• Five things that are way sexier in movies than they are in real life, in no particular order.

    13

    Personally, I kind of think movies (and television) are ruining us for real-life interactions with actual people. Despite how often Hollywood may try to think that they’re giving you “real people” characters, they’re just not. And now it’s all so much a part of our lives that I think we’ve almost forgotten how to be real people and interact with other real people. Nowhere is this more true than the sexy time.

    And so I give you, in my opinion, five things that are way sexier in the movies than they are in real life:

    Affairs: In the movies, everyone is always wearing matching underwear and getting it on in a beautiful hotel suite. That’s just not how it works. In real life, they are messy and usually take place in closets and hallways and cars and stuff.

    Sex: In the movies, well, we usually only see the end anyway, but no one ever sweats or does anything clumsy. In real life, sex is sweaty and sometimes you bump heads or laugh or cough in the other person’s mouth. Maybe they should make a movie based around my sex life. I’m one clumsy bitch.

    Long Hair: In the movies, women almost always have long hair and it’s never in their faces or anyone else’s. You know, because it’s someone’s JOB to keep it that way. In real life, long hair is in my face, your face, my mouth, your mouth, and I’ve probably just shed it all over the bed and the couch. I still like having longer hair, but man, can it be a pain in the ass.

    Big Romantic Gestures: In the movies, these are always awesome and sweet and perfect. No one is worried about money or someone saying no or the whole thing just being one big, cheesy mess. In real life, no one can afford to do nor coordinate the level of BIG ROMANTIC GESTURE you see in the movies. Plus, anything you can think to do, they’ve probably already done in the movies, so then you’re just a big copy cat. Take out the trash when you say you will. That? Is more romantic than you know.

    The Beach: In the movies, beaches are the PLACE for the romance. People splash in the water and make out on the sand and have sex on blankets that are magically sand free. In real life? Sand sucks, man. Seriously. It gets in all your crevices and it won’t go away. I’d only have sex on a beach if I was in the market for some vaginal exfoliation. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ocean. Hate the sand. Could we just make the shore out of some sort of wet suit material? Then I will happily have sex on the beach, and not just the drink.

  • The one where I point out that someone summed up how I feel about something better than I could. And she did it with a Jersey Shore reference. Crap.

    22

    I’m going to wait here while you go read this post by CityGal, a blog I’ll confess, I had never read before last week.

    Finished? Okay, so yeah…

    This pretty much sums up how I feel. And how I’ve felt about the whole marriage thing for quite a while, aside from my many other feelings about the efficacy of marriage as a social construct or legal institution. This is purely me, as a single woman. Minus the whole “Jersey Shore” thing. I’ll admit to watching four episodes out of train-wreck like interest, but I couldn’t stomach more than that.

    But this “shirt before the shirt” concept is an interesting one. I actually remember the day when, “but you’re just so much…fun!” started to sound like an insult, rather than a compliment. And really, it’s not about marriage. I have no desire to get married.

    What it IS about, though, is someone saying, “You. I want to be with you, even when things aren’t fun. Even when you’re in a bad mood or upset or sad. I want to be with you because of exactly who you are…but yeah, you could be a little less sarcastic at me, okay?”

    I’m just trying to be realistic.

    Being the girl who’s “a lot of fun” is great, for a while. I’m sort of tired of it now, though. I think I’ve been trying to make myself less fun, actually, in an effort to escape this bullshit. With one exception, pretty much everyone I’ve dated for any length of time has married or moved in with (quickly) the next woman he dated. It’s starting to feel like the plot of a really bad chick flick. Didn’t they make something like this with…Dane Cook? See? My life, reduced to a movie starring DANE COOK. That’s not good, people.

    I can’t be anything but myself, though. It’s just that “myself” is pretty complicated. As, I imagine, are most people.

    What is it about me, though, that screams “shirt before the shirt”? Why is it that married men are drawn to me like cats to catnip? To be fair, men who cling to me like Saran Wrap scare the ever-loving crap out of me, but there must be a happy medium, right?

    RIGHT?

    Someone asked me not too long ago why I’m not married. My reply? “I’m not marriage material.” I’m really not. I’m strong-willed and opinionated and sarcastic and funny. I probably won’t do your laundry or have dinner on the table by 6:00 every night. I’m unlikely to be waiting for you in heels and pretty dress with a martini, all fixed up after my hard day of vacuuming. I have dreams and goals and aspirations. Most of all, I don’t need you, whoever you are.

    I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking, but Shine, not all marriages have to be that way. Plenty of smart, funny, strong women get married. And I won’t argue with you. But in my experience (at least in the place where I live) the people who find marriage to be important? They subscribe to much more stereotypically traditional gender roles. Moreover, most people, whether they admit it or not, in my experience, really like to feel needed (to a point). I’m unlikely to make anyone feel that way, unless I’ve lost my mind. It happened once, sort of, and it wasn’t pretty.

    Plus, I just think marriage is a ridiculous idea. I even think I won @newslacker over at dinner last night. He’s basically the only person who ever agrees with me about any of this stuff (and he’s every bit as cynical as I am), but he’s still sort of on the marriage train. And he’s done it before, so he has no excuse. To those of you out there who are happily married: Congratulations! I’m happy for you. But I don’t think it works for everyone and I think as a concept, it’s outdated and a little silly. As a romantic gesture? I totally get it. As a business contract (which, legally, it is), though, it doesn’t make any logical sense. Especially if you don’t want to have children, which I don’t.

    So because I don’t think marriage is important, am I forever doomed to be the shirt before the shirt? If you’re looking to meet the woman you’ll marry or live with or whatever, feel free to date me for a while. You’ll probably find her immediately.

  • Balance

    7

    For a really long time, my life has been way off balance. It’s been off balance for so long, in fact, that off balance feels natural and normal. Off balance is a comfort.

    Lately, I’ve been trying to find more balance. It actually all started with finally being a mature individual with a budget.

    I’ve kept a clean apartment, so it’s not a mad dash to pick things up when someone is coming over. Also, it’s just nice to come home to a clean apartment. I never really knew this would make such a difference, but it’s incredible how awesome it is to get into a bed that’s made. Walking into a closet full of clean clothes on, all on hangers, is also really nice.

    I’ve been trying to eat better, though so far I haven’t made many changes. Which is why I’ve decided to go vegan again on September 1st. This time I’m going to try it for two months, instead of one. Since I’ve been so successful at forming new cleaning habits (so far), I’m hoping that this will help me establish some new eating habits.

    If someone could get me to the gym, that would be great. I miss rock climbing, but I’ve decided to find something more martial arts/self-defense related for now. I loved Jiu Jitsu when I took it last summer. It’s expensive, but probably worth it. This time, though, I’d like to start with something that’s straight up self-defense. I can’t wait to get back to the climbing wall, though. I just need to get myself in a bit better shape. Feeling strong, physically, is very important right now. And I don’t feel strong.

    Relationships, as always, have been the hardest for me. Finding a balance in relationships with friends and family is more difficult than I thought. Adding other people into the mix just complicates things. I usually have a lot trouble with family, much to my mother’s dismay. I can’t seem to explain to her the WHY, though. A couple of week’s ago, we had lunch, because I wanted to talk to her about the trouble I’ve been having with this whole “selling myself as a writer” thing. During lunch, I got the requisite lecture about how “distant” I am with family and about how she wishes my sister and I were closer. “Because, at the end of the day, family is all you have.”

    I hate that statement. It’s just not even true. Plus, I love my sister and I would absolutely be there for her if she needed me (which…she just doesn’t). I just don’t really feel the need to talk to her everyday (not to mention she never bothers to return phone calls or emails, which makes me less inclined to even bother). We don’t have very much in common, and honestly, it’s just easier and less stressful if we don’t talk a lot. And my conservative Christian grandparents? Yeah, I just…can’t. My Nana is probably the most self-absorbed person on the planet; my Pops, while sweet, comes with a side of Nana. Also, we don’t agree on anything, so it’s hard to make conversation. Which just means that for the entirety of the interaction, I feel uncomfortable and on-edge.

    My dad’s parents are easier, but they live in Tennessee. The older I get, though, the harder it is to sit around and take the lectures about conservative politics and the evil homosexual agenda. I’m expected to respect them and their beliefs (and to hold my tongue), while they hold no respect for me or mine, simply because they’re older. It’s a concept I find difficult, to say the least. So rather than put myself in the position of being uncomfortable, I just avoid the situation as much as possible.

    Friends should be easier, because you get to choose your friends. That hasn’t really been the case for me lately, though. Let’s just say, this is a work in progress.

    As for more intimate or romantic relationships, this is where I struggle the most. As a person with a very strong sense of self, I know I have to make some compromises, if I’m ever going to let myself get close to someone again. But I don’t want to lose myself or put myself on the back-burner, either. I do that too easily, mostly because I know that I’m strong and I’m tough and I will be okay. The truth is, though, I won’t be okay if I lose myself to be with someone else. My problem is striking a balance between knowing when to hold my ground and when it’s okay to compromise. It can’t be my way or the highway, but it can’t be “whatever you need,” either.

    At the end of my last long(ish) relationship, I came up with a list of ways I had felt in that relationship that I will never feel in a relationship again. These are, as they say, the deal-breakers. The things are the list on broad enough in concept that they can be applied to any relationship, with any other human.

    Rather than make a list of the qualities I want to find in a partner (as in that atrocious Hallmark movie I watched last night), I think this is a healthy thing to do at the end of a relationship. Particularly one that ended poorly. This is simply a list of warning signs. If I feel this way because of someone else’s actions or words again, I will hopefully be much more likely to walk away.

  • It’s Friday, we should break up – Cotton Balls*.

    4

    Okay, @DysFuncJunc , I’m really sorry. I know this is probably going to break your heart. However, I will still say “cotton balls” and I will still giggle every time.

    Cotton balls (hehe) kind of freak me out, though. I don’t like the noise they make when I squish them. I don’t like that they’re not food. They really seem like they’d be tasty. They’re not.

    And now, I have my choice of cotton squares or cotton rounds. They can be textured or not. They probably come in colors. I’m secretly hoping for flavors, but so far, no luck on that front.

    Who needs a lowly cotton ball any more? They shed and they’re too small and I don’t really like the way they look in the container on my bathroom counter.

    It’s been fun, cotton balls, and I will still giggle every time I think of you, but I think we’re finished. I’m going with the ever versatile cotton round, from now on. Textured on one side, smooth on the other, the cotton round really knows how to make me happy. It really knows what I need in life.

    It’s not me, cotton balls, it’s you.

    *Basically I just wanted to see how many times I could legitimately say “cotton balls” in one post, in an effort to make @DysFuncJunc and @GingerMandy pee their pants from the giggles. Squish mitten!

  • Remember when your little black panties were enough?

    12

    Disclaimer: No, this has nothing to do with my date last weekend, in case any of you try to jump to that conclusion. I started writing this several months ago and forgot about it.

    I remember the days when all it took were five little words: “I’m not wearing any underwear.” I fear those days are gone, my friends.

    Sex these days is like a three-ring circus. Or at least, it sounds that way. My suspicion is that sex actually hasn’t changed all that much, just the way we talk about it. But the fact remains that there is so much porn now, with people doing things that…well, that I probably don’t even want to do. And the sex toys. Wow. I mean, not that I’m against a good sex toy. I think we all know I’m not.

    It’s weird, though. Maybe I’m just crazy, but it doesn’t seem that the expectations of men in the bedroom have really changed all that much. Show up, well equipped, all engines firing, and you know, get the job done. Women, however, are now supposed to be up for anything. It’s like an actual game of Hide the Salami, only apparently now, we’re expected to let you hide it anywhere. And while you’re hiding it, we should be gymnasts who are open to the idea of having sex with a woman (if that strikes your fancy) and don’t mind dressing up like your third grade teacher and giving you a spanking all the while making you feel like the king of the castle manly man.

    It wears me out. What happened to regular ol’ sex? Which, by the way, was really good.

    I don’t want to swing from a chandelier, dressed like Catwoman, while I regale you with my fantasies of making it with the toaster oven, but of course I’ve never done any of this before because you, you’re the only man I ever want to touch.

    PLEASE.

    Actually, in my life, I’ve mostly only dated simple guys (long-term). Guys who were happy with a girl in some cotton panties and a T-shirt. Guys who, if I tried to wear anything that might be considered fancy (we’re talking more than three hooks, people), would look at me and say, “Seriously. Take that off, it’s ridiculous.” And of course, I never had SEX with any of them. Hi, Aunt Kim.

    For most of my life, the only thing I’ve really been confident about was sex. Again, not that I’ve had any. Hi, Mom.

    These days, though, sexy feels cheap. Okay, plus, I SUCK at being sexy. Like in any sort of obvious way. I’m much more likely to giggle and fall on my face than be actual sexy. But sex was the one place I always felt I owned.

    NOT in a wetsuit, with five of my girlfriends and a trout, waiting to be shot in the eye with man juice.

    Just sex. The good old fashioned kind. Without a movie set full of props.

    I’m just not sure how I feel about it any more. Mostly, I feel like because sex has never been some hugely emotional thing for me, I’ve had a fairly casual attitude about it. Not that I’ve had a lot of it. I mean, you know, because I’ve never had sex and all that. Hey, sister’s boyfriend.

    This is getting awkward. So I’m going to shut up and just say this:

    Men? When did sex become this big production? Do you guys all feel like this, or is it more talk from the peanut gallery than anything else? Is just sex good enough? Should I keep my little black panties, or shall I wear a French Maid costume permanently under my clothes? Do you feel like women have crazy expectations of what you’re willing to do during sex, too?

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