Don’t Waste the Pretty

Once upon a time I had “game”.

When I was in my twenties I dated a whole string of unsuitable dudes. I had my feelings hurt, my heart crushed, learned a lot about myself and grew stronger as a result. Eventually I got to the point where I stopped accepting negative treatment from the people I dated. I became more confident, I started asking for what I wanted and I upped my standards. I came to the realization that it was much better to be alone on a Saturday night than be dating a guy who would forget to call  because he was too busy skateboarding with his friends/”jamming” in his buddy’s garage/getting wasted/in the middle of a Battlestar Gallactica marathon with his gay neighbor/ You get the picture. Like that New Radicals song from the 90’s, I do believe “you get what you give” when it comes to the universe & love. I’m convinced that by valuing myself, the universe eventually brought me a man who valued me too – my ex that I spent 6 years with. He was a good boyfriend and had a big heart. I never had to question whether he cared about me, he always called when he said he would  & most weekends he made sure we had coffee in bed. It’s been so long since I’ve been single that I kind of forgot that not everyone is as decent as this.

With my first romantic interaction following the break-up, it’s like my game went out the window. I got so wrapped up in my  feeeeeelings that I let certain things like unreturned messages & a lack of communication just slide. It’s like I temporarily regressed to being a teenager again. Which is like, totally embarrassing because aren’t I supposed to be this bad-ass relationship blogger who knows better?! Getting hurt a tiny bit was actually a humbling experience because it made me realize that I’m not as invincible as I like to think I am. I guess everyone needs a romantic “tune up” every now and then. Maybe it’s time for mine.

I was telling my best friend all about this the other day when she picked up her copy of “He’s Just Not That Into You”, handed it to me and said:

“You need to read this”

I’ll admit, I was skeptical of this book because I tend to associate “self help” with “cheesy” and “not for me”.  Also, I caught myself getting all defensive: “If a guy doesn’t call you, he doesn’t like you. Got it. Isn’t this book all common sense?! I mean, I probably don’t need to read this. I already know everything it’s going to tell me bah blah blah blah”

However, last week I sat down with “He’s Just Not That Into You” and read it cover to cover. I’m glad I read the book. Like my best friend predicted, it was exactly what I needed to read right at this moment. Sure some of the scenarios in the book are kind of silly and common sense however, in general the book left me feeling empowered and reminded of some important lessons that we should all keep in mind whether we are out in the dating battlefield or in a steady relationship:

  • There’s never a good excuse for someone to hurt your feelings. EVER. So, stop making excuses for people.
  • If someone really wants to be with you, they’ll do what it takes to make sure that’s possible.
  • Not everyone is going to be that into you and that’s totally OK. Don’t waste your time on these people. Removing the relationship “clutter” leaves room for better things to come along.
  • Freaks should stay in the circus, not your apartment.
  • My favorite one of all: When it comes to the freaks, the time wasters & the people who just can’t bring themselves to turn off that Battlestar Gallactica episode to be with you: Don’t waste the pretty.
I think that’s going to be my new mantra.

Have any of you read the book? What’s your favorite book about dating/relationships/sex? (I’m on a roll here and might actually read more books like this if you have suggestions. If they’re humorous, even better!)

PS. Speaking of books, make sure you head over to the GIVEAWAY to win a copy of Eleni Zoe’s Hope Dies Last: Lessons in Love. Contest closes at the end of today!

Ruffles, Bows and Naughty Ballerinas

The other day my best friend and I were browsing through Purdy’s chocolates, when she gives me this teasing look & says:

“So, Simone, in honor of Valentine’s Day are you going to buy yourself one of these giant heart shaped boxes of chocolates?”

“Yeah, if I was planning on spending the evening sitting in a dark room, watching Julia Roberts movies and gently sobbing”

FYI. In case you didn’t catch my sarcasm, this totally isn’t how I’ll be spending February 14th. Actually I don’t even have any plans and this doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I’m one of those people that doesn’t really get bummed out about Valentines Day. The only thing that bums me out is that there are people out there who do get bummed out & feel sad around this time year. I actually secretly love Valentines Day. I love seeing all my favorite colors (pink! red! brighter pink! hearts everywhere!). It’s also a good excuse to buy new sassy underwear (even if no one else is going to see it)

This year I’m sticking to my financial resolutions and won’t be making any new additions to my already bursting lingerie drawer. However, it’s still fun to fantasize about what I would buy myself for Valentine’s Day if money was no object. So, I’ve put together an imaginary wish-list (Yay! shopping with fake money!). Gents, this can also serve as a shopping guide if you need ideas for that fabulous lady in your life.

1. Jopen Vanity Vr3 vibrator:

Once my best friend and I left the chocolate store and were out of earshot of children, I said “On second thought, I think I’m just going to upgrade my vibrator collection”  If I was going to buy a new luxury sex toy, this bad boy would definitely be a contender. This toy is known for having very strong vibrations. If you don’t believe me, watch this video where they show the toy flapping around on a desk like it has a life of it’s own. Did you watch the video?! I’m now dying of curiosity to try this thing.

2. Cake Beauty products:

This trio of creamy and delectably flavoured lip gloss will nourish and hydrate lips giving you a wash of colour and loads of shine.Sweet scape desserted island set includes: desserted island velveteen hand creme & desserted island supremely rich bath & shower froth.
 I really like Cake products because they use 90-95% natural ingredients, are paraben free and smell delicious. It’s funny, I always end up buying Cake products for other people but I’ve never actually purchased any for myself. Maybe it’s time to change that! I think the Winter Wonder Lip Gloss Trio and the Sweet Escape Dessert Island Duo  would be perfect for whisking away the winter blues.

3. “Naughty Ballerina” Panties:

These cute undies by Booty Parlor had me at their name. I mean who doesn’t want to be a “naughty ballerina”?! It’s all very Black Swan. You know, like that scene where Natalie Portman & Mila Kunis do drugs and then go to town on each other & it’s like the hottest thing ever? Yeah, that. Plus, I think the see through back + the ruffle is cute. I was ready to buy these for myself until I read the fine print and saw that they are crotchless. I’ve never understood crotchless underwear. Wouldn’t it just be easier to wear no underwear at all? Am I missing something?

*Men, only buy crotchless underwear for women you’re actually dating & know very well. It does not make a good secret admirer gift…unless of course you want her to think you’re a sex criminal.

4. Lycra corset with ruffled trim:

Lycra corset with ruffled trim - Corsets and bustier - EdenFantasys.Lycra corset with ruffled trim - Corsets and bustier - EdenFantasys.
This outfit just screams out “Be my Valentine”. I’m totally feeling the vintage burlesque feel of the corset, the peekaboo ruffles and the bow accent on the garters. With the red lacing up the back, I’d feel like my very own Valentine’s gift just waiting to be unwrapped.

4. Kama Sutra Body Souffle and Honey Dust:

Smooth these delicately scented, lusciously flavored, water-based creams are also excellent as a silky hand and body moisturizer.Edible flavored powder in a silky bag with feather applicator
Kama Sutra products are made with the bedroom in mind however, as I discovered a few years ago they’re actually just really nice body products. I’m in love with their Vanilla body souffle – a delicious smelling body creme that goes on uber smooth. Use it for  massage or as a rich body moisturizer. I’m also a huge fan of their honey dust – a light body powder that will leave your skin soft, smelling & tasting like honeysuckle (it works great as a very light fragrance). Yes, both products are edible. This means that not only will they make you smell like a dessert, you’ll taste like one too. You’ll smell so good you might be tempted to lick your arm in public. Don’t do this. It’s just creepy & weird.
5. Polka Dot mesh corset:

FORGET SEX. This outfit screams out “musical theatre”. My whole purpose for owning this would be so I would have something to wear as I danced around my house re-enacting dance sequences from Moulin Rouge. Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Da Da!

What would you give yourself for Valentines Day if money was no object?

This post was sponsored by Eden Fantasys. I was given a gift certificate to fund my on-going obsession with lingerie and sex toys in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own because that’s just how I roll.

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store

Hope Dies Last Giveaway

After the big break-up in the fall and some minor romantic set-backs in January, I’m finally starting to embrace my singleness. I haven’t been truly single in close to 7 years and even before that I was always dating some guy or another. Right now I’m working on getting to know myself better and trying to figure out what being single means to me. I’ve also been reflecting back on my past relationships, owning up to what failed and making a solid blue-print for what I want in the future (when I’m ready to date that is) I’m done with crying and have moved on to learning & reflecting.

This is why I initially gravitated to Eleni Zoe’s blog Hope Dies Last. If you haven’t checked out her blog, you’re missing out. Eleni writes about life, love and self-discovery with such honesty, clarity and vulnerability that I often catch myself saying “Oh my god, YES. I feel what she’s writing about. I’ve been there” while reading her posts. I love blogs that get inside my head like that.

{Eleni. Isn’t she lovely?}

Eleni is a total rockstar and has written a a book, Hope Dies Last: Lessons in Love. The book includes stories collected from some of her most powerful blog posts, organised into a narrative that will remind you of the best (and worst) parts of dating.

About the book:

“I wanted intimacy in capslock but I got it in parentheses” 

Hope Dies Last is the true story of twenty-something Eleni Zoe’s pursuit of love, a boy who will sit still with her for a while and the perfect mantra.  As a self-confessed perpetual singleton, she shares her tragicomic stories as if she’s whispering her heart out to you over a girly dinner. From first kisses and what sex is really like to bruised egos and broken hearts, Eleni asks the questions we each have on our quest for love. The difference is, she’s also got some answers.

The exciting news?! Because we could all use a little bit more hope in our lives, I’m giving away a SIGNED copy of the book to one of you!

To win a copy of Hope Dies Last: Lessons in Love here’s what you need to do:

Simply comment on this entry & let me know why you’d like to read the book.

Additional entries will be given for the following:

-Following me on Twitter.

-Following Skinny Dip on Facebook

-Each time you tweet “Giveaway alert! @by_simone is giving away a SIGNED copy of @elenizoe ‘s Hope Dies Last: http://su.pr/3TAfsx” 

*Make sure you include in your comment some way of getting hold of you (ie. complete the email field or leave your twitter/blog address). Also make sure you mention in your comment if you’ve done any of the additional things above.

The giveaway is open to everyone regardless of where you live in the world. The giveaway runs from today until February 3rd. I’ll select a winner at random on the 4th.

Good Luck! xo

S.

Break it Off with Smoking. So I Don’t Have to Break it Off with You.

This post is sponsored by Break it Off  — a Canadian Cancer Society campaign designed to help young Canadians end their relationship with smoking for good.

Today I’m going to talk about something I am passionate about: quitting smoking.

“But Simone, I thought this blog was supposed to be about sex, dating, relationships and your obsession with shoes & overpriced hand bags?!”

Smoking and dating are integrally connected – at least for me. Three of my “big loves” have been smokers. Having to watch the person you love slowly kill themselves by smoking (while harming your health in the process) is one one of the most painful and frustrating things to have to endure.

Besides, there’s nothing sexy about kissing someone who has been smoking. The taste of cigarettes is now a huge libido killer for me.  If you smoke, we’re not getting it on.

This is why I thought the Break it Off Campaign was ingenious because they have likened quitting smoking to breaking up and ending a relationship. Because really, that’s what quitting smoking is all about. When you are smoking it’s like  you’re dating a terrible boyfriend/girlfriend who’s super clingy. Your friends & family can’t stand them, they drain your wallet and they stink up your home & clothing whenever they come over. Oh yeah- and they secretly want to kill you. You wouldn’t stand for this kind of treatment from a partner! Why are you accepting it from cigarettes?! You’re worth more than that.

When you are going through any kind of break-up it helps to have support. This is why the Break It Off campaign has come up with some very helpful tools to help you kick cigarettes to the curb for good. Those of you who are interested in saying “Adios” to cigarettes can start by visiting the Break It Off website where you’ll find break-up methods from an unbiased source. Smokers can also upload their phone number to have a Quit Coach contact them. Quit coaches are specially trained counselors available to help you through the break-up process.

The website is divided up into different break-up stages such as “Get it over with”, “Stay Split Up” and “Move on with Life” and  is packed full of information on how to survive your break-up with smoking.

If you are ready to have “The Talk”  there is a section where you can upload a video of you breaking it off with smoking (something you can do even if you don’t smoke but like me, want to end your relationship with smoking) Quitting smoking can be a lonely experience. By sharing break-up videos we can all motivate each other. I’m actually considering making my own video (if I can get over my fear of my web cam) and I encourage you to do the same!

Because no relationship or break-up is really “official” these days until it’s on Facebook, you can change your relationship status with smoking by going to the Break it off on Facebook App that can be accessed via the website.

There is also a smartphone app that you can download for iPhone and Android. The app includes a list of typical “triggers” for smoking and tips on how to overcome them. It also provides the option of calling a Quit Coach.

Feeling jittery and like you can’t relax? The app gives you some tips on how to mitigate this & directs you to a free yoga video! (Can we just take a moment to acknowledge how awesome this is? I wish I had an app that showed me yoga videos whenever I was feeling stressed!)

The app also shows your “break-up timeline” and allows you to track your wins, cravings & slip ups.

For all the smokers out there I hope you join us in “the world’s biggest break-up” and tell cigarettes “It’s not me. It’s you.”

Because not smoking is sexy.

xox

S.

Fuck Broken Hearts. I’m Going to Vegas.

Following the big break-up this fall, my romantic interactions with the opposite sex have not proven to be successful. This post is just a small fraction of the whole story. There’s lots more. Too much to share on the blog at this point. I prefer to air my dirty laundry only once it has been hung out to dry for a long time and is considered old news. Long story short, on Monday night I had my heart stomped on. That’s all I’m going to say right now. I know that whatever I write at this point is probably going to be tinged with anger. I don’t want to put something up here that I’ll regret later. I prefer to write about matters of the heart once I’ve had time to reflect.

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I am no stranger to romantic disappointment. It’s just that with everything that’s happened over the past few months, I’m emotionally exhausted.

Monday should have been the happiest of days – it was Bloggers in Sin City registration day! Remember that amazing event that I went to last year that I couldn’t stop blogging about?! Yes, THAT. I was super psyched to sign up this year but then over the weekend my excitement started to wane. My anxiety kicked into overdrive (making me feel sluggish yet wired at the same time) and I got a terrible headache that wouldn’t leave me alone no matter how many Advils I popped. My body always knows when something is up. It just does.

I started to wonder whether going to Vegas again was a good idea. I told myself “Should I really be doing this now? Maybe I should just save the money? Didn’t I just write a post about personal finances?!” Even on Monday morning, while I was sitting at my computer, head pounding, waiting for registration to open, I was on the fence. Is this really a good idea? But you know what?! I’m so, so glad I signed up again.

There is something slightly magical about Bloggers in Sin City. After the disappointment on Monday night, I was huddled on my bed, wrapped in a blanket and feeling pretty fucking hurt. One of the only things that made me feel better was when I decided to go on the BiSC website and read through all the profiles and tweets from the other attendees. I said to myself:

“How I feel right now fucking sucks…but I’m going to Vegas. In a few months I’ll be with my tribe of crazy, glittery, hilarious, wonderful bloggers”

I woke up yesterday morning and everything looked different – literally – I looked out my bedroom window and saw my Mom’s backyard which is full of bamboo and palm plants, dusted in a thick layer of snow (a West Coast rarity). I took a deep breath and finally started to process something I hadn’t been able to wrap my head around until that moment:

I am single. 

There is nothing or no one holding me back from doing whatever I want from this point forward. There is so much I want to do….

Travel to Latin America. Travel to Asia. Drink sangria in Barcelona. Live in New York and LA. Travel the world and write articles from every corner of the globe. Write a book. Be perfectly happy being roaming gypsy for awhile sans any kind of attachments.

casino online
I called my best friend yesterday morning to let her know I was feeling better. I told her “I feel like I have my whole life ahead of me”Her reply: “You always did Simone”

 & I’m starting by going to Vegas. 

(PS. If you too are suffering from Wanderlust, check out my post I wrote about Toronto over at my friend Abby’s fabulous travel blog The Jungle Princess.)

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