7 Common Myths About Sex and Relationship Bloggers

Today’s post was brought to you by Adam & Eve. All opinions, rants and raves are my own. 

After writing this blog for almost 3 years I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of people have some pretty weird (and often hilarious) ideas about what being a sex and relationship blogger is all about.

I’ll never forget the first time I met my friend Val in Toronto. We’d known each other for several months online via Twitter and our blogs before we met in person. When we discovered we were both going to be attending the same party, we decided it would be fun to meet up for a drink beforehand. After a few minutes of getting to know each other over drinks on the Drake patio, she said something like:

“You’re so sweet and normal looking”

Slightly taken aback, I laughed and said:

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know. You’re just not quite what I expected. I thought you’d be bigger”

“Bigger?”

“Curvier. I don’t know. I guess that’s the impression I got from your blog”

(I’m actually quite petite. When I told my boyfriend at the time about the size comment he said, “People assume that you’ll be bigger because you write big. It’s a good thing” Yes! I’ll take it! )

Val is a lovely person so we I ended up having a good laugh about this and have been friends ever since. However, this wouldn’t be the last time I heard someone say the words, “You seem so normal” upon meeting me for the first time. Since that experience, I’ve learned that a lot of people have pre-conceived notions about what someone who writes about sex and relationships should be like.

tina fey with typewriter

I know Tina's not a blogger. I just love this photo and wanted an excuse to use it.

Here’s a few of my favorites:

1. We should look a certain way:  I remember reading in BUST magazine an interview with a female sex blogger in who said one of the comments she’s received from people is “You don’t look hot enough to write about sex.” What do people think a sex blogger should look like?! People who write about sex come in all different shapes and sizes: curvy, flat chested, male, female and all different variations in between. There’s no one “norm” when it comes to human sexuality so why would there be when it comes to the people who write about it?

2. We sleep with everyone: I remember reading on City Girl’s blog about how her friend had overheard some women gossiping about her blog and one of them commented that because she writes about sex, she must have “slept with a 1000 guys” – a statement so far off from the truth, it’s comical. I think there is a reigning assumption that women who write about sex must be promiscuous by default. In my case, this also couldn’t be further from the truth. Although I definitely had my share of wild sexual escapades in my early 20’s, I just came out of a relationship where I was with the same person for 6 years and I now live with my mother. You do the math. Most of the sex I have these days is with myself.

3. We want to sleep with you too: Oh man. This is the one that bothers me the most as it directly ties in with #3. The most blatant example of this is an email I received from a reader a few years ago. In his message he mentioned that he also hangs out in a certain neighborhood of Toronto that I’ve mentioned in blog posts before and that if he ever saw me in the area he’d ask me if I’d like to go have sex with him “because it seems like I’m into that kind of thing.”  Right. Because openly discussing sex means I have no standards whatsoever. SO CREEPY.

4. We’re all really kinky: Some of us are. Some of us aren’t. YES I own sex toys. NO I am not renovating my garage to turn it into my very own sex dungeon (shoe storage facility maybe, dungeon no) . The more I read stuff written by other sex bloggers, the more I realize how un-kinky I really am. Sometimes it makes me feel weird because I feel like I have nothing to contribute to the conversation. This is probably why (with the exception of a few blogs) I tend to gravitate more towards personal and lifestyle blogs that aren’t necessarily about sex & dating. If you’re into whips and chains and being tied up, that’s cool. I’ll try almost anything once but kink has just never been my thing (or maybe I just haven’t discovered the kind of kink I am into.) If that makes me “vanilla” so be it.

5. We don’t live ordinary lives: Last year I tweeted something along the lines of “Six Feet Under Marathon + Good food + snuggling on the couch = The Perfect Weekend” and some guy responded, “Wow that sounds like a pretty boring weekend…FOR YOU”  which makes me wonder, what do people think I do on my weekends?! Honestly, I like my downtime. I enjoy hanging out with my cat and reading books. Sure, I have a fondness for bright colors and animal print but my life isn’t exactly a non-stop LMFAO video.

6. We’re all relationship/dating/sex experts: Maybe some of us are, but I’m certainly not and I find it humorous when people actually assume I am. About six months after I started writing this blog, I started to get emails from readers asking for advice. I once got an email from a reader confessing that he was unhappy in his marriage, was considering cheating on his wife and wanted to know what I thought he should do – an email that made me stare at my computer screen and say “Omg, I’m SO not equipped to deal with this” I don’t know how to fix your marriage, or whether you should call her, or what brand of butt plug you should use or the best place to meet hot guys. I’ll try my best to help you out but really it’s like the blind leading the blind here. I thought this was painfully obvious?

7. We’re always looking for “inspiration” and want you to tell us about all of your disturbing sex exploits: People seem to be very comfortable telling me stuff. A little too comfortable at times. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good story as much as the next person. For example, if you have a story about how you hooked up with _________ (insert name of D-List Hollywood actor) and he tried to pee on you in the shower, I want to know about it because I’m just nosy like that. However, some things are better kept to yourself. Like that time you hired a Russian hooker with your friends and then all took turns with her while everyone watched. No offense, but I don’t really need to know about that.

I can’t tell you how many times I have met guys who have said to me:

“Oh my god. Do I have a story for you! You’re totally going to want to blog about this!”

Then, they proceed to ear rape me with a nightmare inducing story that I’ll spend the next 4 days trying to block out of my mind forever and ever. This is exactly what happened last summer when I went out with a large group of friends for dinner. Amongst our group was a guy – we’ll call him “Steve” – that I had never met before. After dinner we all decided to head over to a local candy store to grab some of their homemade ice-cream that they are famous for. While standing next to a giant display of Pez dispensers, Steve says to me:

“So, I hear you blog about sex. Boy, do I have a story for you. You’re probably going to want to blog about this!”

(annnnnd here we go again!)

He then launches into an extremely graphic story about about the first time he had sex with a girl while she was on her period.

IN A CANDY STORE.

WITH CHILDREN AND PARENTS WITHIN EARSHOT.

IT WAS THE WORST THING EVER.

8. We want to talk about sex all the time:  Although I’ll happily ramble on about vibrators ad nauseam, I could just as easily spend hours talking about music, books, fashion or even social justice issues. It’s so easy when you write about sex to come off as one sided and scare people off in the process. I’m a storyteller by nature. As I told my BiSC roomie Grace before me met, I write about sex & relationships because it’s easy for me and I have fun doing it. If I was really good at styling my own outfits or cooking my own food, I’d have a blog focused on those things but I don’t.

9. We’re going to blog about you:  Obviously I can’t speak for everyone, but there is a lot I don’t write about. There’s something to be said about keeping certain things to yourself and that means respecting the privacy of people I get involved with. With that said, if you do something completely ridiculous like tell people that we slept together when it never happened or try and pick me up in the camping aisle of Walmart – I’m sorry, but I’m totally going to write about you.

When people make these kinds of wacky assumptions, I just try and laugh it off, taking pleasure in the fact that they don’t know my deep dark secret: my life is actually kind of boring.

Do you feel like people assume certain things about you based on your blog or profession?

Things I Would Tell my 20-Year Old Self #9 – Doniree

It’s time for another episode of Things I Would Tell My 20-Year Old Self. Today’s post is brought to you by Doniree of doniree.com | champagne with breakfast and living with intention. I recently got a chance to hang out with Doni at Bloggers in Sin City last month. Although we met last year at #BiSC, sometimes it’s hard when you’re at an event like that to get one on one time with everyone. I’m really glad that we got to spend a bit more time together this year. One word to describe Doni: inspiring. She runs her own business, does Yoga, takes gorgeous photographs and is an all around superstar blogger. Oh, and she has magical pink hair! I’m so happy that she agreed to share some of the advice she’d give her younger self. I hope you enjoy reading her post as much as I did!

To mix things up a bit, today you can find me over at Doni’s other blog, Nomadic Foodie, blogging about all my favorite places to eat in Victoria, BC. Enjoy!

20-year old Doni meets 29-year old Doni.

You don’t need all that shit.

No, seriously. You’ve got too much stuff, you’re a pack-rat, it’s time to let go of THINGS. You’re going to move all of your stuff NINE times (including two short stints while in between homes) in the next decade. At 29, you’re going to look back on this and roll your eyes at all of the STUFF you were holding onto. Actually, at 29, you’re going to look around your current living situation and roll your eyes at all the stuff you still have. Let it go. Your sense of wanderlust is going to take a strong hold in your life pretty soon, and it’d be so much easier if you just had fewer things.

Take better care of your body.

Or at least just realize that this energy and metabolism isn’t going to last forever. I know you hit the gym sometimes, but hit the gym more. Pay attention to where your food comes from and what’s in it. Pasta Roni is NOT real food. You have zero idea right now what kale actually is, but I wish you did. Stop being so lazy about brushing your teeth. All of your self-employment dreams are going to come true one day, which has the unfortunate side effect of NOT coming with amazing dental insurance. You’ll kick yourself for this one later, but your future dentist says thanks for the poolhouse she just built thanks to the money you’ll pay her in 2011 to fix your dirty mouth. Gross.

PUT DOWN THE CREDIT CARDS.

Just. Put them down. All of them. One would’ve been fine, but you don’t need FIVE, you don’t need to buy a DVD player with one of those five, and you definitely don’t need ones for Express and Victoria’s Secret. Step away from those applications.

Let go of the puppy love.

I know you don’t want to because we’re talking about a high school/college crush, and it’s cute, and it’s like, your first “real” relationship. (“Real” is debatable since you spent more time trying to be who you thought he wanted you to be instead of being yourself, but that’s a whole other story). Trust me. You’ll meet a guy soon enough that will take your mind off of him long enough to move you forward. He won’t be the right person, though. Neither will the next person you meet (and she’ll straight up tell you so). Something like three quarters of a decade later, you’ll finally start to understand enough about who you are (and who you want to be) that you’ll be able to make better decisions about who to date.

Oh, you don’t know what to do with your life? THAT’S OKAY.

Between age 20 and 29, you will be and/or have been: a full-time merchandise manager for a professional salon and cosmetics shop, a benefits specialist in the HR department for Target’s corporate offices, a broadcast and online media buyer at one of the oldest advertising agencies in the country, a struggling freelancer completely drunk off of the newfound freedom of setting your own schedule, a getting-by freelancer completely overwhelmed by the ability to set your own schedule, a community manager, a blogger, a blogger-networker, a brand ambassador, a social media strategist, an SEO copywriter, a prolific (or OK, a frequent) tweeter, and an addicted jet-setter.

By the time you’re 29, you’ll FINALLY have started your own business and thus will begin an entirely new era of making shit up figuring shit out.

Understand that Alfred Kinsey piqued your interest this year for good reason.

Sexuality is fluid. Well, ast least yours is, and it’s ok if that’s your truth and not someone else’s. Embrace it. Just because it’s black and white for others doesn’t mean it will be for you. This is going to be a tricky one, dear. While on the one hand you know, you’re not going to really understand what that means for you, your identity, or your prospective dating pool until you get a little older.

Oh, and it will get worse (or at least, overwhelmingly confusing) before it gets better. Your late-20’s self is going to want to time travel back to 2003 and tell you to figure this one out now, for heaven’s sake, but you won’t listen. It’s ok though, because it will get better. You know how to build a support network, and you’re totally going to have that in place when you really go through it later. And you’re going to count your blessings for compassionate friends and a supportive partner in the process.

You’re really going to do some amazing things.

No, really. I know you don’t know this right now, at 20, because you don’t really know who you are yet. You’re kind of a chameleon, easily adapting from one situation to the next, but never really understanding who YOU are and what unique things you bring to the table. It’ll take you years to finally uncover this, but you’ll eventually start to learn. Sometime around age 29 you’re going to learn what a honeybadger is, and why that little rodent really does have it all figured out.

In your late 20’s, you’re going to embrace your love of loud colors (and go back to dying your hair hot pink the way you did in high school), you’re going to stop censoring yourself because you’re afraid something you say might sounds “silly.” You’re going to say things. People are going to laugh with you, agree with you, disagree with you, challenge you, and respect you. Open your mouth. Say what you think. It won’t hurt.

That blog you started on a whim this year? Oh, honey. That’s going to take you places. Over the next nine years, you’re going to quit your job to start your own business, move across the country twice, go for hot air balloon rides, play in apple orchards, eat some of the best food in the country, and visit places like Traverse City, Wenatchee, Reno, and Snoqualmie because of your blog. That same blog is going to introduce you to some of the most mind-blowingly smart and inspiring people all across the world, and you’re going to be lucky enough to call them your friends.

So, date the wrong people (even the good ones in there won’t be able to keep up with you), keep writing those blog posts, daydream your heart out about living out of a suitcase sometimes, pay attention to the people you meet along the way, and go ahead — wear the neon, even if no one else is. Turns out it makes a comeback in 2012, just like you do.

Doniree Walker blogs at doniree.com | champagne with breakfast and living with intention. She is the proud new owner of Eff Yeah Media, a social media consulting services business in Portland, Oregon. In her free time she takes a lot of pictures (mostly of food) and lives to find the balance between happy hour and yoga. You can find her in 140 characters or less @doniree.

 What advice would you give your younger self?

Things I Would Tell my 20-Year Old Self #8 – Casey

Greetings from Las Vegas!

 

As we speak, I’m probably trying to slow dance with a fake palm tree at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville after a few too many of their signature “Lucky Ritas” …in other words, I’m in no condition to blog. Luckily my friend Casey has stepped up to the plate to provide you guys with another installment of “Things I Would Tell my 20-Year Old Self” while I’m off galavanting around Vegas with a bunch of crazy bloggers. This guest post is a special one because I’ve actually known Casey since I was 20! Back in the day when Ja Rule still dominated the airwaves, puffy jackets were in style and we were both angst ridden 20-somethings, Casey and I connected on Livejournal & he became one of my first online friends. Living in Toronto, we eventually progressed to “real life friends.” Casey is funny, creative and one of the best guys I know. I hope you enjoy his post!

Take it away Casey!

Who is Casey Palmer in 2012?

Not even 30 yet, I can see a huge difference between Casey today and Casey 2003. I’ve done things that I couldn’t even dream of — I got married, own a home, and we’re looking at the possibility of having kids — if you even brought this kind of stuff up to me at 20, I’d look at you like you were completely insane.

But we learn a lot over the years, and I’d say what I’m sure you’ve all said at least once:

“If I knew then what I know now…”

When I was 20, back when Simone and I were still kickin’ it on LiveJournal, my life was a very different story. Insecure, self-defeating and finding himself a small fish in the university sea after having been a big fish in his high school pond, Casey 2003 needed some work.

With that in mind, Simone’s given me the chance to think about the advice I’ll go back to give my 20-year old self when I eventually get the chance….

YOU ARE NOT BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE

You’re a pretty cocky little kid, man. You need to get off of your high horse and take that stick out of your ass ASAP. You might think you’re so smart, but there’re plenty of people who’re great at the things you suck at.

And trust me — it’s a lengthy list!

The thing that’s going to make your life a lot easier to live is humility — know your worth, but don’t go around wearing it like a crown, lording it over everyone else. You too will make mistakes. You’re nowhere near perfect.

Lesson #1: Love yourself in spite of it anyway.

YOU’RE LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES

You know, if you spent less time moaning that everyone else is having more sex than you and more time noticing how many women around you would actually be willing to give you a shot, I swear — you could’ve gotten laid by 16. No word of a lie

Yeah… you really need to start loving yourself. You’re an awesome guy, but you’ll never know it if you keep listening to the people around you. Lots of people care about you and want to see you do well — you just need to have a sense of self-worth first. Stop obsessing over the wrong girls, stop running away when women show interest, stop sacrificing yourself for people who don’t appreciate it, and just figure out who you are and what you’re all about. Everything falls into place after that.

WOMEN AREN’T SCARY

Well, not as scary as you seem to think they are, anyway. Approaching someone showing a little interest won’t kill you, and just because you date someone, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be with them from now until enternity. Give these girls a chance! And while you won’t regret it all later, the sooner you man up in life, the better.

JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN BUY IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT YOU SHOULD

You’re going to do a lot of stupid things with your money. A ton. You need to smarten up.

Now, I’m not trying to tell you to start budgeting or to get smarter with WHERE you put your money — no, resign yourself to the fact that you’ll always suck at budgeting. What I’m saying is that you just need to buy smarter. A few tips:

Don’t bother spending all that money on a Discman or any other MP3 player; the iPod — and Apple with it — will run shit in the future. Jump on board now. (Get a Mac and some Apple , Inc. stock while you’re at it.)

If you’re going to insist on taking photos, just save up for an SLR and be done with it. All the money you’re going to blow on cameras would be better spent on some high-quality lenses and a sweet SLR body. You’re eventually going to do it anyway — might as well do it right.FAMILY MATTERS.

And last, but of course not least…

BUY APPLE

Take all the money you have and invest it in Apple stock. You’ll thank me in 2012!

For more Casey please visit his blog or follow him on Twitter @DoomzTOTo read the rest of the “Things I Would Tell my 20-Year Old Self” series please go here!

 

What advice would you give your 20-year old self? 

Count Social Engagements, not Calories.

This post was sponsored by The Fresh Diet. As always, all opinions and details about my slightly disturbing Mexican take-out addiction, are my own.

When it comes to “cooking for one” I  have a love/hate relationship.

The upside to eating single:

I can eat WHATEVER I want.

The downside:

I can eat WHATEVER I want.

Although I usually start off with good intentions (cooking healthy meals for one that involve grilled tilapia, quinoa and hearty spinach & kale salads) I inevitably burn out, get super busy and reach this slightly depraved point where 90% of my meals start to involve ketchup in some way.

It’s not that I don’t like cooking or healthy food, it’s a time issue for me. I’m a really messy cook. So, when I have an article due the next morning or an event to get to that night, I’ll often choose Mexican take-out versus the “Omg, it looks like a bunch of 8th graders just had a food fight in here” style clean-up that usually comes along with one of my culinary experiments. One of my ultimate fantasies is to one day have my very own personal chef. To be able to live single and not have to worry about any of this stuff would be the ultimate luxury for me.

Now enter The Fresh Diet. If you’re living single and the concept of “cooking for one” has also lead you to being on a first name basis with Javier the guy who works at your local tacqueria, The Fresh Diet is here to save the day. The Fresh Diet is a gourmet meal delivery service designed to manage your culinary needs so you can manage your social calendar. The Fresh Diet includes 3 calorie controlled meals and decadent snacks, which are cooked fresh in state of the art local kitchens and delivered to your door daily. The Fresh Diet is the easiest  way to get fresh, nutritionally balanced meals with no fuss or clean-up. In other words, it’s kind of like a dream come true.

While I’m in Toronto next week, I’m going to be super busy packing, moving things & visiting as many people as possible. The last thing I want to be worrying about is food. The amazing news is that the awesome people at Fresh Diet have offered to provide me with a free 7 day trial of their gourmet meal delivery service! Having my meals delivered to my door every day is going to be almost like having my own personal chef. The best part? They are adjusting my diet so it’s all gluten free. I’m going to eat the Fresh Diet and let you guys know what I think!

Here’s an example of the kind of sexy meals I’ll be eating:

Almond Honey Bar with Yogurt (Yum!)

 

Roasted Poblano Omelette with Pico de Gallo (This looks delicious. I think Javier would approve)

Blackened Ahi Tuna Filet (I heart blackened seafood anything)

All of these meals are things I would normally eat & none of them appear to involve ketchup! Yay!

Because the Fresh Diet is calorie controlled, it can help you lose up to 10lbs a month (they say the average weight loss is 1-3 lbs per week.) The Fresh Diet is great for people who are looking to slim down by eating healthy (when my friend Skye tried The Fresh Diet she lost a few pounds so, I know they aren’t kidding around here!) However, as someone who’s already very petite (& looking to hang on to the few curves she has) AND has a disturbingly large appetite for someone her size, I’m both curious and slightly apprehensive about how this diet will work out for me. Will the portions be satisfying? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Check back the first week of April when I report on my Fresh Diet experience!

If you’re interested in trying the Fresh Diet yourself, Skinny Dip readers will receive 3 days free with the purchase of a 31 day plan at $29.99 per day when you use the promo code singlmar29

Have any of you ever tried a service like this before? What did you think?

 

What Do You Really, REALLY Want?

If the title of this post sounds a bit like a Spice Girls song it’s because I’ve had “Wannabe” stuck in my head for a week. Do you remember the Spice Girls? As far as pop groups go, they were pretty cool. They were all about “Girl Power” & taking control of your life while in perilously high platform sneakers. Anyways…

I’ve learned over the past few months that in order to fully take control of your life you need to listen to yourself. Slow down, tune in and listen. What do you really want? What is your heart telling you to do?

After the big break-up at the end of October, I came to BC to stay with my parents. I arrived on November 15th with the plan to stay for 6 weeks and return after Christmas. As you’ve probably noticed from my posts: I’M STILL HERE. Oh and it’s what…March?! Sometimes things just don’t go as planned.

While I’ve been here I’ve spent many evenings sitting at the kitchen table, pouring out my heart to my Mom, trying to figure out what to do next. Really, I was just afraid to listen to what I really wanted. Because listening to what you really want can lead to making big decisions and taking risks which, while exciting, can also be scary. When I finally “tuned in”  and really listened to my heart, this is what it said loud and clear:

{I love this photo via GalaDarling.com}

I don’t want to be in Toronto.

If I really wanted to be there, I would have gone back months ago.

So what do I really, really want?

I want to write.

I want to travel.

I want to be somewhere peaceful.

I want to spend more time with my family & watching my best-friend’s daughter (who recently started calling me “Auntie Mone”) grow up.

These are the things I want. Right now.

The reality is, it’s easier to make these things happen if I am in BC. In theory, I could go back to Toronto and do all the things I feel like people expect me to do (get another well paying job in communications, work hard for an expensive apartment, interact in the large social circle I’ve spent 12 years building up, date, settle down) but I know if I did, it wouldn’t be long before I’d end up feeling just as restless and frustrated as I did before. So, I’m taking a break from Toronto. I know I’m going to miss my friends and the city but, at the same time I’m relieved to have a change of pace. It’s not for forever, it’s just what I need right now.

I’m going back to Toronto later this week for 1o days to visit & put my things in storage. Then, I’m a free agent! No attachments or commitments other than a storage locker. Adventures, here I come!

It’s funny, deep down I know this is what I wanted for a very long time. I’m glad I finally had the courage to tune in.

By the way, if you know me in real life and this is the first time you’re hearing of this, I apologize. I tried to email everyone individually but there has just been a lot of details to organize and if I missed you, I’m sorry. Please feel free to email me if you have questions! xox

What do you really, really want?

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