Domestic Violence Permission Slips

refuge 1 in four domestic violenceWe, as a society, give many permission slips to abusers, excusing their abuse, violence & control with claims of “understandable stressors.” Perhaps no category of these permission slips is larger, more pervasive, than the economical permission slips.

Since society is made up of individuals, this is not surprising to me; I’ve seen the permission slips handed out personally — and in my own life.

When my ex husband, who was convicted of battery, first began his regime of oppression, I talked to others, including my parents, siblings, and friends.

When I complained that he was unrealistic in his expectations (a perfectly clean home with kids, the mandatory shutting of window blinds a specific time every evening, my accounting for every purchase down to each nickel, etc.), I was told to give him a break, “He’s got a new family,” “There’s a new mortgage,” “The economy’s bad in his industry,” etc.

When I expressed fear over his irrational anger (swearing, stomping, yelling, threatening to kill the cat), I was told the same things… And I could do a lot to help his disposition & my situation by doing the little things he asked for, like shutting the blinds at 5:30 and providing him with receipts and my left-over change for every purchase, including a soda pop at the gas station.

It may seem to you like “little things to do.” That even if they seem petty or downright silly, they are things I should have done to make him happy — and stop his yelling & stomping & threatening. I did them; I assure you I did. But there are problems with this theory, you see…

For one, my doing what he asked did not make him happy — or even happier. He simply made more lists of things I should be doing, and if I didn’t do them (or did them, but stopped doing the other things as well), the yelling & stomping continued. His greed for control grew.

And his power grew too.

I can’t say that he knew about my conversations, but he did know I was complying and doing the “fast as I can, Master” dance to please him. And so he knew he could ask for more.

And, boy, did he ask for more.

I mention this not just to point out examples of excuses we automatically give to controlling, abusive people, but to illustrate what happens to the one who is controlled and abused.

It wasn’t only that in doing such things I was devalued & debased — what adult, let alone a parent, has to account & atone for buying a soda and lazily dropping the change into her purse — or is forced to shut the window blinds at home for a man who is not there anyway?

It wasn’t only that I had more irrational rules to follow & unrealistic things to do for him.

While those things are bad enough by themselves (and if you see yourself, your sister, your friend in such a situation — get help!), probably the worst thing is that I was losing my support system.

With every “silly” complaint I made, I was losing credibility & respect outside my own home; I was the complainer.

Every time someone else that I went to for help told me to “buck up” (which, in reality, was saying, “knuckle under”), I lost my ability to trust them.

As time goes by, these are the things which only widens & deepens your isolation. You, bit by bit & one by one, kill-off your relationships and don’t have a support system.

Then, when you are on your own, you only have two voices: His & yours. And you can’t trust yours because you were wrong, see — otherwise your family & friends wouldn’t have said those things, wouldn’t have split…

I know because I lost my ability to trust myself.

I thought I should just “buck up” and “knuckle under” because that’s what everyone had said I should do — my own voice needed to shut-up, my own gut was horribly wrong.

So even if you have a person left who is willing to listen to you, you fear your fears will only be heard as whiny complaints… And if that’s what they are, complaints & not fears, then you are wrong. You are as wrong & bad & worthless as he treats you — no wonder you have to account for every nickel you spend & be given a time to shut the blinds & stomped at for not reading his mind! Saying anything to anyone else was a giant “I told you so!” — proof that he was right.

So you say less… Say nothing. Until you are bereft of power as you are support (external & internal support systems). The only thing you have is him, and when you’re so dependent upon him — you’d better do what he wants.

Giving him excuses, was giving him permission to be so controlling. With each additional permission slip, he was granted more power & control — while I was reduced to nothingness, completely dependent upon him because I was isolated & unable to trust myself.

We need to stop making excuses for abusive behaviors, stop giving them excuses for why they control, stop handing them permission slips for unacceptable actions & belief systems. We need to start believing in the “complaints” and fears of those who are abused, help them stand up for their rights, support them if/when they need to leave, and show the victims that we both hear them and are here for them. We must stop giving control freaks & abusive jerks excuses which are permission slips for continuing their persecution of the very people they profess to love.

Image from Refuge.

Our Top Three Favorite Comediennes

If we do a survey on what men find attractive in women, we’re betting top of their list involves a great sense of humor. The Telegraph supports this claim by stating in an article that “men ranked a sense of humour as the highest priority, with a fun-loving nature third and playfulness fifth, while putting physical attractiveness only ninth”. Well, isn’t that surprising. Appearances ranked way below the list. Yes, comediennes hold all the aces nowadays, especially in the advent of great comedy programs on TV. Comedy is no longer male-dominated territory. What’s more, comediennes are not necessarily unattractive with their looks. They no longer have buckteeth or long faces just so they could be funny. Women in comedy are now attractive and sexy, their qualities heightened by the fact that they make us all laugh.

We’ve gathered our top three favorite comediennes, who are not only funny as hell, but are also very beautiful and sexy in their own rights. Here they are:

1. Penny (The Big Bang Theory, played by Kaley Cuoco) – She may not be part of the geeky club, but do not strike her off as someone stupid. What she lacked in intellectual advancement she makes up for with wit and heart that we can’t help but adore her all the same. She never surprised us more when she managed to beat Sheldon in the video game Halo 3. Of course, her style is more in the league of online gaming at sites such as Not because she looks like she belongs with the Vegas showgirls, but her adventurous side makes her more likely to play Texas Hold ‘em and Omaha Hi-Lo than battle games. Besides, she can play these games with Leonard, Sheldon, Raj and Wolowitz by challenging them on online tournaments. The gang might be geniuses, but with great bluffing skills Penny can ace the card game. Aside from the challenge, players get the chance to compete in international poker events like the World Poker Tour, something not offered by your regular RPG.

2. Gloria Pritchett (Modern Family, played by Sofia Vergara) – One look, and you’ll definitely peg her as just one gorgeous package without substance. And you couldn’t be more wrong. She may look like she came right off the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine, but this hot momma is a strong, independent and ruthless woman. She’s someone who’ll protect her family no matter what. She stands out as having a thick Latino accent, and when she mispronounces common English words we just can’t stop laughing. Still, we can definitely learn from Gloria how to say what’s on our mind, despite odds not being in our favor.

3. Robin Scherbatsky (How I Met Your Mother, played by Cobie Smulders) – Where else can you find a wingman, news anchor, and former child pop star rolled into one? She’s so hot she’s got two leading men, Ted and Barney, all over her (although of course we know now who she ended up with). Her most endearing quality is being one of the boys, which is why she totally gets men. Whether she’s just chilling out in MacLaren’s pub or delivering the morning news, she’ll totally get your attention just by being herself. She’s tough, frank and funny; what more can we ask for?

Toxic Break-Ups (Stalking)

Hey Alessia,

I dated this guy for about 6 months — about 6 months ago now. But he continues to call me — at home, at work, on my cell. I’ve told him in no uncertain terms to bug off, but every time he calls or leaves messages (because I avoid his calls if I can see it is him), he acts like I’ve never said such a thing. Worse, he’ll leave me messages to meet him somewhere and when I naturally have not done so (I avoid — like the plague — any bars, restaurants, etc. where we ever went just so I won’t even accidentally be where he wants me to be at any given point in time), he calls back ranting like a lunatic, asking why I stood him up.

Yesterday I came home late from work (I had stopped by my mom’s house for dinner), and I found a note from him on my door — a “where are you, you should be home by now!” note that sounded pissy. Granted I could be reading said pissy-ness into that note — but only because of his angry voice mails.

What am I supposed to do to lose this guy for real?

Sneaking-into-my-own-apartment Susan

Susan, you should not have to slink & sneak your way into your apartment or anywhere else. No means no means no means no.

You’ve made it clear you’re done, avoided him, and six moths later he’s still around?! That’s not him having a tough time with the break-up; that’s stalking.

Gather all harassing evidence you have saved from him — voice mails, texts, notes, emails, etc. — and present it to the police. (And, should the police do nothing, continue this every day, week, that it occurs until the police take action.)

Do the same with your employer. Regardless of whether or not the police take action, your employer needs to know you will not accept contact with this jerk.

Notify all landlord and your neighbors. Show them a photo & let them know he is not a friend of yours; they should call the police &/or alert you if they see him about the building, parking lot etc.

Tell all your family & friends about the situation. Especially those who have met him &/or those who he would be able to contact or visit.

Never be alone in public — easier said than done, sometimes, I know; but try to avoid arriving or leaving any place alone. And, even when out in a group, be sure to let someone who is not out with you know when and where you are going as well as when you are expected to return. (Remember to let them know when you are safely home!) Tell them who to call if you are — heaven forbid — missing or unable to speak for yourself.

Every time he even attempts to make contact with you, is spotted by neighbors, friends etc., contact the authorities.

Do not cut corners on any of this. Yes, it places a burden on you and those who care for you; but the alternative is simply no alternative at all.

You’re In The Exact Bad Relationship You Want?

In Every Woman Has the Exact Love Life She Wants, The Lazy Housewife writes:

There are women who are in relationships that are not good for them. I’m not saying that she consciously wants to be in said bad relationship per se BUT until she makes the decision to change her circumstances, her inaction shows that she is content with the situation for now. When she wants to – truly wants to – she will find a happier situation for herself.

On one hand I agree; staying & complaining (or not complaining) is a tacit agreement that you accept the relationship as it is. But that’s not always true or that simple. For example, many people opt for counseling — and even when both parties what the relationship to improve, it isn’t an instantaneous thing.

"Every Woman has the Exact Love Life She Wants"

However, what makes me bristle about this post by The Lazy Housewife is this “women who are in relationships that are not good for them” line.

I know bad relationships. Bad relationships are abusive — and when abuse is involved, the “decision to change circumstances” is at least blocked, if not out-right removed.

I’m not saying there is no release; obviously I am “free” of those relationships. (The use of air-quotes indicates that those relationships which involve children never really end — and even when there are no children, there are long-term repercussions to deal with.) I am indeed in a “happier situation”, a better relationship. But it was far from easy, far from the simple “choice to be happier.”

Attitudes & judgments like this blame us, and that blame & further victimization has much to do with why we do not have the “exact love life we want.”

[The quote, and photo, are from The Wedding Date.]

Short-Term Emergency Escape Plans From Abusers

In Emergency Plan = Emotional Pain, Kellie Jo writes, “It’s one thing to know you need an emergency plan to escape possible domestic abuse, and another thing entirely to create it.” And then she proceeds to describe how her attempts went.

The first failed because it wasn’t well thought out enough — in fact, as she states, it was only a plan to get out of the house, get temporary relief, not leave her marriage.

I remember too many of those episodes myself; they’re hard to talk about.

The worst was the time I managed to get out of the apartment, shoeless but with my coat, and went to hide behind the small building behind the pool. It had a shoveled path, so there were no footprints for him to follow, and allowed me to remain unseen (by him and anyone else at the complex). On a slight hill, I had a view, just over my shoulder, of anyone approaching — as long as I sat in a giant snow drift. I kept myself warm by swigging from the bottle of vodka I had managed to swipe off the counter on my way out the door. I felt victorious when I saw him stomping out of the apartment, slamming the door behind him, on his way to the parking lot. I remember smugly giggling when he squealed out onto the main road.

But then I knew I’d have to go back; shoeless and tipsy in a snowbank was not how I wanted to be found — or how I wanted to die.

From then on, I was prepared. I kept a cheap paperback novel in one pocket of my old coat, gloves and a hat in the other, and slip-on shoes in the sleeves. I’d escape to the drive-up window area of a bank, read by the light of the (fortunately not-oft used) ATM, feeling vindicated if not protected by the angel that was the bank’s overhead camera. If he came and got me, if he attacked, if I disappeared one day, all would be on tape.

Escape Key Tee
But, like Kellie Jo, this was an escape from immediate danger, a respite plan, not a safety plan to get out of the relationship.

It sounds crazy to those who don’t live with abuse or an abuser, but these tricks often save our lives. At least in the short term. And they build our escape muscles.

We not only flee danger, but give ourselves the time and space to think. We think about what we need and create plans when we sit alone in our cars, under the shield of bank cameras, or swigging booze to dull the pain sitting without shoes in snowbanks. Those small successes also are proof that we can get away — and one day, when we get the right plan, we will get away for real.

Image Credits: The Escape Key by schmang.

What We Can Learn From Teen Dating Violence

Talk about burying the lead…

A recent survey commissioned by the Family Violence Prevention Fund and Liz Claiborne Inc. and conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU) set out to explore “how the economy has impacted dating relationships among young adolescents and to determine the level and impact of parental engagement in the issue of teen dating violence and abuse.” The survey, Impact of the Economy and Parent/Teen Dialogue on Dating Relationships and Abuse, titled their press release New Research Finds Possible Link between Troubled Economy and High Levels of Teen Dating Abuse, despite the fact that the findings were about far more then the “media popular” word “economy.”

A new survey reports today that teens nationwide are experiencing significant levels of dating abuse, and the economy appears to be making it worse. Nearly half of teens (44 percent) whose families have experienced economic problems in the past year report that they have witnessed their parents abusing each other.
Sixty-seven percent of these same teens experienced some form of violence or abuse in their own relationships and report a 50 percent higher rate of dating abuse compared to teens who have not witnessed domestic violence between their parents.

While it’s not exactly news that domestic violence increases with stressers such as economic troubles, failure to focus on the horror of parents abusing each other (and in such a high percentage as 44%) is a bit disturbing on several levels — even if the survey was about teens. Put a pin in this; we’ll be back to it in a few minutes.

The survey findings continue:

For the first time, data also shows that despite the fact that the majority of parents say they are comfortable talking about these issues, parents are not effective in educating their children about the dangers of dating abuse. 74 percent of sons and 66 percent of daughters say they have not had a conversation about dating abuse this past year. Even more troubling, the majority of teens who are in abusive relationships report they have not talked to their parents. Of the fewer than one-third who do confide in their parents, 78 percent report staying in these abusive relationships despite their parents’ advice.

Note the glaring statistic: 74 percent of sons and 66 percent of daughters say they have not had a conversation about dating abuse this past year. Evidence that we are not talking to our sons about violence, which leaves them vulnerable to abuse, but also perpetuates the BS that it’s a “women’s issue” and not the responsibility of men.


But now, in the “Hurray! We’re doing something!” part, something else disturbs me…

“This poll shows a disconnect between what some parents think is happening with their teenage children and what teens say they are experiencing,” said Family Violence Prevention Fund President (FVPF), Esta Soler. “Not enough parents recognize behaviors that may be warning signs of abuse. It concerns us that about one-third of parents don’t recognize that isolation from family, being kept away from family by a dating partner, and isolation from friends can be danger signs. We are making progress educating parents, but we’d like those numbers to be higher. So we have more work to do. Dating violence is a huge problem in this country, and we need parents, schools and everyone to take responsibility for helping keep teens safe. Macy’s is leading the way with its support for the RESPECT! campaign, which offers the tools parents need to define and promote healthy relationships, and intervene effectively if abuse begins.”

Remember when I asked you to put a pin in that part about domestic violence in the teens’ homes? Well, if 44% of the teen homes surveyed had “parents abusing each other,” then the following can easily be concluded:

Both the parent being abused and their partner (spouse, co-parent, etc.), would be under the influence of domestic violence. They might see the abuse mirrored in their child’s dating relationship, but either A), as the abuser, think it’s OK, B), as the one abused, have no power or influence to intervene (they even may have tried to intervene but were punished for it), &/or C), as the one abused, they too are isolated — and discredited.

Similarly, the teens themselves would be stuck in belief that it’s OK, be dismissive of parents’ comments because they themselves are “living it,” &/or feel powerless in general because of living with domestic violence in the household.

I’m not saying that teen dating violence should not be of any concern, but the data in this survey reveals that the prevalence of domestic violence, especially when combined with gender-skewed safety education, means that such violence prevails because we are too busy providing reasons such as “it’s a tough economy” that “explain” violence rather than flat out condemn it.

Happily Ever After?

In Wedded Blisters, Neely wonders if marriage is something she even wants to enter into. With the media, as she writes, “depicting marriage as this energy-sapping, miserable way of life, where husbands have to practically beg their wives for sex and wives feel like they’re not being validated enough by their husbands” she’s not enthusiastic:

But what about this daily bombardment of television shows and movies, depicting marriage as the root of all evil? The truth is that these comedies and films play off of real life, and we know this to be the case because we laugh at their humor. We laugh because we recognize truth. People love shows like Everybody Loves Raymond because a depiction of an average guy dealing with the daily struggles of marriage is true to the way it is outside of that rectangular, silver screen. Unmarried couples may not entirely relate to the humor but they understand that this is what they’ll eventually encounter once they walk down the aisle. Are we destined for the same path as Ed and Peggy Bundy, we wonder.

So we turn off our televisions, looking elsewhere for signs of encouragement, only to be bombarded by another reality check on the state of marriage today: the nation’s divorce rate, which towers over us at all times, giving us very good reason to doubt that we will escape the odds.

The media’s reflection of our marital problems may be exaggerated ~ but as Neely points out, it’s funny because it’s true. Marriage is a tricky thing, and certainly our libidos aren’t magically put in sync just because we live together. But if I were to look at our media for answers regarding how we’ve got to this place where Ed and Peggy Bundy are more typical than representative of our greatest fears, I’d say the problem lies with the fantasy of marriage.

From early on we are fed fantasies wherein once love is found they ride off into the sunset. If the story is supposed to be saying “and they lived happily ever after,” they never show it. In film, finding one’s mate is the end of the story when in truth it should be just the beginning.

While we often are entertained by (and feed-off of) the drama of ‘the chase’ and the obstacles faced in the pursuit, we forget that ‘ever after’ is a story complete with dramas of its own. There are obstacles, chases and pursuits to be found in every marriage and I think we should thank our lucky stars for that ~ for each one is a chance to reaffirm our love and dedication.

In the romantic movies, our heroes and heroines do not crumple at the first (or even the 10th) problem presented ~ instead they keep their eye on the prize and fight for the chance at true love. Shouldn’t we view and pursue our marriages with the same ardor, passion and dedication?

Work, bills, children, household chores ~ surely none of these is as difficult as the matter of finding, competing for, and securing your mate. (And in truth, now that we are a couple we can attack these problems together; it’s you and me against the world, kid.)

He’s a morning person while she’s most definitely not, he’s stressed out at the job, she’s afraid she’s not as lovely as she once was ~ surely these will yield to the holding of hands, a quiet shared look in a crowded room, a secret slap on the bottom…

We are presented with a myriad of opportunities to sweep our partners off their feet, seduce and charm our ways into their beds, and show that obstacles mean nothing in light of our love.

We need not be complete drama lovers and go overboard creating chaos or imagining things ready to tear the marriage apart, but we can view the problems, difficulties and obstacles with more passion. We can treat each obstacle as the romantic lead does: as a chance to prove our love and win our mate.

And of course, at the end of the day we should be as eager to fall into bed.

Image via.

Dating Rules: Should You Say “I Love You” First?

From the “Rules that everyone tells you that are just plain stupid” files…

Relationship rule myth: Never, and I mean never, say ‘I love you’ first.

OK, suppose every single person the world-over adopted this rubbish — who would ever be told the three magic words? Someone has to say them first.

The real rule here is not to rush into saying such important words.

Learn to discern love from infatuation; love from good sex; lasting romantic love from loving attention.

No matter how genuine your feelings, don’t blurt such sentiments too soon. How soon is too soon? Well, there’s no magic rule here, unfortunately, but use some common sense. Has he or she even known you long enough, well enough, to have fallen in love with you?

Just ‘cuz you’re on the emotional express train, doesn’t mean you need to express your emotions before the guy or gal catches up with you.

When you’re convinced not only that what you are feeling is lasting & real, but that the object of your lifetime worthy affection has had enough time to possibly know enough about you to feel the same, then go ahead, be the first to say it. Leave them the sloppy seconds of saying so too.

But if they don’t, well, so what? Maybe you were too quick on the draw with your love bullets this time — only more time will tell, right?

Dating In This Economy Part One: Meeting Someone

Hey Alessia,

With all this talk about people staying home in this economy, do you have any tips for meeting new people to date?

I’m thinking going door-to-door is a bad idea ;)


You’re right, Samantha, going door-to-door like a Girl Scout with your cookies is not recommended.

Happy Girl Scouts

While I think the hype about the economy keeping people home is slightly exaggerated (people still need to go to work, buy food, and exit their homes; we are not living in bomb shelters), I think now’s as good a time as any to review some tips on where to meet guys & girls to date.

This list of suggestions is primarily based on suggestions I give to self-described “shy” &/or “bookish” people who say their “lack of social butterfly status” makes it more difficult to find potential dates, but if you believe that the soft economy makes for hard times finding guys (or girls), then here’s a list of five tips for making it easier to find someone:

1. If you’re old like me, you probably remember back in the 90′s how so many dating advisers suggested you meet a potential mate at the grocery store. I personally found this advice rather silly; treating the frozen foods isle or butcher section like a meet (or meat) market is asking for lots of mistakes to be made. Since I cannot cook, the idea of the humiliation of hitting on husbands shopping off the wifey’s grocery list & gay guys made me laugh & cringe… But I also think it is impractical because hanging out in a grocery store is not only creepy but a huge time investment — spent on your feet yet! However…

If you want a mate who can & will do the cooking, hang out at the local farmer’s market. Unlike grocery stores which are open long hours (some even 24/7), farmers’ markets are typically run for a few hours on weekend mornings, making your cruising times more realistic. Because they are “events,” not “just shopping,” you’ll find most people are strolling along, willing to talk, and more relaxed and open in general than when they are in a rush running errands. Not only are you likely to identify (especially over time with multiple visits) single men & have more opportunity to have conversations, but buying fresh foods grown locally will improve your diet, save you money, and put money back into your local economy too.

2. If you’re convinced that folks in your town are holing up at home more to save money, then keep your eyes open when making your own home entertainment arrangements. Bookstores, video rental places, gardening centers, stores that sell games, music retailers, hobby supply centers, sporting good stores, etc. — all places you probably are going anyway, so just keep your eyes open for other regular shoppers & start a conversation.

If you don’t have any interests — get some. Seriously; life’s too short to spend it laying like a vegetable on your couch, whether you are doing it alone or as a couple.

3. People are still visiting cheap places. Check your local community calender listings for free or inexpensive events in your interest area. The holiday season is an especially good time for parties, charity fundraisers, etc.; summer offers food & music festivals, flea markets, state & local fairs, etc. Make the most of community resources, like libraries, parks, museums, art galleries, historical societies, zoos, colleges & universities, which often have lecture series, book readings, plays, concerts, & other special events.

Many of these places also offer membership options which include free or discounted admission rates for members — which makes frequent visits affordable.

Those old theaters in the old downtown areas often have free or cheap film retrospectives & festivals. Even malls have those weekend events, like fashion shows, craft fairs, art shows, antique sales. There are lots of things; look for them and attend them.

4. Support local community organizations by volunteering. Some of these organizations can be found in your local papers & online, of course; but don’t overlook calls to the United Way etc. for help matching you with an organization &/or program that needs your skills & help to serve an issue you believe in.

You’re sure to find other singles who are caring and committed to the same concerns & issues that you are — or make friends who just happen to know someone who is single and looking for a girl like you…

You’ll be able to pay it forward & help people while you wait for Mr. or Ms. right.

5. As always, my number one suggestion for meeting new people is to hang out with family & friends, meet their friends and accept set-ups. While we may groan internally at such things, ignore such things and the plethora of negative film & television portrayals of such dates. Studies indicate that we really do find the best relationship matches when we are set up by family & friends. This is because we & our set-up (or blind date) will typically have shared values, similar socio-economic backgrounds, and common interests — as well as the support of family & friends. All these things increase compatibility & long term relationship success — things you can’t afford to ignore in any economy.

So get on the bandwagon, put on a sunny face and face the day. Who knows you you may find along the way?

Image credits: Channel One

Walking The Line Of Bad Relationships

Kari wrote in:

I was so glad to read your post on bad relationship signs – I saw myself in number 10.

My husband has been two-timing me for at least 5 years of our 11 year marriage. When I confront him, he is always sorry — but mainly for himself in his “inability to choose” He says he can’t break off his relationship with the other woman, but that he will in time, that I make him stronger and when he is strong enough he will end it with her. I want to believe him because I love him… But my heart knows better; he’s having his cake and eating it too. How do I get him to break it off and have a healthy relationship, the marriage I signed-up for?

Kari, I’m afraid you don’t get to make him to break it off.

No one can make anyone do anything. (Well, literally, it can be done. But then it’s controlling and abusive; Guantánamo Bay detention camp is no model for good relationships.)

The only person you control in your relationships is you.

But that doesn’t leave you powerless. Far from it.

Gregory Peck & Tuesday Weld in I Walk The Line (1970)

1) You can draw the line for yourself. If your marriage was agreed to and built upon the notion of fidelity and his actions to the contrary hurt you, then do not accept anything else but his fidelity.


2) Communicate that line. Tell him in no uncertain terms that his infidelity is not just upsetting to you, but a breach of contract. Let him know that if he does not end his extra curricular activities that the marriage is over. Or, if you don’t want to bother working on this relationship any more, tell him that since he did not end his affairs the marriage is over. (You should know if you want to continue this relationship or not before you communicate your line; it does no good to demand he toe the line when you just want out.)

Don’t let him cry & claim that you are giving him an unfair ultimatum; he has committed a breach so fundamental that he has terminated the contract. It’s not you; it is him.

3) Walk the line. Should he not cease his affairs with women, you must then take a walk: leave & sue for divorce. Almost all states are no “no fault” divorce states, so you should be able to get divorced without a problem; few states allow fault divorces, so you may not be allowed to actually sue for damages. Even if you live in a place as ridiculously difficult to divorce in as New York, you should be able to find another location or get thee to Guam. In any case you will get your clean slate and the opportunity to find a healthy relationship.

You probably figured out that these three steps, draw the line, communicate the line, and walk the line, can all be used for any relationship, any circumstance (though in cases of domestic violence, greater care must be taken in dealing with the abuser — for instance, communicating the line is not only an irrelevant step, but a dangerous one).

But no matter what your partner does or doesn’t do, you must know what you want/need, set the boundaries & enforce them for yourself. Draw your lines, communicate them (if only to yourself and your support system), and then walk the expectations — even if that means walking away. You will never have a healthy relationship until you do.

Image info: Movie poster from I Walk the Line.

Rape Isn’t So Bad If It’s For Lust & Not Money

My area of the Twitterverse is a-fire with tweets about this idiotic post by Roger Helmer MEP:

Words like “rape” and “murder” cover a spectrum of activities, and degrees of culpability. Let’s consider a couple of murder scenarios.

First, suppose a kidnapper seizes the son of a wealthy family, and extorts money from the parents. Then after the ransom is paid, he seeks to cover his tracks by deliberately murdering his hostage.

Second scenario: a young husband returns home to find his bride in flagrante delicto with the milkman. In a fit of blind rage, the husband attacks the milkman, who dies of his injuries.

In both cases the assailant is guilty of murder, and deserves to be convicted and punished. But the cases are hugely different. In the first case, the murder is calculated, premeditated, deliberate and undertaken for money. In the second case, none of these comments applies. In the first case, I’d happily hang the murderer (I’m part of that retrograde majority which still believes in the death penalty). In the second case, a much more lenient sentence would be appropriate.

In the same way, let’s consider two rape scenarios.

The first is the classic “stranger-rape”, where a masked individual emerges from the bushes, hits his victim over the head with a blunt instrument, drags her into the undergrowth and rapes her, and the leaves her unconscious, careless whether she lives or dies.

The second is “date rape”. Imagine that a woman voluntarily goes to her boyfriend’s apartment, voluntarily goes into the bedroom, voluntarily undresses and gets into bed, perhaps anticipating sex, or naïvely expecting merely a cuddle. But at the last minute she gets cold feet and says “Stop!”. The young man, in the heat of the moment, is unable to restrain himself and carries on.

In both cases an offence has been committed, and the perpetrators deserve to be convicted and punished. But whereas in the first case, I’d again be quite happy to hang the guy, I think that most right-thinking people would expect a much lighter sentence in the second case. Rape is always wrong, but not always equally culpable.

My two scenarios also give the lie to one of the popular over-simplifications trotted out by the feminist tendency in these cases: “Rape is always about power and control and domination, never about sex”. In the first case, that may well be true. In the second case, it is clearly not true.

Let me make another point which will certainly get me vilified, but which I think is important to make: while in the first case, the blame is squarely on the perpetrator and does not attach to the victim, in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind.

All I can say I’ve said before. So here’s a, “Thanks for giving males permission to be dumb animals with no ability to control themselves, jerk,” to Roger — and anyone else who agrees with his dangerous bullshit.

The Sweet Smell of Sex

Over at Pretty Dumb Things, Chelsea Girl wondered about her committed relationship and why they were having less than stellar sex:

And I have tried, I have tried and I have tried to get Donny to hear my complaints. I have mentioned how he used to tie me up and wasn’t that fun, wouldn’t he like a go at the old ropes again? I have said, wow, I really liked it when you dripped me with candle wax, whaddaya think, got a match? I have said, you know, I really enjoy being spanked. How about spanking me? I have insinuated, intimated, directly addressed, queried, said outright and asked point blank. I have done so for almost a year, and for almost a year, I have seen our sex life get more and more firmly entrenched in what I can only term in absolute honesty as a rut.

Saturday, I lost patience, and I kinda sorta, no really, let Donny have it. I told him that I was dissatisfied. I reminded him of the sex we used to have–long, languorous and perverse loops of time and experience where we held each other suspended in passion and occasional pain. I told him that I realized that this kind of sex wasn’t an everyday option, but given how rarely we do fuck, that I needed it to happen more frequently than it had.

I told him, in short, that we were in a rut. I told him that I wanted out. Whether I meant the rut or the relationship was intentionally ambiguous.

“Well,” he said, a stricken look on his face, “when I met you and we did all that stuff, I wasn’t in love with you. But now I love you, and…” his voice trailed off.

Which leaves me to wonder. What has love got to do with it? Why now that my boyfriend is in love with me and I with him, now that he takes care of me, now that he’s committed to me, why with all of that, does the nasty need to go away? Why can’t he fuck me like the little whore I used to be (and still am in my mind)? Why must I sacrifice the wild ecstatic pleasures to the domestic delights? Why do I have to lose my lover to gain a partner?

Why can’t I have it all?

…I hope fervently that we can relearn how to be beasty in the bedroom and keep the commitment. It’s a lot less easy than I thought it would be.

Yes, Chelsea, it is. It will be. Relationships take work and sometimes that work along with the daily grind make sex between committed partners seem more like sex with a friend or a sibling even. (Yeesh!)

That spark, that je ne sais quoi, that makes folks tumble into bed together is dampened if not completely put out by the wet blanked of security, familiarity and comfort which we all prize in our relationships — well, at least until it smothers the sex, then we wonder if it’s all it’s cracked-up to be.

Without trying to play counselor to Chelsea and Donny — the former I’ve ‘conversed with’ a few times, the later I don’t know from Adam — I do have general advice for this general situation of a general sexual rut. And it’s really simple: Hit him in the nose.

No, not literally. Use his sense of smell to get him in the mood.

Memories, complete with all associated emotions such as arousal and lust, can be prompted by smell. I’m serious — it works for both men and women. And I’m not talking about pheromones or other odors you either aren’t aware of or cannot control; I’m talking about recreating the fragrances you both fell in lust with. Your perfume, his cologne, candles, incense — even the smell of a smoky bar can literally be that magic “something in the air” which you’ve been missing.

Smells are strongly linked to memory, so simply spritzing on that signature perfume you always used to wear when you were dating or lighting candles in the same scents you first made-out to can take your partner back to those emotional feelings. I personally know a couple whose sex life soared to re-newed heights when she took a part-time job back in waitressing. Every night that she returned home smelling of fried foods it took him back to when he used to pick her up after work late at night… They were young then, and their night was just beginning…

Who knew fried foods could be so sexy?

Well, in truth, it’s not the fried foods but the smell connected to emotion. One whiff and he was transported back in time… A time when he couldn’t wait to get a chance to feel her up under her polyester uniform and prayed for more. His drive returned with the memories (and she made a bit of extra spending cash to buy herself new trinkets which made her feel sexy too). Win-win!

So dig out that bottle of perfume or cologne you once put on for every date night — I don’t care if those fragrances are so last year (or even so 1980’s), just put them on again. (Unless these bottles themselves have turned bad, then head to the store and buy a new bottle. If they stopped making that fragrance, ask the lady at the perfume counter to help you find the latest scent which is the closest match.) Ditto on the candles — burn Christmas candles all year long if you were getting hot and sweaty during holiday time.

If you don’t believe me, then believe Dr. Alan Hirsch founder of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. Dr. Hirsch has studied olfactory-evoked nostalgia (sometimes called the Proust Effect) and he says, “The quickest way to affect somebody’s moods or behavior, quicker than with any other sensory modality, is with smell.”

This is because of how smell and memory are linked — in fact, we must first remember a smell before identifying it. This means that not only is odor linked to experiences, that smell evokes memories, but that smell is better at this memory cue effect than the other senses. So if you want him to remember a special time, a special feeling — that feeling — think less about how you look or what you are wearing, but about what you both are smelling.

This is entirely unconscious, so you need not get your partner to agree — or even tell them about your sweet-smelling seduction plans!

Of course, some scent memories may have changed over time. For example, some women can no longer wear their old favorite fragrance because that smell is linked to the memory, and nausea, of morning sickness. But this too is good news — it’s proof that your smell-memory connection can be relearned. If your partner isn’t keen on smelling like fried foods every night just to get it on, start spritzing on a new perfume, lighting candles, or even get a new car fragrance tree on the rear-view if you can’t wait to get home to do it — whatever new scent you add to the hot steamy sex will quickly become the new sexy smell memory.

If all else fails, serve him pumpkin pie while burning a lavender candle. Or burn a pumpkin candle and a lavender candle at the same time. Because Dr. Hirsch found the smell of pumpkin pie, when mixed with the smell of lavender, stimulated male sexual arousal more than any other aroma tested. It increased penile blood flow in test subjects by 40 per cent, 13 times more than designer perfume.

And keep those candles burning until you are done and both (I hope!) blissfully basking in the afterglow, because after sex there’s an increase in the production of the hormone makes the brain to form new neurons in the olfactory center. Which not only improves sense of smell, but, again, helps link the smell to the sense of satisfaction.

Responding To’s Top 10 Scary Girlfriend Behaviors

Alessia here, responding to’s Top 10 Scary Girlfriend Behaviors, so that they — and you — can, you know, learn something.

10 She knows things about you that you haven’t told her. Uh, maybe that’s because you men are transparent children and we can see right through you.

9 She introduces herself to your family & friends behind your back. OK, that is wildly inappropriate, if not down-right scary stalker behavior. Girls & boys, don’t do that. However…

This line, “If she gets in good with the ones you trust, it will be much harder to give her the eventual heave-ho,” is stupid. Unless you are a completely dependent or codependent person, any grown-up can and does run their own relationships and break-ups.

8 She responds to messages on your behalf. Unless she was practicing number 9 — or you were, silly boy, by not being a gown-up and avoiding things, this doesn’t really happen.

7 She has all your passwords without you having given them to her. This is like stalker No 9 behavior. Learn boundaries, people.

6 She shows up in places unexpectedly. First of all, don’t tell her where you’ll be if you don’t want her to know — that way, unless she’s a stalker doing number 9 things, it won’t happen. But girls, if a guy didn’t invite you, you’re not welcome. And that doesn’t have to be personal; it’s just some personal time.

5 She made a key to your house without asking. The article continues to say, “How she did it isn’t important right now because you should be much more concerned with why she did it and what you’re going to have to say to get it back.” Well, the freaking “how” is important. Because unless you’re a weak dude who won’t admit you actually gave her the key (or one to copy), the chick is not right in the head. Ditto guys who do this to girls.

4 She stops taking birth control without telling you. There’s so much wrong with this, I have to show it to you:

As crazy as she’s been acting, the sex is still porn-movie material. It makes sense because the crazy ones are always phenomenal in the sack. You ditched the love glove weeks ago because she is on the pill. At least you think she is on the pill. You haven’t see her take it, she hasn’t had to stop at the pharmacy for a refill and, now that you think about it, you can’t recall the last time she had a monthly visit from “Aunt Flo.”

How to handle it: You could just be imagining things, but come right out and ask her if she is still on birth control. Ask to see proof. Make up an excuse, like a friend who just found out his girlfriend is unexpectedly expecting, and it made you realize that you’re in no way ready to be a dad. She’ll want to ease your fears and show that she still pops the pill daily. If she can’t show proof, you’ll need to make a pit stop at the pharmacy for a new stock of rubber raincoats and a home pregnancy test.

Whoa, there’s so much unconditional love and trust going on there, I’m nearly at a loss for words. Nearly.

Dudes, did she ever say she was on the pill or any other birth control? If she did, she’ll tell you if/when she’s going to stop. Likely she’ll tell you why too. But she will tell you before she stops and probably even tell you to go get condoms. Why? Because she knows she’s the one at greatest risk with a pregnancy, so she’ll avoid it.

Unless, of course, all your worst stereotypical male behavior is an indication that you are living in some soap opera or movie… Then yeah, she’s gonna try to trap you into marriage by having you help create a fetus; because we womenfolk know just how well that works out for us.

(That’s dripping with sarcasm; I tell you that because if you’re so dumb as to believe this has a greater likelihood of occurrance than her killing you and your entire family, you probably can’t figure it out.)

3 She gets physical when arguing. Yes, that is scary. (Though the odds of that are far less than the odds of you men hitting a woman.) But you missed the opportunity here,, to suggest how to properly deal with abuse, i.e. get professional help for the both of you &/or stop dating/end contact entirely.

2 She threatens to hurt/kill herself. Yup, that’s scary. Neither guys nor girls should do this. Also see my previous advice about getting professional help, etc.

But then, article author Chris Illuminati (an ironic pen name, I suppose?), you had to go and say this: “The other scary behaviors should have raised enough red flags.”

OMG here I thought we were talking about the Top 10 Scary Things Women Can Do, not building the stalking pyramid of danger of one freak of a girlfriend!

I don’t want to blame a victim, but if this is all the same woman why didn’t you leave earlier? Why, Chris, didn’t you better title and otherwise sell this article as the 10 Steps To Death From A Lover?

1 She won’t let you break up with her. I think that’s a repeat of number two, personally… Or at least one and two should be reversed because only an spineless idiot is more freaked by continued contact than by suicidal (or homicidal) threats.

Yes, you ignore all contact with her; yes, you tell your family & friends do please do the same. And if we are talking about the same chick (or dude) here, you also contact the police so that there is a record of the stalking behavior and perhaps you change your phone number, tell family and friends you’ve done so (possiblly have them do the same).

And really, is this comical photo the one you should really be using here? Really?

Cougar Dating Tips

Don’t tell him your first car was a Studebaker

If he ask if you’re on the pill, he’s probably not talking
about the hormone pill you take to help you through your menopause.

I’d love to see more about this book, if not the actual book itself; but I’ve not been able to find anything else about it.

According to the cover of Tips for Vintage Women with Young Lover, the book and its illustrations are by B.A. Jackson. The Harlem Writer’s Guild says it’s by Betty Ann Jackson; but further research shows that might be a typo and the author is Betty Anne Jackson.

If you know anymore about this book or where to purchase it, let me know.

Dogs, Cats, Mr. Right, And Other Companion Animals

When making a list of qualities you are looking for in a mate, don’t overlook some of the basic fundamentals of companionship you’ve enjoyed in relationships with pets.

Forget about those jokes (and the sometimes realities) of people looking like their pets. Forget about Dominatrixes (and Cosmo articles) which tell you to treat your mate like a dog — and to train your mate before he or she trains you. Forget all that stuff and think about what you can learn about dating and relationships from your pets. After all, pets are companion animals — and that companionship thing is pretty important when it comes to dating, relationships, and selecting a mate.

Whether you have a pet now or must recall your furry friend from your past, I’m sure you’ve experienced pets who were perfect for you and those who drove you crazy. Somethings (like being woken in the middle of the night by a cold wet puppy nose — or vicious needle-like kitten teeth — on your toes) are likely not to repeat themselves with humans (at least not without special circumstances — or, if you like such things, assistance), but you can still learn a few things about relationships from Rover and Misty.

Just how much time you spend with your pet — and what you do together — can give you clues to qualities to look for in a mate. Are you and your ideal companion animal more apt to get up and start each day with a 30 minute run, or more likely to snuggle together on the sofa watching hours of classic films on TCM? Or maybe your ideal companion doesn’t snuggle so much as “is around” while you lounge on the sofa… You share the same love of relaxation but you both appreciate your space; neither of you enjoys smothering nor being smothered.

I’m a very nervous person; little, jumpy, nervous dogs who bark a lot drive me nuts. I avoided committing myself to people who would similarly drive me nuts — and looked for people who didn’t mind my energy, nerves, and yes, my barking. (In my marriage, I’m definitely the vocal little bitch — but it works for us.)

If you haven’t any pets now, you might also consider “why you haven’t” as offering some meaningful insight into your relationship readiness, needs, & expectations. If your work makes pet ownership seem unfair (traveling too much, may relocate at any moment, or otherwise cannot take on the responsibility), then perhaps you aren’t ready for the responsibilities of human companionship either — well, you’re probably not ready for a live-in relationship at least.

If you think stray hairs on your sweater or the sofa are too distressing to even consider them a fair trade for any companionship, it won’t help any if the hairs come from a human head (or a human giving head); you aren’t ready for the give and take of a relationship.

If you think of a pet as “someday” thing, think about what sort of pet you’d be most likely to get.

More often than not, “Dog People” or “Cat People” are just more annoying labels we use to dismiss people but there are things we can learn about ourselves as dog &/or cat people — if we stick to characteristics, not amusing stereotypes.

“Cat people” often prefer cats because they are more self-sufficient and less needy than dogs. So if your schedule or personality means you won’t be home everyday at 6 PM to feed, walk, and entertain a pet, then it would be best for your ideal mate to be more self-sufficient and less needy too.

“Dog people” often say they prefer dogs “because they listen” or “they aren’t as sneaky as cats” — what I think they are trying to get to is that dogs are typically more likely to come when called and willing to spend time with you than most other pets.

If you’re a self-described dog or cat person, what are your reasons — aside from allergies, there’s probably a lot you can learn about who Mr. Right will (and won’t) be.

Image Credits: Cats Rule Poster by DiscoveryPets.

If You’re Lonely & Wistful This Valentine’s Day…

If the holiday of romance has you looking backwards, remembering a love you once had, a first love, instead of celebrating a romance of today or eagerly looking for the romance of the future, I ask you to limit your indulgent trip down memory lane to just this one day…

Anything longer, anything more than a fond remembrance over a carton of ice cream (shedding of tears optional) is putting your romantic future at risk.

See, we have this tendency to remember the relationships of the past through rose-colored glasses or an emotional layer of sepia tones, glossing over the reasons why it didn’t work out. And the further away in time those relationships were, the worse it gets.

Like the cultural recalling of the “good old days,” we tend to forget that those easy-peasy, lemon-squeezey relationships of yesteryear seem so easy largely because we were younger, our problems smaller. Especially when seen with the older & wiser (and somewhat world-weary) eyes of today.

But the danger of living even remotely in past romance isn’t just that we might be missing the moments of today; it’s that we are seeking simpler times, simpler relationships, setting up unrealistic standards for the relationships of tomorrow.

So feel free to enjoy or even wallow in the romantic past for the day. A day. But don’t try to live there.

Or you won’t ever be happy where you are now.

Image via Since She Left.

13 Things Not To Say On The First Date


Funny and wise tips found on Twitter:

marceldavis #nottosayonfirstdate I love you

RyanDenyse #nottosayonfirstdate my ex cheated on me and gave me a STD

SecretSiren I’m sorry if I seem nervous. I don’t usually date outside the family #nottosayonfirstdate

rauldg DAMN YOUR MOM IS HOT #nottosayonfirstdate

Koolmojay #nottosayonfirstdate “Can i borrow $20?”

Thisrespekwear #nottosayonfirstdate my curfew is at 10pm

tejas74 How much do you weigh. And im not asking becuase you look fat its jthe sex swing in the bedroom is only rated to 160lbs #NotToSayOnFirstDate

PurestEmotion #nottosayonfirstdate I have commitment issues.

InkPanther Can you believe minorities and women get to VOTE??? Crazy right? #NotToSayOnFirstDate

vickypinheiro #nottosayonfirstdate do you wanna go see New Moon ?

unclesean I love this restaurant. My dates seem to cry a lot here but the restaurant itself is great.

iheartyou_ #nottosayonfirstdate i’m just waiting on my test results for my chlamydia test.

SpongeBreezy #nottosayonfirstdate you know if you order lobster or steak or anythin over $10 I automatically get to f*** u for 3 months right?

PS You can hook-up with me on Twitter: @UnderarmStick.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Cosmo Aims To Sweep Her Off Her Feet With Bad Sex Advice

At Motherhood Metamorphosis, Deanna writes, “You Know Sex Ed Is Really Bad When… Cosmo can’t even get it right. In their instructions for Sex Position of the Day: Sensual Shower, their diagram for how to achieve erotic thrills literally misses the mark — the genitals don’t even line up.”

And then she proves the point, by illustrating the error of Cosmo‘s ways.  (If you’re a curious grown-up who won’t be offended, click here to see the line drawings.)

The one thing that Deanna failed to note is that along with impossible penetration, the female form is levitated. Perhaps that’s Cosmo pandering to men again, allowing him to imagine his pen-is a mighty sword, capable of lifting women off of the ground

Does Makeup Keep You From Getting Laid? (Or, When He Professes He Likes The ‘Natural’ Look)

Don’t you just hate it when your man turns to you and says, “I like you better without make-up,” or makes some comment about how he “prefers the natural look” — and you remember how you looked when you met, all dolled-up. You (and I) know that he was drawn to you for how you looked that night… His lust was written all over his face — in his own drool! Yet here is now, acting like that never ever happened. Infuriating, isn’t it?

So just what is the deal, anyway?

Is he complaining about the artifice because he feels tricked? No, not if he’s been with you for months, treating you like a queen, married you; he’s already gotten over you, your morning face, and the fact that your push-up bra is a devilish bit of engineering and your lips aren’t naturally that rosy.

Is this his way of making you less attractive to other guys? Well, I can’t rule that possibility in or out without knowing more… Some controlling guys do do that. But I can tell you what I know.

Fact: Men are naturally, biologically, attracted to beauty. So when they say they don’t like the ‘unnatural’ beauty what they are really saying is that they don’t like living with it. And not because they aren’t man enough to shave at the same sink where pink lipstick sits.

Sure, men see you all dolled-up and are attracted to it, but that’s more of an unconscious thing, a perception; their complaints are based on more direct and palpable experiences.

Think back to your own first experiences with makeup… Remember when you first put on that Chapstick, Bonnie Bell Lipsmacker, gloss or lipstick? You sure could feel the pure petroleum, the carnauba wax, and whatever else puts the Eeeiiww in eeeiiww-mollients. It took some time getting used to… But you put up with it for the attention you got. Men (at least the complaining sort) don’t find any perks for dealing with it and just plain don’t want to get used to it.

Some guys will accept a girl who is high-maintenance because she’s needy, neurotic or controlling longer than they will a high-maintenance glamour girl, simply because it’s a lot easier for them to avoid the emotional sticky-stuff than it is the unappealing tactile issues of cosmetic goo.

So just how does a woman balance the application of makeup to highlight her features and be desirable yet remain touchable?

For help I enlisted the help of some other women who make their livings off of being attractive to men: sex workers. Yup, I asked strippers, escorts, and call girls for some beauty advice. I figured they’d be the ones to know.

(I shouldn’t have to say this, but many people are paranoid when it comes to sex workers, so I will. No one is stating or implying that men seek the services of a sex worker simply due to makeup issues; those reasons are far more complicated. No one is making the comparison between the use of cosmetics and being a whore; so-called ‘painted ladies’ are everywhere now. And, for the record, not all sex work is illegal; and let’s not get all tied up in the ‘morality debate’ — today anyway. This is just about working girls sharing how they work the makeup.)

Beauty Tips From Sex Workers

When it comes to make-up, less is definitely more. You want to create “come hither,” but not “look, don’t touch!” So don’t go the model route, with layers of concealers, color correctors, foundation, lip liner, filler, and stains. You’re not posing for hours here, looking aloof and untouchable, so don’t create any unnecessary barriers to being touched.

If you don’t want to discourage the nooners, that potential kiss at the office, or you just don’t want to wake-up scary (plus sleeping in makeup does bad things to your eyes and skin), the old K.I.S.S. — Keep It Simple Stupid — really does apply to makeup application.

Skip the foundations; just use a sunblock and powder. If you insist, blusher. And if you’ve got a blemish or two, just dab on a concealer (or concealing zit treatment) before you powder.

Keep your eye makeup simple too. The most natural eyeshadow color is a violet or mauve — these are shades naturally found it most every complexion, believe it or not (think of the tint blood vessels give the thin skin on the eyelid) so they look the least like “make-up.”

Either use waterproof mascara that will last; or one that is super easily removed (with soap & water or baby wipes — very portable!). Several of these sex workers also said that they ‘cheated’ by using mascara as a liner, using the tip of the applicator to line at the base of the eyelashes. It gives a less noticeable line and it stays put longer than eye liners.

Do not ever line the inside of your eyes with liner. Not only does it actually make your eyes appear smaller, but it’s not good for your eyes and it always goos-up in the corners of your eyes. Not a good look for intimate situations, when he’s taking in your every little detail.

Powder, powder, powder! Use a light application of loose powder to set everything from your blusher to your eyeliner and eyeshadow. Your makeup will wear longer, rub off less, yet it’s easily removed when you want to take it off.

Lipstick: Red lips work. Get a really good sheer red lipstick (One worker specifically noted some shades: “I love Lauder’s Sheer Cherry, though I think that color’s not regularly sold anymore; look for it in the Gift With Purchase sets and seasonal sets. And Avon’s Slick Tint in Glossy Wine is fab!”). If you keep your lips exfoliated (easy to do when you wash your face by gently rubbing your lips with a wet washcloth), you can use a liner to fill in your lips beneath the for extra vibrancy and longer staying power — but if your lips tend to be dry, beware how dry the liner will make your lips look if you blot your lipstick off. Of course, if the skin around your lips is very dry, avoid reds and other bright colors as they bleed and make a mess even before you kiss.

(Of course, there are plenty of guys who get-off on smeared makeup — especially when your eyes tear from err, taking it deep & gagging. But these aren’t the guys who are going to complain that you’re too made up!)

Some men are extremely sensitive to scents & smells and you might be surprised just how many smells there are on you when you’re using beauty products — especially when things heat up and scents start to rise into the air. Take it from the women who make a living off of men who don’t want to go home smelling like another woman: avoid lots of scents. Look for ‘sensitive skin’ beauty & skin care products as one of the first things they remove are the perfumes and masking scents. This includes your skin care, your shampoo, your body care products too.

Men don’t like hair they can’t touch. Generally speaking, they want to pull your pony during doggy; not get slapped by you for mussing the ‘do or harming a weave.

Oh, and finger nails! Sure, long nails are pretty in faux lesbian porn, but generous men worry that you won’t be able to rub-out your own orgasm, voyeurs worry they won’t be able to watch it, selfish or quick guys know theire days (and nights) are numbered, and very few men want to see a dragon lady nail going for their prostrate! (One escort noted, “I compromise and have 9 long ones, keeping ‘the shocker’ short.”)

Now that he’s taken you up on the come-hither-offer, it’s time for clean-up. You know that furtive post-coitus pee you take (or at least you should be taking it — urinating after sex helps wash away bacteria; otherwise you risk urinary tract infections) — use that to fix makeup smudges or wash it off entirely and reapply it in minutes. You’ll look as fresh as a daisy — that’s just been plucked!

If you follow these tips, you likely won’t hear him complain about makeup anymore. (But don’t blame me if he can’t keep his hands off you!)

Make-Up Works: Exaggerated Beauty Gets Noticed

Also in the December issue of Psychology Today, Mina Shaghaghi reports on the findings of a series of studies by Richard Russell of Gettysburg College which explains the “allure of dramatic eye makeup and va-va-voom red lips on women has biological roots.”

It seems that what glamor girls do (whether they know it or not) is increase the contrast of the eyes and lips against the rest of the face — and such contrasts communicate femininity and attractiveness.


These studies indicate that it’s not so much the colors of your cosmetics, but that they darken the eyes and lips, making the rest of your complexion pale even more by comparison.

For more on this, visit Richard Russell’s Research page (scroll to the bottom for the Artificial Enhancement of Facial Signals studies).

Two Tickets To Erotica Novella-Land, Maxim Style

In a real shocker, Maxim publishes obvious sex information with girl-on-girl photos. (Just ‘cuz hubby got shafted with a Maxim replacement subscription when Stuff folded, does he have to keep re-subscribing? Maxim ain’t no Stuff; Stuff was Stuff. ‘Nuff said?)

Anyway, the article is all about how people have more sex (including kinkier sex) on vacation because they’re relaxed. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, the best vacation spots for steamy sex are literally hot spots, like the tropical islands. I think the only stereotypical thing Maxim missed in the trite and trashy Have Condom, Will Travel was a reference to powerful thrusting love swords.

Anyway, if your man’s a subscriber to Maxim and he suggests taking you away for a relaxing vay-cay, well, you know what he’s expecting.



Can He Last Three Minutes?

In the November issue of O (and that stands for Oprah, not Orgasm or, Dr. Helen Fisher discusses love at first site — or something rather close in her What’s Love Got To Do With It? column, “The First Three Minutes.”

Retro Tina-Turner-tune-title aside, the article itself is rather fascinating as it says that the first three minutes are essential for romance — and yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as love at first sight.

Fisher says — and my decades of dating experience agrees — that it takes less than one second to decide whether you find someone physically attractive. Then, if the dude passes, women listen. But what they are listening for may surprise you…

Women generally regard rapid talkers talkers as more educated and men with full, deep voices as better-looking than they are.

What the men say is also important — but, it seems, that even if we don’t really love the sound of our own voices, we are hoping to hear ourselves:

We like people who use the same words we use.

We are also drawn to those who have a similar degree of intelligence, share our religious and social values, and come from the same economic background — and we quickly determine these attributes from a man’s words (not to mention how he dresses and wears his hair, whether he’s carrying a briefcase of a soccer ball, and if he’s sporting a gold watch or a tattoo).

If all this sounds a bit too easy to be true, Fisher notes a survey by Ben-Gurion University’s Dr. Ayala Malach-Pines which says that maybe it is: Only 11% of her survey respondents said their long-term relationships began with love at first site.

So then Fisher points out that psychologists say that the the more you interact with a person you like (even slightly), the more you will come to find them good-looking, smart — and the all important “similar to you.”

Unless, that is, you discover a real deal-breaker.

But then that’s what dating is for, right? To spot the bad stuff before you have the mortgage, the kids, and a dog you both want.

Click the pic to read the entire scanned article:


College Co-Ed Dating Humor, 1950

“The relationship of a boy and a girl is like the hands on a clock…”


The above was said by a student on NBC’s Halls of Ivy, a show which, according to Quick magazine (March 27, 1950), “twits life in a co-educational college.”

I’m not sure what the heck ‘twits’ means… I don’t think it was an lame attempt by the media to sound cool about Twitter — but likely was a lame attempt to sound cool period. *wink*

Of But-Tirades & Tirades About Arsehole Jon Gosselin

While fellow Twolia bloggers are debating Kate Gosselin (here — which I agree with — and here), I thought I’d point out what you can learn from Jon Gosselin’s latest stunt.

In front of cameras and people charged $20 a pop, non-Jewish Jon appeared with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at New York City’s West Side Jewish Center on Sunday night to give what was touted to be his apology to his family & Kate. Only neither Jon nor the Rabbi seems to be aware of the fact that an apology followed by a but-tirade (as in “but she blah blah blah”) about the very person you’re supposedly apologizing to is no apology at all. It’s an attack. A passive-aggressive attack.

Something we’re all used to from Jon “It’s not my responsibility” Gosselin.

However, the lesson here is this: Don’t end your apology with a but — of any kind, let alone about the person you’re apologizing to. If you do, your but-tirade just makes you more of an ass.