No Means No

I wrote a post in 2012 called, Saying No Can Be Difficult as a Woman, and to date it is in my top 5 list for most popular post.  I received quite a few messages from woman, identifying with my thought process and sharing stories of their own.  It was both encouraging to have dialogue and incredibly depressing that so many have felt this social constraint when it comes to saying no.  We as a gender feel conflicted in many cases, feeling that it is rude or aggressive or just plain not feminine to say no.  As I mentioned woman are socialized to please, to be peacekeepers and to find passive ways to solve issues rather than use the simplicity of no.  And to have it heard, understood and instantly accepted.

As a result, we do not use no effectively.  As controversial as this will sound, when men hear woman say no, often they think we are playing, being coy, or that we just don’t truly mean it.  Why? Because we do not use the word with conviction.  We are not used to saying no flat out, so when we do, it is with apprehension, nervousness, or even a touch of ambiguity.  Woman do not practice saying no in the same manor that men do.  Our body language does not always match the words coming out of our mouths.  We do not say no with confidence, we say it with the subtle or emotional mannerisms and  language that we use in our normal social interactions.

I need to be very clear here.  Just because woman are not socialized to use no, or use it without assertion does not mean that men should ever ignore us when we use it.  And there are massive campaigns out there right now, emphasizing that No Means No.  And this is necessary and correct and positive!  Each individual should know without a doubt the meaning of No and Stop.

However, woman, we need to do better.  We need to raise our children to practice the word no, regardless of gender.  We need to emphasize to our teenagers that when you use no, you mean it.  In a perfect world it would effective on its own, but we do not live in perfection.  So we need to incorporate a firm body language, stoic stance, remove playfulness from our voice and say no whenever we need or want to.  And then have it heard, clearly the first time, every time.

I have written before about the way we are trained to be coy.  And to that end I have worked hard to rise above my old wishy washy way of subtly saying no, and to start to say no the moment I am uncomfortable and to educate, report and block people who cross lines or ignore my use of the word.  If we all work together we can bring back the meaning of no.  By understanding how we educate our children, reinforce these behaviors in our teens, and finally take full and complete ownership of the word as adults we will make this a better place.  End rant.

Halloween: All Year Round

As Halloween approaches, so does the sexism narrative.  Our sexy little sirens come out to play, and the costumes get tighter and skimpier year by year.  As you may well know based on previous posts I approve wholeheartedly with this trend.  Why?  Freedom of expression.  If a lady wants to feel sexy, then she gets to.  If a woman wants to show off her goods, then fantastic.  If anyone needs a holiday in order to dress up, to show a side that they keep hidden most of the year, then this is the perfect time to do so.

I have taken things a few steps further; “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach”, Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.  Swap out Christmas for Halloween and boom, there you have my mindset.  I have taken off the masks that Halloween has afforded me, and thrive to live the same way all year round.  If I want to dress up, I do so.  If I want to play the siren for a night, I do.  If I want to show off my body, I do it.  This holiday, truly has become my favorite, as it allowed me to explore a different side of my sexuality safely, and I proudly have expanded this to all the days of the year.

I have taken the lessons that Halloween and dressing up have afforded me, and I have incorporated them into my daily life.  I am freer, because of this holiday. I am less afraid of nudity or even of my own body because I was able to dress up.  To try on different masks and personalities, and with a little liquid courage now and again, I live the person that I want to be, right now.  I am present.

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Now boys, if you want to start joining in the trend of tighter fitting clothes or showing off some muscles during the Halloween season too, then yay.  I am all for equality of the sexes.  Let’s make this a season of sexiness, confidence, and taking a moment to step outside of your shell.  Confidence in numbers, and all that jazz.  Let’s make a movement to live with sexual confidence and positive vibes with or without a costume.  No slut shaming, or judgement.  Just freedom of expression, thought and voice.  And of course tricks and treats whenever the need or want should arise.

If you want a sneak peak to this years sexy costume, check out my gallery!

The Halloween Siren

I love dressing up!  I also love meeting new people and socializing.  Halloween house parties are the perfect place to do this, and I am lucky to say for the past two years I have gone to the same house party in which I only know the people I arrive with.  This may be intimidating to some, however for me it has become quite exciting and interesting.  I show up, with bare ass (part of my costume of course!) to dance, drink, and mingle with a group of people I have no clue what they look like without makeup.  This year, there was an added element in that E was not able to attend due to work.  So, here I am, a completely unknown lady in a devil suit with an open butt flap, partying with strangers.
5 years ago, had I been in the situation I would not have left the wall.  I would have held my drink firmly in my hand, waiting for people to approach me, well, until the level of booze rid me of my inhibitions.  I would have been nervous and intimidated that all these people knew each other around me, and were judging this person who showed up to invade their little clique.  And please do not get me wrong, I do know that these people do still exist, in fact I had one lady at the party imply just that to me.  And the thing is, it really did not matter to me.  I was not crushed, or insecure when I was told that me showing up alone with a bare ass two years in a row may be a sign that I have some sort of psychological issue that needs to be resolved or at least dealt with.  It actually barely phased me, aside from me having a good laugh and continuing to have a fantastic time at the party.  The thing I feared so much for so long, was really no big deal when it finally happened.

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I should clarify that I was never the wallflower for long.  Once I got my stride or booze, was comfortable in my surroundings then I was ready to socialize.  And this party was no different.  It takes a moment or two to acquaint yourself with a new place, get a vibe and figure out what part of the room to begin with.  Also to make the big decision of whether undoing the buttons on your buttflap is actually party appropriate and if in the end it really matters.  Obviously the buttons were undone right after I poured my first drink.  And I must say, although I truly missed having E at the party along side me, I was perfectly comfortable and confident to walk around complete strangers, making conversation and dancing with my butt hanging out.  Hmm, maybe I am really focused on my tushie and should look into the reason why?  I jest of course.
What I found surprising was that I, being the stranger, had confidence, whereas this group of people who presumably knew each other, displayed moments of insecurity and outright jealousy over a few of my actions or just my presence there.  Last year with E by my side, I was slapped on the ass, congratulated for showing it off, and told if you’ve got it flaunt it.  All by confident and happy women.
This year, there was a bit of that, however it was over shadowed by distrust obviously fuelled by me being alone.  I counted 6 separate times that people came up to me, to ensure that I knew and was not embarrassed that my ass was hanging out.  Various reactions occurred when I replied that of course I knew and that was what a butt flap was for.  I even went so far as to tell one lady that I was taking pictures for my boyfriend, yeah it did nothing to improve her mood.  Most surprising though, was the women who interrupted when I was talking to their significant others and then would take them away.  I felt like the siren at the party.  Being typecast as that chick every woman must keep their eye on and protect their men because of my devilish ways.  Honestly, I have not felt that feeling in such a long time, I had forgotten the steps I usually try and take to prevent any distrust and put people at ease.  Which oddly turned out to be a good thing.  It is not my job to protect the feelings of every person in the room.  And that it is ok to polarize people at a party by being myself.  I have grown from the desire to win over a room, to just being myself, even if I was being a little bit of a siren, or just being a devil.
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A New Year

The New Year is almost upon us and as we have culturally been raised the New Year brings with it the opportunity to make resolutions.  So we all take a moment and pick a big or small challenge for the year to come.  For the past few years I have come up with a quick little goal in December.  I start it right away and either accomplish it by the end of January or I forget what it was until the next year.  I get discouraged when I don’t successfully reach my goals and thus I sort of safety net myself by my simple resolutions.  This year however I am going to set a more solid goal and my hope is it will just keep building year after year.  And that is being more open and forthcoming with my ideas and my views, to not be afraid of outside judgement.

 

I know it may come as a surprise especially to those who have got to know me through my blog over the past few months, but I am a very closed and protective person.  Or I was for a very long time and made a big change last year in challenging myself first with my friends and then starting this blog.  I struggle daily with being able to tell an interesting story, but for some reason when I write my mind gets very clear and ideas become cohesive and interesting.  Looking back I had no idea just what an impact this change would have on my life, and my lifestyle.  I have written before that I had a very large stick up my ass for much of my life.  And damn it if I haven’t  realized that life is too short to strive for anything short of happiness.

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I was watching episode 18 season 6 of House the other night in which the main premise was open relationships.  To sum up there was a married couple who opened up their relationship and the team of doctors tried every which way to analyze the relationship rather than the patient.  One of the doctors asked the wife about her lifestyle and the wife responded with, “ the hardest thing is that people are more interested in my outside affairs than my 7 year happy marriage”.  This struck a major chord with me.  A few nights ago I met a guy for the first time, who is dating a girl in an open relationship.  It blew my mind that I was actually able to have a rational, non sexual discussion with a person face to face about how my life and his life are working better for us because of this lifestyle.  It was so exciting to then share some books that have helped us both challenge our past ways of thinking.

 

And that is my resolution, to continue my journey of being more forthcoming and honest with myself and to those around me.  I have made some very substantial leaps in both my personal relationships and my sexual ones.  Life is moving forward at an amazing pace and I cannot wait to see the surprises in store for 2012.  I cannot thank each and everyone of you enough for your reading and support throughout this past year and I wish you all luck and happiness in your New Year resolutions.

 

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