Because an emoji is never just an emoji…
To the boy who never did anything wrong, but also never did anything right:
While I didn’t realize it at the time, I made too many decisions based on his age.
All you need is a set of earphones and half an hour.
Let my failures be your lesson…
If some jerk just broke your heart, read on…
They know you better than you think…
If he’s not even trying, why are you?
“Sometimes I really just do feel like a mess and slutty and out of control.”
Are you single and ready to mingle? Singletons (women, that is) often have it rough: constant, invasive questioning about why you’re flying solo and/or childless; dirty looks and poor behaviour from smug marrieds at parties (clearly, you are a husband stealer); and then there’s other people’s rude and awkward fascination with your interesting sex life (or lack there of).
I know – I’ve been there. I once made the mistake of wearing a daring, low-cut dress to a New Year’s Eve party almost entirely made up of married people, at which I had countless Bridget Jones’ Diary-esque cringeworthy moments of my very own. If I wasn’t having to explain why I was single, I was getting serious side-eye in my dress, not that I had absolutely any intention of getting cosy with someone that night. I mean, God forbid a single woman could be happy in her own skin and just enjoy herself at a party? Sometimes, your singleton status can make others really uncomfortable.
So, what’s a single gal to do? For starters, you could empower yourself by checking out Dr Nikki Goldstein’s new book: #singlebutdating: 10 Steps to a More Dateable You (pictured). I wish this book, and more like it, were around when I was single.
Dr Goldstein, herself a sexy, young singleton, is a leading Australian sexologist and sex and relationships commentator. Her life experience – coupled with her psychology degree, postgraduate diploma in counseling and doctorate of human sexuality, make her a credible authority on the subjects.
And here’s what I love most: she wrote #singlebutdating women to arm women with the tools they need to not only survive in the #singlebutdating world, but to revel in it. Isn’t that refreshing?
Here, Dr Goldstein reveals her top sex and dating tips, her inspiration for the book and what she hopes to achieve with it.
What inspired you to write a book on single but dating (SBD) women? I felt that I was left without a label to describe my love and dating life. There have been moments in my life where I was not exactly single, but when asked if I had a boyfriend, I was unsure how to answer. It’s not like there were a lack of men in my life and I definitely wasn’t waiting at home for the phone to ring, but I didn’t want pity for my so-called “single” status. I also felt like so many of the dating books out there were telling women to change in order to trap a man and there was nothing empowering them to work out how they wanted to date. We don’t need set-in-stone rules – we need advice, empowerment, information and knowledge of possible outcomes so we can make better and healthier decision for ourselves.
Are you currently SBD? When writing the book, I went on a man ban for 18 weeks and it was one of the most interesting times of my dating life. I learnt so much about myself and got to take a good look at how I had been dating from a distance without the distraction of men and really take time to explore what I wanted from the opposite sex. Since publishing the book, I am back dating and currently an SBD woman (and having more fun now knowing what I want and how I want to date than before).
What makes you qualified to give dating advice? For this book, I was able to reflect from my professional life as a sexologist and relationship expert with a history of academic and clinical experience, but also my own dating life, as I had had years of colourful dating experiences. It was the first time I decided to get really personal with my work and share my own stories. This is the book I wanted years ago, so in a way I am my own audience.
Have you had many long-term relationships? I have had one in particular that lasted about six years and after that have had a series of what I like to call “mini relationships”: (under six months) flings, holiday romances and dates with some great men. With each person, I feel I have learnt more about myself and who I am and I’m so appreciative that these people were at one stage in my life.
What are some top benefits for SBD women? They have a chance to discover what they want in their love lives and their lives in general before they enter long-term or more committed relationships. How do we know what we want if we haven’t explored different options and sometimes had what we don’t want? Love is not always enough in relationships and even if it is we need to experience what love is and what love isn’t so we can identity the right feelings when they come along.
There is a lot of confusion over what constitutes love, lust, validation and security. You might think it’s true love, when it actual fact the relationship you are in is validating your sense of self-worth and those feelings lead you to believe that it’s love. It’s important for woman to take time to work on themselves so they are able to enter relationships based on what they want not what everyone else around them is telling them they should want. Being an SBD woman just gives you the time and permission to work all of that out.
Why should women entertain the idea of a man ban? I think it’s great for women every so often to step back and have a good, hard look at their love and dating lives. It doesn’t have to be for too long. Given we are in a world which preaches the strong message that a boyfriend or partner means worthiness and validation, we need to be very careful of our dating and sexual behaviours. Sometimes, it takes that distance to be able to analyse and assess what is really going on in your own life. Are you sleeping with that guy because you really wanted to, or because you were feeling a little low and thought it might give you a self-esteem boost? Did you go out on a date with that guy because you really did like him or because it was nice to have someone who was pursuing you? When we are in the midst of it it’s hard to tell why we do what we do, but some distance can give the most insightful view.
What was the book writing process like? It was very quick; it was something I had wanted to do for some time and an idea that had been sitting in my head, but from contract to holding the first-bound draft in my hands was 18 weeks. I went into hibernation and worked like I’ve never worked before. It was not only a challenge professionally, but personally too. When you take yourself out of the society you live in and stay at home in gym clothes and sweat pants, you really need to look to yourself for confidence, validation and positive vibes.
Do you have any other books in the works? I loved writing #sinlgebutdating and found a new passion. Four weeks into book one and I was already looking at what was next with ideas flowing fasting than I could type. There was so much more I could have put into this book that I had to start to consider book two. Let’s just say this is a first, but will not be an only for me. I’m getting ready to go back into hibernation with my laptop again soon.
How will your book aid SBD women? Hopefully it will empower them to think differently about the dating game. I wanted to give permission to women that it’s OK and even amazing to be #singlebutdating right now and that maybe for those who are considering this as a lifestyle choice, to let them know it’s not so scary and can actually be very useful in the long-term. With this book, I wanted to empower women so they are able to make choices from their own internal wants and desires, instead of acting in response to the influences around them.
It’s OK for women to have one-night stands, booty calls and date multiple people if that’s what they want, but they first of all need to work out if it’s what they really want and understand any consequences and risks attached. My book #singlebutdating will not only empower women, but help them to become the most datable versions of themselves, not from changing every aspect of their lives, but by bringing out the best version of who they really are on the inside.
How can women combat society’s negativity towards SBD women? They can continue to challenge the messages they get fed; ask where it comes from and also why it’s there. Often, we take messages of what is sexy and attractive from the society around us and accept them as the status quo. It’s important to continually analyse these messages and think: “Is this so-called ideal one that I believe in and one that works for me?” It’s also useful for women to have a voice and not be afraid to share their thoughts and opinions, even if they feel they are different to everyone else.
Why are you passionate about sex education? I’m passionate about it because a lack of education is what lets us down on so many levels. We get minimal sex education, nearly none about relationships and dating and then we are expecting to get it right. We put so much importance on relationships and our sex lives that it’s unfair we do not have the right information to work on it. We will never get to a stage where we say “OK, this amount of sex education is enough and adequate now,” because it is multifaceted subject which impacts so much of our lives. Sex education and the delivery of information and thoughts, whether for adults or teens and children, should not been seen as a niche or something that we should get to if we have time – it should be a priority.
What are some top sex myths in Australia as pertaining to SBD women? I think it’s this idea that stems from the Madonna/whore complex that if we have too much sex we are ruined in some way. Some men want woman to be kinda sexual, but then are turned off by a woman with too much sexual experience or desire (but please note I said “some men”, not all). There is still this feeling in our society that a women who expresses herself too much sexually is not a good thing. But why is that? I would think that – especially from a man’s point of view – a woman who was sexually enthusiastic (doesn’t that sound better than “slut”) would make a better lover as hopefully she would know what she wants and likes in the bedroom and is better able to connect emotionally and physically. We have always tried to control woman’s sexually with this fear of degradation and maybe it’s time we were more aware of where it seeps into our society. Virginity does not mean innocence and sexuality should never equate to guilt, slut and whore.
Any final tips to help wome feel empowered and fulfilled while SBD? A lot of single and SBD women can feel a little down about the dating game and there are a lot of pressures out there and emotions attached. It’s important to look at the positives and what you do have in your life, not focus on the negative and what you are missing out on. Once women are in a negative head-space, it might only send them further down, so it’s important to stop yourself and flick that switch to positivity. And people are more attracted to happy, positive people, so it will help in the attraction stakes too. It’s harder than it sounds, but once you can master that art, dating and even self-esteem really does become a lot easier. Find little ways to make yourself happy and acknowledge when the world around you is bringing you down.
#singlebutdating, $29.99, is in all good book stores now and is also available as an e-book. Visit drnikki.com.au.
“Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?” – William Shakespeare, As You Like it.
Some people fall in love with the swiftness of an electric shock, while for others it’s more of a slow burn. But does love at first sight actually exist – or is it merely the stuff of fairytales?
Cynics say people confuse intense sexual attraction with love at first sight; that it takes both time and knowledge to really deeply know and therefore love someone. But if you’ve ever felt something akin to a lightening bolt, or a quickening of your heartbeat and a sharp intake of breath at the mere sight of someone, is this not a prime example of love at first sight?
This is exactly how I felt the moment I met my husband, and at the end of our very first date, we enjoyed a passionate, old Hollywood-style kiss in the street, completely oblivious to passers-by. He was intoxicating: I couldn’t get enough of him and I’d certainly never experienced such a strong meeting of the minds and physical attraction like this with anyone else.
Happily, he felt the same: within six months we were living together and then married and pregnant with our first child within two years of this meeting. In fact, in hindsight, it seemed like we’d been quite cautious and overly careful in waiting that long; I knew this man was my true life partner and the future father of my children very early on.
And if we look to pop culture, take TV reality dating show The Bachelor Australia – while an unrealistic setting – it does show in vivid technicolour that it’s possible to have incredible chemistry with someone the minute you meet them. This year’s Bachelor Sam Wood, aka Woody, as I like to call him, seems to have experienced love at first sight with both front-runner Heather and now with newcomer, “intruder” Lana in particular.
Love at first sight is why I also think you shouldn’t ever judge someone’s love timing. When my own mother found true love for the second time at age 63, and was engaged and married to her now-husband in just over a year, I remember being skeptical and worried at first. Who was I to judge? How hypocritical was I? Didn’t my own love connection with my husband very quickly change everything in the blink of an eye? I guess I was feeling a tad overprotective. And here’s the thing: friends and family might caution you to be careful, but you know true love when you find it.
There’s no right or wrong way to fall in love; it can occur at first sight as well as on the second or the third meeting, or even several years down the road. But I believe love at first sight can and does exist, even if some of us are lucky enough to have several soul mates in one lifetime. Meeting your soul mate for the first time is something so delicious, exquisite and wonderful we all deserve to experience it.
What do you think? Have you experienced love at first sight?
Images via Mirror.co.uk, Bluelabellife.com.au
Raise your hand if you’re a single lady! Being single has never been better. You can be selfish, spend unlimited time your friends, less time grooming and more time in comfy clothes. Sounds good right? We’re not going to lie; there are some definite perks, but at the end of the day (and don’t deny it) we are all looking for one thing – love. As humans we are biologically programmed to find a mate and there is no shame to say we are searching for that special someone, so why are people losing their ability to fall in love? With people continuing to steer clear of traditional relationships and preferring to remain unattached, maybe its time that we start to take a long hard look at ourselves.
- Instant gratification
As our world becomes increasingly digitalised every wish is now our command. Need directions to that new café, click! How about buying those shoes you found online, click! With everything at our fingertips we have developed a society that craves instant gratification. However love isn’t something that just happens, it takes time. It is a feeling that spans a lifetime and no app or instantaneous decision can help create or facilitate love. Step away from the computer and look up from your phone and start enjoying the journey towards finding someone you love.
- We have become increasingly egocentric
Ever-heard Carly Simon’s infamous, “You’re So Vain?” Well unless you’ve been living under a rock, the lyrics focus on a self-absorbed lover and the damaging effect his manner has on the relationship. When we are in a relationship, we are a part of a team (even if it is a very small one!) and it is our job to ensure that everyone feels included. It is natural for your wants and needs to be a priority however the issue arises when your self-interest becomes all-consuming and consequently your partners needs are overlooked. We all like things done when and how we want, but a big factor to ensure you both feel appreciated is compromise. If you continually think about yourself and only partake in activities that interest you, your partner will end up board, feel unwanted and ultimately leave. You never know, devoting your time and efforts towards that special someone might just strengthen your relationship and take it to another level.
- Chasing perfection and the unattainable dream
As wonderful as those Disney movies we watched as children were, they are not realistic. Unlike Cinderella, one fabulous night on the town will not necessary offer up your future husband. And to break your heart again, all those rom-coms aren’t doing you any good either. Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum and Ryan Gosling are all one in a million and even they aren’t perfect. No matter what your expectations are, nobody will ever meet every one of them. Again we come back to compromise. They may not be a Greek god, or rolling in doe but if you look past that, you may find that they’ll impress you in hundreds of other ways.
- Having too much choice and dating for the sake of dating
Since dating has become more acceptable within our society, the more pressure we are putting on ourselves to be involved. But just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to as well. As well as this, having too much fun in the bedroom could also hinder your future love life. It makes finding someone to love even more difficult and at the end of the day, if your not invested you are just wasting precious time. Finding your sole mate is not a challenge or a game, ever heard of ‘less is more’? Well this is when it applies. Although it may be exciting at the time, having an excessive amount of partners makes sex and dating a sport rather than an intimate experience.
Image via Plash.in and healthyandbeloved.com
Calling all single ladies: do you think you should be dating a certain type of man? Has your family and/or friends conditioned you into thinking you can’t be romantically or sexually interested in say, someone from a different socio-economic group than you?
Well, think again: you could be denying yourself an amazing connection and/or a life partner, if that’s what you’re looking for, because love comes in many different guises. You might think you should be only dating white-collar businessmen, while in reality, your perfect match could be a farmer, carpenter or dance instructor.
And while it’s true that dating someone from a similar background to you can certainly make relationships easier in certain respects, if you’re struggling to break bad dating habits like always choosing the wrong kind of man, dating beyond your usual “type” may be the answer.
Relationship counsellors strongly suggest single women try to keep an open mind when it comes to dating and go on lots of dates to find out who and what really blows your hair back. Break the cycle of always dating the same kind of guy; it might be challenging and confronting to try something new, but you never know what might come out of it. In addition, discomfort often equals personal growth.
When I was growing up, some of my best friends at the time were taught to only date “white collar” men. I’ve never adhered to this belief myself, despite a middle-class upbringing – in fact, I think it’s narrow-minded bullshit. However, it took me until my late 20s myself to realise dating high-earning IT types really wasn’t making me happy (see dropped pie face pictured above) and so I started to look outside of my usual preferences in a man.
I didn’t change my list of core values I was looking for in a life partner – such as kindness, compassion, self-respect and a strong work ethic – I just stopped having such a strict list of rules on who he might be and where he might work. And the result? I fell madly in love with a professional musician, with whom I’m now married and have two kids.
When we met, his career was taking off and he was just as busy as I was but – more importantly – he was creative, passionate, emotionally available and really into the idea of getting married and having kids too. I had broken the cycle of only dating career-obsessed, white-collar types far more interested in partying, computers and/or making money than in a long-term future with me.
And if we look to a popular fictional example: did Carrie in Sex and the City (pictured) make the biggest mistake of her life, pardon the pun, when she let Aiden – he of the sexy, manly and earthy carpenter goodness – go in favour of suave, but cold Mr Big? Yes, I truly believe so (I’ll debate this until the day I die). Sure, Mr Big is hot and flashy, but Aiden could have given Carrie a lovely, stable future and kids too, if she ever decided she wanted them.
So, are you dating the wrong kind of man, too? Do you know what your goals are and do the men you’re dating actually match this and measure up? Relationship experts say be as realistic, flexible and open-hearted as you can when man-hunting in the dating game and you can’t go wrong.
What do you think? Do you need to date outside of your usual type?
Images via huffingtonpost.com, ayi.com, zimbio.com
When fictitious heroine Bridget Jones declared in the hilarious 1996 best-selling book-turned-film, Bridget Jones’s Diary, that it was her new year’s resolution not to “fall for any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, people with girlfriends or wives, misogynists, megalomaniacs, chauvinists, emotional fuckwits or freeloaders, perverts”, women cheered the world over in solidarity.
It was a fine list. Unfortunately, when you’re dating, you’re bound to encounter at least some of these douchebags, plus many more other heinous varieties. I should know: I spent many years in the dating wilderness in my late 20s and early 30s and while some of those years were deliriously happy, others were marked by misery due to my penchant for repeatedly dating the wrong kind of man. Eventually, I learnt the error of my ways, and through sheer good luck/fate/design, I met the man of my dreams, who is now my husband.
To be clear, dating Mr Wrongs can have many happy side-effects: hot, no-strings-attached-sex; good, silly and carefree fun; self-discovery; and zero commitment, all of which have their place. But if you’re after a long-lasting relationship, with someone compatible, there are certain types of men you should definitely steer clear of. Here is my list of top 5 douchebags to avoid, at all cost!
- The Commitment-Phobe
If a man tells you his most serious, long-term relationship has been with a pot plant, you’d better bolt the other way. Seriously though: listen hard to what men tell you about themselves. And ask lots of questions. If he says he isn’t “good at long-term relationships” and isn’t after anything more than a short-term fling – believe him. You aren’t a fixer or a fairy godmother – that’s not your job.
Stay well away from men who fear intimacy and deep, emotional connections. And, if you realise down the track you’re dating one of these douchebags, who just wants all your goodies, with zero commitment – and that’s not what you want – it’s time to kick him to the kerb (not literally, ouch). The right guy won’t be able to stay away from you. What’s more, don’t believe the mythical bullshit about how men can’t commit: many blokes want to get married and have kids.
- The Serial Philanderer
In the dating universe, you’re bound to meet at least one troublesome douchebag who only sees the world through the eye of his penis, dates multiple women at once, and cannot stay faithful in a monogamous relationship. If you’re unlucky enough to find out that the man you’re getting naked with, is also doing the deed with two or 20 other women, abort, abort, abort! Try really hard not to give your heart to men with this affliction; you will seldom change them and it will only end in heartbreak – trust me on this.
- The Mummy’s Boy
I once seriously dated a man whose mother would routinely come over to our house to wash and iron his clothes and/or arrive with freshly baked cookies. Oh the rage! Don’t put up with men who are just looking for a mummy substitute: find an independent, self-made man who has long-since cut the apron strings and can well and truly fend for himself. And this means being able to cook and know his way around the laundry, for fuck’s sake. You are no one’s domestic slave, girlfriend. It’s 2015, not the 50s! Look for an evolved man with good life skills: someone who’s done some hard work on himself
- The Hopeless Addict
When seeking a long-term partner, do your best to avoid people with serious addictions, be they porn, gaming, gambling, alcohol, drugs, food or sex, for example. We all have vices, but people with really unhealthy and dangerous habits will only sap your time and your soul. Again, it’s really hard to change someone – they have to want to do it for themselves. So, when you meet addicts – tell them to get the help they need – and go find someone deserving who shares your same values, lifestyle and outlook.
- The Abuser/Mentally Unwell
Mental health issues are both common and serious in our community. Unless you’re a qualified, practising psychologist, never try to fix someone’s grave mental health problems. In addition, if you encounter any abusers – be they emotional, mental or physical – get out of there, as fast as you can. You’re no one’s whipping boy. I once dated a man in my early 20s who repeatedly told me I was fat, even though I worse size 9 jeans back then (those were the days). Men’s nasty, snide and belittling comments are always about them and their own insecurities/problems/mental health issues – don’t put up with it – ever!
What do you think? Have you dated some of these top 5 douchebags?
Images via glamour.com, newlovetimes.com, idiva.com
Are you single and ready to mingle? Let’s do this! Dating doesn’t have to equal despair; it can be a lot of sexy fun and a great time for self-learning and discovery.
Some wear their singleton status with happiness and pride, while others fall prey to the outdated, old-fashioned notion that flying solo equals misery and loneliness. Who do you want to be? Choose the first option, pretty lady! Being single can even be a great lifestyle choice. Sure, you may have to kiss a few frogs, but this will only make you appreciate a good thing when you get it.
I can unequivocally say some of the best years I enjoyed in my 20s and early 30s were when I was single. The world’s your oyster; the possibilities are endless and it’s your time to be completely selfish! Go get em’, tiger.
Top five best attraction techniques:
- Work on yourself: Like attracts like – it’s science, baby – so how can you maximise the law of attraction? It all starts with yourself. I firmly believe – and my marriage is a prime example of this – the minute you finally start to relax and enjoy and even love being single, you’ll meet the partner of your dreams. If you value, love and respect yourself, you’ll meet a like-minded soul. Do the hard work on your mind/body/spirit personal development now, while single, to achieve your full potential in both life and love.
- Winners are grinners: Smile – it’s that simple. If you radiate happiness, confidence and inner-beauty, you’ll attract people to you, like moths to a flame. Alternatively, if you go out into the world with a face like a dropped pie, you’re not exactly sending out the vibe that you’re available for champagne dinners, summer picnics and hot sex, now are you? Genuine kindness, compassion and inner-joy are very attractive traits to develop in yourself and look for in the ones you want to be knocking socks with, later on.
- Do things you enjoy: If you’ve spent many years in one long-term relationship after another, being single is an excellent time to stand on your own two feet and really discover what blows your hair back. What are your passions? What books are you reading? Where have you travelled to? Work on developing your brain – not your bra size – and good things will follow suit. And when you’re out there enjoying yourself in the world – be it walking the dog, quaffing cocktails in a bar, or soaking up the serenity in your fave book shop – you will most likely meet and attract a worthy mate with similar interests.
- Stop comparing yourself: When I was single, many of my best friends were married – both happily and unhappily. The grass is always greener on the other side, to use a well-worn cliché, so stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone walks a different path; your married friends will most likely envy your singleton status, anyway. What are you doing with all that quality solo time? Put it to good use now, baby, because it can all change in the blink of an eye when love finds you. Learn to like being single and make the most of it! Get really comfortable in your own skin to meet the partner you deserve – confidence is one of the most attractive traits of all! And pay no attention to smug marrieds: don’t trust people who make you feel bad about being single – that’s always much more about what they’re lacking than anything to do with you.
- You gotta keep the faith: I’m not sure Jon Bon Jovi co-wrote Keep The Faith about being single, but it’s a great motto! Do not lose faith, sister – if you really, truly believe love will find you and keep an open heart and mind – trust me on this, it’ll happen. My own mother found true love in her 60s; love is as perennial as the grass, to quote Desiderata. So, stay positive and don’t listen to the haters; being single is empowering, fun and good for you, above all. And if you’re having a good time, you’ll attract some amazing lovers. Hang in there – love’s just around the corner waiting for you – when you’re really ready.
Images via socialseduction.com, armani.tumblr.com, doctoroz.com
It was an ex-boyfriend’s insatiable love of watching both Sex And The City DVDs and former Australian professional racing cyclist Cadel Evans in tiny, sweaty lycra shorts during the Tour de France for hours on end which first rang alarm bells in my head.
Was I, in fact, dating a gay man, or a bi-curious one at that? I’d dated stranger, I told myself, and endeavoured to have an open mind when it came to the very handsome and very fit, body-obsessed and bathroom-hogging, new boyfriend whom I’d been dating for a month or so several years back. Perhaps he was just very metrosexual? And gender roles were becoming increasingly blurred, these days, I consoled myself.
My gay friends, of course, happily claimed him as one of their own – was my gay-dar that far off? Meanwhile, best girlfriends I’d roped in to meet “new guy” were as equally flummoxed as me. We were having sex, and lots of it, so he couldn’t possibly be gay, right? Wrong. My gay posse ala Sex and the City (pictured) were all over it, even though I didn’t want to believe it at first.
Ah the beauty of hindsight: sure, there were other tell-tale signs, such as his extreme love of fashion and beauty (a gay stereotype if there ever was one); but ultimately it was this ex-boyfriend’s shocking reveal at my home one day which convinced me he truly was batting for the other team. Imagine my dismay, when said man appeared on my doorstep, ready to collect me for another date (did I mention he also really loved shopping?) and quickly dropped his trousers, proudly presenting me with his new crack, back ‘n’ sack waxing treatment he’d just had done. The horror!
Now, I am fully aware it’s common practice for both straight and gay men to indulge in the full-wax thing these days, but in my experience at least, it’s not something a lot of Gen-X straight men are into – and that’s my generation, baby. A best friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, strongly disagrees with me on this point, but she recently moved from Sydney to Brisbane, and spent all her singleton time in the former city, so I say she’s at least wrong re: heteros’ pubic hair habits in the sunshine state, where I’m based.
And to this day, I still don’t know what impression I ever gave said ex that that was something I’d love. For the record, I like a manly man with furry bits! And my face must have given away my utter dismay, for he exclaimed: “Don’t you like my present?” Present?! All I could do was think at the time: “Oh honey, that’s not really for me.” And so we finally had the awkward chat about his obvious gayness, to which he reluctantly confessed, and we split amicably. And thankfully, just as I myself was about to swear off the opposite sex, I met my very manly and straight, future husband not long after that.
Have you ever dated a gay or a bi-curious man too, ladies? It’s an increasingly common social phenomenon according to Sydney sexologist, Dr Michelle Mars (pictured), who specialises in the sociology of sex gender and sexual well-being.
“Why are we becoming more bisexual? Perhaps we are just owning it more, or perhaps we are having more opportunity to play with sex and identity,” Dr Mars says. “If I had a dollar for every time anyone said ‘I’m not out at work’ to me I would be rich.
“I 100 per cent guarantee you that you know people who are gay, kinky, queer… And that you don’t know it. People who like sex and have a lot of sex are more likely to experiment with bisexuality. Pan-sexual is a good, encompassing term. It’s about being kinky, gay, bi, queer… It generally means someone who is sexually adventurous and is willing to give new things a go.”
So, why do gay men sometimes have lots of straight sex, I asked the good doctor – why bother? “Gay men sometimes have sex with women; I have gay friends who were once married, I am saying gay deliberately here as they are as far from bisexual as you can get,” Dr Mars says. “One says of his marriage, ‘The sex was okay, but men get me up quicker’, while the other just likes having sex and if there happens to be a woman involved, that’s okay too.
“Sometimes gay men date women because they haven’t yet realised they are gay or because they are gay and they want to have a family, or because there is a level of internalised homophobia that makes it not okay for them to express their gayness or to claim a gay identity.
“And often gay men have sex with women because they are curious about what it’s about. They might want to try strap-on sex or something else the woman is good at that they haven’t tried before, or they might meet a couple and be attracted to the man and end up having sex with both of them.
“I like the Robbie Williams’ song Swings Both Ways, with the lyrics:
‘Everybody swings both ways…
And after I’ve done her
Well you can do me
Dr Mars says recent research she did with Australia’s largest adult dating site, Adult Match Maker, which attracted more than 7600 Australian anonymous respondents, revealed that even people who aren’t interested in having sex with someone who is of a different gender to their normal partner would do it if their partner asked them to.
“As sexual identity categories soften and become more flexible, people are more likely to have a variety of different kinds of sex,” Dr Mars explains. “A gay man can have sex with a woman and still be gay. I can have sex with a gay man and it’s not heterosexual sex.
“Sex is a skill and it’s good to have sex with people who have excellent sexual prowess. After all, we learn the most about sex when we are having the best sex.”
What do you think? Have you ever dated a gay man?
Images via Huffington Post, Salon, Baller Alert
With the recent success of the film Fifty Shades of Grey, more women than ever are trying to nab their dream date with the sultry Christian himself.
To ensure things go as smoothly as possible, SHESAID chatted with Laura Dundovic to get her first date tips – including the dos and don’ts – and advice on how to dress for dinner and drinks on any occasion!
What are some of your tips for the perfect date?
Don’t put too much thought into it. As girls, we think in between the time. We meet someone and on the first date we can sometimes start dreaming them into being ‘the one’ and can then get let down. I don’t think of a date as a potential relationship but more dinner with a friend. If there is chemistry, then great! One step at a time, girls!
Drinks or dinner… Which is better and why?
I always prefer dinner. Generally it’s a little easier to speak and get to know someone. Also, you know how long you are there for. Once the food is finished it’s time to leave the restaurant, but with drinks, when is the right time to leave and not look too keen, but not look too cold either? One drink? Two drinks?
Could you share some of your best do’s and don’ts for a first date?
Do be confident, don’t be arrogant.
Do be yourself.
Do make conversation but listen and ask questions, too.
If you like him be flirty, but don’t be needy!
What about an outfit… What is your favourite for dinner and drinks?
Dinner: I’ll usually go jeans and a nice top. That way you can wear hot heels and nice jewellery and not look over or under dressed wherever you go.
Drinks: I’d where a nice fitting but not too revealing dress. I usually take a cute leather or denim jacket with me so I’m not too over the top.
Fifty Shades of Grey is released on Blu-ray, DVD, & Digital with UltraViolet on May 21st, 2015.
So the hard part is over – you’ve scored yourself a date. But instead of suggesting the two of you wine and dine at that great new restaurant down the street, you’ve invited you’re love interest over for dinner and now you have to entertain (oh the horror!). I mean, as if the first few dates aren’t already nerve racking enough.
Before you decide to reschedule, or worse – cancel, Steph Peet from Eat now has provided us with a few of her fool proof tips on how to host the ultimate date night. So breathe a sigh of relief, ladies, you’ve got this!
Unless you’re quite the whiz in the kitchen or thoroughly enjoy cooking, take a load off and order in. The more relaxed you can be, the more you’ll enjoy yourself. Save the potential food disasters for the second or third date when you’ll be more inclined to laugh it off.
Don’t eat too early
Plan for your delivery to arrive after 8pm, says Steph. “This allows enough time for a glass of wine and a catch up prior to dining.” What’s more, if you and your date happen to run out of conversation early on in the evening, you can chat about the meal when it arrives. And in dire circumstances, at least having a mouthful of food minimises any awkward silences!
What to eat
Deciding on what to eat can require deep thought. Thankfully, Steph has recommended a few dishes that are perfect for date night. Her first pick is risotto, because “it’s filling and easy to eat, even with the early dating jitters,” followed by a garden or Greek salad. “No one likes to over indulge when on a date, so it’s the perfect fresh side option.”
There’s something to be said for saving the best until last, so as far as dessert goes, Steph insists opting for a choolate mousse or tiramisu. “Nothing is more romantic than a touch of chocolate or coffee when on a date.”
What not to eat
Regardless of what people might say, first impressions really do count for something. Leaning in for a kiss at the end of the night with bad onion breath might not go down the way you’d imagined. Steph agrees: “Anything heavy on garlic or onion – steer clear! A big ‘no-no’ when getting close to someone new.”
She also insists that you skip on messy dishes such as spaghetti bolognese, taco’s and ribs. “[They] can be difficult to eat when sitting in your pjs on the couch, let alone when trying to impress someone. Make your choices wisely.”
Create a nice atmosphere
Lighting a few candles while you sip (or skull) your wine is a great way to set the mood and relax as you get to know your date a little better. Furthermore, if you’re meal arrives in plastic bags and containers, pull out the fine china – so to speak – and serve your take out in a few nice bowls and dishes, says Steph. “[It] will create a better dining experience, even if you’re just eating on the lounge.”
Get the bill
By ordering takeout you still have to endure that dreaded ‘who gets the cheque’ moment. Therefore, Steph recommends that the person hosting date night – so in this case, you – should take care of the bill. “The invitee should bring a bottle of wine,” she says. “It’s a nice gesture that everyone will appreciate.”
“If your date isn’t a big wine drinker, bring dessert.”