take a long hard look at yourself son
These are your genitals and they know you better than you know them. That ain’t right.
Getting a mirror and looking at yourself up and down and all around is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
1. You’ll know what you look like and shouldn’t you have a pretty good idea of what you mother fucking look like? It’s your body. Not some stranger air bnb’ing in your pants.
2. If you know what your normal is – you’ll have a better idea of your abnormal. That mole? That spot? That giant abscess? That smell? That color? Don’t just look, take it one step further and document. When do you get discharge? What makes you feel horny? At what occasions do you find it impossible to maintain an erection? I’m lookin’ at you, Johnnie Walker.
then walk it out, walk it out, yeah walk it out
I maintain that the best way to have good, pleasurable sex is to masturbate. If you don’t know what you like, how can you possibly communicate that to your partner? Some people tell me that the only reason they know what they like is because their partner in their infinite wisdom has shown them. I call bullshit. You awaken in yourself. Your partner doesn’t “give” you knowledge that wasn’t already there. TAKE IT BACK! OWN THE NIGHT!
Truthfully, masturbation can play a healthy role in your sex life with your partner. For instance, certain positions are fun but don’t stimulate the clitoris. Many women cannot orgasm without clitoral stimulation. So when you’re upside down and backwards, throw your hand into the mix, and everyone wins.
stop trying so hard to orgasm all the time
While orgasm isn’t necessarily the “end of intercourse” it does often signify the wind-down, especially if you have a slow reload time (time it takes you to be aroused or erect again).
Instead of racing to the finish line, take some time to just enjoy that thing you say you like to do. For fucks sake. Literally.
buy a sex toy
Not because you need to or because you’ll love it but because it’s something I think is worth trying at least once. And there’s so many kinds out there. There’s literally something for everyone. Need help picking it apart? Shoot me a message. We’ll chat.
read some sex blogs (oh hi there)
You don’t know what you don’t know, so don’t not know, you know? The best way to see what’s out there and to learn new things is to read about them. Blogs are a great place to start because they’re often crowd sourced opinions about what sex is actually like. As opposed to say, pornography. While there’s a lot of great pornography being made these days, a lot of what you’ll find on the internet is still mostly unrealistic and filmed by and for men. Wham bam, thank you kind sir.
Here’s the most important thing, the unofficial number six: don’t expect to know everything all at once. If you’re new to sex, revel in the newness. Know that newness isn’t just about how long you’ve been having sex – it’s an attitude. You can be new to sex for decades before you really get your feet wet. Just open up the tiniest possibility that there’s a lot to know, and it will come in time, when it’s meant to come. Just like you.
Need advice? Submit now!
I think we are well-advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not
Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends.
We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.
Olivia Wilde recommended a book about parenting so I went down to Powells to try and find it. There were two copies left. A nice older man pointed me towards the bookshelf in the back, beyond the children screaming, to a quiet place in the parenting section where the childless can still plead ignorance.
The book is called Mama Tried and I bought it for ten dollars. I started reading it on the car ride home. I’m not pregnant and I’m not having a kid and I’m not trying to have a kid and I only know like two people who have kids so I have a pretty strong degree of separation between myself and parenting. Let’s not make this weird. You read books to learn new things and I know nothing about parenting.
That seems strange to me because I write a blog about sex and sexuality and relationship dynamics and as I tiptoe ever closer to my thirties, parenting is rapidly becoming a pretty important component of that. I have to wonder – at what point between trying to figure out my career and my relationship and how to wash my hair so that it’s not too greasy or too dry am I supposed to learn how to keep an infant alive?
I feel like the best time to get my feet wet is now. When I’m not responsible for another living, breathing human being. When I’m years away from even having to register for the exam.
I don’t want to presuppose that parenting is something that you can learn from a book. I’ve heard you can’t. I’ve heard that books about parenting mostly just make you feel anxious about how you’re parenting. I guess the book is less functional and more erotic. It’s the magazine under the bed you sneak looks at because it doesn’t quite belong to you yet. I get all wide-eyed like how do cloth diapers work and is swaddling literally a baby burrito?
It doesn’t provide me any answers but it gives me a glimpse into some kind of unique horror story. Is this the honey in the trap? The sleepless nights, the dazed-eye look, the promise that it’s so wonderful as you walk crooked down the hallway, middle of the night, nipples bleeding, stomach stitched, screaming I really love my children(!) waiting for the next one to take the bait.
Don’t know, don’t know, don’t know.
2018 is Your Year
Doesn’t 2018 seem like the future? I mean, it’s literally the future. For a few more days, anyways. So why not say fuck resolutions and make some solid plans instead? The future is waiting.
Re-write your Resume
The best time to write your resume is when you don’t absolutely totally one hundred percent have to write your resume. Writing resumes is terrible flesh burning torture. It’s the same thing as filling out a dating profile. No one is going to read it anyways. A few tips for your fresh, brand new resume: (1) include a few accomplishments per job, (2) make sure that you use past-tense for every job you’re not currently working (3) don’t list basic, unspoken skills like “can type” or “knows how to use a computer” (4) gently tailor your resume for each job you’re applying for! You can frame one accomplishment to look good for two entirely different jobs.
Re-evaluate Your Current Job
Do you come home at night and cry? Do you feel trapped, under-valued, under-appreciated? The best time to look for a new job is while you already have a job. Now is the time to plan your exist strategy. Re-write that resume and start looking for something new. When I was looking for my last job I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but spending a few hours a day reading job descriptions helped me flesh it out.
Unhappiness isn’t the only reason you may want to look for a new job. Maybe you’re not advancing in your career anymore, maybe you’re not being paid fairly, or maybe you want to try something new!
Stop Applying For Jobs You’re 100% Qualfied For
Someone wise told me once that you should never apply for a job you’re 100% qualified for. You won’t learn anything, you’ll get bored, and you probably won’t be making as much money as you could.
It’s OK to find a job you’re super comfortable at and fully qualified for if that’s what you’re looking for. You can find new ways to improve that position/job by generating your own challenges. But for any other circumstance, a job that you’re slightly underqualified for can give you an opportunity to grow and thrive.
Express in the interview that you’re highly qualified for XYZ bullet points, but you aspire to learn XYZ on the job. Every interview should be two-sided – they’re interviewing you, but you’re interviewing them, too.
Find Your Power Outfit
You don’t need a lot of money to acquire the perfect power outfit. Spend a few hours cruising Pinterest looking at work outfits and then head out and see how the clothes fit and feel on your body. I’m still trying to figure this one out and my work wardrobe consists of a strong mix of Banana Republic work pants and beat up chucks.
Start Reading Up
You don’t know what you don’t know! Sometimes reading books doesn’t teach me anything aside from how little I know about something. Head to the local bookstore and browse the general business section (or whatever more specific career path you’re on) to see what there is to know. You could learn a new skill, become empowered to have tricky conversations, or learn more about yourself and your interpersonal abilities.
Keep A List Of Your Strengths & Weaknesses
One thing I started to do at my new job was create a list of all of the things I was learning how to do (software! skills! management techniques!) so I could remember how far I’d come after a year. I’ve sort of dropped off of that (it’s like journaling, difficult to do on the daily) but what I did manage to get down thus far reminds me that I’ve been making progress. Keeping track of weaknesses also reminds me that there are still things I need to learn. It’s a marker of when and how to ask for help.
Ask For The Promotion & Make Your Intentions Known
Your boss should know what your intentions are at your job. Transparency is good because it will get them what they want, and you what you need. If you want to learn more about XYZ, ask for their advice on how you can achieve it. You can even try this if you’re your own boss. Where do you want your business to go? How are you going to make it get there? Make a list and present it to yourself. Can you properly articulate how and why you want to hit those milestones? If not, maybe you’re not fully prepared to reach them yet.
Q: Hello, My brother (let’s call him John) lost his wife in a car accident and started seeking out his next partner rapidly. After 8 months of his wife’s death John met someone, and he moved in with her at 6 months of dating, despite him expressing many times that she pressured him to move and had an anxiety break down when he first moved in, demonstrating his lack of confidence in his decision.
My brother stuck by his decision, and only 2 months later, she’s pregnant.
John was very upset and shocked upon first reaction, as they were not trying for a child. Birth control pills were their agreed upon method for birth control. My brother asked the possible/likely reason for this birth control fail, and she said it was because she took antibiotics with her birth control, and she attributes that to becoming pregnant. The news came to a big shock to my family as well, and my other 2 siblings and I believe she is lying to some degree at least, on how she got pregnant.
We ultimately believe she got pregnant on purpose and is using the antibiotic story as a cover up. My siblings and I believe that at best (although we feel very unlikely) she was irresponsible by not taking a backup method of birth control while taking the pill with her antibiotic, and at worst she purposely missed pills and tried to intentionally get pregnant without John’s knowledge or consent. I have yet to ask John more details of the story beyond what we already know (the family was just informed she is pregnant), such as if she knew at the time she was on antibiotics to take a backup method of birth control, as there may be a decreased efficacy of the pill when antibiotics are combined.
John seems to be under the assumption (or is at least ignoring the potential that she could be lying) that his girlfriend is telling the truth and it was just an accident, as he told my siblings and I that it was an accident and to not think she did it on purpose. After getting the news of her pregnancy story I have been researching antibiotic’s effect on birth control and there is no concrete evidence that antibiotics actually reduces the effectiveness of birth control, and that most women are told that antibiotics can reduce effectiveness as a just in case. I’ve also read that if antibiotics do affect birth control, it would be at most minimal, and that the most common antibiotics that could interfere with birth control effectiveness are not even the ones commonly prescribed. Even if antibiotics did indeed interfere with her birth control effectiveness, and she did take her birth control perfectly otherwise outside of this, that would mean that 2 weeks out of 8 months is when she got pregnant. Though possible, it all just seems so unlikely.
Other factors that make my other siblings and me wary of his girlfriend’s story are:
• His girlfriend already has two other kids that were not planned
• She expressed to John at the very beginning of the relationship that she was dead set on having another kid no matter what, despite her doctor advising against it due to potential serious health risks for her
• When his girlfriend told John she was pregnant, she had her kids bring a bowl with baby shoes in it to surprise him of the pregnancy, as if he should have reacted happily, as if they were trying for a baby. She didn’t tell him previously that she missed her period, or that she took a pregnancy test, she jumped straight to telling him the news by having her kids present him with the information as if it were a happy surprise.
It’s hard for me not to assume this method of telling him the news wasn’t manipulative, as I find it strange she used her kids to assist telling him the news, as opposed to the two of them discussing it first together before the kids were told. If my brother wanted to discuss the idea of an abortion, the kids already knew she was pregnant.
• She has demonstrated other red flags about her personality, and my siblings and I can tell John holds back on how much information he gives about her. John also makes excuses for her for actions that in a typically healthy relationship are not usually considered okay. Example, she goes through his phone text messages on a consistent basis. John said she does this because she’s been cheated on in the past.
John’s also afraid to express himself to her about certain things about their relationship because he’s afraid how she will react.
I don’t know how to approach my suspicions with my brother, and my other siblings don’t want to express their opinions at all, as they do not want to get involved. They feel that if they talk to John about their suspicions, he will inevitability tell his girlfriend. My siblings do not want potential conflict with the future mother of their niece/nephew, as accusing/expressing concerns she intentionally got pregnant is a very big thing to suspect someone of, as it is a very manipulative, horrible thing for someone to do.
My siblings also do not want to express their feelings to John about the situation because they feel it won’t make a difference regardless, as we don’t think he would leave her even if the truth were to come out that she did intentionally get pregnant to trap him, as he has an obsession with not being alone/being in a relationship (he has perused 100+ women since literally the day of his wife’s death; his current girlfriend was the first woman not to reject him).
Due to John’s fear of being alone, we think he would stay even if she did do this on purpose.
I’m sorry for the long backstory. I guess I am just looking for some outsider thoughts on the situation and I respect your thoughtful answers, as well has your knowledge on sex education. I know it’s a lot to unpack, and also, a lot of suspicions/assumptions. I want to ask John more questions about her pregnancy story, potentially tell John my suspicions of his girlfriend’s pregnancy, but at the same time we have no proof that this pregnancy was intentional on her end. But it’s very hard for me to give his girlfriend the benefit of the doubt, especially on all the factors involved in the situation. I don’t know how to approach it, asking him details about her story, without being accusatory.
A: Wow. I’m so sorry your brother is in this new, manipulative, unsafe relationship.
I think you should trust your gut.
Whether or not she intentionally got pregnant, there’s clearly something about her that sits the wrong way.
Is he seeing a therapist? If he’s not, I would advise that he start to see someone. You could gently nudge him to talk to someone about the pure number of unexpected life events he has experienced in the last couple years. Don’t make it about her, make it about seeking support for change in general.
Beyond that, just remind him that you’re there for him. Likely he already knows how you feel about her, about the relationship, and about the pregnancy. It’s hard to hide how you feel about someone when the level of mistrust is that high. When he needs you again he’ll know you’re there, and he’ll know he can talk to you. That’s a hard role for you, so be sure that you seek out someone to talk to, too. Even if it’s just a trusted friend.
Planned Parenthood advises that the only antibiotic that impacts birth controls effectiveness is rifampin, prescribed for tuberculosis. I understand the sweeping generalization doctors place over antibiotics, but it leads a lot of women to thinking that their prescription medication was to blame for their accidental pregnancies.
More likely is, if they were on the pill, they did not take it as prescribed.
Last year I bought this book called 1001 questions to ask before you get married. We’ve gone through the whole book a few times now, except for the chapters about marrying a criminal or marrying a celebrity or religious views all of which don’t seem to apply to us anyways. I keep the book tossed behind our bookshelf. It’s hot pink. It calls too much attention to itself and I don’t like that.
Every now and then I look up and ask J if he wants to do some marriage questions. He always says yes – even if it’s in that voice that also kind of means “kill me now” – so I reach my hand back behind the other books and dig it out of it’s secret crevice.
It’s one of those cheaply printed books with the thick, grainy textured paper, the spine worked through from opening and closing, listening and thinking. It’s only caused an argument or two. Most of the time I’ll start to ask a question, stop halfway through, raise an eyebrow, do people actually need to ask this?
Last night we talked about infidelity. It’s one of my favorite subjects. I like to swim in these what-if questions. We talk about some of them. What if you say yes to that cup of coffee. What if you say yes to that cocktail. What if you say yes to that movie. What if you say yes to the prolonged hug. The kiss. What if you lie about where you are just once. The line moves, moves, it moves along and so do you. You make little justifications. You say you’re just friends. You suck up that energy like a vampire. The guilt slips over you like a film you can’t wash off.
We’re a baby relationship, we aren’t at five years yet. And the idea of being unfaithful to him sounds like a bad joke. But that’s what everyone thinks, and what makes us so special that we would be immune to time, temptation, opportunity? Those things present themselves to everyone, wrapped up, smellin’ pretty. Pretending they don’t exist isn’t any better.
Sometimes it’s important to go back to the basics and remember together.
Does just thinking about infidelity make your skin crawl? Anyone in a serious long term committed relationship should be open to discussing the realities of how can we prevent this from happening to us?
Some couples answer that question by being mindful of their boundaries. Some answer that question by changing their boundaries and opening their relationships. Others hide from the question entirely, telling themselves they’d never do that.
It’s a little scary to write about, talk about, think about. I wrote my thesis on infidelity, I read nothing but relationship politics for almost a year, but it still makes me uncomfortable to say out loud. What would I do in these situations? For me, the solution is to keep talking about it. To be cognizant of every situation you’re in and ask yourself “what decision can I make in this moment that will be the healthiest for my relationship?”
Need relationship advice? Submit anonymously now and I’ll answer it on my blog!
My boyfriend and I haven’t been having sex as often. He initiates, but I am just not interested. I can tell he gets sad over it, and we’ve talked about it several times over the last six months. He says it’s just been difficult not having sex as much, and lately I find myself starting to become defensive in these conversations. I am also becoming more careful about how I cuddle/play around with me in order to not lead him on only to later tell him I’m not in the mood. This has been tough too. It’s killing me to feel like such a disappointment, but I think the underlying issue here is sex drive and my general feelings around sex. It’s not that I don’t want to have sex with my boyfriend; it’s that I don’t want to have sex with anyone. (Ahem, not even myself.) I have completely lost interest. I keep googling things intermittently, but I don’t know how to boost my sex drive. Do you have any advice for me?
Changes in sex drive are normal. Most people will experience ups and downs in their sex drive throughout their lives. Have there been any changes in your life recently? Stress? Grief? Depression? Any new medications you’re taking? Six months is a long time to experience this kind of change but I wouldn’t say it’s abnormal.
Here’s a question: do you enjoy having sex as often as you currently are? Do you feel satisfied with your sex life? Does your disappointment about your sex drive feel internal (you wish that your drive was what it used to be) or does it feel external (you wish that your drive was what it used to be so you wouldn’t have to see that sad face on your boyfriend.)
No matter the reason, it often becomes a vicious circle. You’ve not been in the mood so many times that when you are in the mood for sex there’s so much pressure to stay in the mood and have sex and have good sex that you rapidly lose the mood.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Attempt to remove the pressure from sex by finding other ways to be intimate with your partner. Indicate that you will not be having sex. See if putting sex off limits changes how you feel about having sex. This can also be a good way to become closer by exploring just touching, just looking, just being naked together.
- Talk to a counselor or therapist about what you’ve been experiencing and see if they have any suggestions. The root cause of your disinterest could be attached to something else entirely, like something you’re struggling with internally, or how you feel romantically about your partner.
- Take the night into your own hands – start thinking about some of the favorite things you and your partner do in the bedroom. Get that image in your head a good hour or two before you let on to your partner that you might want to have sex. Essentially, give yourself a “head start.”
- Just let it be – really. It’s okay not to want sex all the time or as much as you used to, if you’re comfortable with it. You may go a while having sex less often and maybe in a few months you’ll be full swing in the opposite direction! Don’t medicalize it, don’t shame yourself for it, and don’t let your partner do either of those things either.
Ultimately what to do next depends on how you feel about this change. If it’s really bothering you because you wish you could be having sex more with your partner, think about looking into some different exercises to find that place again. If you’re comfortable with it and feel like you just want to exist in this space for a while, that’s totally okay too. Just communicate with your partner what you’re feeling in the best way you can, and find ways you can be intimate together that comfortably satisfy those needs for both of you.
Need advice? Submit now and I’ll answer on my blog!
The two hardest days of the week for me are Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday is hard because it feels like Monday all over again. I’m exhausted from Monday but it’s not even mid-week yet. Thursday is hard because it feels like the end of the week, but I still have one more full day to go.
Every time I’ve started a new job I’ve felt the same emotion: pure elation. I carefully detail tabbed binders with well organized notes and processes. I anticipate new skills I’d like to learn. I wake up early and try to look my best. Then, a familiar wave, crashing, crashing, crashing…
Suddenly things that I used to do for fun seem completely tedious.
When I first applied to college my degree was graphic design. I never took a single course in graphic design. I realized one day, shortly after the term began, that if I had to take courses in graphic design that I would no longer enjoy it. I think most normal people chase their dream through to completion with something called determination.
Luckily, as it turns out I have had more than one dream.
When something feels like a “have to” – it’s kinda scary. There are suddenly consequences. If I don’t do this thing… xyz will happen.
A task that I used to do for fun looks daunting. Easier to avoid. I’ll do it later.
So I try to think of my have to as a get to.
I did this the other day on my commute to work. I’ve been taking the bus to work instead of driving, which at times can feel completely miserable. I have to wake up early, I have to go all the way across town.
Today I tried thinking of it this way: I get to use public transportation because I can afford a bus pass in a city that I love. I get to wake up early which means I get to see the sunrise which means, well, if you want to boil it down I get to be alive.
But we’re getting a little abstract. Most days I just try to focus on this mantra: I am ultimately in control of my happiness.
I know I have it pretty good, but things still get hard sometimes. And it sucks to sink deep in that pit of “ugh – I have to” about things you enjoy doing.
My goal for gratitude lately has been to focus on all the silver linings.
So far it has removed a lot of the pressure. Instead of feeling loaded with consequences, the tasks feel loaded with opportunity. It sounds kind of cheesy, but I know I’m in a place where if I do something difficult and it’s not totally perfect, I’m going to learn from that, and that’s just a part of doing something you love. You get the opportunity to get better at it.
November is always one of my favorite months because it’s full-form-fall and birthday season for all my scorpios (and my boyfriend, who is a Sagittarius.) Here were some of my favorite things from this month!
Favorite Things of November 2017
IT – We haven’t seen a lot of movies recently but IT still sticks out in my head as one of my favorite movies of the year. Stephen King is one of my favorite authors and I thought that this movie was a great retelling of the story (with room for a sequal in the mix!) If you haven’t seen the original mini series, check it out. They’ve rereleased it on blu-ray.
Favorite TV Show
Tie: Mind Hunter and Big Mouth – These shows could not be more different. Mind Hunter is dark and gritty and Big Mouth is light and vulgar. We finished both first seasons of these shows this month and I’d highly recommend either (depending on your interests.)
This month my favorite read was Joe Hill’s Strange Weather. It’s a collection of short novels – my favorite being Snapshot, a story about a man with a very special polaroid camera that takes a little more than your photo. I’ve also been enjoying Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion which has inspired me to take on some more creative non-fiction writing on the side.
I can guess what age I was by what drink I remember drinking. First it was the tequila sunrise, sweet and unoffensive. Then I moved into rum and coke, a little something to keep me awake. From there I was purely gin and tonic. I went through a brief love affair with homemade margaritas this year but this month has signaled my move into the gin martini.
Sufjan Stevens Hotling Bling is up there. So is Young Dumb and Broke by Khalid. I think my most listened to song this month was All Night by The Vamps, which I will sometime listen to on repeat the whole way to work.