How is Sexuality Controlled?

I was asked to elaborate on a couple of subjects from my post about What I learn in Sex Classes. The first was: how is pleasure controlled and enjoyed? This question is in reference to the politics of sexuality, and is a subject of incredible depth. Let’s started with control.

How can pleasure be controlled? Can’t anyone have sex?

There are two notable cases within Portland History – the 1912 Greek Scandal and Vice Scandals. The Greek Scandal refers to Greek men who had come into the city for work, who lived in what is now Old Town/China Town. Because of the work that was available at this time many men were living alone or with other men in specific parts of town. Police at the time were anxious over what they considered to be dangerous racial minorities. At this time there was a fear that the white middle class could be broken down if tainted with lesser, perhaps “less moral” races. There was a fear spreading. While these men didn’t exceed 1% of the population, they accounted for more than 11% of same-sex transgression arrests. Simply put: they were controlling the sexuality of these men as a way to prevent race mixing. The YMCA scandal, though different, is similar in the fact that they used sex (in this case, sodomy) to target a male homosexual community. Both of these stories are incredibly interesting and can be expanded on in this book by Peter Boag.

What about outside of homosexuality? Women’s sexuality has been controlled in times throughout history. It is common to look back at the 1950s as the “golden age” when, perhaps, we forget just how far we’ve come. Women’s responsibility was often to be housekeeper, child raiser, caretaker for her husband. If for some reason the marriage failed or she wanted to leave the marriage, it would be incredibly difficult for her to do so without a job of her own or any work experience. This allowed men to experience affairs more easily within the bounds of the marriage without much worry that their wives would leave them. They couldn’t. Women had much less time for affairs if they were going to be the only care provider of their children as well as having to tend to the house, chores, errands, and so forth. Not to mention there was marital rape to do deal with – where it wasn’t considered rape if you were married. Not much control there.

Information about white sexuality during times of slavery is also interesting, and speaks to how sexuality can be used as a piece of control. White women (for instance) were seen as the keepers of virtue. If they were protected and did not sleep with white men, they would not produce any children with black men. How women’s sexuality is controlled is often much more interesting – to me at least – than how mens sexuality is controlled, because of how the double standard persists. Though white women were given this command, many white men fathered children of the slaves that they raped or sexually assaulted during this time.

How is pleasure controlled today? This goes back to my first point. Anyone can have sex, surely. But not everyone has access to the same benefits. Many people desire to have sex, but understand the likelihood of pregnancy if they do not use birth control of some kind. Some people don’t understand the likelihood of pregnancy because they are not afforded information. The limitations of birth control and abortion absolutely control sexuality. Many women may not have access to Planned Parenthood to receive STD testing, lowered birth control costs, breast cancer screenings, free condoms, or abortions. The availability of these services allows women to have control over their sexuality. Removing these services restricts the freedom of a woman’s sexuality. Can they still have sex? Physically? Yes. But they are risking their sexual health, they’re risking pregnancies they can’t afford to have or don’t want to have. Low income families are especially at risk. This is a type of control and it’s being enacted by upper/middle class, white, men – people who are never going to experience what these women are experiencing.

Sexuality is controlled in a myriad of ways throughout history and even today. Whether it be by gender, sexuality, the class you’re in, the state you’re in, or the relationship you’re in. You can see here, it’s controlled by the laws that we have. But it’s also controlled by the language we use.

Picture a man. He has a penis. He is interested in having a physical experience with another man. For men in our culture that both threatens his identity and his masculinity. The possibility of him touching another man in an intimate or exploratory way threatens the very being of who he is and how he will be treated within society. If you think that’s an exaggeration, you’re not paying attention. People are getting shot, murdered, abused, bullied, and people are killing themselves all over the world. Many people will withhold their identities, or even the simplest curiosities, because of how sex and sexuality is represented within our culture. They become depressed. They say no when they’d rather say yes. They lie. They hide. They have to. We box people up and we don’t let them cross those lines easily. We put shame on sex. We put shame on same-sex. And that shame – while not always – definitely controls the sexuality of people who either can’t or don’t want to be judged and labeled for the decisions they’ve made.

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What do you learn in Sex Classes?

As the term comes to a close we work on putting together portfolios of the work we’ve done. We collect the papers we’ve done, the ideas we’ve jotted down, the images we’ve drawn or found, and we put them into a folder to represent the work that we’ve done. This isn’t just an organizational task. It’s a way to look back on what you’ve learned.

My professor talked about the study of sexuality and how it can be difficult to express to people what you’re truly studying. The assumption is typically that you’re just way too interested in sex, or that you’re working with some sort of sexual education or public health. And it’s true – I didn’t understand the scope of the subjects you would cover. This term marks the end of my sexualities minor.

The past few months I’ve covered a lot of really interesting subjects. This list is by no means comprehensive but should give you a good idea of the scope of what I’ve studied. I get to take one more class this spring called “Science of Women’s Bodies” which will look into the physical body of a woman and hormones and chemistry and how the body works (among other things, I’m sure) which I’m really excited for. As things are winding down I find myself with a little bit of time to take classes I haven’t been able to take before. If you have an questions about any of these subjects, hit ask at the top, and I’ll do my best to write a little more.

  • Definitions of valuable words for gender and sexuality studies
  • Discussion about loaded words and how the words we use have particular meanings and history
  • The importance of personal narrative with regards to discussion of sexual politics
  • Intersectionality – How race, class, gender, and sexuality can intersect one another
  • Essentialism VS. Constructionism, what is “true” and what is “constructed”
  • Gender technology, items that we use to display our gender (things that make us male/female)
  • The invention of the housewife, how the work of women is viewed.
  • What is sexism?
  • HOW is our knowledge about gender and sex constructed?
  • How do we treat Intersex or transgender people?
  • Where did the terms heterosexual and homosexual come from and when did we start using them? When did sexual orientation become used in conversation? How is that reflected in the law and politics and the freedom of people?
  • How are different races perceived sexually?
  • What is childhood or adolescent sexuality?
  • How are gender roles and the heteronormative constructed within childhood?
  • When was the adolescent invented and why? (Children playing as young adults VS children experiencing childhood.)
  • What is radical sexuality? What is queer theory?
  • Is there a natural sexuality? How does polyamory or non-monogamy fit into this?
  • How does our difference organize us as social people?
  • What types of relationships are we having and how do those relationships change over time?
  • How has the culture of hooking up changed?
  • Race in film, and “whiteness” as an unmarked category
  • Who is black? What makes someone black?
  • Asian American Panethnicity and The Model Minority
  • The presence of lations in the US and race structures
  • What are the implications of class on sexuality? What availabilities are afforded to class? What can the upper-middle class have access to that the poor do not?
  • What is disability? What does it mean to be disabled? How does this impact our social identity?
  • What are family values and how are these constructed? What is a family?
  • Lesbians in film, woman’s sexuality and sexual orientation
  • How is sexuality, race, or gender verified? Why do we need to verify? Who benefits from verification and who is doing the verification?
  • What is privilege and how is our privilege constructed within our race/gender/class/sex?
  • The personal is political
  • Same sex sexuality in early North America
  • 19th Centuary Sex and Friendship
  • Industrialization and sexual availability
  • Capitalism and gay identity
  • Defiance and Sex at the Turn of the Century
  • Working class youth in the Pacific Northwest and gay identity in early Portland. How Homosexuality was defined and communities formed in the Northwest.
  • Intersections of race and sexuality
  • The military and sex – women in the military
  • Sex and homosexuality during the holocaust, pink triangles.
  • Gender and sexuality in early black and white film, and black face.
  • How sexual pleasure is controlled, and enjoyed.
  • Crusades for sexual order
  • How reproduction is controlled by race, sex and slavery, sex and the emancipation
  • A history of STDs – great pox, syphilis, HIV.
  • A brief history of bisexuality and the bisexual movement
  • Transgender politics and identity
  • Asexuality and visibility of asexuality
  • Polyamory and redefining intimacy
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Doing things wrong VS. Doing things the hard way

I was reading an article, or a blog, and I caught on this phrase. I feel like I’m doing polyamory wrong. It really sort of rattled around in my head for a while and I’ve decided I’m going to try and unstick it.

There are all sorts of ways that relationships are supposed to be. This is based on our common knowledge (or “doxa”) that we develop by interacting in the world around us. The one I’ve talked about most frequently, and have referred to as a script is that of monogamy. What does monogamy look like? You probably know, even if it would take you a while to list it out. But why does it have to be that way? Does it have to be that way? It’s really hard to push away from what we’re told is normal or natural. Monogamous couples who want to be different or unique experience some kind of resistance when they try. An easy example would be not having kids or not getting married or not wanting to live together after a certain period of time. It doesn’t fit into our concept of what monogamous happy couples do. You don’t want to live together? Well, surely something is wrong.

I digress, I don’t think we can do a relationship wrong. We’re told we can, and we sometimes feel that we are, but I don’t think it’s true. In fact, I think we should more frequently “do things wrong” because it means that we’re doing things for ourselves.

No, I don’t think you can do things wrong, but I do think you can do things the hard way. I think in some cases that means trying to conform too hard to what you believe a relationship is supposed to be, or trying to make a relationship into something that it isn’t. Not all men or women love the same. Not all men or women want the same styles of relationships. Not all people show affection, express commitment, or grow in a relationship in the same way. There is a certain amount of guidance you can give a relationship to help nudge it in the right direction.

Expressing your feelings for your partner, or doing things that would help sustain a future together.

But there are some things that I think we think are guiding the relationship, which are really trying to push it back on these paths, or “ways things ought to be” when really our relationship straying from those doxa’s is healthy, or natural, and unique.

Does that make sense?

Let’s say that in our relationship we both really desire to live separately, as mentioned at the start. This creates some uncomfortable feelings because we’re given the message that we’re not as “serious” or “caring” if we don’t want to share the same space. Although we originally had no problem with living separately, we now may feel that the problem is ours and not a problem of the culture that tells us we should do this thing. So we try to figure out what is wrong with us, or our partner, or our relationship, and force a living situation that may not have been the best option for us. Instead of letting our relationship move in the direction that it wanted to move in, we add structure to it where we may not have needed it. Instead, we could have looked at our desires for our relationship and living arrangement and considered how living apart might impact our relationship and our future together positively, looking at it as a way to strengthen our relationship.

So we’re never really doing things wrong but sometimes I do think that we’re trying too hard to push them back on a path that wasn’t really meant for us anyways. Whether that be marriage, living together, who cooks dinner, who works more, who says “I’m sorry” first, who participates in what sexual activity and when, what style of relationship you have…

I’m not sure I have an answer that works for all of these scenarios, but I do think if we listened to our unique relationships more and allowed them to flow more easily into the areas they wanted to go without feeling compelled to lead them in any one direction… we’d be a lot happier.

Note: I should mention that all of this must happen in the context of your relationship. If you and your partner have strikingly different stories that you want to evolve, letting things “flow” might lead to conflict and unhappiness. Having conversations about direction can be useful.

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Guest Post: Diva Cup (review)

Like most girls, I made the transition from pads to tampons early on
in my menstruating years. I hated the feeling of a diaper, the way it
smelled even after a short period of time, I hated how it gave my poor
bum a rash. Just everything about the pad I hated. So I switched to
tampons, my favorite being the O.B. ones, because they were small, and
it was a “shove-and-go” application.

I’ve been on the tampon train for years now. I didn’t particularly
like them that much, the string always managed to cut me or bug me,
and I always had the fear of it leaking in the back of my head. I
didn’t like swimming with them because I’d just imagine the tampon
being soaked with chlorine after. But they were always the better
option than pads.

My biggest issue is that I’m a sporty girl. I love my athletics. And I
find that the harder I work at my athletics the heavier my flow is.
Which is a problem! I like to go to yoga every now and then in booty
shorts, I like to swim, I love my martial arts where I wear WHITE
pants. And my period has always made me have to double up, not that
it’s super heavy, but I’m paranoid. While doing Taekwondo in my WHITE
pants, I’d end up wearing a super tampon which was way more than I
needed and a liner just so I wouldn’t have to worry. But then comes
the issue of pulling out a half dried tampon. I’ve recently taken up
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and again my period was a worry. Did I want to be
wrestling with guys, wrapping my legs around them while wearing a pad
or worrying about a leaking tampon? No.

menstrual-cup

So I went about the internet looking for the best option for athletic
girl and discovered the DivaCup. Something I wish I had discovered
years ago. A medical grade silicone cup you put in your vagina and can
leave for 12 hours. No more guessing which size for which flow you’re
going to have that day. No more watching the clock for 8 hours so you
don’t get TSS. No more feeling bad about flushing tampons down the
toilet. No more having the buy MORE tampons/pads, as the DivaCup will
last a long time. And so far I can atest to no leaking, as it pretty
much seals to the inside of your vagina to catch all the blood. I feel
liberated. As liberated as you can get while on your period.

I decided to give it a go on the first day of my period where I had 3
hours of Jiu Jitsu class. I put it in just before I left. Once you get
it high enough inside, you don’t feel it at all, like a tampon. I went
to my class, rolled around, wrestled, went nuts basically. At the end
of the 12 hours, I checked my underwear. Nothing. Totally clean. So I
removed it, dumped it, rinsed it and put it back in. I had read on the
webpage that you could even sleep naked with it. So guess I what I
did? Yup. Woke up to a nice clean bed. No battlefields. That’s right.
I slept naked on my period and didn’t have to bleach my sheets.

I highly recommend it to athletic women, and really, women in general.
There’s only two sizes to choose from and it’s based on whether or not
you’ve given birth.

tumblr_meug3qFg2p1ra9vuc

Overall I give the DivaCup a 9/10. I’m docking a point because it
takes a bit of effort and a learning curve on how to insert the cup,
but once it’s in, its in.

Thanks for the guest post, S. 

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exploring the fantasy of openness

 So my wife and I are in this new exploration of fantasy of somewhat of a more open relationship. We are married and in no way anywhere close to that at this point in time. My question may be a difficult one however if anyone is equipped to answer it… you are! As a married couple exploring in fantasy what kind of activities and or role play would you suggest as far as together taking our fantasies and desires and I guess putting as much reality into it as possible but not taking the plunge. We want to be able to stimulate our fantasies desires and senses without doing anything we are not ready for. So we thought if we could move some of our fantasies into reality yet balancing perfectly between the fantasy and reality without making it a full reality what would be some ideas in regards to no specific fantasy but in general those that involve or include other persons. Thank you so much for your time and effort. We LOVE your blog!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your question, and for allowing me to discuss this further on my site! Fantasy is a great way to explore things that you and your partner share an interest in, but aren’t sure if you’re ready to take out into the wild and experiment with yet. In fact, sometimes fantasy can be a sustainable way to experiment within itself.

An easy example, and one that is played out in all manner of popular media:

Husband and wife, out at a bar. Husband approaches wife. Why hello there, who are you?  The game is simple. You and your wife don’t know each other. What would you say? How would you interact? This does a few great things. The first is that it allows you to look at your partner with a fresh set of eyes. Being in an open relationship you get to do this frequently, as you see how other people see your partner, and are constantly getting that “refresh” perspective. I think the same thing can be accomplished without a third party. Pretend you don’t know each other so intimately and make a game out of it. Buy your partner a drink, ask them about their life, learn new things about them or learn old things in new and exciting ways. Then invite them back home with you.

You can even create new identities for one another, playing into the idea of being with someone new. If you are traditionally very shy in bed, for instance, you could play the seductress or the playboy figure, very alluring or debonaire. There are other fantasies here, like pretending you’ve never slept together, playing with fantasies of control or force (cuffs, bondage, holding one another down) or even talking dirty to one another.

In fact, talking dirty is a great way to work through fantasies in the bedroom without actually doing them in real life. Talking dirty isn’t as painfully awkward as it is in the movies, if you don’t let it be. Just make it real and honest, raw, personal. Instead of “Ooh, baby, I like… that thing…” you could say “I wish another man was here right now, I wish I was watching you with someone else. Do you wish someone else was here too?” I would add that it might be important to emphasis that the conversations you’ll have during sex are not necessarily representative of your expectations for after sex is over. Fantasy is fantasy. Have fun with it. But stay within your comfort zones.

Last, but not least, dressing up can be fun and can be incorporated in the two above kinds of roleplaying. Pick out a special outfit, a kinky outfit, a sexy outfit. Buy some toys, pick out some porn, or just turn on some music that sets the mood. There are all kinds of accessories that you can add to sex to make it feel new or different, and all kinds of accessories you can add that can help simulate a fantasy.

Grab that realistic dildo and a blindfold and get to fucking Mr. Possibility.

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What is Cisgender?

Decided to write this up after my latest poll.

Someone who is cisgender is someone who feels comfortable in the gender they were given at birth. For instance, someone who is cisgender could be a woman who has a vagina who feels comfortable her presentation as a woman. When I explain this to people (as I’m still learning myself) the common reaction is: what, like normal people? Instead of this, lets consider someone who is cisgender someone that most people would typically think of as male or female. What does a female look like, what does a male look like? That snap judgement you’ve made about what it means to be male or female is someone who is cisgendered. We often use cisgender in opposition to transgender. Someone who is transgender may not feel comfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth.

Want to know more? Here are some websites I’ve found that discuss it more.

  1. Basic Rights Oregon
  2. Cisgender Privilege
  3. Gender Wiki
  4. Kinsey Confidential

It’s my knowledge that you should not at an “ed” to cisgender to make it cisgendered, just like you should not say “transgendered” instead of transgender. To understand why, consider how “femaled” or “maled” sounds.

I know I don’t write much about trans* issues. This is because I don’t know much about trans issues and don’t have those experiences. As I broach the subject in my courses this term, its likely you’ll see a bit more. Thanks for being patient with me (or in some cases, learning alongside me) as I stumble my way to some greater understanding.

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the both/and of 2012

If I had to look back over 2012 and pick one lesson from the courses I took, it would be this. The both/and lesson. I learned this in two separate courses over the span of the year and it took me a while to really click onto it and start using it in my own life. I also found that initially it was very hard for me to accept it. I didn’t understand how it worked.

The both/and means that you can be two things simultaneously that contradict one another. For instance, you can be a feminist but you can have opinions that might not be considered feminist opinions. For instance you can say “I am both a feminist and I believe that women can be satisfied as housewives.” An important little note to this is that the “and” portion may not always be something that you want to feel, but that you acknowledge it’s a part of you whether or not you want to change it. For instance some women may really feel that it’s completely OK to be a housewife. Other women may feel that it directly contradicts their feminist beliefs but must confess that they feel it regardless.

Does that make sense?

The both/and gives us validation in our feelings even if they don’t always make sense. Even if we believe we’re one thing but act another. It allows us to be fluid in our evolution as human beings. Not always perfect. Not always perfectly aligned into little boxes. And yeah, it’s messy. It’s messy to say “I am this one thing, but I am also this other thing, even though they might not make sense together.” Sometimes it’s hypocritical. Sometimes it’s hard to confess. Sometimes they might be things we keep secret. Only sharing the bits and pieces of ourselves that make sense in the version of ourselves we want others to see.

I think it’s important to own the both/and and to be accepting of other peoples experiences. Take a note from a famous both/and in Perks of Being a Wallflower. You’ve probably heard it before.

“I am both happy and sad at the same time, and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

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Gangbang Fantasy Lives

This is a guest blog submitted by a reader. If you’re interested in submitting a guest blog read this post for more information.

Two weeks ago, I did the amazing, and some might call it the unthinkable or unimaginable. But for me, it was a long time coming. And totally hot.

I was in a filmed gangbang, a special-made fantasy-turned-porn for my amazing lover and partner.

How did I get here? Gangbangs have been a huge fantasy for my partner, J, and I for the past year. We tried setting up multiple gangbangs and it wasn’t until about a month ago that one finally worked out: it takes so much planning, scheduling, vetting, and emailing. We are picky: guys need to be intelligent, thoughtful, be okay with using condoms, and our preference is that they are actually turned on by the gangbang scenario. We don’t want guys who are using the gangbang as simply an excuse to have sex with a woman and then leave. We want guys who are into the idea of a girl with multiple men.

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The Courage of Saying Hello (and other things)

Every now and then something magical happens to me. As I’m walking about, minding my own business, I absorb the courage of others. At least… that’s what I suspect happens. Because one day I’ll be minding my own business and the next I’ll suddenly have balls. Not real hairy hanging-down-yo-pants kinds of balls, but the metaphorical balls. Which is really a post all in itself, because what intelligent designer decided to put the future of mankind hanging from a sweaty sack outside of the body? I digress, sometimes I’m courageous.

I’m middle school my fondest memory of prepubescent flirtation was hitting on a little redheaded mormon boy. I’m not sure why these are his identifiers in my mind, but they are. He has four or five brothers all split apart in various classes and he was the youngest of the brothers, putting him in my class. He was very funny and nice which put him in a different league from the other hair-pulling spit-wad-throwing boys I knew. So one day, in this moment de courage I walked up to him, sat down, and said do you think I’m cute?

We then entered into some sort of pseudo-philosophical conversation which my brain has since created filler for in the back part of my memories. That doesn’t matter so much. What does matter is how I felt, and what it accomplished. (Confident, confidence.)

A lot of people ask me how you approach someone you’re interested in. I’m a big fan of faking it until you make it. That means that a lot of courage comes from diving in head first and then figuring it out as you go along. I had no idea what he was going to say to me, but I was confident in my entering the conversation. I knew that if he said “No” that I would be able to pull some funny retort out of my ass like “Good, I’m glad we’re on the same page monkey brains” or something similarly juvenile. If he’d said yes, my training-bra self would have blushed, smiled, said “Good” and walked away mysteriously. Gotta keep em on their toes.

As an adult the game changes a little bit. Does approaching someone mean you’re being a nice person? Does it mean you’re just interested in making small talk? Does it mean you want to go on a date with them? Does it mean you just think they’re cute? Does it mean you want to bone them super hard all night long gangnam style? You have to be a little more clear. And, of course, you have to consider what is or isn’t appropriate.

Not appropriate: Whistling, cat-calling, any sort of name-calling, or any adult version of hair pulling. (Doing something stupid and mean to get attention when really you could just be nice and honest.)

Let’s go with my favorite scenario. You’re sitting at a cafe and someone across the cafe is reading a book that you really like. You notice both the book, the fluttery feeling in your heart, your face is red, and by gosh golly do they sure look physically attractive to your little lizard brain. What now?

1. Walk over to them

2. Make some sort of introductory comment: I love that book! What do you think about it?

3. Note their reaction. Do they seem like they want to talk to you? Or are they looking at you like you might have just stepped in dog poop and rubbed it all over them? Be cautious.

4. Ask: Do you mind if I sit down? I’m so-and-so! 

5. Keep up the conversation. Talk about the book, related books, ask them where they’re from, what they do, and then when it’s time to say goodbye, write your email or phone number on a piece of paper and let them know you should keep in touch about whatever such things you had in common. Maybe you can catch a movie, visit a book reading, take a walk with your similarly aged poodles. Whatever it is.

If you had nothing in common and they are still looking at you like stool, abort the mission.

While I do not always have great moments of courage when I see someone I’m heinously attracted to, sometimes I do. And you know what’s never a bad idea? Showing interest in someone in a polite manner. Worst case scenario? They aren’t interested. At least you tried. Maybe you’ll make a friend. Maybe they are your one and only soul mate destined from the great almighty god of love, sent to the cafe with that book in hand to test your courage. Never know, really.

TL;DR: If you see someone you think you might want to talk to, say hello.

Bonus Points: If someone approaches you in a nice way, be polite back. You don’t have to have a conversation (god knows sometimes I want to drink my coffee in peace) but it’s nice to appreciate that it might have taken someone a lot to say anything at all.

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a note on loving yourself

A post for those struggling with dating. 

Dating sucks. Dating really sucks. And if you’re not particularly good at dating there can be nothing more demeaning than having people tell you to just be confident! Be confident? Yeah, that’ll do it. After rejection #45 when you’re at home slumming with a pint of ice cream in front of your media-of-choice what you really need is confidence. Seriously. How can you suffer through a stack of spurned lovers and still come out on top?

Love yourself.

If you don’t love yourself, it’s going to be hard for anyone else to love you. Don’t seek confidence from other people. Build up confidence within yourself first. People who like themselves are easily distinguishable from people who don’t love themselves. They carry themselves taller. They smile more. They participate in the things that they love and have a life outside of the relationship they seek. These are attractive things. When you are around people who love themselves you don’t feel that they are trying to steal acknowledgement from you. They are self-sufficient. You don’t have to be 100% satisfied with yourself as a person – aren’t we all improving? –  but you do have to be confident that you are worthy of a relationship. You have to be confident that right now you are being the best you that you can be.

Confidence is little things that we can all do. It’s realizing that if someone doesn’t like us, we don’t need them to. It’s realizing we shouldn’t be with someone who doesn’t like us the same way that we like them. It’s taking a shower and putting on your favorite outfit. It’s brushing our teeth and hair. It’s smiling at someone and intently listening when they talk. It’s inhaling and exhaling. It’s taking each moment as it comes without fear of what will come next. It’s treating someone as an equal. It’s asking questions. It’s being interested in someone – genuinely interested. It’s sharing yourself and your life. It’s being proud of who you are.

Confidence is just little things all piled up into a feeling that starts with loving yourself.

 

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