort to crush the male ego; they're real. And they're not that hard to find if - once again - you communicate with the person you are having sex with. Don't know where to look? Start with her vagina, and go from there. Google it. Ask her to show you the best way to find it. But for the love, do not deny the existence. I hate to break it to all of you fellas living in dream world, but if you do not know where your lady's clit is, she is faking her orgasms, and then getting herself off while you're in the bathroom. And nobody wants that either, so make sure you know where it is and how to get there!

What it all boils down to is, open communication. If you are having sex with someone, you should be able to openly communicate your thoughts, opinions, feelings, as well as your fantasies and your curiosities. Despite what you gentleman were taught in high school about God knows what, the truth is, your lady is probably just as freaky as you are; she just learned in high school that she isn't supposed to be. While you guys learned about how to not knock a chick up before you married her, we learned that we should never admit that we like sex in any way other than missionary position with the lights off.

You can thank society for that.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Just Me and My Dad

I remember when I was a kid, my mom and dad did Forced Family Fun. My parents are outside people. They like to hike and camp and raft and fish. In my awkward, I-Hate-Everyone 'tween phase, I did not like to be outside. I also did not like to be with my mom and dad. Because of course, I hated them. Or I was just a couple years from hating them...but you can sense these things when you're ten years old. By the time I'm twelve, I am going to be so mad at them!

In any case, we did a lot of outdoor family fun. Lots of hiking and camping, some biking, and a little fishing.

And despite my hatred for all things outside, and despite the impeding teenage doom, I usually had fun. I especially had fun at the beach, because I have always loved the beach, but I did enjoy the hiking and the camping, assuming it wasn't too hot or too cold, and as long as it wasn't raining. I especially enjoyed the trails with bridges, where my dad would run up ahead and hide under them, and then act like the troll from the Billygoats Gruff when Tony and I would come traipsing by. That was (and is) one of my favorite Mike Whitmore Moments with my dad. I'd probably still hike with my parents if my dad would hide under a bridge like he used to.

I also hated fishing. Unless it was at Uncle Jimmy's pond, with my dad. And I wasn't a strong swimmer, so I didn't go on boats or out in a raft, unless it was with my dad at the helm. I would still never go on a guided raft trip, I only enjoy the freezing cold water and the blistering heat, because it's with my dad.

My mom told me that recently, my dad had said that he was worried he'd worked too much overtime when my brother and I were little, and that he wasn't around enough. The funny thing about that comment is, I barely even remember my dad going to work - I just remember that he got up super early and turned the heat on when he left so the house was warm when I got up for school. And I certainly don't have any memory of his being absent from anything important, or even from my daily life.

My dad was home for dinner every night. He was home to play catch (before he hit me in the face and I refused to ever, ever play catch again). He was home to build me a sandbox in the backyard, and to tie a board to a rope and hang it from the tree and call it a swing. We had ice cream and Nerf gun wars together, and because I was always as nerdy as I am now, he challenged me to spelling contests and would cheat at cards by looking at my reflection in the fireplace doors. He was there when I sliced my hand open trying to carve a pumpkin with a grapefruit knife (his fault), when I electrocuted myself by putting a hair barrette in the light socket (my fault), and when I threw up after losing my first tooth in a pile of blood (mom's fault).

In high school, my dad took me to a Father-Daughter dance that he really didn't want to go to. He watched me cheer at football games, was there at at least one big dance competition, and saw me graduate high school and college. When I broke my foot the summer after high school graduation, he was there to pick me up out of the tub when I couldn't get out myself, and after I had lady-biz surgery last year, he drove maxipads (gross) and Popsicles to my apartment so my mom didn't have to leave me by myself. He's been there to change my oil, rotate my tires, hang up shelves, make security door sticks, and kill the spiders in my apartment. He was home to drop everything and come help me move my heavy furniture when I was finally ready to move out of Lucifer's house, with no notice whatsoever.

My dad's been home to take care of me, to snuggle with Juno when no one else is looking - even though he is allergic to her, and to make sure that I know, that no matter what (and despite what my mom says), I can always come home if I have to.

I don't remember a moment of my life where my dad wasn't home. And it's a good example of the way people remember things differently. My dad feels like he was gone a lot, like he missed a lot, like he wasn't home enough. I remember the days that he was home, the times he was there, the things that he didn't miss. Maybe he did work a lot of overtime, but that's not what I remember. I remember when he blew out his knee and was home for weeks on end. I remember when he took me camping when I was little and Tony was a baby, just me - not Tony. I remember him and my mom helping me into his gold jersey shirt when I broke my arm in 1st grade and had to go to the emergency room. I remember when he took me rafting for the first time. And I remember when he hit me in the face with a baseball - it was the same summer when we would play ball in the yard every evening because he was so excited that I could hit the ball into the neighbor's yard. I remember when he taught me to drive, and then when he bought me my first car and had to teach me to drive a clutch. I remember him being home at dinner after every first day of school (my favorite day of the year), and him always telling me to drive careful, even when I was only going down the street. My dad has never missed a holiday or a birthday, and is always home to watch Charlie Brown and The Grinch on Christmas Eve.

I don't remember the times my dad was busy at work or if he was ever out of town working; I remember him being home, every night, when it was time to eat dinner and do homework. I remember what matters - that my dad is always home when I need him.