I’ve been recently single for over a year now, a time in a not-so-young anymore-but-still-young-to-those-older-than-she-is, woman’s life when being single is not as fun as being double. It’s nice to have a partner to bike, hula hoop, dance, hike, read, write, watch movies, cook dinner and snuggle with- as well as suck, rub and fuck (of course)!
I’ve started dating again. More seriously, as in I’m ready to devote a smallish amount of time to the task of love in LA. I want to have hope, I’ve seen others find love in this botoxified city, but I’ve always done better in New York. It’s just the way it is. So I date slowly, in small chunks that are more Reeses Pieces than Peanut Butter Cup.
On Sunday I went on my first date since well before the end of summer. He was cute. motivated and only slightly trying to be on the small screen. In other words, he wasn’t Hollywood even though he lived in the heart of it. I was doubtful as to where it would go. Besides our various upbringings - his deep South, mine not deep South, he was more of what I imagine my oldest friend from high school, Gregg, alluding to when he refers to someone as “normal.” Conservative in dress, mannerisms and style, my date was the kind of guy you get to know, not necessarily the kind of guy you’re likely to notice.
Me? Well, if you know anything about me, you know I wear glitter, buns and a lot of color. I’m not exactly what the Greggster calls “normal,” although in my world I am totally “normal.” The point is, whether you live in the “normal” world or not, when it comes to the world of dating, if one person specifically does the asking out, you don’t split the bill on the date. The asker-out pays. Unless it’s understood beforehand that for some financial reason, he or she just can’t do it.
That being said, on my first date last week, we split the check. Better yet, the check was $27 and I put in a $20 and didn’t take back change, so I paid for more of the date. I know I could (should? I hate that word) have said something, and I have no excuses. I was just kind of really annoyed. He won’t get a second date.
Not paying the bill is a dating downer. Yep, a big one. So, for the “dudes” out there - I don’t care how feministy we seem or independent we are, if you don’t pay the bill on the first date - and if you asked ME out and you chose the eating establishment, then you need to rethink what’s going on here. It’s just not attractive. You should want to pay, for my company, my energy, my time and the fact that you asked me out. Do you get it? You pay when you ask a person out. It makes a lot of sense really. I’ve dated enough of the type who don’t pay because they’re artists, unemployed or because I ASKED THEM OUT, but when you ask me out, I want you to pay. That’s the kind of guy you are. The kind of guy who knows that the person who asks for the date is the person who pays.
So Last Week, sex(y) news you may have missed, has officially regurgitated one year of news, and this week some of the news that you may have missed was meant to be (gasp!) covered up. Like the rape case at Princeton - the one involving Meg Whitman’s son, Griffith Harsh V. Plus was Clarence Thomas covering up a porn addiction on top of lots of other women?
Meg Whitman’s son. The rape case that got shut up. (Gawker)
Penn Jillette’s Jill-Jet. An invention to please the lady bits. (TheAtlantic)
That’s Saturday I talk, and today it’s with Candida Royalle, a one time porn actor turned business entrepreneur, feminist, activist, director and most important to me, she’s family (I consider her more than a great friend and mentor). Candida has has helped shape the sex industry, making it a place where women and couples can feel comfortable and she makes a mean tomato sauce.
After spending a few days at her chateau on the tip of Long Island’s north fork, I got Candida to sit down and talk with me about her name, her fame and tomatoes.
Listen to the podcast, it’s called Deep Inside Candida Royalle.
Yonni Barrios, miner #21, came out of one hole earlier today to find himself in another hole sort of situation. His wife, Marta Salinas, was not there, jubilantly rejoicing his return from the earth to the earth, just like she said she wouldn’t be. And like she said she would be, his mistress, Susana Valenzuela was there and couldn’t let go, at least not for a good minute or so.
His wife said she might meet him at home, but no doubt she won’t hold him and hug him the way his lover did. She’s not even planning on staying married to him. I can’t say I blame her, although I don’t think I know how I feel, having followed the whole situation peripherally on account that it just made me sad and there was nothing much I could do to change anything for anyone. I don’t think Barrios should have been banished to the hole for asking both his mistress and wife to attend his arrival, not like this article suggests, but I do think that it would have been polite to acknowledge to his wife that they need to talk.
They aren’t likely the only mistresses when there are 33 men involved, but they are the ones whose fight for one love has been thrown into the spotlight while Yonni sat down in a mine without much light.
There’s a teaching opportunity here. One in which Yonni and his situation show the world, or at least those of us interested in a Chilean love affair (and not one called Brokeback Mineshaft, I swear I read that on some forum today) how to make light of a lover and wife.
Maybe they can remind us that life has a funny way of not always working out they way we plan, and that one day, when we’re going to work, and we work in a mine, that the mine might collapse, or if we don’t work in a mine, that wherever we are, where that is can collapse, be hit by a plane or some other accidentally disaster. And if we don’t love our partner or our life, it doesn’t hurt to be honest, even if honesty can also shake things up.
I was having this conversation last night about how many people stay together just because. Staying together because it’s easy, comfortable and less scary and because it sucks to have to move, split up your “stuff” and talk to the children and pets. And it sucks to have to explain to all the people in your life that you’re life, as you know it, is not so much as you know it anymore. It can be sad, scary and tiring to make change, and less sad, scary and tiring to make water.
I don’t need to be stuck in a mine to understand what it’s like to be shaken up, but how many people do?
Yonni looked happy in this video (below) which I found posted by the Frisky today. Genuinely happy to see his mistress, and even happier to see the light of day.
This week’s So Last Week, Sex News You May Have Missed celebrates in-vitro fertilization, sex studies and masturbation (which it turns out is valuable for procreation and pleasure). Plus dogging, Duke and double standards.
In-vitro fertilization pioneer Robert Edwards wins the nobel prize in medicine. (LATimes)
This might normally be seen as a post about an ice cream truck with an overzealous knack for playing the same song, loudly, and often, but it’s not.
Instead this is a post about penis. Not the stiff, obviously-excited-to-be-here kind, but rather the not-so-stiff-or-once-was-stiff-but-now-it’s-gone type of penis that some men have. Some guys just can’t keep it up once they cover themselves in the latex, but sometimes it’s just physical or psychological or both. Especially if they once had an erection problem and it was brought to their attention that it was a problem, then anytime they have said “problem,” they get stressed out about it.
Lack of an erection doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun.
I once went with a man who couldn’t always get, or keep, it up. I didn’t care. He said I was the first girl he’d ever been with where he actually believed me when I said it (and no I wasn’t one of the first girls he’d ever “made it” with). He was a great kisser and dancer and even when he wasn’t built-up like an erector set, I knew he was excited to be there, with me. I didn’t doubt that. I just knew, that based on his size and shape and that he had a past history of problems, that this had to be hard on him anyway.
I like a softee. I teach workshops where I tell women that starting with a flaccid penis in their mouths or hands is:
a. a great way to deep throat early on
b. a lovely reminder that you are there with the man, not the erection.
Plus, it’ll often put him in the mood.
I do think the general attitude of even the most enlightened of folks is that it’s ”bullshit” when a guy can’t get an erection, that something must be wrong with him or he must not be into her, the other him, or everyone he’s getting it on with. But not all guys are built the same, and who’s to say who should and shouldn’t be able to get, or stay, hard.
To being with, there are two types of hard, maybe more. There’s the super hard, like deadwood cock, and the softer hard, the one that never really stops feeling spongy-ish. And I don’t care which one he’s got, as long he knows his body, and things he can do to my body (and he’s a good make out-er), things will likely be fine. That’s not to say I don’t want to be with someone who can’t keep an erection. Erections are nice too, but I like penis, whatever form it takes. Up, down, soft, hard, or to the side - we can work it out.
Ever since I became single (367 days ago, but who else is counting?) I find that I come face to face with this dilemma about what I do and who I do. I think about this often. More often than I ever thought I would think about it when I was a 25-year-old radio producer who happened to find her way onto a internationally syndicated (it was the world wide web after all) talk show about sex. Then, when I poured my heart out to a host I barely knew, about the sex life I had never talked about before, I didn’t think about my future. I was too focused on my past.
That job, at eyada.com, changed my life. No longer wanting to be just a radio producer anymore, I now wanted to be a sex educator, a sexpert - if you like the term, I don’t - a Carrie Bradshaw, only different. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I jumped at the chance to work at a sex shop, get my degree and write about my dating and sex escapades for Steppin’ Out, while, at the same time, doling out sex advice for Playgirl Magazine.
From the age of 24-30 I stayed single. I dated men - and occasionally women - and worked seven days a week most weeks. I was a radio producer, a sex educator at Babeland, a writer and script supervisor for Candida Royalle‘s erotic movie Stud Hunters. I loved what I did, and thought I had become way cooler than my high school years had promised I could be. I felt lucky, lovely and carefree. I never thought that I would feel otherwise.
Then, at 30, I met a man and fell in love. I had wanted a relationship for quite some time. He loved me without caring what I did for a living. I wrote about him. Called him the Cowboy in my Hot Wax column and continued to ponder the difficulties of love and lust in the big city. My friends who used to read my blog to learn about my escapades, some of them told me they liked me better before, that I was more exciting pre-Cowboy. I resented their comments. I didn’t need to continue seeking out sex with strangers for the amusement of my friends. Somehow I had become their circus freak, not thinking that eventually I would feel that way all on my own. My Cowboy and I had a pretty comfortable life together. I talked of having a baby (he said we could talk more when I turned 37) and about staying together until one of us wasn’t around anymore. Then, one weekend, almost out of nowhere, I left him for more exciting pastures.
I don’t regret that. That’s not the point of this.
Now, in this next phase of my life, the one where I’m supposed to be a responsible adult, I feel alone and a little too anxious. I think that what I do makes it hard for me to meet the kinds of men I want to do. As a sex educator, a single woman, a porn-maker, masturbation advocate and feminist who feels that we all have the right to express ourselves the way we feel moved to express ourselves, more men want to sleep with me to see how good I am, and not to see how far we go.
I’m ready for a relationship, which makes it difficult for me to want to go back to where I was, pouring my heart out about the ups and downs of dating, telling all about who I love and how I screw. But then there’s a part of me that wants to keep that dialogue open and honest and available as both part of the process and part of my work. There’s a part of me that envies my sex educator friends and colleagues who have it all, the baby, the boyfriend(s), husbands and homes. A part of me that thinks that’s what I want, but then finds it difficult to want to date, to have to explain myself to the right one out of fear that he hates porn (I once had dated a man that referenced Dworkin and Mackinnon with a passion). I don’t want to feel wrong for my career and I don’t want to feel like a novelty for what I do. I’m not a novelty, not in the way that being a sex educator, writer, filmmaker once was. But still, it’s hard to want to answer the question honestly, “so tell me what you do.” My favorite answer these days is I dissect rats, but only ones that died of natural causes.
I’m not sure where this is going, or where I go from here. I think I just wanted to write. To say I’m vulnerable, open and eager to explore my next chapter of relationship. After reading Anna Davies close-to-home-hitting piece “I’m done writing about my sex life“, I wonder what done means. I know I’m not done, but I’m ready to figure out how to out do myself again.
If you’ve have an interest in sex, whether as a sex geek or a sexual participant, you’ve likely heard that Indiana University has released the latest and largest National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior. The survey, which like all other research, bases the activities of everyone in America on a random, and small sampling of the population (in this case 5,865 men and women between the ages of 14-94) is even larger than the last largest sex survey in almost 20 years. That one, the big American survey called Sex in America, was released out of Chicago in 1994, with research based on the answers of 3,432 randomly selected Americans ages 18 to 59.
While I might sound bitter about numbers, I know that when you sample a population the size of a small town in the middle of bud-dunk-a-dunk, Ohio, you get enough results to make blanket statements that stick, making this research is insightful and important. I’ve yet to read all 140 pages of the actual study, but I will deduce that there is a lot of valuable research and information ensconsed in the pages of the NSSHB.
I’ve been pondering this whole “who’s using condom thing” since yesterday’s announcement of major findings stating that 79% of males and 58% of females between the ages of 14-17 use condoms for vaginal intercourse, while less than 10% of men aged 50 and over do (each few years after 17, from 18-24 and so on see significant drops in the rate of condom use for both men and women, with women always falling significantly below men in use, until age 50 when they’re .6% more likely to use condoms). In fact, the research states, 1 in 4 acts of vaginal intercourse are protected by condoms, as opposed to 1 in 3 for singles.
Here’s what I think. I think the young ‘uns, those 14-17 that are engaging in vaginal intercourse, are using condoms because they are freaked the f— out about having a baby while they’re still so young. I think that schools pound the whole pregnancy prevention/you don’t want to be a teen mom/dad thing, into our head, even handing out fake babies that cry, wet their diapers and need to eat, to remind us just how tough parenting is. I think the disease element plays a role, but really, the reason younger people use condoms is to avoid getting pregnant. As we get older, and we feel more confident, we may think things like, “oh, we can “tell” if someone has an STI” or “here’s my HIV test, I’m negative, you?” and screw away with condoms, or actually without them (you get the pun, though). We may even protect ourselves from pregnancy in other ways, and if we’re 50 plus, having vaginal sex with other people in our age group, odds are we’re not going to be as worried about pregnancy.
So, while it’s great to applaud that younger people are using condoms, I’m still curious as to why. I know I haven’t always been safe, and as I’ve gotten older I’m definitely not as safe as when I started having sex at 16 (then I used both condoms and another form of contraception). I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but I’m just saying…
This week’s so last week (sex news you may have missed) can’t overlook the news about bullying and suicide (for parents who want to talk to their kids about bullying, check out the Bully Shield App). Plus, a post on how women who absorb semen are happier than their abstinent/condom-using counterparts, Mr. Condom promotes his weapon of mass protection and Trojan gets MTV buzzing.
Trojan produces a commercial for their vibratring Tri-phoria and some high-up executive at MTV says, “No matter how liberal you are, a little kid doesn’t need to hear the word ‘vibrator.” How is vibrator wrong but violence right? (NYTimes)
A 13 year old boy hangs himself as a result of bullying. (LGBTQNation)
Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi jumps off the GW bridge after his roommate broadcasts his same-sex liaisons. (NYPost)
50 cent makes some homophobic remarks, showing the world why he sucks so bad. (CarnalNation)