Struggling With Body Image and Why I Don’t Talk About It

First, I get the mainly female population who slam me for being naturally thin, and not understanding the plight of those who have different genetic makeups.  Second, I get the crowd who tell me I am supposed to be body positive no matter what, and talking about weight is some sort of societal construct that we should all break away from.  And third, I get the population who sexualize the weight gain topic (I am including the crowd who tell me that I shouldn’t worry because they would still fuck me, and those who tell me I am hotter with meat on my bones, or those who flat out tell me I am now disgusting).

Based on those three reactions, I have not ever written about my struggles with weight on the blog and only share full nudity on my Patreon as a bonus.  I have allowed this topic to remain taboo, and omitted it from my sex positive exploration.  Today, I am taking my first step to open some dialogue about my struggles with weight or as it is turning out, ranting my frustrations.  So let me start here, even though I am naturally thin, my struggles are valid. I am tired of being told I cannot have a voice in the whole body image scene. Or that, I need to remain quiet when people talk about their weight or eating habits. Do you know what finally made me brave enough to write this? It was putting on that damn quarantine weight. Why? Because for the first time, I didn’t feel like an outsider amongst my female friends and from this point onward I can honestly say I put on a tonne of unexpected weight and I can confirm that losing weight is just as difficult as putting it on. I am spitting mad that I had to experience both sides to finally have a valid voice, because that is just not how any of this is supposed to work!!!

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In the past, whenever I have mentioned that I am trying to put on a few extra pounds, I get shamed.  Not only shamed, but outright shut down.  I have not once been able to have a healthy conversation with a female friend about my desire to have a little curve to my body, and a bit of a booty. It seems it is OK to promote body awareness, and positivity from everyone, except the skinny little ones that cannot possibly know the pain of trying to lose weight. Yeah, I am bitter, and angry that I have allowed myself to be silenced for so damn long.  We all struggle with body image from time to time.  This is a universal truth superseding gender, and the colour of our skin.  At some point, there is something about our image we wish we could change. And you know what? Being able to have healthy conversations about this from every single person who wants to talk about it is important.

You cannot say you a part of the body positive movement if you shut out my voice. My experience with my weight and the way I look are every bit as important as yours.  I am a human, with a physical body, and I struggle with the way it looks. Going to swing clubs, and being naked around other humans has been the best experience for my quest to accept my body.  It is what has allowed me to truly be comfortable naked.  However, and I cannot stress this enough, getting to those parties can be terrifying. In my life, the idea that women are vicious when it comes to body image has been re-enforced so many times that writing a post like this makes me a little sick to the stomach.

The perception that it must be easier for me to accept my body than others need to stop. The shame I receive when I complain that I am feeling to boney or skinny needs to stop.  When I mention that I am trying to gain weight so I feel more healthy and sexy, stop telling me to shut up. Let us collectively accept that body image is an equal struggle for all humans.  The man with the dad bod is struggling the same as the skinny guy desperate to look like aqua man shirtless. If reading that, you think the skinny guy has it easier, then your biases are invalidating him and that needs to end right now. If we do not feel comfortable talking about it, we will never be able to actually overcome body shame and call ourselves a sex and body positive community accepting of everyone!

Let me leave you with one final thought: Who decided that calling someone fat was far more cruel than calling someone skinny???  Please leave your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter. Let us get talking!

Do Not Open an Online Message with Sex

Serenity now!

Now that I have definitely proven to myself that there is absolutely zero gender bias when it comes to people saying the most boundary crossing, absurd things for an opening online dating message, I feel more confident writing this post.  Instead of this post just being a rant about how men are ruining online dating because they believe any reaction is a good reaction, I can now open this up to… we all suck at opening conversations online.  In the past two weeks, I have had both couples and presumably single women open their conversations to me with great detail about how they want to get inside my p*&sy.  As flattered as you think I should be to read that you want to spread my legs, and go down on me for hours.  And by extension, that I have chosen such great photos, written a prize winning profile, and apparently am just online at the right time and right place for you to invite me over to your place…it’s going to be a hard no from me.

I thought for a long time that it was only men who sent rude and crude messages, as a matter of shock value (or that’s what I tell myself when I am shaking my head while blocking them).  I know, that it’s a numbers game, and quite frankly I understand putting message after message out into the abyss to crickets.  And then feeling like any reaction is better than no reaction as no one wants to be ignored, especially when you’re lonely.  But guess what I have recently learned?  It is all of us, men, women, absolutely everyone who signs up to online dating has that moment of, well, I am tired of being ignored, so let’s just go all in!  And yes, I include myself in this, because I had to do a lot of trial and error to even get my response rate up to the 50% mark it is currently at (average of men, women, and couples).  Yes, I am numbers person, and keep track of that sort of thing for “science”.  As part of my dating coaching business, I like actually knowing what has a chance of working, and being able to validate that versus just sending my clients out there as my guinea pigs.

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At this point, before you think I am a prude or get the wrong impression of me, thinking, perhaps there are woman out there who would get wet at the crude opening message and I have no business chiming into this conversation, let me tell you this.  I grew up in a machine shop, surrounded by all levels of blue collar, white collar, you name it.  Being in sales, I am fluent in the art of match the voice of your customer.  And well, if you have met me in person, or heard me speak, I have a tendency to use colourful language to help boost a story. Or when I am out at a pub, talking with my friends, I love shooting the shit, making dick jokes, and cracking euphemisms with the best of them.  And that is the key difference I want to make here.  When there is context, body language, and just a basic rapport with a real human being, you can be yourself (whatever that may be).  However, and I cannot stress this enough, when you are using the written word to make an introduction, you are going to find yourself dead in the water if you open with something rude or crude.

Let me put this in a new paragraph for added emphasis.  Even if you are just looking to get laid, believe in total blunt honesty, etc, opening your message with anything sexual is a bad idea. Telling a person, you are only in town for one night and have a fancy hotel, is a dumb opener.  Sending your dick or genitalia as a way of getting someone’s attention is… a bad IDEA!  

Normally at this point, I try and be reflective.  To understand human nature, and why all genders think this is an appropriate way to introduce themselves.  Why there is a large number of people who believe that the only way to get something is to just come out and ask. But the thing is, I’m tired of repeating myself here.  If you honestly think that pissing off 9999 people to get your 1 yes is worth it, I have zero time for you.  There is a right way to discuss a hookup, and way that alienates everyone else.  Learn the difference, figure it out, and STOP opening is sex!  Simple rule of thumb, open with something you would be willing to say in person completely sober.  This is not difficult!

Are you looking for some non-monogamous conversation starters, I have created a whole series on Medium!  Or you could sign up to my Patreon to see the full breadth of my work, and behind the scenes photos!

Why I Don’t Use DM

Serenity Now! No DM’s!

I will tell you straight up I am writing this post, so I don’t have to type this same message over and over again.  And if you feel the same way and are tired of getting inundated with strangers in your private messages, feel free to save the link, and share it with those inbox invaders!  Simply, if we have never interacted, I will not respond to your DM (private message, direct message, basically anything in my inbox).  If we are friends, please disregard this post. 

Why? Initially I took this stance because I was tired of getting Dick Pictures.  But it has since evolved into so much more. 

Business accounts use auto DM bots to help sell their products.  This is impersonal, and whenever I receive these, I unfollow the account immediately.  Take the time to personalize a message, after we have interacted.  If you have your product clearly on your profile, and I am following you, guess what?  I am already interested in what you are selling, so please don’t push that potential sale away, by basically being a used car salesman.

Social Media as a Dating App, bleh!  I use social media as a way to learn new things, engage with other’s, and share what I have learned.  I use dating apps for dating.  For me, these two do not mix.  I want my social media engagement to be a safe place, where I can say what I choose, without the risk of constantly being hit on.  If I want to flirt with you, guess what?  I will tell you!  Consent matters.  So please don’t send me a DM in hopes of getting to know me.  Want to pay me a compliment?  Do it publicly or jump onto my Patreon and buy me a beer!  Want to say hi?  Do it publicly by engaging in my tweets, and all those groovy accounts I follow in the incredible sex positive community.

Simple rule of thumb, if you don’t feel you can say something on my wall, I guarantee I don’t want to read it! 

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Time Management, is the newest one for me.  Quite honestly, I love engaging with people on social media.  I enjoy a good conversation, being challenged, and the back and forth fun of questions and answers.  Taking the time to like, respond, or send a GIF to each and everyone who takes the time to interact on social media matters to me.  Adding responses to every single DM on top of that?  No thank you! 

The One Exception to my no DM rule is when I ask to DM, or when you publicly ask if we can DM.  It’s all about consent, and sometimes I will ask for various things that I know people will be more honest via DM.  That being said, in this case, I am asking you to DM, or you are asking me.  It’s this whole consent thing, and I don’t feel obligated to send the same cut and paste message of “thanks for the message, but I don’t use DM”.

Do you have a reason you don’t use DM?  I would love to hear it, publicly of course on Twitter or Facebook!

Beware of the Nice Guy

The Only Nice Guy I Trust!

I can be an intense, and passionate person.  I articulate my thoughts and feelings in a way that for most new people in my life seems attractive, confident, and refreshing.  I approach people and their relationships in a thoughtful, attentive, and what comes across as a well-balanced way that gives off the impression that it just comes naturally to me.  The truth is, it took me decades to reach this point.  To understand myself, and articulate my thoughts and feelings in such a way that I know exactly when to ask for a hug, ask for space, or just break down and say I have no idea what I need and require help or support. 

Now, having this personality is refreshing to people.  I blossom in one on one conversations, and usually, I can get a persons life story or deepest secrets within a first meeting.  And the range of people I meet this way is fascinating and incredible.  But for purposes of this post, I need to shed light on a specific personality type that has plagued me, over and over again, the nice guy.

When I meet a nice guy I usually steer clear of them, because I will admit, I know the pattern our friendship will take, and I never like the final outcome.  First, we will become super fast friends.  He will feel an incredible high knowing I shared something intimate about my life, and will cling onto that.  He will share, what he feels is similar information and create this overly powerful bond in his head.  Instead of feeling that we are equals, he will start to idolize or fantasize that what we have is special and unique.  And it is.  But… there is a catch.  Men like this, do not recognize that the are getting a high from this.  And that they crave this feeling of being special.  So they start asking more intimate questions.  They start to delve deeper into your world, in an almost invasive way.  Not out of malice but to re-play that initial feeling.  And they poke, and prod into your relationship looking for cracks and dirt so that they can “return the favor” and help you solve some monumental moment in your life.

They, in short, feed off of your negative situation and crave it more and more.  They want to feel special, and the problem is that it is not in your accomplishments but in your failures.  That’s where their emotional boost comes through most strongly.  That’s the role they have found in your life, and the experience that they want to relive. 

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Now, as I mentioned, I avoid these people whenever possible because the reality for me, is I hate having the confrontations with these people.  A few more noteworthy ones include, telling a guy exactly what he has been doing and watching him just melt.  It was gut wrenching and I couldn’t handle it.  Or the guy who got so angry that he called me a tease, and bitch, and well… it got really messy.  Then there was the guy that I tried to coach and deal with more gently.  For this particular guy I ended up having to finally end the friendship because I got so sick and tired of calling out his bad behaviour because he was incapable of breaking this cycle.  And the more I write these the reactions the more I solidify why I just am not equipped to handle this personality type.  It’s icky for me, and I would rather just close the door from the onset.

But, here I sit, realizing that there are situations that I cannot avoid.  Co-workers, mutual friends, and the worst of them all, the men who I thought were normal friends, but see opportunity in something I shared and basically preditorially pounce, thereby changing the entire relationship dynamic, the wolf in sheep’s clothing, feigning as the nice guy to get closer to me. 

So, let me be clear, I believe that the majority of people can change their behaviour once they recognize it for what it is and actually see value in overcoming it.  I’m an optimist and do see overall good in individuals.  From what I have seen, people are mostly devastated when I point out this energy cycle to them, and honestly, I don’t enjoy crushing people like that, because I do not have the energy, expertise, or drive to help anyone like this fix themselves.  This is a hard limit for me.  And why, whenever I have full control, I give a hard NOPE to this particular negative thriving person (again, I know it’s not on purpose, but that doesn’t make it better!).  So, what then do I do with the unavoidable nice guys?  What do I say to them?  Why do I constantly have to be clear, put them in their place, or worse, re draw lines in our friendship to ensure I don’t become prey to their need to “just help me”?  I am not someone who wants pity.  I just want equality in my friendships and authentic communication.  I want to be free to vent about another person in my life without having a reaction of judgment, and the horrible “if I were you” or the life draining sentiment of “ I would never treat you like that”.

Can we just be there for each other during the rough times, and build each other up on the day to day?  Can we find a way to communicate without putting others down?  Or better yet, realize that humans have a great capacity to hold more than one soul dear in their lives.  We don’t need to always vie for that one coveted spot of primary or best friend, or any other of these titles.  Just be a good friend, a good person, and stop the cycle of feeding off of negativity!

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The Friendzone is Bullshit!

Body language matters and the friendzone is bullshit!

I have toyed with a post explaining why I believe the word friendzone is bullshit for over 5 years.  I have outlines, ideas, and just random thoughts peppering my work in progress document and nothing I wrote ever could quite get past the whole “I don’t like the label and it’s implications”.  Until recently, I felt writing this post would be irresponsible and give people the wrong impression about me (by that I mean, I didn’t want men who felt they were in the friendzone to start pushing boundaries). But I write this now because there is something bubbling beneath the surface of the word that I think needs to be addressed here.  With a few beers in me, I wrote this in reply to a comment on my Predators blog post: I have tried numerous times to write a post on the friendzone, however I stop myself in light of this very context. Until there is a clear understanding of consent, and boundaries, there are certain men that should just stay believing in the friendzone for the sake of the women they are in essence pushing boundaries with…. OK, maybe this should turn into a post.

Any guesses where I am going with this yet?  The friendzone is a word, that I have always felt, was a copout.  We use it to place a person who we may or make not actually like, but definitely do not want anything physical to happen with (at that particular moment).  And as we are still trying to figure out what role they play in our lives, we relegate them into this so called “friendzone”.  The implications of that zone, are that the person will take the hint, and therefor understand that they are to stop being flirty, or expect that the person who placed them there will ever sleep with them.  Basically, it’s code for “just give up already”. 

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So, there are two parts that I will touch on here to explain why I think the friendzone is bullshit

The first, is why do we allow, or even encourage people to place labels like this on other human beings.  It’s often cruel.  If a person likes you, man up, and have the conversation that says you are tired of them doing such and such behaviour, and would like it to stop for the friendship to continue.  Then set a clear expectation, for example, this is what will happen if you don’t.  Off the top of my head you could threaten that the friendship will be over if they continue to push your boundaries.  Of you could simply state where you are at in the moment and call out the persons bad behaviour as it happens.

Perhaps you would like an example from my colourful past?  Ok, here is a little story time…Once upon a time when I was in a long term monogamous relationship, I had a friend who would constantly try to buy me drinks, text me cute pet names, and when he got drunk he would meow at me.  I really appreciated all the free stuff I was getting, and when we texted it was playful, it was fun, and quite flattering being on someone’s mind like that.  However, when he got drunk, he repeatedly tried to cross the line, would hold his hugs just a little too long, and the weird meowing turned into this creepy cat-like howl. To be clear I had zero attraction for him, and was in a completely monogamous relationship that he was fully aware of.  He was a teddy bear in the day time with whom I always hugged when I saw him, was a great listener, and overall I loved the boost he gave my ego.  So, I, without realizing it, was letting him ride in that weird friendzone territory, while I sorted out my feelings and tried to rationalize where he was in my life. 

But then, I grew up.  Ok, the truth was, I got sick and tired of his drunken behaviour and watched it start to spill into our sober text messages.  So, I gave him a choice.  Either stop crossing the line with me when you’re drunk and allow me to trust you 100% of the time, or you will not be in my life.  And guess what?  After two strikes, he was no longer in my life.  I won’t lie, I missed the attention, but ultimately, the ego boost just wasn’t worth having someone like that in my life.

Ok, so now let’s talk about the other side of it.  Why people find themselves in the friendzone.  I’m not going to mince words here, if you have ever found yourself in the friendzone it is because you do not have the social skills to handle the situation that you are in and you are the problem.  See what I did there?  I told you what was wrong in a direct manor.  Let me explain, if you’re sitting there, shell shocked, or feeling like you want to start defending yourself, take pause and hear me out.  If you are attracted to someone, and the feelings are not returned in the same manor that you are wishing they would, there are a few things going on.  First, you have picked a target way out of your league and you are either too shy, under confident, or socially awkward to overcome that hurdle so you tell yourself, just being close to this person is enough.  Guess what? It’s not, it’s weird, and you need to start learning how to build your confidence. 

Second, you have this person in your life who keeps telling you no, but you have decided, that they are wrong, and you are going to keep trying.  Guess what?  That makes you an asshole and you have violated the whole consent thing.  Maybe this person is just being too nice, doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, or is just genuinely trying to figure things out.  That shouldn’t matter to you though. If you hear the word no, it’s time to back off immediately.  Perhaps they will miss you, and come around.  Or more likely, they will realize their gut was right, and they just were one of those genuinely amazing souls who are nice to everyone, and are so relieved that they don’t have to feel awkward around you anymore.  Either way, respect the word no, and back off!

The friendzone is not healthy, for anyone.  The friendzone is a bullshit place to be, and equally to put someone in while you figure things out.  I propose that we remove this silly label from our vocabulary and start actually communicating with people.  You don’t have to use black and white labels.  We are blessed with a whole range of words, body language, and clear methods of expressing ourselves.  So, start building those skills.  And did you know that you can always change your mind about a person too?  If you tell a person you aren’t into them, and then realize you were wrong you can go and talk to them and share your feelings?  Crazy, I know!  But it’s far better than playing this whole in the friendzone, out of the friendzone charade.  So take these new and improved communication skills you have learned here, and go have meaningful conversations with people you like.  And always remember, if they say no, for the love of everything, respect that, and do NOT keep trying!

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