So you’ve finally found The One (or at least The One For The Foreseeable Future) and you’ve committed to a serious relationship. Now what? In our new weekly column, Life After Dating, we’ll discuss the unique joys and challenges of coupledom.
When I was single, I spent a lot of time talking about my sexual exploits with friends: his penis-to-ball ratio, how chipper of a mood he was in the morning after, whether or not I wanted to “hit that again.” It was one of the fun — well, maybe more necessary than fun — parts of being single. When I had flings or dating stints, all that was left when the dude was out of my life were the war stories. There was a soothing pleasure in finding a way to make my friends (and myself) laugh about how he did little more than jackhammer my vagina to death with his huge penis and in the morning, ask me to turn my shower on for him because it was “too hard to figure out.” I was the circus clown making singledom palatable for the crowd. Honestly, when I was single, if I didn’t find humor in my sex life, I would have been a very sad clown. Keep reading »
When it comes to giving oral sex, or as one of my friends calls it, sucky sucky, women seem to fall into two camps: LOVE IT or HATE IT. When gossiping about sex, I feel this overwhelming pressure to declare that I go hog wild for head or loathe it so much that I’ve taken it off the sexual menu with the exception of special occasions, like birthdays. (I’ve never understood that, by the way. Why would you give the gift of something you supposedly hate?) On the subject of blowjobs, there is a subtle urging to take sides. “Too much work!” or “Yummy! Cock!” As I sit there, feeling terribly neutral about the act, I can’t help but suspect that women have been conditioned to have strong, polarized feelings about giving head — or at least to play up their feelings for effect. Keep reading »
According to New York magazine, sexually active hetero women in their 20s and 30s are heretofore dubbed the “pullout generation.” We’ve earned this moniker because, for various reasons, we’ve turned up our noses at “conventional forms of birth control,” from the the Pill to condoms, and started relying on the withdrawal method to avoid pregnancy. The article suggests some of the reasons why we are shunning BC — from noxious side effects of the Pill, to prohibitive costs, to pressure from men not to use condoms, to putting more focus on our sexual pleasure — but the more troubling part, perhaps, is that we’re “reluctant to admit [it], even after a few cocktails.”
I will attest to this. I only use the pullout method, but am loathe to say so to my Pill loyalist friends or my gyno, who I’m convinced will give me a finger-wagging lecture. I’m in my 30s! While I’m not actively looking to be a parent right this minute, an unplanned pregnancy also would not ruin my life. There seems to be this pervasive idea that it’s ignorant or irresponsible not to use conventional birth control. After all, you’re relying on someone else to act swiftly. Keep reading »
A few months ago, my love life went through a dry spell. It wasn’t that messages weren’t coming in on Match.com or that guys wouldn’t chat me up when I hit happy hour after work. I just wasn’t connecting with anyone. I felt really blah about the men who I went on dates with (usually only one date with) and I started to doubt my “picker.” Maybe I’m bad at this, I thought to myself.
Right around that time, my friend started dating a new guy. This new guy had a roommate. In the swell of her new romance, the roommate probably did seem pretty great. She said he was a cute, funny, smart professional musician from the same religious background who is also a vegetarian. She offered — no, she insisted — she set us up. I’m an open-minded gal, so I thought I’d give it a shot. She knows me pretty well, I thought.
I don’t think I even need to tell you how awkward the date turned out to be. Keep reading »
“What do you feel about going topless?” he asked me over the phone. I hesitantly replied, “Well, I guess I’m okay with it. But will they be able to touch my boobs?” There was an awkward pause on the other end of the line. “Yes, but you’ll never have to do anything more. I promise.”
A few days earlier, I’d been scanning Craigslist for part-time gigs and came across an ad that seemed too good to be true: “Beautiful college girls sought for nightclub modeling. Receive up to $1000/night. Email pics.” I answered and said that I was a 21-year-old student and attached some cheesy iPhoto shots.
It was January of my senior year of college in New York, and I was completely and utterly broke. I had been doing freelance work to keep me afloat, but things started to go downhill in December, when I only made $600 for the entire month — not even enough to cover my rent. On a cold night I huddled in the school’s library, answered every student job posting I could find and scanned Craigslist. Five minutes after answering the nightclub post, I received a response from a guy named Bob. He wanted me to call him. I ducked outside and dialed the number he sent me. Keep reading »
Nearly four years ago, while I was on a third date with a man, I was raped. For a long time, I wouldn’t have been able to write that sentence. I would have equivocated. I would have quickly followed it up with minimizers like, “I was drunk.” Or, “I’m OK. It wasn’t violent.”
These statements are all true. I was drunk. The rape was not violent in that I wasn’t physically injured. I am OK. At this moment in time, I am comfortable saying that these factors still don’t make what happened my fault. I said no to him repeatedly. That, I am sure of.
In light of the Steubenville rape case, I feel the need bubbling up to reflect upon my rape again, as it often does when there is a prominent rape case in the news. While CNN is busy mourning the lives of the young, convicted rapists, I’m thinking about 16-year-old Jane Doe, and how this will change the course of her life. I refuse to mourn her life, because that implies that she will let being raped define her for the rest of her life. I pray that’s not the case. But I know that being raped will affect her in so many unexpected ways, as it has me. Keep reading »