You mean it really IS all Cuddling and no Sex?


I got so wrapped up in the lingering excitement of Canada’s Gold Medal Hockey on Sunday night that I forgot to get excited about something else…


MY DATING COLUMN ON 20-SOMETHING.CA LAUNCHED!

My very first column is published and ready for you to read HERE.

This has been a long time in the making so I’m really happy that its finally up. I hope you enjoy it!

So, now that I have one column under my belt, I’ve been bugging my friends for ideas for my next article.The other day, my friend emailed me a link to CUDDLE PARTY.COM with a note saying “you should totally blog about this!”. Have you heard of “Cuddle Parties”? Yeah, neither have I.

Someone I shared the link with described the concept perfectly as “The exact opposite of a Fight Club” . That pretty much sums it up. Cuddleparty.com says that they offer a A structured, safe workshop on boundaries, communication, intimacy and affection. A drug and alcohol-free way to meet fascinating people in a relaxing environment. A laboratory where you can experiment with what makes you feel safe and feel good.” From what I was able to gather from the website the parties involve a lot of hugging, “non-sexual touching”, “puppy piling” and you get to wear your pajamas (in the daytime!!). I feel like this is just BEGGING, CRYING OUT to be under-cover blogged about. Oh to be a fly on that wall. As much as I enjoy wearing pajamas as much as possible (really hideously ridiculous ones, covered in giant polka dots or polar bears–in the privacy of my own home) I don’t think I could make it through one of these parties. The whole touching strangers/having strangers touch me thing kind of terrifies me.

I was reading through the “Cuddlemonials” (I WISH I could make this stuff up) and here are a few of the key words/phrases people have used to describe the parties:“addictive”, “freedom” “less inhibited” “intimacy” “fascinating people” “warm place” “giving and receiving comfortably” “people piling on top of each other”. Oh yeah this sounds kind of familiar: throw in some guy in wide leg pants massaging your shoulders, some heavy bass and a couple tabs of MDMA and you have… a RAVE! (or the back Patio of The Barn on Church St. Wow, have I seen some things that I shouldn’t have there–mostly of the “giving and receiving comfortably” variety. Yowza). Even at the height of my reckless partying days I always avoided the strange circles of massaging masses. Even while totally loaded, it always seemed kind of creepy to me. Any kind of “connecting” I did in those days was always behind closed doors and usually involved one (or two) preferably very hot people. I figure if touching strangers was too much even when wasted, its best not to attempt it sober.

If you’re interested in leading a Cuddle Party, you can become a fascilitator. Yeah, that’s something to add to the resume: “John really spearheaded the Corporate Merger…and he’s also great at facilitating non-sexual touching”. HIRED! And apparently things really don’t get sexual at these events. In the FAQ’s there is a whole section that discusses how to handle erections, should they “pop up” during the party. I have this image of a tie-dye wearing, new age-y facilitator quietly pulling aside the poor guy and saying “Its perfectly natural. Just imagine Betty White naked. That’s what I do every time I need to kill the mood”

With that said, I can’t help but wonder if these parties are the result of all that stuff I was talking about in my article: that in our accelerated, technology driven society we are becoming increasingly disconnected from each other to the point where people are so desperate for human connections that they are willing to give up prime Saturday afternoon brunching hours & $40 to hug strangers.

Luckily, I haven’t reached that point yet. Sorry, this girl will not be attending the next G-rated orgy.

(And if I do, trust me you’ll hear about it.)

What do guys think? Would you consider cuddling with strangers?
How far would you go for a great story/blog entry?

Has my love for the Muppets caused me to me to make Bad Dating Choices?

Another thing that you probably don’t know about me is that I am a big Muppets fan. Like, freakishly big. Since I was a kid I’ve probably seen “Muppets Take Manhattan” at least 55 times (did I mention I know all the songs by heart?). I still have my felt Kermit the Frog doll (a relic from my childhood) that up until a few years ago I still kept in my bedroom. Every time I see something green and fuzzy my heart kind of goes aflutter with nostalgia. I can’t help it. Over the years I’ve learned to keep my love for the Muppets under wraps because let’s face it–its NOT COOL. I’ve also learned that boys and Muppets don’t mix. If you’ve slept with me in the past ten years there was probably this moment, like when you first came over to my house where I rushed inside my apartement “to tidy up” before I lead you to my bedroom. My house is usually pretty spotless so most likely I was in the bedroom grabbing the Kermit doll (and anything else potentially embrassing) and stashing it in the closet. I learned to never leave Kermit out in plain sight after I dated this one dude who used to like to pose Kermit in indecent positions. I’d leave the room, come back and find Kermit touching himself or humping my furniture, and the dude laughing hysterically. This guy was 35. (And people always asked me why we broke up…)

{The photo on the left was taken a few years ago after my friend & I stumbled across this shirt @ an outlet mall. She wouldn’t let me buy it. Friends don’t let friends buy hideous souvenir t-shirts}

Aside from my pervy ex who liked to do indulge in some Kermit Sutra, I’ve never really made much of a connection between my love for the Muppets and my love life. That was until last weekend when BF handed me a page from the Globe & Mail and said “YOU NEED TO READ THIS SIMONE”.

The article was about Julie Klausner’s new book “I Don’t Care About Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux Sensitive Hipsters and Other Guys I’ve Dated”. Klausner, a comedian and former writer for Saturday night live says that she spent most of her twenties “taking dating cues from Miss Piggy, chasing every would-be Kermit in my vicinity with porcine voracity.” In her book she says that she sees bits of Kermit in all of the men she dated. Men “who gave in to her pushy advances but ultimately preferred hanging out with friends and pursuing their own projects, just like Kermit did on The Muppet Show“. When she watched “The Muppet Movie” as adult Klausner said that Kermit reminded her of the “vintage-eyeglass-frame-wearing guys … who pedal along avenues in between band practice and drinks with friends, sans attachment, oblivious to the impending hazards of reality and adulthood”All of this sounds strangely…familiar.

In my twenties, did I date “Kermits”?

OH, HELL YES.

In my early twenties I was starstruck. I deliberately went after guys who had this “star quality”: beautiful boys with big personalities who loved being the center of attention (this explains why I dated a lot [wannabe] struggling actors, musicians and models]. I thought I was fabulous and therefore deserved to be with someone equally as fabulous & glamorous. However, I eventually realized that there was only room for one under the spotlight.

Most of these guys were more interested in playing their guitars, hanging out with their friends, snowboarding or having movie marathons with their gay neighbour (don’t ask) than they were in dating me. But did that stop me? NO!
Their apparent “resistance” just made me try harder. In true Miss Piggy style I THREW myself at these guys. You might even say I was “aggressive”. I seduced guys in their dorm rooms. I pushed boys into the Men’s room at Element Bar for impromptu make out sesssions. I lured a guy I was attracted away from the party we were attending, to a dark corner just to show him what kind of underwear I was wearing. For all my efforts & aggressive hook-up strategies none of these entaglements ever really ammounted to much. Often the guys went running in the opposite direction.

My favorite example of a “Kermit guy” is this guy I dated in 3rd year university. He was tall, thin, & attractive in an emo-boy Topher Grace kind of way. He was an “aspiring poet”. He always seemed kind of pre-occupied which I mistook as a sign that he was in deep intellectual thought –really I think he was just distracted and probably not that into me. We’d been dating for about 3 months. I really wanted him to like me as much as I liked him. For his birthday I decided to cook him an amazing birthday dinner. I made all of my favorite Eastern European home cooking dishes: stuffed Hungarian peppers, perogies, fried Kolbassa, Latkas, saurkraut. I bought a new dress & new scandalous lingerie. I thought surely that all of this would impress him and he’d see just how awesome I really was.

What happened when he came over was pretty much the opposite: He picked at his food, staring distractedly at the TV. When I saw that dinner wasn’t going to happen, I stradled him and initiated a make-out session. Mid-makeout session I asked him coyly if he wanted to see a private show of my new lingerie purchases. His response was “You shouldn’t squander all of your money on such silly stuff Simone”. He pushed me off. Before I could muster up a reply his phone rang. A few seconds later he said:

“Zack has tickets to the new Star Wars. He’s been waiting in line for 13 hours. Gotta go”

(HUH?)

A few minutes later he was out the door. I was left feeling like an idiot in a brand new dress, some pretty fucking hot lingerie and enough food to feed a former Soviet Union Satellite country.*

Ok, so this guy was a bit of a doofus. But overall, the guys I dated during this period aren’t to be blamed here. At the time I was all about MOI MOI MOI. I wanted so desperately to love and be loved that I ignored a lot of the signals these guys were giving me. Instead, I projected all my crazy hopes and expectations for the relationship on to them. If I had only listened to what they were really telling me and paid attention to their actions, I might have seen that they just didn’t like me enough.

Knowing what I know now, I think Miss Piggy had it all wrong. I think if she (like me) had taken a step back she would have seen she was just pursuing the wrong kind of dude. She’s a strong woman (hello karate chops!) with killer fashion sense (she rocks purple satin gloves like nobody’s business!). That’s a whole lotta woman for any guy to handle, let alone a frog. I can’t help but wonder, if she had held out longer she might have found someone who could handle all of her fabulosity (Rolf? The Swedish Chef maybe?). I DID. He’s more of a Fozzy Bear type: loveable, loyal to a fault and tells lots of corny jokes (and some good dirty ones. I like those best). And even when I’m at my most Miss Piggiest: demanding, dramatic, over the top, he loves me just as is. That’s all anyone can ask for right? WOCKA WOCKA.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Pillow Talk

Mmmm BED. My favorite place! That’s where I am right now. I just came back from dinner and now I’m snuggled in bed, wearing my goofy polka dot flannel pajamas and it feels awesome.

I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all the people who have left comments for me, emailed me, followed me on Twitter & joined the Skinny Dip Facebook fan page over the past week and a half. Its been really cool hearing from/connecting with everyone. My comment system is a bit wacky so rather than try and respond to every comment (because I’m not sure you’d receive my reply) here are some follow up comments from me to you.

“I don’t want things to be like this anymore”: I definitely felt really “naked” writing this entry. There were so many people who left really awesome comments that included advice and their own personal experiences. I also received a really sweet email from Sam this morning (thanks!). As Sam mentioned, talking about Anxiety or admitting that you have it, seems to be this big taboo. We should be able to talk about it, so I’m glad I did. I haven’t decided exactly what course of action I’ll take but I know it will definitely include counselling of some sort. Chloe Blossom, I will be emailing you for the info of the MSW you reccomended. I just want to get some tools on how to deal with this so that I can “talk myself down from the ledge” (figuratively speaking) whenever I start having these feelings. But, I am happy to report I’ve been sleeping really well lately.

“Why Women Need Tools”: So, I think by writing this post I inadvertingly wrote a “How to get Laid” guide for Men. This wasn’t really my intention however, this is my advice for the Guys out there: STRIKE NOW! Offer to put together that Billy bookcase you know she just bought. DO IT NOW before more women read this article and start to figure out what you’re up to. And don’t say you heard it from me…

“Who Were you in High School?”: It seems like some people were able to relate to the story of my traumatic first kiss! (lots of great comments on this one too). After blogging about this, I reconnected with a couple of people from high school. One of these people is fellow blogger The Modish Mama. We went to high school together and I think we kind of accidentally collided on Twitter. Although our lives are different, she’s a great writer and its been cool reading her blog. Also I received a really sweet email from my best friend which I confess made me cry. It was really touching. Making these reconnections & receiving this email made me realize that a) I really WAS withdrawn during that time period, obviously that “trying to act normal” bit wasn’t working for me. b) there were a lot of good people around me in high school that I really wish I had been better friends with. I feel like the social fabric of highschool (with all the cliques etc) is designed to keep people apart. I’m sure a lot of us were miserable during that time and we probably could have helped each other out more than we did. Teenagers are really immature. I’m just glad I have a chance to know these people as an adult.

This week has been a bit crazy. I feel like I’ve been running around doing stuff (job hunting + working on another “mystery” project that I’ll reveal soon) but I don’t really feel like I am getting much done. I guess I just feel a bit stagnant. Tonight I self-diagnosed myself with a case of the winter blahs. I always start feeling really, really restless this time of year. Even though I don’t really have a big cause to celebrate, this weekend I am dying to have a drink (read, many drinks!), get dressed up and go DANCE. I really want to go to Louie Vega. In case you didn’t know– I’m a big house music fan (but not in a creepy fist pumping way. That’s not how we roll in Toronto) and LOVE LOVE LOVE Masters at Work. I’m still looking for a partner(s) in crime to go with me. Any takers?!

I have this desperate need to do something that makes me feel alive! (for me that means dancing).
The workouts at the gym with my ipod just aren’t cutting it.

Is anyone else suffering from the winter blahs? What are you doing to combat them?

Why Women Need Tools

One of the things most people probably don’t know about me is that I have a fully stocked tool box & own my own set of power tools. And, get your mind out of the gutter–by power tools I mean things like cordless drills, sanders, staple guns (not the “other” kind of fun power tools, although I do have a few of those too but THAT is a completely different blog post!). I’m here to talk about the tools that you get at the Hardware store.

My tool collection is almost as impressive as my shoe collection.

I started collecting all of these things in university after I had a bit of an epiphany (and no, it wasn’t that I woke up one day and decided I wanted to become Bob Villa).

As a 20-something I moved apartments quite a few times. I was a student so, I bought a lot of semi-disposable furniture from places like Ikea. This meant that every time I moved there was always a lot of assembly/re-assembly of furniture. Whenever I’d need help with this kind of thing (or another household task: putting up blinds, shelves etc) my solution would just be to call whoever I was dating at the time (or another random male friend) to come and help me. Eventually I figured out why these guys were always SO eager to come over and help me put together my crappy furniture.

BECAUSE IT WOULD ALWAYS LEAD TO SEX.

This how my ex and I got together. He came over one day to help me put together my newly purchased bed frame. We ended up fooling around on the carpet of my apartment while the bed frame remained in its box, leaning against the wall. This was the first time something like this happened but not definitely not the last.

In my experience, TRIPS TO IKEA ALSO LEAD TO SEX. He drives you out there, you buy a bunch of stuff (“Yeah I’ll totally help you put it together!”), you bring it back to your apartment and then you end up sleeping together instead.

Obviously there is some kind of link between the act of building stuff, furniture & sexual tension.

I’m not complaining about the Sex–it was usually pretty good. The downside was that afterward he’d leave with a skip in his step and I’d STILL have an unpainted wall, a clogged drain, or furniture still in its boxes with nothing but the incomprehensible Scandinavian assembly instructions to keep me company.

(Back then, I decided that my ideal mate would be a guy who actually stuck around after he slept with me, and preferably could read Swedish. This is what you call “aiming low”)

It was after one of these incidents, while I was sitting on my bedroom floor surrounded by half opened Ikea boxes, leafing through the confusing directions, shaking my fist at the sky, thinking “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO BUILD A BOOKCASE WITH AN ALLEN KEY AND FOUR WOODEN PEGS?!!”, I said to myself:

“SCREW THIS!”

The next day I called my Mom for advice. I come from a family of very handy Women. My Mom is a home-improvement force to be reckoned with. This is a woman who re-floored our 4 story family home, by herself. I told my Mom that I wanted “to learn how to do things by myself”. She gave me a list of items that I would need to buy from the hardware store. I bought these things and my life changed.

I became obsessed with DIY home improvements. I conquered my fear of the Hardware Store. I bought an electric drill, hammers, nails, sandpaper. Floating shelves off of a concrete wall? NO PROBLEM! I put up shelving units, put together furniture, hung curtains, drilled, hammed, poly-filla’ed and even re-fashioned a bookshelf into a new improved bookshelf. I started to feel really empowered. On Sundays (my only day off from school & work) I’d watch the Home & Garden network for inspiration. Then, I would plan out my project for the day & head out to Canadian Tire. I even became accquianted with the Sunday “regulars”. Mind you, I lived near the Village so the people I met were mostly Lesbian couples, but I thought “Hey! I don’t need anyone else to do these things. I can be my own Lesbian couple of ONE”. The best part: my apartment looked great and I had done it all myself.

A few months later I was on the phone talking to a guy I was seeing. We had been on a few dates. I knew he wanted to sleep with me but we hadn’t yet because I had reservations about him. I’d just finished telling him that I’d purchased a new bedframe & mattress (bed frame #1 had finally bit the dust). You could hear the obvious excitement in his voice when he asked me “NEED HELP PUTTING IT TOGETHER?!”. I felt really vindicated when I told him,

“Don’t worry, I have it under control”

And you can too! Even if your home-handyman isn’t trying to get in your pants, buying some tools & learning how to use them is a great investment. This can be kind of an overwhelming shopping experience so,I’ve compiled a “Skinny Dip Guide” to navigating the hardware store:

First piece of advice: Ladies, don’t buy anything that looks like the tools on the left. Your toolbox shouldn’t look like it was made by Mattel. Yes, these pink tools are “sooo cute!” but most likely, you’re getting charged twice the price for something that is half as good. This just seems to be par for the course when you’re dealing with products “made for women” (anyone who has ever shaved their legs using a Men’s razor will back me on this). Go to the hardware store and get some quality, non-cute tools. And don’t buy the cheapest thing they have. If you need help, ask somebody (or ask me to go with you!). You’ll thank me later.
I’m by no means an expert on this, but here is a list of the basics that I think everyone should have:
1. Cordless Drill: If you’re going to be putting up shelving or art work, you’ll need this. Plus, they’re alot of fun to operate. You’ll see.
2. Screw Driver. Get one with interchangeable heads. You’re going to need different heads for different kinds of screws. The muli-head option saves money & space.
3. Hammer: I’m not sure what kind mine is nor am I an expert on hammers. Try and find one that is multi-purpose and has some weight to it.
4. A variety of screws, nails and wall plugs. I just like to keep these things on hand so if a project comes up, I don’t have to immediately run out and buy hardware. Wall plugs have been my savior. You’ll need these if you’re putting up any kind of shelving.
5. Epoxy. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Epoxy, its a glue—a very strong glue. You can use it for a variety of different things. I used it to permently bond my wall plugs into the wall when I was putting up floating shelves. That Fouis Vuitton bag you bought on Canal street that now has a broken clasp–Epoxy can fix that too.
6. Tape measure (retractable). You’ll need this. Buy one.
I also own a few wrenches, saws, pliers & a staple gun. But, to be honest I haven’t used these items as much as the ones listed above.
This wasn’t meant as some kind of “RAH RAH RAH NOW YOU WON’T NEED MEN” Rant. I’m just saying: learning how to do these things yourself feels really good. And, if it is sex you’re looking for, you can now invite that person over with the piece of mind that at least you have properly put together furniture to do it on. Hey, I’m just saying…!

Also, girls who build stuff are hot. When BF and first starting dating he came over to (yet again) help me assemble furniture (my apartment is more a question of what DIDN’T I buy at Ikea). He showed up tool box in hand, only to discover that I already had a fully stocked toolbox & then some. He admitted me later that he thought “this was awesome and a total turn on”.

So, I’m going to end this here before this starts sounding like something from the pages of Cosmo. If you have any home improvement questions, you can email me.

Are there any other handy women out there? Or women who aspire to be handy? Male readers, do you agree with BF’s comment?

SEX


When I randomly stumbled across this photo tonight I realized that I need to add something to “my before 30 list“:

Read Madonna’s Sex book.

I know this seems like a weird thing to add, but let me give you some background information. I was a HUGE Madonna fan as a kid & early teen. Anyone who knew me back then can testify: my room was covered in posters and I had a Madonna scrap book that I think is still kicking around somewhere in my Mom’s storage room. Most importantly I had all her tapes (and then eventually CDs). I knew all the words to all the songs and used to make up dance routines (usually based on the real choreography) to an audience of zero in my pink bedroom. I was Twelve in 1992 when her book Sex came out. My Mom apprehensively allowed me to purchase her Erotica album (released at the same time), but obviously the Sex book was completely off limits.

I was always curious about this mysterious book. However, this was long before the days of the internet–the only way to see what was inside it would have been to purchase it. Purchasing it was out of the question. The book was wrapped and stored behind the desk at the bookstore, only available for purchase if you were over the age of 18. I’m sure I could have got my hands on it if I had been really resourceful. Rumor had it that a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend baby-sat for a couple who had a copy. This girl had read the book cover to cover. We decided she was a legend but also a “total PERV”. Although I was a precocious teen, I was also a good kid and I knew that this book was off limits for a reason. Plus, I didn’t want to be a “total perv” that like chick or the weird couple who owned it. Now looking back, I’m pretty sure neither party actually existed.

By the time I was actually old enough to buy the book, my interest in Madonna had waned and I had long forgotten about it.

I wasn’t until I saw that photo tonight that I was reminded that I never DID read it. But why?

It all seems kind of ridiculous now. I think it falls in the same category as skinny dipping (in the literal sense of the word). It seems like something I should have done but haven’t (despite having done much crazier things). Maybe I haven’t read the book because part of me still doesn’t feel like an adult.

So, before I turn 30 in September, I’m going to go out and find a copy of the book (preferably purchase my own copy), rip off the silver condom wrapper style packaging and read it cover to cover.

Although I’m not that into Madonna’s newer music or what’s she’s up to lately, she is still an iconic part of my growing up. Looking back, her strong, independent, no holds bared attitude towards sex has shaped the way I see my own sexuality to a certain extent. I owe it to myself to read the book.

Be an adult.

Read it. Hopefully enjoy it. Cross it off the list.

(Just don’t tell my mom)


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