Just Call Me Hipster Kryptonite

Ever since I wrote this post, I’ve been mulling over the issue of male/female relations in this town. It’s been a few months and although I no longer feel like I’m emitting a “don’t fucking touch me” vibe, it still seems like flirtation is non-existent in Victoria. I’m not ready to date anyone but I wouldn’t mind if a guy passed me on the street and smiled at me. I might actually smile back.

When I’m in Toronto, there never seems to be a shortage of male attention. I regularly get hit on by a colorful collection of characters that include sketchy single dadsteen thugsGreek guys over the age of 75nerdy awkward collegiate types and the criminally insane. With that said, the one kind of guy who never, ever hits on me: HIPSTERS. In fact, I seem to repel Hipster guys.

I discovered this while living in my old neighborhood in Toronto. Amidst all the Portuguese delis, Greek diners, Latin American eateries and East African restaurants there was one Hipster coffee shop at the end of my street. When I slipped through the door of that coffee shop, I became invisible to the male species. Not a single horn-rimmed eye would look up from their Macbook and the guy manning the counter was usually too busy changing the record from David Byrne to Tom Waits to actually provide anything remotely resembling prompt service. It was uncanny.

One day, I accidentally conducted a social experiment. In desperate need of coffee, I skipped a shower, piled my hair on top of my head in a high bun, threw on a pair of jorts & a borrowed pair of oversized Raybans before heading over to the coffee shop. This time when I walked in heads turned, a guy smiled and the barrista served me my latte promptly. As an accidental hipster, I was the belle of the ball.

I have a few theories of why Hipster guys and I don’t mesh. I think my sister’s ex-boyfriend summed it up best: “Simone’s like, totally bougie” Coming from a guy who’s in his mid-30’s, works at a record store and dates 19 year olds, I refuse to be insulted by his comment. I am kind of bougie but I’ve chosen to embrace it. I like nice things. I carry a designer handbag, not  for “ironic reasons” but because I like quality leather-goods & classic styling. As another friend notes:

“The reason hipster guys aren’t into you is because you’re way too clean cut. You don’t have an ironic hair-cut or wear retro clothing and you kind of scream out I’m employed

It could also be that hipster guys intuitively know that I’m not into them. I abhor most facial hair (ironic or otherwise) and despite being Canadian, am not overly fond of plaid. I’m sure these guys sense that I’m not the kind of girl who would tolerate them wearing jorts in public or spending their days drinking coffee, talking about bands & “jamming” with their buddies. I’m a threat to their whole lifestyle.

I’m like Hipster Kryptonite.

Last week, I was sitting in one of Victoria’s many coffee shops and I had an epiphany. As I sipped my Chai Latte, I looked around at all the young, Rayban clad, bearded, plaid wearing, ironic coiffed gents and the large cluster of fixed gear bikes parked outside & it hit me:

THERE ARE HIPSTERS EVERYWHERE.

When all the men around me look like one of the variations below, it’s no surprise I’m not getting any play here.

“Oh hello, we’re the guys who aren’t attracted to Simone. Let’s go bike riding sometime”

Although all different kinds of hipster guys exist on the West Coast, we seem to have a surplus of bearded, organic tofu munching, pot smoking, “natural hipsters.” I seem to repel all varieties equally. I’m living in my very own episode of Portlandia and it ain’t pretty.

Then, last week something happened: I was spoken to by not one, but two Hipsters.

I was grabbing my coffee at Hipster coffee shop #1 when one of the bearded, plaid shirt clad barristas said to me:

“Isn’t today like, so sunny outside? It makes me want to just grab a few blankets and curl up in them in the park & just read all day while basking in the sunbeams”

I wasn’t sure whether this was an invitation, so I just kind of stared at him blankly before saying,

“Yeah, too bad I have to go home and work”

“Yeah, that’s totally too bad. Ciao”

This was followed by an incident yesterday at Hipster coffee shop #2 (Damn, those Hipsters sure know how to make a good cup of joe).

The guy helping me had a huge smile on his face. When I went to pay for my coffee, he checked out my debit card and said:

“Whoa girl. Check out the colors! They’re sooooo bright. That’s a pretty awesome debit card”

“Um, thanks?”

(It’s a normal debit card)

Then he says, “You have a totally awesome day now!” before giving me a wink and the “thumbs up” as I leave the coffee shop.

These interactions have lead me to believe that the problem with male/female interactions here isn’t the hipsters but rather, that my first hypothesis was right:

Everyone is stoned.


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Things I Would Tell My 20-year Old Self #7 – Abby

One of my favorite things about doing these “Things I Would Tell my 20-year old Self” guest posts is that I get to introduce some of my favorite bloggers to you guys!

Have you ever dreamed of leaving the rat race behind and moving to a small beach town in Costa Rica? My friend Abby did exactly that. In her blog the Jungle Princess she writes about her experiences living in small town Costa Rica and then later, her return to the fast paced life of a magazine editor in Las Vegas – and the read is totally addicting. I was really lucky that I got to meet Abby when I went to Vegas last May.  In true Vegas style,  we had tapas at the Cosmopolitan hotel, drank Champagne sangria and catapulted ourselves into the sky on the Big Shot. Abby is a sweetheart and lots of fun. As you can see from the photo below, she also has enviable hair 🙂

I hope you enjoy her advice to her younger self as much as I do!

1. Whether it’s at the bar (when offered a shot, just say, “no”) or in the dating world (men who come on strong often disappear just as quickly), be wary of instant gratification. Drink wine, sip slowly, and get to know love interests before jumping in feet first. There’s no rush and less of a hangover.

2. Work less. Ok, so you are currently breezing through college and spending way too many very late nights in South Beach clubs. But soon you will move to Manhattan and become a workaholic. The harder you work for virtually no money (hey, you chose to be a writer), the longer it will take to unwind later. Spend more time with your friends – you later end up choosing to move away from all of them, so hang out with them every minute you can.

 

3. You can be happier than your parents. And they will like it. Being a parent is hard, and yours have had some rough times. Who hasn’t? But they want to see you happy. See the world, fall in love, be selfish, don’t have kids. This is your life, and Mom just wants to see you living it to the fullest. When you finally (you end up being sort of a late bloomer in the “serious relationship” department) start looking for a man to marry, it turns out you want a completely different relationship than your parents have. And that’s ok! PS: Mom eventually becomes a globe-trotting travel junkie, so don’t feel guilty about moving out of the country later this year – go for it!4. Size 8 is hot. You think you’d be happier skinnier, but when you do get skinnier, you’re not “you,” so you have the most miserable year of your life.  So get over it now.

5. Watch your temper. A big chunk of becoming successful in the magazine industry is paying your dues. Yes, you will sometimes be smarter than the people above you, but they’ve been working longer than you. Be respectful, smile, and show up every day with a positive attitude. Your temper will get you in a lot of hot water if you don’t watch yourself. (You’re so stubborn that I know this one is falling on deaf ears.)

6. You will one day like dogs.  Yup. I know that “oh, I don’t like animals” so easily and innocently rolls off your tongue, but that will change. You move to the middle of nowhere in Costa Rica, get robbed, and then rescue the biggest street dog you can find. And he invites a friend. Then you move back to Las Vegas – with two large beasts. Life’s funny!

A reformed workaholic, Abby Tegnelia writes about being torn between living the good life she enjoyed in small town Costa Rica and the fast life of her current time as editor-in-chief of Vegas magazine in Las Vegas, NV on her personal travel and lifestyle blog, http://thejungleprincess.com. Connect with her her on facebook and twitter.

For more “Things I Would Tell my 20-Year Old Self” please see:

What would you tell your 20-year old self?

10 Things I Wish Sex Ed Had Taught Me

One of the things I love about the Eden Fantasys website is that there is so much cool content on there. If you get bored looking at all the brightly colored sex toys, lingerie & the like, there’s forums, video reviews, the Eden Cafe Blog and SexIs Magazine – all of which feature fun & informative information about sex. Recently, I’ve become totally addicted to watching Producer & Sex Educator, Nikol Hasler’s  “What Did We Learn” video series. Nikol Hasler’s story is interesting. Sexually active at a young age, her early life was marked by moving from various foster homes, conquering subsequent drug abuse, becoming homeless and pregnant – all before the age of 18. These experiences have given Nikol a unique perspective on sex education. In 2008 she teamed up with a friend to create the Midwest Teen Sex Show – a very popular comedy podcast where she uses her experiences & biting sense of humor to provide straight forward info to teens about sex. She’s since written a book & moved to LA to write a pilot based on her podcast for Comedy Central. In other words, color me impressed. Did I mention she’s also really funny?

Producer & Sex Educator, Nikol Hasler

I was watching her video “Five Things I Wish Someone Else Would Tell My Son”  and it got me thinking about what I wish someone had told me about sex when I was a teenager.

The sex education I received in High School was spotty at best. In grade 10 our guidance counsellor Mrs. M (a bleach blonde, middle aged woman with a thick Eastern European accent & a fondness for spike heels, low cut tops & drinking out of a plaid thermos that I swear contained something stronger than coffee) turned on a VHS tape of the Degrassi High’s “School’s Out” TV movie and barked out “VATCH THIS!” before stumbling out of the room. If you haven’t seen this cheesy 1990’s masterpiece, it features a totally awkward scene where a girl shows her friend how to put a condom on a banana – because you know, that’s something that occurs all the time in normal social situations. I knew the basic “birds and bees” stuff but for the most part, sex ed left a lot to be desired. By the time I got to grade 11 my school had it’s own daycare. It’s funny how no one connected the dots here.

So, here’s some basic things I wish someone had told me in Sex Ed:

1. Always, ALWAYS pee after sex. When I was 19, I woke up one morning feeling like someone was stabbing my bladder with Ginsu knives. I thought I was dying. Turns out it was only a bladder infection – something I later learned could have been prevented if I had gone to the bathroom after doing the deed with my boyfriend the night before.

2. Sex Toys exist. Using them and pleasuring yourself isn’t weird or wrong. I feel like there is this massive double standard for men & women when it comes to self-pleasure. In popular culture, guys masturbating is considered “ha ha funny” (think the movie American Pie) whereas when it comes to women pleasuring themselves, it’s still looked upon as something slightly shameful. I didn’t even know vibrators existed for the longest time. When I finally worked up the nerve to go buy one in university it was like this big, secretive deal. Now that I own a whole drawer full of them I realize it’s not a big deal at all. Toys are actually really empowering. I wish more girls knew this.

With that said, if you’re going to use toys make sure they are body safe. Unfortunately, there are many toys out there made of materials that contain phthalates and other toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer and serious health problems. Protect your girl parts and make sure the sex toy you are buying is labeled as “body safe and phthalate free”. I cringe to think what my first vibe was made of.

3. Sex sometimes involves weird noises, unexpected fluids and laughter. A healthy sex life involves having a sense of humor. Years ago, I was in bed with a former booty call of mine during a heat wave in Toronto. The sex was hot and our body temperatures were even hotter. We were SO sweaty that we were desperately clinging onto each other in fear that if we let go, we might actually slide off the bed. Because there was so much moisture, it created a suction cup effect. Every time we would separate our bodies, a funny farting sound would happen. The sex was so good we didn’t care. This kind of stuff happens. Bodies sometimes make strange noises. Periods arrive unexpectedly. If you’re not mature enough to deal with this & laugh it off with your partner, you’re probably not mature enough to be having sex.

4. Better awareness about condoms. Condoms come in all kinds of different textures, sizes, colors, lubricated/non-lubricated, ribbed/non-ribbed, pineapple flavor etc. Ahhh!!! It’s all very confusing!!! Not all of these condoms are going to work for you. For example, you might be allergic to latex, certain lubes or even spermicide. A sign you might be allergic to spermicide: your girl parts feel like they are on fire after coming in contact with it. True story.

5. Be careful, but don’t be terrified.  I came of age amidst the height of the AIDS crisis. In grade 11, our drama teacher brought in an HIV+ AIDS activist to speak to our class. He got up and gave us the following piece of confusing advice: “Kids, don’t fuck your way through Europe like I did” while we all stared at him, open jawed. Combined with a Catholic upbringing, I spent a lot of my late teens/early 20’s having a lot of fear & guilt around sex. I wish someone had just said, “You can have a healthy, fun sex life that’s also safe”

6. Sex Ed for Gay Students. If I felt like I wasn’t getting much out of sex ed class I can’t imagine how my gay classmates must have felt. There was hardly any mention of homosexuality except “It exists. Don’t be homophobic”. No one ever brought up how gay people actually get it on. It was only last year , while watching an episode of “The Real L-Word” that I learned what “scissoring” was all about.

7. If a guy says he doesn’t want to wear a condom, dump him. Guys will go to great lengths to get out of wearing a condom. This includes telling you stuff like “I love you & would feel so much closer to you without one.” I once had a 35-year old man tell me “Condoms just feel impersonal” (and getting/spreading an STD is way more personal) Recently, I also heard another 30-something guy say that his method for protecting himself from STD’s is to “pull out” (um, I don’t think it works that way buddy). Which brings me to #8…

8. Unfortunately, it’s likely some of the people you will sleep with will be morons. Until proven otherwise, assume everyone is as clueless as the guys I mentioned above & take your health into your own hands. Wrap. It. Up. Play safe.

9. Sex often comes with these messy things called FEEEEELINGS. In high school we were told “wait until you’re in a relationship or married” but life doesn’t always happen that way. When I was 18 I started having a slightly scandalous affair with a much older man. The first time we slept together, he came over, we had sex & then he went home 5 minutes later. Nothing could have prepared me for the sense of emptiness I felt after my first casual sex experience. As much as I tried to front like I was all tough & cool when it came to sex back then, the truth was I got attached to people after I slept with them. When those feelings weren’t reciprocated it hurt.

10. Whatever you’re into is OK. Do you want to be spanked? Does porn turn you on? Are you into guys and girls? As long as it’s consensual and no one is getting hurt, whatever you’re into is totally OK. Except maybe clown porn. That’s kind of weird.

What do you wish you had learned in Sex Ed? 

Sexis - a provocative sex magazine at EdenFantasys.com

*This post was sponsored by Eden Fantasys who kindly sent me a gift certificate in exchange for my over-sharing. As always, all opinions and sordid tidbits are my own. 

Curious What Our Chemistry Would Be Like Offline?

Thank you to HowAboutWe for sponsoring this post. All opinions and awkward facial expressions are my own.

 

My first video for Skinny Dip is ready! But first a few things…

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve only tried online dating once with comically disastrous results. However, lately it seems the topic of online dating is impossible to escape. If the people around me aren’t already doing it, they’re talking about doing it. It’s like high school all over again when it felt like everyone was having sex except you. However, this time around I’m not as anxious to see what all the fuss is about.

My friend Chris is also an online dating virgin. The other day he asked me if I’d be interested in participating in a social experiment: we both try online dating & then compare notes over some scotch (him) or top shelf vodka (me). Although I like the idea of good stories & good liquor, I’m still not sure whether online dating is something I want to try (which is why I still haven’t given Chris a yes or no answer). I don’t like the idea of spending even more time online only to end up on a date with someone as ridiculous as The Big Baby. I prefer to meet the people in real life & “kick the tires a bit” to see if there is chemistry before investing my time.

Now enter HowAboutWe, an online dating service that actually sounds pretty cool.  HowAboutWe is all about taking online dating offline because that’s where the chemistry happens. Instead of sorting through endless dating profiles, you can post dates you’re interested in going on (ie. “Go for an old school picnic in the park”) and reply to ones you’re into (“Watch Muppet Film Festival playing at the Drive-In this weekend”). If you’re still a bit confused, you can watch their commercial.

HowAboutWe asked me if I’d create a video and share what the phrase “Chemistry Happens Offline” means to me. Last week I got over my camera shyness & made a video for you guys.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go on a date with me? Wonder no more! I imagine it would play out something like this…

 

(BTW, my sister wanted me to mention that our Dad is NOT in prison, nor has he ever been. I am however really, really into The Muppets.)

I NEED YOUR HELP GUYS. If you enjoyed our “First Date”, please like my video on Youtube.  HowAboutWe is offering a $1500 cash prize for the most “liked” video.  Please help a girl out!  VOTE. SHARE. TWEET. GO NUTS! It’s good karma plus I will love you forever & owe you lots of big creepy hugs if/when we meet in person. 

 (Or, if you’re feeling inspired you can also post your own video for the contest!)

Also, if you’re interested in trying out HowAboutWe, they are offering 33% off subscriptions for readers of Skinny Dip if you enter the coupon code vdaylove.  

Do you think real chemistry happens offline? 

Vive La Revolution

Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had have occurred between my Mom and I while we sit at our kitchen table. We have a nice living room but we really only use it for watching TV. The kitchen table is where everything goes down in our house. It’s where we show our love through food, have our morning coffee, talk about life, laugh, cry. It’s the same story whenever I go to my grandma’s house. The kitchen table is where it’s at. I haven’t figured out if this is a Eastern European thing or just a “my family thing.” Last week one of my kitchen table conversations with my Mom turned to my recent (albeit reluctant) foray into self-help books. I was trying to explain to my Mom the concept behind the book He’s Just Not That Into that I wrote about recently. I explained that the book teaches you how to value you yourself, not waste time on guys who aren’t really into you and to let the good ones come to you.

I absolutely adore this photo.

 {found via Pinterest}

“I don’t know Simone. It doesn’t sound very modern. It sounds like the men still have all the power. Like, they are allowed to just go ahead and do whatever they want and all the responsibility for dating falls on the women to let them know that they are jerks” my Mom responded.

“I know it probably sounds that way Mom but think about it: If more women made a commitment to stop accepting sub-par treatment from the people they date and men realized that they could no longer get laid as easily, the game would change. Basically it comes down to basic economics. If the market changes and you don’t adapt you get left in the dust.”

(As you can tell I’ve been watching too many episodes of House of Lies – which I love BTW)

“Oh and Mom, this doesn’t just apply to men. There’s women out who treat men like crap too.”

“Ok, I see your point”

“Besides, as much as we like to think we can control other people’s actions, we can’t. We can only control how we react to them.”

“That’s true”

“I’m learning stuff Mom”

“I know. I raised a smart cookie”

(and yes, I learned that last bit in therapy. THERAPY RULES!)

My final thoughts on He’s Just Not that Into You

I initially thought this book was going to be silly but it got me thinking. We are all entitled to awesome relationships that make us happy. Imagine what would happen if we all made a commitment to stop wasting the pretty, to respect and demand respect from the people around us and only accept the best treatment:  I think we’d start a love revolution. My suggestion:

Let’s start a love revolution this weekend. Who’s onboard?!

Happy Weekend! xox

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