Wednesday, December 17, 2014
I'd like to first off say thank you to everyone for supporting me this year! I did better than last year as far as posts (though not by as much as I'd like to have done) and MUCH better than last year as far as views/reader participation goes. I have many plans for 2015! I started to be a little more focused and goal-oriented on here and my Facebook page. So thank you again, and hopefully next year will be even more successful.
That all being said, I have been thinking a lot about what to do this month for a post. I realized today exactly what I want to talk about! I think a lot of people forget that, whereas I want to be a sex therapist, a huge part of what I'm interested in is just relationships as a whole. The past two years have been such a learning experience for me! There was a time when I was afraid for my future career, because I had been in only one long-term relationship and thought I would always be in it. I was afraid I'd be that person who only had one boyfriend telling all these people how to date and be single, and that would just be weird. But I've now experienced the wonderful world that is being single and dating in your 20's! I'm not going to lie--it can be fun, but for the most part, it's awful.
It's never easy becoming suddenly single and seeing your friends from high school getting engaged and pregnant. As much as you put on a strong face about it, inside you're questioning yourself a lot. And then you go on dates and try to put a lot more effort into someone who doesn't even excite you the way you want them to. Maybe that was just me. It's a rough situation, dating. For a long time, I was turning away guys and wondering what was wrong with me. Why was I always pushing people away? I told myself it was because I wanted to be single, or that I wasn't over my past relationships. It turns out that I just wasn't meeting the right guys.
Rejection always hurts, and it's never easy to reject someone. But it's also not easy to drag someone along. I think that a lot of times we get caught in the middle of not wanting to reject someone but also not wanting to drag them along, and it creates this awkward sort of purgatory of dating. I really think that people need to be more open with each other when it comes to dating. We should all be able to tell a person, "hey, you know, I had a great time hanging out with you, but honestly, I'm just not really feeling that connection." And we should be able to understand that we aren't going to marry every person we go on a date with.
Anyways. There are things I've realized this year that I wanted to share with you. As I've said in the past, I'm 23. I am by no means saying that the things I know are somehow better than anyone else's. I only know what I've experienced and at 23, it's nothing compared to someone twice my age. One thing I believe very strongly is that love is real no matter what age. I really, really hate when older people try to tell younger people that their love can't be real until they're 18 or 25 or 32. I think there are different levels of love, but when you feel it, you feel it.
That being said. Love is definitely different at various stages of your life. I fell in love for the first time at 16. It was my first real relationship, and it lasted for years. It started out with us both dreaming of the day we could run away from mommy and daddy and start a life of our own. And one day, that happened. But it didn't happen the way we pictured it. So we waited until we were 19. 20. 21. And still, things weren't happening the way we thought they would. I thought love would be one way, and he thought it would be another. But the problem is, our ways weren't each other's, and they weren't actually accurate at all. We fell in love with each other and this imaginary, storybook type future and when the future came and failed us--we failed each other. We didn't know how to love each other anymore.
Any relationship is difficult to get over, but one that lasts upwards of five years is definitely not easy to forget. I was on the rebound for much longer than I would have liked to have been. I even got to that ridiculous point where I thought I had given up and would never love again! Which is ridiculous, because I am so young. And when I realized that, I stopped trying to force everything. When I went out with a guy that I wasn't excited about, I just told him that instead of trying to pretend like I was. It felt so good to do. I didn't feel guilty about dragging along some guy just because I was lonely and wanted someone. It's better to be alone when you feel like that.
I'm in a relationship now, and though it is new, my feelings are very strong. And what strengthened my feelings even more was the fact that I realized how mature they were. They weren't the feelings of a 17 year old girl looking for a prince charming to take her away. They were the feelings of an independent 23 year old woman who didn't need love to distract her from anything else. It really is true that you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. And here is the first time I don't have leftover feelings lingering around in this stupid head of mine from past relationships, family problems, medical problems, depression, etc. It is still very early on in my relationship, but I am extremely committed to it and to being the best girlfriend that I can be, because I know that in the past, I haven't always been the kind of partner I'd want to have. Here are some things I've recently realized about relationships.
1. Communication is key.
I read an article recently (I can't remember where, I'm sorry!) where a woman said that sometimes she would be in a bad mood and just want her boyfriend to hold her and tell her it was okay, but that he didn't always recognize how she felt. She would take his unintended ignorance and internalize, concluding that he must not care much. But then she realized that he probably just didn't know how she felt. So she would say, "Hey, I'm having a bad day and feeling kind of shitty about myself, will you hold me?" And he would. Sometimes I'll get upset about something a partner does, and instead of immediately explaining why what they did/said upset me, I'll turn it inward and slightly resent them for hurting me. But that's not fair. If you're boyfriend/girlfriend forgets your plans and makes other plans, instead of just telling them it's fine when it's not, tell them that you were hurt and offer ways to fix it. It's kind of hard, but I really think that not communicating with each other is a huuuuuuge problem in a lot of relationships.
2. Everyone has a past, and just because it's in the past doesn't mean we don't still care.
It's a difficult thing to think about your partner being with other people. But most of the time in adult relationships, there have been people before you. Honestly, as much as it sucks to think about someone you love being intimate physically and emotionally the way they are with you, I'd still rather they were a bit more experienced than not. My experiences in life have made me who I am and I wouldn't change them. My boyfriend is who he is because of his experiences in life, and I may not like him the way I do if he hadn't gone through them. I've had some serious relationships and they all ended for their own reasons. I still care for those guys. Not in the same way that I used to, but they were, at one time, people I really felt for. Just because they aren't in your life anymore doesn't mean that you don't care about them at all. Sometimes I wonder about someone or their family, and it doesn't mean I want to be with them or even want to talk to them. I expect that my partner will have similar thoughts.
3. Time apart is good.
This was something I had a problem with when I was younger. Anytime a boyfriend wanted a night without me, but not out with his friends, I was annoyed. Why would he choose to spend a night completely alone but not want to be with me? Being single made me understand this. I love spending time with my boyfriend, and I'd prefer to do it most nights. But sometimes I just don't want to talk to anyone. Sometimes I want to stay in bed and read all night or watch a stupid show on Netflix while cuddling with my cats. Sometimes my boyfriend wants to stay up until 6 am playing video games and not have to make sure that I'm comfortable or entertained. Someone wanting a little bit of time on their own doesn't mean they don't want to spend it with you.
4. You don't have to like everything they like.
This was another hard one for me when I was younger, and it's even kind of hard now. Of course, everyone has some deal breakers. And there's a difference between liking things they like and appreciating the fact that they like it. It's nice when someone is willing to try something for you, too. My boyfriend loves video games. I like them enough, but I'm just not a huge gamer. I'm willing to try certain games just because he likes them, but he's not hurt if I don't end up playing them all the time like he does. I really love Doctor Who, and I want to show my significant other as much of the show as I can, and I want them to appreciate it, but they don't necessarily have to love it like I do. And it doesn't mean I like them any less. It just means that on those nights where we want to spend time apart, I can watch my show and he can play his games. You just gotta make it work.
5. Spontaneity is important.
This is especially important in the winter, when it gets cold and you never want to get out of bed. It is sooooo easy to fall into the relationship trap. We all know what this is. When a friend gets a new boyfriend or girlfriend and you never see them again. It's way too easy to get comfortable with someone and prefer to spend your time alone with them rather than go out with other people. It's also easy to get into a habit of watching a show on Netflix every night after work instead of going out with friends or trying new things. For me it seems like every time we make plans, half the time the plans don't even happen the way we expected. But I kind of like it that way, because it keeps things interesting and we don't get bored because we're always experiencing something new with each other. I will admit, I am bad at going out when I'm in a relationship. I am decently outgoing and like to be around people, but sometimes I get extremely introverted and don't want to be around anyone. Being in a relationship is a good excuse for that feeling. It's something I'm working on.
6. You are still your own person.
It is easy to lose sight of 'me' once you become 'we.' Yes, in a relationship you go to each other for advice and decisions. But don't neglect yourself because you're putting so much care and effort into another person. The person you love loves YOU, so you can't stop being who you are. Don't give up your friends and your family. It's important to still have girls night or lunches with your mom without your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife tagging along. A lot of people try to change who they are or what they like so that someone else likes them more, but that's just wrong. You want someone to love you for who you are when they aren't there.
I think that's it for now. Sorry, when I get writing about something, I tend to just go on and on and on. These are just somethings that I realized for myself and my relationships, and maybe they apply to you and yours as well. If you have anything to add, please, comment or email me! And if you are single during the holidays, do not fret! Being single can suck, but it can also be awesome. No buying expensive presents for a significant other, no running around and meeting up with not only your family, but theirs, too. There are definitely things I like about being single during the holidays!
I likely won't get a chance to post again before Christmas, so, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (or any other holiday that may happen that I don't celebrate) to all of you! :)
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
John Carcosa (ok, yes I admit it is a pen name) and I am 38 years old. Thank you so much for having me.
On a related note, did you know that there are phone apps for tracking your period and fertile times? That's really all I'm going to say about how our second was conceived.
- 2 sexual partners before marriage where my penis was inside of her vagina. My wife and the woman we 'shared' for a while.
- 6 sexual partners before marriage where one or both or more individuals experienced an orgasm. Most of this was during the period of time where my (to be) wife and I were broken up.
- A whole lot of sexual partners before marriage where things got hot and heavy over the internet. This was back when people were still using the phrase 'cybersex'. My wife and I met over the internet while it was still mostly text based. Foreplay on the night we hooked up for the first time involved a lot of comparing notes on who we had been with and what sort of scenes we'd typed out.
- 1 sexual partner after marriage.
We were officially broken up for just under a year though depending on how you look at it, it was longer or shorter. We had been dating pretty much all through college and when senior year came along there was just that sense that we'd been missing out on something. I've never really confronted her on it, but I believe that she exaggerated a story about hooking up with some guys while away on summer vacation in order to force me into a fight for me or break up situation. We broke up.
We were also very bad at being broken up. We would often hang out together or with mutual friends and we hooked up on more than one occasion despite seeing other people. In retrospect it was very unfair to the other people involved because we never really stopped being in love with each other.
We got back together right before graduation but then because of graduation we then fell into a long distance relationship. Long distance relationships are hard to begin with, but going into one right after a breakup is even harder.
We were horrible swingers. No one should ever go into swinging the way we did. During that year where we were doing the long distance thing, my fidelity faltered. Rather than just owning up to it however, I went for the “Hail Mary” and tried to hook the two girls up. In what can only have been a miracle, it worked. I left them alone to get to know each other better and woke up to them crawling into bed with me. It was AMAZING.
The next six months were not as amazing. There was a lot of tension around the secrets involved and my wife was never comfortable with me penetrating another girl. Honesty is the key to a poly-amorous relationship and I had ruined that from the start.
The other girl went home and my wife and I tried to get into the local swingers scene. We played around with some 'in the same room' sex as well as some girl fooling around with other girls for her. We just stopped going to the clubs when our more mainstream lifestyle started getting in the way.
There have been painful and awkward moments in our relationship but there is nothing that I outright regret. Everything that we are now is built upon both the good and bad experiences that have come before. I am just too much of a fan of time travel stories for me to imagine fixing one of those moments without seeing our current relationship collapsing like a house of cards.
What's your favorite thing about your wife's personality?
I love that she is always surprising me and becoming more than she was. I don't want to say she was a blank slate when we met because she was definitely her own person. Cute, funny, and a little dorky. (Plus the boobs. Those were memorable.) But she keeps adding to herself. We were married and then suddenly she was making home cooked meals. She was making amazing art that she was sharing with friends on the internet. She was crocheting and then sewing. Little things at first but now our children's Halloween costumes are all home-made. I didn't see any of that when we first met... or even when we were married. It was like a secret bonus to the wife package.Additionally, I feel like we really balance each other out which helps most when it comes to living productive lives. I tend to be on the easy going side. I have been accused of having a stoner personality despite never having gotten high. I am generally what people call the shy, quiet type. At least in person. My wife on the other hand is more of the type to get things done but she also gets strung out when things don't go right. There's a chance that she might need to get high more but she's got me instead to help bring her back down.
Did I mention the boobs? She'll probably give me a 'look' when she sees this, though I suspect that she's particularly proud of her breasts. Honestly, despite all of my various perversions, I am most in love with my wife when we are laughing together. We don't have the same sense of humor. She's a fan of slapstick style humor while I tend towards the dirty joke. There are moments where the two end up going together... especially during particularly awkward sex. Nothing is as hilarious as having your toe cramp up in the middle of sex and have to pause to push it back into place.
Before getting married, I had a few friends talk to me about how much life was going to change once we got married. Marriage changed very little in my sex life or any other part of my life. Kids. Kids on the other hand changed just about everything. Intimacy doesn't happen as naturally anymore. I don't necessarily mean sex either. Just getting a free moment to caress each other is a precious thing. Even the simple act of holding hands can sometimes get a comment from our oldest. I'm not saying that it stops us from holding hands but some things are nicer when it is just between the two of us.
For me, it has been remembering to check in and make sure that I'm not just going through the motions. There are some things you do with kids that you do because you have to and not because you really want to. Diapers and puke are the first two that come to mind. But you do them because that's what you do and it needs to be done. It is easy for me to check out on that intellectual level and then forget to re-engage emotionally. In the midst of all the business of getting the laundry done, the kids to bed, and everything else when I turn to my wife and tell her that I love her, I want her to know that I am saying it because I feel it and not because that is just what married couples say to each other. I'm not always successfully. There are always a few 'I love you's that slip out just by way of goodbye on a quick phone call before I dive back into work and earning money. The trick is to not let it become a habit. Stop and make out in a parking lot if only for 15 seconds. It does wonders.
Do you think there's anything about your marriage that you would like to change?
Before having kids, we would lay out blankets and pillows in the middle of the living room floor. We would have some drinks. We would flip on some late night Cinemax and we would laugh at the horrible plots, the terrible boob jobs, and wonder why they were randomly having anal sex. Then we would fuck on the living room floor. On the couch. Partially on the coffee table. Illuminated by just the glow of the TV.
Brenna Twohy has a fantastic piece of poetry out there called "Fantastic Breasts and Where to Find Them." You can find it on YouTube. In it she talks about the need for a bigger world surrounding your erotic characters. Her example is Harry Potter fan fiction. For me it is the wealth of superhero, Disney princesses, and other cartoon fan art you can find on DeviantArt and Hentai-Foundry. It is even better when you see artists working together to build the story. Korra (From the Legend of Korra), for instance, has been defined by the artist community as muscular and her romantic lesbian relationship with Asami is almost taken as a given now.
When I first went online, I wanted to impress girls with how cool and dark I was. To this end I took a snake-ish theme for my online personality. People quickly went to the myth of snakes being able to hypnotize their prey. As a result I picked up a lot of lore on hypnosis without really trying. One night I was out for a walk with a girl I'd been seeing and she asked me about it and then if I could really hypnotize her. "Challenge Accepted" as the meme goes now. I'd never tried anything like that before in my life.
The funny thing about hypnosis is that it more or less works exactly the way you think it should work because you think it should work that way. I mostly emulated what I'd seen a stage hypnotist do the year before but it worked... much to my surprise. How do you tell if someone is faking that? After a few tests, the whole thing seemed real enough so I went with it. I walked her through a fairly basic erotic dream involving sex on the beach. She responded well and was soon right on the edge. I had her imagine a VCR recording the whole thing and then let her cum. Afterwards whenever I said the phrase "counting blue cars", her body would shake with orgasm.
I would say that I have something of a transformation fetish. In fiction and art this leads me towards science fiction of fantasy themed things like mind control and bimbofication where the foreplay transforms the participants. On the less extreme side, a character being lured/seduced into their first homosexual experience is very transformative. I especially like it when the outcome is not a sure thing such as when two dominants are matching wills to see who will come out on top. Lately I've been fascinated by the online growth of the "gooning" fetish. My best description is male bimbofication by way of porn/masturbation addiction.
Real life transformations are also very sexy. They usually take longer and are fortunately less transgressive, even the ones that involve hypnosis. Small things like when my wife paints her toes or dyes her hair. The transformation that a woman's body goes through during pregnancy pushes all of my buttons. Add to that suddenly not needing condoms and that is an instant turn on.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Here's some cool news--having sex may make you feel better if you have a cold! This is difficult to hear, because people generally don't feel very attractive when their noses are all red and runny. Colds also may drain you of energy and make you feel like moving is the most challenging thing in the world. I know because last weekend my roommate asked me to move from one end of the couch to the other, and I wanted to punch him for even suggesting that I move. Anyways.
First of all, I think the general population is now aware of the fact that the ol' "I've got a headache tonight" claim has been disputed. Having sex can actually ease the pain of a headache and other minor aches. According to an article on WebMd--“Orgasm can block pain,” says Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a distinguished service professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey." Our pain threshold is apparently higher after orgasm, which is why it can help to get off when you're suffering a headache, menstrual cramps, or even leg/back pain, according to Komisaruk.
Exercise can make you feel better by releasing endorphins and opening up nasal passages, as well as helping break up congestion. Sex also releases a few different kinds of hormones that make you feel good. And According to WebMd, you can burn up to 100 calories by having sex for half an hour. More specifically, "Sex uses about five calories per minute, four more calories than watching TV." Nice! And according to the Harvard Medical School, a 155-lb. person burns about 186 calories by walking for a half hour at 4.5 mph. And according to this article by CNN, you can burn between 100-300 calories per half hour in an average yoga class. That means a good 30 mins. of sex is fairly comparable to a good 30 mins. of some exercise.That's pretty cool.
Physical activity can also stimulate your metabolism, so if you're not feeling very hungry due to your cold, sex could help with that! A hot shower is also good for congestion, and what's sexier than a hot shower together? (I know, there's probably a lot of things sexier than showering together, but just go with me here.)
Remember that if you aren't sick, swapping spit or other bodily fluids may pass whatever your partner is sick with to you. A lot of couples probably continue to kiss each other anyways, so maybe it isn't a huge deal for some people. But just take the proper precautions if you are trying to avoid coming down with something yourself.
Let's keep in mind, this is all on the basis of you or your partner having the common cold. According to Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. in this article on MayoClinic, you should only be engaging in exercise if your ailments are above the neck--not if you have chest congestion or nausea. Honestly, it's going to be harder to try and get in the mood if you can't take good deep breaths or your stomach hurts. And if that is the case, be sure to take good care of your partner. And maybe, just maybe, they'll take good care of you when they're better.
Monday, November 10, 2014
This is my haul from my local sex boutique the other day! It's really not much, but I'm kinda broke right now so this is good enough.
Some cool news is that this sex kitten is off the market! That being said, I have a willing guinea pig to help me test out some products. I want to test out the differences between condoms--latex, extra thin, polyisoprene. I've never tried a female condom, stimulating gel, or a dental dam, & I want to rate the flavors of these flavored One brand condoms. If you have any products you've wondered about, bring them to my attention! Hopefully as time goes on, I will have more products to test and more money to buy them with :)
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
A lot of you have told me that I should do a youtube channel or a podcast. There are some ideas floating around that could make that happen. But, not at this very moment.
I don't reveal much personal information on here, but I wanted to tell you a little about my living situation. I live with four guys (five if you count our 'honorary roommate'). My roommates have essentially started their own company based around video games. They even just got a partnership through the popular streaming site, Twitch.
Speaking of Twitch--Living with these guys and actually currently dating someone who frequently streams makes me want to get back into gaming more.
This kind of ties into wanting to see/hear me. I'm gonna try a bit of cross-promotion. We'll see how this works, but I'm gonna start being on some Twitch streams and if it is fairly popular, I'll start my own stream, & hopefully do some giveaways/talk about some blog stuff.
That being said! Follow this stream to see me playing The Evil Within for the first time with CatchyCactus. Going live in about 10 mins!
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
We don't like to think about our bosses, parents, or neighbors having sex. But the thing is--they probably do have sex, and it could be more often than you, or more kinky than yours. I think it's interesting to think about. So, I'm going to post both short interviews here. Due to the intimate nature of the questions, both of my interviewees this week wanted to remain anonymous. First, I will show you Mike Honcho's answers in blue, and then Tiffany's answers in red (just to keep it simple).
How many relationships have you been in, and how long was the longest one?
Four, and four years (currently single)
Three serious, 6.5 years with Zach*, this month is two years with Ben*
At what age did you lose your virginity?
18, Christmas Day
Most memorable sexual experience?
Giving Ben head and how amazed he was that I swallowed. He still talks about it almost two years later.
How many people have you been with?
What's the craziest place you've had sex outside of the bedroom?
An alley with my friends inside drinking at the bar. With a girl I had met probably 20 mins. earlier. I was hammered.
My parent's backyard.
Have you ever had a homosexual experience?
If your significant other allowed you a free pass to sleep with someone else, who would it be?
Real life person--Chris! The lawn guy at work. Celebrity--Robin Van Persie
Favorite body part on the opposite gender?
Legs and ass. Also, eyes are big for me. It depends on the woman, too.
I notice height first. But eyes and smile, arms and hands are good, too!
From behind, lying down, girl on her stomach. Or from behind/girl on top (if skilled).
Me on top, orgasm every time!
Do you like giving/receiving oral?
I enjoy giving or receiving.
What's your view on porn?
It's there for people to experience things that they probably wouldn't get to on their own.
I watch it, but stay away from [some things].
Bonus question for Tiffany, who's boyfriend is in prison right now on drug charges.
How much of your relationship has Ben been gone?
We dated for six months before he got locked up.
What do you miss most about Ben being gone?
I can't just call or text him when I'm having a bad day, I have to wait for him to call me. Spending time together, watching movies, just doing things couples do.
Thanks so much for letting me interview you, guys! I will being trying to do this at least once a week, and I'd really like to interview random strangers and/or friends with interesting sex lives! Or maybe even super boring ones! If you'd like to be interviewed or have questions you'd like me to ask in my interviews, please comment here or email me at email@example.com. You may remain anonymous if you'd prefer. Since winter is pretty much here, I'm going to be trying really hard to keep up on this. I have started my Twitter back up (and it's really annoying because I had almost 900 followers before and should never have deleted it), so please follow me on there @The_SexKittenK. Thanks guys! :)
Friday, September 19, 2014
Writer Samantha Pugsley attended a Baptist Church at the age of 10 and took a pledge to remain pure until her wedding day, along with a group of other girls. Long story short, she married young and had a very hard time losing her virginity. She suffered extreme anxiety and guilt, and it caused intimacy problems in her marriage. She felt that sex was wrong and something she shouldn't be doing, even if she was married. My favorite line in her post was as follows:
"Let's take a look at who I was as a 10-year-old: I was in fourth grade. I played with Barbie dolls and had tea parties with imaginary friends. I pretended I was a mermaid every time I took a bath. I still thought boys were icky and I had no idea I liked girls, too. I wouldn't get my period for another four years. And most importantly, I didn't have a clue about sex."
Here's a fun fact about me--I wanted to remain a virgin until marriage. As far as high school girls go, I was one of the most ignorant about all things sexual. I was the first of my friends to enter into puberty but the last to lose my virginity. I didn't come from a religious family. My parents took us to church one or two times but it never became a consistent thing. Unfortunately, I was born riddled with anxiety problems, and the guilt factor that organized religion offered me was stronger than I could ignore. I started reading the Bible and joining churches on my own, even joining the Bible Group at school. All of the girls in my group were very religious and committed to their morals. Everything I heard told me that sex was wrong and dirty and was only for married couples who were committed under God.
Almost all of the girls I was with in my Bible group are married now, and most have been for a bit. We are in our early 20's. Now, not that there is anything wrong with that. It is a lifestyle choice like anything else. I respect it for what it is, but I do now question it, and I started to as soon as I began dating my first boyfriend in high school. Let me tell you young kids...it's much easier to make virginity pledges when you're not being faced with the possibility of losing it.
So, let's go back to age 16, when I was all about church and saving myself and being 'pure.' My morals were my own, and I had a group of supportive people to help me hold them in place. Not only was I against sex before marriage for religious reasons, but also just out of fear of the physical, emotional, and spiritual ramifications. I thought it would change my whole life. Sex had been played up so much that I really thought I would be a different person once I experienced it.
My first boyfriend had the opposite views. We actually broke up shortly after dating when we realized we had different views on physical intimacy. That was when I started to question my views. You might think that I shouldn't have questioned MY morals just because of a high school boyfriend. But I'm really glad that I did, because I started to wonder why I felt that certain things were wrong, whereas others weren't. We would kiss, and he would put his tongue in my mouth. Why wasn't that wrong? Why were people acting like my vagina was a huge special thing?
Long story short, we got back together. I tried to set dates in my head of when I would lose my virginity, trying to get myself into some mindset. I have no idea what mindset I was looking for, I just thought I should have one. I kept changing 'the big day,' and my friends laughed at me. Turns out, it happened one day when I didn't plan for it. I just decided to go for it. Afterwards, I thought our relationship would change. It did. We were much closer and I felt we had more of a connection. I thought I would change. I did. I realized I had been wrong. I didn't feel like I had done anything wrong. I didn't feel guilty, and I didn't feel like a different person. Physically, I kind of hurt, but mentally and emotionally...I felt exactly as I had the hour before.
I'm not with that person anymore. I've learned that a lot of the time when you meet someone as a teenager, you probably won't stay with them. And it's because as you age, you grow as a person--physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The person I was when I was 16 is about 80% different from the person I am today. It's important to know that I am not a 'slut,' nor do I go around sleeping with every guy I have an interest in. Having sex made me want to have it again, yes, but I don't want it with everyone all the time. I am still extremely choosy and specific about the people I decide to give myself to. I may think sex is less than I used to think it was, but it's still something I hold precious to myself.
I couldn't imagine marrying someone before engaging in sexual acts with them. Have you ever hung out with someone you were mildly interested in and then when you went to kiss for the first time realized the spark wasn't there? That's how sex is, too. Sometimes people have tons of similar interests and hobbies but they just aren't a good match physically. I have learned so much about myself since high school. Going on a vacation across the country was eye-opening, living alone was sobering, trying new things was exhilarating. I learned early on about my sexual condition, that likely would have worsened would I have waited to learn about it. And having sex with other people was thrilling. People are as different in bed as they are in every other way of their lives. People have their own individual habits and likes and preferences. One partner may love something another hates.
Now, I'm not saying everyone should go out and have sex. I'm just saying, if you believe in holding on to your virginity to first of all question what virginity means to you and then second, determine why. If it is because someone else told you to, reevaluate and try again. I am truly glad that I didn't hold on to my virginity. I personally don't believe that it is a 'prize' that you can hold onto or 'lose.' I don't really even know where else to go, honestly, I'm kind of tired. I just figured I'd bang out a quick opinion piece. I'm really trying to get some reader responses here, so comment your opinion or what losing your virginity or keeping it means to you.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I've thought long and hard about this while hoping not to get challenged. When I did get challenged, I had to start to question my hesitancy behind it. I think the biggest problem here is that people are using these challenges as a joke, something that bothers them for a few minutes and then they lead their normal lives while people with ALS are suffering constantly. Yes, people suffer from conditions that have no cures. Yes, there are other horrible things going on in the world. Yes, this challenge is a bit silly. BUT--why are we getting upset with each other for wanting to help others? And honestly, Facebook is full of videos that are much more pointless and stupid than this. At least the basis of this is to help people.
The bottom line is that if you are doing this challenge, you should still be donating. I think the important thing to remember is that most people (especially my age) can't afford to randomly give $100 to a charity. So, if I do the challenge and I donate, say $10, and I nominate three other people to do the same, who then nominate three more people...see what I'm getting at? And it's working! This article on Forbes says, "[...] the ALS Association has since said that it has raised $15.6 million as a result of the challenge, nine times what it normally raises in the same time frame. Another ALS charity, Project ALS, told the Washington Post that its donations were 50 times normal. ALS TDI, another ALS charity, says that has raised $580,000 since the beginning of August, 10 times what it normally receives."
How AWESOME is that?! And let's keep in mind that this has been all over the internet--celebrities are even doing it, and hopefully donating more than the average middle-class citizen.
So, what is ALS? It is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease, better known as Lou Gehrig's. It is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks the cells in the brain and spinal cord. Basically, the muscles in the body eventually break down and stop working. Imagine how much effort you put in to move off your couch, walk around the block, even chew and swallow your food. Now imagine if your body slowly lost the ability to do these things, while your mind remains aware of it. That is horrible, confusing, and depressing. And so is the fact that nearly 30,000 Americans have it at any given time.
This information is just a very tiny tidbit of information about one disease. Actually, according to the CDC, the leading cause of death in adults in America is heart disease, followed by cancer. Suicide, stroke, Alzheimer's, diabetes, the flu & pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional accidents, and nephritis are also on the list. Don't know what nephritis is? I didn't. It's inflammation of the kidneys and is usually caused by autoimmune disorders. ALL of these things need awareness and funding. While you're at it, look up what's going on in Ferguson or what ISIS is. We all need to be more active in social issues, but we can't all do everything for everything that's happening.
And aside from all of this, there are thousands upon thousands of conditions that people suffer with everyday that are not necessarily fatal. Yeah, I may have dumped water on my head and then continued on with my normal life, but what else can I do? I donated to the cause and educated myself on the issue, and that is what I urge all of you to do. And let's stop the hatred and spread empathy and learning instead, and think of this challenge as a form of solidarity to all of those suffering. Thanks!
Go to http://www.alsa.org/about-als/ to learn more about it!
(P.S. Check out this article about what a family who suffers from ALS thinks about the challenge.)
Monday, July 28, 2014
I've always spent a decent amount of time researching the topics that I want to write about for this blog. But lately, I can't seem to put my finger on exactly what I want to say. This entry is no different. I have a vague idea on what I want to talk about, but I'm having a hard time knowing exactly how to look it up. What I want to talk about is something I recently learned the term for -- skin hunger.
Just like we hunger for food, we crave physical affection from others. The chemical Oxytocin plays a huge role in our lives. The release of oxytocin happens when we are touched, and it makes us feel trusting, safe, and happy. It is what causes us to feel attached to others. High levels of oxytocin means low stress levels. Basically, cuddling up to someone can relieve your stresses. So, what happens when we don't get that? Everyone is different, but for the most part, people who are suffering from this 'skin hunger' seem to be more stressed, lonely, unlikely to commit to serious relationships and also tend to get sick more often.
According to Psychology Today, more people in America live alone than ever before. I have lived alone, and I have to say it's definitely lonely. I loved it to an extent, but coming home to an empty house almost every single night was boring. And come to think of it, I was sick a lot more often, as well as stressed out. Any time I did get the chance to spend a night with someone or just snuggle up to someone, I felt so happy, even just for the short moments it happened. Harry Harlow, a psychologist from the 1950's, did research with rhesus monkeys. He took infant monkeys away from their mothers and put them in contact with fake 'mothers.' One 'mother' was made of wire, the other made of cloth. When in contact with the wire, the monkeys only went to it for the bottle of food attached to it. But with the cloth 'mother,' the monkeys snuggled with it. If given the option between the two, the monkeys didn't go to the wire at all. I find this to be super interesting, and I believe that if humans were capable of more advanced movement and growth at a very young age, we would yield similar results.
By the way, Harry Harlow is a pretty interesting dude, as is Abraham Maslow, whom he advised. Look them up sometime.
|Harry Harlow with a baby rhesus monkey.|
When I was in high school and my friends and I hung out, we left by just saying goodbye. Now, we are all so busy in our lives that seeing each other often is difficult. We tend to hug goodbye whenever we can. When this first started happening, I found it to be kind of strange. But now, it doesn't bother me. Remember, I'm not talking about sexual intimacy here. I am talking about just touching another person. Just think about how nice it is to hold hands with someone, or sit leaning against someone. Or being in bed, laying into someone's side. It's calming and relaxing and makes us feel better overall. Just think about it, it's one of our five main senses. If we suddenly lost the ability to see, smell, hear or taste, we'd be pretty annoyed. It'd be something that we would miss and crave. We want to touch other living things as a natural sense. Touching screens all the time is not really very satisfying.
A friend and I were recently talking about the topic of touch and what it means in our lives. Touch seems to mean something different when you're single. I'll admit, I took it for granted when I was in a long-term relationship. It's a hard thing to know when touch becomes acceptable in the dating scene. I think a lot of people tend to think that the absence of touch means the lack of affection. That is not always the case. Personally, I am almost always too afraid to make a first move. I don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable by touching them without their consent. It makes sense that it would cause anxiety to touch someone for the first time. Oxytocin levels cause us to feel trusting and affectionate. If you have low levels due to not having touched someone before, you can certainly feel less than trusting towards them. We need to stop being so afraid all the time of making physical moves. Yes, you may get shot down, but at least you've tried. That isn't to say ignore consent, by the way. Just take a chance.
I used to think maybe it was just me that had a hard time missing the physical intimacy of just being close to someone. A lot of people I know seemed to be fine sleeping alone every night or walking around not holding hands with someone. But we all try to act strong on the outside. A new trend has been popping up around the country recently, showing that we all need affection. Places like 'The Snuggery' and 'Cuddle Up To Me' have been in the news lately. What are they? They are a service where you pay by the hour to snuggle with someone! That's great! A safe outlet for someone who is craving affection but doesn't have anyone to turn to. Though I do find it a little odd, since I am the type of person who has a hard time feeling comfortable interacting physically with someone I don't know well. But for the people who don't have that mental block about it, all the power to them! You can sleep next to this person or just lay around and talk.
Like one of the articles I was reading said, we are becoming so detached from physical interaction. The internet and smartphones and skype and all other electronic devices that keep us in contact but only on the surface...it doesn't help. It's so much easier to call someone than to go to them and speak in person. Even sexting seems like a good idea at the time, but damn, how unsatisfying. I really enjoy when you meet someone and they shake your hand, or you say goodbye and they hug you, or when a person places their hands on your shoulder or back when they walk behind you to let you know they are there (which kind of sounds creepy, but I do this at work a lot so that people don't turn around into me or something). It's just plain nice being touched, and it's such a small thing we don't think about until we aren't receiving it.
Cuddle Up To Me
Psychology Today--Lack of Affection
Psychology Today--Benefits of Hugs
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Most of my posts are thought-out. I find a subject I want to write about and I research it, showing educational facts and information I find useful/interesting. But since I can't have more than one tab open without my internet freezing up, this post isn't going to be like that. As a matter of fact, I think it's just going to be me talking about things that are on my mind. Let that be your warning to stop reading now, or proceed with caution. The inner-workings of my mind are confusing even to me, and after 23 years, I still barely have a grasp on how to handle it. And unfortunately, I feel like my overall knowledge of life is becoming less clear as I'm getting older. Last week, I got this sudden realization that, though I feel old, I really know nothing and I am so young in the scheme of things. It kind of terrified me. To be clear, this blog is not me claiming to be super knowledgeable about anything. When I tell people about it, I frequently hear the response, "Oh, I should do that, I know a lot about sex and love it, too." Which is great. I mean, sure, there are exceptions, but generally, who doesn't love sex? It's great (well, it should be). But damnit, sex is starting to become the only thing I understand. It's so easy, as long as no strings are attached. You hang out, you have sex, you leave. That's all it is. But once feelings get involved, damn does it get confusing.
The story you have all heard so many times--I was in a long-term relationship. A very serious relationship, much more so than most 18-year-olds because of situations we were forced into before we were ready. In my mind, these experiences were so important and built up the foundations on which our personalities are based around that I thought it would make us last. But it didn't. It made us seek out our own personal growth, which is awesome. But since then, I have gotten to a point where I am comfortable with myself. I am okay with being alone--as a matter of fact, I need it sometimes. I got into that long relationship at 16. Now at 23, I'm facing the most confusing thing I've ever faced. Dating. Seriously, what the fuck. That's my first thought about it. I don't get it! I just don't understand it. It makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes.
People will say to not go out looking, just let it happen, blah blah blah. Come on. We all crave interaction, especially physical interaction. Even when you're not looking for a relationship, sometimes things just fall into your lap (maybe literally). And either way, I don't get it. I hate dating so much. I rarely meet people who genuinely enjoy it. We can all pretend we enjoy the whole 'meeting someone new and awkwardly discussing shallow interests while ignoring any bit of sexual tension in fear that the other person doesn't' phase. But seriously, it's not that fun. Once you find someone and you start to really like them, yeah, that's awesome. That's the best time, that initial lust and infatuation. But the initial meeting someone and talking about your lives and never really knowing if you're telling your life story to someone you may never see again is just awful.
In the age of Tinder, we're finally starting to admit that looks play a bigger role than we've previously said. An app that lets us find people we're attracted to for casual hooking up/dating? Awesome! I mean, it would be awesome if it worked. But it really doesn't. Maybe you have had a fruitful encounter from there. Maybe you are dating someone from there, or OKCupid or Plenty of Fish or Match.com, or some other similar dating website. But what I & all of my roommates have noticed, is that nearly every profile has the words, "Not really looking for a relationship right now." I know we're in our twenties and none of us really know what the hell we're doing or looking for. But can we please figure SOMETHING out? Or at the very least work on our communication skills? How often I hear of a friend talking to someone they really like for an extended period of time and then suddenly not at all is just sad. It's like we're all just stupid toddlers who pick up a toy for a few minutes because it's shiny or noisy or something and then put it back down when we get bored. And then we get pissed when someone else picks up that toy because it was ours before, right?
Maybe I'm not even making sense. I don't really care, because dating doesn't really make sense. And on that note, we should probably define dating. There's seeing someone, there's dating, there's relationships. I have always thought of seeing someone as more casual. There is a person you are hanging out with occasionally, and there might be some kind of physical interaction. Dating is kind of the same thing, but more exclusive. You're not 'boyfriend-girlfriend,' but it's a bit more serious. Relationships are generally monogamous, serious, things. I've had conversations about these definitions with friends, and it sounds like we all have different thoughts on them. Is that the problem? Is it just that we don't understand what we are all doing? Or do we just not care about other people?
My thoughts are all over the place, and I'm sorry for that. I lived in a small town in high school and after. Now that I moved to a city, there is a plethora of people everywhere I go. You'd think it'd be so easier to meet people. And honestly, it is easy. But it never seems to go anywhere. We're all just sampling each other and then going on to the next. It's frustrating. I feel like I can't trust people, and I'm terrified of getting my hopes up. I "give up" on dating about as often as I do with drinking. I give up until someone puts a drink in front of me and tells me to drink. Same with men. But I swear, alcohol is easier to acquire than a 20-something year old. And I don't mean just men--we women are guilty of it, too. Hell, I'm guilty of it. I'm not saying I've never gone out on a date and never talked to someone again. I have. I feel bad about it, but I've done it. My point is that we need to stop doing this.
Can we also just go back to courting? I've seen so many internet articles about this lately. If you like someone, ask them on a date! We need to stop with the "wanna hang out?" thing. If you ask someone that, they freak out all day beforehand wondering if it's a date or if you just legitimately want to hang out as friends. It's stressful. And after the date, FOLLOW UP. If you're interested, contact the person and ask them out again. If you're not, be nice, but explain yourself. "Hey, I had a really great time but I'm just not feeling the chemistry. Like to still be friends?" Perfect. Now they won't fret all week wondering how you feel, and you can both just move on without playing any games. Dragging someone along, even if you think they know how you feel, is just wrong. If you never straight out say how you feel, don't assume the other person knows where you're at, especially if you don't even know where you're at. If you're not sure about things, tell the person. Don't leave them with this big hope if there isn't any. It's just rude.
I guess what it boils down to is communication. Dating apps are great and they allow shy people to talk to others without the stress of physical interaction. But they aren't good for us. All of these communication devices are so terrible for us. We rely on pictures of others and stupid 'about me' profiles to determine compatibility. And because it's all so fake, we don't feel bad when we move from one to the next. We need more modesty, & we need to remember that we are all humans with emotions.
I don't know what my point of this is, other than putting forth my and some of my friend's frustrations with dating. I've been amused with the fact that people always loved to talk about college and 'the best times of your life,' but no one ever mentions these constant early-life-crises you hit in your 20's. The twenties seem to be the time you make mistakes and learn things that carry you through the rest of your life. This is the time we should be learning how to do things right. So let's try and figure it out instead of always sitting here complaining that we don't have anything figured out.
This is a terrible post. I am so sorry. But I feel good having written it.