Category Archives: Consumerism

The Annual Anti-Valentine’s Posting: 2009 Edition

Ahh, Valentine’s Day. Sigh. Swoon. Won’t you be mine? Won’t you be my lover?

[RECORD SCRATCHES]

Let’s back that shit up.

Every year, without fail, I’m forced to write yet another posting saying pretty much all the same things. Like, if you can’t be romantic all year, you don’t deserve a lover. If you can’t remember to live with passion daily, then you’re wasting oxygen.

Sure, you can say, “Yeah, well, Valentine’s Day is good for young couples who are too busy — ”

[RECORD SCRATCHES]

Too busy? What, for each other? For knocking each other’s socks of with a quaking orgasm or two here and there? Too busy for head? Too busy for a stolen kiss in the corner of the kitchen? Too busy for a random, well-timed grope? Too busy for a lusty note snuck into a work lunch? Continue reading

My Clitoris & I Wrote My Toilet Paper Manufacturer

Dear Toilet Paper Manufacturer:

You lied.

You said your paper was soft and pure. It is, you claim, a “premium” paper.

Sadly, my clitoris disagrees.

I don’t know if you realize, but girl parts are sensitive. Nice soft fleshy bits, hypersensitive to touch and even sensation? Very?

My clitoris feels your product isn’t premium. That it, in fact, is cheap-ass. And scratchy. And turning Clitty into a very cranky, and raw, little thing. Poor Clitty.

At this point I would deem your product falls under FAIL. And I, too, fail for buying 36 rolls. And my clit fails for being an innocent bystander.

All I can now say is, Toughen up, Clitty. It’s gonna be a long, rough ride.

Thanks for nuthin’, not-so-premium paper company.

Regards,
A Girl and Her Clit

The Business of Unhappiness

Body image. Stand any one of us in front of a mirror, ask us to reveal what we dislike about ourselves, and an unhesitating list would be quickly forthcoming.

Industry knows this. They count on it. All the way to the bank.

If you’re happy about yourself, why would you ever spend all that disposable income on beauty products, clothes, and other distractions that keep you from looking inside, where true self-image resides?

I read a fascinating Huffington Post article on the economy of waif-thin models. It spoke of how having models thin is benefiting someone, somewhere, and until the public starts demanding differently, designers will kowtow to those in the industry who have everything to gain from keeping women thinking they need to be a size zero to four for any real chance at happiness in life. (I’ve written about anorexic models before and, as an overweight feminist, it’s always been an issue for me.)

You ask me, I think that fashion will never show real women for the same reason that science will probably never really “cure” cancer. There’s too much to gain from the downside — illness and our discontent. The upside means people become healthy and well. If they’re healthy and well, they’ll be happy. If they’re happy, they won’t want or need as much. If they don’t want or need as much, then how in god’s name will industry get their hands on all that tasty money in people’s pockets?

Your insecurities, people, are keeping industry going strong. Your insecurities are helping you contribute to the overall good of society. Productivity, consumer confidence, retail bottom lines — they’re all fed by your insecurities.

Why in god’s name would you want to feel better about yourself? Is that really the Modern Way? C’mon! Don’t smile on one another, don’t love your brother, don’t even love yourself! Piss, moan, whine, and feel shitty in the morning. That way, you’ll feel like you need to “treat” yourself and swing by Starbucks for a Venti Caramel Macchiato, and why the hell not one of those tasty apple fritters? Then, you’ll feel like shit for being so bad, you’ll beat yourself up at work, and say you need to go to the gym. That’ll cut into your day more than you’d planned, you won’t have the time to cook properly, so now you got to go blow your wad on take-out. But the take-out’s all cooked with oils and fats you can’t even imagine, so what would be 450 calories if you made it at home’s actually closer to 1,000 in take-out, and now the workout you just did’s completely pointless. But that’s okay, you’re planning to buy a new pair of jeans and shirt on the weekend anyhow.

See? It’s a cycle. It seems to work for you, it sure as hell works for industry, so why would we ever want to start feeling like it’s all right to be a few pounds overweight with a grabbable ass?

Personally, I’m losing weight. Most of the time, anyhow. Lately I’ve gone off the hook and have eaten badly and not exercised, but I’m back on track.

I’m doing it because I don’t like feeling fat. I don’t like having little to no energy. Or not feeling strong. And not meeting goals. I didn’t like movie theatre seats cutting into me. I didn’t like my doctor looking at me with grave concern as he told me I was toying with the odds on diabetes. I don’t want to be THAT way.

But I sure as hell don’t want to be skinny.

All I want is to be happy. It may have taken a lifetime to realize it, but it occurs to me that Happy doesn’t come off a shelf in a store.

Too bad there’s a few billion consumers who’ve missed out on that epiphany so far. Which keeps industry wringing its hands with glee.

This brilliant image is by a San Francisco photographer named Cheryl McLaughlin and you can find her here. This image is for sale.

My First Time (with a Home Pregnancy Test)

There I was, desperately locking and re-locking the bathroom door in the back of a Subway sandwich shop, panicking that I might be heard, or maybe the Catholic in me felt the location was just morally wrong for that sort of thing, but I didn’t give a shit. The time was nigh, now or never, or at least now-sooner-than-later, as fate might have it anyhow, so I was doin’ it. Continue reading

RANT(ish): Fuck that Couch!

My couch is gone. My piece of shit, black vinyl couch is gone. In its place is a new, black-and-blue cloth (presumably piece of shit but thus far unproven as such) couch that I was given as a warranty replacement.

Also gone is its history.

All those nights spent cuddling with cute guys, the dirty s-e-x, the nakedness, the hinge-testing activities, the massages, the naked nibbling of foods and sipping of wine, the fumbling for protection hidden in the coffee table, the whispered jokes, restrained moans, gasping – all of it, gone.

My slate, and my couch, are clean.

I’m entering into this, “Fuck you, I’m single?” phase now.

I’m too fucking cool to be single. I’m good in bed. I’m cute. I’m a fucking fab cook. I’m doting. I’m expressive. I’m clear in what I say. I listen well. I empathize. I intellectualize. And I know how to laugh.

Single? Fucking hell, men!

I’ve been through the denial and the sadness, and now I’m into anger. Not at him, not really, but maybe a bit. It’s really, though, just “it all.” At myself, in particular. I shoulda fucking walked sooner. Now, here I am, the middle of summer, and no one fun to play with. The beginning of the relationship, great. The last 8-10 weeks, I was already practically checked out emotionally as I was certain it would end. I knew what was coming, I understood the mindfuck of healing, but he didn’t. Yet I was stupid enough to stick around, hoping, like an idiot, things would change. I knew better then, and I know far better now. But it is what it is. And now, here I am.

Single. Again.

I’m the original “love yourself, love singleness!” cheerleader, but, fuck, man, getting together with someone’s pretty cool too, and I was right to be optimistic. So, yes, thrown for a loop, collecting myself, and doing a bit of a mess of it, but I’ll get my shit together. I always do.

What really pisses me off, though, about singleness, is society.

It screams at you SO fucking loud. You’re only as good as the company you keep. You’re only as good as the company you keep. You’re only as good as the company you keep. You’re only as good as the company you keep.

It’s a mindless fucking droning that is echoed by film, tv, ads, and music. Everywhere you look, it’s about “the one you love” and “forever.” Without someone, you might as well be nothing.

Me, I like dining out. Have you ever gone to a decent restaurant and eaten alone? I have. It sort of feels like the time I was in a wheelchair back when I had a leg injury and had to get around an amusement park for the day. Half the people eye you with respect and empathy, and the others eye you with some kind of sympathy and pity.

“Oh, she must have been stood up. No one eats alone.”

Yeah? No one, huh? Fuck you and your lame-ass stats keeping, buddy. I eat alone, and I like it. Catch up on my reading, you know? These days, I just do it in the kinds of places that “lonely” people are acceptable in – diners, coffee shops, the like. That’s a money thing, not because I’m letting the bastards get me down. But, these days, I don’t really enjoy fine dining without company. I can cook that well at home, and get great satisfaction in it, so if I’m spending the dime, I want some flesh on my arm and an ass by my side, you know?

I’m liking the new couch. I’m glad I no longer think of any of the guys I’ve been with on that couch. I’m glad the memories are, in a way, purged. I’m really fucking happy about that.

Along with the couch, I’ve also rolled up my area rugs and put them in the storeroom for the season. I figure there’s greatly reduced probabilities of rolling around in pursuit of carpet burn as I have dirty, naughty sex on the floor, so why deal with vacuuming and mustiness in the middle of a heatwave. Hardwood floors rock.

Yeah, fuck all this. I, too, dislike being single in a society that thinks I’m wrong to be this way. Being single takes time to adjust to, it takes much love of oneself, and a love for independence and spontanaeity. Going through hard times is not conducive to any of those things. As my life settles down, my love of being solo will return, if I don’t find me some masculine specimen before that.

I don’t want a relationship, I don’t think, right now, but I wouldn’t mind a little play time, if you know what I’m saying. So, I’m hatching a plan and continuing what I started a couple weeks ago in regards to getting back out into the world.

Life’s fucked right up, but it ought to settle on down soon. And then, I’ll be back.

Depress-o-meter: I’m, what, a 6 today? Got through the night with no dope, no drinking, not too much attitude. (Not like I’ve been drinking much, or that I ever do, but I have certainly been smoking dope. Waaaay too much!) That first night of “good behaviour” usually is sleepless, but I got six hours. The worst is over. That’s good. Now to keep keepin’ on.

Q&A: My Girlfriend Won’t Fuck Me Anymore

I get a lot of emails from readers from time to time, and for some reason, this past week has been filled with emails. Some are easy answers, some are ones I don’t want to tackle, some involve giving instruction (which I dislike doing, so I take my time), and some are just total mind-fucks, like this one.

The long and the short of it is a bit complicated, and due to privacy concerns, I don’t want to quote his email directly. Let’s call him Jimi, since he sounds like the rockstar type.

When he and his girlfriend got together, they had wild marathon sex constantly. He couldn’t get enough of her and it seemed to be mutual. He’s a guy with a sex drive in overdrive, and having a partner who’s into sex as much as he is happens to be a pretty major consideration when committing. He thought he had that in this woman.

She changed, suddenly, when her father had a heart attack. It turns out that she was raised Catholic, and in this moment of crisis, she turned to God and made a vow that, if her father was to live, she would abstain from sex until marriage.

Although he neglects to mention, I’m pretty sure the father lived, because Jimi hasn’t been getting laid much in the last two years. He’s in love with the girl, so he’s taking this in stride, but after two years of little happening, he’s nearing breaking point. Don’t get this wrong, she’s been getting her orgasms. He pleasures her orally, etc, and occasionally they “slip” and have sex, which is always good, but he says that, since she vowed God she’d abstain, he finds himself embroiled in guilt after they’ve finished. While he does non-intercourse things to satisfy her, it seems she doesn’t return the favours. Not very democratic, eh?

His dilemma is, how does he proceed? Does he marry her? Does he break up? Does he confront her? Honestly, fuck if I know.

Here’s the deal: Catholicism is a life-long all-ages ticket to ride the guilt train. You cannot possibly understand the absolutely overbearing sense of guilt and fear that is bred into you when you’re raised Catholic unless you’ve been exposed first-hand. Trust me, I not only drank the Kool-aid but spent 10 years in Catholic school, going to mass probably 5 times a week for 60% of that time. Guilt has been a lifelong struggle for me. It does not ever go away, as far as I can tell thus far.

And I understand the absolute horror of knowing your parent could die. I was far closer to my mother than I am to my father, and even so, when my father nearly suffered a stroke last year, I was terrified.

Religion, as we’ve all heard, is a crutch. Take that as you like, but when it comes down to difficult times, religion’s a pretty easy thing to lean on to get you through. Adversity is hard on all of us, but having a creed that tells you everything’s gonna be all right after the dying of the light somehow makes it easier to get through, regardless of how much you live your life according to the faith.

That said, I’ve made my own vows to God. I can’t remember what I promised then, but I remember being in the shower and just knowing with absolute certainty my mother was going to die, and promising God I’d behave better, be more moral, give up drugs, whatever the fuck I promised, if only she’d live.

She died. I was off the hook – literally and figuratively. I descended into a few years of craziness and here we are now. If she’d lived, I’m pretty sure my life would be a world away from where it is now, whether I liked it or not. That’s the price you pay when you promise God to behave better, and you secretly believe in His wrath, thanks to the upbringing you’ve been dealt.

Girlfriend made her vow, and now she’s struggling to keep it. The question is, where does that leave Jimi?

Between a rock and a hard place.

I’m a firm believer that, whatever you enter a relationship for – their looks, their personality, their sex drive – that you are, essentially, entitled to a reasonable expectation that that status quo will continue. If their sex drive dries up overnight, you have reason to be concerned about the future of your relationship. If they gain 60lbs, you have every right to be upset about the change in your lover. If they become moody and morose and give you no reason to enjoy spending time with them, you have cause to be concerned. It’s not selfish – it’s simply expecting your partner to live up to the terms of the agreement; that they are the person you fell for, and will continue to be that person, or will at least change in ways that are congruent to who they were at the time of the initial hook-up.

In the restaurant business, one of the “rules” for success is, you’re only as good as your last service. In relationships, we all go through rough patches, but the immediate past is the part that’s most relevant to the present, not the good times that were had five years past. Problems emerge, solutions need to be found, and life can hopefully continue. But if you’ve gone and changed the rules of the relationship without cluing in your lover, you are establishing grounds for dismissal.

Relationships go two ways. Agreements and communication and compromises are the lifeblood of any good relationship. If you have adversity and need to change how you’re acting in the relationship, you need to discuss that with your lover, otherwise, they have good reason for leaving you. It’s really that simple.

So, Girlfriend’s withdrawn the sex that made her so desirable. Fortunately, she still has personality and a lot to offer. The question is, can Jimi handle living a life with less sexual promise? That depends on him. She’s essentially notched herself down from love interest-non-pareil to friend with occasional benefit.

Her motivations for doing so may be questionable to the rest of us. Who knows, maybe Jimi can solve his problems over Bloody Marys and a little rat poisoning during a tete-a-tete with the father, but something tells me that, one way or the other, he needs to come to terms with the fact that his lover had no problem making a decision that impacted both of their lives in a dramatic way. Instead of turning to him for support, she turned to God. Not that I’m saying turning to God is a bad thing, I’m just saying Jimi should have been consulted before she decided the future of their relationship without his input.

And when she decided sex was no longer on the menu, she should have done the right thing and said, “This will change things between us, and while I can live with that, you need to decide if you can.”

The facts are, Jimi, pretty simple: She has changed, whether you want to understand why or not. She made a major decision without consulting you. She handles stress, clearly, in less than practical ways. She withholds sex either to punish herself or punish you, whether the eyes of God are watching or not. If things haven’t changed back to what you call normalcy yet, you need to accept that they may not ever change. She has a reason to explain away her lack of interest in sex now, and if you marry, who’s to say she won’t find a new reason then?

Your relationship is only as good as the recent past has been. We can’t go into our Way Back machines and remember fondly the way it usedta be, because the facts are, it is what it is, and you have to go with the averages.

Am I telling you to walk? No. I’m telling you to be realistic. Will she change back to the girl of old? Who fucking knows. Is that a gamble you’re willing to stake your sexual future on? Who fucking knows. Can you justify cheating on her to get what you need while she figures herself out again? No. Not for a second.

So you have a choice to make. You want to hold on to the memories of how it used to be and might one day be again, or do you want to live in the moment and experience life as it unfolds? You decide.

You could always let her know exactly why you’re going through so much emotional turmoil over this, and tell her you’ve been patient, you’ve tried to understand, but that she ultimately changed the rules of the game without telling you, and you’ve never had the option to choose – but now you’re making that choice, and you’re around if she decides you’re worth changing her mind about that vow, but for now, you need to discover yourself again.

Either way, you’re in a shitty situation. I feel sympathy for her, but she’s up against a mighty powerful religion that really, really fucks with your conscience. That, I know first-hand. Good luck, dude.