Monthly Archives: May 2011

Womanizer Woman-Womanizer (Boy don’t try to front, I-I know just-just what you a-a-are)

Breaking news: A rich, successful, powerful man commited adultery and fathered a child out of wedlock.

Shocking.

It never ceases to amaze me the firestorm that this kind of story creates. The latest in this rich and cherished tradition is none other than the Governator himself, Arnold. I love how we are all so shocked, everytime, like we just didn’t see this coming. Before I get into my personal opinion, lets look at some of my favorite adulterers who got caught with their pants down.

Ask not what your country can do for you...

Well, JFK was the man as far as I’m concerned. But homeboy had a guy on his staff whose only job was to find him one woman a day to get naked with. We all know he was gettin’ busy with Marilyn, whom I consider the absolute. He learned this charming behavior from his father. Now John lived in a different age, an age of discretion, so his business wasn’t put on blast until after the fact. But the tales of his conquests live on in infamy.

I did not have sexual relations...

Oh Bill. Good ole’ Bill. I was growing up during this administration, and times were good. Especially if you were this guy gettin’ head in the Oval Office. Who could hate? Most people now say it doesn’t matter and they’d take him back as Prez. I would. Poor Monica, homegirl is going down in history for those few minutes on her knees. Doesn’t seem fair.

I don’t know any famous Eliot Spitzer quotes, but this guy was seriously into hookers. Not only was he a frequent customer of high-class call girls, but he had previously taken out a whole prostitution ring. Hypocrite doesn’t even seem like a strong enough word. He was a brilliant guy, on track to run for President. Oops.

Super model wife? Not enough.

Well, this guy isn’t a politician but his story is a great example. Tiger Woods is a world-class athlete with a super model wife. But, SURPRISE! He too is into hookers. And freaky porn stars. His story blew up after his wife found a voicemail and took a golf cart to his car, and from there the other women were just coming out of the wood work. And the media was eating it up, like it was just the most shocking thing ever.

I could go on, but I won’t. Its all too annoying.

And now Arnold, whom I can’t even bring myself to post a picture of, it admitting to fathering a child with one of his household staff members. And you know why they all do this? Because they can. Because power and money are sexy (to some women), and because men have been making and breaking the rules all along. Boys will be boys. What a dumb phrase. As if men like sex more than women, like they are more entitled to multiple partners and fun and admiration. A man who cheats gets a pass because thats just his nature. The rules aren’t the same for women. Now it is true that some men ruin their careers and lose their families, but usually they bounce back (at least they end up better off than their wives.)

I can’t say enough times that I blame our media and our culture for all this crap. I mean, why are any of these guys married? I wanna be like “Tiger, you wanna bang porn stars? Great, probably some part of all of us wanna do that. So go ahead, have at it. JUST DON’T GET MARRIED!” But its not that simple, because we as a culture expect these men to get married and have families. I doubt we’d ever elect a president who was single, and part of the being in the public eye is about being a role model and we still consider that to include a wife and kids. There is something about the idea of maturity, that being a grown up means settling down. But we don’t require that men settle quite as much as women. We love the drama, the impossible standards we hold everyone to while we wait for them to slip up. We love to set em up and then watch em fall. Not everyone is into monogamy, and that doesn’t mean that they are immoral. I personally don’t think marriage as an institution is working at all. But once you make a promise to someone, especially once there are children, then its not about sex it’s about family and trust. And ultimately its the women who suffer most. I don’t think that a successful marriage is impossible, and love is real. There is hope. But for men with power, men with money, I don’t see this pattern ending anytime soon. Not until we accept the idea that maybe a monogamous marriage isn’t right for everyone, and not until we stop letting men off the hook with a wink and a smile.

Tree Branches

I like to consider myself a somewhat guarded, independent person. The second one is certainly true. I’ve always had my own mind, liked being capable and enjoyed doing things that made me happy. I used to insist on doing my own hair, oblivious at how uneven my pig tails came out (my mom called me ‘little miss myself’. Cute, huh?) And I can certainly be guarded, with new people or people who’ve hurt me/my friends before. I am better than others, I’ve been told, at casual relationships of all kinds, and indeed I do have some pretty liberal, grey-area-friendly ideas.

So ok, we are all living in this crazy world in this crazy century and we are all trying to figure out how to interact lovingly with others. You can’t live as an island, even when you do in fact live on this island. So there is this thing called dating, or maybe hooking up or hanging out or booty calling or ‘seeing one another’ that we all try in our own special way. But the deck is really not stacked towards success, especially for young women, and here are some reasons I can see that this is so. First of all, we live in a culture that makes it extremely hard for girls to feel confident. Especially starting in adolescence, we dance a strange and difficult routine around things like body image, sex, ambition, intelligence and success. What we want and how we look is lampooned and criticized on all levels. It is hard to be assertive when you learn this makes you unlikeable. It’s hard to have a healthy relationship with your body and sexual appetite when it’s so easy to cross the line and get labeled a slut or whore (or the other end of the spectrum, prude/tease/frigid.) Ok so we are all battling cultural and personal insecurity issues, and then you tag on the issue of power. Men have more. Especially in sexual situations. I’ve said before that especially for youthful dating situations the narrative is set up so that the boys have this elusive thing girls want (fidelity, the relationship status) and girls run around acting crazy trying to prove that they deserve it. Obviously, this isn’t true in all cases, but it is a pervasive story and a pervasive relationship structure. (I know that I kind of spewed out this section, but I’ve written about all this in depth in the past, so if you are skeptical of these claims hit up the archive for the more fully fleshed out arguments.)

So now, on top of all this, add sex. Sex can be so many things, on so many continuums. It functions differently in everyones life, but one thing I know is that sexual situations create combustible emotionality. Basically, all bets are off and rules are their ain’t no rules (name the movie that quote is from and win a prize.) It’s hard to ask someone to stick to what they said before if you keep having romantic/sexual encounters. Because feelings and logic don’t go hand in hand especially not when you’re naked and vulnerable. A lot of times it feels like maybe you are dealing with someone who says one thing and then turns around and wants something else, but isn’t this logical? Why would what you want stay the same as a relationship continues?

And this is where I get all discombobulated. I cannot figure out how you are supposed to go out on a limb with someone. I want to say that you should figure out exactly what you want before emotions are in play, so you can be clear. But once emotions are in play what you want changes and clearly you want different things depending on the person so this is out. So then ok, we should just speak up. But its hard to speak up when power is shifting and you keep allowing a person into your bed and you are trying to balance this one aspect of your life with all others. So I guess you should just let go let flow, trust this other person and have faith in yourself that you’re worth it. But that’s the hardest of all. How the hell am I supposed to know how to go out on a limb? It’s one thing to just keep climbing up and up, just me, towards the sky. But I’m supposed to pause and walk out, away from the very stable trunk, onto some branch that looks like all the other branches and may or may not hold my weight and may even have termites or those weird tree diseases? And then I start to feel like a crazy person, in a tree, clinging to the trunk with my eyes squeezed shut and missing out on all that fun branch stuff. And you know, it’s not even that I’m afraid of falling or bruises necessarily (although sometimes I think about how easy it is to fall out there), it’s also that I really do like to climb.

(Thanks for indulging me that extended drawn out metaphor. I appreciate you.)

Will.I.Ain’t (Jerk!)

Well guys, this really broke my heart, because not only do I like that Boom Boom Pow, but I’ma be up in the club doin’ whatever I like. *SIGH* Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas made some seriously obnoxious comments in an interview will Elle Magazine recently. There is this great response from the body.com that addresses all of the issues I have with said comment, which you can read here.

Ok so in case you don’t feel like reading that, basically Will thinks that girls with condoms are ‘tacky’ and he wouldn’t be into that female. To paraphrase what author Kellee Terrell says, this is an antiquated, anachronistic, provincial view. It shows a lack of true understanding not only of how relationships evolve, but also of how people begin sexual relations. It also shows how little Will knows about women’s emotional landscape, and how issues of power/abuse/insecurity may be working in any given room with any given woman. But I don’t really wanna talk about him, because she’s already done that, completely and intelligently. I wanna talk to you.

These comments sadden me because they point to the kind of man that has ego issues. Men who don’t like women who are sexually independent/prepared/responsible are not men of quality. If he wants exclusive control over whether or not protection is used, it’s paramount to wanting control of you and your body. He probably will also want control over other aspects of the relationship. It’s so gross to think about how guys are still threatened by women who can think for themselves. Like we should all just smile shyly and hope for the best. That doesn’t work if you want to have an orgasm, and it’s not going to work if you want to have safe sex every time. I’m the first to admit that condoms aren’t exactly sexy or romantic. But a partner who respects your body and your health sure as shit is. You shouldn’t have to ask, but if you do and no one in the room has one, how likely are you to stop? The only thing worse than bad sex is almost-sex. Being prepared means that you will get off easier knowing that no one in the room is at risk (or at least the risk is way reduced: 98% effective against pregnancy, and also significantly reduces the risk of STD’s, including HPV and especially HIV.)

if you need it, have a whole effing bowl! whatever it takes!

Will seems to think that every relationship happens in a calm manner, with people who communicate perfectly, where everyone is safe. But of course this isn’t true. Obviously you can’t always predict how your partner will behave, but you do have control over yourself and your actions. Being prepared means being empowered. That way, there isn’t any wiggle room and you damn well know that no one can use a lame excuse, like ‘I forgot’ or ‘I ran out’. We all know that power dynamics, especially in a sexual situation, are not stacked in our favor. Speaking up is not easy. (I almost always hesitate, but then I remember that I’m already prepared so there is no space for alternative outcomes.) If a guy is turned off by your knowledge, by your desire to have not only sex, but safe sex, then that guy doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near your naked body. So please please please, if you are sexually active, keep condoms in your house. And if you encounter an unenlightened misogynist jerk like this pop star, put your clothes back on while you kick him out and then go pick up someone who will appreciate the fact that this isn’t 1954.

For more information on condoms, check out my previous posts about safe sex: not just this one, but this one too!

Right There, Under the Skyline

I had a bliss night last night guys. So lets talk about bliss before we get to the less than lovely part.

I attended a rooftop party in Williamsburg last night. Mr Busy and his band bros started off the night (you can check their stuff out here, or here.) After the sun went down and the city lit up, a DJ took over and we danced. A lot. Hard. I maybe haven’t mentioned this, but I have been dancing longer than I’ve been doing anything else. I used to be one of those little girls in pink tights and black leotards, and twirling remains in my top 5 all-time favorite activities. I just can’t stop when music plays. It’s like my mind ceases to exist and my body just moves. My mother claims that I was dancing in utero (she took her cute pregnant self to a Jeffery Osborne concert and I was kicking on beat. True story. Here’s some J.O., who is a classic R&B dynamo. If you don’t know, now you know.) Dancing is that thing that makes me feel like me, that thing that has me radiating joy that you can’t describe, and love. I suggest everyone try and find this for themselves. It makes this insane world we live in just a little bit easier to navigate. And if not easier, at least more fun, for as long as the music lasts.

blurry, but you get the idea

Ok so you can picture it. Manhattan is a glow, there are BBQs in full effect, and lots lots lots of beer. Even a few Four Locos (you know who you are.) I am in a haze of love and movement, when I notice that there is a boy sort of dancing with me. Now, this is A-OK. No worries. So then I stop to send a text (multi-tasking, duh) and he asks if I’d like a drink. I reply that I am only in need of water, because I can feel the dehydration happening already. At this point he disappears, and reappears with a bottle of wanter and two cups. I was shocked! How nice! So we are sharing this water that he ‘found’, and then he leans in and kisses me on the cheek, and continues to try and kiss me on the mouth. Right there, under the skyline, without any previous invitation or encouragement. Now don’t get me wrong, this would have been a lovely place to be kissed. A very romantic setting. But, he didn’t even ask my name. We had almost no interaction what so ever before he made a move. And he kept going for it, even after I told him it wasn’t going to happen.

this is an approximation, but that sky, yea that sky is IT

I just have to say guys, that this is really not nice or flattering. It’s one thing to have a romantic rooftop moment, when the vibe is there and your flirt is on and it’s all in the momentum. But what this kid did was take a shot in the dark, probably because he’s learned that he has a pretty good chance. Because girls, first of all, are there to be kissed, and second of all we’re all desperate. But my body is does not just exist to be touched/kissed/judged by men. In fact, last night, it existed to dance. And even if it was meant as a sweet gesture, it ceased to be sweet when I said ‘not happening’ and he didn’t back off. No doesn’t mean ‘try harder’. It doesn’t mean ‘you should start flirting with me now, since we didn’t actually speak words before, and then try to kiss me again in 2 minutes.’ I know that each and every night women get man handled when they go out, and its just not ok. Don’t let dudes make you feel uncomfortable, put their hands on you when you dance, or talk to you disrespectfully. You are a person, with full rights at consideration and conversation and r-e-s-p-e-c-t.

Well, this over-eager young man did not ruin my night. I fended him off, as we all learn to do. I could have been mean, “bitchy”, but instead I just kept talking him down and eventually got back on the dance floor and he seemed disappointed but thats just how the night goes. I don’t have to be nice or kiss every boy that makes moves. Cause it’s not all about them. It’s about you and how you want the night to go. And last night, all I wanted to do was dance with my friends. You never have to apologize for that. And despite the unwanted advances, it was still, overwhelmingly, a beautiful night.