Category Archives: RELATIONSHIPS

The Ex files, semi-successful dating stories, and a flicker of hope.

I MAKE MY BAD DECISIONS SOBER

For as long as I can remember, I never loved the feeling of being drunk. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good margarita with my Mexican, or bottomless mimosas during brunch. But when it comes to getting drunk, it’s just not my thing; I prefer to get nice. Because I don’t get drunk, I can never use the excuse, ‘I was so drunk, I can’t remember’ line. This means I have the unfortunate responsibility of having to playback, in excruciating detail, all the events of a drunken night with friends, or a day of drinking that ended up in a fight.  

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no goody-two-shoes. I’ve thrown up across tables, fell asleep in bathroom stalls, and in many clubs. But, like an elephant, I remember everything that happened leading up to the moment I fall asleep. I can recall the exact sip that put me over the edge. On a drunken birthday, I remember picking up dollars from the floor and handing them to the strippers on stage. I remember waiting on line to use the bathroom, then falling asleep on the toilet. I remember the bathroom attendant looking over the top of the stall to make sure I was alive. And I remember my friends escorting me back to my section and letting me go to sleep. I woke up when the ship docked.  

I used to envy those people that blacked out, for the sole reason of zero accountability. I always saw the ‘too drunk to remember line’ as a cop-out or an excuse to do fucked up shit and get away with it. –” I’m sorry I slept with you best friend; I was drunk.” — I wished that I could fuck up majorly and, like Jamie Foxx, blame it on the alcohol, but I couldn’t. For a while, I envied those people; Then, when I started attending sex parties, I learned to love my ability to remember.   

If you’ve never been to a sex-club or swinger party, they’re always BYOB. To my very first party, I brought a bottle of Bacardi Coconut Rum. I had the bar-lady mix it with pineapple juice, took a few sips, and then scoped out the room. The liquid massage the rum offered my body, was just the right amount of relaxation I wanted and needed. I engaged in some great conversations, ate some pussy, sucked some dick, was in a threesome, and rode a man’s face. And the only reason I remember every detail of that night was because I was sober.   

When I started attending LS (Lifestyle) parties regularly, less and less alcohol was needed. For starters, attending parties with a guaranteed partner removed a lot of pressure. And since I screened my partners before the party, I had an assortment of dicks ready to please me. Secondly, with the right amount of people, the party jumped off rather quickly, and with everyone having a good time, a drink to loosen up wasn’t necessary. That high school dance feeling of, waiting for other couples to dance, did not exist. I was extremely comfortable being one of the first couples to start things off. Lastly, I wanted to be in total control of whatever happened throughout the night. I need to know what titty I’m licking, dick I’m sucking, pussy I’m eating, and whose dick is fucking me. In a room full of bodies and chaos, I need to have control; and I couldn’t have that if I was too far gone. Would I recognize the person a few days later, while walking down the street? –Of course not! But, at that moment, I knew that every decision I made was mine, and that was all that mattered.   

In addition to wanting to have that control, I wanted to be able to remember how it all felt. I wanted to remember the kiss on my partner’s lips when he sees the outfit I changed into. I wanted to remember the feeling of my lingerie against my skin. I wanted to remember the feeling of eyes on me. I wanted to remember my partner kissing me, then laying me down on the mattress, and removing my panties to devour my pussy. I wanted to remember the weight of other bodies on the bed. I wanted to remember the feeling of tangled limbs and hands caressing my legs in the air. I wanted to remember the feeling of my toes and nipples being sucked and licked. I wanted to remember the feeling of a veiny dick in my mouth as my partner devoured my pussy into a screaming orgasm. I wanted to remember the moment he turned me over to fuck me. I wanted to remember the smell of the pussy I bend over to eat and the feeling of her breasts in my hands. I wanted to remember his hands around my throat, restricting my airway as he rammed my pussy and found his orgasm. And, in the end, I wanted to remember him pulling me back to kiss my lips once he reached his orgasm.  

I make all of my bad decisions sober because I want to be in control, and I want to be able to recall the memories of each encounter. I want to remember the feelings of inhibitions lost and lust that enveloped the room. I may forget the names and faces, but that intoxicating feeling will stay with me forever, all because I make my decision sober.   

WHAT IF…

A few years ago, I found my first herpes support group on Facebook, and on the façade, it seemed very supportive. Messages of “Keep your head up!” Be strong, you’ll find someone!” and “It wasn’t meant to be.” seemed to flood the daily feed. Even though I knew I wasn’t the only person living with herpes, it was great to finally see and hear other people’s stories. The overall morale of the chats was positive and uplifting, which for a newly diagnosed individual can be essential. However, every so often, I would come across a post asking for advice and support.   

I feel terrible, and I need your advice. Last week, I was drinking, partying, smoking (whatever) with my friend. Things got out of control, we had sex, and I forgot to tell them about my herpes status. I feel terrible, and I want to tell them, I just don’t know how to.  

It didn’t take long for me to realize that once the comments have been disabled, it was safe to assume that the poster was virtually attacked. Similar posts often bring out, what I like to call, The Bully-Brigade. The Bully-Brigade is the barrage of people that come together to virtually bully anyone whose actions and views don’t align with theirs. With comments like, “You’re a terrible person.” “How could you forget…” and “People like you should be locked up!” — The Bully-Brigade has struck again.  

The comments and attacks vary, but the one that sticks out the most is the one of blame. It’s the person that says, “You know, many of us wouldn’t be here if our partner had told us. If my partner had told me that they had herpes, I never have had sex with them. You should’ve given them a choice.”   

This one always bugs me, because they so conveniently forget that they, in fact, did have a choice. To have consensual sex, without knowing your partner’s sexual health status, was a choice. The power to control the sanctity of my body is my responsibility, and the same for your body. Do you not eat when you’re hungry, drink when you’re thirsty, or sleep when you’re tired? So, why when it comes to sex, is it only the other person’s responsibility to protect you? I don’t say this to point blame, I say this to take accountability.  

Think of your body as a new car you just bought. You wouldn’t give the keys for your new car to a person whose driving record you didn’t know and whose license you haven’t seen, would you? No! You wouldn’t! But if you did, and they crashed it, was it not your choice to hand your keys over to them, in the first place? We don’t take that risk with material things, but we assume that risk with our bodies every day. From the moment I laid eyes on my partner, once I know I want to have sex with him, the responsibility to ensure my sexual health is mine, and mine alone. It was my responsibility to make sure that he posed no threat to me, and the choice I made to not verify his status was, in fact, A CHOICE.   

Over the years, I learned to stop arguing with The Bully-Brigade; because they had already made up their mind that their positive diagnosis was someone else’s fault. What I try to do now is pose the question, what if…  

You say — “If they had told me they had herpes…” I pose the question — “What if you had asked…?”  

What if they told you they were clean, because the test they took didn’t include herpes? Therefore, they had no way of knowing they had the virus.   

What if they had the test that included herpes, but because they recently acquired the virus, the antibody test came back negative? (It took 9 months for my antibodies test to detect herpes).  

What if you had used condoms? (I used condoms when herpes was transmitted to me).  

What if they told you they had a history of cold sores? Marketing doesn’t make it clear that cold sores and herpes are the same virus. Many people don’t think that their cold sores are herpes or that they can impact their partner’s genital region. What if this information was made clear to the masses?  

What if doctors did a better job of educating patients before, during, and after their diagnosis? What if they pointed patients to support groups after their diagnosis, instead of giving them a prescription and sending them on their way?  

What if sex education was clear and transparent, and inclusive of all sexual behaviors, sexualities, and sexual health? What if consent and boundaries were mandated? What if the stigma was never able to exist because people were educated on the truth of all sexually transmissible and non-sexually transmissible viruses?  

What if testing were made easier for all to access? What if when I asked to be tested for everything, I was tested for EVERYTHING?  

What if we stopped shaming sex, sexuality, and people with STD/STIs?  

What if you’re herpes positive, you disclose to your partner, but you don’t ask to see their results in return? (Is that not, once again, handing someone the keys to your car without checking their license, all-over again?)  

What if asking about a person’s sexual health was as easy as saying hi? What if asking to see a person’s test results (and getting them), was as easy and pleasurable as having sex?  

What if they never assaulted me?  

What if the dad, the aunt, the uncle didn’t kiss the toddler, and pass them the herpes virus?  

What if the mother didn’t kiss her child and pass them the herpes virus?  

What if you had waited another 3-9 months to get re-tested before having sex?   

What if you had waited to go and get tested together?  

What if you had asked your partner their sexual health status?  

While the what-ifs are endless, none of them can guarantee that you still wouldn’t have ended up with herpes virus. With all the precautions that you could’ve taken in your adolescent or adult life, you still could’ve acquired the virus before ever taking your first steps. At the end of the day, we’re all here. So, instead of focusing on what if, focus on the future. A lot of why we feel what we feel is stigma. So, instead of trying to change others, maybe we can change our perception. And with that, we can change the stigma. 

HOW YOU DISTANCING?

So, here we are, almost two weeks into the Covid 19 shut down, and never in a million years did I think it would’ve gotten this bad. I can remember making jokes about the virus just over a month ago, assuming that people were over-reacting, and that this would boil over before it even started. Boy— were we wrong.  

As I write this post from my kitchen table, it has been exactly one week since my office, in Times Square, closed for business, and we were made to work from home. Two weeks was the initial time-line we all looked forward to. Just two weeks— if we all stay inside and practice social distancing, all would be back to normal. As I’m glued to the news, and I’m certain that you are too, the time-line seems to be nowhere in sight. With the unemployment rate seeing heights that have never been seen, and the number of people infected constantly increasing, I am officially worried.  

For as long as I can remember, any hardship that I ever faced, was with a grain of salt. I’ve been laid-off before and fired from quite a few jobs (because of my mouth). But my saving grace was that, I lived with my family and I always knew that I could find another job. When I got the email from my company that they were cutting our salaries in half, until further notice— Shit Got Real! I work in fashion, and my company’s survival depends on the public’s ability to buy. If over half of the population is out of work, because businesses can’t open, I could be out of a job; and that cushion that I once relied on disappears.  

I could make this a post all about my sad position, “Sad girl, who lives with her family, has her salary cut in half,” but here’s my silver lining. I have a roof over my head, food in my refrigerator, and money in my savings account. For what it’s worth, I’ll be ok. I turn my focus to others that don’t have those safety nets. I consider the household, who just lost their sole bread-winner. I think of the children whose safe place was the schools they attended. I think of the family in poverty that may run out of food, if things don’t return to normal soon enough. A $1500 dollar check when rent in NYC for a studio can easily top that, is a band-aid on a wound worthy of stitches. 

Facebook reminded me that last year I was in Vegas, squeezing my thick ass into too tight waist-shapers, drinking with my friends, and living my best life. The farthest thing on my mind was a virus that would come and literally cripple the country. Hell, two weeks ago I was planning to grab oysters and a few cocktails after work. But in the blink of an eye, my half-marathon was cancelled, my writing group was cancelled, my monthly gym memberships have been put on hold, and all the little joys are now huge threats. Even walking outside poses a risk my family, and it’s really tough to think of all the things that I once took for granted.  

Before shit hit the fan, on Mondays I used to go to Barnes & Noble with my boyfriend. He would meet me after work and we would sit there and write until they closed. It offered me the quiet that I needed to focus on my writing and to be with My Love, away from my family. Now, because every place is only to-go and delivery, and it’s too cold to sit outside, I’m lucky if I can find a quiet moment to work in my home. When I freelanced from home, it was the most amazing experience. I would wake up, brush my teeth, wash my face, eat breakfast, then sit down to work. I ate when I wanted, and I worked out when I wanted. A few weeks ago, I joked about how I would love to go back to freelance work, and how much I missed it. However, when that fantasy became a reality-nightmare, I realized that I had no business complaining.  

This past weekend, my friends and I went out for a walk. We hadn’t seen each other since our brunch on New Year’s Day, and we kept saying that we wanted to meet up; then this happened. The few of us that felt well and lived close by arranged to meet up and go for a walk in Central Park. Saturday was a beautiful day; and, I’m certain the number of people would’ve been triple, had it not been for the current state of contagious virus. The shine and warmth of the sun, the chirping of the birds, the ducks in the pond, and the laughter of the children playing, was a total juxtaposition to what was going on in the real world. We walked for a bit to get some fresh air, we made our way to Dunkin’ Donuts, then walked back to the park. I did a little shopping, and when I parted from my friends, my guy and I continued to walk home. I made him a plate for dinner and he stayed for a while as we watched a movie. When it was time for him to go, I told him, “I Love You.” 

As I lay in bed, I wondered when things would get back to normal. I wondered when would be the next time I would see my friends. I wondered when would be the next time I would see My Love. This virus has sent the world, as we know it, into a frenzy. I have friends and family working on the front-lines, in the hospitals. I have friends that work in public transportation, risking exposure every day. I have family that are still required to report to work and deal with customers day in and day out, I have a friend that is sick, and My Love has to report to work in the middle of this pandemic. 

I say all of this to say, now is the time to call your loved ones and see how they’re doing. Virtually reconnect with your friends to keep those bonds established. Stay inside but keep in touch. We don’t know how long this is going to last and how long the impact will have on each and every one of us. It’s time to forgive and move forward. 

We will only get through this together.  

LOVE LANGUAGE #5 – WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

MY 5TH LOVE LANGUAGE, WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

I’ve reached the final love language—Thank Heaven! 

I’m not surprised that Words of Affirmation is at the bottom of my list, now. But, when I was growing up, I used to crave Words of Affirmation. At a young age, they often mirrored the actions that were being delivered my way. Parents, family, and friends were all walking examples of actions and words that actually matched. But as I got older, things began to change. Naturally, discipline from a parent or an older family member, to a rebellious teenager, did not feel like love; so, when I was told I couldn’t do something, followed by an I love you, I called Bull Shit! And it only got worse as I got older.  

I was picked-on, as a kid. I was picked-on because of my hair, my glasses, and lack of designer clothing. At first, it used to bother me, but with time, the things that separated me from the crowd began to shine. I had a great voice, I was a good artist, and I was decent in sports. As time passed, I started being accepted for qualities and skills that were undeniable, and the teasing stopped. People stopped looking for reasons to not like me, and learned to accept me for who I was. 

When I started dating, the phrase “I love you” was tossed around, like a salad ingredient. The phrase was everywhere; but, like a salad, it lacked sustenance. It was a great side or starter, but it could never fill me up. So, when actions never corresponded with the words, through trial and error, I had to learn that words had no real weight if actions didn’t corroborate them. By the time I graduated high school, I had adapted the concept of ‘love me or hate me’ with the confidence to match. People, more often than not, liked and/or loved me; and once I started to feel the energy that I was sending reciprocated, I no longer needed and/or required words of affirmation. 

Don’t get me wrong– it’s always nice to receive a compliment. I couldn’t see myself being, truly happy, with a person that never said one nice thing to me or about me. And, I totally understand that my partner is doing so because they feel it, and they want to profess it. But, the fact remains, it does not impact me the same way; because I’d rather feel than hear. 

Another reason why Words of Affirmation doesn’t have such a high rank for me, is because, a part of me struggles with accepting compliments. For example: I’ve finished 5 marathons, 10 half-marathons, and countless other races; I know that it’s no easy feat. However, there are people that run faster, longer, and more frequently than I do; so, with that in the back of my mind, I choose to remain humble in the face of all compliments. 

Today, words of affirmation sound nice, but they hold no weight in the grand scheme of my life. Over the years, I’ve become head-strong, resilient, and confident.  When I set my mind to do something, nothing can stand in my way. So, as much as it feels good to hear someone say, “good job,” subconsciously, I already know that. I didn’t need to hear it; but, since saying the words made the say-er feel better, I happily accept their support and encouragement.  

Writing on the 5 Love Languages has been quite a journey. Writing this series has allowed me to dive deeper into my past to understand my present. I never set out to be a Pulitzer Prize winning writer. I just wanted to vent a little, talk about sex, break some stigmas, and maybe gain a fan or two that could relate to my problems. There were many times, during the love languages posts, that I wanted to just stop and change course; but, by sticking with it, I learned so much more about myself. I opened up memories I was certain didn’t exist, and I was able to process why I felt the way I did about things. I encourage you all to read or audio-book the 5 Love Languages, and to take the quiz. Once you have your results, take the time to process what they mean for you and why they rank as they do.  

LOVE LANGUAGE #4 – PHYSICAL TOUCH

People often assume that sexual touch and physical touch are the same thing. Another common assumption is that, a sexual person must also enjoy being touched. For much of my life, I made these assumptions as well. I loved having sex so much, that I was sure Physical Touch would be my top love language. I was certain that, with all the kissing, caressing, and humping; it would be my number one -How could it not be? While doing the test, I was surprised to see that so many of my answers proved otherwise. With Physical Touch coming in at number 4, I reflected back to some instances where I was being touched, but I didn’t feel loved. 

I remember a time, years ago, when I was lying beside my boyfriend. We were both naked, as we just finished having sex; his arm was draped over my body, and my head was nestled underneath his chin on his chest. All was right with the world, until he started rubbing my arm, up and down. The feeling of his hand against my skin had changed. The caressing of his hand that had just ignited our 30-minute love making session, suddenly felt like a catheter, stopping my blood flow. I remember wanting him to stop, but because I didn’t want to sound mean – I said nothing. Recently, I was on the sofa with my guy, as we watched Netflix. He was sitting up and I was resting my head on his lap. In that position I felt safe, secured, and precious; I could’ve stayed in that position forever. When his hands moved from around my waist and started to rub on my breasts; those feelings began to fade. I tried ignoring it at first, because I knew that he was happy touching me in that way; eventually it was all I could focus on. It went from being something I could ignore to annoying. Again, I didn’t want to come across as unaffectionate; so, I placed my hands over his to stop the motion.  

On both occasions, a person that I loved was delivering love to me, but it was in the form that best suited them. It wasn’t the first time those actions had taken place, but it was the first time I had processed them that way. I needed to find some reason or logic as to why, in those moments, I shut down and, in a way felt slightly offended.  

For centuries, a woman’s body was the property of her father, and after marriage it became the property of her husband. It’s still common to hear women relinquish their bodies to their husbands on demand (I was exhausted, but when my man wants it, I give it!). It’s been instilled in women that a wife’s duty is to see to it that her husband was satisfied. For a time, if he wanted to have sex and she did not, he was within the full rights of the law, to use his male-domination to either convince his wife and/or dominate her into submission. Even though there are laws that exist against these acts today (depending on where you are in the world and if violence is involved), many women still believe that their bodies are not their own. Sure, if a stranger touched me, I could handle the situation quite abruptly and without hesitation. But when love is involved the once clear line begins to blur. 

From birth, it’s easy to overlook all the times when a person’s body is not their own. We’ve all seen the child writhing and screeching, as their being passed around like a dessert plate for people to “ooh” and “ahh” at them – We’ve all been this child at least once. Try counting how many times your parents or family told you to give a hug or a kiss to someone that you didn’t want to – If you could even remember, you would lose count. When we’re in school, if a classmate hit us, or invaded our personal space, we were told to be nice, shake hands, and hug. Once out of the womb, we were repeatedly forced to lower our bodily-boundaries for people that we knew and loved. The roads run parallel for both sexes until approximately puberty. After puberty, boys were taught to take power and control of their bodies, while girls are taught to protect bodies, but only for the later use of a man (Don’t you want to be perfect for your husband on your wedding night?). With this rhetoric it’s no wonder why I had issues declaring my body as my own. 

I first had to learn that my body was my own; entering into a relationship did not give my partner rights to my body. The second thing I had to learn was, not wanting to be touched did not mean a lack of love. There are certain touches the register certain emotions, and those emotions control how I feel in my relationships. I’m a sexual being that likes sex, writes about sex, and I get a lot of sexual attention from strangers; it’s imperative that, in my relationship, I feel loved. I prefer hand holding to random ass-slaps while walking down the street, innocent kisses over childish grabs and/or pokes at my breasts, and standing big-spoon cuddles over fingers poking at my holes. One touch says I love and cherish you, the other says I want to fuck you, I want to possess you, to own you, and that your body is not yours, it’s mine. 

When I allow my partner(s) to explore my body as their momentary playground, it’s with much love, excitement, and sensuality. But when the sun sets, and the park closes, so does the playground inside of it. When my partner(s) continue playing after the park closes, it’s a direct disrespect of the rules and boundaries that were set in place. 

Maintaining control is of the utmost importance for me, and understanding that Physical Touch is not the same for everyone.