On Love That Doesn’t Last

I thought about relationship longevity when my college boyfriend asked me to stop wearing antiperspirant with aluminum in it.

“It can give you breast cancer,” he said, “and you already have a family history of breast cancer, so you’re especially at risk. You should switch to one without aluminum. Please.”

I ran a quick risk-reward calculation in my head. Possible eventual breast cancer, in a medical system that knows how to treat it and will do so at no cost to me, versus a few decades of visibly sweaty pits. It seemed to me it was a risk worth taking. Plus there was that other matter… “I probably wouldn’t even get the cancer until my forties or fifties,” I responded, reasonably.

“So?”

“So why do you care? We probably won’t even know each other by then.” My words hung in the air. We peered at each other curiously. A stand-off.

“I care about you and don’t want you to get cancer,” he said, finally, answering exactly zero of the questions I’d implied.

I thought about relationship longevity when a friend asked me if I’d be with my boyfriend forever, and I scoffed, “God, no.”

She was shocked. “But you two always seem so happy! Is something wrong? Are you going to break up?”

I laughed. I couldn’t help it. “No! We’re very happy. I love him a ton. He’s my favorite person on earth.”

I watched the confusion stagnate on her face.

How do you explain to someone that love can be good even if it’s brief, in a culture that adamantly steers us away from that knowledge? How do you prove that what makes you happy now won’t make you happy forever, nor should it have to? How do you unlearn the trope that love’s only love if it lasts?

I thought about relationship longevity when one of the kids on the improv team I coached made a Facebook status: “I love my girlfriend sooooo much and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her!” He couldn’t have been more than 15 years old.

Was it cynicism that made me roll my eyes, or just realism?

I cast my mind back to when I was 15. I thought I was in love with the purple-haired girl who’d recently dumped me. She was my first girlfriend, my first kiss, and my first break-up – yet I believed with my whole heart that she was irreplaceable, unrepeatable. I could marry that girl, I wrote in my journal, and it felt true, and maybe it was true; who knows.

When friends asked me why I was so fixated on this girl, the point I returned to again and again was: I could never get bored of her. Our conversations were so sharp and quick, our brains so well-matched, that we could debate and joke and argue forever and every moment would feel fresh.

Now her purple hair is black, and her eyes are sadder, and I can see that our hearts were as bad a pair as our brains were a good one. She wanted adventure; I wanted domesticity. She wanted independence; I wanted reliance. Sure, she never would have bored me, but I’m not sure that’s an altogether good thing.

I thought about relationship longevity when I met Bex. No friendship had ever formed so easily, quickly and solidly in my entire life. One day in November 2015, we were casual acquaintances who vaguely knew each other from Twitter and a bloggers’ retreat. The next day, we had had a threesome together, talked about sex and dating and flirting for hours, and become best friends. “Friendship cemented!” we crowed at each other over mac and cheese, and it wasn’t a joke.

If Bex had been a romantic interest of mine, instead of just a pal, friends would have told me to slow down. They would have said, “Whoa, that person drove nine hours to be with you on New Year’s Eve? Isn’t that a little intense?” They would have said, “You’re staying in that person’s house for five days and they’re letting you borrow their dildos? Isn’t it a little soon for that?” They would have said, “Hang on, you’re starting a podcast together? How do you know you won’t get into a fight and break up?”

But none of it scared me. None of it felt uncomfortable or rushed or ill-advised. Because I just knew. I knew we were meant to find each other in this weird world, I knew we were best friends in the truest sense of that phrase, and I knew we would be friends for a long time.

Sometimes you just know.


Wearing his shirt.

I thought about relationship longevity when I first met my current friend-with-benefits – because I wanted us to never be apart, and I don’t think he knew what he wanted.

Our first meeting was dazzling and disorienting. He talked about himself a lot but every word charmed and fascinated me. We talked for three or four hours over beer (me) and wine (him) and it felt like no time at all. I could’ve listened to him talk all night. And I would’ve, too, if he hadn’t gotten tired and wanted to say goodnight.

As is my M.O. as a shy person, I hadn’t opened up enough for him to see the real me – so he didn’t know we were meant to be friends. He showed me both his outsides and his insides, but he only saw my outsides, so he didn’t know our insides matched. He didn’t hear the jokes that cropped up in my head seconds before he made them, the emotional reactions that crossed my heart before they crossed his face.

When I went home and journaled my first impressions of him that night, I wanted to call him “the twin of my soul,” but that felt melodramatic, embarrassing, even in the privacy of my diary. That phrase floated around in my skull every time I saw him thereafter, though. Did you know you’re the twin of my soul? I thought but never asked.

It took months for me to relax around him, so it took months for him to see who I really was. But when he did, he knew too, I think. “I get the sense that you and I are going to be in each other’s lives for a long time,” he said to me once, slowly, as we sipped coffee at a diner. Harsh afternoon light filtered in behind him, and I shielded my eyes, but couldn’t conceal the grin that split my face. Finally, he understood. The twin of my soul.

50 Things To Do When You’re Single on Valentine’s Day

It’s taken me a long time to get here, but I think, at this point in my life, I actually find Valentine’s Day more fun when I’m single than when I’m dating someone.

See, when you’re in a relationship, the dreaded V-Day can feel like an obligation. But when you’re single, it’s an invitation. An invitation to step up your self-love and look for the potential fun in the day. Here are 50 suggestions for how to do that…

Take yourself out for dinner at your favorite restaurant. Make a reservation if you want; you’ll probably need one. Solo dinners out are a scary thing to do on any ol’ day, let alone one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants, but this is exactly the kind of self-love challenge Valentine’s is perfect for. Bring a book to read or your journal to write in, order your favorite dish, and revel in your own company!

Alternatively, order your favorite takeout and eat it someplace cozy. Your best friend’s living room. A blanket fort constructed in your own bed. A secret hideout you happen to know about on your local university’s campus. All of these are excellent places to eat delicious food, alone or with a friend.

Re-read your favorite book from when you were a teenager. The twists and turns of a familiar plot are so comforting in their predictability. And you may get a visceral glimpse at that idealistic kid you used to be, and how you can be more like them now.

Go out with your single friends. A bar, a movie, a party, an impromptu scavenger hunt… It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as you’re with people who make you laugh and feel like you belong.

Do a witchy love ceremony, whatever that happens to mean to you. For me, it’d probably involve meditating in a pink bubble bath while clutching pieces of rose quartz, slithering into a pink negligée, slicking on some red lipstick, and yawping some loving affirmations at my beautiful reflection in the mirror. What kind of romantic magic feels most needed and nourishing to you now?

Soak in warm water, whether that means your bathtub or a local heated pool or a friend’s hot tub. Pondersome soaks relax the body and allow the mind to wander. Bonus points if you pull an Oprah and accessorize your bath with scented candles, a glass of wine, a bath pillow, or whatever other little luxuries bliss you out.

Masturbate elaborately. Use as many toys as you want. Make as much noise as you reasonably and pleasurably can. Do all the things you can to yourself that you wish partners would do to you.

Choose a quality you miss about one of your exes and figure out how to embody that quality yourself. I often wish I was as funny as some of my exes; I could work on that by upping my comedy podcast intake and learning a few good jokes to tell! If you admired well-read exes, check a few new books out of the library. If you miss an ex’s kind, supportive heart, look for ways to support and help a friend today. You get the picture.

Write a love letter to a future partner. I love any mental exercise that helps me focus on what I want without making me feel bad about not having it yet, and this is one such exercise. Tell your future lover all the places you want to take them, the stories you can’t wait to tell them, the things they should know if they plan to love you. Let yourself get excited by the knowledge that there are so many hot, interesting people out there with tons of love to give, and some of them will give it to you.

Try something drastically different with your look. Sometimes a new makeup technique, clothing silhouette, hair color, or tattoo can be just the thing to remind you of what a babe you are.

Take a nap while cuddling something – a pet, a stuffed animal, a friend who consents to cuddles. Hell, I’ve even cuddled my Magic Wand before. A mid-day nap is such a lovely gift to give yourself.

Do an at-home spa routine. Yes, even if you are not normally the type of person who does stuff like this. You can give yourself a manicure (with clear nail polish, if you insist), slather on a face mask, soak and pumice your poor neglected feet, or just moisturize your entire body. Anything that makes you feel nourished and cute.

Journal about your feelings. Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to check in with yourself about your attitudes, beliefs, and hopes around relationships and sex. Sit somewhere cozy with your journal and pen (or a writing-centric web app, if you prefer), and ask yourself: how are you feeling about being single? What would you like your next relationship to be like? What do you need to work on or do differently to make that possible? What have you learned from your past relationships? How important is sex to you? What kind of sex do you wish you were having? Dig deep and follow the feelings that come up. Afterward, you’ll feel better and clearer.

Watch your favorite rom-coms. My recommendations: Hysteria (vibrators! science! a flustered Hugh Dancy!), Just My Luck (so stupid, and yet, Chris Pine is charming in it), High Fidelity (John Cusack’s snobbish mopeyness is counterbalanced by Jack Black’s silliness and it’s wonderful). Bonus points if you yell at the TV every time something sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. happens, or if you devise an (alcohol-optional) drinking game to go along with the movie.

Watch dramatic romantic tragedies. Okay, comedies are great, but sometimes you just need to have a cathartic cry. Try The NotebookTitanicThe Great Gatsby, or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Settle in with a box of tissues and some comforting snacks and get ready to weep.

Invite some friends over and take turns dramatically reading dating-themed articles aloud. Cosmo and Glamour are excellent source material for this activity. Sometimes mocking the silliness of dating can make you feel better about your singlehood.

Do a Tinder experiment. Look, I’m not saying the people browsing Tinder on Valentine’s Day will be the cream of the crop, but that’s not the point. Change your profile or your approach, for science, and see what happens. Some examples: Change your first photo to a picture of you winking and see if it affects the messages you get. Instantly delete any messages that don’t specifically reference your profile, and only respond to the ones that do. Put a line in your bio that asks matches to tell you the funniest joke they’ve recently heard.

Write or read fanfiction about your favorite pairing. Yes, even if you’ve never delved into fanfic before. It’s fun! It’s also a way to get into a romantic headspace without stressing yourself out about your own romantic situation. If you’re not sure where to start, look up some of your favorite movies, books, or TV shows on Archive of Our Own and see what’s out there.

Finally get rid of your ex’s stuff. You know, those old T-shirts they left behind, stuffed animals they gave you, framed pictures of the two of you together, and so on. Only keep these things if they actually “spark joy“; otherwise, donate ’em or toss ’em. You’ll feel better without that psychic clutter clouding up your space and your brain.

Get extremely high. If intoxicants are your jam, that is. Choose something that’ll perk you up rather than drag you down (so, if weed is your substance of choice, probably a sativa strain). Then do whatever High-You wants to do: eat delicious snacks, lie in bed watching that show you love and have seen six times already, masturbate furiously, or just ponder the universe.

Visit a sex shop and pick something out, even if it’s just a small thing like a bottle of good lube, an erotic novel, or a pair of nipple clamps. Be pleasant to the salespeople; they are probably overwhelmed by desperate, haggard customers making last-minute purchases, and you being sweet and reasonable could brighten their busy day!

Listen to your favorite music. Really get into it. Maybe wail along to Elliott Smith by candlelight, or have a dance party with your dog to the dulcet tones of Walk the Moon. Listening to music is a visceral, often joyful experience, and is actually good for your brain, so this is a good thing to do any day of the year but especially on a day when you need a lift!

Try on clothes that make you feel babely as hell. You can go to the mall to do this, or shop your own closet, or peruse a friend’s wardrobe (with their permission, obviously!). It’s amazing how much good lingerie/shapely dresses/sharp-lookin’ blazers can tune up your self-image sometimes.

Engage in a platonic sexual activity, if you have a friend you’d like to do this with who would enthusiastically consent to such things. I have been known to spank and be spanked by my friends, cuddle and kiss ’em, and sometimes even masturbate side-by-side. It’s a way to find some intimacy and sensual pleasure even when the societally sanctioned avenues for those things (i.e. romantic relationships) are not immediately available to you.

Go to a local cultural event, like a gallery show, a theatrical production, or a stand-up comedy night. Bring a friend, if you like.

Hire a sex worker, if you can afford to. This could be a really lovely treat to give yourself today.

Contact someone who might be lonely today – your widowed aunt, your recently-dumped friend, or anyone else you know who’s going through a tough time. Chat with them and try to inject a little cheer into their day.

Dress up and take selfies. I am particularly partial to pink-and-red outfits on Valentine’s Day. They make me feel romantic and adorable. Bonus points for plentiful heart-shaped accessories!

Make yourself an elaborate, nutritious, comforting meal. It feels good to put effort into taking care of yourself and then feel that effort reflected back at you in the form of increased energy and overall well-being. Some of my favorite meals to cook for myself include risotto, steamed broccoli, and pasta salad.

Work toward one of your goals you’ve been putting off. Write some of that book proposal you’ve been meaning to get to, set up that Etsy store you’ve been hoping to start, research that city you’ve been wanting to move to… When you put time into what you want to achieve, you feel so good and accomplished, and that feeling is a great gift to give yourself on this day.

Re-read your old journals/blog entries/emails, etc. This can be a charming way to spend some time with your younger self. And when you reflect on how you used to be, it can make you feel grateful for how far you’ve come.

Tidy and reorganize your space – your whole house, or just the room you spend the most time in, depending on how much ambition and freedom you have! – so it contains fewer things that stress you out and more things that make you smile.

Go to the movies. If being alone in public at a certified “date activity” makes you anxious, a movie theatre is one of the better options you could choose, because you’ll be swathed in darkness so few people (if any) will even notice you’re by yourself. Ideally, pick a movie that appeals to your inner quirkiness so deeply that you probably couldn’t even drag a date along if you tried. Revel in the weirdness of your own tastes!

Write love letters to your friends, whether publicly on social media, or privately via email, or even in the form of a literal (snail-mail) letter. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of love, right? So celebrate the love in your life.

Tell someone you admire that you admire them. Email that indie musician who fills your earbuds with glee on the regs, leave a comment on a blog that lights you up, compliment that bookstore employee who knows everything about everything whenever you ask them for help. Spread some love and happiness around!

Clean your selfie mirror. (Idea via Durga Polashi.) Selfies are an expression of, and sometimes a boon for, our self-love and self-acceptance. You owe it to yourself to have a squeaky-clean mirror that helps you capture yourself in all your glory!

Imagine what your heroes would do if they were single on Valentine’s Day, and then carry a little of their flair and panache into your day as well. I suspect Jane Lane would order a pizza and watch bad TV with her bestie, Alex Franzen would hole up with a mug of tea and write sexy fiction all day, Rosa Diaz would drink whiskey at a biker bar and make out with a scruffy leather-clad stranger, and Sara Quin would obsessively write and re-write a quirky new song until it was both catchy and devastating. What would your heroes do?

Donate money to a cause you believe in, like you’re giving a Valentine’s Day gift but your “valentine” is good nonprofits doing good work. Some recommendations that are especially important in our current political climate: the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. (More options here and here.)

Declutter your digital systems, as a favor to yourself. Go through your hard drive, Google Drive, or Dropbox, and delete some shit you don’t need. Run a virus scan and/or a defrag. Organize files into folders. Ahhh. Doesn’t that feel better?

Give yourself a long, slow genital massage without the expectation of orgasm. Think of it as an experiment in pleasure and mindfulness. (Coconut oil and natural oil-based lubes are great for this!)

Teach yourself a new skill with the help of the internet. Few things make me feel more accomplished than learning to do something new! Think of some things you’ve always wished you knew how to do – leather boot care, page layouts in InDesign, spelling in sign language? – and get thee to Google, stat.

Get clear about your “hard yeses and hard nos” for future partners. It’s good to have a list like this to refer to when you’re in the throes of infatuation with someone new, to make sure your beau is actually aligned with what you want and need. My hard-yes list says, “Feminist, makes me laugh, thinks I’m funny, at least as smart as me, libido and kinks roughly equivalent to mine, vocally enthusiastic and optimistic, creative in some way(s), socially competent, loves and supports my blog/writing.” My hard-no list says, “Doesn’t believe in oppression/privilege/racism, etc., noticeably not as smart as me, humorless, low or no libido, negative/jugmental/pessimistic, anger issues, wants only monogamy now/ever, toxically masculine, staunchly religious.” What would yours look like?

Go on a mini creative retreat. This can be as simple as turning off your phone, closing your social media tabs, and choosing to focus on one beloved creative project for an entire afternoon – or it can be as elaborate as booking an Airbnb in another town for a few days to work on your passion in an unfamiliar environment. What a blissful gift to give yourself!

Spend an hour or two in a bookstore or library. Preferably one with ample seating, and which lets you bring in your hot beverage of choice to sip while you peruse and read. I can imagine few things cozier than an afternoon at Indigo or Glad Day, flipping through glorious tomes over coffee.

Cull your social media lists. Unfollow the people whose tweets add no value to your life, and unfriend the people who make you feel stressed out or indifferent. Life is too short and too precious to fill it (even just digitally) with people who add no brightness to your days, or actively sap your emotional reserves.

Put together a file of the best compliments you’ve ever received. I’ve done this for years, in various forms: I have a “flattery” folder in my Gmail account, a list of meticulously copied-down compliments in a notebook, and sometimes I document my best compliments in tweets or Tumblr posts. It’s a fantastic favor to do for yourself, because on days when your mood and self-worth are frighteningly low, you can refer to your compliment file and remind yourself (even just theoretically) of your value. If you need help building up your collection o’ compliments, ask your ten closest friends and family members what they think your three best qualities are (and then tell them theirs!).

Bedazzle or jazz up something you use regularly. Plaster your journal in sparkly stickers, put some cute pictures on your fridge, give your desk a new paint job, etc. You deserve beauty and comfort in your life!

Stay offline. Unhappiness often stems from comparing your insides to other people’s outsides (to paraphrase Anne Lamott), and social media facilitates this bad habit all the damn time. Valentine’s Day is a day when we’re particularly susceptible to envying other people’s situations, so maybe avoid the internet (or just social media) today, to the extent that you can. While I don’t begrudge anyone who finds comfort and joy in their online life (I certainly do!), sometimes taking an internet break can be affirming and recalibrating.

Use your body in ways you normally don’t. Yoga, stretching, sports, swimming, walking, running, hula-hooping, dancing, having an orgasm in a ridiculous athletic position… Challenge your body and see what it can do.

Give yourself permission to do nothing, if you want to. You are inherently valuable and loveable, regardless of what you do or don’t do on Valentine’s Day or any other day. Don’t forget that, babe.

 

How are you spending Valentine’s? Tell me all about it in the comments!

12 Days of Girly Juice: 5 Sex-Positive Superheroes

I’ve been avoiding writing this post, because… it feels weird to single out just five people who affected my life in the sex-positive realm this year. There are so many of you, and all of you affect me in different and important ways. The world is full of badass sex educators, brilliant sex bloggers, and magnificent sex mentors. It was so, so hard to choose just five!

That said, it also wasn’t hard, once I sat down to really think about it. These are the five people whose contributions to my sex-positive endeavors meant the most to me this year. I’d love to know who your sex heroes were in 2015!

 

Sophie Delancey

Sophie had a really tough year. She had a series of strokes early in 2015 that affected her mobility, eyesight, voice, sensation, and – yes – sexuality.

I haven’t known Sophie that long, but for the entire time I’ve known her, what I’ve admired most about her is her tenacity and how hard she works – all while managing to stay sweet and positive. She held onto those qualities even in the face of extreme adversity, and that is absolutely astonishing to me.

When I did the Miracle Worker course earlier this year, one of the exercises was to reflect on whose career makes you jealous, and why. Sophie was one of the names I wrote down (along with Piph – see below), because her work spans multiple mediums in sexuality and seems fascinating and fulfilling. She’s always busy and always hustlin’, and I admire the hell out of that.

Here’s sincerely hoping for a better 2016 for Sophie – she deserves it!

 

Samantha Fraser

Samantha is the brains, brawn and beauty behind the Playground Conference. If you were there and (like me) had a fantastic time socializing, learning, and laughing, you owe all of that to Samantha. She worked tirelessly to make the conference happen and has done so for the past five years – and it’s paid off, in the form of an event that everyone loves.

Along with Sophie, Samantha also runs Tell Me Something Good, a local sexy storytelling event (more on that in my next post, which is all about events!). Obviously, she is a master community-builder, and that is a remarkable and rare skill.

I recently started reading Samantha’s book on ethical non-monogamy, Not Your Mother’s Playground, and it’s made me reflect on how much I owe to the polyamorous role models in my life, Samantha included. I can’t imagine viewing poly life as a viable choice for myself without the influence of those people, telling and showing me it’s okay if monogamy doesn’t feel right for me. Samantha’s contributions to Toronto’s vibrant sex-positive community are huge and shouldn’t be underestimated!

 

Stoya

I don’t have a lot to say about this situation, because it pretty much speaks for itself. Stoya spoke out publicly about James Deen raping her, and this admission triggered an avalanche of similar revelations in the industry. She is singlehandedly responsible for toppling an insidious industry giant, and she should be revered for her bravery forever.

 

Epiphora

2015 was the year when Epiphora transformed from my far-away hero into my real-life friend – but, let’s face it: she’s still a hero of mine.

It was Piph’s blog that made me first want to start this one, way back in 2012. She widened my purview of what a blog could be, what sex toys could do, and what women are “allowed” to say about our own masturbation and sexuality. She’s one of my favorite writers in the whole world and certainly the funniest and most thorough sex toy reviewer on the entire internet.

Piph also deserves props for helping – by which I mean, forcing – me to move my blog from Tumblr to self-hosted WordPress this year. “Your blog is too good for Tumblr,” she said to me the very first night I met her, over mac and cheese and red wine. “You need to buy hosting. Like, now.” I had always been apprehensive about doing this because of my lack of back-end blog knowledge, but Piph saved the day: she got me a terrific deal on hosting, set everything up for me, and helped me with countless coding quandaries in the months to come. This blog would be nothing without her.

Piph is amazingly strong and outspoken, and she taught me a number of lessons along those lines in 2015: “Never apologize.” “Always get paid before you do the work.” “Believe in your vagina.” She’s like the cool, tech-savvy older sister I never had – who just happens to own more than 500 sex toys.

 

Bex

Welp. Let’s see if I can write this without crying…

I met Bex at the sex bloggers’ retreat she helped plan in Oregon this past June. Prior to that trip, she and I weren’t all that familiar with each other’s blogs – but as we got to know each other in Oregon and in the months that followed, it became abundantly clear that we are #SexBrainTwins. Seriously, I can’t even count the number of times that we’ve stumbled upon a similarity in our kinks, desires, or experiences, and shouted at each other, “TWINS!!”  or “WE’RE THE SAME!!”

We get anxious about a lot of the same things, but we each have a nurturing, supportive streak that means we’re able to talk each other down in times of anxiety. I owe a lot of my sexual and romantic success this year to Bex, because whenever I wonder “Does [boy] really like me?!” or “Should I ask him out?!” or “Am I actually worthy of desire?!” my friend Bex is always there to remind me of my inherent value, and to calm my nerves.

We even had a threesome together with a cute boy we both like, and it wasn’t weird at all. Our relationship is platonic, but also not. “We have sex near each other, not with each other,” I remarked to her recently, while staying at her house, where I masturbated in front of her, spanked her, and told her what a babe she is, without any of that feeling strange.

Bex is one of the most organized, prepared, patient people I know. I never tire of talking about sex with her, but let’s be real: we could probably talk about anything and make each other giggle hysterically. She understands me and she also punderstands me. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful friend.

 

Thanks so much to all the sex-positive people I communed with in 2015, not just these five. I love you all and you add so much value and joy to my life on a daily basis. ♥

My First Threesome Was a Smash Success

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On Friday night I cracked open a fortune cookie and it told me my life is becoming more of an adventure… in bed. I didn’t give this prediction much thought, because, you know, it came from a fortune cookie.

But then, the next night, I had my first threesome, so maybe the cookie was onto something.

 

I have a beautiful, blonde, effervescent friend who I’ve known for almost 10 years. We met through Livejournal and bonded over a shared dorky enthusiasm for musical theatre. As it happened, we both ended up running in the same sex-positive feminist circles as we got older, so we’ve been reconnecting recently after a long period of mostly being casual-pals-from-afar.

She invited me over for what we thought was going to be a quiet night: dinner, conversation, and “Netflix and chill” in the literal sense. But then we went a little hard on the wine, some clothes came off, and we got into some slutty chats with her rowdy roommate… One thing led to another, and it was decided we should go out. My friend gave me a cute dress and jacket to wear, and we put on some sky-high heels and headed out to a loud underground bar.

She and I got to talking about a dapper dom guy we both know and have both banged, and we agreed (half-jokingly, except completely-seriously) that we should have a three-way with him someday. I am standing on the precipice of having a full-on Slut Phase and my blondie pal had agreed to be my mentor in this endeavor – my Slut Sherpa, or the Dumblewhore to my Ron Sleazy, if you will – and orchestrating a threesome seemed like a great way to kick that off.

When I get tipsy, I get flirty and text-happy, so of course we notified our mutual bang-buddy of our plan, not really expecting him to take us seriously. But, y’know, we’re foxy babes with feminine wiles, so he agreed pretty quick. “That’s a lot of babe for one dude,” he texted, to which I replied: “I think you can handle it.”

He met us at the bar and we cabbed back to his place. We talked for a long while, and did that tipsy thing where you all giggle over Facebook photos of your exes, and the boy let me borrow a pair of his socks because my feet were cold (quel gentleman). And then we migrated to the bed and cuddled a bunch. And boobs were (consensually) shoved into faces, and then she started giving him a blowjob while I kissed him… which I wish I’d been more alert/sober for, honestly, because holy shit, it was the logical next step in my blowjob porn obsession. Hnnnggg.

It’s often hard for me to remember the order of events in sex with just two people, because bodies blur together and pleasure makes brains into mush… so with three people, obviously this problem is exacerbated. Plus, when cute people are doing pleasurable things to me, my eyes tend to drift closed, making it hard to follow the action. But I do remember a cock in my hand, and mouths on my nipples, and a hand rubbing me through my panties, and fingers in my mouth, and a hand on my throat, and my tits being slapped, and and and… smiling-face-with-heart-shaped-eyes

Eventually my beautiful friend took off my panties and started going down on me. She had already displayed her blowjob prowess earlier in the night and now she was proving her cunnilingual skills too. I don’t know if you have ever had the experience of knowing someone platonically for a long-ass time and then having sex with them, but… wow. It is eye-opening and strange and fantastic.

If our threesome was a porn scene, what happened next would’ve been the centrepiece shot: he started fucking her from behind while she continued licking and finger-fucking me. His thrusts reverberated through her body so I could feel their impact too, so it was like he was fucking both of us. Ummm, yes.

I can’t remember too clearly but I think we wrapped things up with him coming in her mouth while I dozed beside them. (I am a sleepy person and had had a lot to drink, okay?!) And then we cuddled some more, and checked in with each other about our feeeeelings, and it was niiiice.

Afterwards, the boy asked me, “How many threesomes have you had before?” and I sleepily held up my hand in an “O” shape and said, “This many.” And then probably grinned like an idiot.
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When we got up to put our clothes back on, I found that my friend had neatly folded my underwear and the dress she’d let me borrow, and had put them in a pile for me. (Perfect sex partner etiquette.) We kissed our gentleman-pal goodbye and walked to the subway station together. She took this photo of me on the platform, and it sums up the whole evening pretty well: dishevelled post-sex hair, cute dress and jacket borrowed from her, warm boy-socks borrowed from him, red wedge heels I’d switched out for flats, and a goofy, sleepy smile on my face.

Shortly after this photo was taken, a random guy came up to us and asked us how our night had been. We burst out laughing, and my lovely amiga told him we’d “cemented our friendship” that night. He kept pressing us for details, and I don’t know if it was because I was tipsy or tired or just bursting to share the news with someone, but eventually I told him, “We just had a threesome with a guy we’ve both banged before.” The dude’s eyes practically fell out of his head, and we just laughed.

 

How to Celebrate your Breakupiversary

Holy shit, y’all: as of today, it’s been an entire year since the end of my last, longest relationship. It’s cliché, but it really feels like so much more time has passed than actually has. My reality has shifted, my identity has transformed. I am very much no longer that girl who blubbered her way through a break-up speech after months upon months of waffling.

However, not being sad about a break-up anymore doesn’t mean it completely fades into the history of your life. The anniversary of a relationship ending can still feel momentous and significant. I’m sentimental and I like to celebrate milestones as they pass, if just because it encourages personal growth. So here are some ways you could celebrate your “breakupiversary” if you feel like you want to…

Invite friends. Make it an event.

Your friends probably saw you through the break-up and the relationship itself. They remember how it affected you, what it meant to you. So they’re the perfect people to help you laugh about it, forget it, and move on from it.

Most of the suggestions below can be accomplished just as well with friends as they could if you were alone. How fun it would it be to put together an itinerary for a break-up party and email a detailed invitation to your nearest and dearest? The event could even have a dress code, like all black (for mourning), all bright colors (for optimism), or “wear something your ex hated.” Amazing!

Ceremonially destroy something.

The traditional way to do this is by burning: you could make a bonfire for the destruction of old letters and photos, or you could get witchy like Gala and burn that shit in a miniature cauldron.

If burning isn’t feasible for you, because it’s illegal, dangerous, or just unappealing, there are other ways to destroy old mementos. You could tear them up and throw them away, stomp on them, toss them in a body of water (if they’re biodegradable), or run them through a shredder. You could use them as the basis for an art journal spread, or shove the remnants into the bottom of a planter that you then fill with soil and a seedling, as a symbolic gesture that you’re movin’ on up.

Replace something that reminds you of your ex.

I know you have some object in your house that, every time it catches your eye, takes you to a dark place, even if it’s just for a second. It could be a perfume that smells like your first date, a stuffed animal your ex won for you at a carnival, or a sleep shirt you “accidentally” stole from him when the relationship ended.

Whatever it is, you should find a decent – better, in fact – replacement for that thing. Ideally, bring a friend or two on the shopping expedition when you do this, so there will be fun and funny memories attached to your new acquisition from the get-go.

Make a list of reasons your current life is better than it was during that past relationship.

I bet you can come up with like a zillion reasons.

Put on an angry/triumphant/sweet-ass playlist.

8Tracks has some good break-up ones. They might be a bit mopey for this celebratory occasion, though. “Emotionally Intense ’90s Women” is my favorite playlist for when I feel like being ridiculous and angry (thank you to the friend who turned me onto this playlist when my cat died and I just needed to scream along to Alanis). Anything that ignites that “hell hath no fury like a woman[/man/non-binary person] scorned” feeling in your gut is a good pick.

Dig out old journals and read them dramatically.

If your friends aren’t around for this part, hop on Periscope and do it there. You really need some kind of audience for this one (although, admittedly, I have spent many an afternoon re-reading my old journals by myself and absolutely guffawing over how silly past-me was).

If you’re in a boozy mood, you can make this into a drinking game. You know what your patterns are in relationships, so you’re best equipped to create the rules of your own game. But, for me, I’d probably take a shot every time I used the word “compatible,” wrote about a sex session in greater-than-necessary detail, or complained about a problem that could have been solved by better communication. Yawn. (Boozin’ aside, though: laughing at old diary entries is one of the best-ever ways to turn a sad situation into a funny one. You’ll feel so much lighter once you’ve cackled at your own misery.)

Have sex.

So many options! You could stay in and have sex with yourself. You could get it on with your current partner, if you have one, and reflect on what a better sexual match they are for you than your ex was. You could get your ass on OkCupid or Tinder and find a hookup for the night, and use that stranger-wang/stranger-tang to exorcise your break-up demons. You could finally ask out that cute friend of yours for whom you’ve had the hots for ages. You could sign up for a cam site and jerk off for horny randos (this is especially effective if your ex would have hated you doing this).

We all move on from break-ups at different paces. If you – like me until recently – have been stuck in a dry spell since your relationship ended, it might be enormously healing for you to get back out there and get laid. It’s kind of one of those “you won’t learn to swim until someone pushes you into the pool” situations, except you have to be the person to push yourself into that pool. The confidence you gain from even one decent fuck will help propel you forward into more. Break-ups can decimate your self-image, but there are ways to deal with that, and sex is a fabulous one.

Dream up an ideal partner.

Grab a big sheet of paper. At the top, write a phrase that stirs romantic feelings in your heart, like “DREAM LOVER” or “MR. SO SO RIGHT” or “BANG-BUDDY EXTRAORDINAIRE.”

Then make a list of all the qualities that matter to you in a partner. They can be physical, mental, emotional. They can be hobbies and activities that person would love, interests they’d have, goals and ambitions that’d be on their bucket list. You can refer to pieces of celebrities and exes you particularly like: “Jack Black’s sense of humor,” “Emma Stone’s smile,” “high school girlfriend’s confidence,” “college boyfriend’s nerdiness.” If you’re artistically inclined, you can draw or collage some imagery into this spread, to amp up the lovey feelings you get when you look at it.

Now look over your whole page and let the feelings well up in you. Imagine how it would actually feel to meet that person, to flirt with them, kiss them, fuck them, hold their hand in public, laugh hysterically with them, cry on their shoulder, fall asleep in their arms. Let those images feel real and seem attainable – because they are attainable and they will be real, my love.

Whether you believe this type of visualization makes magic or just feels good, the fact remains: you need to convince yourself of your inherent value, and of your ability to attract better and better relationships into your life. I think visualizing your dream partner would be an amaaaazing way to cap off a breakupiversary party, because it would set your sights on the future – right where you oughta be looking.

 

Have you ever celebrated or commemorated the anniversary of a break-up? How did you do it?