Tag Archives: single

My Evolving Thoughts on Valentine’s Day & Being Single

I’ve blogged now for more than a decade. I have written ALL the Valentine’s Day postings. Angry, disaffected, anti-commercial, Catholic, whatever. Been there, done that.

I used to hate Valentine’s Day and now I guess I don’t care. I’m sad some people “need” Valentine’s to keep the romance alive. I can almost see their impending break-up. I’m happy kids enjoy it. I dislike big business profiting off it. Enough said.

In life and in love, I tend to be a romantic. I always will be. Fancy meals for no reason, unprompted kindnesses, attention to detail. I don’t need a day for it, and I wish others didn’t either. I’ve always been the thoughtful girlfriend, fond of surprise dinners and other things. I’ve never understood how people can let that slip away in their relationships.

Tree in Sicily by Djacoby.

Tree in Sicily by Djacoby.

Some of Us Learned the Hard Way

For those of us who’ve had the opportunity to cheat death in any way — serious accidents, surviving disease or illness, that sort of thing — there is a very clear lesson we often learn: This moment is the only one that counts. Then the one after it, and the one after that.

Memories are nice but they mean fuck all if they’re all ya got.

In a relationship, if your best days are behind you because you’re doing nothing to honour it in the present, you might as well call it quits. You’re done. It’s over.

If that idea makes your heart sink through your belly, then lucky you, there’s hope. It’s time to sit down and make love a priority. Date night is critical. Romance is critical. Valuing each other is critical. Surprise and fun and trust, all critical.

Some folks can’t understand that and don’t know how to make ’em happen. I don’t know how to help those people.

When Single Becomes the Status Quo

God knows I’m single and I have been for a long time now. My last two relationships really fucked me up in that I sort of lost who I was and didn’t know how to get back to myself. Other things had brought that mix of phenomena into my life too — job woes, financial troubles, serious injuries, other things.

I had a lot of shit to solve, and solving those things while involved with someone — oy, that’s a tall order. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I couldn’t write, I wasn’t photographing, I wasn’t even cooking creatively. I was surviving life, not living it.

I never intended to stay single my whole time here in Victoria, but that’s somehow been the case. At first, I needed the space, but then in the last year, my thinking was “I don’t want anyone to hold me back.”

For a while there I had been telling myself that this life dream trip of mine was just an elaborate means of saving money. It was a last and desperate step. Would I have easily fallen for someone and opted out of the harder route of anteing up for an adventure of a lifetime to instead cop out and live with someone for savings and love and steamy sex?

I can’t tell ya. Like I say, I’m a romantic. There’s no telling how much I’d think a good relationship trumps an adventure. I do know this time I’ve been using for myself this year has really helped me remember what’s important to ME. What I want out of life, what I want to see, and what I think I owe myself.

Now five years around the world isn’t a “last and desperate step”. It’s my greatest and boldest step. It’s awesomeness wrapped in optimism and dipped in unbelievable with a side of fuck-yeah.

Norman hunting tower in the countryside of Erice, Sicily, by Terry Feuerborn in 2011.

Norman hunting tower in the countryside of Erice, Sicily, by Terry Feuerborn in 2011.

Acing The Art of Being Older, Wiser, And Not Giving A Fuck

I do know one thing about the loves I’ve had. I don’t think there’s a man I’ve been with in my lifetime that could be the man I’d need today. I’ve changed too much. I think few are the relationships that let us continue growing and becoming better people. It’s hard to have two trajectories rising at the same rate, you know what I mean?

Singleness isn’t the end of the world. It’s harder to handle at the beginning, I think, but it can be wonderful, too, if you don’t make yourself seek reward or happiness through others.

I think writing makes that easier for me. I’m able to use this — my words — as a filter for my life and my memories. That’s the gift of writing. It’s the existential pause button that lets me stop and sift through it all. Without it, I’m not sure I’d find the same enjoyment out of life. I’m not sure I want to find out.

My Valentine’s Isn’t Special

Today is another overworked-Steff weekend for me. I need to put THIS writing-for-self aside and write for the big machine. Money makes my world go around. Or rather, will make me go around the world.

I still need to remind myself of why I toil so often and so long. If it’s not work, it’s personal projects in preparation of my time abroad. Yesterday, I found new inspiration as I pored over photographs of Sicily, wondering if it might be where I am a year from now. I can’t fathom what life is like, living in an area so old and steeped with passion and tradition. As a writer, it makes my heart swell. What a Valentine’s gift to myself that would be.

But gone are the days when I’ll rail against Valentine’s Day. Make it what you want it to be.

Self-love, romantic love, love of the moment, love of nature — it’s all the basis of a life well-lived. Whether you’re alone or single, a wonderful meal, a gorgeous sunset, some time in a park, a great movie — all these things can be savoured without being a part of the big marketing machine.

Whatever you do, whoever you’re with, wherever you go, I hope you do something this weekend that reminds you of what your passions in life are. And if you’re not pursuing them, it’s time to ask yourself why not, and remember that it ain’t ever too late to wake up from oblivion.

Maybe that’s what Valentine’s Day should be to you. It kind of is for me.

Dating Options 101: Whatchagot

I had too much wine on Saturday night, wrote this. Didn’t publish it for fear I might’ve said too much. In vino veritas and all. So here’s the version you see. :)

I’m being antisocial. Again. I’m at that point where people are draining me, so I know I need my time to myself.

Some guy’s aggressively pursuing me. I could be shagging this weekend, not lounging around in ugly clothes. The thought fills me with a little doubt as I look down at my yoga pants and my shitty concert t-shirt. God knows it’s been long enough. If landscapes were sex-life allusions, then mine would be the Sahara in a drought. I’m okay with this, though. Except, you know, at those moments when — SCHWING — I’m so not. Fortunately, self-inducing oblivion helps avoid those moments.

I’ve been rebuffing said attempts. Pretty sure he’s not really my type. It’d be just sex. Incredibly-hot-guy-with-no-mental-connection sex. If things were less complicated, maybe. Like I say: A dry season in the Sahara. The problem with hormones is, once you turn ’em on, it’s like the switch gets broke. They get this mind of their own. I’d prefer not to fuck my mode and just avoid sex entirely unless it’s for the “oh, YOU might be a sidedish of WOW” kinda manly potential right now. Continue reading

Struggles Between Sexuality and the Self

A reader, Dp, just happened to ask me to maybe touch on the difference between a person’s sexuality and the person. He and I sort of look at the equation differently, I suppose, but it’s something I’ve been considering a lot.

I’ve placed a sexual encounters personal of late, trying to find that elusive friends-with-benefit situation that encapsulates someone brilliant, someone my style, and someone who nurtures both the same high libido I do while still being a passionate and creative lover who’s not afraid to cross a few proverbial lines in the sand.

I have a tall order to be met. I know it will be a frustrating search. I’m already frustrated, but I’m resolved. I’ve had responses accusing me of being a “shopping list” woman who’s out there for a trophy man rather than reality guy. That’s so not the case. I’m a reciprocal woman. I bring to the table everything I’m seeking in a partner. Absofuckinglutely. I deplore hypocrisy, and I do not ask for anything I’m not willing to provide, or that I haven’t provided in the past.

I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who are comfortable separating the sex they have with the people they are, but I’m not. The sex I have is as much a part of who I am as the girl who loves to bake for her office coworkers. I mean, it’s part of my identity. As much as I am a generous woman, I am a sexual one with a big love for intimacy and passion. I’m given to doting on partners, and I love selfishly receiving. I’m keen on orgasms. But I’m also keen on taking all night to get there sometimes. I seek power almost only in sexual exchanges, though sometimes in my life; but certainly there’s a part of me that does seek that power. To deny that she exists, or to wrongly assert she’s just a “mode” I operate under, would be to blatantly ignore a core part of who I can be, and often am.

But just because I enjoy power exchanges as part of sex doesn’t mean I can do without the smothering, doting affection of old-school intimacy. Because I can’t. Affection and intimacy are as important to me as any other facet of sex, whether it’s taking a good hard shagging or practicing an evening of switchery.

Born and raised Catholic, much of my life has been spent trying to get past the “Satan is waiting for you if you engage in sex” bullshit taught by a church who seeks to shame practitioners away from sex. It’s taken my whole life to realize that who I am when I am a sexual being, someone who’s getting shagged frequently, is a better person than the moral, abstaining girl that life sometimes induces me to be. I’m better all the way around when I’m getting laid. Simple.

The hardest thing I’ve had to learn to be in my lifetime is that woman I am when I’m having sex. Realizing that she’s not a bad person just because she likes to take it the way she does, or domme a fellow when the urge strikes, or tease and taunt a fella to the brink.

I’ve learned slowly over the years that I need to get past that mind-body connection. Past that place that distinguishes the mind over the body, or vice versa, and instead uses them both together to transcend mind/matter, which some of us believe has to happen for real “sexual union” to occur between lovers. Complicated, huh?

It’s one of the reasons that getting vocal about sex wound up being a huge turning point for me in taking my sexual experience to another level. By being less concerned about my volume, just allowing that natural reaction to occur, I somehow got past another level of hang-ups, got more into the now, less into the thought side of it all. It was, and is, such a struggle to override the person I was raised to be as I try to embrace the person I’ve discovered I am, all the while trying not judging the latter just because I was raised as the former.

How each of us gets to that point where we stop segregating who we are sexually with who we think we are morally, and realizing they don’t have to be separate people, that we can (and often are) both, is a struggle I think some of us will be fighting for our whole lives. There will be no easy answer to how you get to that point of accepting the coexistence of your sexuality and your morality, and the realization that one need not cancel out the other.

But the only way I know to do it? Stop stopping at our comfort zones. Stop assuming that just because you’ve always thought one way about sexuality that your mindset is correct. Stop assuming you know how a sexual act will or will not make you feel. Don’t presuppose things like bondage will never appeal to you, because the odds are mighty strong that, like the majority of people out there, who you truly are sexually is something that will be shifting and changing with the rest of you throughout your life. Embrace it. Most importantly, explore it.

The Brave New Single World

I got out tonight, off my single ass, and met some new people.

The trouble with this city is just how entrenched everyone is and how hard it can be to meet new people.

I joined a social organization a year and a half or so ago, when my self-esteem was only beginning to be picked up off the floor, and tonight I finally made it out to my first event.

Meetup is a place where you can go and find “meet-up” groups that do things you like. Kayaking? Sure! Hiking? Sure! Photography? Sure! D&D? Sure! Dining? Sure! They’re all there. And unlike joining a group where you do varied events all the time, you can go to as few or as many different Meetup groups that you can find to appeal to your sensibilities. (The only fees tend to be a $1 – 2 drop-in fee, since the groups cost money to run each month. Pay and be quiet.)

(The organization is worldwide. Check the website out. More than 2.5 million international members, and more than 14,000 groups.)

The folks there tonight were all in their 30s and 40s, and were all smart, good conversationalists, funny, friendly, and so forth. It wasn’t just one of those things where you know the underlying thought is “who’s coming home with me tonight?” It’s genuinely about just meeting people.

But, hey, betcha some sex happens. I ain’t no bookie, but I know a thing or three ’bout odds, baby.

Naturally, I somehow managed to mention I wrote this smutty blog, so maybe they’ll say hi or something in the comments. (Hi!)

The point being: If you’re stuck in single, annoyed at your now-married friends, tired of seeing the latest “adowable!” stream of drool pouring down their kids’ faces, wishing your college friends had managed to evolve by now, or anything like that, then this is an awesome way to meet new people.

When you sign up, sign up for the email as well, so that you get the weekly digest that lists all the events happening that week. That way, you don’t just get notices about the Meetup group you joined, but about everything happening in your city, and on what days. That’s how I saw the listing for Clerks II when I shoulda been working and not checking email, and decided to get off my apathetic ass and head to the flick. (C II rocked, by the way. I’ll be writing about the pussy troll sometime. Laughed my ass off. Great fun.)

I’m not a joiner. I don’t wanna join a fucking team or take an art class or do some pottery, because it’s redundant. Same shit every time. I like variety. This way I have it.

Anyhow, some people have asked in the past how you meet new folks and how do you Be a Good Single Person. Well, not by hanging out in bars, not by sitting on your ass at home, but by doing something that allows you to engage with others in a safe environment, and this is that.

I would actually DISSUADE you from just joining a class or something. Couple reasons: One, you don’t liek the people, you’re fucked. No variety, same thing every week, no change in people, and it probably costs a lot more. This is an endless array of meets that occur on a plethora of topics, with a wide variety of people. Can’t beat it.

Check it. You might like it. I did.

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.

Super Steff Pseudo-Single on a Friday Night

And what do I choose to do with it? Sleep. It would seem Girl has pathological bed tendencies. Someone get a shrink.

No, no. I had a migraine-ish thing. On the list of 817 things you don’t really know about me is the fact that I am the Human Barometer. Yes, a weather front shift looms, and so does a giant barometric flip of the switch in my head, and sometimes I’m felled by these mondo-mofos of a headache.

The Guy is being demonstrated the Evil Mind-controlling Superpowers of that arch-villain, The Office. While he’s out there battling Evil, I’ve been taking a break from my Autocrat of the World role. I “laid down” at nine and just rolled out of bed at 11:32. What am I, 12? I haven’t been to bed that early in quite a while.

Stop the presses, people. We may be on the verge of a mini Dating Dilemma. You see, there is now a great disparity in Me-Time ratios. Me, I’m drowning in Me-Time. I’m all lazy in my Joe Boxers and my hooded sweatshirt, curling my red-painted toes in the chilly spring night air, yawning, and debating between the merits of Bath versus Shower.

The Guy? Trapped in death-defying battle with his dreaded arch-nemesis, The Office, as he slays Deadlines and mocks the Greatly Abhored Accounting Department on the dreaded conundrum of Mandatory Overtime.

Tomorrow, I will be well-rested, and he will be bone-tired, having worked nearly 18 hours or more in a row. Thus, the Great Relationship Inequity shall begin.

[Please, someone, break through the Space-Time Continuum and break my shift-key, will you?]

He is likely to be short-tempered, low-energy, and unwilling to do much. And understandably so. I am like to feel sorry for him, then feel sorry for me being all Boyfriend-Deprived. And understandably so. But it can’t stop there.

This is life. My job as an adult, for this 72-hour period, is to realize he’s having a hard time of it, and I’m, well, lying around in my Joe Boxers and my sweatshirt, having eaten a good bowl of butter chicken . This means, no matter how I slice it, my weekend’s a let-down. But guess what? Guy’s weekend really went from zero-to-blows in about 60 seconds, long, long ago.

The additional fall-out is that sex may or may not be on the books for a few days. And understandably so. Does it mean I’m happy about it? What do you think, Junior Einstein? Oh, that’s right – that’s a big “No!” But I’m an adult, and I’ll deal just fine. I can’t even fathom having to work 17 hours in a row using actual brainpower like the Guy is now. To expect him to function at all like a human in the next couple of days is a tall order, despite whatever superpowers might reside in his pants.

Tonight, I understand. Tomorrow, when my body remembers it’s female and thus emotionally needy by nature, I might feel a sniffly sad thing or two that I’m not going to have the weekend I deep-down-inside want. Whatever. Grown-up powers, activate! (Okay, if you’re one of my collegiate readers and you missed the Justice League of America and the Wonder Twins, well, that’s your problem. You missed the minimum age requirement for riding, but we chose to overlook it. Feel grateful!)

Relationships are full of disparities, and the hard part is being perceptive enough and adult enough to realize when the scales have tipped drastically in one direction versus another. The other challenge is remembering that, while this “weekend” feels like forever when I can’t be with a lover I crave, in the long run, it’s a couple friggin’ days in the life of my relationship, so I need to keep perspective on just how troubling I feel my times really are.

It’s hard to pull your head out of your inner child’s ass sometimes in order to remember just how much there is a big world that rotates around your itty-bitty little existence. If you don’t manage the cranial extraction though, you’re fucked. It’s really that simple. A “woe is me” attitude only gets you so far.

No woe-is-me here. I’ve just been handed the opportunity to get my place dealt with, get out on my own a bit, and live my own life, hence pseudo-single. The Guy’s stuck being whipped by the Man, and those lashes are gonna sting for a few days. This is how the vicious circle spins, and my secret superhero Activator powers are just kicking in. (Insert powerful whooshing SFX here.)

Wonder Twin powers, ACTIVATE! In the shape of… grown-up!