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LOVE LANGUAGE #2 – QUALITY TIME

The first time I took the 5 Love Languages quiz, I was dead single; and, with no hope for a relationship in sight. I felt that learning my love languages would allow me to process why certain relationships didn’t go as planned. When I took the quiz my love languages were as follows: 

1. Receiving Gifts 

2. Acts of Service 

3. Physical Touch 

4. Quality Time 

5. Words of Affirmation 

Over the last week, as I knew I planned to dive deeper into exploring my love languages, I felt it only made sense to read the damn book; but, since I was on a time crunch and I am not a fast reader, I listened to the audiobook. Absorbing the messaging from the book, further broke down my understanding of my love languages. Outside of the occasional religious reference (which I easily glossed over), the average person could learn to apply the tools of the book to their specific relationships.  

I re-took the test before writing this post, just to see if there were some changes, and these were my results.  

1. Receiving Gifts 

2. Quality Time 

3. Acts of Service 

4. Physical Touch 

5. Words of Affirmation 

It was no surprise that my primary love language remained Receiving Gifts; I’ve known and suspected this for quite some time. I was, however, surprised to see that Quality Time had moved up in the ranks to number two; and the inquiring mind that I am, I wanted to understand why. That desire to know took me back to all the times in my past relationship, where I was technically in my partner’s presence, but I felt totally alone.  

When Bruno Mars sang “Lucky for you, that’s what I like” – it made so much sense. How easy would a relationship be if you and your partner had things in common? How easy would it be if your love languages aligned? How easy would it be if your partner was willing and able to love you in the way that you received love? Dag NabitIf only I knew this sooner, I would’ve saved myself a lot of tears, emotions, and wasted breath. If I was able to lay on the table my love languages (considering the receiving person even knew what love languages really were), we could determine right then and there if we wanted to proceed or not.  

In my past relationships, where having any of my needs met was like pulling teeth without Novocain, to cope with the disappointment, I subconsciously minimized their importance. If after many requests and failed attempts I was still without, I pushed the need to the bottom and made others more important. Years later, I recognized this behavior and labeled it the ugly C-word; ‘compromise’. The idea that if you meet If you meet a seemingly perfect person that you loved deeply; but, if they are unwilling do to the things that make you happy, in your core; you should just dismiss that key detail and be happy with what you get; I think is total bull-shit. I may not be able to get all that I want but, my primary love languages should be met.  

When I finally had an idea of what my love languages were, I was more than happy to apply them when I started dating again.  

For example: If Guy doesn’t believe in buying gifts (for whatever reason). On my side, because receiving gifts is my primary language; even if I’m able to live without gifts for a few weeks during the euphoria of new romance; there will come a time when I will want a gift. As he’s already stated it’s a no-go for him, we’ll eventually arrive at a roadblock in the relationship.  

If I’m able to know from the very beginning, that he will never be willing to give me what I want in the end, I’ll know not to go down that road; because, it will never work. 

In my last relationship, without knowing it was my love language; towards the end, I would stress to my partner that I just wanted some time together with him. As he never got me anything for the entirety of our relationship, I had convinced myself that if he could come through on this, all would we right within our world. So, when our quality time looked like sitting on the couch as he watched basketball; I kept my mouth shut. I couldn’t complain, because I was technically getting what I had requested, just not in the form that I desired. Had I known better I never would’ve allowed for the relationship to go on as long as it did. He wasn’t spending quality time with me; he was just being in my presence.  

Over the years I’ve learned that, quality time is something you do for your partner the way they can receive it. Him having me over to watch a game that he would’ve watched regardless; did not count. Just because we were in each other’s company, that doesn’t by default mean, the time was quality; as he was focused on the game and I wished that I was in my room watching Love & Hip Hop. 

With Receiving Gifts and Quality Time at the forefront of my love languages, in a society where everything costs a million dollars and people can barely find a moment to shit in peace; I knew my work was cut out for me; but, like Bruno Mars said; “Lucky for you, that’s what I like”. When I re-entered the dating world (with all my additional titles), I made it a point to seek partner’s whose love language matched my own; and to avoid the unnecessary headache, I only entertained those that I felt were willing and able to love me the way I knew I needed to be loved. 

Armed with new armor and weapons to win the battle that is love; I found dating and love, this time around to be more satisfactory and love filled than ever before. 

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VALENTINE'S DAY & LOVE LANGUAGES

So, Friday is Valentine’s Day, and for the first time, in years, I’m actually in a relationship. So, what does that mean for me? If you remember my post from last year, The Significance of Valentine’s Day; I wrote about this miraculous day of gift giving, and relationship confirming, as one that shouldn’t bear so much when compared to the entirety of your relationship. A part of me still agrees with that, while the other part of me, the part that still holds onto traditional values, cares for none of that evolved way of thinking.

It’s important to remember that, when I wrote my post last year; not only was I single, I was still dealing with the emotional ramifications from being scammed, and I was on my own self-discovery-celibacy journey. After some amazing realizations and changes, an entire year later, I have a primary love interest, and two quasi-romantic-sexual partners. 

I still don’t seek for my relationship to be validated on a single day; because I know what I have with my Love. But I do know that, if I don’t get flowers and chocolates while I’m at work; IT’S GONNA BE A PROBLEM! And with that I bring into the conversation, The 5 Love Languages. 

  1. Receiving Gifts 
  1. Acts of Service 
  1. Physical Touch 
  1. Quality Time 
  1. Words of Affirmation 

I, like many people, took the online quiz; and the above are my love languages in order of importance to me. As you can see, receiving gifts is of high importance to me, but not for the reasons one would think. 

When I was younger, colored roses had just started popping up, and the prettiest to me, were blue roses. Many shops spray painted white roses, which looked horrible. However, there were some that did it the proper way; either by stem-dyeing the roses, or dipping the roses in blue dye. One could imagine the process and money it required, for a business to keep blue roses on hand for purchase; so, it only made sense that they were difficult to come by. Everywhere you looked you could find red, pink, white or yellow roses, but to walk the extra few streets to find the place that sold those beautiful blue roses, it made all the difference in the world.  

My priority love language is not receiving gifts, just because I like gifts; that would be too simple. It’s my primary love language because my, often very complicated, mind breaks down the steps behind giving said gift. From remembering the conversation where I mentioned my love for blue roses, to the effort required to recall that tiny detail in the ocean of all that I tend to say during any given tangent, and lastly to actually get off your ass and get the seemingly unimportant roses, all just to put a smile on my face. The thought process and effort put behind the gift, is a thousand times more important than the gift alone. 

I used to believe that – it was the thought that counts. But as I got older, I believed that less and less. The best gift is not only one that comes from the heart; it is also one that is totally void of the gift-giver. When giving a gift, it should be tailored to the person you’re giving it to. It should be something that they want and/or need. Giving a gift that is more for your personal excitement or enjoyment, is not a genuine gift.  

On the other hand, avoiding giving a gift because ‘gift giving’ is not your personal love language, is just as bad; if not worse.  

My infamous Ex, (X-Files: 1-5) was the definition of worse. If I’m being honest, the average man doesn’t pay attention to romantic holidays. Which is why marketing and retail commercials are constantly reminding them that it’s approaching. You ever wonder why Christmas music starts to play immediately following Halloween; that’s why. And the same goes for women with Valentine’s Day. Marketing is well aware that all men really care about, between January and February, is watching other men toss around a football. The last thing on most men’s minds is, what to get the lady in their life for Valentine’s Day. This is why those Jared and Kiss commercials start playing on heavy repeat.  

They make it virtually impossible for the average thinking man to forget. Every store you enter is littered with hearts, pink and red junk, and flowers, so many flowers. So, it would only make sense that a man, working at one of these stores, would take full advantage of his employee discount and purchase at least one VDay gift for his lady. But that was not the nature of my ex. The simple effort to purchase something he saw every day, on sale- no less, deemed to be too much every single time. 

For years, I truly believed that he didn’t care, which may have very well been true. However, years later, I learned that my ex’s love languages were just different from mine. In fact, they were damn near upside down and opposite. Had either one of us read the book, before we met; we still may not have stood a chance; but in the very least, I would’ve been armed with the tools to better express why something that seemed so futile to him, meant so much to me.  

In dating, love, and life, it’s important to learn what and why your love languages are what they are. We are all unique individuals, so we process things differently. If we truly care for our partner, it’s important to at least try to love them the way they can best receive it.  

Next Week: Acts of Service 

My Month in Russia

MY MONTH IN RUSSIA-01

Let the record state: I am down with the swirl. So when a good looking man, of the fairer complexion, that just happened to be Russian born and American raised messaged me on Badoo, I messaged him back.

On a Monday, N_Badoo messaged me and I replied back. We exchanged greetings, professions, and spoke for a few more days then he asked to exchange numbers, and we did. We agreed to meet that Sunday afternoon. So, imagine my surprise when I stumbled home on a Friday night and he hits me up that he’s in the city and wanted to meet for drinks. I had only been home for 5 minutes, didn’t even undress yet, so I figured, sure. He met me at a near by bar, The Duck, but they only accepted cash, so we walked to the ATM together. First thing I noticed was that he did not walk beside me. He walked ahead and I had to double pace to keep up with him. He got some cash then we went back to the bar. He got a beer and I ordered a margarita and we sat on the less crowded, although not quieter since the music was unreasonably loud. He got us another round of drinks and we conversed for about 2 more hours: work, travels, hobbies, foods and drinks we liked, families etc. The conversation was light and fun then he got up and kissed me. His kiss was extremely powerful and his hands felt amazing exploring my body. That went on for about another hour, then for some reason the bouncer kept opening the door and I started to get really cold. We went back to his car and continued kissing and feeling each other up. He tried really hard to get me to go back to his place but I was not with it; since he lived all the way near Coney Island and it wasn’t even a first date. But I did let him suck on my breasts. He did it so hard that I realized when I got home the stopper to my nipple ring was missing- How the fuck?

He met me on Sunday after I left the movies with my family. He drove from Brooklyn to get me and we went back to his place. We started watching Netflix and he made us dinner. After dinner we started kissing then he went down on me, satisfied my desire, and we started having sex. At first I thought average but once inside of me, and finding his groove, he grew exponentially-WOW! He felt amazing. We did a few positions until he finished then we rest for a little bit. We went back to watching TV, (he-from his chair, me-on the bed). In between his roommate came home, I guess he wanted to hang out with him for a bit, but he shut it down by saying ‘my girlfriend is here”. Girlfriend? We did not discuss this at all- I was not ready for this title, as I was still dating other men, and I didn’t feel he was either but I didn’t know what to say at the moment so I just let it be. About a half an hour later, he got the urge again and then again. I was enamored with his insatiable nature and it had been a while since I had a partner like him so I enjoyed every minute of it. Around 10pm we got dressed for him to drive me home. On the walk to the car, yet again, he walked ahead of me and I doubled my pace to keep up with him, I was again, annoyed.

Throughout the week we spoke on and off then we made arrangements for me to visit him Friday night. He picked me up, around 2am, from a party I was at and we went back to his place, we took showers then got down to business. The oral the second time around was less then satisfactory and the intercourse was only 1 and night. I love to cuddle after sex but he sat back in his chair when we were done. It did not enjoy laying in a huge king sized bed all by myself so I eventually rolled over and tried to go to sleep, and he came to bed shortly after. In the morning we had another session and then he had to go. He had a lunch picnic to attend upstate but before then he had a dentist appointment. After he finished with his shower, I went to take mine. He seemed annoyed that I wanted to shower and rushed me along because he had to make his appointment. He dropped me off at the train, I decided I wanted food so I found a place nearby, ate, and then went home.

The next day I asked him about the picnic. He mentioned, he got drunk and started making out with some man’s wife- sloppy much?. They got into a little fight but nothing serious happened. I took this as my chance to state my opinion. Keep in mind; I was still dating other men and I didn’t want to be his girlfriend any more that I felt he would be a good boyfriend so I proposed the idea that we remain just sex. We hang out and enjoy each other’s company, but no title and no responsibility and he agreed. The next few days went by ok. We continued to speak on and off but every once in a while he would say these things exuding extreme affection that made me scratch my head. Calling me pet names, and saying I love you, like I highly doubt you actually do but I don’t want to be a bitch today, so I’ll let you live. I realized that we never actually had a planned date. Every time we saw each other he and/or I were already out and/or we just went back to his place. So I messaged him said you should take me on a date: dinner and a movie followed by a night of sweaty sex. He replied –sounds like a plan and we agreed to meet on a Saturday. I checked with him earlier that week to make sure we were still on. He asked which movie and I said lets see what’s playing when we get there- because I could pretty much go with the flow. We agreed I would meet him in Brooklyn, he’d pick me up from the train and our evening would begin.

I called him before I headed out, just to do a final check, he answered and I made my way to Brooklyn. I texted him when I was a few stops away but got no reply. I called him when I got off the train-no answer. I started to feel a ball in the pit of my stomach. It was telling me, this night would not go as planned and that I should go home. That little ball comes in handy; the only problem is I rarely ever listen to her.

I walked to his apartment, knocked on the door and no one answered, I did it again and still no answer. I felt like a fool- I started to walk out of his building when I finally heard the door open. He was visibly drunk. He and his coworkers went out the night before and he was still hammered. I knew then this wasn’t going to be good. I sat down on his chair and we talked for a bit, the topic of food came up. I was hungry and so was he so we went into the kitchen to make some ribs and chicken. The entire time he flirted with me: kissing, touching, fondling, and rubbing, it was all very flirtatious and I enjoyed it. He kept calling me sexy and beautiful, saying how he was so lucky, and asking what would our kids look like, etc. I reveled in the fantasy of it all then when the food was done we ate. Maybe it was the 4 Coors Lights, or the unknown cups of vodka, or the almost 3 packs of cigarettes he smoked but whatever it was he became a pile of drunken stupor. He was so drunk he bit through a chicken bone fell off his chair, I had to assist him to the bed, and he even threw up on himself.

All the while I’m thinking I can’t ever find a happy medium. I go from a man that doesn’t drink at all to a man that cant control any of his alcohol- this night was shaping up to be a total disaster.

I ended up watching 6 episodes of Siren on Hulu then he partially woke up. Shortly after his roommate came home and wanted to go out and find some women. So, not wanting the night to be a complete waste I agreed to go out (not that I had much of a choice- it was either out or go home, and I really wanted sex). We went to a nearby bar called Wheelers and he acted like a total dick-bag; being rude to the waitress and servers and left a horrible tip, so bad that I gave the lady $15 just for dealing with his rude ass. From there he started talking to another Russian and convinced him to go to Williamsburg with us. So we got in an Uber and were off to Huckelberry Fin bar. The bar was nice, a good crowd, many of the people just came from a wedding so his roommate would have no luck finding a single DTF woman tonight. I was getting annoyed at this point: it was 2:30am, his roommate was socially awkward as fuck, and I just really wanted to have sex to make this night not a total bust. I pulled my guy to the side to tell him I was ready to go, but he wanted to party with his friends. Seriously- you met other Russian a few hours ago and you can be with our roommate any time. But because my shit was at his house I had to suck it up and continue to deal. We went to another bar where he got super handy with some chick and I was like dude I know we’re not a couple but have some decency- don’t be a dick in front of me. So I had to shut that shit all the way down. I was having an outer body experience saying to myself; why did you not just turn around earlier? Why did you continue to walk to his house? Why did you stay? And why did you agree to come out?

We made our way to what would thankfully be the last bar of the night Union Ave Bar or something like that. We get there and the music if bumping. Finally, at least I can dance and boogey to this. I find myself finally having a good time then this ass hole says it’s too loud and wants to step out side- Seriously What the Fuck!His roommate is still having no luck getting women- like zero! They go out to smoke more cigarettes. So just a side note: when we met he said he didn’t smoke, then when I went by his house the second time, it was I smoke cigars on occasion, then I realize that when he drinks he’s a chain smoker- Fucking Disgusting. Finally his roommate was able to converse with a group of girls visiting from Atlanta with their amazing black, gay, best friend (every one needs in their life by the way). He lied that he would be able to get them “party favors” at 6am and they should come back to the apartment. I knew looking at the girl that she was not going to give him anything but whatever this night was already a bust and they seemed like fun; so in the very least we could have a few laughs.  We all piled into an Uber SUV and head out. The driver takes the long route and of course my guy starts acting like a dick yet again. The white girl in the front from Atlanta is lit on trap music and we all make a request for something more ‘white’. Cue- Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and The Spice Girls- all resulted in an awesome cab ride home. Naturally my guy attempted to complain about our music choice and singing, at which point- I gave zero fucks. I left all my fucks on the dance floor after he made it perfectly clear that getting drunk with his friends was more important than spending time me. Back at the apartment I offered them the ribs and chicken and I got rave reviews for my cooking. We drank and had a few laughs. They tried to call their connect for party favors but at 6am he was asleep. The group left about an hour later and when I turned around my guy was lying across the bed tapped out. His friend never did get any sex because the girl had zero interest in him, wise woman she was. I left the roommate and other Russia in the kitchen and went to bed. I was on fire with anger, disappointment, and just the feeling of stupidity. Thinking another one I have to add to the list. It was very unfortunate, especially since when I made comments to him about him walking ahead of me and not cuddling he actually made those changes-so I saw potential. But the behavior he showed that night was unacceptable.

I slept for almost 2 hours then I had to go to the bathroom. He woke up for a few minutes after I did then went back to sleep. Then the coughing started (the coughing that was actually him throwing up); at that point I said Nope!I went into the bathroom, took a shower, threw on my clothes, and left the apartment. I have no intentions to reach out to him in the future. Next time I will listen to my little ball.                                                                                                                     

POSITIVELY DETACHING

There is much joy to be found when I detach from the world. Of course, I never fully detach, but going a few hours without looking at a device does have its benefits.  

It was a summer day, a few years ago, and I wanted to get out of the house. I got on the train, walked around a bit downtown, went to see a movie; then my phone died. To my surprise, I didn’t care. I ended up getting dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant and walking some more, before I took the bus home. Even with the mediocre actions of the day, I still remember it as one of the best days I had. When my phone died, there was no anxiety to get to the nearest charger, and with no need to check in; I just went about my day.  

Today, I won’t leave my house unless my phone is above 95% and before walking out of the door, I make sure my phone is on low power mode, just in case. My life, like many others in this day and age, revolves around devices. From using my computer at work, to listening to a podcast or playing a game during my commute on my phone. I don’t know what it’s like to not have a phone on me. There have been a few times when I left my house, and made it to the train, only to go all the way back home when I realized my phone was not with me. I refused to listen to the conversations of other commuters, or eat my lunch without visual stimulation. And let’s not forget my daily Instagram upload, because my followers would be lost without me.  

In the fall of 2019, my life almost ended. I went to sleep with my phone plugged in and I woke up to my phone only being at 25% I figured the wire came undone in my sleep, so I plugged it back in and prepared to get ready for work. When I got out of the shower it was at 20%, I got so frustrated I started to cry. I went to work and experimented with various chargers, cords, wireless pads, and none of them worked. I watched as my phone went from 5 to 1, and when my phone died, I felt like my life was over. That day I missed lunch because I was at the apple store trying to get it fixed. That night I went to a Broadway show; but I couldn’t fully enjoy it because all I could think about was my phone. The next morning, I went to the AT&T and send for a replacement that had to be ordered. When the doorbell rang Saturday morning, I ran downstairs. I didn’t even grab my precautionary knife from the drawer, in case it was an intruder. (Yes! I watch way too many cop shows). None the less, I opened that box with the same excitement that a kid opens a present on Christmas morning. I charged it up, swapped over my information, and all was right with the world again.  

As I scrolled through my Instagram, Facebook, and emails, I couldn’t help but think back to a simpler time. I thought back to that day in the summer; and there was a peace of mind in knowing that the inability to connect to the digital world is only temporary. It would’ve been easy to get a charger and fuel up, but I chose to enjoy the peace of the silence. However, when that silence was forced upon me, I found no peace.  

I realized then that my connection with devices was unhealthy, to say the least. So, I started limiting my interactions with them, in the best way I knew how. Instead of listening to podcasts during my commute, I would read a book (Yes… an actual printed – book). I read hundreds of books on my phone over the years, but eventually, it took a toll on my vision; and considering I stare at a computer at work all day, anytime away from bright light proved to be highly beneficial.  

The next thing I did was limit the amount of time I spent on social media (Twitter & Instagram). I would allow myself a few minutes every few hours to scroll and like, and once time was up, I had to stop. When it came to Facebook it was a tad more difficult. As an activist, I felt the need to comment on the posts that resonated with me. But I learned to pick and choose my battles, thus limiting my screen time and overall drained energy from random hater.  

The final thing I did was limit the amount of texting and messaging I did; I applied the same logic as I did with Facebook. Not every text required an immediate response, and some things could wait for later. The world would not implode if I didn’t respond yes that instant, and my alone time was very important to me. I had to release the self-induced anxiety from my being, because no one was causing it but me. I can now go hours without looking at my phone and it’s been a huge relief, especially considering that I don’t always want to talk or communicate. I get deep into my moods of self-preservation and my need to personally re-power up on positivity is of the utmost importance. 

I challenge everyone to take some time, every day to detach and see how you feel. 

F*CKING UP SHEETS!

There’s a joy that one feels when you leave home and stay at a place that’s not your own. I, like many people, love a good vacation. However, with the rising costs of living, lack of time, lack of funds to go on holidays, and inadequate paid time off, many people don’t get to experience the minimums that a working life has to offer. Whenever I get to be out and do my own thing, I take it all in. I’ve become quite the connoisseur of using Airbnb for mini-trips away or for weekends when I want to be alone with my guy. Between work, writing, reading, and training, it’s refreshing to relax and be the definition of lazy. It’s also refreshing to know that the sheets you fucked up, are not your responsibility to clean.  

Last weekend, my man and I had a weekend all to ourselves. We went to a show on Friday night, followed by dancing. When we got home Saturday morning, we didn’t leave the house until Sunday when we checked out. Saturday morning, he woke me up for breakfast in bed; so, I fed him my pussy twice; then, we went back to sleep. When I finally truly, woke up around noon, I made us breakfast. We stayed inside all day and watched Sabrina on Netflix. When we got hungry again, I made us dinner, then we finished the season, and moved onto watching The Magicians. Cuddled on the couch, I had never felt so at ease. The day was the definition of amazing, and the events of that evening were the strawberry gusher on top. 

We showered together and the hot water cascading on our bodies felt intoxicating. Once in bed, we kissed passionately, then I went down to please him. I used all the tools in my arsenal: from my tongue swirl to my sucking pulse, all in an effort to deliver unto him pleasures that made him squirm and moan. When he told me that he wanted me to ride him, I put on a condom and happily obliged. I used my glutes and hamstring strength to bounce up and down; then, I eased up when he thrust his hips deeper into me. When we had our fill of that position, he laid me on my back, opened my legs wide, and pounded into me. With a few needed lube applications, to keep the party going, I moaned out with every thrust that massaged my spot. In between the cocktails of “fuck!”, “yes!” and “oh my god!” there were many “I love you!” exchanges. I wrapped my legs around his waist and thrust my lower body to meet his. When we had our fill with missionary, before we changed to doggy, he devoured me once more. With his mouth on my clit and finger in my ass, he delivered me an amazing orgasm.  

With my ass up in the air and face buried into the pillow, he proceeded to make love to me; and I devoured every second of it. The beads of his sweat dripped onto my back, and their cool delivered an exhilarating chill. He went to reposition himself and stick it in my ass. Before he entered, I got my womanizer…  

NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT! 

For the record, I don’t enjoy anal sex alone. The nerve endings in my ass do not receive pleasure the same way my pussy does. No matter how much lube my partner uses, I can feel the penis rubbing against the skin of my ass, and it delivers to my mind a visual image that shuts down the pleasure highway. So, since I started adding anal sex into my repertoire, I always use my womanizer. The sucking motion of the toy distracts my brain, and it makes the entire experience pleasurable beyond measure. Every time I’m fucked in the ass, with my womanizer on my clit, I have an orgasm. This time would’ve been no different; however… 

Once I powered it up and placed it onto my clit, I told him he could start going slow. I felt my booty hole open up as he slid into me; in collaboration with the sucking motion of the toy, I felt my body reaching an orgasm. As he began to pick up the pace, my clit began to throb like it hadn’t before. He continued to deliver me pleasure-filled thrusts until my body lost control. I first felt the wetness start to drip down my thigh, in between his thrusts; then, just as I had reached my peak; with shaking orgasm and a loud face-in-pillow-stifled roar, my abdominals clenched and my pussy released a squirt of fluid, in amounts I had never released before. There was nothing I could do but ride my orgasmic wave and, since he couldn’t get out of the way fast enough; he had no option but to shower in my juices. Thank god for the towel I laid down prior!  

When I came back down from my high, he slid right back into my ass and proceeded to fuck me until he reached his orgasm. With both of us covered in each other’s fluids (me in his sweat, and him in my squirt), we passed collapsed onto the bed. 

After a few minutes we took a quick shower; then, thanks to some more carefully placed thick and fluffy towels, we were able to fall into a deep sleep. Up until that night, I had only ever squirted in the shower or in my bed. It was not my goal that evening to fuck up the sheets, but I was elated that it wasn’t my responsibility to clean them up.  

JOHNSON, RICHARD, DICK & BOB

I’m up before the alarm goes off, then hand touches me; it’s been like this for a few weeks now – I wake up just as the sun peeks in. From where I’m lying, I see a mess; clothes are everywhere, there’s an empty pizza box, and it smells a little like a morgue. Or at least I think It does; I’ve actually never been in a morgue, but if I had, I imagine it would smell a lot like this.  

All of a sudden, my eye gets all slippery and I can’t see. This smell of what I’ve come to know as babies, begins to choke me and I can’t breathe. I can hear my friends Richard and Jonson running to help me, but when they arrive it’s too late. They disappear and suddenly, once again, I’m crying; then, I shrink. 

I’m ready to take a nap; then all of a sudden, it smells like spring, and my eye begins to burn. When hand rubs me this time, if feels nice. Mmm I like this. I’ll take spring over babies any day. I start to relax then, abruptly, the wetness stops. It’s cold, then this fuzzy grey monster attacks me. Hey- what happened to fuzzy yellow monster? 

Johnson, Richard and I, pack into Hanes-stripe and we head out. Normally the journey is painful and bumpy, but this time, it’s smooth; and we’re bopping along to the music. We could get used to this! 

**RING & CHATTER** 

Hey Bobby! You going to the party tonight?” It smells like cotton candy. 

“Yea, I’ll be there. You?” 

“Of course! It’s the last party before we graduate.” 

“I know! It’s going to be cool What’s your favorite color Lynn?” 

**RING & Chatter** 

“Red. I gotta go. See you later Bobby!” 

“See you later Lynn”  

It suddenly gets crowded. What the hell is happening? This day has been very weird! 

The ride back to the morgue smelling place was just as smooth as the one to the cotton-candy place; only a bit faster. I could hear music playing in the background and when I peeked, I saw that the pizza box was gone and the room smelled less like a morgue.  

**RING** 

“Alright! I’ll be down in 30.” 

Once again, my eye started to burn, and I’m all wet again. There were bubbles everywhere; I can hear Johnson and Richard were being suffocated by them. I wanted to save them; but luckily, water appeared and rinsed them away. Back in the room we could clearly see that it had been thoroughly cleaned and it smelled like vanilla. Nice! Fuzzy grey monster, from the morning, returned to say hi. 

“Danny, can I use your Axe Body Spray?” 

“Sure. It’s on the dresser.” 

We were just hanging out with Fuzzy, when this Calvin Klein-Red guy came and locked us up. What’d he do that for? Jerk! 

Then we started to suffocate again as some smelly mist attacked us. Cough! cough! 

**HONK HONK** 

“Alright Big B! You clean up well!” 

“Shut up Ken!” 

“Gonna hang out with Lynn at the party?” 

“Of course.” 

Outside the music was loud, and there were so many smells: one that reminded me of when I went swimming, another one that often makes us sleepy, and so many artificial fruity aromas. 

“Bobby!” 

“Hey Lynn!” 

“Come with me now.” It’s getting tight again! 

The music has gotten lower and this Calvin guy is seriously cramping our style. 

**CLICK CLICK** 

An unfamiliar hand touches me and my guys. Who the hell are you; with your long hair? 

She has the same cotton-candy smell from earlier. 

We’re all about to protest; but then she gets rid of Calvin. We’re free! 

Her hand is soft, very soft; she touches her lips to me. What is she doing? I did not consent to this. But- it feels good, very good! 

This pink thing comes out from between her lips and I get scared that she’s going to eat me. The pink think swirls around the tip of my head. This feels lovely! Then it swirls all the way down my body. Ooooh!!! She’s playing with Johnson and Richard and they seem to be unbothered. She brings her pink thing back to my top then she opens her mouth. It was a trap! She wanted to get my defenses down to bite me off and kill me in one swift motion. This is the end! I just know it! Good-bye Johnson! Good-by Richard!  

The light fades as she draws me into her mouth; it’s warm, moist, and smells like peppermint. I feel something I can only describe as a pulse. I’m scared, but this feels amazing. There’s a soft humming then I can see the light again. With a blink of my eye, it’s dark and moist again; this time her pink thing tickles me a little bit too, then it starts to swirl around me, again. It feels amazing! But I brace myself, because I know it’s all an evil plot to kill me. JUST DO IT ALREADY!!! 

Outside again, my eye is glossy, so I can’t see what’s going on. Her hand is holding onto my body, going up and down, up and down. This feels way better than when Other-Hand does it; it’s always too rough and way too fast.  

I’m going in and out of focus, I hear Richard and Johnson screaming. Guys!!!! Then it’s silence. Oh no! She’s eaten them first! How much longer are you going to torture me? I try to yell, but all I can do is cry a little. Then I hear them coughing.  

“Guys? You still there?” 

“Yeah! We’re here. What was that? It was wet and it smelled like peppermint.” 

“I don’t know. I think she’s going to eat us. I just want to say. I love you two and I’ll never fo-…” 

I disappear back into her mouth. Things are going much faster this time. I think this is it. This is the end! Between pink thing, mouth, and hand, they all take turns with me and the guys. It begins to feel too good to fight anymore; then a feeling, that I can only describe as an explosion, happens into peppermint & cotton-candy’s mouth. I’m Dead! 

BE SELFISH! SAVE YOURSELF FIRST!

When a plane is going down, it’s more important to put the oxygen mask on yourself first; then onto the person next to you. If I’m spending time trying to get the mask onto you, in addition to losing oxygen, I may lose consciousness and die; then we’re both screwed. As simple as it may seem; a lot of people have a great deal of difficulty applying this very simple logic to their everyday life.  

You can’t give water from an empty cup, but so many people continue to try. Unlike the cup that is obviously empty, there is no visual correlation for your spirit, state of mind, or heart. A broken heart can be fixed; but once a heart it drained, it dries up and can no longer function.  

When we are young, we’re told to be nice and share our toys with the other kids; because, sharing is caring. We’re subjected to forced playdates, the buddy system, and group projects. It’s no wonder why so many people are, not only, co-dependent, but so many of us are givers. We were bred to be this way, and at some point, it has to stop. 

SAVE YOURSELF FIRST! 

I used to be the person that loved to please, support, and be there for others. Unfortunately, many times, it left me emotionally broken and struggling to find my own happiness. In past relationships, I dismissed all my wants and needs to make myself what my partner wanted; totally becoming a person that I no longer recognized. If a friend had a bad day, I would take on their feelings as my own and that energy would eventually weigh me down.  

After I broke up with my ex; after my 100th cry, my 50th cancelled date, and my 20th weekend alone; I had finally had enough. It was then that I told myself; “I refuse to be unhappy and have herpes”. The fact of the matter was, since I couldn’t get rid of herpes, I made the choice to get rid of the guy. 

I began applying that theme to factors beyond my relationship. I applied it to work; if I didn’t like my job, I did what was needed to get a new one. I applied it to my friends and acquaintances; I became more mindful of the energy I allowed to be around me, and I stopped letting negative people affect me. Lastly, I applied it to my family. Naturally, I couldn’t get rid of my family; and trying to change them would be more work than it was worth. I did, however, adjust my reactions to what they did. I realized that I had much more control over my own emotions (in response to their actions) than their initial actions that would cause said emotion. 

It became important to me to do some heavy self-reflecting and healing; and during my journey I found my peace. 

People often say I have great energy, along with confidence, and spirit. Whether it’s a friend’s friend I met at a bar, a media personality, or a friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years; they all say the same thing. When they ask me how I manage, I make it very clear. 

I put myself first; above all else.  

Yes! It sounds selfish as hell, but it’s the remedy that I live by. A few years ago, I read (audio book) The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck; it was what I needed to hear to put my way of doing things into perspective. The book wasn’t really about, not giving a fuck; it was more about only addressing the things you have the ability to change and acknowledging that the grass may not be greener on the other side.  

Comparing where I was in life and/or in my relationship to those of my friends, often left me feeling lonely and depressed. But when they would complain to me about their partner or spouse; I was ecstatic to know I was much happier in my reality that I thought they were in the fantasy of their lives that I created in my mind.  

When I re-evaluated the men that I sought; for a very long time, I realized that I was a magnet for those that needed support. I, unknowingly, operated as a human crutch for many years. I loved being that ride or die, support her man woman. I often turned the other cheek, and I always thought optimistically of my partners. Supporting people and lifting them up to where they wanted and/or needed to be; was what I was good at. However, when I looked back, I realize that; while I did so much for others, I did nothing for myself. And time and time again, I had to start over.  

It took a while for me to learn my lesson; because each time Soul-Sucker came around, they were a little different. The first time- they had long hair, the next time- it was short, the next time- they wore glasses, another time- they showed up with a limp. Their appearance kept changing, but their behaviors and actions would always, eventually, reveal their true identity. 

With dating polyamorously, I had to be extra careful of whom was in my space; but, above all else I had to be sure to maintain my autonomy.  

I make time for my partners (primary and secondary), family, and friends; but the most important time is that I have with myself. For the record- I LOVE MYSELF! And I love being by myself. Time by myself is used to evaluate my position, mission, and goals. Sometimes I work out, watch tv, or listen to music. I may decide to go for a walk alone or try out a new restaurant, or go see a movie; all by myself. I love my alone time; because it allows me the ability to take a necessary inventory of my feelings and check in to make sure all elements that make me who I am are in alignment. I may go hours without looking at my phone or I may look but decide to not respond, because it’s my alone time.  

We’ve been conditioned to seek the constant comfort of others, but we came into this world alone (most of us anyway) and we’re going to die alone. We all have to find happiness in being alone and being selfish, with ourselves, is the first step.