Wednesday, April 30, 2014

1 is 2 Many




It's a shame that this even has to be said. 

It's even more of a shame that it took this long for people with this kind of influence and power to say it.

But it's being said.

Let's keep saying it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pornhub will Plant a Tree for Every 100 Videos You Watch?!

Let it not be said that the porn industry isn't socially conscious about the environment. Pornhub's "Give America Wood" campaign is offering to plant a tree for every 100 videos watched starting on Arbor Day and through the following week (this week! So get on it!).

There's even a SFW site option.

So do the world some good; watch some porn!

Monday, April 28, 2014

My New Toys Came In Today!

Two new vibrators! It feels like Christmas morning! Now excuse me; I'll be in my bunk.

Lies About Sex We Need to Stop Telling

So PolicyMic did a great article about 17 Lies We Need to Stop Teaching Girls About Sex. I definitely agree with these, but there are a few more I'd like to add:

1) There's a definitive sex act. - Sex isn't just a handful of activities. There is a mind-boggling, near-infinite amount of ways to have sex. And, I promise, if you think you know all the ways to do it, you don't. Not even close.


2) You shouldn't have to talk about sex. - If you want to have a good sex life, you're going to have to get used to talking about sex. Before sex. During sex. After sex. With new partners and life-long partners. It's a discussion you'll be having for the rest of your life. Learn the language early.


3) Orgasms are the goal of sex. - Not everybody comes every time. And that's okay. So long as everyone's having a good time, orgasms aren't the be-all and end-all. They aren't a sign of success anymore than not having one is a sign of failure. Pleasure is pleasure; trying to chase one kind is just going to make you miss and dismiss all the other kinds.


4) Only people who can't find people who want to have sex with them masturbate. - Masturbation isn't a consolation prize; it's maintenance. You'll never know--much less be able to let anyone else know--how your bits work, if you don't pop the hood yourself on a regular basis. Whether or not you're having sex with someone else.


5) Sex is something you're instinctively good at - You won't be good at this first crack out of the box. Like ever other skill in the world, sex takes time, practice, and knowledge to get right. And every partner you'll ever be with will be different. Find the joy in learning how to please your partners.


6) It's the other guy's job to be good at sex. - Want awesome sex? Don't rely on someone else to give it to you; give it to yourself. Speak up. Your partner isn't psychic; they're not going to know what works and what doesn't unless you tell them.


7) Real sex looks like porn sex. - Real sex feels amazing. But, out of context, it looks freaking ridiculous. Stop worrying so much about what you look like and sound like. You're never going to get to your orgasm, if you're too busy worrying about what your "O" face looks like.


8) Sex isn't important. - It is. Even if it isn't important to you, chances are good it'll be important to your partner. If you aren't sexually compatible with your partner, it is a big deal. Dismissing it as unimportant doesn't make it so. And will cause far more problems than it solves.


9) Sex is leverage to make your partner do what you want them to. - It isn't a bargaining chip. Your partner isn't a puppy in training and your sexy bits aren't a dog treat. Granting or denying sex to manipulate your partner's behavior is messed up and mean. And reflects pretty poorly on both of you.


10) Sex can fix anything. - Sex is awesome. It feels great and builds intimacy. It's healthy and fun. But it doesn't fix anything. Sex--even great sex--doesn't make problems go away. It doesn't make people love you more. It doesn't make you love them more. It doesn't forgive or forget. Sex can feel pretty miraculous at times; that doesn't make it a miracle-worker. 



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sometimes, You Just Need It

Last month, I talked about how I don’t necessarily like mysteries for their end, but for the story’s journey to that end. I feel like the romance genre is much the same.

The biggest complaint about the romance genre is that it’s predictable. Boy meets girl. Boy gets girl. Smooches and purple prose and happily ever afters. You pick up just about any romance novel and you pretty much know how it’s going to go.

Which is kind of the point.

It’s emotional porn.

It’s gets you where you’re going. It gives you what you need.

The fact of the matter is, like every other genre out there, romance novels allow readers to experience things that they can’t really get in real life. In the same way the Harry Potter novels let me know what it would be like to have magical powers or Sherlock stories let me vicariously live with that level of intelligence, romance novels let me experience the ideal fantasy of romance without real-world baggage.

In the same way most porn sex is not the same as real-world sex, romance in a novel or movie is not the same as real-world relationships. And, even when people try to recreate it, it’s never the same. Because, while stories teach us about the world and try to accurately portray the world, they don’t always have to play by real-world rules.

If I cook a romantic dinner for someone, chances are I’ve screwed something up. The vegetables are overdone. The side-dish got a little cold waiting for the entree to finish cooking. I burned the crust on dessert. And, even if I did get it perfect, there are a million other things that could go wrong. My partner may have had a big lunch and isn’t very hungry. They had a crappy day at work and vent about it all through the meal. They aren’t a big fan of whatever meal I worked so hard on.

These are things that romance novels don’t have to worry about. Within their covers, things happen the way you want them to. Even if you have to go through a million hoops to get there, you know the expectations you hope for will be given to you by the end. No matter how long the story teases you, you know the final payoff will be worth it. Like grown-up fairytale stories, you know every book ends in a neatly wrapped happily-ever-after. And, in a world that can never promise you that, sometimes you need to escape to a tried-and-true place that can.


One of my favorites is Lori Foster. Her stories are fun and flirty and hit you right in all your achingly sweet, mushy spots. Reading one of her books really does feel like going back in time—to, like, junior high—back when love seemed so easy and when every obstacle in your way was some defeatable outside force that only served to bring you closer together in the end. Back to a time when True Love really was all you needed and could complete and fix the empty, broken bits of you. That, if you just had that—found your soulmate and earned their love—your entire life, your entire world, would just be complete and everything good in life would aline itself perfectly. It’s an image of love that can’t exist in the real-world. That you’re not even really sure you’d want to exist in the real-world—after all, I do burn the crusts of my desserts and work-rage vent during dinner; I’m not perfect and I don’t think I’d know what to do with a love interest who was, except feel really inadequate all the time. But, within the time and space of her books, yeah, it’s fun to think that a love like that is possible. I may not want to live there, but it’s a nice world to visit from time to time.

Another one of my go-to emotional porns is Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. I know, I know, it’s so cliché. The mouthy, non-conforming woman wins the love of the tall, dark, and broody rich guy. I know, I know. But, honestly, the banter between these two iconic characters is right up there with Shakespeare’s Beatrice and Benedict. As predictable as they are, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy feed that deep down desire that every non-normative girl
has, telling us that no matter how out-of-place you feel there’s someone out there for you. Someone there to match and love all the parts of you no one else gets. That someone out there sees—truly sees and loves—what the rest of the world ignores. That someone out there will love you, not just despite all your flaws and faults, but because of them.

What I love most about these two is how many versions of them have grown out of pure fanlove. From the BBC mini-series to the Seth Grahame-Smith's zombie-hunting twist, these two have lived and loved a million times over, keeping their timeless story alive and relevant with each new in-coming generation. 


Speaking of which, Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones version of this memorable tale has a special place in my heart. It was such an interestingly modern take on the story. I was still a senior in high school when the book was turned into a movie and I remember relating so much to Bridget’s insecurities and uncertainties. After seeing the first movie, I rushed out and bought the books because I loved her so much. I remember watching her fall into horrible situations—romantically, professionally, personally—and watching her pull herself out of them. She was just a constant reminder that, even if you’re today’s punchline, tomorrow’s another day. And, particularly after the sequel, I remember falling in love with the idea that even great relationships aren’t perfect. They have problems and pitfalls and even the people you love and who love you screw up. But, if that person matters and if you matter to them, love finds a way. Her story was a promise that, even if you arent perfect, theres someone perfect out there for you.

Like I said when I started this, I read and love what most people consider literary trash. And, I think, of everything I read—probably even more so than the erotica and straight-up porn I consume—romance novels probably get the worst reputation. People love nothing more than to read snippets of the purplest prose in these novels and discount everything else. They love to point out their ridiculousness and corny, wishful nature. People just love to protest that their stories are predictable and aren’t realistic. 

And they are predictable and they aren’t realistic. That’s what they’re supposed to be. It’s what makes the genre what it is. In truth, they are as realistic and trope-filled as sci-fi stories or fantasy epics. They say as much about the world we live in and what we wish it could be as any other genre. Show me a person who doesn’t wish that love was enough to keep a relationship going. Who doesn’t wish that love was a strong enough force to rely on unwaveringly. Who doesn’t wish that love could fix everything and last forever. These stories are a literary wish of what love could be like. Of what we’d want it to be, if only it could. 

The fact is that love never works out like a romance novel. But, sometimes, reading about a world where that kind of love does exist makes it easier to live in a world where it doesn’t. It reminds us of what love could be. Reminds us that, even if that kind of love doesn’t really exist, we can always stand to be better to each other and to expect better from each other. It can, for the space of a book, make us feel loved—unquestionably, uncomplicatedly, unconditionally—even when, before we turned that first page, we felt anything but. 

These stories aren’t real and will get you in trouble, if you think they are. But sometimes you just need that break from reality. That emotional kick to the heart. Sometimes, you just need a chance to be and have more than the world you live in allows.


They remind us that love is a miracle. And that, even though we may not deserve it, we owe it to each other to try to be the kind of people who could.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Chain Breaker - Why Rape Stories Make the Internet Go Insane

So, admission time: while I do watch Game of Thrones—and enjoy it when I do watch it—I am woefully behind in the series. So I have not seen the episode, “Breaker of Chains,” that is currently making the internet go nuts.

But, I will say, Game of Thrones isn’t the first story to use rape as inappropriate and rather disrespectful plot-filler. It’s not even, in my opinion, the worst offender of the moment. Gawker did a piece on David Choe, host of DVDASA (which stands for Double Vag, Double Anal, Sensitive Artist), and a story he told on his podcast where he recounts in vivid and graphic detail how he sexually assaulted his masseuse. 

If you listen to the podcast, it’s patently offensive and despicable. Where Choe, in an effort to fulfill what he charmingly calls an “erection quest,” describes being completely inappropriate and shockingly self-aware of that inappropriateness with his masseuse, where he begins by masturbating mid-massage, coercing her participation in his masturbation, flat-out forcing her to perform a handjob and oral sex on him, and trying to press her for vaginal sex, all while she protests and tells him no. And, when his female co-host points out that he “raped her; you’re a rapist,” he glibly replies that, no, he’s a “successful rapist.”

It’s only when more of his—this time, male—co-hosts start to call him out that he begins to back-pedal hard. “Stop calling me a rapist! [...] She said yes with her eyes, Choe insists, claiming that on paper she was saying she wasn't interested, by telling him no and by looking at him with disgust and by not engaging, but that she never actually stopped him. And, in Choe’s book, that constitutes a yes. After all, his philosophy is that “you never ask first; you just do it. You just do it, get in trouble, then pay the price later.” And, if she never made him pay for it—by punching him out or calling the cops—I guess it’s all okay since he successfully got away with it.

To which, all his co-hosts still—quite correctly—kept insisting that he raped this woman. 

Because, according to his story, he did.

Well, after Gawker got a hold of the story, Choe later back-pedaled even further, saying that the whole story was made up. And that “I never thought I'd wake up one late afternoon and hear myself called a rapist. It sucks. Especially because I am not one. […] If I am guilty of anything, it's bad storytelling in the style of douche. Just like many of my paintings are often misinterpreted, the same goes with my show. […] It's my version of reality, it's art that sometimes offends people. I'm sorry if anyone believed that the stories were fact. They were not! In a world full of horrible people, thank god for us.”

So, essentially, “I’m sorry you didn’t get it; my gross and vulgar rape fantasy must just be too intellectual for your tastes. You should be grateful that there are people like me to explain how things are, how the world works, to you.”

This whole thing disturbs me. 

And, honestly, I hope that Choe is a misogynistic, patently disgusting liar. Because I would hate to know that there’s a woman out there who Choe had taken advantage of like that. Who had the force of his fame, the professional intimacy of the setting, and the naiveté of a woman who was still new to the profession used against her to get what he wanted even though he admittedly knew it was wrong.

And I hope it’s all a lie, given that—after his co-hosts’ repeated insistence of rape—Choe is quick to claim that the masseuse admitted, after the assault, to having a huge crush on him and asking for his number, to which he gave her the wrong number and left her a $1000 tip because, while he “really liked this girl” and achieved his “erection quest” with her, he “only thinks of her being there […] being the fantasy.” Because, after all, In my eyes, you're a whore. Perpetuating the idea that victims of assault—and women in general—are asking for it.

Yeah, I hope his story is bullshit. I’m pretty sure at least a good chunk of it is.

But, for the sake of argument—and my own peace of mind—let’s say that the whole story is made-up. That, as Choe later stated in his half-assed apology, it was a story meant to challenge and entertain the minds of his podcast’s listeners.

Let’s look at why, as a story—as a fantasy—it still sucks.

I’ve talked about this before; I am not a fan of the philosophy that erotic fantasies are a literary free-for-all. Particularly, when those fantasies deal with violence and breaching consent. 

Because that isn’t sexy.

It’s just not.

But you wouldn’t know it, by the way our media portrays rape and assault against women. Like with “Breaker of Chains” and Choe’s “erection quest,” these types of stories glamorize violence against women as conquests for men. They use sex and power as ways to raise men up and tear women down. 

Not to say something about the heinous act of rape. Not to comment on the horrific things that, as a species, we’re capable of committing against each other. Not to point out the pain and loss and terror that overtakes a person when something so evil happens to them. 

But because these storytellers know that rape is edgy and will instinctually pull at audience’s emotions. It’s the easy sell, where “rape is all too often used to place the degradation of the female body and a woman’s vulnerability at the center of the narrative. Rape is used to create drama and ratchet up ratings. And it’s rare to see the brutality and complexity of a rape accurately conveyed on-screen. Instead, we are treated to an endless parade of women being forced into submission as the delicate and wilting flowers television writers and producers seem to want them to be.”

And, in Choe’s and most if not all erotic depictions of rape, they use it as straight-up titillation. Intentionally or not, they use the narrative of rape to tell a story of how human sexuality works. Where the aggressive, amorous man pursues the wilting, denying woman. Where persistence pays, even to the point of force. Where, if you just keep pushing—just do it and pay the price later—eventually the woman-as-whore you’re pursuing will give in and you’ll achieve payoff. Your quest will be complete. These stories, real or fake, turn harassment, rape, and assault into romantic strategies that “reveal the disturbing and cavalier facility with which rape becomes a narrative device […] to put women in their place.”

But it’s just a fantasy, right?

Isn’t it better to exorcise these types of desires in fiction, so they don’t happen in real life? Better they exist on paper and on-screen and digital files that people can vicariously experience without hurting anyone, right?

Sure. Except rape and assault are happening in real life.

And, what’s worse, is that they’re happening while no one notices. Because we’ve normalized the narrative. From a young age, we’re taught variations and shades of this same story over and over. From the prince who saves his princess with a rather rapey, unconscious kiss to the creepy, sparkly vampire who seduces the lonely high school girl through stalking and threats. We’re fed the idea that bad behavior may be bad, but it works. Your actions may be inappropriate, but they sure are successful. It gets boys what they want, even at the expense of the girls they want it from. 

How messed up is that?!

By prioritizing male pleasure while glossing over female pleasure, we’re not only teaching girls that sex isn’t for them—that their enjoyment, their desires, their wants and needs don’t matter—we’re teaching that same message to boys. We’ve now taught all these young, impressionable boys that their partners’ pleasure doesn’t matter. That it isn’t something to be concerned about. That, like some weird sexual yeti, it may not even exist. We’re teaching them that what a woman wants isn’t important. “We’re setting kids up to be violated because we’re not giving them the tools they need to advocate for themselves […] By not emphasizing female sexual pleasure […] we’re kinda sometimes setting up boys to violate girls in ways that leave girls feeling devastated and boys not realizing that they’ve done anything wrong.”

These stories—that are meant to be sexy and fun flights into fantasy—are ruining real people’s sex lives in the worst of ways. Creating real-world-walking nightmares with devastating real-world consequences. Because stories aren’t just fiction. Stories exist—have existed throughout human history and will continue throughout its future—because they teach us about life. The teach us how the world works. How it should work. How we want it to work.

And, when you tell stories that say male pleasure is important and female desire isn’t, you create a culture that believes that to be true. Recent studies show that guys interested in casual sex are more likely to look down and denigrate women who want the same, in which, “one study referenced, each additional hookup reported was associated with a 4 percent increase in the odds of men holding the double standard (while the opposite was true of women).” Meaning, while these men were all for having a lot of sex with a lot of women, they believed that the women they wanted this sex from shouldn’t.

How does this even make sense?

It doesn’t. 

It’s illogical and stupid and has long since been pointed out to be completely counterproductive to these men’s mating strategy. We all know that it’s wrong. But there’s still no shortage of guys—and girls—buying into this idea.

Why?

Because that’s all they know. It’s all, as a culture, we’ve given them. “When misogynist environments teach men that their sexuality is fundamentally different from women (that casual sex is something for them to pursue and for women to avoid) they tend to buy in. Such views are part of a more general traditional gender ideology, explaining why studies have found that men with more traditional gender role attitudes also tend to want more casual sex. Or why in the study of students from 22 colleges mentioned above, fraternity affiliation or varsity athletic participation resulted in a 31 percent and 46 percent increase, respectively, in the odds of holding the traditional double standard.” 

And, even though the study does concede that “the desire for casual sex might be partly due to nature, genetic analyses of twins show that the tendency to support gender inequality is almost entirely due to nurture. In other words, if your environment promotes sexism, it's likely you'll hold sexist views.”

I get the idea that people don’t have the best control over their personal fantasies. People want what they want and you can’t not want it. Again, one of my favorite Dan Savage quotes is “We don’t have sex; sex has us.” And we live in a misogynistic world; of course, we’re going to have misogynistic fantasies. We’re going to want to tell those stories.

But the question that decides the fate of our future and the future’s future is: Should we?

By continuing to tell these stories, by feeding that narrative, “a vicious cycle is created, resulting in disregard for women, particularly those they deem unworthy of respect. ‘It's often hard to seduce scores of women if you genuinely respect them,’ explains Andrew Irwin-Smiler, a psychologist whose book Challenging Casanova examines teenage masculinity and sexuality. ‘Respect would prevent any kind of meaningful deception—like taking advantage of drunk women. But if you think most women are “bitches” or “sluts,” then you can treat them like crap in order to sleep with them.’ ” These boys believe this because that’s what we’ve told them to be true. We’ve sold them this idea, this story, this narrative; it is our fault they bought it and now live it. And, in their own small-scale way, in turn peddle it on. To each other. To women. To their children.

Stories have power. They’re cosmic conversations we have with our past, our present, and our future. I get that these are stories that have resonated with us for longer than anyone cares to think about, but do we want them to continue to? 

There are better stories out there. Ones where, yes, men have desires and pursue fantasies, but this time with women who want those things too. There are stories where sex and relationships don’t have to have a loser, someone who submits not because they want to but because they feel like they have to. There are stories where everyone consents, has fun, and enjoys themselves from beginning to end. Why are these stories seen as less engaging? Why do we sell them as less compelling?

Force as titillation isn’t sexy. It isn't interesting. It isn't worth consuming.

It just isn’t.

Can we stop telling stories that pretend like there’s some secret workaround to make it so?

Like I said, I didn't see the Breaker of Chains episode and have not read the books, so all I know is what I read online and have heard from friends. But, yeah, from what I hear, the rape scene was unnecessary and completely out of character for both characters. And, that much, yeah, I have to agree. Jaime, whatever his faults, is in love with his sister and is rather protective of women in general. And Cersei...I can't see her not wiping the floor with anyone who tried to violate her like that, even her brother.

And, while I didn't see this episode, I did see Dany's wedding nightnot to mention her life before marriage where her creeptastic brother was sexually assaulting her left and rightwhich was disturbing to watch, and there are few female characters in this series who haven't been or at least been threatened with rape. Hell, there's that guy in the woods who has a harem of daughters he rapes on a consistent basis! All without a whole hell of a lot of consequences or judgment.

And there are plenty of people defending this by either saying 1) it's in the book; the show has to show it and 2) the story is based on our medieval times and rape was a thing that happened all the time then.

And, to a certain extent, I agree with those points. I'm not saying that Westeros has to go all social justice or anything; that'd kill the show pretty damned quick. And, as an author myself, yeah, I'm pretty big on keeping to the original source material.

But there are ways to show consequences without necessarily having the show's rapists being arrested, prosecuted, and thrown in jail. But the show often seems to treat rape the way horror movies treat violence, as a rather cheap thrill that's too easily dismissed and forgotten as they move on through the plot. It's seen as acceptable collateral damage. They never really comment on it other than to say this is a thing that exists. And, what's worse is that too often the message is Well, this is a terrible thing that exists and everyone knows it exists but, even though we all kinda know it's wrong, it's something that we'll all just look the other way. And the show seems pretty okay with that. Treats it as something they do for the greater good.


It'd be nice if the show, at the very least, felt a little more conflicted about that.

The fact is, we need less stories saying that sometimes rape is okay or even the lesser of two evils. It's the reason why I chose Choe's story as an example becausedear, sweet deityI hope there isn't a person alive who doesn't realize that his rape story is flat-out wrong. But Choe would never have felt it was okay to tell a story like that on a podcast like his, if there weren't already stories out there saying that sometimes rape is okay.

We need to get to a point where the only acceptable narrative is that rape is never acceptable. It's never okay. And that, even if it does happen in real-life and even if through the course of the plot there's nothing anyone can do to stop it, that is isn't seen as something we blithely accept. Where we act as if, for the people rape affectsthe victim, the victim's family and friends, the rapisttheir world hasn't broken at least a little.


Because, if we didn't pretend like there are stories where rape is ambiguously acceptable, we'd have less stories like Choe's, that no one sees as right or okay, being described by rapists, real or fiction, as acceptable.

Even in kink, where many of the things we do—like role play and power play and consensual non-consent—play with idea of force and breaking boundaries, it’s only sexy when they don’t. When force is a farce. When breaching consent never actually happens. Where all the sexual play-acting that happens was agreed upon before it even started. The thing that makes kink sexy is the ever-present, unshakable acknowledgement and respect of consent. 

Because, even those studies on casual sex show that, “when women believe that the man offering them casual sex is a competent lover who's going to provide sexual pleasure,” they actually want sex more. Such a shocker, I know! Which means, Safe, Sane, Consensual sex, that takes into account all parties’ pleasure, results in more sex and more sexual satisfaction in the end. For all parties.

And that is pretty damned sexy.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Look What My Bunny Left Me!




This is one of the best parts of growing up; Easter baskets get so much better when you're an adult.





See...




Holiday hanky-panky makes me so happy!

Happy Rabbit Day, Lovely Readers; hope you find something special today too!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Deviant Nerd - The Things Silence Says

The Things Silence Says
The Deviant Nerd
Brought to you by Arrested Restraints; with prices that won’t hold you back on the things that hold you down.


QuestionHey Pip,

Last week, my boyfriend told me that he cheated on me with one of his classmates. I told him then that I needed time to think about things and I would tell him when I was ready to talk. But it's been a week later and I still don't know what to say! I've thought about it and thought about it, but I still don't know if I want to stay with him or break up with him. 

He's called and texted me a couple of times to tell me that he knows I need space, but he wants me to know that he's sorry and he hopes that I'll find it in my heart to forgive him.

But I don't know if I can. I want to, but I just don't know.

Then, yesterday, he cornered me after class and said that I was being really spiteful and mean, shutting him out like this. I tried to tell him that I wasn't trying to shut him out. That I just wanted time to think. He told me that the silent treatment was hurting him and that, if I wanted to yell at him or break up with him or whatever, that I should just do it and get it over with, so we can move on.


And a part of me wants to yell, but I don't know what to yell. I know it's been a long time, but isn't it better to think things through so you can work things out logically rather than get into some screaming match you might regret later?


 Not the Spiteful Silent Treatment

———

PipHey Silent Treatment,

First off, I'm sorry you were cheated on; that hurts and can be very hard to process. I definitely can understand why you would need some time to think about this. And I absolutely applaud you on wanting to take the time to really think about what you want and what your options are before coming to a decision.

That being said, I also understand where your boyfriend is coming from. Which is on the other side of that silence. While your extended thinking-time makes complete sense to you—filled with the opportunity to order and weigh your thoughts—for him, that silence is completely empty—an unanswered void that leaves his love life hanging uncertainly while he waits on the other side of that silent wall to see what you decide. 

You may not have the handle you're looking for on your thoughts, but at least you have some grasp of them. He has no idea what you're thinking or feeling. And a week is a long time to wait and worry about all the ways your life could go.

I'm not saying that you have to rush to an agreement on his account; you should take all the time you need to come up with a decision. It's unfair that he's trying to rush you—to shift the burden of responsibility from him to you. He screwed up; the least he owes you is the chance to decide for yourself if he's worth the work of piecing together the trust he's broken.

But, maybe, you should try talking to him about it. 

And, believe me, I know that isn't always easy. It really never is. Being honest like that requires you to allow yourself to be vulnerable in front of another person, allows them to see you when you're unsure and unprepared. You sound young and you probably don't have a ton of experience dealing with this kind of thing. Of course, you're having a hard time figuring out what to say. So might help to write some things down first. 

Jot down how his cheating made you feel. Let him know how he hurt you. Let him know how confused you are. Think about questions you might want to ask him; see what he has to say. See if what he was thinking and feeling at the time changes how you feel now. Find ways to make it easier for you to let him in on what's going on in your head and give him a chance to let you in on what's going on in his.

Because you've been silent for seven days now and still aren't any closer to a decision. Your silent treatment may not be spiteful, but it isn't being very useful at the moment either. 

So talk.

Listen.

Then think some more. And, hopefully, since you couldn't find your answer on your side of the silence, you can break down the wall between you two and find it there.

And, remember, if you do decide to take him back, test, test, test. Passing on an STI isn't a great way start your relationship fresh again.

Best of luck on whatever you decide.


– Pip, Your Resident Deviant Nerd


* If you have a sex, kink, love, or life question for The Deviant Nerd, email Pip at PipJones.DeviantNerd@gmail.com
And read more about Pips story in Brought to You By.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fucking With the Fourth Wall

Ask Dr. NerdLove: How Do I Tell My Boyfriend He Scares Me?

"You should tell him that some of the things he’s said hurt you and explain why and how. Even when you’re both doing a scene and he’s in his role, he’s still him and once you’ve let him know that he’s been hurting you and how, he’ll understand where the line is and know not to cross it again."

So much of kink is all about maintaining the magic. It's essentially somewhere between a crazy game of adult make-believe and a very private (or sometimes not-so-private) theatre production. And breaking a scene's fourth wall can feel so awkward and weird.

It's why so much of negotiation happens—and should happen—before the scene ever starts. Scenes flow so much better when the people on both sides—top and bottom, Dom and sub—know what's going to happen and are on the same page. When they know where the boundaries lie. What's acceptable and what's not.

But the crux of successful kink is all about the delicate balance between Safe, Sane, and Consensual and the sexiness of spontaneity. There are few things more exciting than not quite knowing what's going to happen next. Truly successful kink—like truly successful sex in general—always holds a little mystery. It allows you to explore the possibility of pushing boundaries—of testing limits and, yes, of the tantalizing threat of perhaps going a bit too far—without ever crossing established lines. Speaking as a bottom, you always want to feel a little unsettled, a little spun and overwhelmed, while also never—not even for a moment—feeling unsafe.

It's an impossible ask and a bit of a miracle every time it happens.

So how do you do it? How do you walk that fine edge without ever falling off?

Like I said, most of this should be covered by upfront and comprehensive negotiations before any clothes come off or any toys get brought out. Every set of partners should go through what things are a definite yes, what's an unquestionable no, and what are the places that are more flexible territory. 

And one should never assume anything during this point. Just because someone likes flogging doesn't mean they'll necessarily like whipping. Spanking on the butt may be a must, but the thighs may be a no-go. A Dom(me) may like to be called Mommy or Daddy, but may not be into baby talk. They may be an expert at ropes and bondage, but may never have even held a crop before. 

Even if everything may not line up to yours as perfectly as you'd like, you always want to know where your partners' strengths, weaknesses, desires, and boundaries lie. Before any scene starts.

But even the most thorough negotiations never quite cover everything. Surprises during scenes are an inevitability. Not that they'll happen in every scene, rather if you play often enough with enough of a variety of people, you will run across surprises. Both your partners' and your own. Like with the letter-writer, it may be a phrase that triggers you or rubs you the wrong way. It may be a new toy you're not fan of. Or a technique or style that doesn't work well for you.

Surprises and changes may even happen with partners you’ve known for a long time. We are incredibly dynamic creatures. What worked one day may not work the same forever. It’s why, in addition to upfront and comprehensive negotiations, kinksters have so many ways to check-in in-scene. 

We have safewords and the stoplight system which slow down or stop scenes that may go too far. But what people often forget is that they also encourage partners. Like with the appearance of condoms in porn and erotica, seeing the stoplight system in stories and movies really helps normalize it. Showing that checking-in can be—and should be—thought of as sexy. 

Does hearing “red” and “yellow” kind of suck mid-scene? Sure. But how awesome is hearing “green?” To hear and know definitively that what’s happening—what’s turning you on—is also turning on your partner? Plus, if you're constantly talking to your partner, actively getting their input, you can feel a little more free to try new things or switch things up or push boundaries a little more in-scene, because you're getting the feedback you need when you need it. People should want to be checking-in regularly. Good partners want to know that what they’re doing is pleasurable and awesome.

But what about the times when things aren’t so awesome? We hear so much about the importance of safewords and check-ins, but what we don’t hear about as often is what to do when they happen. We rarely see that aspect in porn. We rarely even see it in real life. So, when you’re in the uncomfortable position of wanting to call a safeword, often it can feel like strange and unfamiliar territory. So much so that, like the letter-writer, you just stay quiet in the moment and are left feeling terribly conflicted about it. And, what’s worse, your partner has no idea that they’ve triggered something in you; they think you both had a fantastic time. And people, quite rightly, like to repeat fantastic times.

So we’ve got to get better about talking about this.

As a bottom, I know that one of the hardest parts about calling a safeword is wondering what happens after you do. Does the scene just stop? Do we have to have this huge, long discussion dissecting everything about the scene? About kink in general? About our relationship? Our trust levels? Will this scene that was supposed to be sexy, fun times suddenly turn into an emotional therapy session?

Yeah—just being honest—there are few things I wouldn’t choose over that. Because, unless you’ve crossed a BIG boundary—something that calls for the scene to stop right now—whatever you did probably isn’t worth making a huge fuss about. That doesn’t mean I like it or want to make it a regular routine in the sexual playbook or anything; I just don’t want my objection to be blown out of proportion or to put a hiccup in the scene’s rhythm. Because I may be done with whatever it is you’re doing, but I may not be done with you and the scene quite yet.

So what's a kinkster to do in this moment? 

This is why, of all the safeword systems, I like the stoplight one the best. Personally, I like using plain speak, just keeping open communication going throughout the scene. If the toy you’re using is getting to be too intense, I’m going to tell you that it was awesome but it’s time to move on to a new one. Or if my arm is getting tired from using a toy, I’m going to grab a new one from the bag. Or if you use a name or title that I don’t prefer, I will let you know. But, then again, I don’t do much role play, so my fourth wall is pretty thin to begin with.

Plus, I know that isn’t always the easiest thing for everyone to do. Even for me, sometimes something rubs me the wrong way and I don’t know why, so it’s hard to articulate it. And it is infinitely easier to have a set word like “yellow” that essentially means “I want the scene to continue, just not in the direction it’s going.”

Even as a top, “yellow” is incredibly useful. It may not give you all the information you need—which is why I generally prefer plain speak most of the time—but it does give you important information. It lets you know that something you’re doing isn’t working the way you’d hoped it would. So what do you do with that information? 

Start talking back.

But I would recommend not asking “What’s wrong?” Because, chances are good, they don’t know or can’t articulate that at the moment. And, to be fair, in-scene, you’re probably not in the best mindset to take that in at the moment either. 

So instead ask them “Are you sure you want to keep going?” and, if they say yes, file that need-to-have conversation about what went wrong as something for later. Then start offering up suggestions. 

“I’m going to give you a choice, you can stay like this or I can move you into a new position.” 

“I can continue with this toy or I can switch to a new one.” 

“We can take a breather break or we can keep going.” 

Put yourself in your bottom’s point of view and try to think about what might need some adjustment. Because, when your brain’s flooded with endorphins and emotions and sensations, you’re going to respond better to multiple choice than to something so open-ended.

Open-ended discussions are something best left for when a scene is done. For tops, one of the hardest things about hearing the safeword in-scene is the fear that you’ve just done something horribly wrong. Despite what it often looks like from the outside, I have never met a top that actually wants to harm their bottom. Cause discomfort? Sure. Cause pain? Hecks yeah. Scare the shit out of them? Sounds fun. But harm? Never. Every top I know—and I know some great tops—always wants their partners to come out of a scene feeling amazing. They want their partners to have had such a good time that they can’t wait to do it all over again.

So, yeah, the thought that something they did left someone feeling hurt or damaged afterward…for most tops I know, that’s up there on their lists of worst fears. Because, for tops, that’s the mental battle that they have to fight to get to self-acceptance. To see the way the world sees them—as sadistic monsters who feed on people’s pain—and worry that it feels both insanely far and far too close to the truth. And, in these moments, it can feel like that battle to be better than what the world thinks you are—and what you fear you may be—is lost.

So, yeah, as a bottom, I completely understand the letter-writer’s reaction. Her worry that her partner will take her objection in the wrong way. Will take it as an indictment of him and his desires rather than just another normal part of negotiations.

But it is just another normal part of negotiations. And the best way to make sure a top knows that is to, after all the toys have been put away and emotions and thoughts have come down from that scene’s high, have that talk about what happened during the scene. Because, if it's bothering you—causing you damaging painduring a moment that should have been all about your pleasure, you need to talk about it. Even if it’s not that big of a deal, talk about it. If it’s as simple as “That lollipop crop is great, but it has a strike-level of five shots; choose them well and then a new toy would be a good idea.”  or “I’m into the Mommy/Daddy title, but can we talk about aging-up our play a bit?” or “I love bondage, but we might want to work on my flexibility before attempting that tie again.” Make the conversation as much about you and your comfort level as possible and find ways to reach a middle ground or alternative.

Take the letter-writer, the phrase “whether you want to or not” is incredibly and understandably triggering. But it’s also a really common kink. Try to find a phrase that feels less triggering that gets the same idea across for him, but doesn’t connect their great and healthy love life with something traumatic for her. 

Even something like “Tell me you want this” or even just a really confident “You want this, don’t you?” Which can often oddly work on a lot of different and conflicting levels in kinkland. For her—and in the non-lizard brain part of his head—this works as a way of her stating her own pleasure, of taking control of it and giving it a voice. Which can be really empowering and keeps that consensual check-in process fueling the scene, rather than detracting from it. But, on the other hand, it also keeps him in the dominant position by making it a command. Making it something he makes her say. 

Whatever the phrase or whatever the compromise, as play partners, you want to find a common middle ground that both respects boundaries and celebrates desires. It's not always easy, but it's almost universally worth it.

It’s hard when kinksters’ desires don’t line up perfectly. It’s incredibly hard when they flat-out conflict with each other. But it’s something that we all deal with. Establishing and maintaining boundaries is one of the most important things we can do for each other and for ourselves. So, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us or how ill-received we worry it’ll be, we have to do it. Because that kind of constant and completely honest communication is the difference between, at best, an okay scene that could have been better and really good kink.

And, at worst…well, isn’t a little crack in that fourth wall worth avoiding all that?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Just Nine Easy Payments of Never-Gonna-Happen

So, I know that I’ve talk about it—and talked about it and talked about it—already before, but it keeps happening—several times this week alone—so I feel like it’s a conversation that also needs to keep happening. 

Sex and sexuality, kink and fetishes, I love all that stuff. They are huge passions for me, in the same way I have friends who are super into fashion or video games or 90’s cartoons or cooking. I love learning about them. I love talking about them. I love sharing about them. Because they interest me and people naturally like to share the things they’re interested in. It’s what the internet is there for. But that doesn’t make my sexuality, that I choose to share with you, yours.

And most of my fans—my lovely, lovely, fantastic fans—get this, I think. The people who actually take the time to look at what I do and write and post. Who leave awesome comments and send me amazing messages. Who have the common courtesy to treat me like a human being. They understand and rock my world.

But, as for the rest, who seem to get off on firing off the same dick-jerk reaction message for threesomes or bootycalls or naked vids or pics that they’ve just sent to twenty-five other profiles just tonight…why? Just why?

These people are ruining it for everybody. They are why porn quality and sex culture in general is spotty, at best. These are the people who inspire angry Tumblr groups. These are the people who make women everywhere bitter as hell. Because people like them make people like me feel like trash and opt out of the landscape. So just, please, stop.

And I know that I recently just had a blog post about how I’m—in the loosest sense—a sex worker, but I’m not actually a porn star or an escort or even interested in casual sex. Yes, I have very revealing, very sexualized photos of myself online, but I’m still not a porn star or an escort or even interested in casual sex.  I talk about sex, sex positivity, and sexual health a lot on this blog, but that still doesn’t actually make me a porn star or an escort or even interested in casual sex.

Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with being any of those things but, even in the face of all that I do, I’m still none of those things. And, despite what anyone else may think, I haven’t done anything to invite the assumption. I may post erotica, but I don’t do so on porn sites. I may talk about sex, but I don’t do so on escort sites. Nowhere on any of my profiles do I talk about looking for new play or sex partners. Know why? Because I’m not. If that is what you are looking for—Awesome! Go you! I wish you the best of luck.—but the internet has fabulous search options for you to find that. And none of them will lead you to me.

And, even if I were a porn star or an escort or DTF, Random People Clicking Through for Easy Hook-Ups and Uninvited Photo-Trading, that still wouldn’t give anyone the right to treat me—or anyone, really—like some kind of PornBot here for their convenience. Sending me unsolicited pictures of your dick does not make me more inclined to send you a naked photo back. You telling me that you think I’m sexy doesn’t obligate me to dirty chat with you. And, when I decline your invite to have a threesome with you and your wife while you’re laid-over at MSP airport, please understand the answer will not change if you offer me money. I know it’s the internet and that creates a certain amount of isolated distance between the surfer and the online person they’re interacting with but, take it from one of those online persons, we’re people too. 

We exist outside of your screen. 

We have day-jobs and families and friends. We eat balanced (and not-so-balanced) breakfasts and brush our teeth twice a day (most of the time). We have fat days and lazy days and crazy schedules. We have likes and dislikes. Boundaries and last straws. And, when people treat us like a series of words and pixels that don’t deserve basic, human respect, yeah, we don’t like it any more than anyone else in the world does. 

You can buy my books—and, lord knows, I would never say no to a donation—but I, personally, am not for sale. 

And, again, I feel like most of the people I interact with on here and other social media understand this. I get far more messages from people who love my stories.  Or from people who love my blogs. Or from people who love my photos. And I love all of that. Honestly, nothing makes my day more than that kind of feedback. And I’ve had some really great on-going correspondences with a lot of great people through doing this; some of whom I’ve been talking with from the start of this crazy journey. I can’t even tell you how much that marvels and amazes me.

And I do my best to show that. I’ve received and done story requests before. I’ve answered fan questions before. I try to respond to every comment. I do my best to be as interactive as I can be. Because, if you took the time to check out what I do and reach out to me about it, I want to—I am thrilled to—reach back.

But, if I don’t have something posted that you want—like videos or fully nude photos or my phone number or my home address—by all means, you can ask me about it. But don’t assume it’s something you’ve got coming to you. Like it’s something that I owe you. Because, chances are, I’ve got reasons for why I don’t post those things. And that’s not only my choice, it’s also non-negotiable. Please, don’t argue with me about it; there isn’t an argument out there that will make the things I decide to keep private yours to do with as you please.

Like I said, I understand that I’ve chosen to share this side of myself—my kinks, my desires, my sexuality—with the world, but that doesn’t make it any less mine, much less make it any more yours. In the same way you wouldn’t ask a video game vlogger to send you their gaming system or a chef who blogs to send you the food they make or a cosplayer to send you their costume, what makes it okay to ask someone who blogs about sex for sex, in any form? And, if you are going to go for it, please—please—before you make any other assumption about the kind of person I am, could you assume that I’m a person first and not like something you wishlisted on Amazon?

So thank you for the compliment I will assume you meant it as, but please understand that it’s not as flattering or as effective as you think it is. If you want to have sex with me—or anyone anywhere—be it cyber or IRL, then endeavor to be someone someone would want to have sex with. Be friendly. Be polite. Be interesting. Be the kind of person you would want to interact with. It may not, even after all the effort, get you laid but, I guarantee you, it’ll not only have increased your odds of getting lucky, it’ll have made you a better person.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Science is Your Best Wingman




So science proves that being able to successfully flirt is actually more effective in getting a person's attention than being physically attractive.

And, I would hope, the majority of the world collectively sighed, "Duh."

The fact of the matter is we tend to put too much of a premium on being physically attractive. On thinking that we have to look a certain way to get someone's attention. The fact of the matter is most of us aren't movie star/ model/ athlete attractive. And we're never gonna be. Worrying about it or lamenting it or trying to conform to it won't help much.

I always think it's funny that one of the most common things people comment about, when they talk about my stories, is that none of my characters are classically, genre-adheringly attractive. Yes, that's on purpose. Because I find it ridiculous that we tend to only tell stories about unrealistically good-looking people falling in love. At best, we tell stories about one unrealistically good-looking person falling in love with an average-looking person.

When did having ripped abs or a thigh gap become a requirement to finding a date? Why are those the only people we hear about falling in love? The rest of us do it; where are our stories?

And, so often, I hear the retort that, well, readers/ viewers only want to consume stories about pretty people, because pretty people are more interesting. Except exactly what is all that interesting about a pair of rippling biceps falling for a pair of big tits? Or a chiseled jawline falling for a tiny waist?

The important bits--the part that should carry a story, be it fiction or real life--shouldn't be the aesthetics of a person. We need to shift our priorities to something else. Something more meaningful than BMIs and body ratios.

But people are visual creatures, right? We're attracted to physical things first, right?

Yes. That's absolutely correct. I'm a big believer in the idea that, if you're in a romantic, sexual relationship with another person, you should and want to be physically and sexually attracted--and attractive--to your partner. But you don't need an underwear model's body to do that.

You'd be amazed at the things we as humans can find physically attractive. Personally, I find movement very sexy. How a person walks and sits and lays tells you a lot about that person. Are they comfortable with their body? Are they confident? Are they respectful or presumptuous? Do they let the world happen around them or do they like to have their hand in how it works? These, more than the actual bodies parts in question, are the physicalities that decide whether or not I'm physically attracted to a person.

Listen to the tips researchers found most effective. Don't use pick-up lines; have a conversation. Pay attention to body language and vocal tones. Yours as well as theirs. 

Essentially, science is telling us, whatever we look like, to be interesting and be interested. Did we really need a study for that?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Well, Today is Off to a Disappointing Start

Aw, there is no sadder start to the day than the sputtering death rattle of your favorite vibrator. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tell Me How It Ends

Last month I talked about how I didn’t like short stories when I started writing, but learned to appreciate and eventually love the form. Mysteries are my reading equivalent of that. I used to hate reading and watching mystery stories because I could usually spot the villain early on. I spent so much time and effort looking and finding my killer in the first half of the story that I couldn’t actually enjoy the end. But, as I got older, I gained some patience and learned to appreciate the journey and not get distracted by the destination.

Like most genres, mysteries are full of tropes and patterns, sure. And, if you dwell too long on them, it sucks the fun out of everything. Because, it’s true what they say, there are no truly original ideas. Every story told is a version of one that came before it. Even the first story ever told was based on something. So, yeah, searching for true novelty in novels tends to leave a bitter sense of disappointment in its wake. Form is important—it’s what makes one genre different from another and often what makes a good story different than an average one. But, if you get too wrapped up in whether a story follows or deviates from form, you too often lose sight of the story itself. Sometimes, you need to let go a little and just let the story take you; allow the ride to take you where it’s going on its terms instead of guessing what may or may not be coming six chapters later. 


Take Kyra Davis’s Sophie Katz series, they’re a little ridiculous and definitely unrealistic, but they’re sassy and exciting and tend to take you to strange places, from sex trade shows to furry conventions, from haunted houses to mafia mansions. Her stories twist and wind through clues, navigated by a kickass protagonist who manages to be both intelligent and flawed, charming and a bit of a smartass. These novels are snarky and funny to balance out the bloody murder, violent mayhem, and eyebrow-raising scandal that tie the plots together. Studied too closely, sure, the stories fall apart—one could easily nitpick the legalities and realities of these novels to pieces. But, when taken and enjoyed for what they are, they’re an entirely entertaining mini-escape.


But, no matter how ridiculous Sophie’s stories seem, they never quite reach the brilliant absurdism of Jasper Fforde’s Nursery Crimes novels. Set in a world where every character from your childhood—from Mother Goose to Grimm, from Aesop to Ancient Greek—live together, this series tells the case stories of Detective Jack Spratt. You follow him through this whodunit world that seems both deeply familiar and completely unique as he tries to discover who murdered Humpty Dumpty or to go on a manhunt for the Gingerbread Man. It plays on the knowledge that you, as the reader, know what’s going to happen—you’ve read the stories and know the rhymes—and turns them on their heads. 

Another popular mystery figure who’s been revived over and over again to unending delight of fans is none other than the famous Sherlock Holmes. To be quite honest, I never got into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing; his style never quite clicking with my oh-so modern tastes. But, the recent incarnations of him—from House to Bones, from Robert Downey Jr. to Benedict Cumberbatch—I am in love with all of them. I am Sher-Locked. There’s something about a hyper-intelligent person with that kind of driven passion that clutches the nerd-girl in me by the heart strings. No matter what the version, these modern takes on this legendary detective absolutely capture me. You just can’t help but marvel as you Watson along the trail of the crime, feeling a tiny touch closer to greatness. He is proof that various styles and forms may come in and out of favor, but brains are always in fashion.

I’m not going to lie to you; I’ve turned into the type of reader who reads the last few pages of a novel, just to be sure I know where I’m going. I absolutely spoil myself so I don’t spend the entire time guessing instead of just enjoying the story. Because, like sex and love and life itself, if you’re spending too much time in your own head, thinking too hard about that climax, chances are good it’ll only disappoint. Because you’ve rushed from beginning to end without taking the time to enjoy the middle. Of all the genres I read, of all the story types I consume, mystery teaches me time and again that how I get to that end—the savored anticipation and carefully built pleasure of the tale—is always far more important than where I actually end up.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Gotta Love Honey Maid

So I absolutely loved Honey Maid's "This is Wholesome" commercial. It was beautiful and totally worth the full watch whenever it cropped up on my YouTube commercial breaks.


For the life of me, I can't see how anyone could watch that and not just feel good inside. The most negative thought anyone should be thinking, after having watched that, is, "Man, I really wish I had a graham cracker right now."

But, apparently, some people are capable of some really messed-up negativity.

And, in response, Honey Maid went one step further and made this gorgeous and beyond classy response:



So, please excuse me, dear reader, I'm off to buy a big box of graham crackers. S'mores, anyone?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Can the Love Hormone Make a Liar Out of You?




It's the worst thing, being lied to by someone you love and who says they love you.

But we've all done it right?

And I like to think that, as science found, most of us do it not for ourselves but to protect the person we care about. Or at the very least to protect the relationship. And only under “extreme” lying conditions, when it would hurt or harm the other person.

But, when we hear studies like this, so many minds jump to cheating or stealing or stringing people along. And, I agree, those kinds of lies suck. They're usually told to save a relationship already pretty doomed to fail. Not always, but usually. Usually, these kinds of lies aren’t protecting anyone or anything; they’re preserving the illusion of what the relationship should’ve been like a weird emotional embalming fluid. If you’ve hit these types of lies, even if the couple stays together, the relationship you had before that lie is done. At that point, alone or together, you’ve got to pick up the pieces and move on to something new.

But—and maybe this is the fanciful theatre-geek turned story-telling word-nerd in me—not all lies are created equal.

I had someone ask me, about my story Overtime, why Peter isn’t just honest with Kat about how he feels about her posting risqué photos of herself online, if it really bothers him. That it made him feel dishonest or made her seem selfish, if she would have that much of a problem with his understandable discomfort.

And I can definitely see how it could be read that way.

But, I guess, I'm of the opinion that there are certain lies we tell each other—and sometimes ourselves—because it's how you know you care.

Think about it. You fake an orgasm to spare your partner's feelings because they're just trying so hard. You tell them that you're just as attracted to them today as you were when you first met because they're having an insecure day and you want to make them feel better. You fudge over exactly how much that extravagant item you just bought was because...well, because it was just too cool not to buy and...okay, that might not be the best example.

But you know what I mean. These are the kinds of lies that kinda make long-term relationships possible.

And, the more you love someone, the harder it is to tell them something that you know will hurt them and the more tempting it is to tell them the soothing lie that will balm over that hurt and doubt. And, while I certainly don’t approve of people lying over the big stuff—cheating, stealing, stringing people along—I think people in successful long-term relationships learn to weigh the costs of truths and lies. 

In Peter’s case, knowing his wife, if he told her that her online photos were making him uncomfortable, that would make her uncomfortable too and she’d definitely take them down. Without question or complaint. But then that, I like to think, would make Peter feel worse rather than better. Because he’d have taken these beautiful photos that his shy and inhibited wife was brave enough to take—something that she was really proud of and loved—and turn them into something to hide away. To be ashamed of. Which was never what he wanted.

It’d have been a truth that did more damage than a lie. 

I believe in honesty in relationships, I do. But I also think that humans are social animals who’ve evolved to be a little savvy about it. In the study, they said that when lies were self-interested—where it benefited the teller more than the told—the love hormone didn’t affect anything at all. We generally know when we’re lying to protect ourselves and when we’re doing it to protect someone else. 

If you’re lying to protect yourself, just tell the truth; chances are good you’ll feel better about it in the long-run. 

But, if you’re lying to protect someone you love… I don’t know, call me dishonest, but I think you've the right and the responsibility to game-out what the lie—and what the truth—really has to gain.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Geeky Sex is Safe Sex

Geeky condoms! Uh, GENIUS!

I would buy the hell out of these! Not just to use, but to decorate my wall too. Someone please, please PLEASE make them!