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I had sex at a swingers club and liked it

Our sex columnist says goodbye to Atlanta, but not before visiting a swingers club

Sexclub Cover H
Photo credit: Illustration by Brandon Sadler/www.Risingredlotus.com/@RisingRedLotus

It's Friday night and I'm en route to a swingers club for the first time ever. The night's theme is feet. I hate feet. "What does that even mean?" a girlfriend asks. "I have no idea. Foot-rubbing orgies?" I laugh.

It's a nervous laughter. I've acted as though this will be no big deal. I'm all "RIOT GRRL!!!" until the moment of truth arrives. I'm so nervous, I could yack. Is this dress sex club worthy? Should I have waxed instead of shaved? What if I run into someone I know? *Gasp!* What if they want to have sex with me? I raise one hand off the steering wheel. It's shaking.

My first glimpse of a swingers club was on HBO's "Real Sex" while in junior high. The details of the episode have since faded, but the memory of the feelings I felt while watching it have not. Everyone seemed free. The club looked glamorous, like Eyes Wide Shut, without the creepy masks and music. I knew instantly: I want to go there.

Still, I was aware I should not divulge my fascination to friends, family, or romantic partners. "Would you like to go to the movies?" is what normal people say. "Would you like to go to a sex club?" is what freaks say. I determined it was best to keep my inner freak in the closet, lest I be ostracized or deemed non-girlfriend material. But still, the allure of a swingers club remained in the shadows of my subconscious, like a monster under a child's bed waiting for the lights to go out so it could come out and play.

Aside from my expressed interest in them, I decided to visit an Atlanta swingers club because of a 2001 Creative Loafing cover story about the local swingers scene, one of our top online stories more than a decade after it was published. There's something to be said, or at least, interpreted, by the popularity of the story: Atlantans are really curious about swinging.

I pick up my date, a gentleman with a handsome face and an even sweeter ass, whose looks even leave my straight guy friends in awe. "The women are going to eat you alive," I tell him. He laughs. Before we leave his house I tell him he has to change his selected attire. "There's a dress code at Trapeze," I say. "No jeans, no sneakers." He puts on a button-down long-sleeve shirt with dress pants and shoes.

It might sound unusual, but someone who is handsome, clean, and well-dressed is not completely out of place at swingers club — they resemble a cross-section of the city more than you may think. Granted, it is hard to determine what percentage of the American population swings. One reason is basic semantics; the other is fear or suppression based on socially constructed norms. A swinger is a person who is emotionally monogamous, but rejects sexual exclusivity. While swinging implies a lifestyle, a person or couple who participate in a threesome can be considered swingers, although they may not necessarily identify themselves as such. It may be something a person does not actively seek out, or what the lifestyle calls an "opportunistic swinger." Whether a person identifies as a swinger or not, chances are his or her way of life is something that will not be openly discussed, for obvious reasons, such as rejection by friends, family, partners, or the risk of it negatively affecting his or her job, and thus financial security.

According to a 2009 research study published in the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, it is estimated that 2 percent to 4 percent of adult Americans are swinging couples, with at least 25 percent of U.S. married couples having engaged in swinging at least once (76 percent in the survey were male, 24 percent were female). On average, the swingers were mostly middle- to upper-middle class white married couples in their late 30s who attend church on a regular basis, are more likely to identify politically as moderates or conservatives, and showed a more progressive attitude toward topics such as sexuality, divorce, pornography, homosexuality, premarital sex, and abortion.

These stats made me feel comfortable that I could actually go to a club, have a good time, and report back to those who are curious just what has (or hasn't) changed in the decade-plus since CL visited the sex club scene. But being comfortable with statistics is a whole lot different than taking your clothes off around strangers. Trust me.

Atlanta has three reputable swingers clubs, according to a former club member: Trapeze, Little Wings, and Club Venus.

Activities involving such clubs fall under two categories: "on-premise" refers to sexual activities conducted on-site; "off-premise" means the venue is used as a place to facilitate the meeting of other swingers, but sexual activities are conducted elsewhere.

The difference between the reputable clubs and others has to do with honesty and safety. The members belonging to the reputable clubs are dominated by consenting couples. Clubs like Trapeze offer nominal "Single Male" nights to minimize the potential for creepsters and offer couples and single women a safe environment.

Many swingers meet their playmates off-premise, such as online swingers forums like swinglifestyle.com, sdc.com, fetlife.com, or lifestyletonight.com, before eventually taking it to the club. On average, swingers clubs do not offer members STD screenings or background checks, which is why responsible swingers take it upon themselves to do the necessary research to ensure their safety. At the very least, condoms and a desire to quiz your potential partner about his or her sexual history are necessary.

A swingers club is no different than your standard nightclub where you hope to find a partner — sexual, romantic, or otherwise. For many of them, it's a slow process that involves taking the conversation outside the Internet, eventually progressing to telephone, then perhaps coffee or dinner dates. Once everyone feels comfortable, educated about each other's histories, and the ground rules have been established, the sexual play can commence. The process can take months.

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On average, swingers clubs do not offer an economical entry price. At Trapeze, a two-month membership for couples is $50, plus nightly fees: $40 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays; $70 on Fridays; and $80 on Saturday, its busiest night of the week, which sometimes can bring in as many as 400 people. Single female membership costs $50 for a three-month membership, with a $15 nightly fee. The club also offers deals, depending on the evening's theme, such as free entry on Service Industry Night (SIN). For single males, in particular, the rates are inflated. At Trapeze, a one-month membership costs $100 and a two-month membership is $150. Nightly fees are $45 (Thursdays) and $75 (Wednesdays and Fridays). The remainder of the week, only couples and single females are allowed.

Throughout the evening, Trapeze employees will walk the grounds to make sure everyone is playing fair. Voyeurism is not frowned upon, but the rule is for the person doing the looking to ask the persons at play if they are OK and comfortable with them viewing. If comfortable, those doing the playing will consent. They might even ask the person to join. There is, however, no guarantee that if one goes to a swingers club, either as a single male or female, or as a couple, that sexual relations with any other club members will be had. Relations are reserved to be determined by those at play. If a club employee notices a person creeping too close, or notices anyone who appears uncomfortable or objects, the creepster is ejected from the club, along with the surrendering of the person's membership.

At one less reputable club, according to a former patron who commented on condition of anonymity, the game is manipulated by the owners to ensure a return in their clients, single males in particular. "During the week [Tuesday and Thursdays] around lunch time [known as the "Afternoon Delight Party"], the single men are charged a fee to come to the club," says the former club patron. "The two paid ladies act at hostesses," he continues, "but their job is to lure the single men in to be repeat customers because single men are charged a lot more to attend any party."

"During regular party nights [Friday and Saturday nights]," he says, "the ladies are supposed to mingle with the crowd, but make sure that the single men don't go home unhappy [*wink*] if they strike out with meeting and hooking up with a couple or single lady."

"The ladies are paid 50 percent of the day's door fee for single men, with a $300 minimum for three hours or more of 'socializing.' On the night parties, they are paid a set fee somewhere around $50 to $75 to show up, depending on the crowd and party type."

"Some people know and don't care," he says. "Others don't come back when they find out, but the married single men usually will sneak a day party in to get laid." He discontinued his membership and club visits after he discovered this piece of information.

File this under: Things you need to know when fucking at a swingers club.

Part of the former patron's concern, aside from the deception and health risk of unknowing club members, is the environment created. Normally, he says, swingers clubs are safe for women, as they play a heavy role in the lifestyle rules and actions. Conversely, in this type of facility, he found it created hostility from the men, and thus put women at risk because the men expected sex. When a woman, presumably a real swinger and not a paid player, denied a single male member, there was resentment. Acts conducted by these men with legit female swingers also appeared to be more aggressive in nature, and not in the way that a consenting BDSM fetishist would participate with a female of similar sexual preferences.

My date and I drive to Club Trapeze, Westbound on I-20 to Commerce Drive by the airport. In an effort to calm my nerves, he gently pushes my long dark hair behind my right ear to better kiss my neck, his hands wandering as he lifts my skirt to massage my thighs. "You're going to make me crash," I tell him without making any real attempt to stop his motions. As we approach our destination, I spot a fit brunette dressed in black by the valet attendant. I look at my date and raise my eyebrows. "This is going to be good," I tell him.

Turns out she's the hottest person we see that night. Also: a bartender.

Inside, we register at a computer, pay the behind-the-counter person, who hands me a laminated name-free member ID card with my assigned number and barcode. In a few weeks they will switch to a digital security system, complete with a fingerprint scanner. Behind us is a white couple in their 40s. The silver-haired man's plaid shirt is tucked into his dress pants. He looks unassuming, like an elementary school teacher. I am told there's a very famous Georgia church official in addition to a high-ranking executive in state government who frequent the club.

I hand the woman my bottle of whiskey, which she slaps a sticker on with my member number. "Give the bartenders your ID, and they'll pour you a drink," the woman says. Trapeze is a BYOB club, with a bar of complimentary mixers.

I turn around and give my date a schoolgirl squeal: "Eep!" He smiles, hands in pocket. He's playing it cool, but I can tell he's as nervous as I am. As we enter, Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4 U" plays on the speakers. There's a dance floor and stripper pole, an area with leather couches, and a bar with a small dining area for the complimentary buffet. Dinner until midnight, then it switches to breakfast. Doors close at 5 a.m.

We are given a tour of the facilities. We should arrive earlier, according to our tour guide. It's nearly midnight. "What's your suggested arrival time?" I ask him. "Nine or 10 p.m., at the latest," he says. "They clean throughout the evening, but it's cleaner the earlier you get here." And here I thought we were being fashionably late. I felt like a bad journalist. And a pervert. "Also," he adds, "after midnight is when a lot of the blacks get here." I hard blink and stare quietly back. Our guide is black. "We're not talking white or even blue-collared," he continues, "We're talking ghetto. They come here after the strip clubs. The environment changes. It becomes a lot more testosterone heavy."

Couples sit together at the bar and on couches, but the dance floor is empty. There's a blend of white and black couples, most look to be in their 40s. Some are preppy, some have outfits I can't help but furrow my eyebrows at (where's Joan Rivers when you need her?), and others sport towels. There are flat-screen TVs on the walls playing foot fetish-related porn movies. On one screen, a woman is giving a man a footjob. "Ew," I think. My date is quiet. I can't tell if he's turned off or being polite.

Our pack heads toward the back of the club, where the magic happens, and where clothes are not allowed, only a towel. There is a co-ed locker room where you can leave your clothes and belongings, but we keep ours on for the tour. We pass bodies concealed in the nooks of the hallway's darkness. I don't want to look. I know I can, but I feel invasive, which makes me feel stupid given the circumstance.

There are private rooms, our tour guide explains, along with a couples-only room. We cut through an empty dim-lit room with the faintest blue light, just enough to see what's going on, but not expose a person's physical imperfections. The room has elevated platforms, like mock beds, with what looks like wrestling mats on top. As we turn the corner on our way to the pool and hot tub area, the other room's white light hits the mat and there I see it: WET. Visions of female and male ejaculate flood my mind. I cringe. Patrons are supposed to clean up after themselves with the provided disinfectant wipes. I think of when I go to the gym and the person before me fails to disinfect the seat on a weight machine. I immediately determine I will not be having sex with my handsome gentleman at the facilities tonight.

In the back room, men in their 20s and 30s swim naked in the pool. All three hot tubs are occupied with people relaxing and talking. At the foremost region of the room is a bar, cabana beds, and a billiards table. I'm not all that impressed with the main room, although it's not skuzzy-looking, more like it reminds me of a South Florida Cuban restaurant with the addition of leather couches. But the hot tub area looks like a legit spa or New York City bathhouse.

After our tour, we all reconvene at the dining area, where we talk and trade life stories, no different than any regular bar. I sip my whiskey, wary of getting drunk because of the 30-minute drive back to the city. Women come up and touch my date as if he's a leashed pet at the dog park. Some ask if he wants to play. He politely passes. After nearly two hours of talking, our tour guide and his wife get in their limousine and head home. My date and I are left alone to our own perversions.

We talk for another 30 minutes or so when he points at one of the TV screens. A woman is deep-throating a man. "Do you want to be her?" he asks me. "Honestly," I respond, "I'm not turned on at all." He nods. "Honestly, neither am I," he says, "but I tried." We leave and head back to his house where he plays Sam Cooke on vinyl. I like his music selection. Certainly much sexier than Britney Spears. I drape my legs across his on the couch as we talk and reminisce about our evening before transferring to his bedroom. He seems entertained yet unsettled from our adventure. At night I dream I'm walking up the sloped driveway of a swingers club when I slip and fall. Every time I try and stand up, I slip and fall again.

I return to the club a few days later with a couple of friends who are dating. Her boyfriend assigns them their pseudonyms: Cherry and Damien. To be clear, she is Damien. He is Cherry. "Didn't think I'd flip that on you," she tells him with a laugh. Like myself, they were curious about swingers clubs for years. We sit in the dining area. Image To the left of me is a white, female sex slave in a leather studded corset that goes up to her rib cage, leaving her petite A-cup breasts exposed. She's eating breakfast with her male date. My friends head to the back. "Are you coming?" she asks. "Nah, I'm good," I tell her.

It's a Tuesday night and the club is mostly dead, just some light customer traffic. I head to the bar to talk to one of the good-looking bartenders. He's younger than me. He's cute. I like him immediately. He strikes me as sincerely sweet and nonjudgmental. Bartenders aside, I don't find the people at the club attractive. But then I am reminded how a person's personality and character can make or break them. Pro tip: If people think they're going to walk into a swingers club and encounter a sea of Stacey Dash and Michael Fassbender-caliber look-alikes, they're in for a surprise.

As I speak with the bartender, several people approach me. "Do you have a man?" asks one. I consider his approach lackluster. I lie. "Yes," I tell him. I forget it's a swingers club. Having a partner means nothing here. "Do you guys want to play?" he continues. I politely decline and he and his date walk away. A black woman puts her hand up my dress and squeezes my ass. I jump, startled. "Sorry," she says, noticing my discomfort.

I continue talking with the cute bartender. "The women here are attractive," he offers, "but they're much older than me — MILFs, which isn't really my thing." He's worked here long enough where nudity doesn't faze him anymore. "The girls I date get upset with me," he confesses, "because they'll get naked and I won't even look at their body, I just stare straight at their face."

What surprises him most about the environment is the level of intimacy. "Sometimes you'll see a woman having sex with a man while she and her husband stare deep into each others eyes as he caresses her face and tells her he loves her." I ask him if he is interested in the swinger lifestyle. "Not really," he says, "I'd be too jealous."

I ask him what's the wildest thing he's ever seen. "There's a female bodybuilder, and the line for the gangbang will wrap around the room entrance," he says, "and you'll overhear the men leaving the room talk about how tight she was. There were at least 10 or 20 men there before him. How can she be tight?" he laughs. "I'm not judging," he clarifies, "I'm just saying."Image

I pay Trapeze a third visit, this time with a smokin' SoCal surfer-looking friend. It's a Sunday night. Specifically, my last night in Atlanta before I move to Las Vegas. In the back of my mind, I know this is the last chance I have to play at a swingers club. At least, in Atlanta. At least, for a while. I'm wearing a polka-dot dress with black Mary Jane heels. I feel sexy as hell.

I meet my date at Noni's for drinks. There's something about his hair, all dirty-blonde and wild, that makes me want to run my fingers through it. I feel carnal. My nerves are heightened, but not like the first time I went to the club. I'm walking straight and with a swing in my step, shoulders back. I feel starved; my hunger demands satisfaction. We talk for a while about nothing in particular, laugh about nothing in particular, before we head to the club. He's down to play, but worries people will find out. I forget about the whole under-the-radar aspect. It's a strange occupational hazard, to bring others into the mix. I reassure him no one will find out.

We merge onto the highway and head to the club when R. Kelly's "Ignition" comes on my car stereo. We make waves through the air with our hands, windows down. We're singing the lyrics out loud. "I'm about to take my key and stick it in the ignition." The summer heat is on its deathbed, and the night air feels cool. We are all smiles. I feel free. Like what I thought it would feel when I first saw that "Real Sex" episode.

At the club, we lubricate our nerves and build the tension over a couple of drinks before we head to the back area. I take his guiding hand like a child at Disney in line to Space Mountain, unsure what the end of the hallway's darkness has in store for me. We don't swing, neither of us is ready for that, but we do make it to the locker room. Our clothes come off quick, as if they're to blame for the static in our touch. I wrap the towel around my chest, when a light bulb goes off in my head. I undo it and wrap it around my waist. "You have beautiful breasts," he says. "Thanks," I reply with a big smile and an even bigger kiss, mouth open, tongue wet, a light nibble that ensures I mean business.

We remove our towels and climb into the hot tub, naked. There's no one around. It's the allure of the taboo, without the prying eyes and bodies of others. Even under the Jacuzzi area's less-than-forgiving white light, I forget all my physical insecurities and dunk the back of my head in the warm water like I'm in some kind of Victoria's Secret swimsuit video campaign. His stare is gentle, but ambitious; determined. Even before he pulls me closer, I can feel his touch.

We begin to make out before he grabs my hand and we head to one of the private couples room, along with some complimentary condoms provided by the club. The room is small, but has enough space to hold a twin-sized bed and two bodies, maybe three — or four. Soon we're switching positions without exchanging words, just the reading and guiding of our bodies.

Between the moaning and dirty talking and hair pulling, I mercilessly consign to oblivion. Consumed in our revelry, my exclamations are a reflection of each other forgoing all sense of time and space, as others overhear and begin to peek their heads in, curious as to the details of our festivities. We stop only when the door opens. We forgot to lock it. "Sorry," a woman says softly, "just looking." We freeze in our tracks and stare at the door. The lighting is dim. We can't see her. The door remains slightly open for a few seconds before she closes it. It happens several more times. We never lock it.

A few hours later, we step out of the room, back into our clothes, and sit in the dining area with the goofiest of satisfied smiles on our faces. We eat a warm, much-needed meal as we talk literature and life for another hour or so before we leave around 4 a.m. I'm pretty sure at that point that I will return to a swingers club someday. Swingers clubs are like tattoos: you end up wanting more. Then again, I don't have any tattoos. And that tongue ring I got in high school was a short-lived phase. Sometimes once is enough to satisfy our curiosity.

My dirty-blonde surfer dude texts me a few days later. "Thoughts of us interlocked in a sweaty tangle still pop up in my mind and make me feel tingles." I smile. I know exactly how he feels.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to accurately reflect the differences between certain local swingers clubs.



More By This Writer

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  string(11089) "If you are ever curious or seeking the most honest of sexual purges, indulgences, and conversations, seek no further than the Internet. Some of the best incognito discoveries regarding sex and humankind can be uncovered while browsing anonymous public forums such as Craigslist's Casual Encounters or Reddit's r/sex.

The range of the confessions unearthed span from sweet to bizarre, educated to misinformed, such as the other day when I stumbled upon a post from a young woman (presumably) asking about lubricants and some assholes (presumably) suggested baby oil.

It occurred to me later that the baby oil suggestion may not have been shared maliciously, but the result of the persons being unaware that oil-based lubricants, such as baby oil, have a chemical reaction with latex condoms that will likely cause them to dissolve, thus making the condom an ineffective use of contraception and STD protection.

Stumbling upon this misinformed thread got me thinking about other factors that play into our sexual interactions with our partners which the public at large may not know or have considered as of yet. With that in mind, here are 10 considerations for the sexually active.

!!!10. Not all lubricants are created equal


You may already know not to use an oil-based lubricant versus a water-based lubricant (like K-Y Jelly and Astroglide), but here is some other lube-related info you may like to know about, especially if you're into anal sex. A 2010 study by a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles found that participants who used K-Y Jelly and Astroglide during anal sex while wearing a condom were three times more likely to have rectal STDs. Both brands were found to be highly toxic to rectal and cervical tissue as the lubricants dissolve the rectum's protective layer of cells exposing the person to a higher chance to contract a disease. The study found PRé (now Pre-Seed) and Wet Platinum to be the safest lubricant brands.

!!!# Semen: the sly trickster agent of happiness and togetherness


A study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior in 2002 found a correlation between semen and depression levels in women. Of the sexually active college females sampled, those who didn't use condoms with their male partners had fewer symptoms of depression and had twice as much as sex as subjects who used condoms. It is theorized that there are several mood-enhancing hormones found in a man's semen. (Good news for those in long-term, monogamous relationships.) Another survey of college women found a correlation between a woman's exposure to semen when not using a condom to that of a chemical dependency, suggestion that a man's sperm acts as a monogamy agent. (Yet another reason to use condoms in a friends-with-benefit situation.)

!!!# The pill affects how men and women pair and interact


Nightmare firsthand experiences aside, there are several recent studies about birth control pills that illustrate the many ways they can (negatively) affect a woman and (therefore also) a man's relationships. Ladies, I'm not saying stop taking your pill, I'm saying if you choose this form of birth control, it may benefit you to research some general side effects, along with that of the pill prescribed for you specifically. An excellent research starting point is a 2012 article for sex and culture site Nerve.com by author Rachel Friedman (of The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost), titled, "How Does The Pill Affect Our Relationships? Six recent studies remind us that the questions surrounding the pill aren't solely political." Included in the roundup: The pill changes what women look for in men, and may reduce frequency of sex and arousal. Friedman is currently writing a book about birth control.

!!!# Don't go slapping people's faces without permission


He was the sweetest gentleman, a self-identified feminist, we were friends months before we started dating. We had some understanding of our sexual preferences from casual conversations with each other or mutual friends, but our deck of cards had yet been laid on the table. The night came when we finally had sex and, suddenly, while deep into the rhythm of things — WHACK! — he slapped me right across the face. At least, he meant to. He hit my ear instead. "What the fuck are you doing?" I yelled, cupping my injured ear. I'm not saying I disapprove of this fetish or any other hardcore ones, so much as I'm suggesting you discuss such desires with your partner ahead of time before your fetish ends up getting you arrested for assault. And, of course, be considerate of your partner. Foot licking, fingers up rectums, anal sex, and facials are just some of the sex acts that a respectful and considerate partner would talk about before acting out.

!!!# The safest and most pleasurable condoms


In 2009, Consumer Reports tested 22 condom models for strength, reliability, leakage, and package integrity. Of those tested, seven condoms received perfect scores: Durex Performax; Lifestyles Ultra Sensitive Lubricated; Lifestyles Warming Pleasure; Trojan Her Pleasure Ecstasy; Trojan Magnum Lubricated; Trojan Ultra Ribbed Ecstasy; and Trojan Ultra Thin. Interestingly enough, Women's Health magazine recently tested 25 condom varieties while in search of the most pleasurable condoms for both women and men. Of the final five that made the cut, two of them — Durex Performax and Lifestyles Warming Pleasure — also happened to have landed on Consumer Reports' perfectly scored list. Condoms that are both safe and pleasurable? Get on it.

!!!# On Gaslighting: Women, you're not "crazy," and don't let men convince you otherwise


"Geez," he says, "you're so sensitive." Or, "You gotta relaaaxxxx." Sound familiar, ladies? Gaslighting, or when a jerk psychologically manipulates a situation to make the other person come off as crazy, is a form of emotional abuse and dismissal of feelings that most, if not all, women have experienced at the hands of a man at some point in their lives. Gaslighting is not necessarily gender specific, but women undeniably have a longer history of being deemed overemotional and "hysterical" by society than men ever have. A woman should be able to stand up for herself, voice her opinion or frustrations, and have a conversation with a man without him flipping the script and dismissing her feelings as unfounded.

!!!# Does size really matter?


A man posted this question on Reddit a few weeks ago, adding, "Or is this something women tell men to make them feel better about themselves?" In my experience, a man being on the larger side does not guarantee quality sexing. Some of the best sex partners I've had were on the smaller side physically, but managed to deliver great orgasmic result. Urban myths and porn stars aside, the average erect penis length is somewhere between 5.1 to 5.7 inches. Research has also concluded that a man's girth, not his length, is what greater impacts a woman's sexual satisfaction (wider being considered better), but there is no average guaranteed to bring women vaginal pleasure. Of course, female size matters, too, except we're kinda like a one-size-fits-all scenario (body size withstanding), our vaginal muscles expanding and contracting when necessary. It takes approximately 30 minutes of foreplay before a woman is aroused to the point of vaginal relaxation, so if your lady feels extra tight, you haven't done your job of turning her on. Whether a man or a woman, the best way to guarantee sexual satisfaction is to familiarize yourself with you and your partner's body, each other's desires, and realizing that sex isn't just a round of the ol' in-out, in-out.

!!!# The G-spot is not the light at the end of the tunnel


While deep thrusts certainly have their pleasurable purpose, whenever I've encountered a man who does the cliché jackhammer thrust I cannot help but wonder if he thinks a woman's G-spot is a stargate to orgasm heaven located by her cervix. A woman's G-spot is about two inches inside the vagina facing north toward her belly button. To find a woman's sweet spot, insert your index finger into the woman in a "come hither" motion, reaching as far deep as your second knuckle. The texture of a woman's G-spot is not smooth like a woman's vaginal walls, but instead a ribbed, cushion-like sponge. For many women, stimulation of the G-spot is what allows them to have a vaginal (versus clitoral) orgasm, as that spongy tissue has a complex grouping of nerves. Stimulation of the G-spot can also result in a woman ejaculating, or as it's known colloquially, squirt.

!!!# Kegels: Exercise for your penis or vagina


Did you ever hear the one about that hooker that someone somewhere saw shoot ping-pong balls out of her vagina? Yeah, that's the result of kegels, or exercises that help strengthens a person's pelvic floor muscles. Most commonly associated as a vagina exercise for women, kegels can help both sexes have better control of their sex organs and ejaculation, as well as enhance orgasmic intensity for both the person and his or her partner. It is suggested that men and women do several rounds of exercise a week (or day), and takes only about five to 10 minutes per round. So how do you do a kegel exercise? Hold your PC (pubococcygeus) muscles as hard as you can and then release. Vary the routine from holding the PC muscles for five to 10 seconds, up to 30 seconds — even up to a minute. How do you know if you're holding your PC muscle? The best way for the unfamiliar: Next time you need to release your bladder, contract your pelvic muscles to stop your stream. Congratulations, you just did a kegel exercise. Keep up the routine and next time try the contraction while having sex and see if your partner notices any difference. Women can tighten and flex themselves around their man's member, while for men it's more about ejaculate control and being able to stay harder for longer. Kegels are also good for men to stave off erectile dysfunction during the aging process.

?
!!!# You're not straight or gay, you're human


There's no such thing as straight or gay. Sexuality is a gray, sliding scale. It's not as simple as straight or gay or bi or trans. See: Dr. Alfred Kinsey's Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale. According to one of the grandfathers of sexuality research and founder of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, humans do not exist exclusively as one defined sexual preference, instead most of us live somewhere in the middle of a seven-point scale with zero defined as "exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual" and six defined as "exclusively homosexual." There's a whole world that exists deep in the marrow between all societally appointed terms and it's perfectly OK, normal, and reasonable if you can't or don't want to pick a term or desire, because the truth is all that marrow is too mushy and beautiful to distinguish. To quote Margaret Cho: "I was like, 'Am I gay? Am I straight?' And I realized ... I'm just slutty."

Follow on Facebook.com/areyoushaved and Twitter at @areyoushaved."
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(12883) "If you are ever curious or seeking the most honest of sexual purges, indulgences, and conversations, seek no further than the Internet. Some of the best incognito discoveries regarding sex and humankind can be uncovered while browsing anonymous public forums such as Craigslist's [http://atlanta.craigslist.org/cas/|Casual Encounters] or Reddit's [http://www.reddit.com/r/sex|r/sex].

The range of the confessions unearthed span from sweet to bizarre, educated to misinformed, such as the other day when I stumbled upon a post from a young woman (presumably) asking about lubricants and some assholes (presumably) suggested baby oil.

It occurred to me later that the baby oil suggestion may not have been shared maliciously, but the result of the persons being unaware that oil-based lubricants, such as baby oil, have a chemical reaction with latex condoms that will likely cause them to dissolve, thus making the condom an ineffective use of contraception and STD protection.

Stumbling upon this misinformed thread got me thinking about other factors that play into our sexual interactions with our partners which the public at large may not know or have considered as of yet. With that in mind, here are 10 considerations for the sexually active.

!!!10. Not all lubricants are created equal


You may already know not to use an oil-based lubricant versus a water-based lubricant (like K-Y Jelly and Astroglide), but here is some other lube-related info you may like to know about, especially if you're into anal sex. A 2010 study by a professor at the [http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2010/05/lubricants-may-increase-risk-of-anal-sex-studies-show.html|University of California at Los Angeles] found that participants who used K-Y Jelly and Astroglide during anal sex while wearing a condom were three times more likely to have rectal STDs. Both brands were found to be highly toxic to rectal and cervical tissue as the lubricants dissolve the rectum's protective layer of cells exposing the person to a higher chance to contract a disease. The study found PRé ([http://www.amazon.com/Pre-Seed-Personal-Lubricant-Multi-use-Tube/dp/B004382GWK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342542438&sr=8-1&keywords=pre personal lubricant|now Pre-Seed]) and [http://www.amazon.com/Wet-Platinum-Premium-Lubricate-8-9-Ounce/dp/B000DZL33K|Wet Platinum] to be the safest lubricant brands.

!!!# Semen: the sly trickster agent of happiness and togetherness


A study published in the ''[http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/bering-in-mind/2010/09/22/an-ode-to-the-many-evolved-virtues-of-human-semen/|Archives of Sexual Behavior]'' in 2002 found a correlation between semen and depression levels in women. Of the sexually active college females sampled, those who didn't use condoms with their male partners had fewer symptoms of depression and had twice as much as sex as subjects who used condoms. It is theorized that there are several mood-enhancing hormones found in a man's semen. (Good news for those in long-term, monogamous relationships.) [http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200210/crying-over-spilled-semen|Another survey] of college women found a correlation between a woman's exposure to semen when not using a condom to that of a chemical dependency, suggestion that a man's sperm acts as a monogamy agent. (Yet another reason to use condoms in a friends-with-benefit situation.)

!!!# The pill affects how men and women pair and interact


Nightmare firsthand experiences aside, there are several recent studies about birth control pills that illustrate the many ways they can (negatively) affect a woman and (therefore also) a man's relationships. Ladies, I'm not saying stop taking your pill, I'm saying if you choose this form of birth control, it may benefit you to research some general side effects, along with that of the pill prescribed for you specifically. An excellent research starting point is a 2012 article for sex and culture site [http://nerve.com|Nerve.com] by author [http://rachel-friedman.com/|Rachel Friedman] (of ''The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost''), titled, "[http://www.nerve.com/love-sex/how-does-the-pill-affect-our-relationships|How Does The Pill Affect Our Relationships? Six recent studies remind us that the questions surrounding the pill aren't solely political]." Included in the roundup: The pill changes what women look for in men, and may reduce frequency of sex and arousal. Friedman is currently writing a book about birth control.

!!!# Don't go slapping people's faces without permission


He was the sweetest gentleman, a self-identified feminist, we were friends months before we started dating. We had some understanding of our sexual preferences from casual conversations with each other or mutual friends, but our deck of cards had yet been laid on the table. The night came when we finally had sex and, suddenly, while deep into the rhythm of things — WHACK! — he slapped me right across the face. At least, he meant to. He hit my ear instead. "What the fuck are you doing?" I yelled, cupping my injured ear. I'm not saying I disapprove of this fetish or any other hardcore ones, so much as I'm suggesting you discuss such desires with your partner ahead of time before your fetish ends up getting you arrested for assault. And, of course, be considerate of your partner. Foot licking, fingers up rectums, anal sex, and facials are just some of the sex acts that a respectful and considerate partner would talk about before acting out.

!!!# The safest and most pleasurable condoms


In 2009, ''[http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/shopping/december-2009/sex-and-the-supermarket/top-condoms/index.htm|Consumer Reports]'' tested 22 condom models for strength, reliability, leakage, and package integrity. Of those tested, seven condoms received perfect scores: Durex Performax; Lifestyles Ultra Sensitive Lubricated; Lifestyles Warming Pleasure; Trojan Her Pleasure Ecstasy; Trojan Magnum Lubricated; Trojan Ultra Ribbed Ecstasy; and Trojan Ultra Thin. Interestingly enough, ''[http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/best-condoms|Women's Health]'' magazine recently tested 25 condom varieties while in search of the most pleasurable condoms for both women and men. Of the final five that made the cut, two of them — [http://www.amazon.com/Durex-Performax-Climax-Control-Lubricated/dp/B000Q7RQ2C/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1342542953&sr=8-4&keywords=Durex Performax|Durex Performax] and [http://www.amazon.com/Lifestyles-Warming-Pleasure-Lubricated-Condoms/dp/B000VL1I4A/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1342543040&sr=1-1&keywords=lifestyles Warming Pleasure|Lifestyles Warming Pleasure] — also happened to have landed on ''Consumer Reports''' perfectly scored list. Condoms that are both safe ''and'' pleasurable? Get on it.

!!!# On Gaslighting: Women, you're not "crazy," and don't let men convince you otherwise


"Geez," he says, "you're so sensitive." Or, "You gotta relaaaxxxx." Sound familiar, ladies? [http://thecurrentconscience.com/blog/2011/09/12/a-message-to-women-from-a-man-you-are-not-“crazy”/|Gaslighting], or when a jerk psychologically manipulates a situation to make the other person come off as crazy, is a form of emotional abuse and dismissal of feelings that most, if not all, women have experienced at the hands of a man at some point in their lives. Gaslighting is not necessarily gender specific, but women undeniably have a longer history of being deemed overemotional and "hysterical" by society than men ever have. A woman should be able to stand up for herself, voice her opinion or frustrations, and have a conversation with a man without him flipping the script and dismissing her feelings as unfounded.

!!!# Does size really matter?


A man posted this question on Reddit a few weeks ago, adding, "Or is this something women tell men to make them feel better about themselves?" In my experience, a man being on the larger side does not guarantee quality sexing. Some of the best sex partners I've had were on the smaller side physically, but managed to deliver great orgasmic result. Urban myths and porn stars aside, the average erect penis length is somewhere between 5.1 to 5.7 inches. Research has also concluded that a man's girth, not his length, is what greater impacts a woman's sexual satisfaction (wider being considered better), but there is no average guaranteed to bring women vaginal pleasure. Of course, female size matters, too, except we're kinda like a one-size-fits-all scenario (body size withstanding), our vaginal muscles expanding and contracting when necessary. It takes approximately 30 minutes of foreplay before a woman is aroused to the point of vaginal relaxation, so if your lady feels extra tight, you haven't done your job of turning her on. Whether a man or a woman, the best way to guarantee sexual satisfaction is to familiarize yourself with you and your partner's body, each other's desires, and realizing that sex isn't just a round of the ol' in-out, in-out.

!!!# The G-spot is not the light at the end of the tunnel


While deep thrusts certainly have their pleasurable purpose, whenever I've encountered a man who does the cliché jackhammer thrust I cannot help but wonder if he thinks a woman's G-spot is a stargate to orgasm heaven located by her cervix.[http://freshfiction.com/excerpt.php?id=52168| A woman's G-spot is] about two inches inside the vagina facing north toward her belly button. To find a woman's sweet spot, insert your index finger into the woman in a "come hither" motion, reaching as far deep as your second knuckle. The texture of a woman's G-spot is not smooth like a woman's vaginal walls, but instead a ribbed, cushion-like sponge. For many women, stimulation of the G-spot is what allows them to have a vaginal (versus clitoral) orgasm, as that spongy tissue has a complex grouping of nerves. Stimulation of the G-spot can also result in a woman ejaculating, or as it's known colloquially, squirt.

!!!# Kegels: Exercise for your penis or vagina


Did you ever hear the one about that hooker that someone somewhere saw shoot ping-pong balls out of her vagina? Yeah, that's the result of [http://sexuality.about.com/od/anatomyresponse/a/kegelexercises.htm|kegels, or exercises that help strengthens a person's pelvic floor muscles]. Most commonly associated as a vagina exercise for women, kegels can help both sexes have better control of their sex organs and ejaculation, as well as enhance orgasmic intensity for both the person and his or her partner. It is suggested that men and women do several rounds of exercise a week (or day), and takes only about five to 10 minutes per round. So how do you do a kegel exercise? Hold your [http://sexuality.about.com/od/sexualhealthqanda/f/findpcmuscle.htm|PC (pubococcygeus) muscles] as hard as you can and then release. Vary the routine from holding the PC muscles for five to 10 seconds, up to 30 seconds — even up to a minute. How do you know if you're holding your PC muscle? The best way for the unfamiliar: Next time you need to release your bladder, contract your pelvic muscles to stop your stream. Congratulations, you just did a kegel exercise. Keep up the routine and next time try the contraction while having sex and see if your partner notices any difference. Women can tighten and flex themselves around their man's member, while for men it's more about ejaculate control and being able to stay harder for longer. [http://sexuality.about.com/od/anatomyresponse/ht/kegelsmen.htm|Kegels are also good for men] to stave off erectile dysfunction during the aging process.

?
!!!# You're not straight or gay, you're human


There's no such thing as straight or gay. Sexuality is a gray, sliding scale. It's not as simple as straight or gay or bi or trans. See: [http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/resources/ak-hhscale.html|Dr. Alfred Kinsey's Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale]. According to one of the grandfathers of sexuality research and founder of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, humans do not exist exclusively as one defined sexual preference, instead most of us live somewhere in the middle of a seven-point scale with zero defined as "exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual" and six defined as "exclusively homosexual." There's a whole world that exists deep in the marrow between all societally appointed terms and it's perfectly OK, normal, and reasonable if you can't or don't want to pick a term or desire, because the truth is all that marrow is too mushy and beautiful to distinguish. [http://www.nerve.com/news/love-sex/margaret-cho-self-proclaimed-slut|To quote Margaret Cho]: "I was like, 'Am I gay? Am I straight?' And I realized ... I'm just slutty."

''Follow on [https://www.facebook.com/areyoushaved|Facebook.com/areyoushaved] and Twitter at [https://twitter.com/#!/areyoushaved|@areyoushaved].''"
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  string(11347) "    And nine other considerations for the sexually active   2012-07-19T17:14:00+00:00 Not all lubes are created equal   Melysa Martinez 2021595 2012-07-19T17:14:00+00:00  If you are ever curious or seeking the most honest of sexual purges, indulgences, and conversations, seek no further than the Internet. Some of the best incognito discoveries regarding sex and humankind can be uncovered while browsing anonymous public forums such as Craigslist's Casual Encounters or Reddit's r/sex.

The range of the confessions unearthed span from sweet to bizarre, educated to misinformed, such as the other day when I stumbled upon a post from a young woman (presumably) asking about lubricants and some assholes (presumably) suggested baby oil.

It occurred to me later that the baby oil suggestion may not have been shared maliciously, but the result of the persons being unaware that oil-based lubricants, such as baby oil, have a chemical reaction with latex condoms that will likely cause them to dissolve, thus making the condom an ineffective use of contraception and STD protection.

Stumbling upon this misinformed thread got me thinking about other factors that play into our sexual interactions with our partners which the public at large may not know or have considered as of yet. With that in mind, here are 10 considerations for the sexually active.

!!!10. Not all lubricants are created equal


You may already know not to use an oil-based lubricant versus a water-based lubricant (like K-Y Jelly and Astroglide), but here is some other lube-related info you may like to know about, especially if you're into anal sex. A 2010 study by a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles found that participants who used K-Y Jelly and Astroglide during anal sex while wearing a condom were three times more likely to have rectal STDs. Both brands were found to be highly toxic to rectal and cervical tissue as the lubricants dissolve the rectum's protective layer of cells exposing the person to a higher chance to contract a disease. The study found PRé (now Pre-Seed) and Wet Platinum to be the safest lubricant brands.

!!!# Semen: the sly trickster agent of happiness and togetherness


A study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior in 2002 found a correlation between semen and depression levels in women. Of the sexually active college females sampled, those who didn't use condoms with their male partners had fewer symptoms of depression and had twice as much as sex as subjects who used condoms. It is theorized that there are several mood-enhancing hormones found in a man's semen. (Good news for those in long-term, monogamous relationships.) Another survey of college women found a correlation between a woman's exposure to semen when not using a condom to that of a chemical dependency, suggestion that a man's sperm acts as a monogamy agent. (Yet another reason to use condoms in a friends-with-benefit situation.)

!!!# The pill affects how men and women pair and interact


Nightmare firsthand experiences aside, there are several recent studies about birth control pills that illustrate the many ways they can (negatively) affect a woman and (therefore also) a man's relationships. Ladies, I'm not saying stop taking your pill, I'm saying if you choose this form of birth control, it may benefit you to research some general side effects, along with that of the pill prescribed for you specifically. An excellent research starting point is a 2012 article for sex and culture site Nerve.com by author Rachel Friedman (of The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost), titled, "How Does The Pill Affect Our Relationships? Six recent studies remind us that the questions surrounding the pill aren't solely political." Included in the roundup: The pill changes what women look for in men, and may reduce frequency of sex and arousal. Friedman is currently writing a book about birth control.

!!!# Don't go slapping people's faces without permission


He was the sweetest gentleman, a self-identified feminist, we were friends months before we started dating. We had some understanding of our sexual preferences from casual conversations with each other or mutual friends, but our deck of cards had yet been laid on the table. The night came when we finally had sex and, suddenly, while deep into the rhythm of things — WHACK! — he slapped me right across the face. At least, he meant to. He hit my ear instead. "What the fuck are you doing?" I yelled, cupping my injured ear. I'm not saying I disapprove of this fetish or any other hardcore ones, so much as I'm suggesting you discuss such desires with your partner ahead of time before your fetish ends up getting you arrested for assault. And, of course, be considerate of your partner. Foot licking, fingers up rectums, anal sex, and facials are just some of the sex acts that a respectful and considerate partner would talk about before acting out.

!!!# The safest and most pleasurable condoms


In 2009, Consumer Reports tested 22 condom models for strength, reliability, leakage, and package integrity. Of those tested, seven condoms received perfect scores: Durex Performax; Lifestyles Ultra Sensitive Lubricated; Lifestyles Warming Pleasure; Trojan Her Pleasure Ecstasy; Trojan Magnum Lubricated; Trojan Ultra Ribbed Ecstasy; and Trojan Ultra Thin. Interestingly enough, Women's Health magazine recently tested 25 condom varieties while in search of the most pleasurable condoms for both women and men. Of the final five that made the cut, two of them — Durex Performax and Lifestyles Warming Pleasure — also happened to have landed on Consumer Reports' perfectly scored list. Condoms that are both safe and pleasurable? Get on it.

!!!# On Gaslighting: Women, you're not "crazy," and don't let men convince you otherwise


"Geez," he says, "you're so sensitive." Or, "You gotta relaaaxxxx." Sound familiar, ladies? Gaslighting, or when a jerk psychologically manipulates a situation to make the other person come off as crazy, is a form of emotional abuse and dismissal of feelings that most, if not all, women have experienced at the hands of a man at some point in their lives. Gaslighting is not necessarily gender specific, but women undeniably have a longer history of being deemed overemotional and "hysterical" by society than men ever have. A woman should be able to stand up for herself, voice her opinion or frustrations, and have a conversation with a man without him flipping the script and dismissing her feelings as unfounded.

!!!# Does size really matter?


A man posted this question on Reddit a few weeks ago, adding, "Or is this something women tell men to make them feel better about themselves?" In my experience, a man being on the larger side does not guarantee quality sexing. Some of the best sex partners I've had were on the smaller side physically, but managed to deliver great orgasmic result. Urban myths and porn stars aside, the average erect penis length is somewhere between 5.1 to 5.7 inches. Research has also concluded that a man's girth, not his length, is what greater impacts a woman's sexual satisfaction (wider being considered better), but there is no average guaranteed to bring women vaginal pleasure. Of course, female size matters, too, except we're kinda like a one-size-fits-all scenario (body size withstanding), our vaginal muscles expanding and contracting when necessary. It takes approximately 30 minutes of foreplay before a woman is aroused to the point of vaginal relaxation, so if your lady feels extra tight, you haven't done your job of turning her on. Whether a man or a woman, the best way to guarantee sexual satisfaction is to familiarize yourself with you and your partner's body, each other's desires, and realizing that sex isn't just a round of the ol' in-out, in-out.

!!!# The G-spot is not the light at the end of the tunnel


While deep thrusts certainly have their pleasurable purpose, whenever I've encountered a man who does the cliché jackhammer thrust I cannot help but wonder if he thinks a woman's G-spot is a stargate to orgasm heaven located by her cervix. A woman's G-spot is about two inches inside the vagina facing north toward her belly button. To find a woman's sweet spot, insert your index finger into the woman in a "come hither" motion, reaching as far deep as your second knuckle. The texture of a woman's G-spot is not smooth like a woman's vaginal walls, but instead a ribbed, cushion-like sponge. For many women, stimulation of the G-spot is what allows them to have a vaginal (versus clitoral) orgasm, as that spongy tissue has a complex grouping of nerves. Stimulation of the G-spot can also result in a woman ejaculating, or as it's known colloquially, squirt.

!!!# Kegels: Exercise for your penis or vagina


Did you ever hear the one about that hooker that someone somewhere saw shoot ping-pong balls out of her vagina? Yeah, that's the result of kegels, or exercises that help strengthens a person's pelvic floor muscles. Most commonly associated as a vagina exercise for women, kegels can help both sexes have better control of their sex organs and ejaculation, as well as enhance orgasmic intensity for both the person and his or her partner. It is suggested that men and women do several rounds of exercise a week (or day), and takes only about five to 10 minutes per round. So how do you do a kegel exercise? Hold your PC (pubococcygeus) muscles as hard as you can and then release. Vary the routine from holding the PC muscles for five to 10 seconds, up to 30 seconds — even up to a minute. How do you know if you're holding your PC muscle? The best way for the unfamiliar: Next time you need to release your bladder, contract your pelvic muscles to stop your stream. Congratulations, you just did a kegel exercise. Keep up the routine and next time try the contraction while having sex and see if your partner notices any difference. Women can tighten and flex themselves around their man's member, while for men it's more about ejaculate control and being able to stay harder for longer. Kegels are also good for men to stave off erectile dysfunction during the aging process.

?
!!!# You're not straight or gay, you're human


There's no such thing as straight or gay. Sexuality is a gray, sliding scale. It's not as simple as straight or gay or bi or trans. See: Dr. Alfred Kinsey's Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale. According to one of the grandfathers of sexuality research and founder of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, humans do not exist exclusively as one defined sexual preference, instead most of us live somewhere in the middle of a seven-point scale with zero defined as "exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual" and six defined as "exclusively homosexual." There's a whole world that exists deep in the marrow between all societally appointed terms and it's perfectly OK, normal, and reasonable if you can't or don't want to pick a term or desire, because the truth is all that marrow is too mushy and beautiful to distinguish. To quote Margaret Cho: "I was like, 'Am I gay? Am I straight?' And I realized ... I'm just slutty."

Follow on Facebook.com/areyoushaved and Twitter at @areyoushaved.             13069083 5847489                          Not all lubes are created equal "
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Thursday July 19, 2012 01:14 pm EDT
And nine other considerations for the sexually active | more...
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— HBO's "Girls," Season 1, Episode 6

?
It was the end of the night and the party was beginning to die down. High on life and drunk on whiskey, I turn to my new friend.

"What are you doing after this?" I ask him.

"I don't know. Probably go home and smoke a bowl," he says. "Wanna come over?"

"Sure!"

Call it Catholic guilt, but the voice in the back of my head was heard loud and clear above the club's loud music. It was my mom. "He's going to think you're easy," she says. "You're going home with him at 5 in the morning." I dismiss the voice and proceed with my plan.

Before we say goodbye to our friends and head for the door, I tell my new friend something that I presume he does not want to hear from a woman who is coming over his house just before the break of dawn: "To be clear, I'm not going to have sex with you."

When I cryptically posted this quote without context on my Facebook, I received more than 30 comments from friends (mostly male), ranging from humorous to sincere (I think). Some of the comments went like this:

"Who says that?"

"I read somewhere that no means yes."

"Define the word 'not.'"

"But I just bought your drink!"

"Come on ... if 'no' meant 'no' we'd all be virgins."

"Who says that?" you ask. Well, I do. And, honestly, I can't begin to count just how many times I've said this to a guy before I go over to his place. Sure, it seems a bit ... what's the term? Defensive? Or as one guy friend wrote, "Well that's a preemptive strike if I've ever heard one."

I can hear it now: "You're dating the wrong guys." Perhaps, but not really. I understand why a guy wants and will try to get laid. I do not fault a person for this. Maybe it's because I have written about sex for years, or maybe it's just a character trait, or maybe it is the guys I date, but I can't begin to tell you how many times I thought we sincerely were just going to hang out and get to know one another and before I know it, the guy says stupid shit like, "Do you want to see it?" Answer: No.

Do you remember when you could hang out with someone you were into and sex wasn't a ginormous cloud hanging over the situation? I remember. It was called high school. Yeah, it's been a hot minute.

It's been known to happen earlier than not, but overall it takes a while for me to put out. Why? Well, because if I went on that two-to-three-date sex rule I would have dozens, hell, scores of notches on my bedpost. I'm not trying to slut-shame. I'm not saying that if you sleep around it's wrong. All I'm saying is for me — for many of us — it's not our speed.

Just because a person comes over to your house late at night (or anytime, really) should not imply sex. My favorites are the guys who try to come off as caring or sensitive and say things like, "We don't have to have sex," and then 10 heated minutes later whip it out with a grin that says, "Christmas came early this year." Put that away.

What's that you say? Don't go over to a guy's house at 5 a.m. if you're just being a tease and aren't going to put out? A person doesn't owe someone sex of any variety for spending time together. People aren't tollbooths. If the frequency of the men with which I've encountered in my 15 years of dating didn't show a pattern of a specific type of man thinking time and money spent on a woman equals an implied right to get balls deep in her, then, trust me, I wouldn't even raise the issue.

Back at the club, my male companion and I leave and head over to his house, where we listen to some music on vinyl and make out on the couch before we move to his bedroom where nothing happens outside of making out and some light dry-humping, a la high school. In the morning, he reaches and pulls me in closer to him and awakens me with a kiss.

"Thank you for being a gentleman last night," I tell him.

"What do you mean?" He looks confused.

In that moment, I feel like an asshole for praising him for not pressuring me to have sex with him. But, I figure, if I'm apt to tell off a guy when he acts a fool, then why not commend the good guy? "
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— HBO's "[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girls_(TV_series)|Girls]," Season 1, Episode 6

?
It was the end of the night and the party was beginning to die down. High on life and drunk on whiskey, I turn to my new friend.

"What are you doing after this?" I ask him.

"I don't know. Probably go home and smoke a bowl," he says. "Wanna come over?"

"Sure!"

Call it Catholic guilt, but the voice in the back of my head was heard loud and clear above the club's loud music. It was my mom. "He's going to think you're easy," she says. "You're going home with him at 5 in the morning." I dismiss the voice and proceed with my plan.

Before we say goodbye to our friends and head for the door, I tell my new friend something that I presume he does not want to hear from a woman who is coming over his house just before the break of dawn: "To be clear, I'm not going to have sex with you."

When I cryptically posted this quote without context on my Facebook, I received more than 30 comments from friends (mostly male), ranging from humorous to sincere (I think). Some of the comments went like this:

"Who says that?"

"I read somewhere that no means yes."

"Define the word 'not.'"

"But I just bought your drink!"

"Come on ... if 'no' meant 'no' we'd all be virgins."

"Who says that?" you ask. Well, ''I'' do. And, honestly, I can't begin to count just how many times I've said this to a guy before I go over to his place. Sure, it seems a bit ... what's the term? Defensive? Or as one guy friend wrote, "Well that's a preemptive strike if I've ever heard one."

I can hear it now: "You're dating the wrong guys." Perhaps, but not really. I understand why a guy wants and will try to get laid. I do not fault a person for this. Maybe it's because I have written about sex for years, or maybe it's just a character trait, or maybe it ''is'' the guys I date, but I can't begin to tell you how many times I thought we sincerely were just going to hang out and get to know one another and before I know it, the guy says stupid shit like, "Do you want to see it?" Answer: No.

Do you remember when you could hang out with someone you were into and sex wasn't a ginormous cloud hanging over the situation? I remember. It was called high school. Yeah, it's been a hot minute.

It's been known to happen earlier than not, but overall it takes a while for me to put out. Why? Well, because if I went on that two-to-three-date sex rule I would have dozens, hell, scores of notches on my bedpost. I'm not trying to slut-shame. I'm not saying that if you sleep around it's wrong. All I'm saying is for me — for many of us — it's not our speed.

Just because a person comes over to your house late at night (or anytime, really) should not imply sex. My favorites are the guys who try to come off as caring or sensitive and say things like, "We don't have to have sex," and then 10 heated minutes later whip it out with a grin that says, "Christmas came early this year." Put that away.

What's that you say? Don't go over to a guy's house at 5 a.m. if you're just being a tease and aren't going to put out? A person doesn't owe someone sex of any variety for spending time together. People aren't tollbooths. If the frequency of the men with which I've encountered in my 15 years of dating didn't show a pattern of a specific type of man thinking time and money spent on a woman equals an implied right to get balls deep in her, then, trust me, I wouldn't even raise the issue.

Back at the club, my male companion and I leave and head over to his house, where we listen to some music on vinyl and make out on the couch before we move to his bedroom where nothing happens outside of making out and some light dry-humping, a la high school. In the morning, he reaches and pulls me in closer to him and awakens me with a kiss.

"Thank you for being a gentleman last night," I tell him.

"What do you mean?" He looks confused.

In that moment, I feel like an asshole for praising him for not pressuring me to have sex with him. But, I figure, if I'm apt to tell off a guy when he acts a fool, then why not commend the good guy? "
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— HBO's "Girls," Season 1, Episode 6

?
It was the end of the night and the party was beginning to die down. High on life and drunk on whiskey, I turn to my new friend.

"What are you doing after this?" I ask him.

"I don't know. Probably go home and smoke a bowl," he says. "Wanna come over?"

"Sure!"

Call it Catholic guilt, but the voice in the back of my head was heard loud and clear above the club's loud music. It was my mom. "He's going to think you're easy," she says. "You're going home with him at 5 in the morning." I dismiss the voice and proceed with my plan.

Before we say goodbye to our friends and head for the door, I tell my new friend something that I presume he does not want to hear from a woman who is coming over his house just before the break of dawn: "To be clear, I'm not going to have sex with you."

When I cryptically posted this quote without context on my Facebook, I received more than 30 comments from friends (mostly male), ranging from humorous to sincere (I think). Some of the comments went like this:

"Who says that?"

"I read somewhere that no means yes."

"Define the word 'not.'"

"But I just bought your drink!"

"Come on ... if 'no' meant 'no' we'd all be virgins."

"Who says that?" you ask. Well, I do. And, honestly, I can't begin to count just how many times I've said this to a guy before I go over to his place. Sure, it seems a bit ... what's the term? Defensive? Or as one guy friend wrote, "Well that's a preemptive strike if I've ever heard one."

I can hear it now: "You're dating the wrong guys." Perhaps, but not really. I understand why a guy wants and will try to get laid. I do not fault a person for this. Maybe it's because I have written about sex for years, or maybe it's just a character trait, or maybe it is the guys I date, but I can't begin to tell you how many times I thought we sincerely were just going to hang out and get to know one another and before I know it, the guy says stupid shit like, "Do you want to see it?" Answer: No.

Do you remember when you could hang out with someone you were into and sex wasn't a ginormous cloud hanging over the situation? I remember. It was called high school. Yeah, it's been a hot minute.

It's been known to happen earlier than not, but overall it takes a while for me to put out. Why? Well, because if I went on that two-to-three-date sex rule I would have dozens, hell, scores of notches on my bedpost. I'm not trying to slut-shame. I'm not saying that if you sleep around it's wrong. All I'm saying is for me — for many of us — it's not our speed.

Just because a person comes over to your house late at night (or anytime, really) should not imply sex. My favorites are the guys who try to come off as caring or sensitive and say things like, "We don't have to have sex," and then 10 heated minutes later whip it out with a grin that says, "Christmas came early this year." Put that away.

What's that you say? Don't go over to a guy's house at 5 a.m. if you're just being a tease and aren't going to put out? A person doesn't owe someone sex of any variety for spending time together. People aren't tollbooths. If the frequency of the men with which I've encountered in my 15 years of dating didn't show a pattern of a specific type of man thinking time and money spent on a woman equals an implied right to get balls deep in her, then, trust me, I wouldn't even raise the issue.

Back at the club, my male companion and I leave and head over to his house, where we listen to some music on vinyl and make out on the couch before we move to his bedroom where nothing happens outside of making out and some light dry-humping, a la high school. In the morning, he reaches and pulls me in closer to him and awakens me with a kiss.

"Thank you for being a gentleman last night," I tell him.

"What do you mean?" He looks confused.

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Tuesday July 3, 2012 04:00 am EDT
I don't always tell guys that before I come over, but when I do, I mean it. | more...
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Yo,

I've been feeling so much feminine power lately in this city, please tell me you feel it too? Maybe I'm surrounded by it and I have my guard up against dudes, but it feels so obvious that there has been change and the ladies are in charge of shit right now in Atlanta.

I've only been in Atlanta for two years, so it's a completely naive blanketed statement for me to say, but it seems like there is a major lack of go-getting inspiring guys. I have high standards and maybe that's going to screw me over in my 20's, but I know it's the right thing because I've spent quality time marinating on self love. I feel kinda hopeless (but I know it's a temporary thirsty-for-a-summer-fling thing), but there should be more decent dudes.

(See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPR108kwNo4)

All the good ladies are single or married... W T F GIIIIIIVVVEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSS

xo,

V E N U S, 25

__?
Oh, man. WHERE DO I START?!

Back in December, the Daily Beast made a list of the "Best Cities to Find a Date in 2012." The results were mainly based on three components: Percentage of available singles, dating costs, and mental and physical health. They also factored in Google Trends to measure the popularity of five major dating websites and what cities ranked highest among those sites. The result? Atlanta was named the number one city to find a date in 2012. When I read about the results, I found myself laughing out loud and rolling my eyes. Riiiiight, I thought.

I've lived in Atlanta over eight years now, half of which was spent in a long term relationship, the other half for which I've been single and spent my time and efforts somewhere between dating, celibacy, general reckless abandonment, and pure, unadulterated lust. Here's what I've learned in those four years of being single in ATL: I'm not ready ...  and I'm guessing neither are you.

Sure, percentage of available singles, cost of living, and mental and emotional health certainly play a factor when it comes to dating. If a date/hangout session can easily run $60 for two here in an affordable ATL, I can't even begin to fathom what dating in a city like New York City or San Francisco must be like. But there's so much more to dating than cost or percentage of singles.

I cant' tell you how many times my friends and family have told me a guy I'm seeing isn't "good enough," and my response is always the same, "We're just hanging out. It's not like I'm going to marry the guy." It's important to have standards, certainly, and I couldn't agree more, but unfortunately, we don't know just how compatible we are with a person until we date them and get to know them better, at which point we may realize that, while this person is fun and exciting and has a lot of the qualities we look for in a partner, they aren't the right fit for us.

When it comes to whether or not Atlanta has a "major lack of go-getting, inspiring guys," I know I'm going to come under fire for agreeing with your statement. Where are these men?! is something I ask myself all the time. The conclusion I've reached is not that these men don't exist (OK, I do admittedly think this sometimes), it's that I don't want them in my life right now. Personally speaking, when it comes to relationships, I give it my all. I am not a serial monogamist. I don't mind being alone. My goals since a very young age are placed on my career and personal ambitions, and, while I'm not saying it's impossible to do while with a partner, being in a relationship means being a little less selfish and a little more selfless, things of which I am not ready to do now.

You say you've been spending quality time marinating on self love, and, while I know how lonely it can be at times (trust), it sounds like this is what you need work on right now.

I can't wholeheartedly say whether or not Atlanta has a greater plethora of outstanding ladies getting shit done versus men, as I know I belong and interact within a specific community in Atlanta, and I imagine in other pockets — say, Midtown or Virginia-Highland — it may be completely different. There are days where I've told myself I'm going to step outside my comfort zone and go to places where maybe every male I meet isn't a server/artist, but then when I get there and that handsome doctor with his long-sleeved shirt tucked into his ironed khaki's opens his mouth, my brain begins to tune out. (Boring.) But that's my deal, and says a lot about the men I pick. I say this, because I imagine if you were to meet a man like this, chances are you may also not be interested in this particular type of fellow. You want the server/artist after he drops the server gig and can make it alone on his art (of any medium).

I think Atlanta does have ambitious men, but perhaps some of them are not at their final destination yet, much like we haven't reached ours. There are some great, talented, ambitious men I've met in Atlanta, in particular over the last two years, but, these men, much like ourselves, are currently working on themselves and their projects and goals. I think, when people's plates are full, it's harder to look for a partner, because that is not a person's goal.

My only advice and consolation, V E N U S, although you may not want to hear it, nor like what I have to say, is that it's a combination of factors: Who we are attracted to, what we want for ourselves, what others want for themselves. Atlanta might be the number one city for singles in the U.S. according to the Daily Beast, and that works to our advantage to hear that we're a city of happy people with a higher quality of living, but maybe what that means for us singles is that we can have fun and explore ourselves and what we want in a partner without it costing us as much time or happiness. You're young. Love does not exist on a timeline. Do not rush what is meant to be and you have no control over. Go on dates. Keep your standards high, but give the underdog a chance. You might be surprised. But whatever you end up coming across, what matters most is that you not give up hope and that you continue to work on yourself and your own goals, because even if you found that person, the only person that is guaranteed to stick with you forever is yourself. Good luck!"
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Yo,

I've been feeling so much feminine power lately in this city, please tell me you feel it too? Maybe I'm surrounded by it and I have my guard up against dudes, but it feels so obvious that there has been change and the ladies are in charge of shit right now in Atlanta.

I've only been in Atlanta for two years, so it's a completely naive blanketed statement for me to say, but it seems like there is a major lack of go-getting inspiring guys. I have high standards and maybe that's going to screw me over in my 20's, but I know it's the right thing because I've spent quality time marinating on self love. I feel kinda hopeless (but I know it's a temporary [http://clatl.com/atlanta/summer-romance-fail/Content?oid=5478639|thirsty-for-a-summer-fling thing]), but there should be more decent dudes.

(See: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPR108kwNo4])

All the good ladies are single or married... W T F GIIIIIIVVVEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSS

xo,

V E N U S, 25

__?
Oh, man. WHERE DO I START?!

Back in December, the Daily Beast made a list of the "[http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2011/12/26/best-cities-to-find-a-date-in-2012-from-atlanta-to-boston-photos.html|Best Cities to Find a Date in 2012]." The results were mainly based on three components: Percentage of available singles, dating costs, and mental and physical health. They also factored in Google Trends to measure the popularity of five major dating websites and what cities ranked highest among those sites. The result? [http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2011/12/26/best-cities-to-find-a-date-in-2012-from-atlanta-to-boston-photos.html#slide26|Atlanta was named the number one city to find a date in 2012]. When I read about the results, I found myself laughing out loud and rolling my eyes. ''Riiiiight'', I thought.

I've lived in Atlanta over eight years now, half of which was spent in a long term relationship, the other half for which I've been single and spent my time and efforts somewhere between dating, celibacy, general reckless abandonment, and pure, unadulterated lust. Here's what I've learned in those four years of being single in ATL: I'm not ready ...  and I'm guessing neither are you.

Sure, percentage of available singles, cost of living, and mental and emotional health certainly play a factor when it comes to dating. If a date/hangout session can easily run $60 for two here in an affordable ATL, I can't even begin to fathom what dating in a city like New York City or San Francisco must be like. But there's so much more to dating than cost or percentage of singles.

I cant' tell you how many times my friends and family have told me a guy I'm seeing isn't "good enough," and my response is always the same, "We're just hanging out. It's not like I'm going to marry the guy." It's important to have standards, certainly, and I couldn't agree more, but unfortunately, we don't know just how compatible we are with a person until we date them and get to know them better, at which point we may realize that, while this person is fun and exciting and has a lot of the qualities we look for in a partner, they aren't the right fit for us.

When it comes to whether or not Atlanta has a "major lack of go-getting, inspiring guys," I know I'm going to come under fire for agreeing with your statement. ''Where are these men?!'' is something I ask myself all the time. The conclusion I've reached is not that these men don't exist (OK, I do admittedly think this sometimes), it's that I don't want them in my life right now. Personally speaking, when it comes to relationships, I give it my all. I am not a serial monogamist. I don't mind being alone. My goals since a very young age are placed on my career and personal ambitions, and, while I'm not saying it's impossible to do while with a partner, being in a relationship means being a little less selfish and a little more selfless, things of which I am not ready to do now.

You say you've been spending quality time marinating on self love, and, while I know how lonely it can be at times (trust), it sounds like this is what you need work on right now.

I can't wholeheartedly say whether or not Atlanta has a greater plethora of outstanding ladies getting shit done versus men, as I know I belong and interact within a specific community in Atlanta, and I imagine in other pockets — say, Midtown or Virginia-Highland — it may be completely different. There are days where I've told myself I'm going to step outside my comfort zone and go to places where maybe every male I meet isn't a server/artist, but then when I get there and that handsome doctor with his long-sleeved shirt tucked into his ironed khaki's opens his mouth, my brain begins to tune out. (''Boring.'') But that's my deal, and says a lot about the men I pick. I say this, because I imagine if you were to meet a man like this, chances are you may also not be interested in this particular type of fellow. You want the server/artist after he drops the server gig and can make it alone on his art (of any medium).

I think Atlanta does have ambitious men, but perhaps some of them are not at their final destination yet, much like we haven't reached ours. There are some great, talented, ambitious men I've met in Atlanta, in particular over the last two years, but, these men, much like ourselves, are currently working on themselves and their projects and goals. I think, when people's plates are full, it's harder to look for a partner, because that is not a person's goal.

My only advice and consolation, V E N U S, although you may not want to hear it, nor like what I have to say, is that it's a combination of factors: Who we are attracted to, what we want for ourselves, what others want for themselves. Atlanta might be the number one city for singles in the U.S. according to the Daily Beast, and that works to our advantage to hear that we're a city of happy people with a higher quality of living, but maybe what that means for us singles is that we can have fun and explore ourselves and what we want in a partner without it costing us as much time or happiness. You're young. Love does not exist on a timeline. Do not rush what is meant to be and you have no control over. Go on dates. Keep your standards high, but give the underdog a chance. You might be surprised. But whatever you end up coming across, what matters most is that you not give up hope and that you continue to work on yourself and your own goals, because even if you found that person, the only person that is guaranteed to stick with you forever is yourself. Good luck!"
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  string(6536) "       2012-06-29T15:15:00+00:00 [Dialogue] Does Atlanta have a lack of 'decent, go-getting' dudes?   Melysa Martinez 2021595 2012-06-29T15:15:00+00:00  __
Yo,

I've been feeling so much feminine power lately in this city, please tell me you feel it too? Maybe I'm surrounded by it and I have my guard up against dudes, but it feels so obvious that there has been change and the ladies are in charge of shit right now in Atlanta.

I've only been in Atlanta for two years, so it's a completely naive blanketed statement for me to say, but it seems like there is a major lack of go-getting inspiring guys. I have high standards and maybe that's going to screw me over in my 20's, but I know it's the right thing because I've spent quality time marinating on self love. I feel kinda hopeless (but I know it's a temporary thirsty-for-a-summer-fling thing), but there should be more decent dudes.

(See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPR108kwNo4)

All the good ladies are single or married... W T F GIIIIIIVVVEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSS

xo,

V E N U S, 25

__?
Oh, man. WHERE DO I START?!

Back in December, the Daily Beast made a list of the "Best Cities to Find a Date in 2012." The results were mainly based on three components: Percentage of available singles, dating costs, and mental and physical health. They also factored in Google Trends to measure the popularity of five major dating websites and what cities ranked highest among those sites. The result? Atlanta was named the number one city to find a date in 2012. When I read about the results, I found myself laughing out loud and rolling my eyes. Riiiiight, I thought.

I've lived in Atlanta over eight years now, half of which was spent in a long term relationship, the other half for which I've been single and spent my time and efforts somewhere between dating, celibacy, general reckless abandonment, and pure, unadulterated lust. Here's what I've learned in those four years of being single in ATL: I'm not ready ...  and I'm guessing neither are you.

Sure, percentage of available singles, cost of living, and mental and emotional health certainly play a factor when it comes to dating. If a date/hangout session can easily run $60 for two here in an affordable ATL, I can't even begin to fathom what dating in a city like New York City or San Francisco must be like. But there's so much more to dating than cost or percentage of singles.

I cant' tell you how many times my friends and family have told me a guy I'm seeing isn't "good enough," and my response is always the same, "We're just hanging out. It's not like I'm going to marry the guy." It's important to have standards, certainly, and I couldn't agree more, but unfortunately, we don't know just how compatible we are with a person until we date them and get to know them better, at which point we may realize that, while this person is fun and exciting and has a lot of the qualities we look for in a partner, they aren't the right fit for us.

When it comes to whether or not Atlanta has a "major lack of go-getting, inspiring guys," I know I'm going to come under fire for agreeing with your statement. Where are these men?! is something I ask myself all the time. The conclusion I've reached is not that these men don't exist (OK, I do admittedly think this sometimes), it's that I don't want them in my life right now. Personally speaking, when it comes to relationships, I give it my all. I am not a serial monogamist. I don't mind being alone. My goals since a very young age are placed on my career and personal ambitions, and, while I'm not saying it's impossible to do while with a partner, being in a relationship means being a little less selfish and a little more selfless, things of which I am not ready to do now.

You say you've been spending quality time marinating on self love, and, while I know how lonely it can be at times (trust), it sounds like this is what you need work on right now.

I can't wholeheartedly say whether or not Atlanta has a greater plethora of outstanding ladies getting shit done versus men, as I know I belong and interact within a specific community in Atlanta, and I imagine in other pockets — say, Midtown or Virginia-Highland — it may be completely different. There are days where I've told myself I'm going to step outside my comfort zone and go to places where maybe every male I meet isn't a server/artist, but then when I get there and that handsome doctor with his long-sleeved shirt tucked into his ironed khaki's opens his mouth, my brain begins to tune out. (Boring.) But that's my deal, and says a lot about the men I pick. I say this, because I imagine if you were to meet a man like this, chances are you may also not be interested in this particular type of fellow. You want the server/artist after he drops the server gig and can make it alone on his art (of any medium).

I think Atlanta does have ambitious men, but perhaps some of them are not at their final destination yet, much like we haven't reached ours. There are some great, talented, ambitious men I've met in Atlanta, in particular over the last two years, but, these men, much like ourselves, are currently working on themselves and their projects and goals. I think, when people's plates are full, it's harder to look for a partner, because that is not a person's goal.

My only advice and consolation, V E N U S, although you may not want to hear it, nor like what I have to say, is that it's a combination of factors: Who we are attracted to, what we want for ourselves, what others want for themselves. Atlanta might be the number one city for singles in the U.S. according to the Daily Beast, and that works to our advantage to hear that we're a city of happy people with a higher quality of living, but maybe what that means for us singles is that we can have fun and explore ourselves and what we want in a partner without it costing us as much time or happiness. You're young. Love does not exist on a timeline. Do not rush what is meant to be and you have no control over. Go on dates. Keep your standards high, but give the underdog a chance. You might be surprised. But whatever you end up coming across, what matters most is that you not give up hope and that you continue to work on yourself and your own goals, because even if you found that person, the only person that is guaranteed to stick with you forever is yourself. Good luck!             13068819 5694781                          [Dialogue] Does Atlanta have a lack of 'decent, go-getting' dudes? "
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Article

Friday June 29, 2012 11:15 am EDT

__
Yo,

I've been feeling so much feminine power lately in this city, please tell me you feel it too? Maybe I'm surrounded by it and I have my guard up against dudes, but it feels so obvious that there has been change and the ladies are in charge of shit right now in Atlanta.

I've only been in Atlanta for two years, so it's a completely naive blanketed statement for me to say, but it seems...

| more...
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  ["title"]=>
  string(22) "Don't call it a sundae"
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  string(33) "Or, Can we please keep shit real?"
  ["tracker_field_description_raw"]=>
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  string(4497) "He was Colombian, with olive skin, dark brown hair, and green eyes. An engineering major, we met my freshman year of college. He was the second person I ever had sex with. Before our clothes even hit the ground, he spoke frankly: "I don't want a girlfriend." There was no way I could misunderstand what he was saying. After all, he told me point-blank. (Read: "I don't want you as my girlfriend.") Most important, however, his actions were in line with his words. We didn't go on pseudo-dates, nor did we text or speak on the phone. Aside from parties with friends, and sex here and there, we showed no mutual interest in each other's lives. It was, in short, easy.

But nowadays, things are different. The older I get, the more I miss my college days when everyone was still respectful as they came into their own, when hearts had yet to be chewed to a bloody pulp, and casual sex was honest. Now casual sex is wedged somewhere between brunch and that show Facebook said you were both attending, most likely with other people but that would be awkward so you just go with each other instead. It's not that casual sex partners can't do lunch or attend the same event with or without each other's company, so much as people can get hurt when the casual sex is veiled behind the term "dating."

A few months ago, I slept with a guy I'd been hanging out with for a few weeks. The next morning, as we drank our coffee and smoked our cigarettes, he told me he was dating other people and didn't want a girlfriend. "But," he added, "we are dating. Whatever that means. You should write about that." In that second I determined we were not really dating and I was OK with that.

To the single and charismatic, I realize sex and flirting can be a fun past time. It doesn't matter if your current partner is attractive and awesome, that person over there looks even more attractive and more awesome and you want to experience that because you can and why not, you're young and one day you'll be old.

Sometimes you reach a point in life where being single sounds like the best thing ever, and in that moment it is. To be single is to be fully in control of your life, with no partner's life or feelings to consider. So when you're in your 20s and don't yet know what you want out of life, these moments of solidarity spent with one's self and friends can generate the greatest emotional growth in a person.

As a single person hungry for new meat while in pursuit of one's life ambitions, you will inevitably have sex or date someone at some point. Some of these people you meet on your journey will not be meant for you, some will be for short periods of time, and others longer, but whatever the circumstance, whether in sex or in love, do not squander a person's time or emotions with a false foundation if all that is truly available in that pairing is the satiating of sexual appetites. We're not 20 anymore. We know better. We're older. We're also stronger. The scar tissue is thicker than it ever was before. We can take it.

Tell me you think I'm hot and want to lift up the back of my skirt while we're at the bar, and I will smile slyly and whisper in your ear, "I dare you." But if you tell me, "I haven't felt a connection like this with anyone in years," while holding me close after we stare at the full moon, with my shoulder in your nook as your lips kiss the dreams in my head and know that I might get up and walk out, naked and all, to find myself another man I can fuck without fear.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't like my intimacy and casual sex to coincide. The less room there is for gray area, the better things are. If we agree to be play pals, then pull my hair and call me names, but don't tell me you have love for me, do not call me from work or vacation to tell me I'm amazing and you miss me. Do not call me on your way to my house and tell me all you want to do is cuddle and talk on the couch. Do not tell me you feel like the universe has gifted you with exactly what you want.

Things we are incapable of doing as human beings: control who we fall in love with; control who we are sexually attracted to; fly. Things we are capable of doing as human beings: treat people with respect; be self-aware; fall.

To tell a person "I don't want you as my girlfriend" or "I am seeing other people" is less offensive, hurtful, and cruel than to act like you care about someone when you don't.

Follow on Facebook.com/areyoushaved and Twitter at @areyoushaved."
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  string(4595) "He was Colombian, with olive skin, dark brown hair, and green eyes. An engineering major, we met my freshman year of college. He was the second person I ever had sex with. Before our clothes even hit the ground, he spoke frankly: "I don't want a girlfriend." There was no way I could misunderstand what he was saying. After all, he told me point-blank. (Read: "I don't want ''you'' as my girlfriend.") Most important, however, his actions were in line with his words. We didn't go on pseudo-dates, nor did we text or speak on the phone. Aside from parties with friends, and sex here and there, we showed no mutual interest in each other's lives. It was, in short, easy.

But nowadays, things are different. The older I get, the more I miss my college days when everyone was still respectful as they came into their own, when hearts had yet to be chewed to a bloody pulp, and casual sex was honest. Now casual sex is wedged somewhere between brunch and that show Facebook said you were both attending, most likely with other people but that would be awkward so you just go with each other instead. It's not that casual sex partners can't do lunch or attend the same event with or without each other's company, so much as people can get hurt when the casual sex is veiled behind the term "dating."

A few months ago, I slept with a guy I'd been hanging out with for a few weeks. The next morning, as we drank our coffee and smoked our cigarettes, he told me he was dating other people and didn't want a girlfriend. "But," he added, "we ''are'' dating. Whatever that means. You should write about that." In that second I determined we were not really dating and I was OK with that.

To the single and charismatic, I realize sex and flirting can be a fun past time. It doesn't matter if your current partner is attractive and awesome, that person over there looks even more attractive and more awesome and you want to experience that because you can and why not, you're young and one day you'll be old.

Sometimes you reach a point in life where being single sounds like the best thing ever, and in that moment it is. To be single is to be fully in control of your life, with no partner's life or feelings to consider. So when you're in your 20s and don't yet know what you want out of life, these moments of solidarity spent with one's self and friends can generate the greatest emotional growth in a person.

As a single person hungry for new meat while in pursuit of one's life ambitions, you will inevitably have sex or date someone at some point. Some of these people you meet on your journey will not be meant for you, some will be for short periods of time, and others longer, but whatever the circumstance, whether in sex or in love, do not squander a person's time or emotions with a false foundation if all that is truly available in that pairing is the satiating of sexual appetites. We're not 20 anymore. We know better. We're older. We're also stronger. The scar tissue is thicker than it ever was before. We can take it.

Tell me you think I'm hot and want to lift up the back of my skirt while we're at the bar, and I will smile slyly and whisper in your ear, "I dare you." But if you tell me, "I haven't felt a connection like this with anyone in years," while holding me close after we stare at the full moon, with my shoulder in your nook as your lips kiss the dreams in my head and know that I might get up and walk out, naked and all, to find myself another man I can fuck without fear.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't like my intimacy and casual sex to coincide. The less room there is for gray area, the better things are. If we agree to be play pals, then pull my hair and call me names, but don't tell me you have love for me, do not call me from work or vacation to tell me I'm amazing and you miss me. Do not call me on your way to my house and tell me all you want to do is cuddle and talk on the couch. Do not tell me you feel like the universe has gifted you with exactly what you want.

Things we are incapable of doing as human beings: control who we fall in love with; control who we are sexually attracted to; fly. Things we are capable of doing as human beings: treat people with respect; be self-aware; fall.

To tell a person "I don't want __''you''__ as my girlfriend" or "I am seeing other people" is less offensive, hurtful, and cruel than to act like you care about someone when you don't.

''Follow on [https://www.facebook.com/areyoushaved|Facebook.com/areyoushaved] and Twitter at [https://twitter.com/#!/areyoushaved|@areyoushaved].''"
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  string(4755) "    Or, Can we please keep shit real?   2012-06-22T20:13:00+00:00 Don't call it a sundae ben.eason@creativeloafing.com Ben Eason Melysa Martinez 2021595 2012-06-22T20:13:00+00:00  He was Colombian, with olive skin, dark brown hair, and green eyes. An engineering major, we met my freshman year of college. He was the second person I ever had sex with. Before our clothes even hit the ground, he spoke frankly: "I don't want a girlfriend." There was no way I could misunderstand what he was saying. After all, he told me point-blank. (Read: "I don't want you as my girlfriend.") Most important, however, his actions were in line with his words. We didn't go on pseudo-dates, nor did we text or speak on the phone. Aside from parties with friends, and sex here and there, we showed no mutual interest in each other's lives. It was, in short, easy.

But nowadays, things are different. The older I get, the more I miss my college days when everyone was still respectful as they came into their own, when hearts had yet to be chewed to a bloody pulp, and casual sex was honest. Now casual sex is wedged somewhere between brunch and that show Facebook said you were both attending, most likely with other people but that would be awkward so you just go with each other instead. It's not that casual sex partners can't do lunch or attend the same event with or without each other's company, so much as people can get hurt when the casual sex is veiled behind the term "dating."

A few months ago, I slept with a guy I'd been hanging out with for a few weeks. The next morning, as we drank our coffee and smoked our cigarettes, he told me he was dating other people and didn't want a girlfriend. "But," he added, "we are dating. Whatever that means. You should write about that." In that second I determined we were not really dating and I was OK with that.

To the single and charismatic, I realize sex and flirting can be a fun past time. It doesn't matter if your current partner is attractive and awesome, that person over there looks even more attractive and more awesome and you want to experience that because you can and why not, you're young and one day you'll be old.

Sometimes you reach a point in life where being single sounds like the best thing ever, and in that moment it is. To be single is to be fully in control of your life, with no partner's life or feelings to consider. So when you're in your 20s and don't yet know what you want out of life, these moments of solidarity spent with one's self and friends can generate the greatest emotional growth in a person.

As a single person hungry for new meat while in pursuit of one's life ambitions, you will inevitably have sex or date someone at some point. Some of these people you meet on your journey will not be meant for you, some will be for short periods of time, and others longer, but whatever the circumstance, whether in sex or in love, do not squander a person's time or emotions with a false foundation if all that is truly available in that pairing is the satiating of sexual appetites. We're not 20 anymore. We know better. We're older. We're also stronger. The scar tissue is thicker than it ever was before. We can take it.

Tell me you think I'm hot and want to lift up the back of my skirt while we're at the bar, and I will smile slyly and whisper in your ear, "I dare you." But if you tell me, "I haven't felt a connection like this with anyone in years," while holding me close after we stare at the full moon, with my shoulder in your nook as your lips kiss the dreams in my head and know that I might get up and walk out, naked and all, to find myself another man I can fuck without fear.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't like my intimacy and casual sex to coincide. The less room there is for gray area, the better things are. If we agree to be play pals, then pull my hair and call me names, but don't tell me you have love for me, do not call me from work or vacation to tell me I'm amazing and you miss me. Do not call me on your way to my house and tell me all you want to do is cuddle and talk on the couch. Do not tell me you feel like the universe has gifted you with exactly what you want.

Things we are incapable of doing as human beings: control who we fall in love with; control who we are sexually attracted to; fly. Things we are capable of doing as human beings: treat people with respect; be self-aware; fall.

To tell a person "I don't want you as my girlfriend" or "I am seeing other people" is less offensive, hurtful, and cruel than to act like you care about someone when you don't.

Follow on Facebook.com/areyoushaved and Twitter at @areyoushaved.             13068709 5651637                          Don't call it a sundae "
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Friday June 22, 2012 04:13 pm EDT
Or, Can we please keep shit real? | more...
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  string(4447) "Dear Betty Everett,
Perhaps it's selfish to write you a letter, considering you passed away more than a decade ago and will never read this, but I need to get this off my chest: Betty, you lied to me.

OK, technically, you didn't. After all, you were just offering some advice. I didn't have to listen to you, but what did I know? I was but a young girl roller-skating in my parent's garage to your 1964 hit "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)." I was singing along to lyrics about foolish girls who hurry love, asking if he will be her baby, and wondering whether or not he will still love her tomorrow.

My parents weren't divorced yet. I hadn't loved yet. I hadn't vomited my heart onto a steel cutting board yet. I didn't know any better.

"It's not in his eyes," you said. "You'll be deceived," you said. It's not in his face (that's just his charm), nor his warm embrace (that's just his arm). You said, "If you wanna know if he loves you so, it's in his kiss. That's where it is."

And I believed you. I believed you for so long. But you were wrong, Betty. The truth is a kiss is just as unreliable a factor. As an overarching principle, I agree. Certainly there exists a difference in a lustful lip-lock than that of a love-filled kiss, but ultimately a kiss is just a kiss. It's a malleable action void of longevity.

It's not about a kiss, it's about gut. When it comes to unconditional love, you just ... know — whether your heart opts to listen to whether or not someone truly is in love with you is something else.

I remember that time I sat on a patio in Little Five Points so many years ago and watched my then boyfriend approaching from a distance. The minute my eyes landed on his smile, my stomach began to coil, not in that way that panic and nausea wash over you when your conscious finally accepts the love between each other has dissolved, but the kind of emotional wringing that comes with the realization you're about to be a part of something beautiful and real. I looked at him and I thought, "He's in love with me." It wasn't long after that when he told me so. We would date for more than three years.

I've kissed many men since we parted ways nearly four years ago, and several times I've mistaken the sealing of lips as a sign for something more. "It was tender," I'd tell girlfriends. "I think he's falling for you," they'd say. But the truth is, Betty, they didn't fall for me. And I didn't fall for them, either. Sometimes we want so badly to have a companion to hold our hand and hug our hearts, that we mistake the sweetness of a quality kiss for that of real love. When these men kissed me, when I kissed them, we meant it. Our lips touched and our brains melted and at least one of us thought, "This is it." It felt like love, and we were so sure we finally found someone who understood our weirdness, who could see past our flaws, but sometimes love just isn't enough.

I know because I've kissed men with love when I wasn't "in love." In truth, sometimes I think I've loved every man I've been with. (Every. Single. One.) But we can't love them all, especially those of us who wed or commit to another soul later in life. And when some of those men responded with, "I love you," all I could say was, "I don't love you in that way," before saying goodbye and finding another man whose heart I could selfishly trick with my lips.

Plus, a kiss is an action conducted in the moment. Haven't you ever thought you were in love with someone only to realize as you grew older and time passed, or after you met someone else, that you never really loved that person to begin with? I suppose that doesn't make the kiss any less real, but it makes its permanence no different than that of a one-night stand.

Betty, I mean no harm in disagreeing with you. I guess I just needed someone to talk to because it wasn't long ago I left the bed of someone special, and when I bit my lip as if to savor and feed off whatever lingered from our last kiss I thought my lips tasted of love and companionship. When I got in my car your song came on and I squealed like a high schooler and took it as a sign. But in the end, he chose someone else, Betty. And, honestly, when he told me, "I didn't know where my heart was headed," all I could think about was his lips and your words and how foolish I was to think a kiss was anything more than just a kiss. 

Follow on Facebook.com/areyoushaved and Twitter at @areyoushaved."
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  string(4754) "Dear Betty Everett,
Perhaps it's selfish to write you a letter, considering you passed away more than a decade ago and will never read this, but I need to get this off my chest: Betty, you lied to me.

OK, technically, you didn't. After all, you were just offering some advice. I didn't have to listen to you, but what did I know? I was but a young girl roller-skating in my parent's garage to your 1964 hit "[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVvFouC97Ek|The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)]." I was singing along to lyrics about [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiIFmFHWn5c|foolish girls] [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ7uXX9K7Sk|who hurry love], [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-0upHlWfQ4|asking if he will be her baby], and [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_cRHw8PAPA|wondering whether or not he will still love her tomorrow].

My parents weren't divorced yet. I hadn't loved yet. I hadn't vomited my heart onto a steel cutting board yet. I didn't know any better.

"It's not in his eyes," you said. "You'll be deceived," you said. It's not in his face (that's just his charm), nor his warm embrace (that's just his arm). You said, "If you wanna know if he loves you so, it's in his kiss. That's where it is."

And I believed you. I believed you for so long. But you were wrong, Betty. The truth is a kiss is just as unreliable a factor. As an overarching principle, I agree. Certainly there exists a difference in a lustful lip-lock than that of a love-filled kiss, but ultimately a kiss is just a kiss. It's a malleable action void of longevity.

It's not about a kiss, it's about gut. When it comes to unconditional love, you just ... know — whether your heart opts to listen to whether or not someone truly is in love with you is something else.

I remember that time I sat on a patio in Little Five Points so many years ago and watched my then boyfriend approaching from a distance. The minute my eyes landed on his smile, my stomach began to coil, not in that way that panic and nausea wash over you when your conscious finally accepts the love between each other has dissolved, but the kind of emotional wringing that comes with the realization you're about to be a part of something beautiful and real. I looked at him and I thought, "He's in love with me." It wasn't long after that when he told me so. We would date for more than three years.

I've kissed many men since we parted ways nearly four years ago, and several times I've mistaken the sealing of lips as a sign for something more. "It was tender," I'd tell girlfriends. "I think he's falling for you," they'd say. But the truth is, Betty, they didn't fall for me. And I didn't fall for them, either. Sometimes we want so badly to have a companion to hold our hand and hug our hearts, that we mistake the sweetness of a quality kiss for that of real love. When these men kissed me, when I kissed them, we meant it. Our lips touched and our brains melted and at least one of us thought, "This is it." It felt like love, and we were so sure we finally found someone who understood our weirdness, who could see past our flaws, but sometimes love just isn't enough.

I know because I've kissed men with love when I wasn't "in love." In truth, sometimes I think I've loved every man I've been with. (Every. Single. One.) But we can't love them all, especially those of us who wed or commit to another soul later in life. And when some of those men responded with, "I love you," all I could say was, "I don't love you in that way," before saying goodbye and finding another man whose heart I could selfishly trick with my lips.

Plus, a kiss is an action conducted in the moment. Haven't you ever thought you were in love with someone only to realize as you grew older and time passed, or after you met someone else, that you never really loved that person to begin with? I suppose that doesn't make the kiss any less real, but it makes its permanence no different than that of a one-night stand.

Betty, I mean no harm in disagreeing with you. I guess I just needed someone to talk to because it wasn't long ago I left the bed of someone special, and when I bit my lip as if to savor and feed off whatever lingered from our last kiss I thought my lips tasted of love and companionship. When I got in my car your song came on and I squealed like a high schooler and took it as a sign. But in the end, he chose someone else, Betty. And, honestly, when he told me, "I didn't know where my heart was headed," all I could think about was his lips and your words and how foolish I was to think a kiss was anything more than just a kiss. 

''Follow on [https://www.facebook.com/areyoushaved|Facebook.com/areyoushaved] and Twitter at [https://twitter.com/#!/areyoushaved|@areyoushaved].''"
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Perhaps it's selfish to write you a letter, considering you passed away more than a decade ago and will never read this, but I need to get this off my chest: Betty, you lied to me.

OK, technically, you didn't. After all, you were just offering some advice. I didn't have to listen to you, but what did I know? I was but a young girl roller-skating in my parent's garage to your 1964 hit "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)." I was singing along to lyrics about foolish girls who hurry love, asking if he will be her baby, and wondering whether or not he will still love her tomorrow.

My parents weren't divorced yet. I hadn't loved yet. I hadn't vomited my heart onto a steel cutting board yet. I didn't know any better.

"It's not in his eyes," you said. "You'll be deceived," you said. It's not in his face (that's just his charm), nor his warm embrace (that's just his arm). You said, "If you wanna know if he loves you so, it's in his kiss. That's where it is."

And I believed you. I believed you for so long. But you were wrong, Betty. The truth is a kiss is just as unreliable a factor. As an overarching principle, I agree. Certainly there exists a difference in a lustful lip-lock than that of a love-filled kiss, but ultimately a kiss is just a kiss. It's a malleable action void of longevity.

It's not about a kiss, it's about gut. When it comes to unconditional love, you just ... know — whether your heart opts to listen to whether or not someone truly is in love with you is something else.

I remember that time I sat on a patio in Little Five Points so many years ago and watched my then boyfriend approaching from a distance. The minute my eyes landed on his smile, my stomach began to coil, not in that way that panic and nausea wash over you when your conscious finally accepts the love between each other has dissolved, but the kind of emotional wringing that comes with the realization you're about to be a part of something beautiful and real. I looked at him and I thought, "He's in love with me." It wasn't long after that when he told me so. We would date for more than three years.

I've kissed many men since we parted ways nearly four years ago, and several times I've mistaken the sealing of lips as a sign for something more. "It was tender," I'd tell girlfriends. "I think he's falling for you," they'd say. But the truth is, Betty, they didn't fall for me. And I didn't fall for them, either. Sometimes we want so badly to have a companion to hold our hand and hug our hearts, that we mistake the sweetness of a quality kiss for that of real love. When these men kissed me, when I kissed them, we meant it. Our lips touched and our brains melted and at least one of us thought, "This is it." It felt like love, and we were so sure we finally found someone who understood our weirdness, who could see past our flaws, but sometimes love just isn't enough.

I know because I've kissed men with love when I wasn't "in love." In truth, sometimes I think I've loved every man I've been with. (Every. Single. One.) But we can't love them all, especially those of us who wed or commit to another soul later in life. And when some of those men responded with, "I love you," all I could say was, "I don't love you in that way," before saying goodbye and finding another man whose heart I could selfishly trick with my lips.

Plus, a kiss is an action conducted in the moment. Haven't you ever thought you were in love with someone only to realize as you grew older and time passed, or after you met someone else, that you never really loved that person to begin with? I suppose that doesn't make the kiss any less real, but it makes its permanence no different than that of a one-night stand.

Betty, I mean no harm in disagreeing with you. I guess I just needed someone to talk to because it wasn't long ago I left the bed of someone special, and when I bit my lip as if to savor and feed off whatever lingered from our last kiss I thought my lips tasted of love and companionship. When I got in my car your song came on and I squealed like a high schooler and took it as a sign. But in the end, he chose someone else, Betty. And, honestly, when he told me, "I didn't know where my heart was headed," all I could think about was his lips and your words and how foolish I was to think a kiss was anything more than just a kiss. 

Follow on Facebook.com/areyoushaved and Twitter at @areyoushaved.             13068536 5580087                          It's not in his kiss "
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Article

Wednesday June 13, 2012 04:00 am EDT
An open letter to doo-wop singer Betty Everett | more...
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