In today’s sex+, I talk about labels in relationships. I personally have started using “partner” in recent years & here I explain why. I want to know what YOU call your “partner”, so lay it on meh! :)
I get way more email than I can keep up with. It’s quite flattering, actually…(“ME? you’re asking ME? *squee*)
I’m glad yall trust me with your secrets and stories. I am going to try to address your email directly here throughout the week. I’m happy to offer my input or perhaps lay out some different perspectives to help you make the best choice for yourself. If I post your email, rest assured, it will be 100% anonymous.
Hey Laci. I’ve been dating this wonderful woman for over a year now. I know that she is bi, but it’s hasn’t been a problem until recently. She has mentioned to me that she wants to explore her sexuality and be with a woman. I have no actual problem with that act, hypothetically, but what I do have a problem with is the fact that we’re in a relationship, which should imply a matter of devotion, right? We didn’t go into our relationship looking for something polyamorous or anything of that sort (I think we both want our relationship to remain monogamous). What I’m getting to, is I want to let my girlfriend find out who she is sexually, but I also… sorta don’t. I know that sounds terrible to say, but I don’t see how it would be any different for me to “explore” my sexuality and be with another woman. (I’m not saying I want to do that; I really do love my girlfriend to pieces) Should she get special privilege because she’s bi?
Sounds like you’re having a head/heart brainfuck.
Totally understandable. It’s a tricky situation you’re trying to handle here.
I’ve received several dozen emails in which you are whining about being alone on Valentine’s Day. Even though I already slammed this holiday a few weeks ago, you guys are practically *begging* me to do it again. ;)
1. Use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to acknowledge how fucking annoying PDA is when you’re feeling forever alone.
2. Laugh at all the people who spend a bunch of money on useless novelties to show they “love” someone. Clearly weed/booze is the way to go.
3. Use shared alone time to rekindle your bromance with your roommate.
4. Ponder why “happy couples” need a designated day to celebrate their relationship.
5. Remember: nothing says “romance” like an official holiday for mass fucking.
6. DON’T check up on your ex’s Facebook status. Just imagine they’re miserable too. Or happy. Whatever gets you off.
7. Speaking of which—definitely get off.
8. Enjoy the fact that you can have the same chocolates half off tomorrow.
9. Turn so-called “Single’s Awareness Day” from its negative connotation to positive. Embrace the joys of being able to kiss/cyber/makegooglyeyes/fuck at will.
10. Avoid romance movies/novels/television specials…unless they end in death or destruction–preferably both.
11. If you’re pity-partying over not getting any, remember most of us aren’t getting any either :|
12. There’s always mom.
I went to Safeway last night and was confronted with a huge, bright red Valentine’s display near the entry way. Cards, stuffed animals, balloons, chocolates, and a whole host of other useless red items obstructed my path.
Every year I experience the same emotions during Valentines.
First: “WTF is all this red? EYES HURTING.”
Second: “Wow, if this isn’t a pile of useless overly-priced shit, I don’t know what is!”
Third (usually around Feb 15th, when the shelves are depleted): “Oh. People actually buy this stuff.”
Valentine’s Day, like a bunch of other american holidays, seems like the most blatant corporate scam to get you to buy useless crap that I’ve ever seen. Yet…it works! Genius. For me, buying me some expensive chocolates that will buy me an extra 5 hours at the gym and a mass-produced teddy bear isn’t as cute as it was when I was younger. Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to celebrate love and sex, but why is it celebrated using such artificial means? How does this $20 plushie that you bought 5 minutes before coming over say anything about our relationship to each other? Yeah, I know, I sound like a cynical heartless bitch….but I promise I’m not ;)
What I mean is: if I’m going to be a forced cultural participant, show me you care every day of the year, not just the one where stores happen to have a number of obnoxious red displays. If you want Valentine’s Day to be extra special for the hell of it, then bring on a long day together of comfortable chatter and amazing sex. And hey, for people who are into “gifts”, why shouldn’t we get something we can BOTH enjoy? Oh baby. I see Valentine’s Day as merely a light-hearted excuse (not an exclusivity) to spend time together, to celebrate our connection, and make each other feel amazing in meaningful, lasting ways.
I’m not really a “movie” person. My friends have quoted movies nonstop for, well, apparently years. In my ignorance to movies, I always thought they were just really witty people. :P Last semester, however, at the recommend of a professor for class materials, I signed up for NetFlix. Now I see what everyone is talking about, this is a GREAT way to waste time! Thanks professor!
One of the types of movies I’ve been watching in my new world of motion picture is romantic films. Now, I’m not personally a romantic. In fact, intensely romantic things make me disturbed because I feel like the people are on drugs. But that in itself is the intrigue. When you think about it, for many (I would assume especially women) romance is packed right into the American Dream next to the white picket fence and 2.5 kids. We flood into movie theatres, book stores, and record stores to pick up all types of media that will surround us with the fulfilled dream of romantic love. There’s probably a little piece of all of us, even the cynics *ahem*, that find romance desirable. But what I’m wondering is, since so many people are chasing it, where are we getting ideas about what the perfect “romantic” relationship looks like?
Yup. You already know where I’m going with this. Romance is a heavily manufactured product, from it’s photoshopped face down to its autotuned voice. The creation of romance is generally heavily sexist and heterosexist. I invite you to think about popular icons of romance in movies, books, and music and to consider these themes:
-Always male/female pairings that are dogmatically monogamous
-Females: Passive, represented by culturally beautiful women, enamored and “completed” by their lover. Sacrifices dreams, passions, goals, and even family to please her mate or to be with him. Receptive to creepyish types of behaviors. Usually has some attribute that makes them “different” than the average woman. (She’s different usually in beauty, rarely brains…an exception is the case of “Madison” in Swimfan, but she ends up being a total creep. The demonization of independent, driven women is a common theme in romance. Wonder why. ;])
-Males: Large, square jawed, hard-working family men with a number of useful skills (building shit, fixing cars, killing rogue vampires, etc). Generally territorial of their mate. Does not require anything but her presence to be enamored. Is portrayed as being both hyper-aggressive and heart-warmingly sensitive. Often has done some “macho” shit in his past (like the army) and has money.
-Sex at the pivot of the relationship
*Note: Romantic COMEDIES are quite different. The roles are usually switched up a bit….because that’s deemed “funny”. Lol. Oh my.
So, it’s pretty clear, at least to me, that these images are everywhere. And because we feel powerful emotions, our ideas of romance and love often go unquestioned. So, that’s my question for you folks. Are these healthy ideas to be implanting in peoples’ heads about relationships and what romance looks like? Do the pros outweigh the cons? And, is a guy who watches you sleep being romantic or a total fucking creep? *Cough* I’m looking at you, Edward Cullen.
More on the construction of romance in the future. I look forward to hearing your ideas.