#MCM, Bedroom Accessories for Men

Relationships & Sex

YUMMY

During our twenties a we get the opportunity to explore our sexuality, so in the spirit of adventure I want to take a moment to tell you about some sex toys that can be great for the gentlemen. Some of these take an open mind, and some are fairly straight forward, but all can be wonderful when approached with the right attitude and setting.

NUMBER ONE :

Flight By FLESHLIGHT

Flight by Fleshlight Male Masturbator

The number one selling sex toy for men just got even better.

This fleshlight is very discreet and it is textured with an aerodynamic exterior and incredibly bumpy canal to take you to new heights of pleasure.

NUMBER TWO :

The Nexus Anal Starter Kit

The Nexus anal starter kit

The Nexus anal starter kit comprises of three solid silicone butt plugs of different sizes, designed for the user to start small and work their way up.

Each is made from silky smooth silicone and anatomically shaped to fit comfortably for ultimate pleasure.

Small is a great introduction or warm up to anal play whilst medium and large push you to further heights and can also be used for male prostate stimulation.

These plugs have just the right amount of flexibility so you can be both stimulated and comfortable.

NUMBER THREE :

The Cock Ring

I seriously wonder why any man has sex without one of these. A simple cock ring attaches around the base of the penis or scrotum, trapping blood inside the penis. What this means is a rock hard erection from a stiff breeze.

Unlike your high school days of discovering women’s bra straps for the first time, however, you’re not going to have an orgasm without some serious effort on your part. Before you talk to your doctor about Viagra, talk to your local porn store clerk about a cock ring.

NUMBER FOUR :

The P(Prostate) Spot Dildo

Gentlemen, I know this isn’t the easiest topic to get into, but let me be blunt: Stop being a baby and get to know your prostate. Feels good, man. There’s something a little childish and well, unmanly about a man who’s afraid to experience the pleasure of his own butthole.

You might not actually be into it, but unless you do some serious fiddling around down there, you’re never going to know for sure. And hey, if you can’t get down with the brown, you can at least get into some perineum stuff. That’s also called “the taint.” Press hard on it and it feels good. Try it. Right now.

NUMBER FIVE :

 UNDER THE BED RESTRAINTS

Turn any size bed into a place of binding pleasure. Restraint straps quickly fit beneath any mattress or frame without hooks. Restrain your partner’s arms or legs from the sides or the top and bottom of the bed. Portable and travel-sized. These restraints will fill your world with pleasure.

 

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Love & 3 Pearls of Wisdom

Family, Other Thoughts, Relationships & Sex

Frank-Moore-TEDx

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending TEDxPortland, which had the topic of “Perfect”. The line-up of speakers was truly breathtaking. The experience in the room ranged from designing the Jordan brand shoes at Nike, to leaving a sure thing as a CEO to open a start up, to turning your life around from being a felon into a thriving member of society, to being Macklemore. These are all people that I could talk about as impactful, brilliant, and even life-changing. However, I want to talk about Frank Moore, and the perfection of love.

Before he even came on stage, people were talking about the power of his love. Lisa Sedlar, a brilliant entrepreneur, noted that she saw Frank and his wife holding hands backstage and was astounded by the open, honest, and genuine love she saw, joking “maybe I’ll find that in my next marriage.”

Frank is 91-years-old. He is an avid fly-fisher. But there is much more to Moore. He was in the army as a young man, fighting in WWII. He survived Normandy, and fought many of the big battles we talk about in history classes. He was part of the liberation of Dachau. He has been married for more than 75 years.

As Frank spoke I was completely captivated. He provided a window into history, but more than that, he provided a window into love. Maybe it’s because I, like many of you, have divorced parents, or maybe it’s because I think love is the world’s most powerful emotion, but there is nothing in this world that I love more than an old couple that is still deeply in love. Hearing Frank describe his life I don’t think he ever used the word I, it was always we. After war, the death of a child, and more, he maintained that the greatest gift he has ever received were the words “I Do.”

Frank was free with with his emotions. Beaming as he described surprising his young wife upon making it back to the United States after WWII. Struggling to maintain composure as he discussed the child soldiers he encountered, and the emaciated bodies he had seen. Openly crying at the experience of losing a child. This incredible journey documented with the word “we.”

I honestly can’t even begin to express the connection I felt to this man’s story. At one point he said he had too many stories, and to come by for a cup of coffee and he would tell you them. I am seriously thinking about taking him up on that offer. At the end of his talk, his wife came on stage. Their faces immediately light up, and beaming they held hands to a standing ovation from around 3,000 people. After planting one on his beautiful bride, they made their way off stage.

Three Pearls Of Wisdom From Frank Moore:

1. You have to work hard at the art of living

2. Never be afraid of receiving love

3. There is no impossible dream

 

5 minutes later we were informed that #FrankMoore was one of the top three trending hashtags in North America. Is there anything better or more powerful than love? I don’t think so.

Frank Moore

kate-middleton

Kate Middleton: Why She’s an Incredible Role Model for Women Everywhere

Healthy Living, Other Thoughts, Real World, Relationships & Sex

kate-middleton

There is a reason why everyone is obsessed with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge: she is a woman who has her shit together. And even if she doesn’t, she sure does carry herself like she does.

Recently, I was on a business trip when a special about Prince William and Kate came on the television that JetBlue has in front of each of the seats. I stopped on the channel, unable to find anything else intriguing to watch. I, like everyone, am fascinated with all things Duchess: her style, her demeanor and her grace.

However, she is so much more than the Duchess of Cambridge; Kate Middleton is a beacon of light for women everywhere. Sure, we aren’t all on our ways to being the queen, but we can learn from her as she takes the world by storm.
Here are reasons why Kate Middleton is not only a fantastic role model for her subjects in England, but for all the women across the world.

She’s Changing The Way We Think About Body Image

One of my absolutely favorite Kate Middleton moments was when she exited St. Mary’s Hospital’s Lindo Wing to show Prince George to the world. Not only had Kate only given birth a day before George’s introduction to the world, she also had to show off her post-baby bod. Talk about pressure!

kate middleton

Of course, the Duchess of Cambridge’s figure was scrutinized. People were stunned to see how beautiful her hair was styled post delivery, and her blue polka dot dress is still being talked about. What caught most people’s attention was her stomach: it wasn’t flat. Unlike Prince William’s late mother Diana, who opted for a full-coverage gown after stepping out to show off William, Kate decided to go for a dress that she would wear on any other given day.

Not only was Kate Middleton brave to be showing off her post-baby bod so soon without worrying about the critics, she also showed women everywhere that it’s okay to accept your body for the way it is after you have given birth to a human being. She came out of the Lindo Wing, natural and beautiful, which was widely accepted by all.

According to “British Motherhood Guru” Siobhan Freegard, “In a couple of minutes on the steps of the Lindo Wing, Kate has done more for new mums’ self-esteem than any other role model.
 Sadly too many celebrities often have ultra fast tummy tucks or strap themselves down to emerge in tiny size 6 jeans, leaving everyone else feeling inadequate. Kate shows what a real mum looks like—and natural is beautiful.
”

Thanks to Kate Middleton, we are one step closer to getting rid of this unrealistic expectations that our bodies aren’t perfect just the way they are.

She Dresses Modestly, Yes, But She Has A Say in Her Fashion Choices

Kate is a part of the royal family now, so she can’t dress in super casual wear in public. She helps pick out her clothes that she wears to public events with the help of her best friend and stylist, Emilia Jardine-Paterson.

Whether she’s in casual wear or a ball gown, Kate always impresses with her modest yet fashionable style. She makes being covered up look contemporary and chic without compromising her personal style. Below are a few of my personal favorite styles from the Duchess:

kate middleton

The egg shell blue dress she wore while on the Royal tour in Singapore.

kate middleton

A teal Jenny Packham dress with lace back and Jimmy Choo heels.

kate middleton

Roland Mouret’s Lombard gown

kate m

On tour of Canada, Duchess Kate wore a purple dress by Issa with a diamond-studded maple leaf brooch borrowed from the Queen.

For more of Kate Middleton’s best looks, you can go Glamour’s awesome photo collection of her attire.

She Works Hard to Give Back to the Community

Sure, she may have to show up to some charities as part of her royal duties. But Kate Middleton actually cares about the work she does.

Not only was The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry established in 2009, but the Duchess of Cambridge “had taken on the patronage of a further three organisations” in 2013 and “had taken on the patronage of four charities” in 2012.

Duchess Kate also “asked her wedding guests for donations to an anti-bullying charity instead of gifts,” as she was a victim of bullying herself in her younger years.

She Established Her Independence Before Marrying Prince William

In my personal opinion, it is so important to spend time on your own and get to know yourself before you can be fully involved with someone else. We know Kate now as Duchess Kate, but she dated William for nine years before he proposed.

Even after dating William for four years, Kate and William called it quits for a short while in 2007. Essentially, the couple never saw each other and Kate was being harassed by the paparazzi.

Not only was Kate aware that her every step was being scrutinized while dating William, but she herself did not know what direction she wanted to go in life. According to Parade, they broke up and spent time apart. During this time apart, “Kate embarked on a breakup social whirl, [but] inside she was in pain.”

Girlfriend took some time to herself to decide what was right for her and to make sure she wasn’t rushing into a life she didn’t want. Once she realized it is what she wanted, she and William got back together.

It seems to be working for them. Commenting on their break up later, William has said, “We were both very young … We were both finding ourselves and being different characters. It was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up so it was just a bit of space and it worked out for the better.”

She Radiates Happiness

My favorite characteristic about Duchess Kate is the fact that she nearly always has a smile on her face. She is composed and graceful; she also always looks genuinely happy. Whether she’s walking her dog Lupo, talking to young children, playing volleyball with students, or simply being photographed while walking down the street, the Duchess is the epitome of someone that radiates happiness.

We should all strive to be as happy and healthy as Kate Middleton. You go, girl.

kate middleton blue dress

6 Ways to Tell You’ve Got a Keeper

Relationships & Sex

Notebook

Every relationship has its high and low points, and those of us living outside fairy tales know that relationships require work. So how do you know the one you have is worth it?

1. You Can Sit In Comfortable Silence

There’s something so relaxing about just being able to sit with someone and not having to worry about filling the silence. We’ve all chattered nervously because we don’t want it to be awkward – therefore making it more awkward. When you can be in the same space with someone, but also be doing your own thing, it’s amazing. Maybe they’re online and you’re reading a book, or maybe you’re just watching TV together but don’t feel the need to fill the void with conversation just for the sake of it. So much can be said in silence and what you’re saying to your S.O. is “hey, I’m comfortable with you.”

2. Your S.O. Asks About Your Day (and actually listens & cares about your answer)

Honestly, I can’t imagine a relationship where my boyfriend didn’t genuinely ask me “how was your day?” It blows my mind that there are some people that couldn’t give a care in the world how their partner’s day was. I’m sorry but if you don’t feel like listening to me talk about my experiences and thoughts then why the hell am I wasting my time with you? Communication is the foundation of any relationship and not asking or caring about that other person’s experiences, accomplishments, fears etc. completely cuts the relationship off at the knees.

3. You Can Laugh Together During Sex

Fairly self-explanatory and also so important. There are all different types of hookups: sultry, romantic, sweet, and just plain funny. Sometimes it seems like everything you’re doing either looks weird or isn’t really working, plus bodies make funny noises when combined. You’ve got to be the kind of couple that’s just going to laugh and roll with whatever hi-jinks end up occurring.

4. You Don’t Worry About Always Looking Perfect

Women have unrealistic beauty standards bombarded at them from every angle- TV shows, ads, photo-shopped magazine covers and even Target ads. It’s a constant battle of hair and makeup products, painting our nails, shaving our legs, hiding zits and our “problem areas” and trying to be fashionable – but you know, look “natural” at the same time. I like playing around with products and dressing up as much as the next girl but it’s a great feeling when I can spend a whole weekend in yoga pants with no make-up on and never once feel ugly or like I need to try harder in order to keep my man’s attention.

5. You Share A Sense Of Humor (for the most part)

How am I going to go through life with someone that can’t make me laugh? Answer: I’m not. We all know that life is full of less than glamorous moments. When times are hard and I need someone to be there for me, I want them to help me find the humor in the situation and make me laugh. This does not mean make light of my situation or problems, but knowing how to diffuse hard moments with (appropriate) humor is invaluable.

6. They Aren’t Threatened By Your Success

This is a big one. There was a time period when I was making more money than my boyfriend and he did not care. Now, after some job reshuffling, he makes more money and I couldn’t be prouder because he deserves it. A healthy relationship can’t thrive when jealousy and underlying tension about jobs and money exists. Someone who feels emasculated because you happen to be great at your job and reap the rewards needs to shape up real quick. If you get the vibe that your S.O. can’t handle your professional goals or success, you may need to start searching for someone who is ready to be in a relationship with a confident and goal-oriented individual like your fine self.

 

20 Things Sex & The City Taught Us About Our Twenties

College, Friends, Healthy Living, Real World, Relationships & Sex

Sex and the city

In my opinion, Sex and the City is the cornerstone of twenty-something womanhood. That may be a slightly aggressive statement, and yes it may be an old show – but think about it. Have you ever had a problem that hasn’t been addressed in an episode of the show? Haven’t you discussed which of your friends is which character? Have you ever secretly wished that life could happen like the show, that you could have Carrie’s closet, Samantha’s confidence, Miranda’s smarts, and Charlotte’s class? When friends go through bad break ups we heal ourselves with ice-cream, alcohol, a good cry, and a few seasons of SATC. There is an episode for everything you can expect in your twenties. But more important than all the clothes, men and cocktails Sex and the City teaches us all some of the most important lessons that we need to learn as twenty-something’s.

Don’t Compromise Yourself

Dont Compromise Yourself

Everyone Has Issues

  Everyone has issues 2

People Will Judge You- But You Control Your Life

You control Your Life

Embrace Your Sexuality

 Embrace Your Sexuality

Sometimes You Have To Accept Defeat

 Sometimes you have to accept defeat

We Aren’t Meant To Be Tamed

 Women arent meant to be tamed

Release The People That Drag You Down

Release the people that drag you down

Realize What Is Important, And Prioritize It

 Realize whats important

You Don’t Have To Be Positive All The Time

 You dont have to be positive all the time

Our Girlfriends Are Our Soulmates

 Girlfriends are our soul mates

Timing Isn’t Always What You Want It To Be

 Timing Isnt always what you want it to be

Wait For What You Deserve

 Wait for what you deserve

Shopping Is The Best Cardio

 Shopping is the answer

Listen To Your Friends, They Look Out For You

 Listen to your friends

Be Honest

 Be Honest

You Can’t Plan For Everything

 You Cant plan for everything

Embarrassing Things Happen To Everyone

 Embarassing things happen to everyone

Tell It Like It Is

 Tell it like it is

Don’t Let Fear Control You

 Don't let fear control you

Your Most Important Relationship Is With Yourself

The Most important relationship, yourself

The “M” Word

College, Friends, Other Thoughts, Real World, Relationships & Sex

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My parents met just after college. My mother’s childhood best friend had been dating one of my dad’s fraternity brothers. To this day, those brothers are like uncles to me, and all of the kids have grown up together. And there, my dears, lies the foundation of my complete disillusionment.

I had a high school sweetheart. We dated on an off for four or five years. We talked about marriage, but only in the way that kids do when they first fall in love. Then I went off to college confident that I would meet my husband within seconds of my arrival to campus and we would vacation with each other’s families and take adorable pictures at our Greek functions and graduation. Mind you, I was 17 when I started college. Thus began my long string of failed relationships. I began to panic when I reached the end of my sophomore year and had yet to have a “boyfriend” for longer than a few months. What was I doing wrong? I should be halfway to engagement according to my calculations. How was my future husband going to propose to me at graduation in our matching cap and gowns with a bouquet of stargazer lilies if he didn’t hurry up and get here? The stress was real.

I started dating my current boyfriend, Benjamin, in October of 2012, with no intention of it becoming what it is today. He was far from what I had envisioned for myself, sporting a buzz cut, pierced ears, a tattoo, and a Long Island accent. He was a bit shy where I was obnoxiously loud, and he preferred to go mudding whereas I enjoyed polo matches. Never the less, we became inseparable. In May of 2013 we got our puppy, Emma, and that summer spent two weeks at a beach house with his parents and three brothers. As the fall approached, Ben and I were forced to consider the fact that I would be graduating that year, and he would still have one more year of college. Cue wedding commentary.

Our friends began making jokes about how we were going to get married, and my parents began to ask how our relationship was going to play into my career path etc. The year began, and we unofficially lived together with our dog, already cozying up to the routine. Everything was going swell, until some of our other couple friends began to get engaged and others having children. So one night, as we were lying in bed, I asked Ben how he felt about it all. I knew I was the first girl he had dated for this long, but I was curious if he too had planned out his future prior to meeting me. My timeline had long since been disposed of, and I had adopted a new-found sense of acceptance that my life, love and otherwise, would unfold at some point, and it was not to be planned as I had originally attempted.

How do you have a conversation about marriage with your significant other? I was afraid that my avoidance of the topic of “forever” had been a tad insulting to Ben over the years. I by no means meant to imply an impending doom to our relationship, I explained, I just simply had no interest in putting pressure on something that was already working. As I write this, I find myself sounding like Big from Sex and the City. He expressed his opinion that it was not about the years spent with that person, but rather the instinct that kicks in when you find “the one.” I agreed, still nauseous from the subject matter, and rolled over to my side of the bed. I do love you, I said. He reached over for my hand and squeezed it three times (our sign for I love you), and so the conversation ended.

Talking about marriage can be an incredibly difficult conversation to have with your significant other. You might be afraid of not being on the same page, or simply scared of marriage as a whole. For me, I was scared because nothing had gone according to plan. I didn’t know how to approach marriage from any other angle than a college set-up followed by reunions and fraternity / family beach trips. Without my map in front of me, I had no idea how to handle anything. Thankfully, Ben understands the mess that is my brain, and the awkwardness of the conversation was soon forgotten.

For those of you attempting to address the big M, just be honest. Even if your partner is disappointed by your response, at least he or she wont be misguided and ultimately more disappointed by being so.

What you should know about getting an IUD

Healthy Living, Relationships & Sex

birth control

Ever since we got acne, and my first friend started “doing it,” birth control has been a hot topic; and as twenty-something’s the myriad of choices can be overwhelming. Many of my twenty-something friends have chosen to switch their birth control option to an intrauterine device (IUD). I started taking The Pill when I was 16; and by the time 22 came around, I was sick and tired of filling my body with hormones, day after day. I’m also terrible at remembering to take meds, and I know many of my friends are too. No matter how many reminders I set, I would inevitably skip a day or two and have to make up for it. So, when I heard about a birth control option that would last me 5-10 years without having to think about it after the first few months, would prevent me from having hormones pumping through my body, and would be completely reversible whenever (if-ever) I so choose? Well, I was on board.

But before you make a decision about sticking with your birth control pill, or switching to an IUD, there are some things that you absolutely need to know.

Types of IUDs

An IUD basically looks like a small piece of plastic shaped like a T that gets inserted into your uterus. The two most popular versions of an IUD are ParaGard and Mirena.

ParaGard: made of copper which basically makes your uterus toxic to sperm (pretty cool, right?)

Pros- 99% effective, lasts up to 10 years, hormone-free (!!)

Cons- heavier, longer-lasting periods

Mirena: releases progestin that makes your body prevent sperm from entering the uterus

Pros- 99% effective, lasts up to 5 years, shorter and lighter periods (most women no longer get a period after 3 months… and that’s totally fine for your body!)

Cons- local release of hormones (but, at least it’s not pumping through your whole body like The Pill)

The Insertion Process

So, you can usually only get an IUD inserted at a gynecologist’s office or at Planned Parenthood. You will discuss your options, sign forms, take some ibuprofen, and get set up in the stirrups. Some places will give you a local anesthetic, and I highly suggest you ask for it. You can place a pill close to the cervix to soften it, and make it easier and less painful to place the device. They insert the speculum, then take some time to switch gloves to be sterile, and then insert that thing right into your cervix. Which hurts. Like a bitch. Not gonna lie (I did not have local anesthetic). Then you’re done. There is a 1/1000 risk of perforation (i.e. the IUD punctures your uterus), but your doc can usually tell if that happens. I had some minor bleeding, some slight dizziness from the pain, but then was sent off on my way to deal with my terrible cramps for the next 24-48 hours. (I would definitely recommend having nothing planned for the day you have this done, although I do have a friend who got hers implanted and then drove two hours to college on move in day). Everyone’s pain levels are different. Some people have no cramping or issues the next day, others don’t want to get out of bed for 2 days (and I have a friend who couldn’t drive herself home after the appointment), I was fine after 24 hours. So prepare for anything.

Maintenance

So that little plastic piece that is now in your uterus has two little strings that hang off of it, which hang out in your vagina. (After a few months they usually wrap up around your cervix and are gone.) In those first 3 months you want to check and make sure those strings are in the same place. Are they shorter? Are they longer? Does it feel different? If so, go see your physician ASAP because it’s an indication that the IUD moved out of place. There’s only a 2-3% chance this happens, but hey it happened to me! One day my strings were longer, I saw my physician, and my IUD had moved, so I had it removed and replaced.

Cost

Without insurance, an IUD generally costs $1000. Fortunately, with my insurance it was covered at 100% (I didn’t even have to pay a co-pay). Thanks Obamacare!! Check with your insurance provider.

 

There are so many options for birth control these days, take the time to do your research and speak with your physician when deciding what option is the best for you. Every body is different, so make sure you are choosing the right option for you.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. This information is based on my personal experience and the information I received from my physician and reputable sources.

5 Things You Learn When You Move In Together

Real World, Relationships & Sex

No matter how well you know someone, you really don’t know them completely until you live together. The same concept applies to friends – sometimes living together is great, sometimes not so much. Personalities either fit comfortably, or they don’t – you have to find the right balance.

In the interest of transparency – my boyfriend, Will, and I have been dating for three years now. We started as a summer fling, graduated to a college couple, completed meeting the extended family, and headed off into the real world with one dog (now two) and a house awaiting us in Portland. Don’t get me wrong – we semi lived together in college, switching between his apartment and mine – sometimes overstaying our welcomes. But this – in this post grad world, the “real world” if you will- this is real living together. Him, Me, Snugs & Ruby the terror hounds, and what I like to call a “baby house.”

There are more than five things I have learned… but here are 5:

1. The Battle Of Laundry – Compromising

Now this may not happen with laundry – but there is a battle in all the households I know of – and ours is a laundry battle. We have to haul the basket through the house, out the back, down the steps and into what I can only describe as a horror movie basement – and this is Portland, so 90% of the time its raining. It’s dank, dark, creepy and honestly gives me the heebie jeebies. This has lead to what I call (as you can see) the Battle Of Laundry – no one wants to do it, but it has to be done. The players in the game? Guilt Trips, Begging, Chore Assigning, Whining (mostly from me), and finally resolute splitting of laundry habits. Moral of the story – you learn how to compromise.

2. Turning A Bad Day Into A Good One – It’s The Little Things

One of the things that I love about living with Will is that he knows when I have had a bad day – and he tries to make it better. Whether its bringing me a flower, or offering to make and clean up from dinner, or just knowing when it’s time to run a hot bubble bath- there is nothing like having someone who knows just what you need, and how to make it happen.

3. House Cleaning – Team Work

I think as a child I thought that magical elves came into the house and magically made it clean – it was either that or the cleaning service, one of the two. I was also completely oblivious to how must dust, dirt, and dog hair accumulates during the week. Our house is teeny – smaller than my college apartment – and it gets filthy. When it’s time to clean you get a system down that works for you – split the vacuuming, dusting, occasionally mopping and general clean up. Finding your team dynamic is powerful.

4. The  Things That Annoy You – They Matter

Pet peeves are a real thing people. My number one is a backwards toilet paper roll. For me – there is nothing worse – except for possibly when there are dirty utensils in the sink. Can’t. Handle. It. For Will it is when I yell “WHAT?” when I can’t hear. It matters – so you try to change it, at least a little bit.

5. It’s Not All Rainbows and Sunshine – Reality

The reality is you can’t be happy with someone 100% of the time, within four walls. Sometimes you argue, sometimes the toilet paper roll gets put in backwards, sometimes you just want the house to yourself. You have to learn how to function as a family, and sometimes that means you need to take that glass of wine to the porch and have a silent few minutes, sometimes you need to talk it out and sometimes everything is wonderful.

Living together is quite the adventure – lots of learning for everyone – enjoy it!

“The Bachelor” Women Were Amazing This Season

Relationships & Sex

Okay here’s the truth, I only watch “The Bachelor” to get to “The Bachelorette” but this season I was pleasantly surprised by the caliber of women cast on the show. First, Sharleen, the obvious front-runner and recipient of the first impression rose, blew America out of the water by daring to express the thought that she just wasn’t sure about her feelings towards Juan Pablo. Sharleen actually found herself in a cycle I’m sure many women can relate to – she was physically attracted to Juanny Pabs but the intellectual connection wasn’t there and she ended up leaving the show for that reason. I found the honesty in that so refreshing. Too often on this show, and probably in the real world, people confuse lust with love. It’s fine if you want to have a male shorty on the side, but don’t tell me he’s your soulmate because we both know he’s not.

Next Clare. Oh Clare, Clare, Clare. Most known before the finale as the girl Juan slut-shamed after hooking up with her in the ocean (don’t even get me started on that), Clare really came into her own in the last minutes of the show after being rejected by Juanny-Pabs. Prior to the final rose, Clare began to second guess her feelings about Juan when he made a crude comment about their physical connection and then told her that he didn’t really know her at all. She experienced probably one of the most relatable issues in any pre-relationship when she mentioned to the cameras that she wasn’t just an object, deserved respect and had a lot to offer. I was nodding along and shouting “you go girl” at my television. For your viewing pleasure here is Clare completely dominating and standing up for herself:

This brings me to Andi aka the new Bachelorette! Andi also received a backhand comment from Juan about how he wasn’t sure about her and she “just made it through” the last round of roses. Andi then proceeds to blow the lid off this whole freaking show by bringing up aspects of a relationship that are extremely important, and on this show, extremely overlooked.

Start at 1:00 for optimal amazingness

After this conversation Andi left the show and never looked back. She brought up one of the biggest issues in relationships – can you communicate with your partner well? I think having your significant other care about your thoughts, feelings and opinions is non-negotiable. So often I think women are afraid to express themselves fully in a relationship for fear of seeming too demanding. God forbid we be labeled “a nag” or even “bossy” (when really we’re the boss – ha!). There’s a lot of pressure to just let things go or sweep your feelings under the rug for fear of losing your partner. We need to stop being afraid and start getting the relationships we deserve.

3 Ways to Break It Off

Relationships & Sex

I’ve spent the last 8 months or so in the world of online dating. I’m in a transient stage of my life and meeting new people has become somewhat of an entertaining pastime. I’ve found that one of the most awkward situations to navigate is how to stop talking to someone. Maybe you’ve been talking on Tinder, or texting for several hours, days or weeks, maybe you’ve been on a date or two or maybe you’ve been hooking up, but in any of these situations…what is the best way to indicate you’re no longer really into this anymore? I’m not talking about breaking up with someone (there are some pretty clear social rules on that one), I’m talking about ending something that barely even seems to have had a beginning.

Here are three ways people go about doing this:

1. You play the “busy” card.

You say you just happen to be incessantly busy over the next few days or weeks and hope they get the hint.

2. The silent treatment.

Just let silence do the talking.

3. You be honest.

You flat out tell them you’re just no longer interested in having them in your life. Maybe you give the specific reason why, maybe not. But you are defining the end.

The Busy Card

Personally, I only play this card if I don’t feel like seeing them now, but may want to in the future. Because honestly, sometimes I am incredibly busy! I’m one of those people who is only happy if their week is pushing the boundaries of over-booked. The more people I can see and things I can get done in one week can become somewhat of a game. So when I tell a guy I’m busy, I’m genuinely busy. So the fact that this card is played so often makes guys I’m talking to take a “hint” I’m not generally trying to send. But honestly, if I don’t care that much to make time for them, they probably aren’t that great anyway… In the end, the busy card leaves mixed signals: is someone really that busy? Did that guy really get called into work on a Sunday night? Is his family really in town this weekend? The world will never know.

The Silent Treatment

I have to admit… this has become my strategy of choice. Come on people…be honest, I know we have all done this. As terrible as it may be to ignore someone who at the very least has invested a few texts back and forth, or perhaps a date or two, this is the easiest option. I have the firm belief that if someone wants to see you, they will make it happen (ahem…lessons learned from He’s Just Not That Into You). So, if I haven’t heard from a guy in a week or two, I pretty much write him off. Now, this has back-fired on me, particularly when the guy has the exact same philosophy. But that’s an exception to the rule…. (get it?). This is the cruelest strategy because it always leaves the other person with the smallest glimmer of hope that there is a possibility you truly are just busy and can’t get to your phone or take the time. Leaving that small feeling of hope may be cruel, but I like it… if a guy starts ignoring me it allows me to come up with any silly excuse that definitely does NOT involve the thought that they just didn’t like me. I mean, of course I know everyone won’t like me, but it’s nice to pretend that’s not the case, am I right?

Honesty

Obviously, this is the toughest strategy. I tend to save this one only for guys I’ve invested serious time in. If I’ve been seeing you consistently for at least a month, you can expect that you’ll get an honest end. I think this is generally because I’ve had time to gain respect for this person. If I respect you enough to give you a straight-up dose of honesty, that means I genuinely care(d) for you. Sometimes I sugarcoat the truth, or blame things on myself, to lessen a blow if I know it will hurt them, but the most successful ending to a “something that never really had a beginning relationship” I’ve ever had ended in pure and complete honesty. It was hard to spit out, but once I did, my worries vanished. Maybe honesty is the best policy? But I would personally hate to hear “well, I thought you were cool but upon getting to know you better, I no longer want you to be a chapter in my story, so bye.” Ouch. I’ve never been on the receiving end on a spoonful of honesty, so the jury is still out on this one for me.

How do you handle cutting it off?