Monday, April 25, 2011

Working through "The Good Girl's Guide to Bad Girls Sex"

I found a copy of The Good Girl's Guide to Bad Girl Sex in the bargain book section and simply had to get it. How can I resist the title? It just might be a $7.00 well spent.

Of course, the book assumes the person reading it is not a virgin, which just makes me feel like an even bigger baby as I read it! It's self-helpy, but so far, I think it will be fun and helpful even if I don't do every single "exercise."

I did begin the first exercise in the book, however. In the exercise, Keesling asks the reader to write down times from her past where her sexual development was stifled by someone else. An example might be looking at pictures of naked men in a magazine and your momma saying, "No, stop that!" It can be a distinct memory, or a feeling, or a mashing of memories.

As I brainstormed all the times I received the message "sex(uality) was bad" in childhood (and boy, there were a lot), I discovered something in particular that was unsettling. My father was very controlling of me growing up (it's fun to be the oldest). I thought I had successfully rid myself of the chains he held on me in childhood during my adult life. Looking at my sexual repression list, though, I saw what a huge impact he had on my sexual development, and that I actually haven't shaken all of his problematic teachings. I'm not as free of him as I thought I was.

A few examples of lessons from dear old dad (some more problematic than others):

When I was 10, I had a peasant shirt that could be worn off-shoulder. Dad said to cover my shoulders. (I only show them in public now at the beach).

I was forbidden from wearing skirts that did not go below the knee (Most of my skirts are knee-length or longer).

No slits in skirts either (I still don't have any skirts with slits...).

No makeup until age 16 (I rarely wear it now).

No dating until age 16 (I didn't really start until I was 25).

If I was dancing and started shaking my hips, Dad said to stop.

Dad always told me that "Men and boys are only looking for one thing!" Wonder why I'm so distrustful of men...

It was basically a whole lot of "Don't show men any remotely sexual part of your body, ever" and "Stay away from males."

Even Mom, though, had a bigger influence than I thought. I thought she was the more lenient parent, but she had a few doozies too. The major one she told me at age six? "Only your husband or doctor should see you naked."

And here I thought the Catholic Church was the main one to blame for me saying, "I'm not having sex until marriage."

Were my parents trying to sexually repress me? Did they only have my best interests at heart? Were they just trying to protect me? No, yes and yes. Should I keep pointing the finger at my parents for my issues in adulthood? No. The beauty of adulthood is now you can turn around the errors of childhood, start anew.

And with The Good Girl's Guide... (and other aids like it), I hope to do just that.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lessons learned from the toy

In lieu of having a real guy to play with, I ventured to an adult toy store a couple months ago for my own un-birthday gift. Now, I do hear that playing with a toy is not the same as playing with a man. Playtime with a toy, no matter how satisfying, cannot substitute 100% the experience with a guy.

Well actually, I take that back. Word on the street is that sometimes playtime with a toy can be more satisfying than playtime with a man…

Anyway, I figured a toy can still help me learn what I like, help loosen things up before I play with a real man (per the recommendation of a toy website I visited, I bought a toy that is about the width of two of my fingers) and satisfy urges enough for the time being. During our relationship, I have learned some things which I think will apply when…ok if, I actually play with a real man.

1) If you are not relaxed, nothing is going in. Or if it does squeeze in without relaxation, it hurts!
2) Lube helps, particularly when one has not sufficiently “warmed up.”
3) But too much lube means little-to-no-feeling...
4) Your mind should be relaxed and all Zen-like. Just let go and go with the flow.
5) Experiment (with intensity, speed, position).
6) Experiment with different times of day. Forget caffeine to jumpstart the morning!
7) Breathe.
8) Wash.
9) Experiment with the environment (music, no music, some light, no light).
10) Move with the music!
11) See what room temperature works. For me, I usually need to turn off the space heater, just like when I do other exercise. Go figure.
12) The exception to number 4: fantasize that someone (else?) is with you…

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What should I do when a cute guy is checking me out?

My flirt development reached a new milestone over the weekend!

My Flamenco teacher hosted a birthday party for one of my dancemates, “A.” I attended thinking it would be a small affair. Just some Flamenco sisters of mine.

However, as soon as I walk in the door, I find A fumbling around in the kitchenette as she chats with four, young, male friends of hers. My teacher is MIA.

Guys? There are guys here? I have walked into a sea of strangers!

Maybe “sea of strangers” is strong, but there were even more people I did not know in the backyard.

Now, a seasoned flirter rejoices at situations where she knows no one. Flirting opportunities, yay! Well, I still despise (and avoid) parties where I only know two people. Posses of young men intimidate me. I walked to the backyard, hoping to find my teacher.

Well, I fell into my habit of just sitting by the food and spent the first hour talking to other women. However, my peripherals noticed one of A’s cute guy friends (who I first saw inside) sitting a few feet to my right. Fair skin, medium-build, short black hair, glasses with plastic black frames, jeans that actually fit, a little peachfuzz on the face. My type, physically.

My peripherals also noticed, though, that every other time I spoke, Cutey looked my way. Wha? Not possible.

After chatting with the two ladies at the food table, I moved to another seat and conversed with another woman. I was then across from him (though six feet away), and again I noticed that nearly every time I said something, he looked at me, sometimes smiling or laughing. I thought, “Well, he is the one who is in a group. Let him come to me if he really wants to talk.” But honestly, I also thought it impossible that a guy as cute as him would be checking me out. I needed proof that he really was into me before I approached him.

After an engrossing conversation with my dance teacher (so engrossing that I stopped paying attention to Cutey), I headed inside to make a stovetop s'more. The two little kids at the party walked in and of course were intrigued by the s'more and asked me about it, but then pranced away. Next comes Cutey.

Cutey? Could he be following me? Ha! No way. Guys don't follow me! Anyway, he just asked where the paper towels were.

But were paper towels all he wanted?

A little more confident now (or perhaps just running away with my internal romance novel), I strolled back outside…to the food table. Cutey was standing there. I stood by Cutey and grabbed some bread. He reached over to grab wine. Someone said something funny. We both laughed. He was still standing just a foot away, body facing mine. I said something about the food. He smiled (or laughed, I don't remember).

“Should I say something? Is this an opportunity? I always miss opportunities. I am going to kick myself all night if I still do not talk to a guy even when he is checking me out. But maybe he isn't checking me out. Hey, he is still next to me…”

I reached out my hand and introduced myself. An hour-long conversation ensued, and I left the party about 90 minutes later than I originally planned.

Unbelievable! I achieved something I never thought I could achieve on a night that I had zero expectations of talking to any new guys. I broke the ice with a guy I met “in real life.”

This weekend, I picked up a Flirting Bible from Borders’ clearance section. According to this "bible," there were a few things I did wrong. I think I got a lot of the body language right, but now I need to learn what to actually say. Still, even though Cutey did not ask for my number, we carried on an extended conversation, and he invited me to sit with him as we moved back to his posse to talk. So I still consider that a HUGE step for me. I must have done something right. And anyway, one should not just flirt just for the ends, the number. Flirt for flirting's sake, right?

I may never meet Cutey again, but that night gave me some more confidence. Yes, there are guys who are my type and find me attractive. I must not hesitate to introduce myself when a cute guy is making it pretty clear that he wants to know me better…

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why don't nerdy men date their own kind?

I reread one of my favorite blog entries, Revenge of the Nerds. I stumbled across it while googling “dating nerds” a while back. Although Von was talking about black nerds, I think what she said could apply to many non-black nerds too.

In her post, Von was basically telling nerdy black men to STFU. Apparently these men keep complaining that all the hot black girls (“dime pieces”) only go for the thugs and are overlooking these “good” nerds. She makes several points. First off, not every black man is either a thug or a nerd. She defines a nerd as an oogly mofo with no charisma, no social skills, poor fashion, book smarts and a lot of bitterness toward black women. Think Steve Urkel. She differentiates this group of guys from black intellectuals, who are super smart but also have charisma, social skills and know how to pick out a suit. Think Barack Obama. There are plenty of black men within the spectrum of smart with no swagga (nerds) and dumb with swagga (thugs).

Secondly, she points the mirror right back at the nerdy black guys who call the dime pieces “superficial” for turning them down because the dimes do not find them attractive. Von asks nerdy black men why they are not going after female black nerds? Instead, they complain and pursue the “reject” White women (like the chubby ones) and find those reject white women more attractive than nerdy black women. In her own words, “You want a dime piece black woman, but you'll settle for a nerdy marginal white woman [Linda Gates]. You wouldn't accept a black female version of yourself but you would accept a marginal white woman. Tell me what's wrong with this picture!”

According to Von, of course the dime is going to reject a bitter, “ugly,” socially awkward nerd who hasn't made any money yet. However, there are dimes who will still turn down a black nerd after he makes his money, because they see that underneath the Benjamins is that same bitter personality. Money can't cure every fault. I have to agree that even though I like guys who are nerdy, bitterness toward women is a turn off.

Now Von isn't the final authority on the black nerd dating scene, of course. I mean, who is? And I don't agree with everything she says. For example, while I concur that some nerds look like Chewbacca, beauty is relative. However, as a nerdy mixed gal (I say “nerdy” as opposed to nerd, as I don't think I'm completely lacking in swagga), I have seen a lot of what she's saying. I have known plenty of black nerds, and only one ever pursued me. And yes, by and large, nerds that I have known (of all colors) did chase the “dimes,” at least in junior high and undergrad (I went to an all-girls high school and so cannot comment on high school dating drama), and then they got all bitter when the “hottest” girls chose the “hottest” guys. Black nerds never give biracial, nerdy me the time of day, and I have nerdy, black girl friends who are single.

I can't really blame the hotties for turning down the nerds. About a year ago, the Discovery Channel showed a documentary about attraction, and said that we basically find out where our hotness stands during adolescence and pair up accordingly. In seventh grade, I learned pretty quickly that I was not a “ten.” I went to a magnet (meaning you had to score high on an entrance exam to get in) junior high, so you would think I would be surrounded by homely nerd girls who would make me look like Beyonce. Not so much. My geekiness was not quite at the level of the “Magic the Gathering” players, but I certainly was not dating a high school senior while in eighth grade (like our class dime, “Erica”). Why would the alpha-female go for a nerd when she knows she can get an alpha-male? The girly girl wants a manly man. Duh.

Yes, my nerdy self does have a celebrity crush on Johnny Depp, but seriously, that skinny guy who's in love with France is not an alpha-male. The Rock could totally kick his ass. Alpha-males don't impress me much, though. I like falsetto (i.e. kinda girly) singers. Robin Thicke makes me swoon. Barry White? Meh. I like longer, ear-length hair on guys (kinda girly) and slim bodies (kinda girly). Glasses are also not a turn-off for me. Flattering frames can be a turn-on, actually. And although I like a guy with some charisma, who is not stumbling and bumbling over every word on a date, a man who will just sit with me in the corner at a party and chat instead of mingling with everyone, is just fine with me.

Some nerds, therefore, I actually find attractive! No shit!

In seventh grade, I did have a little crush on some nerdy, twin, eighth grade boys. They sat at our lunch table. They showed me little to no attention. I don't think I said more than five words to either of them all year. For one, I felt guilty for lusting after boys. However, even if I did want to show them that I liked them, I had no clue how to do so at age thirteen! One might argue that if you like a guy, you should just be proactive, get over your shyness and go for him. But why bother even trying to “get over” your shyness when he isn't paying attention to you, especially if he's chasing a girl who is “prettier” than you? Might as well direct your efforts elsewhere (like your homework) and admire the boy secretly.

I do think some nerd men in their mid-late twenties start to get it. I do have nerdy, white girl friends who are dating or are married/engaged to nerdy, white guys. I've gone on dates with nerdy, white, Asian and Latino guys. Despite my “checklist,” most of the guys I know I would happily go on a coffee date with. My checklist is not just to weed out guys I am least likely to like. It's also to narrow the selection to the guys who are least likely to reject me. Anyway, I know plenty of single, nerdy guys that get bitter when they have no luck going beyond the friend zone with the hotties. This they complain about to their single, nerdy, female friends….

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Monday, April 4, 2011

the ballad of the geeky teenybopper

I do enjoy this song. Not gonna lie.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately...not the song specifically, but the idea. :P I went to an all-girls high school so I didn't experience watching some guy I crushed on since freshman year chasing after (or dating) a girl who was so not right for him. However, based on my experience since high school, I think that had I gone to a co-ed school, Taylor Swift's character totally would have been me. Geeky girl likes geeky guy, but geeky guy likes the girl who's a "ten." At least Taylor has a happy ending. Lucky.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

the things guys will do for...

Sometimes I wonder if I'm too hard to match. Firstly, I'm Vegan, and how many men want to date Vegans? Seriously. I mean, where could they take us to eat? Well, actually, I can tell him where we can eat, but anyway. Won't their family be insulted if they bring vegan-girlfriend home for Thanksgiving and she doesn't eat anything?

Also, I don't want kids ever. No, never ever. Will I change my mind? I doubt it. The only reason I would do it, as far as I can see, is because of biological urges, and I'm pretty good at resisting biological urges...But apparently okcupid says the best matches for me are the guys who want 3-4 kids. You expect me to spew at least three humans out my uterus to prove my love for you? No thanks.

But after talking to some guys and reading posts by some guys on forums, it's interesting to see what they are willing to do to get with a girl they like.

Firstly, my cousin Lou (who is the same age as me) married a vegetarian, Layla. She was raised vegetarian while I converted in college. So of course, when we get together, Layla and I exchange recipes and talk endlessly in our Vegetarianese (seitan, nutritional yeast, tempeh...). He joins in at times, because now he's mostly vegetarian. He likes a steak every now and then, though it messes up his digestion for a couple days when he eats it now! He did not grow up vegetarian, though. Like me, his dinners growing up were basically "big-chunk-o-meat and potatoes," "big-chunk-o-meat and steamed veggies" or "big-chunk-o-meat with bread and butter." He seems pretty cool with being veggie, and they are raising their son to be mostly-veggie. I think he's convinced that being vegetarian is good for your health and still delicious.

However, I've read posts by guys in their early-to-mid twenties who said they were dating a girl who was vegetarian and they went vegetarian while with her, but then went back to eating meat after they broke up. It makes me wonder if that was Lou once upon a time, if he converted in college to be more appealing to his then-girlfriend. "Yeah, Layla, I'll try a seitan sandwich. Sounds great..." Had he married another woman, would he be mostly vegetarian now?

Also, just when I was thinking that my childfreedom is limiting my selection of men too much, that I'm putting myself on the road to spinsterhood (not that that's necessarily a bad thing, as long as I'm a cool spinster), D told me about how he broke up with his last girlfriend because she was undecided about kids (but leaning toward yes), while he discovered during the course of the relationship that he really didn't want kids. He said that a lot of guys don't think seriously about having kids. They just want the "cookie" (as Steve Harvey calls it). So they go along with parenthood because their significant other really wants a widdle baby. From the way he said it, it sounded like quite a few guys are actually undecided or ambivalent, but figure, well, babies come with the cookie...

That restored my faith a bit, though I apparently encounter all the men with the "baby rabies!" I shouldn't lament that I'm too hard to match and think that I need to change core beliefs to get a guy. I certainly don't expect a guy to convert to Veganism to be with me, though he needs to understand I ain't cooking meat for him! And if D's assessment is accurate, I shouldn't think that all guys who claim to want kids will be turned off by me. They might just be saying that because they figure all girls want to reproduce, even though they could probably go either way on the parenting thing.

I'm still not messaging guys who say they want 3-4 kids, but maybe I should send a message to the ones who say, "1 or 2." It's just coffee date anyway, not a marriage proposal.