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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

What I’d Like Every Woman To Know About Married Men Who Cheat

this article was copied from here

What I’d Like Every Woman To Know 

About Married Men Who Cheat

I’ve written about my experience as “the mistress.” It was an article that unleashed both an outpouring of emotional confessions and unbridled fury against me.
There’s not one part of me that condones cheating. Before my experience sleeping with a married man, I was the type to utterly condemn people who had affairs. I had zero sympathy for people like that. And then — it happened to me.
Long story short — the affair was full of heartbreak, chaos, and abuse.
I was 100% responsible for my own actions and I’ve come out of the experience with new wisdom.
With this wisdom, I want to continue talking about this subject because it’s become clear to me that many kind, intelligent, women have also found themselves embroiled in affairs from which they can’t seem to easily get themselves out of.
It’s not always about an evil vixen who only has intentions of stealing another woman’s man. Often times, it’s a sensible, functional woman who slips and falls for a person who is incredibly experienced in manipulation and deception.
There are subtle, insidious ways in which a married man who cheats on a regular basis can seduce a smart woman.
In the beginning, these guys are often friendly, charming, and non-threatening. They might start out making idle conversation and some of them will openly discuss their wives and family seemingly with the pride of a happily married man. Generally, whether you’re a single woman or a woman in a relationship, you won’t think too much of this kind of casual chit chat.
Quite often, this kind of interaction happens in the workplace (which is where it happened with me) but it can also happen in other settings.
Typically, most married men who are serial cheaters begin to groom their intended target by showering them with compliments, acting as a shoulder to lean on, or even going so far as to bring them gifts. Eventually, they’ll find a way to get your phone number, stalk you online, or find some other means to communicate with you on a regular basis.
Most of the time, it’s not important to this kind of guy if the woman is married, in a relationship, or single. There are, however, married men who are looking to aggressively control just one woman as their mistress and will choose a single woman so they can isolate her more easily from family and friends.
The character I became involved with was a serial cheater. I was single and recovering from my divorce at the time. I didn’t find out about his many dalliances until we started talking more. He was very open about it after several conversations. I would even go so far as to say he normalized his behavior as if it was what everyone did.
The main kicker is when this type of man begins to confide in you about how miserable they supposedly are within their marriage. They’ll start to gripe about their spouse in such a way that leads you to believe they are headed for a separation or divorce. They may also complain about their sex life — or lack of — in most cases.
Many men will express a decline in attraction to their spouse, insinuating they’re deprived sexually in some way.
One of the most common tactics a married man who cheats will use is to lie about their current living situation. The most common lie is that they’re sleeping in separate beds or on the couch because they need to stay in the home for some reason. Usually it’s, “for the kids.”
They may also go as far as to say divorce papers are close to being signed (as in my case). Most of the time, this is not the case, and usually they are still sleeping in the same bed with their spouse and are sexually active with them.
Unfortunately, for a lot of women, once they have sex with someone — even if it’s with someone who’s married — they may start falling in love and believe pretty much any lie they’re told. Believe me — I know.
The person I became involved with was a controlling, jealous, manipulative cheater. Though he had engaged in multiple affairs, he didn’t want me to see anyone else outside of our relationship. It sounds insane, but so many women find themselves in this trap.
Finding yourself in a seriously complicated and stressful relationship with no easy way to extract yourself is not a healthy place to be. Affairs can flip from passion to anxiety very quickly. It’s almost never worth it.
The carnage of an affair can last a lifetime. For the most part, married men who are regular cheaters never have intentions to leave their wives. Essentially they want it all — at everyone else’s expense.
I can’t change what happened in my past but hopefully, what I’ve learned from my experiences can help someone who’s in this kind of situation right now.

To The Single Woman Who Has Given Up On Relationships — But Still Really Wants One

this article was copied from here.

To The Single Woman Who Has Given Up On Relationships —  But Still Really Wants One

To the single woman who has completely given up on dating and relationships, but still has the desire for a partner: I want to tell you something. I may not be in your shoes at this moment because I’m now married, but I was once perpetually single. I gave up. I didn’t even go out or attempt to meet anyone. I was done.
I was single for many years in my late 20’s and early 30’s. I wish I could say it’s because my standards were too high, but it wasn’t. I didn’t even learn how to have standards until I’d already made one terrible relationship decision after the other.
It’s okay to not want to be in a relationship or to not want to deal with the mess that relationships are at times. If you’re rockin’ the single life and want to enjoy it for many years to come — more power to you. But if you’re still single and you are wishing you had someone, I’m here to tell you that it’s not impossible, even if it seems like you’ll be alone forever.
There’s a theory out there that if you want to be in a long-term relationship with someone you have to “settle.” But what does that really mean? Does it mean you have to lower your standards for wanting a kind, committed person who loves you? NO. Does it mean you might have to put up with someone’s weird habits or odd interests?
Actually, YES.
I am not the perfect partner. I’m moody, I’m messy, and I’m kind of a control freak for starters. I’ve made some very unfortunate relationship choices in my lifetime. I married an abusive person who was addicted to drugs — eventually divorcing. After that, I ended up having an affair with a married man who was also abusive. Then I tried my hand at online dating but didn’t find anyone who fit what I thought I wanted.
Needless to say, I was definitely challenged in the romance department. I didn’t think I deserved better than what I was choosing. And I paid a steep price. I lost valuable time and the hope that I’d ever find a partner in life who truly cared about me.
I thought I was destined to be alone. I thought there was something wrong with me — a defect that prevented me from having happy relationships with healthy individuals. In reality, I just needed to reset my expectations and learn how to be healthy and functional on my own first.
We are all flawed in so many ways. Someone who you may think is less attractive than you, less intelligent than you, or even less “together” than you may have no problem finding a loving partner. You could be the most compassionate, funny, successful, desirable, well-organized person on the planet and still not find anyone who sticks with you.
Everyone has something going on that hinders their chances of opening up to a potential love interest. Some people have trust issues that need to be overcome. Some people have trouble communicating their needs properly and have to work harder at it. Some people have held on to a very specific set of expectations for an ideal partner that they may need to let go of — at least a little bit.
If you truly want to find a long-term partner, you may have to endure some initial discomfort. You may have to talk about your feelings when you’d rather not. You may have to compromise on certain expectations you’ve carried around with you. You may have to deal with the reality of someone’s idiosyncrasies.
There is never going to be the perfect time. There is never going to be the perfect person. Certainly, if you never leave your house or meet anyone outside of your bubble it may never happen at all. Get yourself out of your comfort zone. Get out in the world. If you don’t want to do that, then try a reputable dating site.
What you think you want in a partner may not be the best or healthiest choice for you. Be open. My current partner did not fit my “type” at all, but going on a date with him ended being the best chance I ever took.
I’m not telling you to “settle.” I’m telling you that if you want to find a person to have a relationship with who cares about your well-being, cheers for your successes in life, and truly loves you — you’ll not only need to learn how to accept their flaws just as you want yours to be accepted, but you may also have to simply take a chance.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Human and the Kafir: How Fear of Apostasy Fuels Islamist Power

This article was copied from here.

Since 2008, I have been working with a team of dedicated and resourceful people on the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s online forum and its associated social media, including its YouTube channel that has over 2.2 million views, and its Twitter accountthat currently has over 13 thousand followers. In September of last year, a handful of friends and I co-founded the organization Ex-Muslims of North America, or EXMNA. We have set up local meetup groups in 11 cities in just over a year, and the organization continues to grow. In just a few years, I’ve seen the idea of apostasy from Islam grow exponentially, and today there are a number of open, public Ex-Muslim freethinkerswho are writing, blogging, podcasting, doing interviews, speaking on panels at conferences, and generally putting their names, faces, and voices out there.
This is not to say we are all alike. In fact, this is important: I can’t say that any one of us speaks for all people who have left Islam; each of us really only speaks to our own experiences, although there definitely are commonalities. Still, the fact that there are so many diverse Ex-Muslim voices out there now – and the number keeps growing – is something I cherish very much, because I clearly remember the time before all this.
I was born and raised in Pakistan, lived in the US for many years, before settling in Canada. I had questions about Islam from a young age: aspects like the second class status of women in its scriptures and laws, the absolutely insane concept of hell and eternal torture, and general questions about things like, if god made everything, who made god, etc. etc. After trying to silence those questions in myself, I finally realized around age 19 that I was just not cut out for this religion thing.
Back in the late 1990s when the Internet was just learning to crawl, dial-up was the norm, and Google was yet to be born, I thought I was the only person in the entire world to have realized I couldn’t believe in Islam anymore. That I was not Muslim anymore. Islam is taught to most of us from Muslim backgrounds in such a way that it becomes woven into the very basic fabric of our identity. This is why one of the most common statements every Ex-Muslim makes at some point or another is: “I thought I was the only one!” Over the last 6 years that I’ve been involved in this movement, I have personally gotten to know a few thousand Ex-Muslims online and offline, and that is the most common line that almost all of them say at some point.
In the next few minutes, I will suggest some ideas about why I think this is so.
Probably more than any other religion practiced today, Islam permeates every aspect of life, from spiritual concerns to daily habits like what to eat, what to wear, who to associate with, and even how to go to the bathroom. When every aspect of your being is ruled by an ideology, that ideology comes to define your being: in this way, Islam defines for many Muslims the very act of being human. And of course, the flipside of “Muslim = human” is “non-Muslim = non-human”.
If you study anthropology, you see that every human civilization or social group has its own set of in-group and out-group parameters. All humans have a tendency towards tribalism, towards ‘us vs. them’ thinking, to various degrees. (Including some atheists!) For Islamists, the matter is taken to an extreme, and given divine sanction. Islam defines all outsiders as “Kafir”: a concept whose implications are deeply misunderstood by those who are outside. For both the violent type of Islamists, like Daesh, a.k.a. the “Islamic State”, and for the supposedly non-violent Islamists who go around trying to institute shariah law and promote dawah or Islamic evangelism while holding social views that belong in the 7th century, the ‘Kafir’ is a kind of sub-human category.
The Quran uses the term ‘Kafir’ 482 times in various derivations to describe non-Muslims, particularly pagan non-Muslims (it makes special dispensations for Christians and Jews, though nowadays, they tend to get lumped in with the poor pagans too). The word ‘Kafir’ technically means someone who denies or “covers” up the truth – the ‘truth’ of course presumed to be Islam. So Islamic belief entails that Islam is the only truth.
The problem is that violent sectarianism – as we’ve been hearing about by Pervez Hoodbhoy and so many other speakers – is so deeply enmeshed in Islam and its history, that while claiming that the “Muslim Ummah” is made up of a billion or more people and constitutes the “fastest growing religion” (a dubious claim), most Muslim sects actually don’t recognize large sections of that Ummah as Muslim in the first place! Besides the big Shia-Sunni split, there are multiple splits within those 2 groups, then there are the Ahmadis, and the Sufis, and sub-sects within those as well. And members of most of these groups will be quick to tell you that all those other groups don’t follow the “Real Islam”.
The Catholic Church and several other Christian denominations “excommunicated” people for centuries (and still do though much less intensely). Islam, in a way, democratized the practice of excommunication. This practice is called ‘Takfir’ in Arabic: any ordinary “Muslim” – not just clergy, but anyone who claims to be “Muslim” – can declare another person who claims to be “Muslim” a non-Muslim or a “Kafir”.
For most Muslims, being labeled a ‘kafir’ by another Muslim feels like one has committed a kind of treason to one’s family and community. Daesh and other Islamist terrorist groups rely on the doctrine of Takfir (calling somebody else a Kafir) as their ideological basis. This is how they justify – to themselves and to their new recruits – massacring not just non-Muslims, but also thousands of people who identify as “Muslim”, whether they are Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi, Kurd, or anyone else. Each group’s ever narrowing definition of “Muslim” (which is to say, ever narrowing definition of “human”) marks everyone else in the world as Kafir: a sub-human who doesn’t deserve the same rights. It is a terrible derogatory term, on par with any horrible racial slur used to dehumanize an entire group.
This is the paradox at the heart of religious identity politics and its liberal apologism. Do people have the right to self-identification? (Yes!) Do we accept that anyone who claims to be Muslim is, in fact, Muslim? (Err. Yes?) Anthropologist Talal Asad, from the City University of New York, writes in his essay Anthropology of Islam, “A Muslim’s beliefs about the beliefs and practices of others are his own beliefs.” This issue is part of most Muslims’ belief system: who is and isn’t a Muslim? What is a “real Muslim”? What is the “Real Islam”?
So, we are left with the dilemma faced by so many well-meaning liberals: that awkward situation of having to accommodate beliefs that are themselves unaccommodating, in the name of accommodating all beliefs.
As those who chose to leave Islam, Ex-Muslims are often seen as having devolved, having debased themselves to become a ‘kafir’: in other words, having betrayed their very humanity. This choice is naturally, and for a good reason, seen as a threat to the supremacist thinking promoted by Islamism that Islam is not only the best religion, but is the natural state of humanity, which is why some Muslims use the word ‘revert’ when referring to converts to Islam.
So it’s no wonder that people who leave Islam, whether they call themselves Ex-Muslim, apostate, or anything else, tend to face social ostracism, sometimes to the extreme. They tend to face isolation from family members, emotional blackmail, including alienation from younger siblings and their own children if they have them, and financial abuse. What kind of twisted, evil person voluntarily gives up his or her humanity?
Every Ex-Muslim has thought after they left Islam that they were the only one. With the Internet now, it is becoming much easier to find other like minded people, but the sense of isolation in new apostates is still strong, especially in their immediate surroundings, among their families, their neighborhoods, and their friends. Just yesterday, I met two siblings who had lived for years in the same household as closeted atheists, both thinking they were alone in their apostasy. And this situation is far from unique.
Every once in a while, we hear of an honour killing or a suicide. But death is only the extreme scenario. More often, many Ex-Muslims live with a steady barrage of microaggressions – everyday pressures to conform, to hide their lack of belief, to go through the motions , to wear a hijab, to marry a Muslim, and much more. I’ve known Ex-Muslims who have to pretend to fast, or actually remain hungry and thirsty for days against their will, because they live under the watchful eyes of religious family members. Many of the younger apostates are unable to be ‘out’ about their beliefs because they rely on their families for financial support, not to mention the emotional dependence ingrained into all of us as part of Muslim family structures.
The more Ex-Muslims speak up and reclaim the terms ‘Kafir’, ‘Murtad’, and with them, their right to be heard, their rights as humans to follow their own conscience without having to pretend, the more Islamists lose that ideological power that comes from what they see as their “divinely ordained” right to define who is and isn’t human.
One of the best and most efficient ways to stave off Islamism is to give platforms to diverse Ex-Muslim voices. Diluting the identity politics that is the lifeblood of Islamism is possible. Moderate Muslims often avoid supporting Ex-Muslims, perhaps out of fear of being called Kafir themselves. But more and more are realizing that we are not anti-Muslim. We may criticize Islam, like we do all religions, but we stand in solidarity with anyone, including Muslims, when they are being targeted out of hatred and xenophobia. Allowing the space for apostasy can give breathing room for variations and reformations within Islam as well. Islamists want us to believe that by leaving Islam, we lose our place as humans, and we lose our identities. But we don’t. What we actually lose is their hold on our definitions for ourselves. For us, Islamists no longer get to define what is and isn’t human. We think for ourselves. And that is what really, really scares them about us.
We Ex-Muslims tend to use LGBTQ lingo, because there are actually striking similarities among the lived experiences of both types of people, particularly the dehumanization and isolation they face within their own families and communities. Yesterday was “Coming Out Day”. I see this conference as a celebration for many Ex-Muslims who have come out to each other and to themselves. And those who will find inspiration in the days and conversations to come.
Thank you.

Connect with me on Twitter: @KiranOpal

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Why it is easier to talk about bad sex

This article was copied from this link.

Why It’s Easier to Talk About Bad Sex

But pretty damn hard to come clean about the good stuff.

Just because I write a lot about sex, that doesn’t make me a sexpert. Don’t worry, I don’t consider myself an expert in anything although I often write about my own life experiences.

the image is taken from here

And just because I’ve written a lot about bad sex, that doesn’t mean I should be prohibited from writing about sex at all. Sometimes people make judgment about who's qualified to write about sex, but that gives me pause to wonder when a person should be allowed to write anything.
However, I can see why some confusion among readers happens. I do write an awful lot about “bad sex” and provide some social commentary upon what it means to me. As a result, some people jump to the conclusion that I am bad at sex. That I must not really like it. Or that I’ve never actually had the good stuff.
Frankly, I’ve probably had more bad sex than good, but also for good reason. I didn’t always know that I was allowed to say no. I expected very little (actually, far too little) from the men I dated. And I didn’t always know how to create or enforce otherwise strong boundaries in any of my relationships.
It recently occurred to me that I haven’t given good sex as much attention as I likely should. That’s when I realized that good sex is admittedly more challenging for me to write about.
I still battle "guilt" about premarital sex.
Even though I’m no longer a Christian or religious person by any stretch of the imagination, old habits die hard. Overcoming the guilt I was taught to associate with sex hasn’t been so easy to do.
I know I’m not alone in this one, but guilt does make it harder to talk about good sex, and it’s actually one of the biggest reasons I make a point to write about sex at all. And even though my stories about sex can’t please everybody, I am happy to know that my words are helping somebody work through their own sexual hangups.
But I’d be lying to say there’s no residual awkwardness, or that my face doesn’t glow a bit red when certain people read my more sensational stories. I survived the purity culture of the 90s, but I definitely didn’t get through it unscathed.
I was married for a good two-and-a-half years, yet the marriage went unconsummated because I had vaginismus. And then I never actually relaxed enough to have an orgasm until I was about 31-years-old. Guilt can do really weird things to your head and your body.
Talking about good sex feels much more personal.
Clearly, good sex is in the eye of the beholder. So no judgment, right?
But the thing is… writing about good sex winds up feeling much more… revealing. A helluva lot more intimate.
When I write about bad sex, I can usually laugh about it. And others can laugh about it along with me. As in, yes, it’s crazy that I have put up with some very bad behavior from men.
At least I can laugh about it now and enjoy the relief of finally knowing better.
But writing about good sex goes beyond the mistakes of my past. It delves into more hidden and vulnerable desires which other people can read and possibly judge or misinterpret.
Then there’s the issue of my fatness.
Ah, yes, I am also a fat woman in America. That means there is an inherent faction of readers who firmly believe I have no business writing about sex. Or even having it.
One time, I took a risk to write about how fat bodies are sensual bodies regardless of opinions to the contrary.
Of course, some folks felt I was rudely “taking them to task” and dictating who they should be attracted to. But I saw it more as opening people’s minds to the notion that sensuality is so much more than skin (or flesh) deep.
Of course, it would be disingenuous for me to say that I am completely untouched by brutal comments regarding my sexuality and fatness.
There are many different kinds of good sex.
Let’s be honest, there are wildly different definitions of good sex. Gender can even play a role in how we define the good and the bad. Sex in and of itself can be complicated, messy, and even awkwardoften due to the baggage that each person brings into the shared experience.
That’s not to say I’m not sex positive, because I am. I’m just very, very human. It’s taken a lot of effort to cross off my various sexual hangups. Again, I don’t believe I’m alone in that.
Within my entire sexual experience, I would say that the sex with only two or three of my partners was really good. Maybe even great, but… it’s also pretty damn complicated.
It’s complicated because you can have amazing sex within a shitty relationship. Partners can be attentive in the bedroom, but treat you like dirt in every other way. You can have good sex, but mixed feelings too.
Bad sex can improve upon better communication and more effort between partners. (Aka you talk about it.)
In my opinion, good sex can even be a mixed bag, in part because of the way a relationship morphs over time.
A while back, there was a partner who gave me nervous butterflies constantly. The first time we were intimate at all, I felt pressure for something to happen, despite the fact that he wasn’t pressuring me. I have nothing but good feelings for the guy and categorize our time together as good sex, despite my beginning awkwardness, and despite my having a hard time climaxing since I tend to lose my orgasm from time to time.
I’m demisexual, and yes, we can be kind of intense about sex.
Some people are really great at separating sex from a relationship. Not me. I am way too demisexual, which means I can’t even feel attraction to a man if I don’t also sense some esoteric, deeper connection.
That one’s tough for a lot of people to understand. Guys I’ve dated will say they get it, but that typically seems to be untrue when they’re pushing for sex and I’m explaining for the twentieth time that I’m not sure I feel that way about them.
That said, good sex deserves more attention.
I do plan to spend more time talking about good sex--as nebulous as that topic might be. I’ll still have plenty to say about bad sex and gender gaps, but I want to write more about the positive stuff too. Our culture won’t become more sex positive without every kind of awkward conversation about doing it.
Even though we’re apparently having much less of it for now.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Masturbation is the safest sex

The article is copied from this link. :)

the pic is taken from this link 

Growing up, my mother was terrified about the day I would learn about sex. She coached me to pretend to be sick and go to the nurse’s office in grade school just so I would miss Magic Johnson’s sex education video. When I was as young as eight, she’d tuck me into bed with the warning, “be good!”

My mom was afraid that I’d started masturbating long before I even knew what she was talking about. As far as she was concerned, I didn’t need to know anything about sex. In high school, she refused to let me get nutritional counseling because she was so sure it was just some ruse to get birth control against her wishes.
I got older and mom warned me that only evil people “played with themselves”. Masturbation was a form of sexual deviance, and then the church echoed that idea.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, purity culture was a very big deal. The ministry internship (ahem, cult) I entered after high school also taught that masturbation was a sin, because lust was a sin.

During my internship year, Ron Luce (cult leader) gave an infamous sex talk where he outlined what was and wasn’t okay when it came to sex within a “godly” marriage. Masturbation was off the menu and he relayed a story about how “a very famous preacher” once told Ron he was grateful for masturbation whenever he was on the road and separated from his wife.

Ron bragged about setting the preacher straight. There was no room for discussion. Masturbation was sinful. Lust was sinful. The marriage bed was beautiful as long as the husband and wife faced each other during intercourse, the wife never said no, and the couple refused to engage in oral sex or masturbation.

But masturbation doesn’t just get a bad wrap in certain Christian circles. It is not uncommon to hear secular folks jabs at people by mocking masturbation. Chronic masturbator is just one insult. Culturally, we make jokes that people who masturbate have too much time on their hands. Or can’t find a partner.

Sex with benefits

Those who advocates for abstinence do so in part because they believe the safest sex is the zero sex. But masturbation is legitimately the safest sex around. I have to laugh even because people use the bible to push early marriages, saying it’s better to get married than to burn with lust.

Sigh. Seriously? It’s either abstinence or marriage? Let’s not pretend that idea isn’t terrible because guess what – that’s a horrible message.

Most sex education gives no credence to the benefits of masturbation, and that’s too bad. Sexual beings shouldn’t be shamed for being sexual beings. People don’t need to feel guilty about behaving naturally – nor do they need to be kept in the dark about the benefits of solo sex.

Unlike sex with a partner, masturbation won’t put a person at risk for an STI or pregnancy. Yet, masturbation is still sex. When your body experiences an orgasm, you reap the benefits of stress reduction, lowered blood pressure, greater immunity, and even pain relief.

Masturbation is also a natural and positive way to get to know your own body, and discover what you need to reach orgasm. You get to indulge in your own fantasies, if that’s your thing. You get to experiment and even be selfish. Allowing yourself to masturbate is a positive thing akin to exercise or giving yourself a break as needed.

People aren’t any more prone to abusing masturbation or becoming addicted than any other habit. It’s only a problem for you if it interferes with the rest of your life – like practically anything else.

Women, in particular, can benefit from masturbation because it teaches them to take their pleasure into their own hands. Literally. That’s a plus since so many women would ordinarily hesitate to become more than a bystander in their own sexual encounters with a partner.

But men can benefit from masturbation – especially when it comes to learning how to possess greater control over their orgasms. They also enjoy a reduced risk of prostate cancer with more orgasms. So, masturbate away, guys.

To be fair, masturbation isn’t only for single people. Couples can enjoy masturbation together or apart to help keep things interesting. (I am wincing as I type this out – but how else can I say it?)

Masturbation is a basic sexual activity that some couples refuse to even talk about, like watching porn or feeling attraction for other people. Except that masturbation is much more harmless than other hot-button couples’ issues.

The drawback of solo sex

Typically, humans crave some amount of intimacy and connection with other humans. Sex isn’t always (just) about feeling good. It’s also about making someone else feel good. Often, it’s about some sort of relationship.

That’s really the only place where masturbation might not fit the bill. If you’re needing the connection of a partner. Even so, solo sex deserves much more respect than we currently give it.

There are times when we have sexual needs, but getting it on with someone else may not make sense. The act can help take the edge off when needed and keep us more in tune with our bodies.

Masturbation is a healthy way to scratch a much-needed itch without the complications of having another party involved if that’s not what you need.

And I don’t know you, but I am not interested in repeating the sex education lessons of my youth which said young people were to not only abstain from partnered sex and birth control, but even masturbation.

Contrary to what you might have heard, masturbation isn’t gross or limited to losers. You’re not deviant if you do it and you’re certainly not a sinner. It doesn’t cause blindness.

If you happen to masturbate, congratulations – you’re human.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Not Your MILF: A Guide to Dating Single Moms

This article is copied from here.

A friend of mine and I were recently doing what we do: comparing our lists of garbage dating trends. There are just so many that this conversation could go on forever, but that day’s focus zeroed in on an enormous pet peeve for both of us: the perception of single moms in the dating world.

If you’re a single mom, you can probably guess most of these without even looking down the list. You’ve been there. Some single dads may have experienced a few of these, too. It’s all ridiculous, and I hope this little PSA helps someone out there get a clue that maybe they didn’t have before about the challenges to dating a single mom.

First of all, don’t call us MILFs.

For the unenlightened, this nasty little acronym stands for moms I’d like to f*ck. While most people might have the good sense to think it but not say it, I’ve had this said to me directly a number of times, as if I were being paid an amazing compliment. It’s not complementary; it’s disrespectful. When you open with this statement, you’ve already clarified that we aren’t even people to you; just a notch on your bedpost.
Cougar is another term that needs to go. If you’re willing to date someone older, be mature enough to date them for themselves without invoking this ugly term. If you feel like you need to use it, maybe you’re not mature enough to be dating someone older than you.

We haven’t lowered the bar.

There’s this assumption that we’re desperate and have lowered the bar to accommodate any men who will have us. I’m not sure where this entirely demented idea originated from, but most of us have weathered divorces, shit relationships, and single parenting. We have in no way lowered our standards. Most of us have jacked them up pretty high to make sure that we don’t end up in toxic relationships that might spill over to our children.
This means that when you send us your dick pic, we’re not going to rush out to see it in person. It actually may get you sent directly to a block list because we want a quality partner and not someone firing off pictures of their equipment to total strangers. If someone asks for them, fine. But it’s bad form to just send them out. Learn about consent.

We‘re not Daddy shopping.

I can honestly say that I went on a date where the guy practically interviewed me to be the stepmom for his kid. It was a first date. Maybe people like this are why there’s a misconception that single parents are hunting for a prospective step-parent for the kids.
The single people I know aren’t out interviewing mommies or daddies. We’re looking for connection and a healthy relationship. If we find that, we certainly want one capable of filling that role for our kids, but we’re not out shopping for a step-parent where just anyone could fit the bill. So don’t bother trying to cozy up to our kids or push hard on forming a relationship with them. We’re not going to let you near the kids unless we think this has a future, and it may take a while to get to that stage. We’re looking for actual partners we can love and not just someone who meets some parenting checklist.

Even if you pay, dates cost us, too.

I’m not talking about some kind of sick quid pro quo situation. I’m talking babysitters. I once paid $70 to a sitter to go out on a date that cost less than that for dinner. Stop pushing single parents to get a sitter when they aren’t available or can’t afford it. If they say no, respect that. There is little more embarrassing than having to explain to a potential date that our budget may extend to supporting ourselves and our kids but might not cover the cost of a sitter for a night out. Be considerate, and understand that sometimes dates might get derailed by family emergencies.

No glove, no love.

Louder for the people in the back! Safety is always important, but it’s even more so for a single parent who is already shouldering enormous responsibility. If you don’t have contraceptives on hand, don’t expect to have sex. STIs and unplanned pregnancies impact our lives in ways you can’t even imagine, and being careless about sex shows that you’re immature and irresponsible.

We’re not looking to raise another kid.

I’m not talking about potential step-children either. If you are not living on your own and supporting yourself, it’s a red flag. If you’re not holding a job and paying your own bills, it’s a red flag. If you’re up to your eye balls in debt that’s not for an education, it’s a red flag. We already have kids to take care of, and we don’t want a partner who we’re going to have to teach to balance a checkbook, create a budget, or wash a load of laundry. We’re looking for adults who are capable of supporting themselves and don’t expect someone else to do it for them.

Get over your hang-ups about co-parenting.

Hey, I don’t want to see my ex either, but when you’re a good parent, you actually try really hard to do what’s best for the kids. This means co-parenting with someone you broke up with or divorced. It’s not fun for us either, but if you’re going to be with a single parenting, expect there to be some interaction from the ex.

Our kids come first, but we don’t come last.

This one is big for me. My kids will always come first in the decisions that I make as far as their health and well-being and overall happiness. But I’m not last either. I had an ex say that he and my kids should come before me. I think I was somewhat lower on the list than housecleaning and making dinner. But that’s not how this works. I don’t come last.
If I’m in a relationship, I’m not going to put my wants, needs, and general self-care last because I have a partner, and I wouldn’t be with a partner who expected me to do so. I matter, too, and it’s unrealistic to expect a single parent to put you before their kids OR themselves. Single parents need all the self-care they can get to do this job.

We have so much less time to waste.

We’re incredibly busy, and we’re not going to waste a lot of time. If you seem to be jerking us around, we’re going to put on the brakes. If you lie to us, don’t expect us to keep you around. If you wave a red flag in the air in front of us, we’re not going to excuse it as a little quirk. We’ve got busy lives and children to raise up to be healthy, happy adults, and we don’t have the time for our time to be wasted.

If you know you couldn’t treat another person’s kids like your own, don’t date a single parent. If you’re going to get twisted about an ex coming around for co-parenting purposes, don’t date a single parent. If you can’t be considerate, respectful, and honest, don’t date a single parent. It’s easy. We want connection and to fall in love, like anyone else, but we are not here for any of your bullshit if you just want to play games. We’ll play Chutes and Ladders with our kids, but we’re not going to play dating games with you. Be real, or go home.

There are so many challenges for single moms to date at all. My primary sitter will almost never babysit in order for me to date, and I can’t always afford the prices of sitters in my area. I often have to work around their visitations with their dad or even their school schedule. It’s not easy. We already have enough stress and responsibility without dating adding more.
There’s this horrible misconception out there about single moms. I hope this little no-f*cks-given tutorial has clarified a few of these areas that might have been confusing before. We want to date, but we’re not here for anyone’s bullshit. We’re not easy or desperate, and we’re not shopping for daddies. If you don’t have a glove, you don’t get the love, and just generally be considerate of our time. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.