Let’s Talk About Sex (Part 3)

Beyonce. Mila Kunis. Justin Timberlake. Marilyn Monroe. Adam Levine. James Dean. James Deen. My mother. Zooey Deschanel. I can think of so many sexy people, let alone attractive celebrities. Sexy people have that certain je ne sais quoi. A sly smile. Big green eyes. An amazingly full chest (here’s looking at you, Christina Hendricks). But we’re told to overlook the physical aspects and go for personality. For someone’s sharp wit or their kind, giving heart. Looks do fade sometimes (unless you’re George Clooney) and you should be with someone who you can grow old with. We have heard all this before but is it the case?

For the past couple of months, I took a stab at online dating. Honestly, I had no idea what I was looking for. Sure, a serious relationship would be ideal but I’m still trying to make up my mind about moving back East when this year is over. A boyfriend would just complicate my further decision making and with the exception of my little sister and her man, I know that long distance relationships don’t end well. But Friday night was the loneliest night for me and I deserved something more entertaining in my life other than Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked and old “Heroes” episodes. So, I reactivated my old OKCupid and Plenty of Fish accounts and signed up at Zoosk. (I decided to not place a Craigslist “woman seeking man” ad. I did such when I first moved back to Nevada and went on some particularly odd dates. Surprisingly, I had better luck dating guys I met on “creepy” Craigslist in Brooklyn than I did here, in small town Reno.) I made the decision to not only responsd to every message I received but to send out as many messages as I could, as well. I figured that I had nothing to lose and if I wasn’t attracted to him, we could always attempt to be friends.

SUCCESS! Messages began rolling in and I tried by best to be timely about responding. Within the first two days of revamping my profiles, I was asked out on dates by two different fellows- YES! Of course, I received my fair share of dirty comments (one guy went on a tangent of how much he loved black women and had a fetish of their curvier bottoms- “You and I together would make the perfect chocolate milkshake!”). But a good chunk of messages I received were thoughtful and well written. After a few days, I found myself surprised with the men who were messaging me- the stereotypically attractive men who I would think have no problem meeting girls. They were the type of men I would drunkenly stare down at the club; guys who were on the high school football team that were fawned over by geeky marching band girls like me. I thought I was seriously out of their league. Yeah, I’m a cute girl but I’m in no means Scarlett Johansson. This was a new revelation for me. If these hot guys, with their great teeth, strong jaw lines and muscular arms, were contacting me, could I do the same and message them?

So began my social experiment: I started messaging these so-called “pretty boys” and the verdict was clear: with the exception of one, all of them were interested in meeting me for a date. My former high school spirit nearly passed out- I was going out with BABES. I went on about twenty first dates with twenty different guys. Short guys. Tall ones. Men with interesting pasts and pretty tattoos. It was a great learning experience and yeah. I won’t lie- all this dating did wonders to my confidence (flirting really does boost your ego. Who knew?).

One Tuesday night, I met this good-looking police officer for a drink downtown. After brushing my handcuff fantasies aside, we asked the basic first date questions (where are you from, what do you do for work, etc.). We kept feeding smiles to one another but the date didn’t feel right. The conversation was flowing but I was bored. For some reason, all I could think about at that moment was this gangly geek who I met last week and how he hard he laughed at my Jay-Z impression. I ended the date with the hot blonde cop and called the nerdier guy to come out and get pizza with me.

My stepmother once told me it doesn’t matter what the guy you’re with looks like as long as he makes you happy (she told me that when I was dating a man twice my age) but she was right- THANKS BIMA! Excuse my dating experiences or take a lesson from them. During my internet dating adventures, I met Nathan, a gem of a guy- he’s movie star handsome and sweeter than Splenda- who  laughs uncontrollably at my terrible impersonations and who introduced me as his ‘girlfriend’ to his parents last weekend. He likes pro-wrestling and is paler than Edward Cullen but he also dances with me to Nancy Sinatra in my kitchen. He holds me tight until I fall asleep and surprises with nose kisses and a mug of OJ in morning when I wake up (I’m also having the best sex of my life). He may be a geek but I don’t care. His looks don’t matter (and apparently, mine don’t either. He thinks I look pretty sans eyeliner and straight hair)- his soul has that certain something. I don’t know what the future holds for me and Nathan but I can tell you this, dear reader: I am happy.

Advertisements

Let’s Talk About Sex (Part 2)

Raise your hand if you’re a virgin. Raise your hand if you’re not a virgin.

My boyfriend and I were thinking of setting our friends together: his BFF, a cute and polite guy who hasn’t had a girlfriend in a couple of years, let alone been on a date, paired up with one of my lady friends- a gorgeous and fun woman who just happens to be a virgin. When I spoke about the last detail, my boyfriend was shocked and decided it wasn’t a good idea for them to be set up. Why, I asked. Because she never had sex before, he replied. I grew quiet and the clockwork in my head started spinning.

I know that we don’t live in the 1950s, where girls who give it up are considered “hussies” and “dirty whores.” But when did keeping your virginity become a negative issue? Especially keeping your virginity into the latter part of your twenties? After talking about it with some co-workers and asking a random male his thoughts about the subject at a bar during happy hour, I feel like the virginity table has turned. These women (and men) who choose not to have sex for whatever reason (religion, not finding their ideal partner, asexuality, etc) are being looked down as if something was wrong with them. It’s the stereotype of “virginity” that gets me. Is it really considered prudish if you are one? Why does everyone have to think you’re a Mormon waiting for marriage or a nun in the convent if you refuse to get naked with somebody? It’s a fact that sex is a big part of our modern American culture. It’s on people’s minds all the time but do we have to be that hungry for sex?

I’m starting to wonder if sex is THAT important in a relationship. Does it need to exist in order for a relationship (any sort of relationship, from a couple out on their third date to a lifelong marriage) to thrive and survive? There are definitely times I feel like not doing anything physical but I do it any way to please my partner. But if I was to stop having sex all together with my boyfriend, would either one of us get to the point of sexual frustration where we would break up (this would be an interesting social experiment to try; however, I really do like my guy and I do enjoy our sexual trysts). What if we never had sex to begin with; me just telling my boyfriend when we first met that I’ve had sex before, loved having sex but wasn’t interested in having it for a while? What would have happened if I told him that I’m a twenty-seven year old virgin and I wanted to stay one? What about in a marriage? Can one last without any physical intimacy? Can you just have a decades -long marriage or relationship that only filled with kisses and back rubs?

Whatever, whatever, whatever. You shouldn’t be concerned about what other people think. It’s neither good or bad if you’re a virgin or not- it’s up to you, and ONLY YOU, to decide.

Let’s Talk About Sex (Part 1)

Sex has been on my mind recently. Okay- sex is ALWAYS on my mind. As a healthy and horny twenty-seven year old, I think about sex as much as a pre-pubescent boy sitting in health class. I love sex and am not ashamed to admit it. But lately, I’ve been questioning the raw act of it and what it means to be sexually moral.

“Girls.” Have you ever seen that show? If not, you should. It’s incredible. I swear I’ve had the same exact conversations, word-for-word, that the main characters have had. I’ve also learned a lot from the show, especially about sex and its positive and negative consequences. A few weeks ago, one of the episodes featured a graphic sex scene in which the male lead, Adam, brought home Natalia, a young woman he’s casually dating. After bringing her home and making flirty small talk, he makes her crawl on her hands and knees, pulling her hair, leading her to bed. After a couple of quick thrusts and a frightened look on her face, Adam ejaculates on Natalia’s chest. She tells him that she didn’t like that (I assume that she didn’t like the whole sexual session) and he freaks out, going into a defensive tangent about them possibly breaking up. The whole scene disturbed me.

I’m with a great guy now who listens and slows down whenever the sex we have gets too rough but in my past, I have been with men who don’t care. They assume that a girl who comes up to their apartment to hook up is down for anything. They ignore the scared glances and painful moans in order to get their rocks off. These boundaries are blurred. Sure, the Natalia character could have shouted ‘NO’ at anytime during the sex but I wondered if that really would have mattered. I can recall an experience where I went home with someone, got into the act and right before he came, I realized that I made a bad decision. But since I was naked with him in his bed in his apartment in a part of the city I wasn’t familiar with, I grew passive, decided to stay and let him finish (I also blame my lack of confidence and self-respect but now I know better). Were me and Natalia “gray raped” (gray rape: “sex that falls somewhere between consent and denial (Cosmopolitan, August 2007).”)? We wanted to have sex but we didn’t get the sex that we wanted. Can the exact opposite be said about the guy who wanted to have rough sex and instead, made slow love to a woman? Was he “gray raped?” What about the times we do a sexual act for our significant other that hurts and is painful but brings our partner pleasure (i.e. spankings)- do we do that out of an act of love for them or is that “gray rape,” too?

It’s a sad fact- “gray rape” happens more often to the women that we know and love. Rape should be a straight black and white issue (let alone, it should not exist); it’s either it happened or it didn’t. It doesn’t matter if it happens with your boyfriend who you’ve been dating for the past four years or the stranger you meet at the corner bar. If it feels wrong, it is wrong and you have the right to say, ‘no.’ ‘Yes’ means ‘yes’ and ‘no’ means ‘no,’ no matter what situation you’re in, clothed or naked. If you do find yourself in this position, dear reader, please have the courage to say ‘no.’ Sure, his heart may be broken but at least your body and soul will remain unscathed.

In Support of Marriage Equality

One of my biggest wishes is for my best guy friend, Nick. I hope that one day, he will be able to wed his boyfriend in a beautiful church ceremony without any judgments or prejudices.

Support Marriage Equality

Today, the Supreme Court today hears arguments on California’s Proposition 8. Tomorrow, the court takes up the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. In Carson City, the capital of my home state, Nevada, legislators will later today debate the first step toward repealing the constitutional marriage definition, a step toward possible sanctioning of same sex marriage.

I support marriage equality. Do you?

Me (in the middle!) with the Build Our Center board in Reno, NV

Me (in the middle!) with the Build Our Center board in Reno, NV

Too Big to Fit It All In

What the hell happened? It’s only March but I feel like my life just took a 180 from the way things were a month ago. Within the last three weeks, I moved into cute, new house with an awesome new roommate. Work has slowly picked up and I still am penning for my own blog and others. I started a new writing project with a Philly friend, transcribing stories of mental health. I just joined a gym and have added more volunteer hours to my already sleepless schedule. Plus there are friends, new and old, to always hang out with. And did I also mention that I’m dating someone?little-miss-busy1

Yeah, my life is crazy but for some reason, I’m still not satisfied. Part of me still feels incredibly lazy. I know I can do more. A LOT more. Summer is approaching and I’m already mentally planning how much cello lessons, riverside bike rides and Aces baseball games I can squeeze in this season. But really- does my life have to be this big and hectic? Do I really have to do this much? Why do I keep adding in more activities (especially when it’s clearly making me sick, as I suffered through the flu the last two weeks)? Why do I only feel a sense of relief when I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut-off? Is being that insanely busy making me insanely happy?

I recently read this article about those in my generation and their constant need to keep going-going-gone. Have we really forgot how to relax? Whatever happened to “il dolce far niente” –the sweetness of doing nothing? It’s that perception that the busier we are- the harder we work to seize every opportunity- the successful we will be. But is that the truth?

I hope that you, dear reader, are finding the time to breathe and relax. If you’re not doing so, ask yourself, “why not?” Are you happy being that busy? I hope you’re enjoying the spring sunshine and the warming air with your loved ones. Stop and smell those roses because in a moment, your neighbor’s going to prune those bushes. Remember to take time for yourself and enjoy those wonderful little things- like the purr of a cat. I’m hopping off the computer now so I can pet and snuggle with Petrie.

I’m An Oreo.

Oreos.

Those delicious, chocolate flavored cookies you coveted during elementary school. You’d scream and kick at your mother’s shins as she pushed the shopping cart that confined you past their blue and white packing in the corner market; you demanding to her to purchase them or else. Or you as discovered during your all-men-deserve-to-die-and-I-want-to-rip-out-my-uterus collegiate years that peanut butter and Oreos taste bomb together and they soon become the staple of your diet. Twisting away one side of the treat, you devoured their creamy goodness, leaving a sticky mess on your fingertips. Yum.

Black on the outside but white in the middle.Oreos didn’t always signify pleasure to my taste buds. There was a time in my life where I hated oreos. Even hearing the word caused my face to flush and tears to fall down my cheeks. I remember the first time someone directed the word to me as I walked to my locker to put away my math book. Donning all my noir outfit (complete with a black sweatshirt, shoes and skinny jeans before they become trendy), a kid from the basketball team muttered the word under his breath and directed his gaze to me. I shrugged my shoulders as if I didn’t care. I was called names before; ‘geek‘ and ‘loser‘ were a daily given, ‘doll face’ for the crazy amount of eyeliner and red lipstick I wore. Before the water works emerged from my eye sockets, I ran to the bathroom and cried.Dark skin but acts Caucasian.I wasn’t even sure how to ‘act white.’ How do you act a color? Okay, I was one of the dark-skinned kids in my honors classes. I could swim (so well, in fact, that my nickname growing up was ’mermaid’). Being the vocabulary freak that I still am, I refused to mispronounce words, enunciating and articulating them with vigor, and spelled things out completely. I spent hours straightening my unruly curls, hair that black women told me they would kill to have. I didn’t listen to rap or any kind of R&B (unless you counted the Madonna albums me and my mom privately jammed out to). Winter is my favorite season. I refused to go out on Friday nights to drink 40s with cronies from class (I didn’t drink until university, in fact). I didn’t own an gold bling or K-Swiss sneakers. My behind is, in fact, on the smaller side  And I, for sure, never watched B.E.T. It didn’t matter that I was a mixed kid with my father being Jamaican and my mother, as green-eyed Puerto Rican. I was a black girl who was simply confused, so I needed to be treated like I was a character in a Tyler Perry movie.Ethic slang was thrown around in school and I found it fascinating that we were all labeled after food: Crackers, twinkies, beaners. High school is a tough time for everyone. Between figuring out college plans to the race of hormones flying through one’s body, those prime teenage years were exhausting. In some small way or another, we all were lost and confused. I couldn’t identify with the kids around me who were so influenced by hip-hop culture. Despite going to a school with an equal race population, I didn’t have any black friends. Their baggy clothes and boisterous voices were a turn off. Shy little me didn’t want to be friends with that loudmouth in the back of classroom who had a comment about everything. I was the nerd who spent her lunch in the journalism lab, correcting the monthly school paper. What did I have in common with the popular track star in the short skirt?

So, maybe I thought I was white with insanely tan skin.

It took many years to embrace this personality quirk of mine and I try my best not to let this label define me Even now, ten years later after high school, I still find myself labeled as that cookie. I’m the only person of color at my favorite band’s concert. I get weird looks when I hold the hand of a white guy as I walk down the block. I still can’t find a pair of skinny jeans to squeeze my heavy thighs in. Yet instead of finding a dark corner of my soul to hide and weep in, I learned to love this trait and embrace it. When I tell my story, the listeners are surprised to hear that the kids that taunted me were black. It took sometime to forgive those who teased me. Once my brain finally realized that these people were just perhaps jealous or having their own issues at home, my heart softened and opened up to the possibility of having people of multiple ethnicities enter it. One of my best friends is Mexican. I live with a Pilipino girl. I date any man, as long as he breathes. Despite my shock that today’s society is still pretty racist, I don’t let the race card play a major role in my life. Everyone is treated equal in my eyes and I hope that I am considered the same to them. My hope is that one day, no one will be called such names, especially during fragile times like high school. Those people should more concerned finding a date to the senior prom.

Yeah, I’m an Oreo. I guess that means I’m pretty tasty.

***

Please read more of my non-fiction and make believe pieces at fictionbyandrea.wordpress.com. Thank you!

Learning to Respect Others

When you disarm people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence.” -Machiavelli

In my last 20Something post, I wrote about volunteering and the lack of other’s community service I’ve seen recently. Maybe it my high hopes that I could inspire people’s thoughts to rise above and voices to speak up; everyone gathering in mass herds to the nearest non-profit to fill up volunteers sign-up sheets and commit to their written word. Ha, Andrea. That didn’t happen. I do salute you readers that go out and spend your free time volunteering (you really are making your small corner of the world a better place). A part of me wants to scream at everyone sitting at home, bored in front of their television or their gaming console. But then again, why should I give a fuck? Maybe I just need to be apathetic about people.

A few nights ago, I was hanging out with a friend and he introduced me to, “the Wire.” The only thing I knew about it was it’s President Obama’s favorite television program (and I can see why. I’m only half a season in but I’m in complete awe with the acting and subject matter). I watched a couple of episodes, in which one, a cop was trying to influence a drug mule to come clean in exchange for court-order protection. The deal sounded brilliant and if I was that character, experiencing the same situation, I would have taken it.

After watching that dialogue, I started thinking about trying to convince people with conflicting views to change their opinion. I’m stubborn, more than stubborn- and when I’m being criticized, I become defensive and put up my fists to block blows to my face. I’m sure others are the same- no one wants to hear that they are being lazy or heartless. I realized that these commands I was writing, these “suggestions” I was pushing, just made me sound like a whiny bitch. Sure, it’s my blog and I can write about whatever the hell I want to but still. People have to want to change. Sure, I can encourage people all I want but my words and actions can only do so much. You can lead a horse to the water bucket but you can’t make him drink out of it. So then, I wonder if it meaningful to write, to try to inspire, after all.

Everyone is entitled to their own options, their own actions, their own lifestyles. I need to learn to respect that. The judgments I made upon others are there, strong and true. I maybe be hinting at people’s mistakes indirectly but these faults I find in others just reflect in the negative ones I find in myself. The only thing I can do is just being the best person I can be and wish for the best in others and for them to only do good.